Baldurs Gate 3 All Races And Abilities
Screenshot via Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3: All races and abilities

All the character possibilities!

One of the most important parts of character creation in Baldur’s Gate 3 is choosing your race. In this Dungeons & Dragons world, there are several different races to choose from, each with its own racial features and subraces. While choosing your class is probably the more impactful decision, your race builds upon the character and the story you’re creating. We’ll explain all the races and their abilities for Baldur’s Gate 3.

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All Races, subraces, ability bonuses, and racial features in Baldur’s Gate 3

During the Early Access period, all races benefited from an ability score increase or two. But now in the full release, classes get ability score increases, not races. Otherwise, depending on your race, you’ll get a few racial features. Not only that, but most races have subraces that define your character even further. Let’s dive into all races and their abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldurs Gate 3 All Races And Abilities Human

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Human

Being the most common race you’ll probably find in Baldur’s Gate 3, humans are known to grow immensely and be tenacious and creative. Although you may believe this is the boring choice of race, they get a bonus to each ability.

  • Subraces: None
  • Racial features:
    • Civil Militia: Weapon Proficiency with Spears, Pikes, Halberds, and Glaives. Armor Proficiency with Light Armor and Shields.
    • Human Versatility: Choose an additional skill proficiency. Also, your carrying capacity increases by a quarter.
    • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
Baldurs Gate 3 All Races And Abilities Elf

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Elf

One of the most well-known fantasy races across all media, elves live for hundreds of years. They are considered quite beautiful, and value all things artistic and nature. Elves are easily known by their pointed ears and slender bodies.

  • Subraces:
    • High Elf
      • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
      • Can choose one cantrip from the Wizard spell list
    • Wood Elf
      • Fleet of foot: 10.5m per turn
      • Mask of the Wild: Proficiency in Stealth
  • Racial Features:
    • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
    • Keen Senses: Proficiency in Perception
    • Fey Ancestry: Advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put them to sleep
    • Elven Weapon Training: Weapon proficiencies with Longswords, Shortswords, Longbows, and Shortbows
Shadowheart Half Elf Bg3

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Half-Elf

Any half-elf is typically half-human and half-elf, looking like a mesh between the two races. They hold great qualities from humans and elves, being ambitious and inventive, but also artsy and nature-loving. Most half-elves feel torn between two worlds like they don’t fully belong to either race.

  • Subraces:
    • High Half-Elf
      • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
      • Can choose one cantrip from the Wizard spell list
    • Wood Half-Elf
      • Fleet of foot: 10.5m per turn
    • Drow Half-Elf
      • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
      • Dancing Lights cantrip
  • Racial features:
    • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
    • Fey Ancestry: Advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put them to sleep
    • Civil Militia: Weapon Proficiency with Spears, Pikes, Halberds, and Glaives. Armor Proficiency with Light Armor and Shields.
Drow Bg3

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Drow

These other types of elves, known as dark elves, are one of the more feared races in Baldur’s Gate 3. They resemble elves but are a darker blue or purple in complexion. Their kind predominantly lives underground, but some Drow decides to live life on the surface instead. Sadly, many other races have hatred for Drow, despite many being good-natured.

  • Subraces:
    • Lolth-Sworn
    • Seldarine
  • Racial features:
    • Fey Ancestry: Advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put them to sleep
    • Drow Weapon Training: Weapon proficiencies in Rapiers, Shortswords, and Hand Crossbows
    • Superior Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 24m
    • Dancing Light cantrip, Faerie Fire spell, and Darkness spell
    • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
Dwarf Bg3

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Dwarf

Another popular fantasy race are dwarves, known to be shorter in size. They’re quite skilled at using large weapons or tools, depending on if they’re warriors or miners. Courageous and enduring, dwarves typically hate orcs and goblins.

  • Subraces:
    • Gold Dwarf
      • Dwarven Toughness: Hit Point maximum raised by one, increases by one per level-up
    • Shield Dwarf
      • Dwarven Armor Training: Armor proficiencies in Light and Medium Armor
  • Racial features:
    • Dwarven Resilience: Advantage on saving throws against poison, and resistance against poison damage
    • Dwarven Combat Training: Weapon proficiencies with Battleaxes, Handaxes, Light Hammers, and Warhammers
    • Base racial speed: 7.5m per turn
    • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
Baldurs Gate 3 All Races And Abilities Gnome

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Gnome

Another smaller-sized race are gnomes, who are inventive, creative, and playful. They usually stick with their close communities and are quite optimistic in life.

