The best D&D multiclass builds in Baldur's Gate 3

Shadowheart's eyes go white as she holds a glowing magic artifact
(Image credit: Larian)

Baldur's Gate 3's multiclass system had me giddy to get busy crafting some kind of messed up new type of guy out of the component parts of Dungeons & Dragons like I did in CRPGs of yore, a Fighter / Mage / Artificer / Hierophant / Whatever, man. Multiclassing has always been synonymous with getting the most out of these games for the more grognardy sort of RPG-liker.

D&D's multiclass rules will let you combine multiple Baldur's Gate 3 classes together into a hybrid that's more powerful, or maybe just more fun, than either individually. You're also walking a tightrope, risking a watered down character if you don't manage a careful balance of how much to invest in each class and when. In the first part of this guide, I'll go over the basic rules and best practices of multiclassing, but you can skip to the second section for a collection of multiclass builds and multiclass ideas.

Note: We've updated this guide from its pre-release version based on what we've found in the full game.

How to multiclass

Each time you level up in Baldur's Gate 3, you can choose any of its 12 classes to progress in. Baldur's Gate 3 has actually removed tabletop attribute restrictions from multiclasses, so your only restriction is whether the choice is worthwhile or not.

Baldur's Gate 3 has a relatively low level cap of 12, and multiclassing can delay or lock you out of endgame abilities⁠—how much of a loss this is depends on the class. A lot of key bonuses are also tied to the level of your individual classes as opposed to your overall level. For example, you get an "ASI" or feat/attribute bonus every four levels of a class⁠—a level 8 fighter would have two ASIs, while a 5 Fighter/3 Rogue would have just one.

Other level milestones to keep in mind:

  • Extra Attack: Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, Monks, and Paladins get a second full attack per turn at level 5. Blade/Valour Bards get this at level 6. Extra Attack is a priority ability you don't want to delay more than one or two levels.
  • Subclass: Most classes let you choose a subclass at level 3 (your Bard college, for example). This is often, but not always, the minimum number of levels you want to hit in a second or third class. Most spellcasters, and also Paladins, choose their subclass at level 1.
  • Spell levels: Full casters gain new spell levels and spell slots every odd class level. Additionally, spellcaster/spellcaster multiclasses have a shared pool of spell slots, removing a major disadvantage of this kind of character in older versions of D&D. A Wizard 4/Cleric 3 can only cast level 2 spells from each class, but will have a large number of spell slots to devote to each, with their Cleric spells able to go in Wizard slots and vice versa⁠—it's not known if Larian has tweaked that progression from tabletop rules, though.
  • Proficiencies: Classes gain fewer weapon, skill, and saving throw proficiencies when chosen later on than at level 1. It can sometimes be beneficial to choose a class like Fighter or Rogue at level 1 for their excellent martial/skill proficiencies, even if they aren't going to be your main class focus.
  • Attributes: While those feats can be tempting, the highest you can raise an Attribute at character creation is 17 for a +3 bonus to its applications. You get another +1 every even level, to a max of +5 at 20 in a stat. I've found that a lot of my characters have 17 in a primary stat, and 15 in a secondary, and increasing both of those attributes to the next threshold is almost always the best use of your first ASI.

Spellcaster Paladins in Smite City

(Image credit: Larian)

Paladin 6 / Bard or Sorcerer 6 👼️

  • Pick this if you want: A Paladin with a little more flavor, and/or a one-way ticket to Smite City
  • Key Abilities: Divine Smite + Sorcerer/Bard spell slots 
  • Priority Attributes: 17 Strength or Dexterity at character creation
  • Secondary Attributes: 15 Charisma, 14 Constitution
  • Non-combat capability: Excellent, especially for the Bard
  • Leveling order: 1: Bard, 2-6: Paladin, 7-9: Bard, 10: Paladin, 11-12: Bard Or 1-6: Paladin, 7-12: Sorcerer

It's a relatively simple concept: pair Paladin with a Charisma caster like Bard, Sorcerer, or Warlock to take advantage of their combat buffs and, more importantly, their ample Spell Slots to go smiting all the live-long day.

