This guide focuses on the Best Rogue class build in Baldur’s Gate 3, the Arcane Trickster Subclass, and includes all components to build a powerful character.
- Features and Mechanics
- Sneak Attack Explained
- Advantage Explained
- Arcane Tricker Subclass
- Race Choice
- Ability Scores
- Arcane Trickster Spell Slots
- Illithid Powers
- Rogue Level Progression
- Gameplay Tips and Tricks
- Build Summary Guide
Rogue Class Guide
Rogues are masters of stealth, deception, and precision strikes. They excel in both melee and ranged combat, and their Sneak Attack feature allows them to deal substantial damage in a single strike. Rogues also possess a wide array of skills, making them exceptional in non-combat situations.
The Arcane Trickster Rogue build will focus on typical Rogue aspects like stealth damage. The benefit of this build is the ability to cast spells, mainly crowd control, stuns, and immobilization. This adds to the Rogue’s kit, while allowing the class to still do great damage and play its natural tendencies. Pick this build up, if you want a hybrid caster Rogue.
We will be making changes live as we learn more about how Baldur’s Gate 3 plays out at end game, including gear, multi-class, level progression and racial changes.
|Rogue Class Pros:||Rogue Class Cons:|
|Huge Critical Damage||Weak Durability|
|Non-Combat Utility||Weapon Dependent|
|Spell Casting||Advantage Dependent|
Rogues may not be a front-line tank, but they can dish out a ton of damage in a single turn. This is your prototypical stealth damage dealer and a strong one in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Rogue Class Features and Mechanics
The following list presents all essential Arcane Trickster Rogue class mechanics in Baldur’s Gate 3:
- Primary Ability: Dexterity
- Secondary Ability: Constitution
- Armour Proficiency: Light Armour
- Weapon Proficiency: Rapier, Hand Crossbows, Simple Weapons
- Advantage: gain an additional dice roll d20 if you strike while hidden.
- Spellcasting: subclass choice allows limited casting with the Rogue class.
- Mage Hand Legerdemain: When you cast Mage Hand, the spectral hand is invisible and can carry out additional tasks
Rogue Sneak Attack Explained
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Rogue’s Sneak Attack ability is vital to do the most damage per turn. The Sneak Attack action allows a Rogue to deal extra damage under certain conditions, representing the character’s ability to exploit an opponent’s vulnerabilities during combat.
Here’s how the Sneak Attack works in Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Arcane Trickster Build:
- Trigger Conditions: The primary condition is that the Rogue must have an Advantage on the attack roll, or an ally of the Rogue must be within 1.5m, engaged in melee combat with they enemy, and the Rogue doesn’t have a disadvantage on the attack roll. Additionally, the attack must use a finesse or ranged weapon.
- Extra Damage: If the conditions for Sneak Attack are met, the Rogue can add extra damage to the attack. The amount of extra damage increases with the Rogue’s level and can be substantial, making Sneak Attack a crucial feature for the Rogue class.
- Once per Turn: The Sneak Attack ability can only be used once per turn, so the Rogue must choose wisely when to apply it for maximum impact.
- No High Ground: Having high ground will no longer give an Advantage because it was changed to a +2 Attack Roll bonus.
Sneak Attack is a core feature of the Rogue class in D&D 5e and plays a significant role in enhancing the Rogue’s damage output. It encourages tactical positioning and teamwork, as the Rogue benefits from having allies engaged in close combat with the enemy to trigger the Sneak Attack conditions.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Advantage Explained
Advantage in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a mechanic that gives you a bonus to your chances of success on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. To have advantage, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- You are hidden from the target of your attack.
- You have an ally within 1.5m of the target of your attack.
- The target is prone.
- You are using a spell or ability that grants Advantage.
If you have advantage, you roll your d20 twice and take the higher result. This means that you have a 50% greater chance of success on your roll. Disadvantage is the opposite of advantage. If you have disadvantage, you roll your d20 twice and take the lower result. This means that you have a 50% lower chance of success on your roll.
Here are some additional tips for gaining advantage:
- Use Environment: Use hide while out of line of sight to end your turn, so you start from stealth.
