Baldur's Gate 3 Fighter Class Guide - Equipment, subclasses, and leveling tips

Much is made of Wizards and Barbarians and Bards in Dungeons & Dragons - and by extension Baldur's Gate 3 - but the game's true "foundational" class might be the humble-but-mighty Fighter. Fighters are the lodestone combat specialists around which the party's position revolves, and their mechanics underpin pretty much everything to do with Baldur's Gate's approach to fighting and action. Fighters are both a great way to get acquainted with the game's mechanics and a deceptively simple class to pick up and enjoy. If you'd like more, check out our full slate of available Baldur's Gate 3 guides.

Before You Begin

Note that none of these points are set in stone. Build your character the way you choose, and see these notes more as suggestions than rules. For more tips, check out our Baldur's Gate 3 Character Creation guide.

This guide will also assume that you are building a custom character. Origin Characters have unique interactions and roleplaying options available thanks to their preset nature. If you'd like to play a Fighter Origin Character, consider choosing Lae'zel as your protagonist. You may also customize The Dark Urge as a Fighter.

Additionally, this guide presumes you are building a single-class character. Multiclassing into different classes as you level up is an option to gain new and useful abilities, but there’s also value in specialization. We’ll have a few multiclass suggestions for you at the end of the guide.

The Fighter Playstyle

Baldur’s Gate 3 describes the Fighter as a master of the art of combat. If Barbarians tap into the primal ferocity of their rage and Paladins call on the power of their sacred oath, the Fighter derives their potency from the simple combination of training and natural ability. They are undisputed at the forefront of melee combat ability, attacking multiple times per turn and able to wear any gear or wield any weapon they come across on the field of battle. Different Fighter subclasses, like the Eldritch Knight and Battle Master, expand the Fighter's toolkit with tactical acumen and arcane ability, while the Champion subclass further refines and strengthens the Fighter's natural specialties. Fighters also gain an extra Feat compared to other classes, giving them a potentially higher maximum Ability Score bonus compared to other classes.

In general, a Fighter's playstyle is as simple as can be: Close in and attack. Some Fighters may choose to focus on ranged attacks and use the Archery Fighting Style, but the overall strategy of getting into an advantageous position and whaling away with a weapon holds true all the same. Fighter strategies gain complexity with subclass choices, but even the Champion subclass can keep things straightforward.

Fighter Class Features

  • Key Abilities: Strength and Constitution
    • Fighters use Strength as their main combat attribute, and Constitution gives them a big pool of HP to draw on in a fight. Though Strength is their primary attribute, there's also value in bolstering Dexterity to improve a Fighter's performance with ranged weapons like bows and slings, as well as melee weapons with the Finesse trait, such as Rapiers.
  • Gear Proficiency: Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor, Shields, Simple and Martial Weapons
  • Skill Proficiency: At creation, Fighters can gain Proficiency in two Skills from the following list. Most Fighters will have a high Strength modifier and will gain outsize benefits from taking Athletics Proficiency. Intimidation is their only social-oriented skill, although proficiency in Athletics or Acrobatics will unlock a few options here and there, too.
    • Acrobatics
    • Animal Handling
    • Athletics
    • History
    • Insight
    • Intimidation
    • Perception
    • Survival
  • Fighting Style: Fighting Styles are one of the Fighter's signature features. Though other classes get access to Fighting styles, only the Fighter can pick from the full list of options, or acquire more than one. Each Fighting Style corresponds to a weapon or equipment choice and unlocks passive benefits to enhance it.
    • Archery - Gain a +2 attack roll bonus with ranged weapons.
    • Defense - +1 bonus to AC when wearing armor
    • Dueling - When using a one-handed melee weapon with an empty off-hand, gain +2 damage bonus to attacks with that weapon.
    • Great Weapon Fighting - When rolling 1 or 2 on a damage roll while using a two-handed melee weapon or a weapon with the Versatile trait, reroll the damage and use the new result.
    • Protection - When you're wielding a shield and a creature attacks a friendly target within 5 feet of you, you can defend your ally by imposing disadvantage on their attacker's attack roll.
    • Two-Weapon Fighting - When wielding a one-handed weapon in each hand, you can add your ability modifier to the damage rolls for the off-hand weapon.
  • Extra Attacks: Can make more than one attack during their attack phase. Though other classes gain extra attacks, only Fighters get this benefit more than once in Baldur's Gate 3.
  • Action Surge: One of the most potent abilities a Fighter has, Action Surge allows a Fighter to gain an additional action during their turn. This is extremely valuable, as the action can be used to attack or do anything else.
  • Second Wind: Outside of Eldritch Knights, Fighters don't have much in the way of self-supportive healing and buffing techniques available to them. Thus, the Second Wind allows a Fighter to recover a bit of health in combat, allowing for more sustained play and taking some of the pressure off your dedicated support characters. 
  • Indomitable: Reroll a failed saving throw, using the new result.

