Six of Baldur’s Gate 3 companions are also the origin characters that you'll have a chance to play as if you don't create your own custom player character but there are even more party members available to recruit beyond them. Each companion has a set class, and they'll all complement your party in different ways. Of course, as with any RPG worth its salt—which BG3 has proven it is—it’s not just their classes that are important.
That's because each character has their own personality, plus individual likes and dislikes. Some of them also thoroughly dislike each other. Here's the details on who you can recruit and where to find them.
- Location: On the beach after the nautoloid crash
- Class: Cleric (Trickery)
Shadowheart starts off pretty secretive, but she's kind-hearted and will warm up to you and your party (though she does really hate Lae'Zel to start). As a Cleric, she’s a fantastic all-rounder, much more so than nearly any other companion, which is probably why you meet her first. She has an array of offensive, support, and healing spells that can completely shift the tide of battle. Not only that, but her attacks pack a surprising punch for a character who can also help keep you alive.
She's hard to miss, luckily. If you saved her from the mindflayer pod on the nautiloid ship, you'll find her passed out on the beach after it crashes. If you didn't save her, you'll need to walk just a bit further north on the beach to find her banging on a locked wooden door.
- Location: Right beside the Roadside Cliffs waypoint
- Class: Wizard (Evocation)
Gale comes on a little strong at first, with his brand of self-aggrandizing charm. He's a powerful ally though with his wide range of Wizard spells that will help you deal fire, lightning, and frost damage right off the bat. He's generally on the good guy side of your party, approving of kindness and any time you can talk yourself out of a fight.
You'll recruit Gale by finding his hand sticking out of a portal right by the Roadside Cliffs waypoint just north of the nautiloid ship crash. Make sure to give his hand a hand out of his accidental interdimentional travel and he'll join your party of infected misfits.
- Location: Waiting at the cliffs just west of the nautiloid ship
- Class: Rogue
Astarion is a very well-spoken and flirty gentleman. He also just so happens to be a vampire, a condition you're really going to want to watch out for when it comes time to sleep at camp. As a rogue, he's invaluable for exploiting advantage and consecutive sneak attacks, if you can make the most of your position and the element of surprise. It also means he’s good for picking pockets and locks, as well as charming his way through some of your more challenging conversations. Just watch your back—or, rather, your neck—if he joins you.
You'll recruit Astarion near the cliffs just west of the beach and nautiloid ship crash you woke up near. He'll wave you over for help defeating a frightening monster he spotted and I'll leave the rest for you to discover.
- Location: In a cage suspended in the air west of the ruins
- Class: Fighter
As a Fighter, Lae’zel is good at one—and pretty much only one—thing: Hitting stuff really hard. She’ll gain a lot of new abilities as you level up, but her joy in life will always be smacking the sense out of pretty much everything. She’s also got a rather useful Mage Hand ability as she's also a Githyanki, which can also be used in combat to push enemies around from afar.
Lae’zel is the embodiment of not suffering fools gladly, with the main problem being that she thinks everyone is a fool. She'll approve of you choosing to fight instead of talking your way out of it and she has a distaste for Shadowheart in particular.
You'll meet Lae'Zel on board the crashing nautiloid ship during the tutorial but get split up when it lands. To recruit her for good, find her west of the ruins and north of the crashed ship. You'll need to convince two tieflings who've trapped her to leave but when you do you can shoot an arrow at the bottom of her hanging cage to free her.
- Location: In The Hollow training a young Tiefling
- Class: Warlock
Where there’s a Wyll, there’s a way, as they say. In this case, you can find your Wyll in the tiefling refugee camp right outside the Emerald Grove. He’ll be training a young Tiefling to fight as he just so happens to be the mighty Blade of the Frontiers. Dear old Wyll has more than just a brain tadpole troubling him, though, as he's also a powerful Warlock, so he’s got some rather demonic friends you'll learn about later.
Despite this, he’s an especially friendly and (seemingly) honourable guy. As the Blade of Frontiers, he’s handy with a sword, but he can also be well-versed in some eldritch and demonic spells. This makes him deadly at any range, and depending on how you level him up, he could well be the biggest hitter on your squad.
His nature makes him prone to doing the honourable thing, and if you go against that he’ll likely be disappointed in you. Keep that in mind if you want him to be as friendly as possible.
- Location: By the river south of the Risen Road waypoint
- Class: Barbarian
Karlach is a tiefling warrior who survived being pressed into some serious hell warfare before catching an escape route via the nautiloid ship. You'll have likely heard about her from Wyll, who's in the process of hunting her down, before you actually find her. If you bring him with you to that first conversation, it gets firey quickly—though you can talk Wyll down and emerge with his approval even when recruiting Karlach. Without Wyll around, you've got a calmer introduction to your hellish friend.
As a barbarian character, Karlach is a member of your melee front line. She's a pretty decent person for a devil, you'll start to realize pretty quickly. Larian Studios writer Sarah Baylus described Karlach quite poetically: “In a 2023 setting, [Karlach would] roll in on a Harley with shades and a cigar between her teeth, blaring Sabbath - a diesel-soaked dynamo with a heart of gold. She seeks justice for the oppressed, camaraderie, and revenge on the bastard who sold her to Hell.”
Location: Shattered Sanctum
As a wood elf druid, Halsin has the ability to transform into a bear, and relishes in the privilege (who wouldn't?). You'll hear about him in the early stages of your journey to address the mindflayer tadpole in your noggin, but you'll have to do quite a bit of questing before he joins you. It's a bit of a jaunt to recruit him, so find the full details in our guide on how to find First Druid Halsin.
Location: Sewers of Act 3
One of the returning characters from earlier Baldur's Gate games and a fan-favorite Forgotten Realms presence, Minsc is a simple man with a well-meaning-but-volatile drive to oppose evil. He's known for his hamster companion Boo, who Minsc claims is a "miniature giant space hamster." Following Jaheira's questline will lead you to him eventually.
Location: Last Light Inn in Act 2
Like Minsc, Jaheira is a returning figure from earlier Baldur's Gate games. An orphaned noble raised by druids, Jaheira in her earlier Forgotten Realms appearances is direct and decisive. In her reveal trailer for Baldur's Gate 3, age seems to have calmed her a little bit—her vibe is a little more "wise veteran hero" than "brash adventurer." Just be careful when you encounter her, since there's a surprisingly difficult quest that starts unexpectedly.
Location: Shattered Sanctum
I won't get into the specifics of how you'll encounter Minthara, but I'll just say you'll need to avoid hostility with the goblins in the Shattered Sanctum, and that she's definitely not a member of the Drizzt archetype of "what if a Drow was chill?" You'll need a willingness to do blatant evil if you want her to join your adventuring party. For the full details on how to recruit her, check our guide on whether to save or raid the Emerald Grove.