Ah yes, character creation – the toughest boss of any RPG! Choosing what to play is the hard part, and while we can’t do that for you, we can help you navigate the options so you feel as confident as possible in your choices – whether this is your first character or your 100th re-roll.
There are two main sets of options in the character creation menu: Character and Appearance. You’ll start out in the Character options on the Origin screen. To access the Appearance options, use the Edit Appearance button below your character model. You should choose your race and subrace before you begin changing your appearance, since your race affects the character model and some of the Appearance options. Otherwise you are free to go back and forth and edit your character in whatever order you wish.
The Character section contains options that will affect your story and gameplay experience, such as your character’s race, class, and background.
This is where you must decide if you want to create your own Custom Character or play a pre-made Origin Character. For more information about Origin Characters, you can check out our guide What Are Origin Characters? Origin Characters have most of their Character options locked in, and their Appearance options can’t be changed at all. As a result, most of this guide will apply to Custom Characters only.
Race and Subrace
Your character’s race determines their base model and Appearance options as well as some of their abilities. Race does not affect your ability scores (it did in Early Access, but at launch this was changed to class). Race is one of the few facets of your character that can never be changed over the course of the game. Your race will affect some of your dialogue options and how certain characters react to you, so choose carefully!
Most races will also have subraces that can be changed after the race is selected. The exceptions are githyanki, half-orc, and human. Sub-races share the same character model but different Appearance options. They also affect your interactions with other characters in the game, though to a lesser degree than race. High Elf and High Half-Elf subraces will be able to select a cantrip along with their sub-race. A cantrip is a basic spell that doesn’t use a spell slot, and therefore can be cast at will. These cantrips come from the Wizard spell list and use your Intelligence score.
Below is a table of all the races available in the game along with their subraces, movement speed, and features.
Black Dragonborn Blue Dragonborn Brass Dragonborn Bronze Dragonborn Copper Dragonborn Gold Dragonborn Green Dragonborn Red Dragonborn Silver Dragonborn White Dragonborn
Acid/Lightning/Fire/Poison/Frost Breath (based on subrace) Draconic Ancestry (based on subrace)
Lolth-Sworn Drow Seldarine Drow
Drow Weapon Training Superior Darkvision Fey Ancestry
Gold Dwarf Shield Dwarf Duergar
Dwarven Combat Training Darkvision Dwarven Resilience Dwarven Toughness (Gold Dwarf) Dwarven Armour Training (Shield Dwarf) Superior Darkvision (Duergar) Duergar Resilience (Duerger)
High Elf Wood Elf
Elven Weapon Training Darkvision Fey Ancestry Cantrip (High Elf) Fleet of Foot (Wood Elf)
Astral Knowledge Martial Prodigy Mage Hand Cantrip
Rock Gnome Forest Gnome Deep Gnome
Gnome Cunning Darkvision (Rock/Forest Gnome) Artificer’s Lore (Rock Gnome) Speak With Animals Spell (Forest Gnome) Superior Darkvision (Deep Gnome) Stone Camouflage (Deep Gnome)
Darkvision Hellish Resistance Produce Flame Cantrip (Asmodeus Tiefling) Mage Hand Cantrip (Mephistopheles Tiefling) Thaumaturgy Cantrip (Zariel Tiefling)
Class and Subclass
Your class is probably the most impactful of all the Character options. Luckily, it can be changed later in the game if you choose to do so. You can also choose to multi-class, but not until you’ve reached at least level 2.
Warlock, Sorcerer, Paladin, and Cleric will be able to select a subclass in their Character options. Several classes have additional options to choose from, such as a starting instrument for a bard or a fighting style for a fighter. Any class that has cantrips or spells will also be able to choose those here. You can click on the Details button in the Class screen to view the weapon and armor proficiencies for each class.
Below is a table with all of the classes available in the game along with their subclasses and features. We’ve listed all subclasses, but only those marked with an asterisk(*) are available at character creation.
Saving Throw Proficiencies
Berserker Wildheart Wild Magic
Rage Unarmoured Defence
College of Lore College of Valour College of Swords
Life Domain* Light Domain* Trickery Domain* Knowledge Domain* Nature Domain* Tempest Domain* War Domain*
Cantrips Spells Domain Spells
Circle of the Moon Circle of the Land Circle of Spores
Battle Master Eldritch Knight Champion
Second Wind Fighting Style
Way of the Open Hand Way of Shadow Way of the Four Elements
Flurry of Blows Ki Unarmoured Defence Martial Arts: Dextrous Attacks Martial Arts: Deft Strikes Martial Arts: Bonus Unarmed Strike
Oath of Devotion* Oath of the Ancients* Oath of Vengeance* Oathbreaker
Lay on Hands Divine Sense Channel Oath
Beast Master Hunter Gloom Stalker
True Strike Cantrip Find Familiar Spell Favoured Enemy Natural Explorer
Thief Arcane Trickster Assassin
Sneak Attack (Melee) Sneak Attack (Ranged)
Draconic Bloodline* Wild Magic* Storm Sorcery*
The Fiend* The Great Old One* The Archfey*
Abjuration School Conjuration School Divination School Enchantment School Evocation School Necromancy School Illusion School Transmutation School
Arcane Recovery Cantrips Spells
Your character’s background will determine two of their skill proficiencies and will affect certain dialogue options and story elements. There are 11 backgrounds to choose from. There is also a special background, Haunted One, that is only available to The Dark Urge Origin Character.
