Fighter Build Guide – Best Skills and Subclass (BG3)

Get yourself fighting fit.

Updated: December 6, 2023
This build is current to patch 5.

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While a cast of companions can join you through Baldur’s Gate 3, only one character feels as if it's you, and that’s the one you create. Other heroes can join your team and fill every role, so you’re free to choose anything, knowing you can fill in the gaps.

I like to have my character fill a frontline melee role, rather than a support or DPS class. If you’re the same, read on for my Baldur’s Gate 3 fighter build guide, covering everything from stats to skills and subclasses. 

Best Fighter Build in Baldur's Gate 3

Fighters in BG3 like Lae'Zel should be your first line of defense in battle situations. They have a fantastic array of weapon and armor proficiencies straight off the bat, allowing them to both soak up and deal out damage. But this proficiency also extends to ranged weapons, making them a dual threat. Rounding out the package is skills that can keep your enemies trained on them while your squishier companions stay out of direct harm’s way.

RelatedBaldurs Gate 3 All Companions, Ranked (2023)

Best Stats and Race for Fighter in Baldur's Gate 3

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While a Fighter can fall back on ranged attacks when necessary, the primary concerns should be staying alive and dishing out melee damage. For these reasons, your primary stats should be Strength and Constitution. Intelligence and Charisma can take a back seat, but it's worth having a few points in Dexterity (helps with ranged weapons, initiative, and AC) and Wisdom (for saving throws).

  • Strength: 17
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Constitution: 15
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Wisdom: 12
  • Charisma: 8

Dwarf is a solid race choice as you’ll start with an extra HP (if taking gold Dwarf as the subclass), gain Darkvison (so you aren’t impaired when fighting in darkness), and have a natural bonus resistance to poison. However, due to your size, your movement speed in battle is restricted. Dragonborn is a good alternative thanks to their bonus Acid Breath attack, while playing as a Human allows you to choose a bonus skill to be proficient in, giving you a bit more scope to develop your identity. Despite the movement restriction, I’d take Dwarf, because for me the positives outweigh the single negative.

Best Fighting Style for Fighter Baldur's Gate 3

Playing as a fighter allows you to choose one of six Fighting Styles as your specialty:

  • Archery: +2 to ranged weapon attacks.
  • Defense: +1 AC.
  • Duelling:+2 damage if using a one-handed non-Versatile weapon (and not duel-wilding).
  • Great Weapon Fighting: If using a two-hander, reroll (once) a 1-2 damage roll.
  • Protection: If you have a shield, enemies within 1.5m gain Disadvantage on attacks versus your allies.
  • Two-Weapon Fighting: Attacks with your offhand weapon also get your ability modifier.

I like to think of myself as the protector of the party, which means staying alive while protecting them, which boils my Fighting Style choice down to Defence or Protection. I suggest Defence if you’re new to this style of game, as the bonus AC will always be useful, but you don’t have to think about it. Protection is the best option, but needs some careful and thoughtful play to take full advantage of

Best Subclass for Fighter in Baldur's Gate 3

Your next important choice comes at level three when you get to choose a fighter subclass.

  • Battle Master: Gain Superiority Dice to spend on combat maneuvers.
  • Eldritch Knight: Become a fighter/caster hybrid.
  • Champion: Improved critical hit chance.

This is a simple choice because as a Battle Master, you can dominate the battlefield. Choosing Battle Master then allows you to take three combat maneuverers from a list of 14. I would choose the following:

  • Disarming Attack: +1d8 damage. Target may drop their weapon.
  • Trip Attack: +1d8 damage. Target may become Prone (opponent size: large or smaller).
  • Goading Attack: +1d8 damage. Target may receive Disadvantage if it tries to attack another target.

Trip Attack is the best of the bunch, as Prone is the status you want all your enemies to have—they can’t move or take actions and get the Disadvantage status for STR and DEX saves, and attacks from close by on them gain Advantage. 

Related: BG3 Monk Build Guide – Best Stats and Subclass

Goading Attack works perfectly with the Defence Fighting Style, encouraging attackers to stay within range of you while giving them Disadvantage if they don’t. Disarming Attack is a little more niche, as it only works on enemies who wield a weapon, but that’s a very common occurrence in BG3. However, it's very satisfying to pick up the weapon of an enemy that just dropped it, leaving them to pound their fists on your armor.

If you don’t fancy one of these, other solid options include Menacing Attack (chance to frighten opponent) and Riposte (potential to counterattack if an opponent misses you).

Best Feats for Fighter in Baldur's Gate 3

You’ll get your first Feat at level four, at which time I highly recommend taking Ability Improvement. This allows you to add two stat points, so you can do the following:

  • +1 Strength: Taking you from 17 to 18 Strength improves your Strength bonus as well as your Strength-based saving throws.
  • +1 Constitution: Takes your Constitution from 15 to 16, giving you extra HP and improving your Constitution-based saving throws.

Even if you’ve chosen slightly different stats at the beginning, I’d still suggest taking Ability Improvement. Just try to ensure you get extra bonuses from both points you add.

We've got loads more Baldur's Gate 3 content here at Pro Game Guides! Stick with us to check out our BG3 Class Tier List and BG3 All Cleric Subclasses, Ranked.

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About the Author

Chris Marling is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience across newspapers, magazines, and websites. Based in the UK, he has written professionally on everything from tech to tearooms. But his real passion is gaming, going right back to the Atari 2600 - and especially RPGs and MMOs. He cut his teeth on games such as The Realm and Anarchy Online. But 20 years on still gets excited about exploring each new world. When not online, you'll find him gaming analog-style around the table. Chris has had five of his own board games published, including Pioneer Days and Armageddon.

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Fighter Build Guide – Best Skills and Subclass (BG3)

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