Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Subclass for Barbarian

Berserker, Wild Magic, and Wildheart are three Barbarian subclasses, and this guide explores the best Barbarian subclass choice in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3).

Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian BG3

Selecting the right subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a pivotal decision that can significantly shape your character’s abilities and role within the game world. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of picking the best Barbarian subclass and how this choice can not only define your character’s strengths and weaknesses but also enrich your role-playing experience in the immersive world of Baldur’s Gate 3.

Best Subclass for Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Berserker Barbarian Subclass
Baldur's Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Subclass
Baldur's Gate 3 Wild Magic Subclass

In Baldur’s Gate 3, Berserker is the best subclass for the Barbarian due to gaining Frenzy and two additional skills, Frenzied Strike and Enraged Throw. 

With Enraged Throw, you counter two of the Barbarian’s weakest points: ranged damage and crowd control. Enraged Throw is a bonus action that can do some serious damage and range and knock enemies prone, solving two problems with a mere bonus action. Frenzied Strike provides an early way to use your bonus action for an additional attack that does some serious damage. Wildheart doesn’t have the consistent damage and range the Berserker has, and Wild Magic is unpredictable and inconsistent. 

Barbarian Subclasses in BG3:

  1. Berserker: Makes the best use of their bonus action, getting extra attack, range, and a stun.
  2. Wildheart: Gets a variety of bonus action abilities and passive benefits based on animals.
  3. Wild Magic: Generates a random burst of magic, which can be unpredictable and frustrating. 

The Barbarian selects a subclass at level 3 in Baldur’s Gate 3 among three options: Berserker, Wild Magic, and Wildheart. Generally, you unlock various subclass features at levels 3, 6, and 10. The following table presents the Barbarian subclass ranking from best to worst:

SubclassSubclass FeaturesRanking
BerserkerAt Lvl 3: Frenzy, Frenzied Strike, Enraged Throw
At Lvl 6: Mindless Rage
At Lvl 10: Intimidating Presence
No. 1 Subclass: Most damage due to bonus action utility and additional skills.
WildheartAt Lvl 3: Speak with Animals, Bestial Heart
At Lvl 6: Animal Aspect
At Lvl 10: Animal Aspect
No. 2 Subclass: Versatile subclass with flexible options for playstyle.
Wild MagicAt Lvl 3: Wild Magic, Magic Awareness
At Lvl 6: Bolstering Magic: Boon
At Lvl 10: Unstable Backlash
No. 3 Subclass: Chaotic and random with inconsistent damage.


  • PlaystyleBerserker makes the best use of their bonus action by getting an extra attack, increased range, and a stun.
  • StrengthsBerserker have increased range, and stun can also be used effectively to control the battlefield.
  • WeaknessesBerserker bonus action attack can only be used once per turn, so they need to ensure it counts.


  • PlaystyleWildhearts are a more versatile Barbarian subclass with different bonus action abilities and passive benefits based on animals.
  • StrengthsWildhearts are very versatile and can be adapted to various roles.
  • WeaknessesWildhearts can be a bit more complex to play than other Barbarian subclasses, as they need to manage their different bonus action abilities and choose the right one for the situation.

Wild Magic:

  • PlaystyleWild Magic Barbarians are all about chaos because when they Rage, they cast a random spell, which can be anything from a buff spell to a powerful damage spell.
  • StrengthsWild Magic Barbarians can be mighty, especially if they get lucky with their random spells.
  • WeaknessesWild Magic Barbarians are very unpredictable, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the spell you want when you enter a rage.

3 Wild Magic

Baldur's Gate 3 Rage Wild Magic
Baldur's Gate 3 Wild Magic Surge
BG3 Wild Magic Barbarian Level 10

In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Wild Magic Barbarian subclass offers an unpredictable playstyle for those who wish to harness the untamed energies of the world during their rage. The Wild Magic Surge feature is a standout characteristic of the Wild Magic Barbarian subclass. Whenever a Wild Magic Barbarian enters a rage, there’s a chance for a Wild Magic Surge to occur. These surges bring forth a range of random effects, which might prove advantageous or disadvantageous to the Barbarian and their companions, adding an element of exhilarating unpredictability to their battles.