Below is a table with all the backgrounds that are available in the game along with their skill proficiencies.
Deception Sleight of Hand
Animal Handling Survival
Haunted One (The Dark Urge only)
Sleight of Hand Stealth
The last section of the Character options is where you can assign your ability and skill points. Your character will have their Primary Ability marked with a star. This is just to tell you which stat will be the most useful to your class. You’ll have a +2 bonus and a +1 bonus that you can assign using the boxes on the right side of the pane. You can also use the plus and minus buttons to change your ability score values. Customize these however you like, or just leave them alone – the defaults should be pretty good for most builds.
Below your Ability Points, you’ll see a list of your current Skill Proficiencies. Clicking the Change button will bring up a complete list of Skills, where you can choose to change your proficiencies by checking the boxes beside them. Proficiencies inherited from your race or background will be marked with an icon, and you won’t be able to change them here or add a second proficiency to them. The number next to each skill is based on a combination of your ability scores and your proficiency. For example, character with a high Strength score will likely have a high Athletics bonus, even without any proficiency.
Here is a table of all of the ability scores and the skills they affect.
Acrobatics Sleight of Hand Stealth
Arcana History Investigation Nature Religion
Animal Handling Insight Medicine Perception Survival
Deception Intimidation Performance Persuasion
Unlike the Character options section, almost everything in the Appearance options is entirely cosmetic and does not affect the game mechanics in any way. The only exception is the Identity option, which will affect certain dialogue options and how other characters refer to you.
Remember to select your race and subrace before you start customizing your character, as these will affect the options that are available. Also note that there is no Undo function, so be careful around that Randomize Appearance button!
You will be able to choose your Body Type and Identity separately. Elves, tieflings, drow, humans, and half-elves all have four body types while everyone else has two. These body types primarily determine how masculine or feminine your character appears. The game will always refer to your character by the gender that is chosen under Identity – Male, Female, or Non-Binary/Other. You can also select your Voice independently of your gender, with eight different options available. Click on Hear Voice to hear a line of sample dialogue in the selected voice. Odd numbered voices are more masculine sounding while even numbers are more feminine.
Under Face, you can select your character’s head. There is no fine-tuning of facial features in Baldur’s Gate 3. You have four to 10 options for a head, depending on your race. Dragonborn characters also have three unique options in this pane: Crest, Chins, and Jaws. This compensates somewhat for the fact that they do not have access to other features like hair or tattoos.
Below the Face options, you can choose your skin tone from a color picker. Check All Skin Colours to see ones that are not typical of your current race.
Non-Dragonborn characters can choose scars and adjust sliders to for Maturity (which adds wrinkles), Freckle Quantity and Intensity, and Vitiligo Pigmentation (splotches of pale skin).
Finally, at the bottom of this pane… yes, you can also customize your genitals. The default option is based on your chosen Identity. Note that the Hide Clothes button does exactly that and your character will be fully nude. Definitely NSFW!
In this pane, everyone except for Dragonborn characters will be able to choose from 44 different Tattoo Styles (including none). If a tattoo is selected, you’ll also get an option for Tattoo Colour, which includes a Tattoo Intensity slider.
Below the tattoos is a Piercing Style option where you can scroll through 15 different types of piercings, including earrings, nose rings, and eyebrow rings, or none.
You can choose to give your character Heterochromia, meaning they will have two different colors for their eyes.
You can then select your Eye Colour – either for both eyes, or for each eye separately if Heterochromia is checked. Check All Eye Colours to see ones that are not typical of your current race.
All races can choose from 17 Eye Makeup Styles (including none). If a makeup style is selected, you’ll also get an option for Eye Makeup Colour. Eye Makeup Colour and the Lip Tint option below each include sliders for Intensity, Metallic Tint Level, and Glossy Tint Level as well as a color picker.
This pane is not available to Dragonborn characters. It includes numerous options for Hairstyle. Below these are three different color options: Hair Colour, Highlights, and Greying. Highlights and Greying both have Intensity sliders in addition to the color picker.
This pane is not available to Elves, Drow, or Dragonborn characters. There is only one option here, Hairstyle, which allows you to select from a variety of beards, mustaches, and goatees (regardless of your gender or body type).
This pane is only available to Tieflings. You can choose from a variety of Horn Styles. Below that are options for Horn Colour and Horn Tip Colour, which are simply color pickers.
This pane is only available to Dragonborns. You can choose from three different Tail Styles, or no tail at all.
After you have finished creating and naming your character, you’ll be prompted to create a second character: a guardian. This character will not have any Character options beyond race and subrace, but they will have all the same Appearance options as your avatar. The one exception is that the Dragonborn race is not available for guardian characters.
Your choices here are purely cosmetic. Without spoiling anything, this is a character who will appear later in the story and has a close personal relationship with your avatar. It may even be possible to romance this character. But you won’t be picking their spells and abilities like you do with your party members.
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I love RPGs, sandboxes, survival, and sim games. Anything that lets me build and decorate or just has a really good story. I've spent hundreds of hours in Bethesda games and even more time modding them. I also play a lot of World of Warcraft.