Fighter Gear Recommendations

  • Being reliant on straight combat in most situations, Fighters can get more out of gear than most other classes. Outfit your Fighter with the best-quality gear you can find or afford. Magical weapons and armor, as well as accessories with skill or ability-based benefits, can be particularly impactful.
  • Not every Fighter is a melee weapon main, but even the most stalwart archery-loving Fighter should pack a good weapon for close combat. If you've got high Dexterity, consider using Finesse weapons and lighter armor to take advantage of your Dexterity modifier bonus.
  • If you can carry the weight, keep an extra melee weapon of a different damage type in your pack. Some enemies have resistance to certain damage types. For example, skeleton enemies tend to take more damage from Bludgeoning weapons, so a club or mace may be more useful than a sword in such cases.
  • Additional gear sets can also help a Fighter adapt to changing situations. Tramp around in full plate with a greatsword if you prefer, but don't be shy if the scenario calls for light armor and a pair of daggers. 

Fighter Subclasses

At Level 3, Fighters can choose a subclass that expands their options in combat. As of launch, the available Fighter subclasses are Battle Master, Eldritch Knight, and Champion. Each represents a differing approach to strengthening the Fighter's foundational mastery of combat.

Battle Master

Think of the Battle Master as the "tactical" fighter. Picture the Battle Master at the head of a lance of knights or as a modern-day squad leader. The Battle Master gains a new set of powers called "Maneuvers", that draw on "Superiority Dice", a new resource. Maneuvers range in variety from specialized attacks with disabling effects to tactical repositionings that move enemies into disadvantageous positions.

Battle Masters are also adept at the "tank" role, using abilities to effectively taunt enemies into attacking them instead of their allies.

Battle Master Subclass Features
  • Superiority Dice: A resource expended to power Maneuvers and can be restored after resting. Battle Masters gain more dice as they level up, and the dice themselves upgrade from d8s to d10s.
  • Maneuvers: The Battle Master's signature feature, Battle Masters choose a number of Maneuvers to learn as they gain levels, with a maximum of 7 known by Level 11. Most Maneuvers have melee and ranged versions, allowing even Archery-focused Battle Masters to take advantage.
    • Commander's Strike: Direct an ally to make a weapon attack on an enemy.
    • Disarming Attack: Deal extra damage and force the target to drop their weapon.
    • Distracting Strike: Debuff a target, giving allies advantage on their next attack against it.
    • Evasive Footwork: Impose Disadvantage on melee attacks against you for 1 round.
    • Feinting Attack: Gain advantage on an attack and deal additional damage.
    • Goading Attack: Deal additional damage and force a target to target you, or else suffer Disadvantage on attempts to target others.
    • Maneuvering Attack: Attack a target and give an ally opportunity to move a short distance without provoking opportunity attacks.
    • Menacing Attack: Deal extra damage and frighten a target.
    • Precision Attack: Roll a Superiority Die, adding the result to your attack roll.
    • Pushing Attack: Deal extra damage and push a target back some distance.
    • Rally: Grant an ally temporary HP.
    • Riposte: Counter attack with extra damage when an enemy misses a melee attack against you.
    • Sweeping Attack: Attack multiple enemies at once in melee.
    • Trip Attack: Do extra damage and knock a large-size target or smaller prone.


