Baldur's Gate 3 Feats - How they work, which to pick, and how to get more
In Baldur's Gate 3, most characters of a given class will progress through their class features more or less identically. Every Fighter gets their Action Surge at Level 2, every Cleric picks their Domain at creation, and every Bard gets a third Level 2 spell slot at Level 4. Even with some of the departures Larian Studios took from the tabletop rules to encourage unusual class builds - such as eliminating Ability Score requirements to multiclass - progression is fairly homogenous between characters of the same class.
That is until Feats come into play. At least as far as mechanics go, Feats are as important as skill proficiencies and background, roleplaying-motivated choices in making your character your own, be it in the service of a unique, narrative-led build or reaching for an entirely "meta" optimized setup. Read on for our guide to every Feat in Baldur's Gate 3, along with information about how they work, and which to pick for your class.
How Do Feats Work in Baldur's Gate 3?
Feats are similar to what other games might call "Perks," bonuses that you can select at your discretion. Feats represent a talent or other benefit that's almost mystical in nature, in that they don't always stem "naturally" from the choices you've made in your character or class progression. In this way, Feats mark a player character as an exotic outlier, someone who can occasionally break the rules that govern the game world. While Adventurers are already extraordinary by their nature, Feat selections allow you to make your Adventurer stand out from others.
With a level cap of 12, Baldur's Gate 3 will allow each player a total of three opportunities to select a Feat (four for a Fighter). These opportunities come at levels 4, 8, and 12. Fighters get an extra Feat at level 6. Most Feats available at launch can be selected freely, though some have prerequisites, like a certain gear or skill proficiency, certain class features (usually spellcasting), or an Ability Score minimum.
Aside from Feats, players can instead choose "Ability Improvement," when the time comes to select a Feat. This increases any Ability Score by +2 or two Abilities by +1, to a maximum of 20 points. Some Feats also improve Ability Scores, usually by adding +1 to a single score and pairing it with another benefit (such as granting a gear proficiency).
A Note on Multiclass Characters
Take note: Feats arrive at specific class levels, not character levels. That means that a single-class Wizard, for example, will gain 3 Feats: At Level 4, Level 8, and Level 12. If that Wizard were to take on a level of Bard, they'd lose access to the final Feat, since the Baldur's Gate 3 level cap is 12. So, when planning out your Multiclass build, consider leveling around these break points to ensure you get all the Feats you can.
For example, if you want to make a dual-class Bard/Warlock, consider going for a 4/8 split of levels, to ensure you get all three feats. Of course, you'll have to take into account your level progression, and what class features you may miss out on by limiting your maximum level in some classes. This balancing is part and parcel of planning out a multiclass build.
Thankfully, Baldur's Gate 3 makes it fairly easy to reset your levels and rebuild a character as you need, so there's room to walk back such decisions. Experiment and find the ideal build for your preferences.
Which Baldur's Gate 3 Feats Should I Select?
Your Feat selection really depends on your class and goals. Some feats might enhance your class' existing specialization, and others can cover for that class' weaknesses. Others might grant you powers your class or build won't permit (the Magic Initiate line is a good example), and still others can just make life a little more fun.
Read on for our list of every Feat in the game as of launch. We'll describe each Feat in alphabetical order, as well as include tips for classes that might want to have it. If a Feat has a specific prerequisite, we'll mention it in the description.
- Ability Improvement: Increase one Ability by +2 or two Abilities by +1 up to a max of 20.
- When in doubt, pick an Ability Improvement. This is a great way to eliminate a stat penalty or improve a proficiency bonus.
- Ability Improvements are highly recommended for characters that can benefit from having high bonuses in multiple Abilities, such as Paladins or melee-oriented caster subclasses (like a College of Swords Bard).
- For this Feat and any others that improve an Ability Score, try to use them to improve scores to even numbers (like 14 or 18). Your proficiency bonus doesn't increase on odd numbers.
- Actor: +1 to Charisma, double proficiency bonus on Deception and Performance Checks
- A great bonus for Bards or other classes that dip into a Bard level, this improves checks in two social skills, making them more likely to succeed.
- Alert: +5 bonus to Initiative, and immune to being Surprised.
- Just say no to being ambushed! A significant bonus to Initiative rolls ensures a character will go first in the turn order.
- This can be critical for the Rogues, who can benefit greatly from getting the drop on a foe.
- Athlete: +1 to Strength or Dexterity, standing up from Prone status requires less movement, and Jump distance increases by 50%.
- This one can be pretty incredible for Fighters, Barbarians, and other Strength-based classes. You'll be able to quite literally leap straight up fairly tall objects and even scale short cliffs and walls.
- Charger: Grants the ability to charge towards a target and make either a weapon attack or shove them.
- A good Feat for melee characters like Fighters and Barbarians, allowing them to close distance quickly.
- Crossbow Expert: Close-range crossbow shots no longer have Disadvantage on Attack Rolls. The Piercing Shot action's Gaping Wounds debuff also lasts twice as long.