- Work with Allies: Have a melee character engage and distract the enemy if they maintain 1.5m distance, you will have advantage.
- Spells & Abilities: Cast and use spells and abilities like Guidance cantrip, and the Faerie Fire spell to gain advantage.
With a little planning and effort, you can gain an advantage on your rolls and increase your chances of success in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Rogue Class and Best Subclasses
The Best Subclass for the Rogue is Arcane Trickster, because it provides the ability to cast spells and provide outside-of-combat utility. The Arcane Trickster subclass can be unlocked at level 3 and is great in combat and outside to provide your team with high damage and great group utility.
Here are all the Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Subclasses:
- Thief: This subclass is all about being stealthy and resourceful. Thieves can pick locks, disarm traps, and move quickly and quietly. They also get several bonus actions that they can use to gain an edge in combat. Thieves are perfect for players who want to be able to sneak around and take out enemies from behind.
- Arcane Trickster: This subclass combines the skills of a rogue with the magic of a wizard. Arcane Tricksters can cast spells, use magic items, and even sneak attack while invisible. They are versatile and powerful, making them a good choice for players who want to be able to do a little bit of everything.
- Assassin: TheThe Assassin is a rogue subclass that focuses on stealth, surprise attacks, and dealing devastating blows to unsuspecting foes. The Assassin is a master of assassination, infiltration, and eliminating high-priority targets efficiently.
Criminal is the Best Backgrounds for a Rogue Arcane Trickster Build in Baldur’s Gate 3 because it gives you Deception and Stealth Proficiency. This choice mostly influences roleplaying and dialogue options aspects and allows you to create unique characters. Additional choices are:
- Criminal: gain proficiency in Deception and Stealth. You have a history of breaking the law and surviving by leveraging less-than-legal connections.
- Charlatan: gain proficiency in Deception and Sleight of Hand. You’re an expert in manipulation, prone to exaggeration, and more than happy to profit from it.
- Urchin: gain proficiency in Sleight of Hand and Stealth. After surviving a childhood on the streets, you know how to make the most out of very little.
Best Race Choice for Rogue Build
Wood Elves are the best choice for Rogue because they get Stealth proficiency, Darkvision, along with the best movement speed of all races. Wood Elves also have Fey Ancestry, giving an advantage on saving throws against being charmed and resistance to being put to sleep. A secondary option would be the Drow which also Fey Ancestry along with Superior Darkvision of 24m.
|Stealth Proficiency||Weapon Proficiency|
|Highest Movement||Darkness Spell|
|Keen Senses||Fey Ancestry|
|Darkvision (12m)||Supererior Darkvision (24m)|
The Rogue’s racial choice will not influence the ability score, as everyone should get a +2 and +1 to spend regardless. This frees your race choice up to not completely hinder yourself based on ability score, but race features. Each of these races offers unique advantages that can enhance your combat prowess, survivability, or utility. Additionally, consider the roleplaying opportunities and character concepts that resonate with you.
Recommended Skills for Rogue Arcane Trickster Build
Insight, Stealth, Persuasion, Acrobatics, and Sleight of Hand are the best skills for the Rogue in Baldur’s Gate 3 because they give you the Best Assassin Build for detecting traps, sneaking, and avoiding detection. In Baldur’s Gate 3, skills represent the abilities and proficiencies of your character that allow them to perform various actions and interact with the game world. Skills are associated with specific attributes and are used to determine the success or effectiveness of certain actions or abilities. They can be edited during character creation or with companions, during respec or reroll screen.
Here are the best skills for Rogue in Baldur’s Gate 3:
- Acrobatics is a Dexterity Skill.
- Insight is a Wisdom Skill.
- Stealth is a Dexterity Skill.
- Sleight of Hand is a Dexterity Skill.
- Persuasion is a Charisma Skill.
While these skills are well-suited for the build, it’s important to consider your character concept and the specific challenges you may face in Baldur’s Gate 3. The selection of skills should align with your intended playstyle, complement your party composition, and reflect the narrative and roleplaying aspects of your character.
