Dungeons and Dragons and its huge collection of races allow you to create the ultimate expression and representation of yourself in a tabletop RPG. Consequently, any video game based on D&D also gives you a similar degree of this freedom. And while the playable Baldur’s Gate 3 races don’t fully encompass all the D&D 5th Edition races, you will be dizzy with the choices in this game.
Because as it stands, there are 11 playable Baldur’s Gate 3 races; each of them comes with its own gameplay and thematic bonuses, appearance options, and expansive lore.
To help you in choosing the right race for you in Baldur’s Gate 3, here’s a quick guide so you hopefully spend only three hours instead of five when creating your character.
- Ability: +1 Strength Score, + 1 Dexterity Score, +1 Constitution Score, +1 Intelligence Score, +1 Wisdom Score, and +1 Charisma Score
- Racial Features: Base Racial Speed.
Unless you’re a Martian or Australian (which exists only in the down-undah realm outside of Earth), you don’t need an explanation for this one. You might even want to skip this; it’s the blandest race you can pick if you’re not a beginner at D&D anymore, come on.
Humans are the most well-rounded race in D&D lore, and they can just about perform anything (or at least try to). Their movement capacity is also the basis or standard, and as you can expect, they’re the most average creatures in Faerun and Baldur’s Gate 3. Good for beginners who don’t want to specialize or roleplay too much yet.
- Ability: +2 Dexterity Score
- Racial Features: Darkvision, Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry, Longsword Proficiency, Shortsword Proficiency, Longbow Proficiency, Shortbow Proficiency.
Like Humans, except they’re all Balenciaga supermodels.
Nothing’s sharper than the Elven jawline and cheekbone, and they can live nearly a thousand years– some variants are even immortal unless killed. With the Dexterity bonus, they excel at being Rogues or Rangers (or ranged classes that deal physical damage).
Other variants, such as the High-Elf, make for ideal Wizards since they get an Intelligence bonus and a Cantrip spell. A D&D veteran who has had ample experience in dungeoneering will surely pick this over the Human race since they can see in the dark.
- Ability: Charisma +2 and +2 Ability score points to spend as the player sees fit in any of the other five Abilities. (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, or Wisdom).
- Racial Features: Fey Ancestry and Darkvision.
Well, well, what do we have here? Looks like some Humans and some Elves couldn’t keep to themselves and decided that nothing could go wrong with some flings. So now we have creatures like Humans, except they’re all H&M supermodels (not as sharp or as serious as those Balenciaga Elves), a.k.a. The Half-Elf.
But in all seriousness, Half-Elves are awesome for some specialized and rather broken racial and class combos, allowing you to grab both Elven and Human feats and perks to create the ultimate crit-fisher character. Besides, Half-Elves have great potential for outcast storylines and lore since they fit into neither of their parent races. Elves see them as short-lived while Humans treat them differently because of the ears, perfect for an angsty character.
- Ability: +1 Charisma Score and +2 Dexterity Score.
- Racial Features: Base Racial Speed, Fey Ancestry, Rapier Proficiency, Shortsword Proficiency, Hand Crossbow Proficiency, and Superior Darkvision
Speaking of angsty and edgy characters, the Drow would be an even more ideal template. They’re subterranean Elves who live in the Underdark, and the deities they worship exemplify cruelty and corruption. Thus most Drow Elves are abrasive or downright insidious. Some are just pure evil and malicious– though those who have integrated with surface races are more acclimatized to kindness.
And if you want a dual-wielding Ranger with a black panther and a penchant for stabbing (like Drizzt Do-Urden), there’s no better race to pick than the Drow. Also, in D&D, they’re like humans, except they’re the Balenciaga supermodels linked to the Satanism rumors.
- Ability: +2 Constitution Score
- Racial Features: Dwarven Resilience, Battleaxe Proficiency, Handaxe Proficiency, Light Hammer Proficiency, Warhammer Proficiency, Darkvision.
Now here’s our lovable but cantankerous short kings (and queens). This race of stocky, stubborn, and sturdy people of heights 5’11” and below (significantly below, to be accurate) are the Dwarves; they’re one of the most common fantasy races in existence. You see one fantasy Dwarf, and you’ve usually seen them all, which isn’t really a bad thing.
