Complete Guide on All Baldur Gates 3 Race Types

In Baldur’s Gate 3, character types – also known as races – influence a multitude of attributes, from physical aesthetics to inherent skills. These races in BG3 are selected during the process of Character Creation, bestowing each chosen race with specific benefits and traits, exclusively tailored for them. An array of distinctive physical attributes also distinguishes each race. Players who aim to optimize their game builds will often consider their character’s race, Background, and Class. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of all available character types in Baldur’s Gate 3, including Sub-Races and their unique abilities, features, and possible attribute enhancements.

WHAT IS THE SUPREME RACE IN BG3?

While no race can be deemed as superior in Baldur’s Gate 3, players may notice that some races align better with certain gameplay styles. For instance, Dwarves are naturally disposed towards sturdy, resistant builds due to their Constitution bonus. Nevertheless, decisions are not solely made for combative or build purposes. Players are encouraged to select the race that aligns with their preferences for role-playing, visual appeal, or optimization goals.

The Early Access version presents 9 races to choose from, supplemented with sub-races for extended customization choices. This roster will gradually grow leading up to the full game release.

WHAT ARE SUBRACES IN BG3?

In Baldur’s Gate 3, subraces are essentially variations within a primary race group, showcasing significant differences in physical attributes and characteristics. They introduce supplementary lore and occasionally inherent alignments that might affect your interactions with other races throughout the gameplay. This is a fundamental component of the D&D universe, and the potential impact of your chosen race can be explored via Backgrounds and tags.

BALDUR’S GATE 3 RACE TYPES

The decision to select your character type is crucial in BG3 as it influences not only your character’s looks but also their backstory to some extent. The civilization associated with your race might sway how NPCs perceive your character. Your selection of race in Baldur’s Gate 3 also prescribes certain effects, thus influencing your Build.

RACE RACE
Asmodeus Tiefling Deep Gnome
Drow Drow Half-Elf
Dwarf Elf
Forest Gnome Githyanki
Gnome Gold Dwarf
Half-Drow Half-Elf
Halfling High Elf
High Half-Elf Human
Lightfoot Halfling Lolth-Sworn Drow
Mephistopheles Tiefling Rock Gnome
Seldarine Drow Shield Dwarf
Strongheart Halfling Tiefling
Wood Elf Wood Half-Elf
Zariel Tiefling

DWARF

Attribute Boost: +2 Constitution Score

Racial Traits: Dwarven Resilience, Proficiency with Battleaxe, Handaxe, Light Hammer, and Warhammer, Darkvision.

Gold Dwarf Attributes:

Renowned for their unshakable confidence and sharp intuition, Gold Dwarves hail from the Deep Kingdom, a culture that treasures familial bonds, rituals, and exceptional craftsmanship.

  • Dwarven Durability
  • Inherent Racial Speed.
  • Wisdom +1

Optimal Classes for the Gold Dwarf: Druid and Strength Cleric

The Druid class greatly benefits from choosing a race that provides a +1 Wisdom boost – the Druid’s primary attribute. This enhancement not only increases the likelihood of your spells hitting adversaries but also amplifies the damage dealt using Shillelagh. Hence, Wisdom should be your primary focus. Specifically, for the Circle of the Land subclass, the Gold Dwarf emerges as the best race, thanks to the Wisdom and Constitution bonuses that allow you to achieve 16 in each during Character Creation. Consequently, you can effectively maintain spells requiring concentration.

For those opting for the Strength Cleric class, the Gold Dwarf also emerges as the best race. This is due to the additional hit points and the bonuses offered to both Wisdom and Constitution.

Shield Dwarf Attributes:

Shield Dwarves, having endured the loss of their ancient kingdoms in wars with goblins and Orcs, have adopted a somewhat cynical worldview. Despite this, they persist in their endeavours to reclaim their ancestral lands.

  • Inherent Racial Speed.
  • Strength +2
  • Proficiency in Light Armor.
  • Proficiency in Medium Armor.

Optimal Classes for the Shield Dwarf: Fighter and Barbarian

For Fighters and Barbarians, the emphasis should be on Strength, as it is your primary attribute. A robust Strength attribute enhances your success rate in attacking and damaging foes with melee weapons. In this regard, the Shield Dwarf race is ideal, allowing you to set both your Strength and Constitution at 17 during Character Creation. For the Eldritch Knight Fighter subclass, this configuration represents the primary attribute distribution if you’re aiming to acquire the Warped Headband of Intellect. Even otherwise, you can comfortably attain a solid attribute distribution of 17 Strength, 15 Intelligence, and 12 Constitution.

