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The best Baldur’s Gate 3 skills

From Stealth to Survival, here's a guide to all the many Baldur's Gate 3 skills - plus some pointers on which are worth picking up for your campaign.

Baldur's Gate 3 skills - a Dwarf with a funny hat

Baldur’s Gate 3 has numerous skills, and you’ll make use of every single one of them in your journey through Faerûn – both on and off the battlefield. Which ones can be called the best Baldur’s Gate 3 skills will depend on what kind of character you’re creating, but some skills are more important than others. Here we’ll cover every Baldur’s Gate 3 skill in the game, starting off with some of the most broadly versatile, before touching on what each provides.

Every Baldur’s Gate 3 skill is tied to a specific ability score (based on the DnD stats). So a strong character will have advantage on Athletics checks, while an Intelligent character will be better at Arcana.

The Baldur’s Gate 3 skills are:

During character creation, once you’ve picked a Baldur’s Gate 3 class and perfected your look, you’ll also select a few skills proficiencies – choosing skills you want a leg up in. Some of these skill proficiencies may be predetermined by your choice of Baldur’s Gate 3 race, while others will come with your BG3 background – but you get to pick two or three extra ones as well.

Here, we’ll help you decide what skills are best to focus on. And for more help getting through the character creation process, so heavily laden with difficult choices, check out our full guide to the best Baldur’s Gate 3 builds.

Baldurs Gate 3 skills - a tiefling bard

The best Baldur’s Gate 3 skills

These Baldur’s Gate 3 skills will be useful in any playthrough, on any character, in a number of different situations.


From spotting traps and lurking enemies to finding secret doors, treasures, and more, the wisdom based skill Perception will provide you with more treasure, more secrets, and save your bacon numerous times in a playthrough.


Baldur’s Gate 3 contains a lot of talking, and Persuasion is a really useful ability for getting your way in social interactions. It’s not just handy when talking to friendly folks, you can often use it to bypass a fight entirely – which may be good or bad depending on what you want from the game. Deception and Intimidation are similarly handy, but Persuasion is arguably the most generically strong of the social skills, and they all do similar things.

Baldur's Gate 3 skills a knight with a big sword.


Athletics is the only Strength based Baldur’s Gate 3 skill, but luckily it’s also one of the more useful, as it determines how good you are at shoving. That might not sound like much, but fall damage is lethal in BG3, and one good push can totally change the balance of a fight. There are plenty of bottomless pits lying around to inspire Leonidas impressions.

Athletics also helps prevent you from getting shoved and knocked about – fall damage can be just as dangerous for friendlies if you don’t have the Feather Fall spell.


If you want to figure out a character’s true intentions, Insight is the skill to choose. This lets you work out who’s telling the truth and what an NPC’s motivations are. It can be really helpful when it comes to making difficult decisions in the game.

Sleight of Hand

Sleight of Hand helps you get through doors and disarm traps, making it very handy in exploration. It also allows you to pickpocket, which can gain you all the gold you need in the early game – plus a good few magic items. Sleight of Hand checks also come up in a lot of interactions where dexterity is required.


Stealth is a huge boon for combat, letting you get a surprise round in, which will often see you dispatching a monster or two before they’ve even had a chance to look up from their dinner. You can also send a stealthy character to scurry through high level areas and nab all the best loot, without getting caught in a fight you can’t win.

All Baldur’s Gate 3 skills

We’ve split the BG3 skills up based on the ability score the skill uses. If your character is high in a particular stat they’ll have an advantage in all checks for any of the associated skills.

Baldur's Gate 3 skills the tiefling barbarian Karlach

Strength Baldur’s Gate 3 skills


Affects your shoving powers and your resistance to shoving. Also determines how high you’re able to jump.

Dexterity Baldur’s Gate 3 skills


Determines how good your character is at staying upright, avoiding falling prone on slippery ice or grease surfaces. Acrobatics also gives you resistance to shoving (the game picks Athletics or Acrobatics to check this, depending on which is higher).

Sleight of Hand

Anything that requires manual dexterity, from pickpocketing to lockpicking. Also used for pickpocketing.


Avoiding detection and disappearing from view. Useful for starting fights with an ambush or getting out of tight scrapes.

Baldurs Gate 3 skills - Gale the wizard with arms outstretched.

Intelligence Baldur’s Gate 3 skills


Understanding magical items, creatures, and symbols, and recalling magical lore. You might know how to activate a particular gizmo or identify an innocuous item’s true power.


Recognizing famous names and places, providing information about the world and its past. You might recognize a known blade, or provide insight when a name comes up.


Making deductions based on the available information, solving problems and understanding clues. You might realize what weapons caused a wound or spot telltale signs of an imposter.


Understanding the natural world – everything from fauna and flora to weather and terrain. You might spot a boulder that seems out of place or know where to find a particular herb.


Knowledge of the world’s gods and their followers. You might recognise a holy statue, or understand the meaning of a cleric’s sacred garb.

Baldur's Gate 3 skills a half orc

Wisdom Baldur’s Gate 3 skills

Animal Handling

How well you can understand and control animals, from calming a spooked pony, to understanding if a bear is hungry. It’s worth noting there are spells and items which let you speak to animals, which can often bypass many of these checks.


Understanding body language and verbal clues to figure out what a character is really thinking. Spot a lie, or the momentary tensing that means a warrior is about to attack.


Diagnosing illnesses and helping out the injured. You can often brute force solve Medicine problems with a healing spell. This BG3 skill also used to apply to helping downed enemies, but now the ‘help’ action does this instead.


Spotting traps and hidden enemies lying in ambush, as well as secret treasures and hidden doors. As previously mentioned, Perception is one of the most useful Baldur’s Gate 3 skills.


From following tracks to identifying poisonous berries, Survival can be considered the practical application of Nature. Like Medicine, this is quite a rarely used skill in BG3.

Baldur's Gate 3 skills - a guy with his shirt out.

Charisma Baldur’s Gate 3 Skills


The ‘bad boy’ of the social skills, Deception is all about lying and outfoxing people. All three social skills are of roughly equal utility, so pick one that bests suits your character from an RP perspective – and pick this one if you want to be a no-good fibber.


Helping you get your way through the threat of violence but not its application, intimidation is another social skill that’ll help you bypass obstacles and get your own way.


Showing off and impressing an audience with any kind of artistic display, from poetry recitals to jazz. Unlike the other Charisma skills, this one’s application is somewhat narrow, but your Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard might look a bit silly without it.


As we keep saying, the three social skills are all rather interchangeable. Persuasion is the one that’s most ‘Lawful Good’ on the DnD alignment chart, helping others see things you way through carefully marshalled words.

Check out Mollie Russell’s Baldur’s Gate 3 review to see what we think of the game. And don’t miss our guides to the best Baldur’s Gate 3 companions, or our Baldur’s Gate 3 Mindflayer powers guide.