With their incredible strength, resilience, and the ability to harness inner rage, Barbarians make formidable and relentless warriors on the battlefield.
Although they might seem like just a different kind of fighter, these warriors are less about technique and more about unstoppable brute force.
Learn how to optimize your character with our Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian class guide!
Barbarian Class Features
Barbarians are durable warriors with decent damage and a huge amount of hit points.
You don’t need to wear armor and you can take damage like no one else.
- Hit Points at 1st level: 12 + Constitution Modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 7 + Constitution Modifier
- Light Armor
- Medium Armor
- Simple Weapons
- Martial Weapons
- Saving Throws:
- Choose 2 Skills:
- Animal Handling
- Barbarian Clothes
- Leather Boots
- Handaxe x2
- Health Potion x2
- Scroll of Revivify
UNIQUE CLASS FEATURES
- Unarmoured Defense
The defining feature of the Barbarian class is their ability to enter a state of primal Rage during combat. When a Barbarian rages, they tap into their inner beast, gaining remarkable advantages in melee combat. Here’s what happens when they rage:
- Enhanced Strength: Barbarians become even more potent, dealing increased damage with their attacks.
- Damage Resistance: They gain resistance to certain types of damage, making them incredibly tough.
- Increased Durability: In the heat of battle, Barbarians become sturdier, able to withstand punishing blows.
Barbarians embrace the wild instincts within them, harnessing primal physicality and unquenchable rage. It’s like tapping into a well of untamed power, turning them into formidable foes.
Barbarian Class Progression
You already start with Rage, which is the barbarian’s signature feature.
However, barbarians are more than raging. There are many abilities that you will gain while leveling up, and and it doesn’t take long for this class to become more interesting:
|Level||Abilities and Features|
|1||Unarmored Defense, Rage|
|2||Danger Sense, Reckless Attack|
|3||Additional Rage Charge, Choose Subclass (Wildheart, Berserker, Wild Magic)|
|5||Extra Attack, Fast Movement|
|6||Additional Rage Charge|
|8||Chose a Feat|
|12||Additional Rage Charge, Feat|
Tips and Tricks
Although there are many different Barbarian builds, most of them benefit from the same things.
- Focus on Constitution for hit points and Unarmored Defense.
- Embrace the power of rage for enhanced damage and durability.
- Use two-handed weapons for maximum damage potential.
How to Choose a Barbarian Subclasses
- Berserker Barbarian for straightforward power.
- Wildheart Barbarian for nature-themed customization.
- Wild Magic Barbarian for a blend of rage and unpredictable magic.
- Prioritize two-handed weapons like the Greataxe.
- Consider feats like Great Weapon Master for added damage.
- Keep a versatile weapon as a backup for different situations.
Do Not Forget Your Features
- Use your rage to deal more damage and gain resistance to various damage types, boosting your combat endurance.
- Use Reckless Attack to gain advantage on attacks, but be cautious, as enemies also gain advantage against you in return.
The Berserker Subclass
The Berserker subclass, a path within the Barbarian class, takes the essence of unbridled rage and transforms it into relentless offense.
Here’s what you can expect from the Berserker:
|Level||Abilities and Features|
|3||Frenzy, Frenzied Strike, Enraged Throw|
- Frenzy: At level 3, Berserkers unlock Frenzy. This bonus action allows for an additional attack during each turn while raging, intensifying offensive power.
- Frenzied Strike: This bonus action lets you make a melee attack with your equipped weapon. However, it adds a stack of Frenzied Strain, imposing a penalty on attack rolls.
- Enraged Throw: With this bonus action, Berserkers can pick up an item or creature and throw it at a target, dealing additional damage and knocking the target prone.
- Mindless Rage: Renders Berserkers immune to external influences like charm or fear while raging. Calm Emotions no longer ends their rage.
- Intimidating Presence: This action allows barbarians to instill fear in their enemies, although this ability may not be as potent as other Barbarian features. It makes targets drop their weapons and become Fearful. They will be easier to hit and cannot move.If the target ends their turn where they can’t see you, they can make another Saving Throw to shake off their fear.
