Baldur’s Gate 3 will have one of the most complex combat systems in the RPG genre on release thanks, in part, to it being based on the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons‘ ruleset. Though there are some major changes to adapt the formula to a video game, most strategies work in Baldur’s Gate 3 as they do in the TTRPG – including the benefits of a well-rounded party.
It’s a good idea to have one or two melee-focused party members, a perfect slot for the Fighter Class to fill in. The best Fighter build in BG3 is one that takes the class’ melee prowess and turns it into a close-quarters devastator via the Battle Master subclass.
Updated August 12, 2023 by Erik Petrovich: More than a week after its PC launch, the Baldur’s Gate 3 community is slowly, but surely, coming to understand how each class works – and how to use their strengths to one’s advantage. Before considering which of the best builds in BG3 to try out, players should understand these basics for each class. This guide to the best BG3 Fighter build has been updated to introduce players to the core features of the Fighter before getting into optimal build choices for a Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter build. Read on to find out more about the best Fighter subclass, superiority die maneuvers, and other choices to get the most out of your BG3 Fighter build.
As a guide-in-progress, this build will be continually updated with more information about choices in the mid to late game as players make their way through the expansive Baldur’s Gate 3.
Fighter Class Introduction & Overview
Fighter Playstyle & Signature Abilities
“Fighters have mastered the art of combat, wielding weapons with unmatched skill and wearing armour like a second skin.”
The Fighter is a class that’s meant to be played up-close-and-personal. Whether that’s through sheer brutality or magical assistance is up to the player – no matter their choice of Subclass, Fighters gain a few abilities that set them apart from other melee-oriented classes like the Barbarian. At Level 1, Second Wind grants a Bonus Action Self-Heal ability once per combat, then at Level 2, players get an Action Surge to grant an extra Action once each combat. Later on, Fighters gain better Saving Throws, Extra Attacks, and Fighting Styles, too.
Players choose their Fighter Subclass at Level 3, which can completely change how combat is approached. Though Fighters may lack the raw power of a Barbarian, the class’ ability to stay alive in combat and control the battlefield from the front lines makes them a great addition to a party lacking melee specialists.
- Battle Master: Focuses on pure brutish damage output. Grants Superiority Die, which fuels unique Maneuvers.
- Champion: Simple, but effective, damage-oriented direction for the Fighter. Grants improved Critical Hit, Proficiencies, and Jump.
- Eldritch Knight: Evasive close-ranged spellcaster. Grants unique Magic abilities and selection of spells from subclass-specific spell list.
Fighter Class Proficiencies
- Fighter Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, & Shields
- Fighter Saving Throws: Strength & Constitution
- Fighter Skill Proficiencies: Choose from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, & Survival
- Fighter Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Weapons & Martial Weapons
Best BG3 Fighter Build: Battle Master Character Creation
What Makes Battle Master the Best Fighter Subclass?
“Battle Masters are paragons of tactical superiority, combining combat maneuvers and experience in the field to dominate every fight.”
The Battle Master Fighter build is named after the Subclass that players select at Level 3, which grants a powerful new set of skills to the Fighter that rely on a new resource: Superiority Die, used to fuel Battle Maneuvers. At Level 3, Fighters can unlock three Battle Maneuvers from a list of six, most of which have both a ranged and melee version that unlock together.
These Battle Maneuvers, paired with the Fighter’s base Action Surge and Second Wind actions, make them a serious force in melee combat – as long as they actually hit the enemy, that is. They are great at controlling enemy locations with certain Battle Maneuvers, rooting them in place or pushing them away, and can also be a source of minor buffs for the party and debuffs for enemies.
Battle Master Fighters rarely spent too much time away from direct melee combat, and in a party with ranged damage and support sources, they should spend as much time as they can up-close and personal with enemies. It’s perfectly fine to start a fight with a shot from a Crossbow, but when Initiative rolls, be prepared to close that distance quickly.
Best BG3 Fighter Race: Gold Dwarf
The Gold Dwarf dwarves other races when it comes to the best Fighter race in Baldur’s Gate 3 because of their Dwarven Toughness passive, granting extra HP, and the base passives of Dwarves in general. The Dwarven Resilience racial grants resistance and Advantage against Poison-type damage, which pops up a lot in Act 1.
A good alternative to the Gold Dwarf is the Githyanki, which gain Githyanki Psyonics to further enhance their ability to control the battlefield (and jump around from enemy to enemy as if on a trampoline). However, the Half-Orc or Dragonborn races are decent Racial good choices, too.
Best BG3 Fighting Style: Great Weapon Fighting
Upon creating a Fighter character in Baldur’s Gate 3, players are asked which Fighting Style they would like to follow. There are six choices: Archery, Defence, Duelling, Great Weapon Fighting, Protection, and Two-Weapon Fighting. These all have their own bonuses and drawbacks, but ultimately the Great Weapon Fighting style is best because it simply increases the baseline amount of damage every Two-Handed weapon can do. However, the Defence style is good for Fighters who will spend a lot of time in close combat.
Best BG3 Fighter Proficiencies and Background: Soldier
The Fighter’s focus on Strength and Constitution gives them a big boost to Ability Checks that rely on those stats. As such, gaining proficiency with Athletics and Intimidation via the Soldier background is the best route to go to further improve two skills that are already pretty powerful for this class. Just be prepared to muscle your way through dialogue and RP encounters, foregoing alternative solutions, to earn Inspiration.
Best Battle Master Battle Maneuvers (Superiority Dice)
The Battle Master’s unique mechanic is Battle Maneuvers. Upon reaching Level 3 and selecting the Battle Master subclass, players gain access to melee and ranged attacks that offer powerful additional effects. When using these abilities, though, they use one of the Fighter’s limited Superiority Dice. Each day, players get eight Dice to spend on these abilities, each of which uses just one. Of the six choices presented to players, Menacing Attack, Pushing Attack, and Riposte are the ones players should prioritize, though Riposte can be replaced with Rally if your party lacks healing.
- Normal Weapon Damage + 1d8
- Chance to inflict Frightened condition, which roots enemies in place and imposes Disadvantage on their checks and Attack rolls
- Normal Weapon Damage + 1d8
- Chance to push enemies 4.5m in the direction the attack comes from
- Can require repositioning to aim enemies just right, like over a tall ledge, or into a flaming pit.
- When enemies miss with an attack, the Fighter can retaliate for Normal Weapon Damage + 1d8
- Must be pre-activated as a Reaction on the Fighter’s turn
Baldur’s Gate 3 is available for PC and will release for PlayStation 5 on September 6, 2023. A version for Xbox Series X/S is currently in development.
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