Barbarians are the classic melee damage dealer in Baldur’s Gate 3. They are capable of charging to the middle of a battle and dealing massive damage as they swing their weapon at anything still moving. While they seem a bit basic to play, given their straightforward approach, they can still be a fun option for players who want to dabble in carnage.
Picking a subclass is just as important as the class itself, as this will shape what kind of Barbarian you end up playing, and in Baldur’s Gate 3, players have some wildly different options to choose from.
This guide will detail all the Subclasses for the Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3, including what features they get and some details on their strengths and weaknesses.
What Subclasses Are Available to the Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3?
The Barbarian has three subclasses to choose from in Baldur’s Gate 3. These include Wildheart, Berserker, and Wild Magic.
Like other Baldur’s Gate 3 classes, each subclass offers unique features and abilities that give you a different way to play your character. Each leans towards specific playstyles, with the Barbarian options mainly focused on smashing enemies into oblivion with different flavors of carnage. They also boost some of the biggest defenses in the game, making them a perfect option for players who want a tanky option.
Each has its strengths and weaknesses, which we will cover in this guide so you can decide how you want to play the Barbarian.
Wildheart Barbarian in Baldurs Gate 3
The Wildheart Barbarian is more in tune with nature and the beasts of the world, influencing and empowering the barbarians with new abilities and features that provide some more options compared to other subclasses.
Wildheart Barbarians get Speak with Animals and a bit of flair to their rage at level 3, thanks to Bestial Hearts, which produce additional perks and abilities to the player depending on their choice. You can change your aspect at every level if you want to adapt to your party or upcoming challenges. The Bestial Hearts and their abilities include:
- Bear Heart – Gain resistance to all damage except psychic, and get the Unrelenting Ferocity action, which lets you restore some health.
- Eagle Heart – Able to dash as a bonus action, and foes have a disadvantage on opportunity attacks. You also get the Diving Strike action, which lets you leap from a height above an enemy onto them and knock them prone.
- Elk Heart – increases your movement speed by 4.5m and grants you the Primal Stampede action, which has players charge forward, dealing bludgeoning damage and knocking enemies prone.
- Tiget Heart – Increase your jump distance by 4.5m and gives the Tiger’s Bloodlust action, letting you attack three enemies at once and apply bleed.
- Wolf Heart – Provides a buff to allies in a 2m range that gives an advantage on melee attack rolls as well as the Inciting Howl action, which increases allies’ movement by 3m for their next turn.
Additionally, they get access to another feature that adds further customization to the Barbarian in the form of Animal Aspects. At levels six and ten, you’ll pick one of ten aspects that will add extra passive features to your character. These include:
- Bear Animal Aspect – Your carrying capacity is doubled, and you gain advantage on Strength Checks.
- Chimpanzee Animal Aspect – Throwing camp supplies Blinds enemies, and you gain resistance to falling damage.
- Crocodile Animal Aspect – Your movement speed in water is increased by 3m, and you gain an advantage on Saving Throws on slippery surfaces like Grease.
- Eagle Animal Aspect – You gain advantage on Perception checks and can see up to 12m in the dark.
- Elk Animal Aspect – Give yourself and all nearby allies increased movement.
- Honey Badger Animal Aspect – You have a 50% chance to start your turn with Rage without using a Rage Charge if you are Poisoned, Charmed, or Frightened.
- Stallion Animal Aspect – Dashing grants you temporary HP equal to twice your level, but you can only gain temporary HP from this source.
- Tiger Animal Aspect – Add an additional Strength modifier to Attack Rolls against Bleeding or Poisoned targets and gain proficiency in Survival.
- Wolf Animal Aspect – Gain proficiency in Stealth.
- Wolverine Animal Aspect – When you attack a Bleeding or Poisoned target, you also Maim it for one turn.
On top of that, you’ll get Lands Stride: Difficult Terrian at level eight, which makes moving through difficult terrain no longer slow you down.
There’s a lot to choose from with this subclass, but it offers so many options to players that it’s a worthwhile choice if you want some more flair and complexity to your Barbarian.
Berserker Barbarian in Baldurs Gate 3
The Berserker is the blood-hungry, vicious warrior filled with frenzy and a love of blood and battle. This subclass is made for players who want to throw caution to the wind, charge headfirst into the conflict, and deal as much damage as possible in a flurry of brutal attacks.
The main feature of the Berserker is Frenzy at level three, which activates when you rage and gives you some additional benefits, namely Frenzied Strike and Enraged Throw.
Frenzied Strike allows the player to use their bonus action to make another melee attack with their weapon at the cost of gaining a stack of Freinzed Strain, which adds a -1 to all attacks with each stack and lasts until Frenzy ends.
Enraged Throw allows you to pick up an item or creature, throw them at a target, deal bludgeoning damage, and knock them prone. The higher your strength, the bigger the object you can throw and the more damage you can do.
Additionally, you will unlock Mindless Rage at level six, which makes you immune to Charmed, Frightened, and the Calm Emotions spell, and Intimidating Presence at level ten, which instills fear in a nearby enemy.
It’s the most straightforward subclass option but the one that can pack the biggest punch if you want pure carnage on the battlefield. Mix this with feats like Great Weapon Master and the Reckless Attack action, and you’ll easily crush your foes.
Wild Magic Barbarian in Baldurs Gate 3
For players who want a bit of random chaos thrown into their Barbarian, then the Wild Magic subclass is your choice.
Wild Magic is the main attraction of this subclass. Starting at level three, entering Rage will trigger a random magical effect that can either benefit or hinder your party, such as swapping locations with another character or summoning creatures to the battlefield.
Additionally, they get some helpful features that can benefit your party, such as Magic Awareness, which lets those in range add their proficiency bonus to saving throws against spells. However, this also affects enemies. They also get several Bolstering Magic features, with three coming at level six. These include Bolstering Magic: Boon, which lets you or an ally add 1d4 to an attack roll or ability check, as well as Bolstering Magic: Level 1 Spell Slot and Bolstering Magic: Level 2 Spell Slot, which lets you or an ally recover a Spell Slot of the respective Spell Slot level.
At level nine, you unlock Bolstering Magic: Level 3 Spell Slot, which does the same but for third-level Spell Slots, and lastly, the Unstable Backlash feature, which causes you to trigger another Wild Magic effect when you take damage or fail a saving throw and replaces the current one.
It can be a bit frustrating to use this subclass, and at times you may even put yourself in very bad situations, but if you can handle the random nature of it, it can be a fun option for a more chaotic playthrough.
Which Subclass Should You Pick for the Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3?
Of all the Barbarian subclass options, we think Wildheart is the best option for players. This is largely due to the increased flexibility that the subclass offers, as all the different combinations of aspects and Hearts can let players play different kinds of Barbarians. Additionally, it can be an excellent option for multiclassing in sure regards, as adding in another class can further diversify your character and playstyle. Following that, the Berserker will be your next best option for pure combat prowess, with the Wild Magic subclass being last purely for its random nature, which can be a hassle at times.
With that said, we wholeheartedly believe you should play whatever you like the look of. Each can provide equally fun options to play, and all have unique elements that make them enjoyable. In truth, it mainly comes down to how you could want to play Baldur’s Gate 3, so take your time to think it over, then grab your gear and get to the adventure however you see fit!