In some cases, Barbarian players opt to multiclass at level 9 to explore different class features and abilities beyond the Berserker path.
Berserker Multiclass Builds
There are a few ways to make your Berserker Barbarian a bit more nuanced.
Here are some of my favorite options:
Frenzy Barbarian/Thief Rogue
- Barbarian Levels (5-6): Start with Barbarian levels, prioritizing features like Frenzy and Extra Attack. These abilities provide you with bonus melee attacks, which can be crucial for this build.
- Rogue Levels (6-7): Multiclass into Rogue, selecting the Thief subclass. The Thief subclass provides you with Cunning Action, allowing you to Dash, Disengage, or Hide as a bonus action. This complements your Barbarian’s Frenzy for hit-and-run tactics and it also allows you to be a mobile, beefy damage dealer.
- Ability Scores: Focus on Strength for damage and Dexterity for better Armor Class and finesse weapon attacks. Additionally, invest in Constitution for increased durability.
- Feats: Great Weapon Master won’t directly benefit this build if you plan on using sneak attack damage, so consider feats like Dual Wielder if you plan to dual-wield finesse weapons or Savage Attacker for more consistent melee damage.
- Strategy: Engage in combat with Frenzy to maximize your melee attacks. Use Cunning Action to move in and out of combat, targeting vulnerable enemies and retreating when necessary. This revised build excels at dealing substantial melee damage and controlling the battlefield, and it aligns better with the requirements of Sneak Attack for your Rogue levels.
- Barbarian Levels (5-6): Begin with Barbarian levels, focusing on Barbarian features like Frenzy and Extra Attack.
- Fighter Levels (6-7): Multiclass into Fighter, selecting the Champion subclass. The Champion’s key feature is Improved Critical, which increases your chance of scoring critical hits. Since Frenzy grants you a bonus attack, the higher critical chance synergizes well. You also get an extra attack at Fighter level 5.
- Ability Scores: Prioritize Strength for melee damage and Constitution for survivability. Consider Dexterity for better Armor Class.
- Feats: Choose Great Weapon Master to maximize your damage output. The additional attacks from Frenzy and Extra Attack will provide more chances to trigger the bonus action attack from Great Weapon Master.
- Strategy: Engage in combat using Frenzy for bonus attacks. With Improved Critical, you have an increased chance of landing critical hits, especially when combined with Great Weapon Master’s bonus action attack. This build excels at dealing devastating critical hits.
Frenzy Barbarian/Battle Master Fighter
- Barbarian Levels (5-6): Begin with Barbarian levels, focusing on Frenzy and Extra Attack to maximize your melee damage output.
- Fighter Levels (6-7): Multiclass into Fighter, choosing the Battle Master archetype. Battle Masters have access to various combat maneuvers that can add versatility to your attacks. You also get an extra attack at level 5.
- Ability Scores: Prioritize Strength for damage and Constitution for durability. Consider Dexterity for better Armor Class and initiative.
- Feats: Look into feats like Great Weapon Master to increase your damage potential further. The bonus action attack from Great Weapon Master can be especially useful with Frenzy.
- Strategy: Engage in combat using Frenzy to make multiple attacks per turn. Utilize the Fighter’s combat maneuvers to control the battlefield or gain additional advantages in combat. This build excels at both dealing damage and battlefield control.
Frenzy Barbarian/Wild Magic Sorcerer
- Barbarian Levels (5-6): Start as a Barbarian to access Frenzy and Extra Attack for melee prowess.
- Sorcerer Levels (6-7): Multiclass into Wild Magic Sorcerer. Wild Magic Sorcerers have the potential for unpredictable magical effects, adding a unique twist to your barbarian’s abilities.
- Ability Scores: Focus on Strength for melee damage, and consider Charisma for your spellcasting abilities. Constitution remains crucial for survivability. You can also go for utility spells so you won’t depend on Charisma as much.
- Feats: While not required, feats like Mage Slayer can help you close the gap between you and spellcasters, enhancing your anti-mage capabilities.
