barbarian build bg3
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Barbarian Build BG3

The Best Barbarian Build for Baldur’s Gate 3, that relies on the Berserker Subclass to Frenzy and deal massive Melee damage to BG3 enemies! The Barbarian is a powerful melee class that can deal massive damage to enemies and help you enjoy this type of gameplay in BG3 more! It is also one of the Best Classes to pick as a Beginner, along with the Fighter, if you wish to have a smooth playthrough without complex spells and options to pick. This Barbarian BG3 Guide will show you the best options for this Class, in order to create a powerful melee character!

Table of Contents

Barbarian Class Mechanics Guide BG3

The Barbarian is a powerful Melee Class in BG3, that can Rage in order to deal more damage but also gain better resistances! Their gameplay revolves around activating Rage and smashing enemies with Melee attacks. As you level up, you earn Rage Charges, which allow you to enter into Rage more times per long Rest! One of their unique features is Unarmoured Defence, which adds their Constitution modifier to their Armor Class in addition to their Dexterity modifier, when not wearing armor! Because of this, to maximize the capabilities of your Barbarian it is better to equip them with clothing.

barbarian build bg3
Unarmoured Defence

Best Subclass for Barbarian Build in BG3

The Best Subclass for the Barbarian is Berserker! When you pick the Berserker Subclass your Rage turns into Frenzy, which adds new skills! At level 6 you gain Mindless Rage, which makes it impossible to charm or frighten you while Frenzied. Finally at Level 10 you gain the Intimidating Presence action, that allows you to fear enemies.

Frenzy

Best Race for Barbarian Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Best Race for the Barbarian Build in BG3 is the Half Orc! An excellent Race for melee based characters thanks to its Relentless Endurance feature, that grants one extra hit point when you reach 0, so you can avoid being Downed. Half Orcs also have the Darkvision and Savage Attacks features. Darkvision allows you to see in the dark while Savage Attacks deal an extra dice of weapon damage when you land a Critical hit with a melee weapon! A few more good Races you can pick for a Barbarian Berserker Build in BG3 are:

  • Githyanki
  • Zariel Tiefling
  • Dwarf
  • Human

You can pick any of the eleven available Races in BG3 and still have success with the Build! To find out more about all Baldur’s Gate 3 Races and their Sub Races, you can read my Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Race Guide!

Best Abilities for Barbarian Berserker Build BG3

Strength is the main Ability for Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3. What that means is that the higher Strength is, the more effective your Barbarian Build will be in BG3! Constitution and Dexterity are also very important abilities that will help you stay alive but also get better initiative in battle! You can use the recommended abilities setup or adjust them to get high Strength and good enough Dexterity and Constitution. For a powerful Barbarian Build that also has good initiative and survivability, you can use the following abilities setup:

  • Strength – 17
  • Dexterity – 15
  • Constitution – 16
  • Intelligence – 8
  • Wisdom – 8
  • Charisma – 8

Best Background for Barbarian Build BG3

The most important ability for the Barbarian is Strength. To maximize the efficiency of the build you should pick a background that gives access to Skills that rely on Strength! The Best Backgrounds for the Barbarian Build in BG3 are Soldier or Outlander! Soldier gives you access to Athletics(strength) and Intimidation(Charisma), while Outlander gives you access to Athletics(Strength) and Survival(Wisdom). Athletics is the most important skill for the Barbarian so you can pick either depending on which of the other non-strength skills you wish to have. To find more about all available Backgrounds you can read my Baldur’s Gate 3 Backgrounds Guide!

Best Skills for Barbarian Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

Skill proficiencies allow you to pursue different paths when picking dialogue option and can help you solve situations in a variety of ways. When you create your character you can pick two more skills to increase your proficiency with them. Athletics and Acrobatics are the best skills to have. For the other two you can pick any you like from the available skills. You can follow this example or boost the skills of your choice. Skills do not matter in combat but they are always nice to have to advance storytelling.

barbarian build bg3
Barbarian Skills

Barbarian Build Leveling Guide in Baldur’s Gate 3

Below you can find the Best options for the Barbarian Berserker Build in BG3 for every Level! There are 12 Levels in total and each one unlocks new powerful actions and passives for your Barbarian Build!

Level 1 Best options for Barbarian Build BG3

Level 1 is basically Character Creation for your Barbarian Build in BG3! Pick your Race, Background, Abilities and Skills as shown above.