Unless you use DiZ91891's nifty 5e Spells mod, the "blade" cantrips that make the traditional beloved tabletop tryhard build of Paladin 2 / Sorcerer whatever just aren't in Baldur's Gate 3. A more balanced half-and-half Bard 6 / Paladin 6 or Paladin 6 / Sorcerer 6 is the move then. After taking our Paladin Batman (Rogue/Paladin) build down below into Tactician difficulty, I'd actually lean more toward Bard on this one: you'll get just as many spell slots for smiting, while Bardic Inspiration and the Bard's non-combat utility synergizes better with the Paladin than the Sorcerer's capacity for AoE nukes.

This build works for both Dexterity and Strength-based Paladins. Some standout items I've found for the Dex variant include the Yuan-Ti Scale Mail (Act 2, Harper Quartermaster) and Armor of Agility (Act 3, Stormforge Smithy) that preserve your full Dex bonus to AC, and I like to roll with the Dueling fighting style with a finesse weapon and shield—the Knife of the Undermountain King purchasable at the Githyanki Creche can see you through much of the game. In Act 3, the Duelist's Prerogative legendary rapier can be acquired relatively early through the Save Vanra quest, but its full advantages will require ditching your shield (well worth-it, I've found).

Valour and Sword Bards' kits are largely redundant with Paladin, so I'd opt for College of Lore for even more support and non-combat advantages, as well as access to sick non-Bard spells like Haste. Pretty much everything in this build will work the same way with a two hander and Strength focus or swapping Sorcerer for Bard. You really can't go wrong with a Paladin subclass, but honestly Oath of Vengeance and Oathbreaker are just too cool to pick anything else. For your two ASIs, I'd recommend just cranking your attributes so you have 20 Strength or Dexterity and 16 Charisma.

Tiefling paladin standing in sunlight

(Image credit: Larian)

Paladin 5 / Warlock 5 / Fighter 2

  • Pick this if you want: A Paladin with an edge, pairs great with Oathbreaker, Oath of Vengeance, and/or The Dark Urge Origin
  • Key Abilities: Divine Smite, Warlock Spell Slots, Pact of the Blade, Action Surge
  • Priority Attributes: 17 Strength or Dexterity at character creation
  • Secondary Attributes: 15 Charisma, 14 Constution
  • Non-combat capability: Pretty good
  • Leveling order: 1-5 Paladin, 6-10 Warlock, 11-12 Fighter

An absolutely gnarly alternative Charisma caster Paladin build I've seen outlined by Mortismal Gaming and used by Tiramisu on YouTube. Martial classes' Extra Attack do not stack with each other: a 5 Fighter / 5 Paladin only gets one Extra Attack. It's not clear to me if this is a bug, or working as intended, but Pact of the Blade Warlocks' Extra Attack with pact weapons does stack, meaning a multiclass with five levels in both Paladin and Warlock gets three attacks per round, minimum.

Pact of the Blade (unlockable at level 3) also lets you use your Charisma bonus instead of Strength or Dexterity for attack and damage rolls. You could build a Blade Pact Palock around this feature by rushing your Warlock levels, then switching to Paladin, or by initially building your Paladin for Strength and Dexterity before respeccing to favor Charisma once you have enough Warlock levels.

It's more than possible to play a Paladin-forward version this build without relying on the respec feature, though, and for that route I'd recommend focusing on Strength or Dexterity as your primary attribute, with Charisma and Constitution second. From Paladin, you'll have four level one spellslots and two level two, while as a level five Warlock you get two third level spell slots that refresh on Short Rest. The extra spell utility will be nice, but I'm all about those Divine Smites.