Best Rogue Build Ability Scores
The Best Rogue Build Ability score is one that focuses on dexterity and constitution:
The Rogue’s priority ability is to hit at least 16 Dexterity and 14 Constitution. For the Arcane Trickster subclass, Wisdom can also be important depending on your subclass choice, but Dexterity is our primary focus. After you choose the Rogue, Arcane Trickster Subclass, race, and background, the game will automatically distribute your abilities in the character creation abilities tab. You will need to reprioritize the stats for the chart for the Best Rogue build. Simply use the plus-minus in the character creator and make sure you have the suggested race, or the numbers will be off.
Arcane Trickster Spell Slots
|Arcane Trickster Level||Cantrips Known||1st||2nd|
Rogue Illithid Powers
Illithid Powers are unlocked later in the game when you learn more about the Mind Flayers and tadpoles. You can gain jars of Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens, consume them to gain one point. This is essentially another skill tree advancement with some very strong powers. If you decide to advance this skill line, these are the choices we suggest.
Here are the best Illithid Powers for the Rogue Build:
- Charm: Channel the dark allure of the tadpole to Charm an enemy that attacks you, preventing them from attacking you until their next turn. This is the priority power you want to obtain because you can force enemies to attack something else. Hypothetically, you would react and use this when you are getting pressured and about to die.
- Psionic Backlash: When an enemy within 9m casts a spell, you can use your reaction to inflict ld4 Psychic damage to the caster per the spell’s level. This is a passive and hard counter to casters near you.
- Repulsor: deal force damage and Force Push anything and anyone back 6m. This is a great area knockback and does good damage early in the game.
- Absorb Intellect: Gobble up a foe’s intellect, lowering their Intelligence by 1 per turn and healing your wounds for 5 turns for 1d8. This is a once per short rest action that can be useful to lower a Wizards Intelligence and get some extra healing.
- Psionic Dominance: When an enemy within 18m targets you with a spell of a Level that is lower than or equal to your Proficiency Bonus, you can use your reaction to nullify the spell. Passive feature that helps against spell casters.
- Shield of Thralls: Conjure a volatile shield around yourself or an ally, granting the target 10 temporary hit points. If these temporary hit points are lost due to incoming damage, the shield bursts, possibly Stunning nearby foes. This can be a useful defensive shield when expecting or taking pressure.
Rogue Level Progression
Level one follow our character creator to pick all correct background, race, skills, and ability distribution focusing on Dexerity and Charisma. At level three we can pick our subclass. You want to find two daggers or short swords and use light armor. Level two and three will start getting more utility and damage so just level up from here.
Class Feature and Mechanic
- Sneak Attack (Ranged & Melee): Deal an additional to an enemy you have Advantage against. Attack/Save: Ranged Attack Recharge: Once per turn
- Usage: In order to gain Advantage, you need to be hiding or that enemy to be engaged with another in 1.5 meters.
At level one, your main goal is to get into stealth, prior to a fight or during and use sneak attack. The advantage mechanic can be tricky to understand. In essence, you need to attack targets engaged with others or use hide to get in stealth. You will have more options and easier use of this when you can use a bonus action to hide. For now, engage with a bow or melee and seek high ground and targets with advantage. I suggest playing this build at range, it’s just much easier and sneaking, gaining advantage is much simpler.
At level two, you will unlock the Cunning Action class feature, more health and one more level until subclass choice.
Rogue Class Feature
- Cunning Action Hide: Hide from enemies by succeeding Stealth checks. Stick to the dark and avoid enemy sightlines. Attacking or casting a spell will reveal your location.
- Cunning Action Dash: Cover more distance this turn: double your Movement Speed.
- Cunning Action Disengage: Retreat safely: moving won’t provoke Opportunity Attacks.
This gives you the ability to use Dash, Hide Disengage as a bonus action. Bonus actions are the theme of the build, using attacks and Cunning Actions to free up your action for Sneak Attack. Dash is useful to create space or close the distance, while disengage allows you to flee a fight without an opportunity attack. Use these to either move in and out of fights and the hide bonus action at the end of the turn to go into stealth.
