Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build, features, and feats

Put your inner anger to good use with a beefy Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build – here’s what our D&D and BG3 experts recommend for your next playthrough.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian, Karlach

The Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian can solve pretty much any problem with their fists. Inspired by the likes of Conan, this is a class that’s fueled by Rage and is strong enough to tear the world apart with their bare hands. If you like the sound of huge damage output and charging into battle screaming like a maniac, then you should consider playing a BG3 Barbarian.

Here you’ll find all you need to play the angriest Baldur’s Gate 3 class. We can explain all the core Barbarian features, as well as recommend the best Baldur’s Gate 3 races and Baldur’s Gate 3 feats for your Barbarian Baldur’s Gate 3 build. Get ready to blow your spellcasting Baldur’s Gate 3 companions away with your rippling muscles.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian holding a greataxe

The basics of a Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian

Saving throws Strength, Constitution
Armor proficiencies Light, Medium, Shield
Weapon proficiencies Simple, Martial
Skill proficiencies Two from Athletics, Nature, Animal Handling, Perception, and Survival

Here are the base class features for a Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian:

Unarmored Defense

Level: One

When your Barbarian isn’t wearing DnD armor, they can add their Constitution modifier to their armor class. Additionally, heavy armor stops them from using their Rage ability.


Level: One

As a bonus action, your Barbarian can activate their inner Rage. While Raging, a Barbarian has resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage (which covers pretty much any non-magical attack). They have advantage on Strength checks and saving throws, and they deal extra damage when attacking.

A few rules to remember for Rage:

  • Rage ends early if your Barbarian hasn’t attacked or taken damage on a turn.
  • Barbarians can’t concentrate on spells while Raging.
  • Barbarians can’t Rage and wear heavy armor.

A first-level Barbarian can rage twice before they need a long rest. This increases to three times from level three, four times from level six, and caps at five times when you hit level 12.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian, Karlach

Danger Sense

Level: Two

As long as they aren’t blinded or incapacitated, your Barbarian now has advantage on Dexterity saving throws against traps, spells, and dangerous surfaces.

Reckless Attack

Level: Two

Your Barbarian can choose to spend their action on a Reckless Attack rather than a regular attack. This gives them advantage on attack rolls, but enemies will also have advantage against your Barbarian in turn.

Barbarian subclass

Level: Three

You can choose one of the three Barbarian subclasses:

  • Wildheart – Channel the energy of a beast, granting you different abilities based on the animals you pick.
  • Berserker – Hit harder, hit more often, and become more resistant to attacks.
  • Wild Magic – Activate a random magical effect every time you Rage, and help spellcasters restore their spell slots.

Extra Attack

Level: Five

After making an unarmed or weapon attack, your Barbarian can make a second attack.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian leaping to attack a soldier

Fast Movement

Level: Five

As long as your Barbarian isn’t wearing heavy armor, their movement speed increases by five meters.

Feral Instinct

Level: Seven

Your Barbarian can’t be surprised, and they get a +3 bonus when initiative is rolled.

Brutal Critical

Level: Nine

When your Barbarian rolls a critical hit, an extra damage die is rolled along with the normal additional critical hit die. That’s three dice on a single attack – nice.

Relentless Rage

Level: 11

If your Barbarian reaches zero hit points while Raging, they aren’t downed. Instead, they automatically return to one hit point.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian Half-Orc

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build

Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian stats

Strength and Constitution are the most important DnD stats for a Barbarian. Your primary job in the party is to hit and hit hard, so there’s no need to worry about much else. However, if you love the idea of a Barbarian that scares everyone into submission, it doesn’t hurt to have some spare points in Charisma at the start of character creation.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian races

Our top pick of race for the Barbarian is the Half-Orc. Darkvision is always useful when dungeon-crawling, but it’s their Relentless Endurance and Savage Attacks that make them truly special. A Half-Orc regains a hit point instead of being downed when their HP first hits zero (something your Barbarian can’t do until level 11), and they can triple their damage dice on a critical hit.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian background

We recommend choosing the Soldier DnD background for your Barbarian. This gives you proficiency in Athletics (Strength) and Intimidation (Charisma). There aren’t really any other Strength-based proficiencies in Baldur’s Gate 3, so this is an ideal pick for a beefy Barbarian.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian throwing a goblin at another goblin

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian subclass

All of the BG3 Barbarian subclasses are heaps of fun to play. If you don’t mind a bit of randomness, the Wild Magic Barbarian is a great supporting character for a spellcasting party (who can also occasionally teleport). The Wildheart Barbarian offers the most customization options thanks to the range of animals and abilities you can test out. But if you’re purely interested in maximizing your damage output, the Berserker is the best subclass.

A Berserker Barbarian gains Frenzy at level three, which lets them make an extra attack as a bonus action – meaning you can attack three times a turn once your Barbarian hits level five.

If you want to do a melee attack, this comes at a cost. Frenzy does come with a cost, however. If you make a Frenzied Strike attack as a bonus action, you begin a stack of ‘Frenzied Strain’. This means your Barbarian gets a -1 penalty on all attacks equal to the number in your Frenzied Strain stack.

However, you can use Enraged Throw instead. If you choose an improvised weapon attack as your bonus action, your Barbarian also deals additional damage by throwing items (or creatures) at a target.

Later, you’ll get Mindless Rage, which stops you becoming charmed, frightened, or magically calmed while Raging. Then, at level ten, Intimidating Presence lets you use an action to frighten an enemy.

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian in combat

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian feats

If you’re building a Berserker Barbarian, the Tavern Brawler feat is a must-have. As well as buffing Strength or Constitution by one point, it lets you add your Strength modifier twice to damage and attack rolls when you make an unarmed, thrown, or improvised weapon attack. Since you’re probably going to be throwing things around anyway, you may as well up the power.

While you won’t necessarily need the extra bonus attack it provides, it’s still worth considering Great Weapon Master for the ten extra damage you could be dealing with a heavy DnD weapon – yes, there’s a penalty to your attack roll, but Reckless Attack should help balance things out.

Need more advice for your BG3 playthrough? Here’s the best Baldur’s Gate 3 party compositions to try, as well as the best way to get your preferred Baldur’s Gate 3 romances going.