ELF

Attribute Boost: +2 Dexterity Score

Racial Traits: Darkvision, Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry, Proficiency with Longsword, Shortsword, Longbow, Shortbow.

High Elf Characteristics:

Inheriting the magic of the ethereal Feywild, high elves treasure all forms of magic. Even those who do not delve into the realm of spellcraft can harness the Weave.

  • Intelligence +1
  • Inherent Racial Speed
  • One High Elf Cantrip

Wood Elf Characteristics:

Wood elves, secluded within the verdant forests of Faerün, benefit from years of training in archery and camouflage, further augmented by their supernatural agility.

  • Fleet of Foot
  • Mask of the Wild
  • Wisdom +1

Ideal Classes for the Wood Elf: Rogue, Ranger, and Dexterity Cleric

For the Rogue and Ranger classes, choosing a race like the Wood Elf that can boost Dexterity to 17 during Character Creation is optimal as Dexterity is your primary attribute. This directly affects your success rate in areas such as sneak attacks, stealth checks, and lock-picking. Additionally, it influences the damage you deal with Dexterity-based weapons, as well as your initiative and armor class. The Wood Elf race grants an extra +2 Dexterity, allowing you to build towards a Dexterity of 16 if you later equip two Rapiers +1. Alternatively, you can push this attribute up to 17 and use the Longbow +1 for your attacks. This weapon proficiency is a bonus for the Wood Elf.

In the case of the Ranger and Cleric, Wisdom is their spellcasting attribute, which governs the success of certain spells such as Hail of Thorns and Guiding Bolt. The Wood Elf’s additional +1 Wisdom lets you start with a Wisdom of 16 in Character Creation.

HALFLING

Attribute Boost: +2 Dexterity Score.

Racial Traits: Lucky

Lightfoot Halfling Characteristics:

Known for their stealthy disposition yet sociable nature, Lightfoot halflings are travelers, wandering all over Faerün to carve out their place in the world.

  • Naturally Stealthy.
  • Inherent Racial Speed.
  • Charisma +1.

Strongheart Halfling Characteristics:

Believed to have inherited their resilience from dwarven blood, Strongheart halflings are renowned for their resistance to poison and boundless endurance, holding their ground with ease.

  • Strongheart Resilience.
  • Inherent Racial Speed.
  • Constitution +1.

GITHYANKI

Attribute Boost: +1 Intelligence Score and +2 Strength Score

Racial Traits: Choice of skill proficiency, Inherent Racial Speed, Proficiency with Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shortsword, Longsword, Greatsword, and Githyanki Psionics: Mage Hand Conjuration Cantrip.

Level Up Traits: Githyanki Psionics: Jump (Level 3), Misty Step (Level 5).

Known as unparalleled warriors hailing from the Astral Plane, Githyanki are recognized for their legendary silver blades and their red dragon steeds. Their primary objective is to annihilate mind flayers, who enslaved the Githyanki for thousands of years in their ancient empire.

HALF-ELF

Attribute Boost: Charisma +2 and additional +2 Ability score points which the player can allocate as they wish among the other five abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, or Wisdom).

Racial Traits: Fey Ancestry and Darkvision.

High Half-Elf Characteristics:

A remnant of the Feywild persists in half-elves with this lineage. Even those without formal training in magic bear a semblance of wild power.

  • Inherent Racial Speed.
  • Choice of 1 out of 13 available High Elf Cantrips.

Wood Half-Elf Characteristics:

Inheriting the swift stride and knack for stealth from their wood elf parent, these half-elves often shun isolation in Faerün’s forests to explore the wider Realms.

  • Fleet of Foot
  • Mask of the Wild.

Ideal Classes for the Wood Half-Elf: Warlock and Sorcerer

For Warlocks and Sorcerers, it’s beneficial to prioritize races that elevate your Charisma to 16, allowing you to reach 18 at Level 4 with the Ability Score Improvement Feat, resulting in a +4 Charisma Modifier. Since Charisma is the spellcasting attribute for both classes, a higher Charisma Modifier enhances the accuracy of your spells and cantrips. A Wood Half-Elf is the optimal race to select because you can achieve 16 in Charisma, Dexterity, and Constitution during Character Creation. Dexterity contributes to your armor class, while Constitution boosts HP and helps maintain concentration for spells requiring it.

Drow Half-Elf Characteristics:

Most half-drow are born from unions between Seldarine drow and surface dwellers. While half-drow do inherit some magical abilities, they are usually not raised in the Underdark.

