Baldurs Gate 3 has 12 classes for you to choose from when you create your character. The Barbarian is a melee class that emphasizes instinct, physicality, and rage.
Barbarians are all about hitting things. Hard. A Barbarian’s primary stat is, unsurprisingly, their Strength. Barbarians tend to be a frontline melee character.
There’s no single best class in Baldur’s Gate 3, and the game gives you as many opportunities for creative problem solving as it does for punching. Finding the best class really just boils down to how you want to play. Even when playing solo, you’ll still manage the rest of your party, so you’ll get to experiment with multiple classes at once.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Barbarian class in Baldur’s Gate 3, and learn all about the best Barbarian subclass, feats, and build.
Is Barbarian the best class for you in BG3?
Barbarians are like Fighters in that they’re (almost) entirely melee-focused, so they’re a great choice when you’re first starting out. They’re the definition of tank — you don’t have to manage spells or even plan ahead, really. You just have to hit things. Hard. And repeatedly. During the Rage action, you’ll even get to ignore some damage while you’re doing it.
Barbarian class features
- Hit Dice — 1d12 per Barbarian level
- Hit Points at 1st Level — 12 + your Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at higher levels — 7 + your Constitution modifer per Barbarian level after 1st
Barbarians have the Rage action that increases their Strength, damage, and resistance to damage and also grants Advantage on Strength Checks and Saving Throws. They start with 1 charge of Rage per Long Rest.
Barbarians gain Unarmored Defense that adds your Constitution modifier to your AC when not wearing armor.
- Weapons — Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons, Battleaxes, Handaxes, Light Hammers, Warhammers
- Armor — Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
- Skills — Athletics, Insight, Perception, Religion
- Saving Throws — Strength, Constitution
Barbarians have three subclasses, which are unlocked at level 3.
Wildheart Barbarians attune to nature and beasts. (This is the Path of the Totem Warrior in pen-and-paper D&D.) When you select your subclass at level 3, they gain the Speak with Animals spell and choose a Bestial Heart that affects your Rage:
- Bear Heart — gain Unrelenting Ferocity (1d8+2 healing), resistance to all damage except Psychic
- Eagle Heart — gain Diving Strike (knock foes prone), foes have disadvantage on opportunity attacks, and use Dash as a bonus action
- Elk Heart — gain Primal Stampede (charge forward 30 feet attacking any enemies in the way), movement speed increases by 15 feet
- Tiger Heart — gain Tiger’s Bloodlust (attack 3 enemies at once), jump distance increases by 15 feet
- Wolf Heart — gain Inciting Howl (allies gain 10 feet of movement on next turn), allies have Advantage on melee attack rolls within 7 feet of you
Berserker Barbarians are all about the glory of combat. When you choose the Berserker subclass, your Rage becomes a Frenzy instead. You get Frenzied Strike (make a second melee attack as a bonus action once per turn) and Enraged Throw (throw an item or creature for damage and to knock it prone).
Wild Magic Barbarians are infused with arcane power. Going into a Rage causes a random magical effect. You also gain Magical Awareness that allows anyone within 10 feet of you to add their Proficiency Bonus to Saving Throws against spells.
Best Barbarian subclass and build in BG3
Baldur’s Gate 3 races don’t really have any direct impact on your class, but certain races and subraces come with features that play well with certain classes like extra movement or proficiency with certain weapons. For Barbarians, it’s best to focus on getting to enemies quickly and having access to the hardest-hitting weapons:
- Wood Elves and Wood Half-Elves have an extra 5 ft of movement
- Githyanki get proficiency with longswords and greatswords from Martial Prodigy
- Gold Dwarves’ Dwarven Toughness gets you an extra hit point each level
- Half-Orcs get Relentless Endurance that gives you one free hit point when you’re downed (one time per long rest), and their Savage Attacks means you roll an extra damage die when you land a critical hit.
When you’re creating and leveling up your Barbarian, Strength (for hitting things) is your most important stat followed closely by Constitution (for getting hit by things). Make Strength your highest stat and Constitution your second highest. Constitution will give you extra HP at each level, but, more importantly, Barbarians’ Unarmored Defense feature means your Constitution increases translate into an increase to your AC as well.
At level 3, you’ll choose your Barbarian subclass. If you’re just starting out, Berserker is the best subclass for you. It’s the most straightforward and plays into a Barbarian’s strengths of, well, Strength.
Best Barbarian Feats in BG3
Every four levels, you’ll get the option to either increase your stats or choose a Feat. Feats are special talents that add features to your character. If you’re happy with your stats and start taking Feats, Barbarians can benefit from:
- Athlete. Your Strength or Dexterity increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. When you are Prone, standing up uses significantly less movement. Your Jump distance also increases by 50%.
- Charger. You gain Charger: Weapon Attack and Charger: Shove.
- Durable. Your Constitution increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. You regain full hit points each time you take a Short Rest.
- Great Weapon Master. When you land a Critical Hit or kill a target with a melee weapon attack, you can make another melee weapon attack as a bonus action that turn. Attacks with Heavy melee weapons you are Proficient with, can deal an additional 10 damage at the cost of a -5 Attack Roll Penalty. (You can toggle this on and off.)
- Mobile. Your movement speed increases, and difficult terrain doesn’t slow you down when you Dash. If you move after making a melee attack, you don’t provoke Opportunity Attacks from your target.
- Savage Attacker. When making weapon attacks, you roll your damage dice twice and use the highest result.
- Tough. Your hit point maximum increases by 2 for every level you have gained.
For more information on the classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, consult our overviews on the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes. If you’re stumped by the choice, consult our guide on what class to start with.