Gameplay you want to now use your bonus action hide to get in stealth and gain an advantage and use sneak attack. That’s essentially the gameplay loop to open up for simple big damage. You also want to do your best to start encounters FROM stealth. Obviously, you will not be able to dictate the terms of every fight. But even during dialogue, you can select the character to select screen and move the non-talking party members to your ideal area. Buff up, get in stealth and get ready to open for a big stealth attack.
Below are the recommended Arcane Trickster Spells in Baldur’s Gate 3:
- Acid Splash: Throw a bubble of acid that damages each creature it hits. Useful for area damage and acid status effect.
- True Strike: Gain Advantage on your next Attack Roll. Advantage is critical to do sneak attack, and this ability grants it for you an or an ally.
- Tasha’s Hideous Laughter: Inflict a creature with fits of laughter, leaving it Prone without the ability to get up. This is a great single-target stun.
- Sleep: Put creatures into a magical slumber. Select targets up to a combined 24 hit points. This is a very useful area based stun early in the game.
- Find Familiar: Gain the service of a familiar, a fey spirit that takes an animal of your choice. This helps access small areas and combat distractions.
- Mages Hand: conjure a hand to manipulate objects. Useful because you get a buff to this and can help steal or manipulate story based content while exploring.
At level four you get an important decision, between a feat or ability improvement. We recommend forgoing the ability improvement to select for the Dual Wielder feat. This will improve your survivability via +1 AC while dual wielding and you’ll be able to equip two Rapiers which do 1d8 damage in comparison to Shortswords at 1d6. You can still use range sneak attack, but if possible try to do dual wield attack to proc the main hand and off-hand damage at once.
You also get one spell to select at this level. Charmed Person is an obvious choice at this level, though it only effects human characters. You should have a lot of crowd-control ability at this point.
At level five, you gain access to Gain Uncanny Dodge when an attack hits you, you only take half the usual damage. This will help with your survival and sneak attack damage will be increased to 3d6.
At this level, you can “replace spell.” This is useful if you want to try a new spell and replace something you don’t find useful. An example is Sleep – it’s a great spell at lower levels, but beyond 5 becomes a weaker stun.
Gameplay remains unchanged at this point. Look for gear, potions, arrows and poison to amplify damage.
Level 5 Spells: Mages Hand, True Strike, Acid Splash, Sleep, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Find Familiar, Charm Person.
Remember, you can also replace a spell at every level as Arcane Thief.
Evasion: Your agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain spells. When a spell or effect would deal half damage on a successful Dexterity Saving Throw, it feels no damage if you succeed, and only half damage if you fail. This class feature helps with avoiding damage but gameplay remains unchanged.
Invisibility: touch a creature to turn it Invisible for 10 turns requiring concentration.
Level 7 Spells: Mages Hand, True Strike, Acid Splash, Sleep, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Find Familiar, Charm Person, Invisibility.
At level 8, you get access to another feat. Since we took Dual-Wielding at level 4, put +2 into Dexterity. This should get you to 18, allowing for huge damage with sneak attacks in melee range. You also get one more spell and we recommend Misty Step.
Misty Step: Surrounded by silver mist, you teleport to an unoccupied space you can see.
Level 8 Spells: Mages Hand, True Strike, Acid Splash, Sleep, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Find Familiar, Charm Person, Invisibility, Misty Step.
At level 9 the Arcane Trickster unlocks the Magical Ambush subclass passive.
Magical Ambush: while you are hidden, your targets have disadvantage on saving throws against your spells. This gives us incentive to not only attack from stealth, but use our spells. This will be particularly relevant for stuns where the percentage chance to land is low. You don’t want to burn your one action on a spell to stun the opposition and you miss.
Firebolt Cantrip: throw a mote of fire for 1-10 damage. If you didn’t get this cantrip from a racial feature it’s still good even at this level. Mainly for lighting things on fire not necessarily the damage. A defensive cantrip would be Blade Ward and a utility cantrip would be Minor Illusion.
Hold Person: Hold a humanoid enemy still. They can’t move, act or react. Attacks from within 3m are always Critical Hits. This spell can be useful to lock one enemy down and also do big damage. Since every attack in melee is a critical strike, you can crowd control then unload on turn two. Keep in mind, you want to cast this while in stealth for the Magical Ambush passive since the percentage to land might be low.