Buffed with the Haste spell (either from an ally or via the Darkfire Shortbow or Gontr Mael longbow), this Palock build gets six attacks per round, with an additional two attacks every short rest from the Fighter's Action Surge. Other than this bump in attacks per round and the fewer, but Short Rest-refreshing spell slots, this build functions largely the same as the Bardadin or Sorcadin

The same Dex Paladin items as above will work here, while for a Strength Palock I'd recommend heavy armor and the Charge-Bound Warhammer (Dammon, Last Light Inn, Act 2), a Blade Pact Warlock-focused weapon, for a mid-game warhorse. In Act 3 Tiefling Smith Dammon's (assuming he survived) Armor of Persistence is a great get, as is the Balduran's Giantslayer legendary item.

Tanky Battlemage

(Image credit: Larian)

Fighter 2 / Wizard or Sorcerer 10 🛡️🧙

  • Pick this if you want: A battlemage, a character primarily focused on spellcasting, but with heavy armor, a shield, and melee competency helping them with survivability. 
  • Key Abilities: Wizard spells, Heavy Armor Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Shield Proficiency, Action Surge.
  • Priority Attributes: Intelligence
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, *Dexterity
  • Non-combat capability: Not as great for Wiz, solid middle of the pack for Sorc
  • Leveling order: One or two levels of Fighter, depending on if you want Action Surge, then all spellcaster.

Many classes, including spellcasters, will find a lot of benefit in taking just one or two levels of Fighter at the start of their build thanks to their bevy of proficiencies opening up gear options for more limited classes.

All of those could prove beneficial, especially to an otherwise-easy- to- kill Wizard, and at level 2 Fighters gain Action Surge, an extra main action usable once per short rest. The bonus action and proficiencies could prove beneficial to any number of character roles. 

A Fighter 1/ Wizard 11 would generally be harder to kill than a straight Wiz, with more options when cornered by enemies, while only delaying and not losing endgame spells. Bump that Fighter level to 2, and you lose sixth circle spells in favor of Action Surge throughout the game. The real juice here, and I cannot stress this enough, is being able to launch two Fireballs in one turn. It just feels dirty.

You'd basically play this as a straight Wizard, trading pure glass cannon spell power for a little more versatility when cornered. Even though you get access to heavy armor, I'd still recommend opting for Dexterity instead of Strength and focusing on finesse weapons, a shield, and whatever armor, medium or heavy, provides you with the highest armor class or AC.

Two Assassin Edgelords

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Assassin Rogue 5 / Gloom Stalker Ranger 5 / Fighter 2 🥷  

  • Pick this if you want: Your classic stealth/DPS assassin, either with dual finesse weapons or a bow. A strong potential Astarion build.
  • Key Abilities: Dread Ambusher, Assassinate, Action Surge
  • Priority Attributes: Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, *Charisma (if acting as party face)
  • Non-combat capability: Excellent
  • Leveling order: Four levels of Rogue, five Ranger, two Fighter, then grab that last Rogue level

A very strong take on your classic "from the shadows" dual wield DPS ambusher. The Ranger's Gloom Stalker subclass has an incredibly powerful tent pole ability: Dread Ambusher, which gives a flat +3 to Initiative, giving you a higher chance of attacking first in combat, in addition to other huge advantages in the first round of a combat encounter listed down below. 

Assassin subclass Rogues gain the Assassinate ability, which gives unique bonuses against enemies who haven't taken a turn in combat yet, as well as the Rogue's bonus sneak attack damage. Combine the two together, and begin as many fights as possible by stealthing right up to priority enemies, giving you the following advantages in the first (and typically most impactful) round of a battle:

  • One free 3d6 damage sneak attack before combat starts, another in the first round of battle
  • Bonus movement speed
  • An extra attack with 1d8 bonus damage
  • Advantage on your attack rolls.
  • Fighter Action Surge on short rest means two more full attacks
  • Bonus Assassin and Gloom Stalker initiative ensuring you almost always take your turn first
  • Automatic Critical Hits against enemies you've successfully Surprised

This build is all about having a prime first turn. I've been finding it strong throughout the game, but at max level you're looking at a seven attack opening round (outside combat sneak attack + two full attacks + offhand + Dread Ambusher attack + two more attacks with Action Surge), and we can even get this up to nine attacks if you use a Haste spell before the fight. Fear not if it's a story battle that opens with a cutscene: this setup still lends itself to a dinger of an opening round even with the outside-combat Sneak Attack and Surprise bonus excised. 