- Strategy: Engage in combat with Frenzy and melee attacks. Your Sorcerer levels grant you spellcasting abilities, allowing you to cast spells like Shield or Misty Step to enhance your survivability and mobility.
The Wildheart Subclass
Your deep connection with nature and its creatures fuels your rage, granting you supernatural abilities.
Wildheart Features Progression
|Level||Abilities and Features|
|3||Learn Speak with Animals, Choose 1 Bestial Heart (Bear, Eagle, Elk, Tiger, Wolf)|
|6||Choose an Animal Aspect (Bear, Chimpanzee, Crocodile, Eagle, Elk, Honey Badger, Stallion, Tiger, Wolf, Wolverine)|
|8||Land’s Stride: Difficult Terrain|
|10||Choose an Animal Aspect (Bear, Chimpanzee, Crocodile, Eagle, Elk, Honey Badger, Stallion, Tiger, Wolf, Wolverine)|
Speak with Animals
Speak with Animals is a spell in Baldur’s Gate 3 and a Wildheart Barbarian’s natural ability.
This ability allows players to communicate with or elicit brief responses from animals or beasts.
Land’s Stride: Difficult Terrain
You have become an expert at moving through the wilderness. Difficult Terrain no longer slows you down.
Animal Aspect is a feature that allows players to customize their Wildheart barbarian even more.
There are 10 Beasts to choose from, and each grants various enhancements when selected.
- Bear: Doubles carrying capacity, gains Advantage on Strength Checks.
- Chimpanzee: Resists Falling damage, blinds targets by throwing camp supplies.
- Crocodile: Increased movement on water-based surfaces, gains Advantage on Saving Throws against being knocked Prone on slippery surfaces.
- Eagle: Darkvision up to 12m, gains Advantage on Perception Checks.
- Elk: Increases movement speed by 1.5m for yourself and nearby allies.
- Honey Badger: Has a 50% chance for a free Rage if Poisoned, Frightened, or Charmed at the start of your turn.
- Stallion: Dashing grants temporary hit points equal to twice your level.
- Tiger: Doubles Strength Modifier on Attack Rolls against Bleeding or Poisoned targets, gains proficiency in Survival.
- Wolf: Gains Proficiency in Stealth, and you and nearby allies add your Dexterity modifier as a bonus to Stealth Checks.
- Wolverine: Attacks on Bleeding or Poisoned targets Maim them for 1 turn (No move, Disadvantage DEX Saves).
RAGE: BEAR HEART
Enter a Rage that makes you tough enough to withstand punishment.
You can use Unrelenting Ferocity and have Resistance to all damage except Psychic damage.
UNRELENTING FEROCITY Unrelenting Ferocity is an action in Baldur’s Gate 3.
This action can be used for both exploration and combat, allowing you to maneuver across the battlefield or harm/aid characters.
Unrelenting Ferocity offers healing, healing 1d8+2, and can be used once per Rage.
RAGE: EAGLE HEART
Enter a Rage that makes you nearly untouchable. You can perform a Diving Strike.
Foes also have Disadvantage on Opportunity Attacks against you, and you can use Dash as a bonus action.
DIVING STRIKE Diving Strike is a weapon action in Baldur’s Gate 3.
It allows you to leap down onto a foe, knocking them prone without taking falling damage. You must be above your target, and it requires Rage.
RAGE: ELK HEART
Enter a Rage that grants you extraordinary swiftness.
You can use Primal Stampede, and your movement speed increases by 4.5m.
Primal Stampede is an action in Baldur’s Gate 3 that deals 1d4+3 bludgeoning damage.
It allows you to charge forward, attacking all hostile creatures in your way and possibly knocking them prone. This action is available only when raging.
RAGE: TIGER HEART
Enter a Rage that empowers your leaps. You can use Tiger’s Bloodlust, and your jump distance increases by 4.5m.
Tiger’s Bloodlust is a weapon action that allows you to lash out and attack up to 3 enemies at once, making them bleed.
RAGE: WOLF HEART
Enter a Rage so inciting it spurs on your allies.
You can use Inciting Howl, and your allies have Advantage on melee Attack Rolls against enemies within 2m of you.