  • Subraces:
    • Deep Gnome
      • Superior Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 24m
      • Stone Camouflage: Advantage on Stealth checks
    • Forest Gnome
      • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
      • Speak With Animals spell
    • Rock Gnome
      • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
      • Artificer’s Lore: Add twice your Proficiency bonus to History checks
  • Racial features:
    • Gnome Cunning: Advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws
    • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
Baldurs Gate 3 All Races And Abilities Halfling

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Halfling

Halflings are typically cheerful, enjoy a quiet life, and live in remote communities. You’ll still find a halfling or two wandering the world, as they’re nimble and curious folk.

  • Subraces:
    • Lightfoot Halfling
      • Naturally Stealthy: Proficiency in Stealth checks
    • Strongheart Halfling
      • Strongheart Resilience: Advantage on saving throws against Poison and resistance to Poison damage
  • Racial features:
    • Base Racial Speed: 7.5m per turn
    • Lucky: When you roll 1 on an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check, you can reroll the die. You must use the new roll.
    • Brave: Advantage on saving throws from being Frightened.
Tiefling Bg3

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Tiefling

This race has human bloodlines, except they also have infernal heritage. Tieflings can come in many colors, but always have horns, sharp canines, and a tail. Although devil essence lives in their bloodline, you’ll still find tieflings of all alignments.

  • Subraces:
    • Asmodeous Tiefling
      • Thaumaturgy cantrip, Hellish Rebuke spell, and Darkness spell
    • Mephistopheles Tiefling
      • Mage Hand cantrip, Burning Hands spell, and Flame Blade spell
    • Zariel Tiefling
      • Thaumaturgy cantrip, Searing Smite spell, and Branding Smite spell
  • Racial features:
    • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
    • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
    • Hellish Resistance: Resistance to Fire
Githyanki Laezel

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Githyanki

The unique Githyanki have survived being slaves to mind flayers, and are now known to be ruthless raiders on the surface world. They’re slender, with yellowish-green skin and high, flat noses.

  • Subraces: None
  • Racial features:
    • Astral Knowledge: As an Action, gain Proficiency in all skills of a chosen Ability.
    • Base racial speed: 9m per turn
    • Martial Prodigy: Weapon proficiencies with Shortswords, Longswords, and Greatswords. Armor proficiencies in Light and Medium Armor.
    • Githyanki Psionics
      • Mage Hand spell
      • Jump spell
      • Misty Step spell
Dragonborn Bg3

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Dragonborn

Dragonborn look just like how you’d think they’d look, with dragon scales, horns, and all. Born from dragon lineage, they actually hatch from dragon eggs, but are bipedal like the other playable races. Most dragonborns are proud and loyal to their kin.

  • Subraces:
    • Black Dragonborn
    • Blue Dragonborn
    • Brass Dragonborn
    • Bronze Dragonborn
    • Copper Dragonborn
    • Gold Dragonborn
    • Green Dragonborn
    • Red Dragonborn
    • Silver Dragonborn
    • White Dragonborn
  • Racial Features:
    • Draconic Ancestry: Depending on your subrace, your breath weapon and damage resistance is connected to an element
      • Acid: Black, Copper
      • Lightning: Blue, Bronze
      • Fire: Brass, Red, Gold
      • Poison: Green
      • Cold: Silver, White
    • Breath Weapon: Use your action to exhale destructive energy based off of your Draconic Ancestry
Baldurs Gate 3 All Races And Abilities Half Orc

Screenshot via Larian Studios

Half-Orcs

This race stems from orcs and humans, holding both characteristics. They typically have green skin, visible teeth, and pointed ears. Orcs are known to be proud, and they value their clan greatly.

  • Subraces: None
  • Racial features:
    • Darkvision: Can see in the dark up to 12m
    • Menacing: Proficiency in Intimidation skill
    • Relentless Endurance: When reduced to zero hit points, you don’t die, but are brought to one hit point, which can happen once per long rest
    • Savage Attacks: When you get a critical hit with a melee weapon, roll one of your weapon’s damage dice one more time for extra damage

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available on Steam.


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Anyka Pettigrew
Anyka Pettigrew has been a Staff Writer for PC Invasion since November 2023 and a Contributing Writer since February 2023. She is a Canadian graduate of a Bachelor of Arts degree who has been writing in games journalism for four years. Anyka is an avid guides writer but also enjoys writing anything from news pieces, to reviews, and even opinion pieces. Having a never-ending passion for video games for as long as she can remember got her into a plethora of genres like action adventure, RPGs, horror, survival etc. Some of her favorite franchises are God of War, Persona, The Last of Us, Zelda, and Resident Evil. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, as well as drawing digital art. Anyka also regularly listens to podcasts on gaming news from 'Kinda Funny Games', and 'Play, Watch, Listen'.