In many ways, the Champion is the Fighter's Fighter. The Champion's subclass features are focused on enhancing the Fighter's martial prowess with physical power, improving their damage, increasing their proficiency bonuses with physical checks, and accessing more Fighting Styles. If you want to keep things simple and straightforward, become a Champion.

Champion Subclass Features
  • Improved Critical: Weapon attack critical hits now roll on a 19 or a 20 (rather than just a 20).
  • Remarkable Athlete: On any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check that you're not proficient in, add half your proficiency bonus.
  • Remarkable Jump: Increase jump distance by 3m.

Eldritch Knight

The Eldritch Knight fulfills the longstanding Dungeons & Dragons dream of a "Gish" - a Fighter that can wield the power of magic as well. Where previous editions required wild multiclassing to accomplish this feat, the Eldritch Knight is now an option for Fighters that want to add a bit of arcane spark to their weaponplay. 

That said, don't expect an Eldritch Knight to compete with a Wizard for magical damage-dealing. Eldritch Knights have a weaker, more limited spell selection. The actual power of their spells also suffers because most Fighters can't match a Wizard in Intelligence. Instead, Eldritch Knights are better off using their magic as a potent source of buffing, augmenting their physical strikes and occasionally hindering their foes in the midst of the melee.

Eldritch Knight Subclass Features
  • Arcane Spellcasting: Eldritch Knights can learn and cast spells like a Wizard, using Intelligence as their spellcasting Ability. Unlike a Wizard, though, their spell selection is limited 
  • Weapon Bond: Magically bind your weapon to your hand, making you immune to disarmament and causing the weapon to return to you automatically when thrown.
  • War Magic: Make a weapon attack after casting a cantrip as a bonus action.
  • Eldritch Strike: Hit a creature with your weapon. The struck creature will suffer Disadvantage on its saving throw if you cast a spell on it during your next turn.

Fighter Level Progression

These are the class features you’ll get as you level up as a Fighter. The maximum level cap in Baldur’s Gate 3 at launch is Level 12. Use this to see what you’ll get at each level and plan accordingly, in case you wish to multiclass.

This guide will also highlight class features you gain based on your subclass choice. For more detailed info about the subclasses, see the sections above. Features gained by a Subclass are labeled with the Subclass name. 

Note: Unlabeled benefits are “standard” class features and common to all subclasses.

Level 1

  • HP: 10 HP + Constitution Modifier, gaining minimum of 6 HP + Con modifier per level.
  • Fighting Style: See class features above, pick 1
  • Gear Proficiency: See class features above.
  • Skill Proficiency: See class features above, pick 2 skills.
  • Second Wind

Level 2

  • Action Surge: Gain an additional action this turn.

Level 3

  • Subclass Choice: Choose a Battle Master, Eldritch Knight, or Champion subclass.
  • Battle Master: Maneuvers: Gain 4 Superiority Dice, choose 3 Maneuvers
  • Eldritch Knight: Arcane Spellcasting: Learn 2 cantrips, unlock 2 level 1 spell slots
  • Eldritch Knight: Weapon Bond
  • Champion: Improved Critical