Inciting Howl is an action that enables each ally within earshot to move an additional 3m during their next turn.
Wildheart Multiclass Builds
Whether you are doing it for the thematic appeal of embodying nature’s rage itself or because you simply want to become a raging bear, Wildheart barbarians can benefit greatly from multiclassing.
This is especially true if you don’t mind sacrificing some of their higher level features.
A WIldheart Barbarian who is also a Paladin has access to interesting special actions, high damage output, and even greater durability.
This is one of my favorite builds by far:
Wildheart Barbarian/Oath of the Ancient Paladin
- Barbarian Levels (5-7):
- Invest 5 to 7 levels in Barbarian to secure critical abilities such as Extra Attack, Feral Instinct, and Primal Path features.
- These levels significantly bolster your melee combat prowess.
- The synergy between Barbarian and Paladin occurs when you reach 5th level in each class.
- At this point, both classes gain the Extra Attack feature, allowing you to make two attacks instead of one when you take the Attack action.
- This doubles your potential for smiting with Divine Smite as a Paladin.
- Paladin (5-7):
- Progress in Paladin levels (5-7) to unlock access to potent spells and Lay on Hands.
- Spells like Divine Favor enhance your melee damage output by adding 1d4 radiant damage to your weapon attacks, making it an excellent choice for smiting.
- Cure Wounds from the Paladin spell list aids in healing yourself and allies, increasing your overall durability.
- Recommended Feats:
- Consider the Great Weapon Master feat, which complements your melee-focused build.
- With the potential for multiple attacks, this feat allows you to make an additional melee attack as a bonus action when you score a critical hit or reduce a creature to 0 hit points.
- The -5 penalty to attack rolls is offset by your Extra Attack feature and the advantage from your Barbarian Reckless Attack.
- In combat, utilize your Barbarian rage abilities to bolster your melee attacks.
- When you score critical hits or reduce enemies to 0 hit points, take advantage of the Great Weapon Master feat to make bonus attacks.
- As a Paladin, leverage your spellcasting to enhance your damage output with Smite and provide healing support to your party when needed.
- Combine your Barbarian’s durability with the Paladin’s Lay on Hands for increased survivability.
- This build excels in dealing substantial melee damage while maintaining the utility of Paladin spells and abilities.
This is not the only way to make multiclassing work with the Wildheart subclass, though.
Here are some other good alternatives that might fit your playstyle better than the one above:
Wildheart Barbarian/Circle of the Moon Druid
- Wildheart Barbarian Levels (5-6): Start as a Wildheart Barbarian to access Wildshape and animal-themed abilities. Prioritize Constitution for hit points and Wisdom for Druid spells.
- Druid Levels (6-7): Multiclass into Druid, specifically the Circle of the Moon archetype. Circle of the Moon Druids gain powerful combat forms when they Wildshape.
- Raging Beast: You can use Rage and Wild Shape at the same time. This combo will be your go-to feature when playing a Wildheart Druid.
- Strategy: In combat, use your Barbarian abilities like Frenzy to deal melee damage and rage to gain resistances. When needed, Wildshape into formidable animal forms to tank, deal damage, or provide utility. Combine Druid spells and Wildshape for versatility in and out of combat.
Wildheart Barbarian/Hunter Ranger
- Wildheart Barbarian Levels (5-6): Start as a Wildheart Barbarian and focus on the Wildshape ability. Prioritize Constitution and Dexterity for survivability and ranged attacks.
- Ranger Levels (6-7): Multiclass into Ranger, choosing the Hunter archetype for combat abilities and spells.
- Ability Scores: Focus on Dexterity for ranged and finesse attacks and Constitution for hit points. Wisdom is essential for Ranger spells, but you can always go for utility ones and spells that do not demand an attack roll.
- Strategy: In combat, shift between Wildshape and ranged attacks based on the situation. Use Barbarian features for melee engagements, and Ranger spells for ranged support or utility. This build excels at versatility and adaptability in various scenarios.
- Wildheart Barbarian Levels (10): Embark as a Wildheart Barbarian, harnessing your primal instincts and animal-themed abilities. Prioritize Strength for devastating melee attacks and Dexterity for increased finesse and ranged combat capabilities.