Alert Feat: You gain a +5 bonus to Initiative and can’t be Surprised. One of the best most slept on feats in Baldur’s Gate 3. With the Arcane Trickster, this will give you 10 Initiative or so. You are VERY likely to go first and will never be skipped due to Surprise. The idea here is, you can either stun or sneak attack for huge damage on the opposing teams most damage producing target. You want to stun ideally or eliminate the target to preventing incoming damage to your team. Going first on higher difficulty is so important because you can prevent that Githyanki with 7 attacks from wrecking your team with “Hold Person.”
At level 11, the Arcane Trickster unlocks a class passive feature one another spell. We are one level from another feat which is helpful. You gain access to another non-combat related skill Reliable Talent.
Reliable Talent: When you make an Ability Check with a Skill you are Proficient with it, the lowest result you can roll on the die is 10.
Mirror Image: Create 3 illusory duplicates of yourself that distract attackers. Each duplicate increases your Armour Class by 3. Whenever you successfully evade an attack, one of the duplicates disappears. This spell is utterly insane survivability giving you 9 AC. Each attack lowers the AC, but with light armor on you will have a massive amount of AC and are likely to avoid most attacks. Use this when you expect incoming damage or you need to survive to the next turn
At level 12 we get to choose another feat. Keep things simple, and take +2 into Dexterity to reach 20. With Dual Wielding and Alert you should have plenty of damage with sneak attack melee.
Best Companions for Rogue Build
The best companion for a Rogue Build in Baldur’s Gate 3 is Lae’zeal because she’s a melee-focused damage dealer. She will engage enemies and take the pressure off your ranged-focused build, allowing you to free-cast spells and ranged attacks. Heavy focus on melee will keep you in the distance while applying pressure, snaring, and debuffing the opposition.
- Lae’zeal (Fighter): damage, crowd control, and in-your-face aggression.
- Shadowheart (Cleric: buffs, healing, and control.
- Gale (Wizard): crowd control, area damage, and range.
It’s important to note that party composition and synergy play a significant role in determining the effectiveness of your companions. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each companion and how they align with your main character’s abilities and playstyle.
Best Gear for Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Arcane Trickster Build
Beginner: Act 1
Here’s the best beginner gear for Rogue Arcane Trickster Build in Baldur’s Gate 3:
|Gear Slot||Best Gear Item|
|Head||Shadow of Menzoberranzan|
|Chest||Drow Studded Leather Armour|
|Gloves||Gloves of Archery|
|Boots||Disintegrating Night Walkers|
|Necklace||Amulet of Selûne’s Chosen|
|Weapon 1 Main Hand||Rapier +1|
|Weapon 1 Off Hand||Rapier +1|
- Shadow of Menzoberranzan: Gives Shrouded in Shadow
- Looted from the Pale Corpse in the Myconid Colony, Underdark (X:50, Y:75).
- Drow Studded Leather Armour: Stealth +1
- Inside a Heavy Chest at Lolth’s Cultist’s cache (X:71 Y:-220) in Underdark.
- Gloves of Archery: You gain Proficiency with longbows and shortbows. In addition, your ranged weapon attacks deal an additional 2 damage.
- Bought from Grat the Merchant in the Goblin Camp.
- Disintegrating Night Walkers: Can’t be Enwebbed, Entangled, or Ensnared and can’t slip on grease or ice. Grants Misty Step
- Can be looted from True Soul Nere in Grymforge
- Amulet of Selûne’s Chosen: Selûne’s Dream: 1d8-1 hit points. A creature you touch regains 1d8-1 hit points but potentially falls into a slumber.
- Found in Dror Ragzlin’s treasure pile in the Shattered Sanctum (X:296, Y:71)
- Emerald Ring: Movement Speed +3m
- Random loot from chests and NPCs.
- Caustic Band: Your weapon attacks also deal 2 Acid damage.
- You can buy it from Derryth in Myconid colony, Underdark
- Rapier +1: Unlocks Flourish, Piercing Strike, Weakening Strike
- You can buy them from Roah Moonglow at Shattered Sanctum and Dammon at The Hollow (Druid Grove).