  • Inherent Racial Speed.
  • Dancing Lights Evocation Cantrip.

HUMAN

Attribute Boost: +1 Strength Score, +1 Dexterity Score, +1 Constitution Score, +1 Intelligence Score, +1 Wisdom Score, and +1 Charisma Score.

Racial Features: Base Racial Speed.

Humans are the most common race in Faerûn, known for their resilience, creativity, and boundless potential for growth and adaptability.

DROW

Attribute Boost: +1 Charisma Score and +2 Dexterity Score.

Racial Features: Base Racial Speed, Fey Ancestry, Superior Darkvision, and Proficiency in Rapiers, Shortswords, and Hand Crossbows.

Lolth-Sworn Drow Traits:

Raised within the confines of Lolth’s cult in the city of Menzoberranzan, these drow uphold the harsh and ruthless virtues of their merciless goddess. Lolth distinguishes her followers with bright red eyes, instilling fear of the drow in those who dwell in the Underdark.

  • Dancing Lights Evocation Cantrip.
  • At level 5, they gain access to the Darkness spell.

Seldarine Drow Traits:

The drow race is a result of an ancient schism between the elven deities Corellon Larethian and Lolth. This betrayal by Lolth forced the drow into the Underdark, where they fragmented into numerous warring factions. Seldarine drow can be found across all of Faerûn, seeking allies to resolve their dispute with Lolth – and each other – by any means necessary.

  • Dancing Lights Evocation Cantrip.
  • At Level 5, they gain access to the Darkness spell.

Best Class for the Drow: Wizard

As a wizard, it’s beneficial to acquire the Warped Headband of Intellect during the Early Access phase, which will elevate your Intelligence to 18. This results in a higher modifier, thereby increasing the accuracy of your spellcasting. Therefore, it’s optimal to prioritize increasing Dexterity to 17 during Character Creation by selecting the Drow race. This corresponds to a Dexterity Modifier of +3, raising your Armor Class to 13 and fortifying your defenses. Subsequently, adding +1 to this Ability at Level 4 will increase your Armor Class to 14, significantly improving your ability to withstand enemy attacks and enhancing your overall survivability.

TIEFLING

Attribute Boost: Variable based on subrace.

Racial Features: Darkvision and Hellish Resistance (Resistance to fire damage).

Asmodeus Tiefling Traits:

Asmodeus tieflings are bound to Nessus, the deepest layer of the Hells, and from the archdevil Asmodeus’s infernal bloodline, they inherit the ability to manipulate fire and darkness.

  • Base Racial Speed.
  • Intelligence +1
  • Charisma +2
  • Thaumaturgy Transmutation Cantrip.

At Level 3: Hellish Rebuke once per Long Rest.
At Level 5: Darkness spell.

Mephistopheles Tiefling Traits:

Descendants of the archdevil Mephistopheles, these tieflings exhibit a particular aptitude for arcane magic.

  • Base Racial Speed.
  • Intelligence +1
  • Charisma +2
  • Mage Hand Conjuration Cantrip.

At Level 3: Legacy of Cania: Burning hands (Cast as level 3) once per Long Rest
At Level 5: Flame Blade spell.

Zariel Tiefling Traits:

Tieflings from Zariel’s bloodline are empowered with martial strength, capable of channeling searing flame to punish their adversaries.

  • Base Racial Speed.
  • Strength +1
  • Charisma +2
  • Thaumaturgy Transmutation Cantrip.

At Level 3: Legacy of Avernus: Searing Smite (Cast as level 3) once per Long Rest
At Level 5: Branding Smite spell.

GNOME

Attribute Boost: +2 Intelligence Score.

Racial Features: Base Racial Speed, Gnome Cunning (Advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic)

Deep Gnome Traits:

Inhabitants of the subterranean realm of the Underdark, deep gnomes are known for their stealth and survival skills.

Ability Score Increase: +1 Dexterity

Superior Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 24 m.

Stone Camouflage: You have advantage on Stealth checks.

Forest Gnome Traits:

Forest gnomes are known for their connection to the natural world and their skill in illusion magic.

Ability Score Increase: +1 Dexterity

Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12 m.

Speak with Animals: You can communicate with animals.

Rock Gnome Traits:

Rock gnomes are known for their inventiveness and hardiness.

Ability Score Increase: +1 Constitution

Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12 m.

Artificer’s Lore: Add twice your proficiency bonus to History checks related to magic items, alchemical objects, or technological devices.

Best Class for the Gnome: Wizard (given their intelligence boost, gnome makes a strong candidate for this class.)

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