Level 2 Best Options for Barbarian Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

At level 2 you gain Danger Sense which gives you advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws against traps, spells and surfaces. You also get the Reckless Attack Weapon Action that gives you advantage on Attack Rolls until your next turn, but enemies also have Advantage against you. Hence the Reckless part!

Reckless Attack

Level 3 Best Options for Barbarian Berserker Build BG3

At Level 3 you gain an extra Rage Charge and can pick your Subclass! The Berserker Subclass is the Best for Barbarian. Your Rage is now Frenzy and you get two new actions:

  • Frenzied Strike
  • Enraged Throw

Frenzied Strike allows you to make a melee attack as a bonus action, while Enraged Throw lets you pick an item or creature and throw it at a target, dealing additional damage and knocking it prone.

barbarian build bg3
Frenzied Strike

Level 4 Best Options for Barbarian Build

At level 4 you unlock your first Feat. Feats are powerful passive effects that can enhance your play style or help you alter your build! You can pick 3 Feats for your Barbarian Build at levels 4, 8 and 12! Picking Feats is quite important for the effectiveness of your Build in Baldur’s Gate 3. For the first Feat, pick Ability Improvement and add 2 points to Strength. Like this your Strength score will rise up to 19 if you have followed the above recommendations and your Barbarian will be more effective.

Level 5 Best Options for Barbarian Build

When you hit level 5 you gain two new Class Features, Extra Attack and Fast Movement! Extra Attack allows you to make another free attack after making a weapon attack. Fast Movement increases your movement speed by 3m while not wearing Heavy Armor.

Extra Attack

Level 6 Best Options for Barbarian Berserker Build BG3

At level 6 you gain an extra Rage Charge and your Mindless Rage Class feature. Mindless Rage makes it impossible to charm or frighten you while Frenzied.

Level 7 Best Options for Barbarian Build

At level 7 you earn Feral Instinct. Feral Instinct grants a +3 bonus to initiative and you cannot be surprised.

barbarian build bg3
Feral Instinct

Level 8 Best Options for Barbarian Berserker Build BG3

When you hit level 8 you can pick a second Feat. Pick Savage Attacker. With this Feat when you make melee weapon attacks you roll your damage dice twice and use the highest result.

Savage Attacker Feat

Level 9 Best Options for Barbarian Build Baldur’s Gate 3

At level 9 you unlock the Brutal Critical feature. When you land a Critical Hit you roll an extra damage dice as well as the normal additional critical dice.

Level 10 Best Options for Barbarian Build

At level 10 you gain Intimidating Presence action, which allows you to fear enemies.

barbarian build bg3
Intimidating Presence Action

Level 11 Best Options for Barbarian Build Baldur’s Gate 3

When you reach Level 11 you gain Relentless Rage. Once per Short Rest, if you drop to 0 hit points while enraged, you regain 1 hit points instead of being downed.

Level 12 Best Options for Barbarian Build BG3

Finally at level 12 you get another Rage Charge and unlock your final Feat. For your third Feat, pick Great Weapon Master. This gives you a bonus attack(as a bonus action) when you land a Critical Hit or kill a target with a melee weapon attack. Attacks with melee weapons you are proficient with and are wielding in both hands can deal an additional 10 damage at the cost of a -5 Attack Roll penalty.

Great Weapon Master Feat

Best Gear for Barbarian Build BG3

Below you can find the Best Gear for the Barbarian Berserker Build in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Best Weapons and Armor for the Barbarian, as well as alternative options that can help you early in the game!

What is the Best Weapon for Barbarian in BG3

The Best Weapon for the Barbarian Build in Baldur’s Gate 3, is the Balduran’s Giantslayer! A Legendary Greatsword that offers the following effects:

  • Giantslayer: On a hit, double the damage from your Strength Modifier. This weapon grants you advantage on Attack Rolls against Large, Huge or Gargantuan creatures.
  • Giant Form Class Action: Grow to a fearsome size. Your weapons deal additional damage and you gain 27 temporary hit points and Advantage on Strength Checks and Saving throws.
  • Topple the Big Folk: Deal additional damage equal to your proficiency bonus. On a hit, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan creatures take an additional damage and must succeed a Strength saving throw or fall Prone.
  • Weapon Enchantment +3
balduran's giantslayer
Balduran’s Giantslayer

You can get this weapon by completing the Wyrmway Trials in Act 3. Orphic Hammer is a nice alternative that you can get from House of Hope, again in Act 3. A Warhammer that offers:

  • Spell Resistance: You have advantage on Saving Throws against Spells.
  • Weapon Enchantment +3
  • Versatile
  • Unshackling Strike: Smite the magical bonds keeping a creature Restrained, Paralysed, and Stunned, freeing it.
orphic hammer
Orphic Hammer

If you have chosen Githyanki as your Barbarian Race then you can also use the Silver Sword of the Astral Plane Legendary Greatsword. You can get this weapon as a reward for showing the Orphic Hammer to Voss in Act 3! An amazing Githyanki weapon that offers the following:

  • Githborn Psionic Weapon: When wielded by a githyanki this weapon deals an additional 1-6 Psychic damage.
  • Githborn Psionic Resistance: A githyanki holding this weapon has advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma Saving Throws, Resistance to Psychic damage and cannot be charmed.
  • Weapon Enchantment +3
  • Soulbreaker: Rend the enemy’s body and soul, dealing additional Psychic damage equal to your proficiency bonus, and possibly Stun them.
silver sword of the astral plane
Silver Sword of the Astral Plane

A few great weapons you can use early in the game include the Phalar Aluve you can get in the Underdark, the Adamantine Longsword you can forge in the Adamantine Forge and Corpsegrinder. Corpsegrinder is a Rare Maul you can loot early in Act 3 from Cairos, West of Rivington. It offers the following:

  • Weapon Enchantment +2
  • Tenacity: When you miss an attack, you deal 6 Bludgeoning damage anyway.
  • Grand Slam: Slam your weapon into the ground, dealing additional Thunder damage equal to your proficiency bonus, thunderously impacting nearby foes and possibly pushing them away.
corpsegrinder
Corpsegrinder

If you are a Githyanki you can use the rare Soulbreaker Greatsword, which you can loot from Kith’rak Therezzyn Commander inside the Creche under the Rosymorn Monastery, Mountain Pass(Act 1). This weapon offers:

  • Githborn Psionic Weapon: When wielded by a githyanki this weapon deals an additional 1-4 Psychic damage.
  • Seldom Caught Unaware: You gain a +2 bonus to initiative Rolls.
  • Weapon Enchantment +1
  • Soulbreaker: Rend the enemy’s body and soul, dealing additional Psychic damage equal to your proficiency bonus, and possibly Stun them.
soulbreaker greatsword
Soulbreaker Greatsword

For your Ranged Weapon you can use the Fabricated Arbalest, which is a Very Rare Heavy Crossbow you can loot from Enver Gortash in Act 3. It offers:

  • Weapon Enchantment +2
  • Illuminating Shot: Fire a shimmering bolt that inflicts 1 turn of Radiating Orb upon the target.
  • Dazzling Ray: Unleash a beam of brilliant light that Blinds all creatures in its path.
fabricated arbalest
Fabricated Arbalest

Early in the game use Harold as your ranged weapon. Harold is a rare Heavy Crossbow you can get from Zarys by returning her the chest in Find the Missing Shipment quest. You can find Zarys in the Zhentarim Hideout which is also one of the ways you can enter into the Underdark in Act 1. Harold offers:

  • Haroldish Doom: When you deal damage to a target with a ranged weapon, it must succeed a Charisma Saving Throw or be Baned for 2 turns.
  • Weapon Enchantment +1
harold
Harold

The table below shows you the best Gear for the Barbarian Berserker Build, as well as good alternative options to use early in BG3!

PieceBestEarly Game
HeadHelm of BalduranCap of Wrath
CapeCloak of ProtectionCloak of Protection
ChestBonespike GarbThe Mighty Cloth
GlovesGauntlets of Hill Giant StrengthGloves of Power
BootsBonespike BootsDisintegrating Night Walkers
NecklaceAmulet of Greater HealthSurgeon’s Subjucation Amulet
RingKiller’s SweetheartShifting Corpus Ring
RingRing of RegenerationRing of Protection
Melee WeaponBalduran’s GiantslayerCorpsegrinder
Ranged WeaponFabricated ArbalestHarold

What is the Best Armor for Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Helm of Balduran is the best head Armor for the Barbarian Build in Baldur’s Gate 3. You can get it by completing the Wyrmway Trials, along with the Balduran’s Giantslayer! This Helmet offers:

  • Balduran’s Vitality: The helmet heals you 2 hit points at the beginning of every turn.
  • Balduran’s Favour: You have a +1 bonus to Armour Class and Saving throws.
  • Stun Immunity: You can’t be Stunned.
  • Attackers can’t land Critical Hits on the wearer.
helm of balduran
Helm of Balduran

A nice alternative is the Bonespike Helmet, which you can buy from Voiceless Penitent Bareki in Undercity Ruins, Act 3. With this Helmet you get:

  • Fury in the Marrow: When you Rage, hostile creatures in a 3 m radius must succeed a Wisdom saving throw or take 2-8 Psychic damage. The targets receive half damage on a save.
  • Intimidation +2
  • Menacing Attack(Melee)
bonespike helmet
Bonespike Helmet

Cloak of Protection offers a +1 to Armor Class and Saving Throw and is a nice Cape Armor that you can get from Quartermaster Talli(loot or buy) in the Last Light Inn in Act 2.