Dwarves are easy to define, and their iconic charm remains the same. They’re quick to anger, isolationist drunkards who love to dig for riches. Don’t let the short stature dissuade you from turning them into Barbarians and Fighters. These guys are built like iron barrels and can roll over their enemies.
- Ability: +2 Dexterity Score.
- Racial Features: Lucky
For a race even shorter than the Dwarves, we have here the Halflings because naming them Hobbits would be too derivative. But make no mistake, Halflings use their stature to their advantage and are naturally stealthy, making them excellent Rogues or Rangers.
Moreover, Halflings are naturally charismatic, and those that get into trouble won’t even need to fight– they can just talk their way out of things, making them good choices for Bards. Just don’t give them a greatsword or a polearm weapon, it looks ridiculous.
- Ability: +2 Intelligence Score.
- Racial Features: Base Racial Speed, Gnome Cunning
Gnomes are around the same size or slightly taller than Halflings, but they’re more predisposed to cleverness and Wizardry. That Intelligence bonus gives them a sassier disposition and demeanor, and it’s easy to roleplay them. Just imagine your dorky, glass-eyed classmate with a superiority complex back in primary school.
There’s no better multiclass base for that treacherous and slippery Rogue + Wizard combo, complete with big-brain tactics and strategies both in and out of combat.
- Ability: +1 Intelligence Score and + 2 Strength Score
- Racial Features: Choice of skill proficiency, Base Racial Speed, Light Armor Proficiency, Medium Armor Proficiency, Shortsword Proficiency, Longsword Proficiency, Greatsword Proficiency, and Githyanki Psionics: Mage Hand Conjuration Cantrip.
Githyanki are supposedly peerless warriors who were once enslaved by the Mindflayers and decided to revolt, building their own civilization. They’re also bonafide dragon riders, making them cooler than your average Faerun denizen.
And with those stats? It appears they can even multiclass both Fighter and Wizard or Sorcerer. But regardless, this is a melee-focused race that thrives on the frontlines and a good template for the Eldritch Knight subclass for Fighter. And as for roleplaying the Gith, just be a regular pompous douchebag; they’re aggressive and arrogant towards others due to their militaristic society.
- Racial Features: Darkvision and Hellish Resistance
Basically, some humans decided to be a little too chummy or intimate with demons in the D&D mythos, and now they grew horns and scary permanent contact lenses.
You can imagine just how ostracized they are as a race in Faerun. Tieflings are also more predisposed to evil alignments and deeds since they’re spawns of evil beings.
Still, that doesn’t stop a Tiefling from breaking free from the mold. There are many different kinds of Tieflings, but of all the classes they can harmonically blend with, it would be either Warlock or Sorcerer due to their Charisma bonuses and their familiarity with extraplanar beings.
- Ability: +2 Strength Score and +1 Charisma Score.
- Racial Features: Draconic Ancestry, Base Racial Speed
Again, some humans probably found dragons too pretty, so a ritual to Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, transformed them into what they are now. No amount of skincare is going to reverse that ritual’s effects, sadly. But hey, they get to breathe fire and are naturally strong and tall.
Because of their stat spread, they also make for excellent Paladins. Some are also great as Sorcerers because of their inherent fire capabilities. These creatures are prideful, self-sufficient, and avaricious, so do what you will in-game with this kind of typical racial demeanor (steal everyone’s gold and show no guilt when caught).
- Ability: +2 Strength Score and +1 Constitution Score.
- Racial Features: Base Racial Speed, Darkvision, Relentless Endurance, Menacing, Savage Attacks
It turns out Humans don’t make the ideal Fighters or Barbarians. No, that role goes to the Half-Orcs. Because regular Orcs are too violent to talk to. Half-Orc origins are also quite tragic and edgy, so they are perfect for your dark warrior roleplay or characterization.
Interaction with other races is a little too difficult, however, since Half-Orcs aren’t really seen as peaceful or welcoming; but if you’re an intimidating Fighter or Barbarian, that won’t matter much anyway. Do what introverts pass off as communication. Just bare your teeth, and enemies will back off.