Best Bard build in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Bards are an extremely fun class to play in Baldur’s Gate 3. I’m playing a Bard in my four-person friend group party and I’m loving it. Here is how to make the best Bard build in Baldur’s Gate 3.

How to make the best Bard build in BG3

The best Bards in BG3 focus on buffing their allies with heals and support spells and debuffing the enemy with control and damage spells. To create the best Bard build in Baldur’s Gate 3, you need the best race, background, subclass, spells, cantrips, companions, armor, and weapons. I know, it’s a lot, but as a resident Bard expert, I’ll guide you through every decision.

Related: Best Bard spells and cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Screenshot: PC Invasion

Best Bard race and background in BG3

Humans, Githyanki, and Halflings make the best Bards in Baldur’s Gate 3. You want to avoid Half-Orc and Dragonborn because their race perks focus more on armor and weapons instead of checks and spells.

I chose to play as a Halfing Bard because you get to reroll critical failures on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws with the Lucky race perk and you have advantage against Frightened saving throws, which is good so you don’t get paralyzed in battle. Lightfoot Halfling is even better because you get advantage on stealth checks.

Entertainer is the best Bard background because in and out of conversations, your Bardic ways lead you to gain Inspiration just by choosing to do Bard things. For instance, I curiously banged on a goblin war drum and got Inspiration for it because of my Entertainer background, but I was just doing Bard things. Plus, you get proficiencies in Acrobatics and Performance, which doesn’t hurt.

Best Bard subclass and stats in BG3

The best Bard subclass is College of Lore. While College of Swords is fun if you want to play more aggressively and College of Valor is good if you want to do some support and some up-close damage, College of Lore helps you hone in on supporting your team by giving you Cutting Words, which uses Bardic Inspiration to help attackers miss and Magical Secrets which unlocks some really cool spells.

Numerous times, Cutting Words has been the sole reason why my party members don’t die from huge attacks. Plus, while my base Bard spells focus on buffs and debuffs, Magical Secrets unlocks huge damage spells from other classes like Fireball. With College of Lore, you really get to hone in on becoming a jack-of-all-trades since you’ll have a support or debuff spell for every occasion.

For stats, you’ll want to dump all your points into Charisma primarily, then Wisdom, then Constitution, then Dexterity. Charisma is your main spell modifier so the higher the better; plus, it helps you be able to talk your way out of or into anything. Wisdom and Dexterity should be high since the spells you use primarily have Wisdom and Dexterity saving throws, but Constitution shouldn’t be ignored especially because you’re naturally very weak as a Bard. Strength and Intelligence can fall by the wayside.

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Screenshot: PC Invasion

Best Bard spells and cantrips in BG3

The best Bard spells you can use are Healing Word, which heals for less than Cure Wounds but you can cast it from a distance, Dissonant Whispers to deal Psychic damage and Frighten a creature (which is really helpful and overpowered since it immobilizes enemies for a few turns), and Faerie Fire to give your allies advantage against everyone within the circle.

The best level two Bard spells are Cloud of Daggers to deal great AoE crowd control damage and Heat Metal to deal continual fire damage and give the attacker disadvantage. The best level three Bard spells are Fear to immobilize your enemies and Glyph of Warding to add diversity since you can do a lot with that. Feel free to experiment with other combinations of spells because Bards do have a great assortment of spells to choose from.

As far as Bard cantrips go, you only ever get access to eight. The best ones are True Strike which you’ll use often to help your allies hit with advantage and Vicious Mockery to deal some Psychic damage and give your attackers disadvantage. Avoid Dancing Lights and Light altogether and get Friends to ensure you never miss a Charisma check since it gives you advantage. Blade Ward can actually be very useful if you find yourself getting targeted a lot, Mage Hand is pretty handy but can be skipped, and Minor Illusion can be fun but it isn’t that great.

Best companions for Bard in BG3

To be the best Bard, you need to have the best companions. If you are playing with three friends, three Origin characters, or three hirelings, the best companions you can have while playing a Bard are a tank to stay in the front and take and deal damage, a stealthy class to deal high single-target damage, and a mage to deal high AoE damage. If you’re using Origin characters, I recommend Lae’zel, Astarion, and Gale.

I recommend using a Paladin or Druid for your tank, a Sorcerer or Wizard for your mage, and a Rogue or Ranger for your stealthy class. In my four-person game, I’m playing a Bard and my other three friends are playing Paladin, Druid, and Rogue. Paladin and Druid work together to form a two-line tank offense while the Rogue does insanely high damage from the shadows. This allows me to continue to buff them, debuff the enemy, and occasionally do some devious damage.

Best Bard multiclass in BG3

While you can stick with the vanilla Bard all the way to the end and have great results, I found the best way to make the best Bard class is to multiclass into Cleric. The only reason I recommend this is Clerics have Heavy Armor Proficiency since level one, so you’ll be able to wear Heavy Armor and have as high an AC as your companions, which helps a lot for survivability. As a bonus, level one Clerics give you access to some very powerful level one spells that Bards can’t touch like Sanctuary.

I only recommend you go one level into Cleric and all the rest into Bard. I experimented with the Sorcerer Bard multiclass for a long time and had a lot of fun with Metamagic, Sorcery Points, and Wild Magic. If you want to create a support class that focuses more on damage, the Bard and Sorcerer multiclass isn’t a bad way to go.

Best Bard armor in BG3

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Screenshot: PC Invasion

There’s a surprising amount of really great armor that works specifically for Bards in Baldur’s Gate 3, and all of them are found in the first act. I’m still wearing a handful of pieces on this list even into Act 3 because they are that good. Here’s the armor I’ve found that works extremely well as a Bard:

  • Blazer of Benevolence – When you use Bardic Inspiration, you gain four temporary hit points.
    • A reward for rescuing Volo in the Shattered Sanctum.
  • Boots of Aid and Comfort – When you heal a target, you gain three temporary hit points.
    • Bought from Grat the Trader in the Goblin Camp.
  • Ring of Salving – You restore an additional two hit points when you heal someone.
    • Bought from Omeluum after completing his quest.
  • Cap of Curing – When you use Bardic Inspiration, they regain one to six hit points.
    • Found behind the Tiefling Bard east of the Emerald Grove.
  • Wapira’s Crown – When healing, the wearer regains one to six hit points.
    • Save the Tiefling refugees and accept Zevlor’s gratitude.
  • Wondrous Gloves – Your AC increases by one. You also get one more Bardic Inspiration.
    • Dropped by a Mimic in the Grymforge which is found west after climbing down a rock face.

Best Bard weapons in BG3

Best Bard Weapons In Baldur's Gate 3
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Luckily for Bards, weapons don’t really matter. All you need is a fairly decent bow, but the majority of the time, you’ll be using spells and cantrips to buff and debuff. Because of that, there aren’t any necessary weapons you need as a Bard. I recommend heading to a shop and buying the best bow they have.

Since I literally never use my melee weapon or bow as a Bard, I highly recommend getting a weapon that unlocks some specific spells or buffs. For example, I’m using Incandescent Staff not because it deals great damage but because it gives me Resistance to Fire, plus one to ranged spell attacks, and gives me the Fire Bolt cantrip and Fireball spell. Unless I somehow find something better, I’ll keep this staff to the end because of the perks it gives me.

If you follow everything in this guide, you’ll create an excellent Bard that excels in conversations, can survive on the battlefield, and buffs and debuffs with ease. Now all that’s left to do is learn the 20 best spells in the game.