Regain Ally Spell SlotDamage Allies
Better Saving ThrowsRandom
Sporadic Big DamageLack Control

Wild Magic Subclass Features and Mechanics in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Rage Wild Magic (Level 3): Enter a Rage that releases all the magic rolling inside of you, causing a random magical effect.
  • Magic Awareness (Level 3): Anyone within range adds their Proficiency Bonus to Saving Throws against spells.
  • Bolstering Magic Boon (Level 6): You or an ally receive a +1d4 bonus to Attack Rolls and Ability Checks.
  • Unstable Backlash (Level 10): While enraged, when you take damage or fail a saving throw, you trigger another Wild Magic effect that replaces the current one.

In Baldur’s Gate 3, the way to use the Wild Magic Barbarian is to lean into the randomness. You can combine this with another Wild Magic Subclass, the Sorcerer Build. This would lead to a unique and unpredictable gameplay experience.  The Wild Magic Subclass also pairs well with spell casters due to Bolstering Magic. You can restore spell slots up to level 3.  The Paladin class maxes their spell slots out at level 3, using powerful Smites for damage. Combining Wild Magic Barbarian and a Vengeance Paladin would make a great tandem melee group.

Below is a list of all the Wild Magic Surges in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Bolt of Light – Shoot a Bolt of Light from your chest that Blinds the target for 1 turn and does 1-6 Radiant Damage.
  • Dark Tendrils – All creatures within 9m dealing 1-12 Necrotic Damage on failed CON Save and granting you 1-12 temporary hit points.
  • Intangible Spirit – summon a spectral flumph within 9m of you, which explodes at the end of your turn.
  • Magic Retribution – Enemies that hit you take 1-6 Force Damage in retaliation.
  • Protective Lights – You and any allies within 3m of you have a +1 bonus to Armour Class (AC).
  • Teleport – As a Bonus Action for each turn, you can Teleport up to 18m to an unoccupied space you can see. 
  • Vine Growth – The ground within 5m of you is a Difficult Terrain for everyone other than you, halving movement speed.  
  • Weapon Infusion – Your equipped weapon deals an additional 1-6 Force Damage and gains the Light and Thrown properties.

Consider Wild Magic a fun, unique, and off-meta way to play the Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3. This is designed for randomness if you get bored with battles easily and is considered the weakest of all the Barbarian subclasses.

2 Wildheart

Baldur's Gate 3 Elk Heart Bestial Heart
Baldur's Gate 3 Wildheart Primal Stampede
Primal Stampede
BG3 Wildheart Barbarian Animal Aspect Tiger

The Wildheart Barbarian subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a powerful and versatile subclass that allows Barbarians to harness the power of the wild. Wildheart Barbarians can channel the spirit of a bear, an eagle, or an elk to gain new abilities and playstyles.

VersatilityBonus Action Utility
MobilityWeaker Later Levels
Crowd ControlVulnerable to Stuns

The Wildheart Barbarian is great at lower levels where you lack the tools for mobility. Specifically, the Elk Heart charges 9 meters. This helps you enter the fight and stun targets in a massive area. The other strong ability is Tiger’s Bloodlust. This skill gives the bleed status effect up to 3 enemies. Targets that are bleeding take two damage slashing damage at the start of each turn and have a Disadvantage on constitution saves. At level 6, you can combine this with Animal Aspect of the Tiger, a double Strength Modifier on Attack Rolls against Bleeding or Poisoned targets. This brutal combination can be combined with another animal aspect at level 10 Wolverine. This aspect procs the Maim status effect on bleeding targets, eliminating their movement, and they have a Disadvantage on Dexterity Saving Throws. While not the best subclass, it’s a fun and enjoyable experience and highly recommended for players looking for a natural, wilderness type of Barbarian.

Wildheart subclass Features and Mechanics in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Speak with Animals (Level 3): Gain the ability to comprehend and communicate with beasts.
  • Bestial Heart (Level 3): Choose a Bestial Heart, each based on one of five animals with a unique bonus action skill.
  • Animal Aspect (Level 6): Adopt the powers of another mighty beast, giving you a passive benefit.
  • Land’s Stride (Level 8): Difficult Terrain no longer slows you down.
  • Animal Aspect (Level 10): Select a second animal passive benefit.

