The Top 10 Best Cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Top 10 list explains the best reusable spell cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 regardless of class and playstyle.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock Eldritch Blast
Warlock Eldritch Blast

In Baldur’s Gate 3, cantrips are a type of spell that can be cast infinitely without expending spell slots. They are basic, low-level spells that spellcasters can use repeatedly, making them a valuable resource in combat and other situations. Overall, cantrips are an indispensable tool for spellcasters in Baldur’s Gate 3, providing a continuous source of magical abilities throughout their adventures. And in this guide, we will explain the top 10 best cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3. This guide was created during early access and will be updated after the full game release on August 3rd, 2023.

Baldur's Gate 3 Cantrip

The Best Cantrips Ranked

Eldritch Blast and Fitrebold are the best Cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 due to their versatility, damage, and knockback effects.  Fire Bolt is also a high-ranking cantrip because it is a reliable source of damage that can be used in a variety of situations. Guidance and Light are also highly ranked because they are both very useful cantrips that can be used in a variety of ways especially outside of combat. The other cantrips are all good options, and they can be ranked depending on your play style and the needs of your character. 

Here’s a list of the best Cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3:

Acid SplashThrows bubble of acid dealing damage in 2m radius.10
LightInfused an object to create aura of light9
ShillelaghImbue your weapon and deal damage.8
Shocking GraspShock a melee target and gain advantage on metal armour.7
Vicious MockeryDeals damage and target receives Disadvantage.6
Sacred FlameRange radiant damage that doesn’t travel to target.5
Ray of FrostCast fridge beam that reduces movement and cold damage.4
GuidanceAlly gains a +1d4 bonus to Ability Checks.3
Fire BoltHurls fireball dealing 1d10 fire damage 18m range.2
Eldritch BlastConjure beam doing dealing Force damage at 18m range.1

10 Acid Splash

Baldur's Gate 3 Acid Splash Cantrip

Acid Splash: This cantrip deals 1d6 acid damage to a target within an 18m range in a 2m radius. Classes that can cast this cantrip include Sorcerer, Wizard, and Eldritch Knight Fighter.  Acid is a status effect in BG3 that reduces armor class by 2 and is useful to debuff higher AC targets. This status effect can be removed by casting water-related spells.

Acid Splash is a good option for characters who want to deal damage to enemies from a distance. It is also a good option for characters who want to target enemies with resistance to fire damage.  Hellish Resistance for instance has fire resistance so the standard Fire Bolt cantrip would not be a good option. This spell can also be used in choke points where multiple enemies can enter to hit the maximum number of targets.

Acid Splash is a decent small area-based damage cantrip.  It’s limited in damage and size ranking it in this position on our list.  We suggest using it on targets with high AC to increase your chances of hitting them.

9 Light

Baldur's Gate 3 Light Cantrip

Light: This cantrip creates an area of light centered on a point you choose within range. Classes that can cast this cantrip include Bard, Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, High Elf passive bonus, and Fighter Eldritch Knight Subclass.

The light lasts until you cast the spell again or until it is dispelled. Light is a must-have for any character who wants to be able to see in the dark. It is also a good option for characters who want to create a distraction or blind their enemies.

Certain areas in the game, specifically Underdark, require Darkvision or lighting to see targets.  Your overall chance of hitting will dramatically be reduced. For races like the Human, who do not inherently possess Darkvision, this will be a big burden.  This spell also has outside of combat use and utility but what holds it back is lack of damage.

8 Shillelagh

Baldur's Gate 3 Shillelagh Cantrip

Shillelagh: This cantrip transforms a club or quarterstaff you are holding into a magic weapon. For the duration, it becomes magical, deals 1d8+2 Bludgeoning damage, and uses your Spellcasting Ability for Attack Rolls.  This Cantrip is only available to the Druid class.

Shillelagh is a great option for characters who want to use a club or quarterstaff as their main weapon. It is also a good option for characters who want to increase their Wisdom score.  Another benefit of this Cantrip is it costs a bonus action rather than an action. This is useful when chaining two attacks in one, using a bonus action first then an action.

What holds this Cantrip back is it’s only available for the Druid class.  Also, most Druids won’t use their weapon or go on the offensive with this Cantrip.  However, pair it with an action and with the right Druid subclass this is a great Druid Cantrip.

7 Shocking Grasp

Baldur's Gate 3 Shocking Grasp Cantrip

Shocking Grasp: Lightning springs from your hand and prevents the target from taking reactions dealing 1d8 in melee range. You have Advantage when using this spell on creatures wearing metal armor. Classes that can cast this cantrip are Eldritch Knight Fighter, Sorcerer, and Wizard.

Shocking Grasp is a good option for characters who want to prevent enemies from making a reaction. The main benefit of this cantrip is Advantage if they are wearing metal armor. What advantage does, is allow you to roll a second D20 and the game picks the higher of the two.  This allows your next attack to have a much greater chance of a higher roll and usually much greater damage.