- Fighter Levels (2): Transition into the Fighter class, selecting the Two-Weapon Fighter archetype to maximize your proficiency in dual-wielded weapons, enhancing your close combat effectiveness.
- Ability Scores: Maintain your focus on Strength and Dexterity to excel in combat versatility. Additionally, bolster your Constitution to fortify your endurance on the battlefield.
- Strategy: As a Wildheart Barbarian, engage in frenzied melee battles, capitalizing on your beastly features. With the Fighter levels, embrace the path of the two-weapon fighter, allowing you to unleash a relentless flurry of strikes, whether wielding a single weapon or dual-wielding. This combination transforms you into a formidable warrior, capable of overwhelming your foes with a barrage of attacks.
- Barbarian (10): Wildheart Barbarian focusing on animal-themed abilities and primal combat. Strength and Dexterity prioritized for melee effectiveness and AC.
- Paladin (2): Oath of the Ancients Paladin for nature-based powers. Gain Lay on Hands and Divine Sense abilities. Choose a Fighting Style (Defence, Duelling, Great Weapon Fighting, or Protection).
- Recommended Feats: Great Weapon Master for improved damage output.
- Strategy: Engage in melee combat using Barbarian rage abilities. Utilize Paladin abilities like Lay on Hands for healing and Divine Smite for additional damage when needed.
The Wild Magic Subclass
The chaotic influence of magic has transformed you, imbuing you with an arcane power that simmers within, ready to surge forth.
|Level||Abilities and Features|
|3||Rage: Wild Magic|
|6||Bolstering Magic: Boon|
|6||Bolstering Magic: Level 1 Spell Slot|
|6||Bolstering Magic: Level 2 Spell Slot|
|9||Bolstering Magic: Level 3 Spell Slot|
Rage: Wild Magic
Unleash your inner magic in a wild fury, invoking random mystical effects.
When you enter this rage, you gain Resistance to physical damage, find Strength in your checks, and bolster your Saving Throws with Advantage.
Harness the power of magical vigilance. With this class action, anyone within a 3-meter range gains the ability to add their Proficiency Bonus to their Saving Throws against spells.
This extraordinary perception can be activated once per short rest.
Bolstering Magic: Boon
Empower yourself or an ally with the mystical energy of the arcane. Using this class action, grant a substantial +1d4 bonus to Attack Rolls and Ability Checks.
This boon, which can be employed once per long rest, persists for 10 turns, offering ample opportunities to enhance numerous Attacks and Ability Checks.
Bolstering Magic: Level 1 Spell Slot
Restore the magic within you or an ally. This feature allows you or a comrade to recover a Level 1 spell slot, rekindling your mystical potential.
Usable once per long rest, it ensures that your spellcasting abilities remain formidable.
Bolstering Magic: Level 2 Spell Slot
Revive the arcane reserves by recovering a Level 2 spell slot. This restoration, available once per long rest, ensures that you or an ally can tap into greater magical power when needed.
Bolstering Magic: Level 3 Spell Slot
Elevate your spellcasting prowess by regaining a Level 3 spell slot.
This infusion of magical energy can be accessed once per long rest, enabling you or a fellow adventurer to wield potent spells with renewed vigor.
Embrace the chaos of your rage. While in a state of fury, any damage taken or failed Saving Throws trigger additional Wild Magic effects, replacing the current one.
This unpredictable nature of your rage adds an element of uncertainty to your magical abilities.
