Whenever your character wants to learn about something in Baldur’s Gate 3, they typically need to make a skill check. Is there a trap nearby? They may perform an insight or investigation check. Is someone hurt, and your character wants to see how nasty the wound is? They make a medicine check.
A character will specialize in a handful of skills, but you can’t expect everyone in your party to be perfect at everything. These skills rely on specific ability scores, and you use them at different moments in the game.
Here are all of the skills you can use in Baldur’s Gate 3, what ability score they use, and what action your character, or party members, can do with them.
Acrobatics – Dexterity
Similar to Athletics, Acrobatics is your character’s more physical performance in situations. Unlike Athletics, when performing an Acrobatics skill check, your character shows off their flexibility, prowess, or balance.
Animal Handling – Wisdom
Your character has been around animals before, and they have learned how to gain their trust and pick up on their behavior. Animal handling can be used to assist a creature or recognize if they are aggressive.
Arcana – Intelligence
Is there a magical symbol on the wall, or is a chest sealed shut, protected by an unknown force? Your character’s knowledge with arcana can help them suss out the precise origins of an object or inform the party a magically locked chest that would otherwise harm them should they attempt to open it.
Athletics – Strength
Do you want your character to reach a certain height, or jump across a small gap? They need to have decent athletics, which can be used in combat or out of combat. Having a decent form of athletics can assist a character when they fall to the ground, preventing them from landing prone and remaining upright, ready to fight.
Deception – Charisma
During a conversation, your character may need to lie or bend the truth to gain another’s favor. It can be used to gain another’s trust or have them believe a falsehood that works to your advantage. It’s a less aggressive way to encourage someone to work to your advantage, but you’re able to conceal your true motives.
History – Intelligence
Certain names and objects that have made their mark on history. Your character is well versed in what’s happened in the world and remembers them in detail. You can recall it and share it with others, sharing more information about a subject many may not know.
Insight – Wisdom
When another someone is hiding something from your party, your character may be able to pick up on it. It can be as simple as knowing that person is lying or trying to hide something. Insight can also be used to passively examine the environment.
Intimidation – Charisma
While gentle words can work, some characters respond just as well to threats. Your character can insist on a threat against another person, not to physically harm them, but use their physical size and presence to break another’s will without lifting a finger. It’s a more aggressive way to get what you need, rather than having a cool, sly tongue to convince another.
Investigation – Intelligence
With a keen eye, your character can look around a room to learn the truth of what’s happening. They might be able to notice a nearby trap or point out that there’s a hidden passageway protected by a bookcase.
Medicine – Wisdom
How deep is a wound? Is it infected? What’s the best way to treat a broken bone, a deep cut, and how do you deal with a particular poison? Your character is well versed in healing others, ensuring everyone can make a full recovery.
Nature – Intelligence
What’s the difference between a mushroom you can eat and another that can restrain you to bed in a few days? Your character has spent time outside the walls of civilization, and they know how to live off the land without worry.
Perception – Wisdom
Your character notices small details in the environment that others may not immediately pick up. They could notice track marks of an impending ambush, or if someone has stolen a book from a bookshelf.
Performance – Charisma
Playing an instrument or acting in front of a crowd without missing a distinct stroke takes time. Your character knows how to woo a crowd and command it with authority. An unskilled performer could easily have a group of people turn against them, turning things sour, or even making things far more awkward.
Persuasion – Charisma
Not everyone you meet is willing to do something for you. But your character has a silver tongue, and they convince another that by helping you, they’re helping everyone.
Religion – Intelligence
Religion plays a critical role in the world, and there are many deities that people call upon for aid. Clerics can invoke the name of one they wish to give them power, and your character can tell the history of that religion, their domain, and what they stand for.
Sleight of Hand – Dexterity
Being able to remove a key from a guard’s belt loop is no easy task, and with a little sleight of hand, your character can do it without ever being noticed. It’s a delicate art, and you can also use it to steal from others.
Stealth – Dexterity
You can hide in the shadows before anyone notices your presence. Being able to hide before an encounter gives your character a surprise round and gives them an advantage.
Survival – Wisdom
What kind of tracks made those? Was it a simple boar, or was it an owlbear? Your character can track various animals, safely forage for food, and handle various natural encounters.