The downside of this ability is its melee range. However, if you’re being pressured by a melee target and out of spell slots, this is a great way to shock them, and follow up with a big damage ability.

6 Vicious Mockery

Baldur's Gate 3 Vicious Mockery

Vicious Mockery: This cantrip deals 1d4 psychic damage to a creature within 18m range and receives Disadvantage on its next Attack Roll.  This cantrip is only available to Bard class.

Vicious Mockery is 6th on our Top 10 Best Cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 list because it is a good option for characters who want to deal damage and debuff their enemies. Disadvantages like advantage, rolls two D20 but takes the lower of the two.  This is useful because it halves the chances of a high roll from the opponent.

The cantrip also has an added advantage of dealing a small, big of damage and having a decent range. In general, this is a great ranged debuff when you expect an incoming attack and have no spell slots or better defensive options.

5 Sacred Flame

Baldur's Gate 3 Sacred Flame Cantrip

Sacred Flame: This cantrip deals 1d8 radiant damage to a target within 18m range.  This is a Cleric only Cantrip and does not require concentration.  Unlike other ranged spells, sacred flame simply appears rather than travels so it cannot be blocked by objects.  Even if you don’t have line of sight, you can still hit a target with this spell!

Sacred Flame’s radiant damage and the fact that it targets Dexterity saves are essential strengths. Radiant damage is often effective against certain creatures, and the lack of a spell attack roll makes it useful against high-AC enemies.

What holds Sacred Flame back from being higher on the list is the weaker damage in comparison to Fire Bolt and limited to one class. 

4 Ray of Frost

Baldur's Gate 3 Ray of Frost Cantrip

Ray of Frost: This cantrip deals 1d6 cold damage to a target within 18m range. On a hit, the target’s speed is reduced by 3m. The classes that can cast Ray of Frost are Eldritch Knight Fighter, Sorcerer, and Wizard.

Ray of Frost is a good option for characters who want to deal damage and slow down their enemies. The way we suggest using this cantrip is on melee aggressive enemies like Barbarian and Fighters.  Rarely, do they pose a threat at range and a 3m movement debuff is huge. This usually requires them to use Dash, consuming their action and preventing an attack.

What holds the spell back is the lack of damage, but it does have great range.  Consider Ray of Frost one of the best control spells and debuff early in the game.

3 Guidance

Baldur's Gate 3 Guidance Cantrip

Guidance: Bestow guidance upon an ally giving them a +1d4 bonus to Ability Checks. This ability requires concentration and melee range.  Clerics and Druids are the two classes that can use this spell, along with a lootable necklace in Act 1 of Baldur’s Gate 3 that provides Guidance for you.

Guidance is highly useful in non-combat situations, providing a small but potentially game-changing bonus to skill checks and increasing the likelihood of success.  The spell improves your chances of success on a variety of tasks, such as picking locks, disarming traps, or persuading NPCs with a 1d4.  Often this is the difference between success and failure. It’s one of the reasons Shadowheart as a companion is strong outside of combat because of her initial Guidance cantrip.

The downside of Guidance is it’s limited in classes that can use the cantrip along with an item that provides it for you anyways.  Consider this the best out-of-combat cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3.

2 Fire Bolt

Baldur's Gate 3 Fire Bolt Cantrip

Fire Bolt: This cantrip deals 1d10 fire damage to a target within 18m range. Classes that can use Fire Bolt are Wizard, High Elf race, Eldritch Knight Fighter, and Sorcerer

Fire Bolt is a reliable source of damage, and it can also be used to start fires. Fire Bolt is a good option for characters who want to deal damage from a distance.  An early game use for this cantrip is the spell Grease and Fire Bolt combined. This will cause a massive area explosion doing a lot of damage in one location along with possibly stunning enemies.

Fire Bolt is a straightforward damage-dealing cantrip that can ignite areas making it useful when you’re out of spell slots and need damage.

1 Eldritch Blast

Baldur's Gate 3 Eldritch Blast Cantrip
Eldritch Blast Cantrip

Eldritch Blast: This cantrip is a ranged spell that creates a beam of force that shoots from your fingertip. It deals 1d10 force damage on a hit.  The Warlock is the only class that can cast Eldritch Blast.

Eldritch Blast is the best cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3 because of its damage and versatility.  At level 2, Warlocks gain Eldritch Incantations which can increase the damage of your Eldritch Blast and give it a knockback effect.  At level 5, you gain a second blast making it even more powerful.

The most common combination is Hex spell with Eldritch Blast. Hex cost a bonus action, does Necrotic damage and debuffs target with a disadvantage on ability checks of your choosing.  The one-two combos of Hex and Eldritch Blast essentially carry the Warlock at early levels of Baldur’s Gate 3 and that’s why we rated it number one!

Remember that the rankings and justifications may vary based on individual playstyles, the campaign’s setting, and the types of encounters faced. The effectiveness of cantrips can also be influenced by a character’s class and the feats or abilities they possess. Always choose cantrips that complement your character’s strengths and match your preferred playstyle.

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