Bonespike Garb is the best Chest Armor for the Barbarian Build. A Very Rare Clothing that you can buy from Exxvikyap at Rivington General in Act 3. With this you get:

  • Slabjaw Determination: You gain 15 temporary hit points whenever you Rage.
  • Exoskeletal Endurance: Reduce all incoming damage by 2. When the wearer is struck by a melee attack, the attacker takes 3 Piercing damage.
bonespike garb
Bonespike Garb

Gauntlets of Hill Giant Strength is the best Armor for Gloves. Very Rare Armor that you can get in House of Hope and Sets the wearer’s Strength to 23. The enchantment has no effect if their Strength score is higher without it. It also grants Strength Saving Throws +1.

gauntlets of hill giant strength
Gauntlets of Hill Giant Strength

Bonespike Boots are the best for this armor slot. You can loot them from a trapped Wooden Chest in Rivington and they offer:

  • Evasive Instinct: You have a +1 bonus to Armour Class and Saving throws as long as you are not wearing armor or holding a shield.
  • Refined Vaulting: Jump distance is increased by 1.5 m.
  • Brutal Leap

The Amulet of Greater Health is the Best Amulet for the Build, which you can get in the House of Hope and Sets the Wearer’s Constitution to 23. It also grants advantage on Constitution Saving Throws Checks.

amulet of greater health
Amulet of Greater Health

Killer’s Sweatheart and Ring of Regeneration are finally the best ring options for the Barbarian Berserker Build in Baldur’s Gate 3! You can get the Killer’s Sweatheart ring by defeating yourself in the Self-Same Trial inside the Gauntlet of Shar(Act 2). The ring grants you the Executioner effect: When you kill a creature, your next Attack Roll will be a Critical Hit. Once spent, this effect refreshes after a Long Rest. You can buy the Ring of Regeneration from Rolan at the Sorcerous Sundries in Act 3 and get Combat Regeneration: At the beginning of your turn, the ring activates and heals you for 1-4 hit points.

There are a few great alternative items that you can get early and will help you advance your game until you can get one of the Best Armor pieces above.

  • Cap of Wrath is a nice Head piece that you loot from Thudd in Grymforge(Act 1) and grants Wrath when the wearer starts their turn with 50% hit points.
  • The Mighty Cloth for Chest boosts your Strength and you can buy or loot it from Quartermaster Talli at Last Light Inn(Act 2).
  • Gloves of Power inflicts penalties to enemies hit and grants Sleight of Hand +1. You can loot it from Za’Krug in front of the Grove in Act 1.
  • Disintegrating Night Walkers give you Misty Step and can’t be Enwebbed, Entangled, Ensnared and can’t slip on grease or ice. You can loot them from Nere in Grymforge(Act 1).
  • Surgeon’s Subjucation Amulet allows you to paralyze an enemy and you can get it from Malus Thorm at the House of Healing(Act 2).
  • Shifting Corpus Ring gives access to Invisibility and Blur Spells. Loot it from Flaming Fist Marcus at Last Light Inn(Act 2).
  • Ring of Protection grants +1 to Armor Class and Saving Throw and you can get it as a reward from Mol for stealing the Druids’ Idol(Act 1).
the mighty cloth
The Mighty Cloth

Barbarian Build Gameplay Tips in BG3

The Barbarian is a powerful Melee Class in Baldur’s Gate 3 but also very easy to play. This is because it relies mostly on its passive features and a few strong actions to defeat enemies. Activate Frenzy and stay close to your enemies. Hit with Frenzied Strike and your bonus actions when possible. Reckless Attack can be a risky but powerful action that gives you advantage on Attack Rolls. Use it with caution to kill enemies fast. Focus on melee attacks but if you are unable to reach an enemy, fire your Ranged Weapon. Intimidating Presence can be a useful action as well that can help you survive tough enemies.

More Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds

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