Advanced: Acts 2 & 3
Here’s the best advanced gear for Rogue Arcane Trickster Build in Baldur’s Gate 3:
|Gear Slot||Best Gear Item|
|Head||Mask of Soul Perception|
|Chest||Drow Studded Leather Armour|
|Gloves||Gloves of Dexterity|
|Boots||Disintegrating Night Walkers|
|Necklace||Amulet of Greater Health|
|Ring||Shifting Corpus Ring|
|Weapon 1 (Bow)||Gontr Mael|
|Weapon 2 Main Hand||Bloodthirst|
|Weapon 2 Off-Hand||Rhapsody|
- Mask of Soul Perception: Gain a +2 bonus to Attack Roll, Initiative Rolls, and Perception Checks.
- Found inside the Devil’s Fee, Helsik’s Room upstairs locked inside a chest.
- Shade-Slayer Cloak: While hiding, the number you need to roll a Critical Hit while attacking is reduced by 1. This effect can stack.
- Can be purchased at the Thieves Guild in Act 3
- Drow Studded Leather Armour: Stealth +1
- Inside a Heavy Chest at Lolth’s Cultist’s cache (X:71 Y:-220), climbing up a high spot near the entrance of The Festering Cove
- Gloves of Dexterity: Increases the wearer’s Dexterity score to 18; Attack +1
- Sold by A’jak’nir Jeera at Crèche Y’llek.
- Disintegration Night Walkers: Can’t be Enwebbed, Entangled, or Ensnared and can’t slip on grease or ice. Grants Misty Step
- Can be looted from True Soul Nere in Grymforge
- Amulet of Greater Health: Increases the wearer’s Constitution score to 23; Advantage on Constitution Saving Throws Checks
- Can be taken from the Archive in the House of Hope
- Killer’s Sweatheart: When you kill a creature, your next Attack Roll will be a critical hit. Once spent, this effect refreshes after a Long Rest.
- Can be found laying on the ground at the top of the stone structure in the Self-Same Trial inside the Gauntlet of Shar ( X: -833 Y: -729).
- Shifting Corpus Ring: Gain access to the Invisibility and Blur spells
- Drop by Fist Marcus at the Last Light Inn
- Gontr Mael: On a hit, possibly inflict Guiding Bolt upon the target; This object shines with a glowing light in a radius of 6m; Cast Celestial Haste once per Long Rest.
- Can be looted from the Steel Watcher Titan in Steel Watch Foundry
- Bloodthirst: The number you need to roll a Critical Hit while attacking is reduced by 1. This effect can stack; Creatures hit with this weapon receive Vulnerability to Piercing damage.
- Reward for defeating Orin in Act 3.
- Rhapsody: Provides Scarlet Remittance: Gain a +1 bonus to Attack Rolls, damage, and Spell Save DC for every foe you slay, up to a maximum of +3; and Sweet Bloodletting: Possibly inflict Bleeding when hitting a creature with this weapon while Hiding or Invisible.
- Dropped by Cazador Szarr.
Rogue Build Gameplay Tips and Tricks
The Rouge gameplay revolves around using stealth, sneak attack and advantage for damage and survivability.
Here are the best Roge build gameplay tips.
- Stealth: always try to end or start the turn stealth. Use the Hide function if you have bonus action at the end of the turn.
- Advantage: remember to attack targets that are engaged with melee allies for easy advantage.
- High Ground: use elevation when melee isn’t impossible to improve damage with range weapon.
- Consumables: consume potion of speed or shot fire arrow at range for increased combat effectiveness.
- Prepare: always get in sneak with Shift + C prior to combat.
- Sneak Attack: use your action primarily for sneak attack and double off-hand for three attacks in one turn.
- Movement: use cunning dash to close the distance while still allowing an action
- Disengage: you can move to the flank or back of the opposition while in an engagement without taking an opportunity attack. If you need to flee, use disengage to avoid taking needless damage.
Remember, this build guide serves as a foundation, and you can always adapt it to suit your preferences and the needs of your campaign. Enjoy playing as a formidable Arcane Trickster Rogue!
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build Summary Guide
Mechanics – Sneak Attack
Subclass – Arcane Trickster
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