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Baldur’s Gate 3 Karlach companion guide

BG3's Karlach might be the most striking of the available companions, and this guide will help you make the most of this powerhouse.

Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach has red skin, pointed ears, and a gold jewel adorned at the top of her forehead

Who is Karlach in Baldur’s Gate 3? Karlach is a powerful ally should you choose to recruit her. As an Asmodeus Tiefling, Karlach looks remarkably like a demon – and fights like one, too. Her Barbarian class is somewhat straightforward when compared to other classes in the game, yet with the right preparation and build, she can cleave an easy path through your enemies. She also rivals Gale as the companion with the best hair.

Unsure as to what exactly a Tiefling is in Baldur’s Gate 3? Never fear – our Baldur’s Gate 3 races guide will help you understand this demon-esque race and its subclasses, as well as every other race in the RPG game. Be sure to peruse our Baldur’s Gate 3 classes guide as well to get an idea if her Barbarian skills will complement whichever build you’ve gone with for your player character. Once you’ve got that necessary reading under your belt, including our extensive Baldur’s Gate 3 review, continue to see what makes BG3 Karlach so formidable.

Where is Karlach?

You can find Karlach near the river along The Risen Road in the first chapter of the game, just beyond the Blighted Village. This will trigger a quest called Hunt the Devil, which sees you side with her or a shady Paladin named Anders.

If you side with her and protect her from Anders and his equally dodgy friends, killing them all, she can be recruited. If you kill a Druid in the grove, Karlach cannot be recruited.

Karlach’s attributes, starting equipment, and skills

We weren’t lying when we said Karlach is a powerhouse. As she seeks revenge on those who sold her into slavery, she needs the stats to back up her anger. Karlach has an infernal engine in her chest, which grants her enormous power but is also in danger of killing her.

Here are Karlach’s stats:

  • Strength: 17
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Constitution: 14
  • Intelligence: 11
  • Wisdom: 12
  • Charisma: 8

Here is Karlach’s starting equipment:

  • Greataxe
  • Crossbow

Here are Karlach’s skills:

  • Athletics
  • Perception
  • Survival
  • Intimidation

Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach wields a greataxe and stands clad in black armor

How to raise Karlach’s approval rating

As a Barbarian,  showing your strength will improve your relationship with Karlach. Furthermore, she was previously enslaved, so freeing slaves will likely garner sympathy from her. You will also raise her approval by defending her, defending the Tieflings, and showing kindness to children. Dumping on Gortash at every single opportunity will also net you Karlach’s approval, and ours, because he is the worst.

How Karlach gains inspiration

Inspiration points can be gained by both your character and your companions based on your background. These points then can be used to reroll ability checks during key moments.

Karlach’s background is an Outlander meaning she grew up in the wilds and learned to survive away from civilization.

How to romance Karlach

If you want to get to know Karlach more intimately, you’ll have to give her a hand in fixing her heart. Her physical heart, that is – the rest will sort itself out. Karlach’s infernal engine heart runs very hot, which means that she hasn’t been able to touch another person for a very long time.

To fix the heart, you must gather infernal iron and visit the blacksmith, Dammon, in Druid’s Grove. He will cool her down a little, but still not quite enough for human contact. The next heart upgrade is in the Last Light Inn, and once this has been installed, Karlach can give you a great big hug – and a bit more, if that’s what you’re into.

Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach stares menacingly, shouting engulfed in flame as if angry

Best Karlach build

We recommend choosing Ability Improvement at level 4 to give Karlach +1 to strength and +1 to dexterity for higher modifiers. The alternative is to lean into Karlach’s ferocity by taking the Great Weapons Master feat, which buffs up the damage by 10 at the cost of a penalty to attack rolls. This, however, can be toggled during combat, making it a versatile option.

Karlach will use melee weapons more often than not, so reading through our collection of the best Baldur’s Gate 3 weapons in the game will help make sure she’s fully kitted for battle. If you’re wondering if you want to play the game as Karlach, any of the other BG3 companions, or your character, check our overview of the comically gruesome – and unique – Dark Urge origin option.