While it's a fun exercise to maximise sheer attacks-per-round, I often find it more beneficial to use the Ranger's Hunter's Mark spell as my bonus action in the first round of combat. A bonus d6 of damage on each attack is always welcome, and I've also encountered a lot of items that provide bonus damage for Concentrating on a spell like Hunter's Mark. After that first round of combat, you still have a high-damage, high-AC Ranger/Rogue to hold their own.

At first, I opted for Dual Wielder as my first ASI to take advantage of larger weapons like the finesse Underdark longsword Phalar Aluve. Eventually though, I found a lot of great enchanted short swords like the Knife of the Undermountain King, purchasable at the Githyanki Creche, and switched to straight ability score improvements for 20 Dexterity and 16 Charisma

The Yuan-Ti Scale Mail you can purchase from the Harper quartermaster at the beginning of Act 2 is a great fit for this build: it gives your full Dexterity bonus to AC and doesn't impose any penalties on stealth, and you'll have Medium Armor Proficiency from your Ranger levels. The Armor of Agility in Act 3 is a straight upgrade on the Yuan-Ti Mail, while evil characters (or mod-users) will get a ton out of the Bhaalist Armor available at the end of the murder investigation questline.

There's an argument to be made for rushing level 5 Ranger for Extra Attack, but I really don't like leaving those excellent level 1 Rogue skill proficiencies on the table, and Assassinate on its own is so, so good. To that end, I'd just aim to hit four levels of Rogue right at the start for Assassinate and your first ASI.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Thief Rogue 7 / Champion Fighter 5

  • Pick this if you want: A slightly simpler, more streamlined and consistent ambusher/rogue
  • Key Abilities: Fast Hands, Extra Attack, Action Surge
  • Priority Attributes: 17 Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: 14 Constitution, 15 *Charisma (if acting as party face)
  • Non-combat capability: Excellent
  • Leveling order: 1 Rogue, 2-6 Fighter, 7-12 Rogue

This build shares a lot of the Gloomstalker/Assassin's advantages, but trades some of that guaranteed first-round burst for more consistency—you're also less reliant on out-of-combat stealth and positioning with this build, though paying attention to that never hurts. 

With Fast Hands and Extra Attack, you can attack four times per round, every round while dual wielding, bumping up to six attacks per round while buffed with Haste.

All of my gear recommendations for the Gloomstalker/Assassin remain the same: dual daggers/short swords with dual hand crossbows, and light to medium armor depending on where you are in the game and what's available.

In the absence of the Assassin's bonus out-of-combat Sneak Attack and the Gloom Stalker's Dread Ambusher bonus attack, it makes a lot more sense to rush the Fighter's Extra Attack on this build, especially since the Fighter's Two Weapon Combat Style ensures you get full damage on your offhand attacks. I still like to delay Extra Attack by one level to get the Rogue's sweet Skill Expertise for Act 1's many locked doors and Persuasion checks.

Paladin Batmen

(Image credit: Larian)

Oath of Vengeance Paladin 6 / Thief Rogue 6 🌚🗡️ 

  • Pick this if you want: A holy avenger with more mobility than paladins usually get, or a melee rogue in plate armour.
  • Key Abilities: Divine Smite, Sneak Attack, Cunning Action: Dash/Disengage, Vow of Emnity, Divine Sense
  • Priority Attributes: Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: Charisma, Constitution
  • Non-combat capability: Excellent, thanks to the Rogue's expertise. I recommend Sleight of Hand for disarming traps, and some kind of charisma proficiency.
  • Leveling Order: Paladin 1 > Rogue 1 > Get to Paladin 5 > Get to Rogue 4 > Paladin 6 > Rogue the rest of the way.

