How to play the Bard class in Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access – Class Guide

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The Bard class has just been added to Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access with Patch 8. The Bard is a support class that uses the power of their voice and music to inspire their allies and hinder their foes. This class is unique and can be challenging to master. Here is our class guide for the Bard.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bard Best Races

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Race defines unique features for your characters, such as Darkvision or additional attribute points. Charisma is the primary attribute stat for a Bard, as this is their spellcasting modifier. The best race options for a Bard will give +2 to this stat. Those races are:

  • High Half-Elf
  • Wood Half-Elf
  • Drow Half-Elf
  • Asmodeus Tiefling
  • Mephistopheles Tiefling
  • Zariel Tiefling

These race options will satisfy the +2 Charisma requirement; however, the Half-Elf is the best option as a race feature. You will also get the opportunity to pick additional ability improvements—select Dexterity and Constitution.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bard Best Spells

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The Bard will get access to several spells and Cantrips at Level one, and more as you level up. During Character Creation, you can pick two Cantrips and four starting spells. Cantrips can be cast without a spell slot. The best options are:

  • Vicious Mockery (Cantrip): Unleash a string of enchanted insults at a creature. It takes damage (1d4 psychic) and receives disadvantage on its next attack roll.
  • True Strike (Cantrip): Divine a character's defenses to give you advantage on attack rolls against it.
  • Dissonant Whispers (Spell): Whisper a discordant melody to a creature. It takes 3d6 psychic damage and becomes frightened.
  • Tasha's Hideous Laughter (Spell): Inflict a creature with fits of laughter, leaving it prone without the ability to get up.
  • Cure Wounds (Spell): A creature you touch regains 1d8+3 hit points.
  • Healing Word (Spell): A creature you can see regains 1d4+3 hit points.

These spells and Cantrips are a mix of damaging and condition-applying abilities that will allow you to sustain your allies while applying negative conditions to enemies during combat. You will also pick a starting instrument on the class screen. The instrument can be changed later and doesn't affect gameplay other than the sound your spells make when used.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3 Moon Puzzle Guide

Baldur's Gate 3 Bard Best Skills

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Charisma is Bard's main ability point. The best skills are ability checks that use Charisma, these are:

  • Deception
  • Intimidation
  • Performance
  • Persuasion

The Entertainer background will give you Performance and Acrobatics proficiency, allowing you to select the three remaining skills at skill selection.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bard Starting Ability Points

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A Bard should focus on three ability points, listed below. The remaining ability points can be left at 10, or 8 in Strength's case.

  • Dexterity (16): Affects your Dexterity skills and your effectiveness with ranged and some melee weapons. Also affects your Initiative and Armor Class.
  • Constitution (14): Affects your maximum hit points.
  • Charisma (17): Affects your Charisma skills, influences traders' prices and improves spellcasting for Bards.

Baldur's Gate 3 Bard Subclasses

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At Level three, you will pick a Bard subclass. The two options are College of Lore and College of Valor. College of Valor will change your playstyle to a melee-focused Bard with proficiency in Medium Armor, Shields, and Martial Weapons. You will also get access to the Combat Inspiration action. The College of Lore will give you access to the Cutting Words reaction.

Either subclass is an effective option; however, the College of Lore is the best option for a support Bard playstyle. The Cutting Words reaction can be used in the same turn as an action and bonus action, provided you have the Bardic Inspiration points. This allows you to make three actions in the same turn. 

For more on Baldur's Gate 3 guides, check out Baldur’s Gate 3: Who are the Companions? here on Pro Game Guides.

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How to play the Bard class in Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access – Class Guide

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