There isn’t a person alive who wouldn’t change an aspect of their physical appearance if they could. Many video games give people the opportunity to craft the kind of person they want to be, whether in terms of appearance or personality, and the player data for Baldur’s Gate 3 has proven the value that people place in beauty and charm over all else.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has a staggering number of character customization options regarding the mechanics of your protagonist, allowing you to create a wily Elf or a Gnome master of the arcane arts. This is before you get to the nitty-gritty of defining your character’s appearance, with many options for carefully tailoring their look. Developer Larian Studios should also be commended for including transgender and non-binary options for players despite complaints from a vocal minority within the fanbase.
The Most Popular Baldur’s Gate 3 Races Are The Most Conventionally Attractive Ones
Following the release of Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios released data on Steam that revealed the choices players made in the game at launch. When it came to player race, these were what players picked for their first run-through of the game:
- Half-Elf – Over 250k
- Human – Over 250k
- Elf – Over 250k
- Dragonborn – Over 200k
- Tiefling – Nearly 200k
- Drow – Nearly 200k
- Half-Orc – 100k
- Dwarf – Around 50k
- Gnome – Under 50k
- Halfling – Under 50k
- Githyanki – Under 50k
What’s notable about these stats is that races with the most “conventionally attractive” took the top spots. The outlier is the Dragonborn, though the default version of this race is a bulky humanoid with a cool breath attack, making it stand out from the other races. After the Drow, there is a notable drop-off when it hits Half-Orc, while the shorter races and the Githyanki sit at the bottom.
The Most Popular Baldur’s Gate 3 Classes Are The Most Charming Ones
The same data released by Larian also confirmed the most popular classes chosen by players at launch, and there is a shocking amount of popularity for classes that are tied to the Charisma stat. The most popular classes in Baldur’s Gate 3 at launch were:
- Paladin – Nearly 250k
- Sorcerer – Just Under 200k
- Warlock – Just Over 150k
- Rogue – Just Under 150k
- Bard – Just Under 150k
- Barbarian – Just Under 150k
- Fighter – Just Under 150k
- Ranger – Just Under 150k
- Wizard – Over 100k
- Monk – Over 100k
- Druid – Over 100k
- Cleric – Over 50k
The Paladin, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Bard are all classes that prominently use Charisma, as it powers their magic. While the Rogue doesn’t use Charisma for its abilities, it’s also the best-known class for using many Skills that work outside of combat and for preferring to talk its way out of situations rather than stabbing enemies or blowing them up with spells.
These figures show that players want to play conventionally attractive characters (at least by human standards, which is why the humanoid races are so popular) and who have the gift of gab. While Baldur’s Gate 3 uses the D&D 5E rules, it also shows a whole new side of the game, as most people will be playing it alone, so they have free reign to create a character who will be the star of the show. As such, we’re seeing evidence that people want the fantasy of beauty and charm as much as the fantasy that comes with being a powerful hero.
The desire to play an attractive character is also tied to the romance options in Baldur’s Gate 3. Larian went out of its way to ensure that nearly every companion is romanceable, giving players freedom when pursuing relationships with their party members that is rarely seen in a mainstream video game. Unlike games like Cyberpunk 2077 or even Baldur’s Gate 2, there are no restrictions when falling in love with NPCs, further feeding into the desire to create a character that the player thinks is attractive.
The Humans & Githyanki Prove That Fans Don’t Care About Min/Maxing Anymore
Video game fans love to play the most efficient and effective builds. Gamepur is filled to the brim with Best Build guides for every title imaginable because when people give up their precious free time to play a video game, they want to ensure they’re approaching it in the best way possible.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has thrown that thinking out of the window, and nowhere is that more clear than in with the popularity of certain races. The Human is easily the worst race in Baldur’s Gate 3 regarding the benefits it gives to the player character, yet it’s the second most popular choice among players. Meanwhile, the Githyanki is superior in nearly every way, with lots of fantastic powers that you’ll use throughout the whole game, but it’s the least popular choice. The most likely reason is that we enjoy playing humans because we are one and find other humans attractive. The Githyanki don’t fit the conventional beauty standards, as they are mostly alien and froglike in appearance, so players have been avoiding them in droves.
None of this is to lay judgment on the Baldur’s Gate 3 fans. The most important thing with any video game is that everyone is enjoying themselves, and if you’re going to be spending 100+ hours with a character, then it’s understandable that you’d make one that you’ll enjoy looking at. Most people wish they could change an aspect of their physical appearance, and Baldur’s Gate 3 lets you create someone from scratch, and that desire to be attractive has helped mold the kinds of heroes that have entered the Forgotten Realms.