Paladin's got one slight disadvantage over its Baldur's Gate 3 brethren—it's pretty slow. Unless you want to sacrifice one of your spell slots (those are for smiting, anyway) you can be left feeling like you're dragging your feet. Now introducing: the Paladin Batman build!

This is a Dex-based Paladin build designed to deliver on the fantasy of a dark holy avenger—while Oath of Vengeance is great for this theme, it also gels really well with the Rogue class. Divine Sense gives you free advantage on attack rolls against undead, while Vow of Enmity also grants you advantage against one target in particular—so if for some reason you don't have advantage, you have great ways to get it for Sneak Attacking.

You trade off your spell slot progression, meaning your Divine Smites will be a touch less meaty, but Sneak Attack doesn't require a spell slot—so what you trade out burst damage you make up for in sustainability. The real star of the show here is Cunning Action: Dash, Disengage, and Hide. Being able to double your speed as a bonus action, for free, forever? It's good on any class, but especially Paladin, considering how pigeon-holed they are into melee.

You also get major out-of-combat benefits in the form of Expertise, letting you pick two skills to excel in. I recommend going with Sleight of Hand for lockpicking, followed by your preferred poison of Charisma skill—Persuasion, Intimidation, or Deception. This is why I recommend delaying your Extra Attack from Paladin by one level by taking your dip into rogue early. Having Expertise'd skills will make the first Act much easier.

If you don't care about lockbreaking or being sneaky, you can still go Strength if you'd like. Finesse weapons will scale with Strength if it's higher, and Sneak Attack just needs the weapon to be Finesse to work. In this case, swap out Sleight of Hand for Athletics, and become an unstoppable shoving machine.

One thing to note: while you can Sneak Attack and Smite in the same attack, at the time of writing you need to either use the Smite action or the Sneak Attack actions from your hotbar—as you can only choose to "react" to one or the other in the prompt window.

(Image credit: Larian)

Assassin Rogue 4 / Oath of Vengeance or Oathbreaker Paladin 5 / Champion Fighter 3

  • Pick this if you want: A 3rd edition Blackguard in all but name, a Paladin with some bite
  • Key Abilities: Divine Smite, Sneak Attack, Cunning Action: Dash/Disengage, Improved Critical, Action Surge
  • Priority Attributes: 17 Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: 15 Charisma, 14 Constitution
  • Non-combat capability: Excellent
  • Leveling Order: Rogue 1, Paladin 2-6, Rogue 7-9, Fighter 10-12

While playing our first Paladin/Rogue build as an Arcane Trickster, I found that it just didn't offer enough spell slot progression to justify taking it over the other Rogue subclasses. Never fear, that's what Assassin is for. I enjoyed all the advantages of Harvey's build above: a faster moving, more consistent Paladin, but with a couple modifications.

I played this character with medium armor and a short sword and shield for most of the game, swapping to the Duelist's Prerogative and Helldusk Armor legendary items once I acquired them in Act 3. This version of our Paladin/Rogue trades Improved Evasion, the Paladin Aura, and one d6 of Sneak Attack for the Fighter's Action Surge and its Champion subclass' Improved Critical, which stacks with Duelist's Prerogative and any other critical threshold-lowering items you may find—that means more critical hits, and more importantly, more critical hit Divine Smites.

