Like any tabletop RPG, Baldur’s Gate 3 is defined by the companions you bring on your adventure. Fortunately, swapping characters in and out of your party in Baldur’s Gate 3 is much easier than uninviting a friend from your Dungeons & Dragons group.
Party members back you up in combat, provide skills for crucial checks, and enrich the world with their stories. We’ll take all of those aspects into consideration to help you choose the best companions in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Druids’ ability to transform into animals makes them some of the most appealing D&D characters. While Halsin can use offensive and defensive magic and serve as a tank, his jack-of-all-trades nature means he doesn’t have a niche.
You need to make some progress on the main quest of Act One to even meet Halsin, and he never really integrates himself once he joins the group. Druids value balance, and compared to other party members, Halsin just feels too placid.
Who should pick Halsin: It’s hard to recommend Halsin. If you’re set on playing a Druid, you’d be better off making your main character one to make room for a more interesting party member.
Like fellow Druid Halsin, Jaheira lacks a niche in or out of combat. Jaheira also suffers from a suboptimal starting build, so you’ll want to re-spec if you choose her.
It’s a shame that Jaheira doesn’t really have a party niche because she’s a great character. She appeared in the previous Baldur’s Gate games, and seeing her story continue can be a real thrill for returning fans. For anyone who’s new to the series, though, Jaheira doesn’t have much to offer.
Who should pick Jaheira: Jaheira might be a good pick to relive the earlier Baldur’s Gate games, but that’s about it. Her class and stats limit her utility, and she can’t even join your party until late in the game, making her story feel like an afterthought.
As a Ranger, Minsc fulfills the ranged weapon damage role like no one else in Baldur’s Gate 3. He’s not the most powerful character, but Minsc is good at keeping out of danger while dealing damage. Plus, he has light spellcasting abilities.
What really makes Minsc stand out is that he’s a returning fan-favorite character from previous Baldur’s Gate games. Minsc is one of the game’s cheerier companions, and if you’re a series veteran, there’s a lot of value in simply having him around.
Who should pick Minsc: The only real reason to pick Minsc is nostalgia. He’s not the best fighter or out-of-combat support, but he has a great personality, which makes it a lot of fun to just let him tag along for the end of your adventure.
Paladins are great all-rounders, with outstanding defense, offense, healing, and debuffs. Minthara can fill any gap in your party, and she shines as an exceptionally tough frontline damage dealer.
The downside to Minthara is that she’s downright evil. You’ll need to turn on some of your allies to recruit her. Her storyline is an interesting look at the dark side of the Forgotten Realms and what it takes to survive there, but you need to focus on Minthara and toss out a lot of other options to see it.
Who should pick Minthara: If you want to do an evil playthrough, pick Minthara. That’s your only option for recruiting her and will totally transform your game.
Wyll’s Warlock pact makes him a versatile damage dealer, skilled with weapons and magic alike. His Eldritch Blast is one of the best cantrips in the game, making him less reliant on spell slots than other casters. Since Warlocks need high Charisma, he’s also a great character to have if you want to charm your way through conversations.
Wyll’s story mostly revolves around the struggle between his heroic nature and the demands of his Warlock patron. It’s a compelling story, but one that feels strangely lacking in drama despite the high stakes.
Who should pick Wyll: Wyll is a great pick if you require a versatile damage dealer, but like other hybrid classes, he’s not the best at any one thing. His magic lets him attack enemies and buff himself, so he works with essentially any party composition, but doesn’t shine in any.
Fighters like Lae’zel are proficient with a wide range of weapons, making them combat specialists at any range. Compared to fellow buff sword lady Karlach, Lae’zel has a wider range of abilities, but she isn’t quite as good at pure burst damage without the right build.
At the start of Baldur’s Gate 3, Lae’zel is the prickliest companion, to put it mildly. She takes a lot of time to do much other than pick fights with other characters but provides a look into the intriguing culture of the Githyanki.
Who should pick Lae’zel: Lae’zel is an incredible melee combatant, but some players are turned off by her gruff demeanor. Any party that needs a tank would benefit from having her around, but she doesn’t offer much utility off the battlefield.
As a Rogue, Astarion can do massive damage with a single strike, but his low defense means he’s best used for hit-and-run tactics. Outside of combat, Astarion is useful to pass lots of checks, particularly when it comes to Stealth and Lockpicking.
Astarion is one of the most popular companions in Baldur’s Gate 3. Sure, he’s evil, but he’s the fun kind of evil. While his story takes a long time to get going, it’s one of the most complex arcs in the game when it finally hits its stride.
Who should pick Astarion: If you’re confident in your ability to keep him alive, Astarion is a great choice for parties that need more damage. He can be tough for beginners, but his slow-burn story is one of the best parts of Baldur’s Gate 3.
Gale is the most powerful magic user among Baldur’s Gate 3’s origin characters. With access to a massive library of spells and the ability to learn more from scrolls, Gale can be useful in any situation with enough preparation. Along with his proficiency in Arcana, Gale’s high Intelligence score makes him useful for History checks and others that rely on book learning.
While he may seem a little milquetoast to begin with, Gale has a fascinating backstory that’s tied into the world’s lore. Let’s just say he knows more than most about one god in particular, and that connection comes into play when dealing with Baldur’s Gate 3’s main conflict.
Who should pick Gale: Gale can be useful in almost any party, unless your main character is a Wizard. If you’re not a Wizard and don’t want to use Gale, make sure your other party members have lots of spells to cover the gap.
In combat, Karlach is good at one thing — attacking. As a Barbarian, Karlach’s role is to do obscene amounts of damage with her weapon and stay standing.
On the other hand, Karlach isn’t much help in social situations. Her Intimidation proficiency may come in handy sometimes, but you’ll likely find more use for her Perception and Survival proficiencies to help you spot traps and survive in the wilderness.
As a former soldier conscripted into battle, Karlach has strong feelings about the hellish realm of Avernus. Her story explores her trying to win her freedom back and confront those who took it away to begin with.
Who should pick Karlach: Unless you already have a frontline fighter, Karlach can help just about anyone. Her damage and survivability make her unstoppable in combat, and she’s one of the most charming characters in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Clerics are indispensable for keeping your party alive. While Shadowheart can dish out damage, she’s much better at healing and buffing other characters to make the whole party more effective in combat.
Out of combat, Shadowheart’s spells are just as useful. The Guidance cantrip can help in a vast number of situations, adding an additional d4 to any Ability check.
Shadowheart has one of the most dramatic character arcs in Baldur’s Gate 3. Her devotion to a mysterious god guides most of her actions, and her evolving relationship with faith provides one of the game’s best long-term stories.
Who should pick Shadowheart: If you’re not playing a Cleric or a healing-focused Bard or Druid, you should probably pick Shadowheart. You’ll find a use for her buffs and healing spells in every combat encounter and Ability check in Baldur’s Gate 3.