Wild Magic Surges
|Magic Surge||Wild Magic Effect||Duration|
|Bolt of Light||Shoot a Bolt of Light from your chest that Blinds the target for 1 turn and does 1-6 Radiant Damage. 9m range and CON Saving Throw||Until End of Rage|
|Dark Tendrils||Shadowy tendrils lash around you, sucking the life from all creatures within 9m dealing 1-12 Necrotic Damage on a failed CON Save, and granting you 1-12 temporary hit points||One-time trigger|
|Intangible Spirit||You can summon a spectral flumph within 9m of you. The flumph explodes at the end of your turn, dealing 1-6 Force Damage to each creature within 2m on a failed DEX save||Until End of Rage|
|Magic Retribution||Enemies that hit you take 1-6 Force Damage in retaliation||Until End of Rage|
|Protective Lights||You and any allies within 3m of you have a +1 bonus to Armor Class||Until End of Rage|
|Teleport||As a Bonus Action each turn, you can Teleport up to 18m to an unoccupied space you can see||Until End of Rage|
|Vine Growth||The ground within 5m of you is Difficult Terrain for everyone other than you, halving movement speed||Until End of Rage|
|Weapon Infusion||Your equipped weapon deals an additional 1-6 Force Damage and gains the Light and Thrown properties. If Thrown, it immediately reappears in your hand||Until End of Rage|
Wild Magic Multiclass Builds
I don’t find the Wild Magic Barbarian as versitile when it comes to multiclassing, but there are somewhat decent options.
Here are some:
- Barbarian 10:
- At this point, you gain features like Brutal Critical, which enhances your critical hit damage.
- Your Wild Surge feature adds a layer of randomness to your abilities, potentially giving you various magical effects during combat.
- You also get an extra attack, making you a formidable melee combatant.
- Sorcerer 2:
- You gain Spellcasting with two 1st-level spells known and Sorcerer’s spell slots.
- You also get the Sorcerer’s Sorcery Points, which can be used for Metamagic.
- The Font of Magic feature allows you to convert Sorcery Points into spell slots.
- This dip complements the Wild Magic theme and provides you with additional spellcasting abilities.
- Recommended Feats:
- Lucky: This feat works well with Wild Magic, allowing you to reroll those unpredictable outcomes when needed.
- Mage Slayer: Enhances your ability to deal with spellcasters in close combat.
- Magic Rage: This build allows you to tap into both the primal rage of the Barbarian and the unpredictable magic of the Sorcerer.
- Be a Barbarian: Use your Barbarian rage to gain advantage on Strength-based attacks.
- Use Utility Spells: Your Sorcerer spells offer versatility and ranged options.
- Remember your Sorcerer side: Consider using your Sorcery Points for Metamagic, such as Quickened Spell to cast spells as a bonus action or Twinned Spell to target multiple enemies.
- Embrace the Wild Surge: When your Wild Surge activates, embrace the chaos, as it can provide both beneficial and detrimental effects.
Wild Magic Barbarian / Monk
This build is odd and very fun thematically.
I like the idea of a Wild Magic raging barbarian trying to control his surges by learning discipline and taking a couple of Monk levels.
- Wild Magic Barbarian 10:
- Brutal Critical: Enhances critical hit damage.
- Wild Surge: Adds randomness to your abilities when raging, creating unexpected magical effects.
- Extra Attack: Grants an additional melee attack, increasing your combat effectiveness.
- Monk 2:
- Martial Arts: Proficiency in unarmed strikes, increasing unarmed strike damage.
- Ki Points: Access to Ki points for abilities like Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind, enhancing mobility and combat options.
- Recommended Feat: Tavern Brawler
- In BG3, this feat lets you add your Strength Modifier twice to damage and Attack Rolls for unarmed attacks, improvised weapons, or thrown objects, complementing your melee capabilities.
- Rage with Unpredictability: Initiate combat by entering a rage for Strength-based advantages and damage resistance. Embrace the unpredictable magical effects of Wild Surges during battle.
- Unarmed Strikes: Utilize the Monk’s unarmed strikes, benefiting from the Tavern Brawler feat’s damage bonus. Combine with the Barbarian’s Extra Attack for multiple potent strikes per turn.
- Ki Abilities: Use Ki points to enhance mobility or offense. Patient Defense allows for bonus action dodging, improving survivability. Flurry of Blows grants additional unarmed strikes.
- Adaptive Spellcasting: As a Sorcerer, employ limited spellcasting for ranged options. Quickened Spell is valuable for casting spells as a bonus action while maintaining your melee presence.
- Embrace Chaos: Embrace the randomness of Wild Surges, adapting your tactics to the effects, which can vary from beneficial to detrimental.