Action Master

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Berserker Barbarian 6 / Champion Fighter 3 / Gloom Stalker 3 🪓💪😤

  • Pick this if you want: To be able to attack too many times per round. This build rocks for Karlach.
  • Key Abilities: Action Surge, Improved Critical, Unarmored Defense, Dread Ambusher
  • Primary Attributes: Constitution, Strength, Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: No can do, hoss.
  • Non-combat capability: lol
  • Leveling order: 1-5 Barbarian, 6-8 Fighter, 9-11 Ranger, 12 Barbarian

Instead of the Assassin / Gloomstalker's sneaky approach to having too many attacks per round, here it's all about brute force. Dread Ambusher and Action Surge make for a beastly opening round, even without the Assassin's outside combat Sneak Attack. Frenzy nets you another attack every round, and then you can Haste as needed for extra brutality (another full action = two more attacks per round).

Since Barbarians get Unarmored Defense (add Dexterity and Constitution bonuses to AC when not wearing armor), they don't benefit as much from starting level 1 as a fighter for Heavy Armor Proficiency. With that in mind, a quick rush to level 5 as a Barbarian for Extra Attack is the name of the game, followed by your three fighter levels for Action Surge and Improved Critical

I experimented with Karlach as a Wild Magic Barbarian, which seemed like one of the most fun subclasses in Baldur's Gate 3, but it's really got nothing on Berserker's bonus attack per round and excellent throwing weapon abilities. I like Champion here for the extra crit chance, but Battlemaster is never a weak choice. You can simplify the build and trade the Gloom Stalker levels for more Barbarian, but I prefer the consistency of an extra attack at the beginning of a battle to the admittedly strong Brutal Critical at Barbarian level 9.

Constitution, Strength, and Dexterity will be critical for shoring up a Barbarian / Champion's damage and defenses, with little room for namby pamby niceties like Intelligence or Charisma. Karlach is definitely a good fit here, either as a companion in your party or your choice of origin character. 

For ASI picks, I prefer a straight Ability Score improvement at level 4 to lock in 18 Strength and 16 Constitution. For the second, one, you can't go wrong with another Ability bonus to 20 Strength, but I've also had success with Polearm Master and then sticking to halberds or spears. The Mighty Cloth Monk clothing can be purchased from the Harper Quartermaster at the beginning of Act 2, and its Bull's Strength bonus provides another route to securing max Strength.

Pretty Much Just An Arc Warlock From Destiny

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Tempest Domain Cleric 2 / Storm Sorcerer 10 ⚡

  • Pick this if you want: The lightning master. Think the Arc Warlocks from Destiny or Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.
  • Key Abilities: Sorcerer spells (particularly Lightning Bolt), Wrath of the Storm, Channel Divinity: Destructive Wrath, Cleric weapon/armor proficiencies
  • Primary Attributes: Charisma
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, Dexterity
  • Non-combat capability: Pretty good with the Sorc's high Charisma, even better if you get Persuasion proficiency.
  • Leveling order: Two to Cleric then ten Sorcerer.

You're taking the two lightning guys, and you're mashing them together. Your two main advantages over a standard Storm Sorcerer are more survivability in general⁠—Clerics get medium armor and shields⁠⁠—and the Tempest Cleric's lightning synergies with Storm Sorcerer. Tempest Clerics gain Wrath of the Storm, allowing them to retaliate against melee assailants with a big 'ole zap, and Channel Divinity: Destructive Wrath. That last one allows Storm Clerics to use their Channel Divinity points to deal max damage with a lightning or thunder spell.

Channel Divinity can only be used once per short rest with this build, but I find I short rest all the time and Channel Divinity will turn spells like the third level cast, Lightning Bolt, into a super nuke you'll always have in your back pocket. The Tempest Cleric / Storm Sorcerer is maybe more of a lateral move over a pure Sorcerer, but offers a fun theme and playstyle, as well as similar survivability benefits to a Fighter dip. 

You're going to be relying on your Sorcerer spells more than Cleric, but at character creation I still would want at least 14 Wisdom to take advantage of Wrath of the Storm. Otherwise, it's Charisma all day, as high as it'll go. Similar to the Fighter/Wizard, I'd opt for Dexterity over Strength, finesse weapons like Rapiers, and a Shield with Medium Armor to maximize survivability and get the most out of the two Cleric levels.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.

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