Wildheart subclass Bestial Heart Skills in Baldur’s Gate 3:

Bestial HeartActionDescription
Bear HeartUnrelenting Ferocityheal yourself for 3-8.
Eagle HeartDiving Strikeleap 2m, knocking the enemy prone.
Elk HeartPrimal StampedeCharge 9m damaging and knocking prone.
Tiger HeartTiger’s BloodlustLash out 2m making them bleed
Wolf HeartInciting HowlEach ally within 9m can move 3m next turn.

Wildheart subclass Animal Aspects in BG3:

  • Bear: Carrying capacity is doubled, Advantage on Strength Checks.
  • Chimpanzee: Resistance to Falling damage, throwing camp supplies, Blinds targets.
  • Crocodile: Movement on water-based surfaces increased by 3m.
  • Eagle: Darkvision up to 12m, Advantage on Perception Checks.
  • Elk: Movement speed increase by 1.5m for yourself and nearby allies.
  • Honey Badger: 50% chance for a free Rage if Poisoned, Frightened, or Charmed at the start of your turn.
  • Stallion: Dashing grants you temporary hit points equal to twice your level.
  • Tiger: Double Strength Modifier on Attack Rolls against Bleeding or Poisoned targets.
  • Wolf: Gain Proficiency in Stealth. You and nearby allies add your Dexterity modifier as a bonus to Stealth Checks.
  • Wolverine: Attacks on Bleeding or Poisoned targets Maim them for one turn.

1 Berserker

Baldur's Gate 3 Berserker Level 3 Features
Baldur's Gate 3 Intimidating Presence

The Berserker Barbarian subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the most effective and straightforward damage-dealing subclass. Your Rage turns into Frenzy, which unlocks two additional abilities with incredible utility. Unlike other subclasses, you have immunity to Charm and Frightened, lowering your chance of being crowd-controlled.  And the best part of the Berserker is each turn, and you take advantage of your bonus action for damage, not just utility or potions.

SimpleWeak Movement
Most DamageNot Versatile
Bonus Action UtilityCan Be Mundane

The best way to play the Berserker subclass in BG3 is head-on with maximum damage. You want to wear clothing with set bonuses to your Rage (Frenzy) and a two-handed Greatsword. Once you unlock the subclass at level 3, your Rage turns into Frenzy. On subsequent turns, you can use a bonus action for Frenzied Strike or Enraged Throw.  When in melee range, the go-to strike is the Frenzied Strike, which acts as another melee attack with a bonus action.  Enraged Throw is awesome when you need a stun or cannot reach the target.  This will chuck an item from your inventory, which I use spears or daggers, hit hard, and possibly knock down the target. 

Once you unlock the Great Weapon Master feat at either level 4 or 8, you can use your bonus action for another attack if your critical hit or kills a target.  Then you have some flexibility with your bonus action and a lot of utility, including using for potions.  The Berserker gives you the most consistent, up-front damage with the Barbarian, a class dedicated to damage.  Using both Frenzied Strike and Enrage Throw causes Frenzied Strain. This adds a stack -1 penalty on Attack Rolls for every stack, which is removed when Frenzy ends.  It’s still worth spending a bonus action on these attacks, but combining Frenzy extra utility with the Great Weapon Master proc is the best way to play the Barbarian effectively in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Berserker Subclass Features and Mechanics in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Frenzy (Level 3): Your Rage becomes a frenzy, gaining a Frenzied Strike and an Enraged Throw.
  • Frenzied Strike (Level 3): Make a melee attack with your equipped weapon as a bonus action.
  • Enraged Throw (Level 3) – As a bonus action, throw an item at a creature and knock it Prone.
  • Mindless Rage (Level 6) – While Frenzied, you can’t be Charmed or Frightened, and Calm Emotions no longer end your rage.
  • Intimidating Presence (Level 10): Act an action, Menace an enemy, and instill a terrible Fear within them.

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