Level 4

  • Feat Selection: Can pick a Feat from All Classes Feat list. While any class at level 4 can pick any of the Feats, not all will be relevant to the class. You can also choose an ability improvement to boost a bonus or eliminate a penalty.
    • For Fighters, we recommend one of the following Feats:
      • Ability Improvement - 2 points to distribute to any Ability score (to max of 20).
      • Athlete - +1 to Str and Dex. Less movement cost to get up from Prone.
      • Dual Wielder - +1 to AC when wielding melee weapons in each hand. Can use Two-Weapon Fighting style even when weapons are not light.
      • Great Weapon Master - Bonus attacks on melee crit or kill. Heavy weapons suffer -5 Attack Roll penalty, but gain +10 damage.
      • Martial Adept - Learn 2 Maneuvers from the Fighter Battle Master list.
      • Mobile - Increases Move speed, Dash distance becomes unaffected by terrain. When moving after a melee attack, you do not provoke an Opportunity Attack.
      • Skilled - Gain Proficiency in 3 Skills of your choice.
      • Tough - +2 HP per level
      • Weapon Master - +1 to Str or Dex, gain Proficiency with 4 weapons of your choice.
    • Eldritch Knight: +1 Level 1 Spell slot (3 total)

Level 5

  • Extra Attack: Can make an additional free attack when making an unarmed or weapon attack.

Level 6

  • Additional Feat Selection: Only Fighters get a Feat at this level, but it's otherwise the same as the standard Feat selection.

Level 7

  • Battle Master: +1 Superiority Dice, Choose 2 more Maneuvers (5 total)
  • Eldritch Knight: War Magic
  • Eldritch Knight: +1 Level 1 Spell Sot (4 total), 2 Level 2 spell slots
  • Champion: Remarkable Athlete, Remarkable Jump

Level 8

  • Feat Selection: Can pick a Feat from All Classes Feat list

Level 9

  • Indomitable: Reroll a failed saving throw, using the new result.

Level 10

  • Battle Master: Improved Combat Superiority: Superiority dice are now d10s.
  • Eldritch Knight: Eldritch Strike
  • Eldritch Knight: +1 Cantrip (3 total), + Level 2 spell slot (3 total)
  • Champion: Pick another Fighting Style

Level 11

  • Improved Extra Attack: Can make two additional free attacks when making an unarmed or weapon attack.
  • Battle Master: +2 Maneuvers (7 total)

Level 12

  • Feat Selection: Can pick a Feat from All Classes Feat list

Multiclass Fighters

Fighters are so foundational that it's more common for another class to take up a level or two of Fighter rather than the other way around. After all, in a D&D-based game, there's always a benefit to becoming a bit better at fighting. That said, Fighters themselves do have some options when it comes to spicing up their own builds with a bit of multiclassing.

A Fighter that plans to stick with medium armor can only gain benefits from a level of Barbarian, which grants them access to a powerful rage mode. A Champion Fighter blending their levels with Barbarian can be quite powerful, combining the Fighter's Feat benefits and fighting style with the options inherent to some Barbarian subclasses like the Berserker or Wildheart.

A level in Ranger can grant a Fighter useful context-based bonuses, improving their performance against specific enemies and in certain terrain. 

With enough Wisdom, a Fighter can also gain some benefits from access to a Cleric's Divine Domain. Certain domains, such as War, synergize well with the typical Fighter's melee focus.

At least 2 levels of Paladin will grant the Fighter access to the powerful Lay on Hands, Divine Sense, and Divine Smite abilities, as well as some rudimentary Divine spellcasting features. That said, Paladins use Wisdom and Charisma as major stats, which may limit the effectiveness of such features in Barbarian hands.

If you plan to make your Fighter a party "face" and have them do the talking (or are planning a solo run), a level or two in Bard will greatly expand the Fighter's potential skill set. Face Fighters sometimes have decent Charisma, too, allowing a Fighter/Bard to increase the potency of their spells.

Face Fighters might also find some power in the patronage of a Warlock's pact. Warlocks gain access to the Eldritch Blast, expanding a Fighter's potential ranged damage options.

Fighters can synergize quite effectively with Rogues, because many Fighters also have a good Dexterity score, which is the Rogue's main ability. So long as you stay out of heavy armor and medium armor that penalizes Stealth checks, a Fighter/Rogue can make good use of the Rogue's Sneak Attack feature.