- A good Feat for characters that use a crossbow for their ranged attacks, but a bit specific (you've got to really like crossbows to use a Feat you only get once every 4 levels on them).
- Defensive Duelist: When wielding a Finess weapon you have proficiency with, you can use your reaction to boost your Armor Class with your proficiency bonus when attacked.
- Dexterity-based Fighters, Bards, and other classes that use Finesse weapons (like Rapiers or Daggers) can benefit from this perk, although it tends to require you be in melee to apply.
- Dual Wielder: Use Two-Weapon Fighting even with weapons that aren't Light (but also not Heavy), and gain +1 to Armor class when dual-wielding.
- Highly recommended for dual-wielding characters (like Rangers, Fighters, and College of Swords Bards), as this greatly expands the range of weapons that can be dual-wielded. It also adds some Armor Class to offset the loss of a potential shield or duelist bonus.
- Dungeon Delver: Advantage on Perception checks for detecting hidden objects and saving throws versus traps. Resists damage from traps.
- This can be nice to have if you're journeying without a resident Rogue and using another class Fighter to scout a dungeon or hostile space. Otherwise, a good Rogue, Ranger, or a proficient Bard, will likely have enough Perception to avoid missing most checks.
- Durable: +1 to Constitution, regain full HP on a Short Rest
- Most newer Baldur's Gate 3 players won't rest as often as they should. This feat maximizes the effects of the rests they do take.
- Warlocks and Bards tend to regain many spent powers on short rest, so this helps them benefit even further from a quick breather.
- Elemental Adept: Choose a damage type from Acid, Cold, Fire, Thunder, or Lightning. Your spells of that damage type cannot critically fail (i.e. roll a 1) and ignore damage resistance to that element.
- An excellent choice for almost any spellcaster, but particularly useful for casters that focus on particular elements, like Storm Sorcerers and Tempest or Light Domain Clerics, as this will increase their favored damage spells' effectiveness.
- This Feat can be chosen multiple times, choosing a different damage type each time.
- Great Weapon Master: When you land a Critical Hit or kill a target with a melee weapon attack, make another melee weapon attack as a bonus action. When wielding a Heavy weapon you have proficiency with, you can choose to take a -5 penalty on your attack roll for +10 damage.
- Note that the "bonus attack" feature of this feat applies to all melee weapons, not just heavy ones.
- The Heavy Weapon bonus is called the "All In" passive, and you can toggle it on and off.
- This Feat synergizes very well with Barbarian characters, who often wield two-handed weapons, do extra damage during Rage (making it more likely to score a kill), and also need to attack targets constantly to maintain their Rage.
- You can work around the attack penalty with support spells like Bless or by using situations to generate Advantage on your attack rolls.
- Heavily Armored: +1 to Strength, gain Heavy Armor proficiency.
- This perk requires Medium Armor Proficiency, either from a class choice or previous Feat selection.
- This Feat is useful for characters who have Medium Armordon't already have Heavy Armor proficiency, like Rangers who major in Strength but don't pick the "Ranger Knight" Favored Enemy, Clerics who don't choose a Domain that grants Heavy Armor Proficiency, and Druids that want to use plate mail.
- Baldur's Gate 3 does not have Ability Score requirements for equipping armor, so gaining Heavy Armor Proficiency is a good way for spellcasters and "squishy" classes with low Dexterity to improve their Armor Class.
- Barbarians should avoid this perk, as Rages are severely limited when wearing Heavy Armor, with or without proficiency.
- Heavy Armor Master: +1 to Strength, -3 to damage from non-magical attacks while wearing Heavy Armor.
- This perk requires Heavy ARmor Proficiency, either from a class choice or a previous Feat selection.
- An excellent perk for a Fighter or Paladin in Heavy Armor, seeing as many minor enemies do not have ready access to magically empowered weapons.
- The bonus loses its luster somewhat in later levels when spellcasters and well-equipped foes show up, but it still allows characters to effectively laugh off many mundane attacks.
- Lightly Armored: Gain Light Armor Proficiency, +1 to Strength or Dexterity.
- This benefit is fairly limited, only really applying to characters with no armor proficiency, like Monks, Wizards, and Sorcerers.
- Monks can use it to wear armor, but they lose the benefit of their Unarmored Defense class feature, so it's not really recommended.
- Lucky: Gain 3 "Luck Points", which can be expended to gain Advantage on Attack Rolls, Ability Checks, and Saving Throws. They can also be used to force an enemy to reroll an Attack Roll. Luck Points are recharged after a long rest.
- This Feat grants access to a version of the Halfling racial feature "Lucky".
- Lucky can function as a sort of panic button that allows you to improve your chances three times a day. It can be quite useful...if you remember to use it.
- Mage Slayer: When a creature in melee range casts a spell, you gain Advantage on Saves against the spell, and can attack the caster as a reaction. Enemies you hit have Disadvantage when they make their Concentration Save.
- This is a powerful passive Feat for a combatant who can move quickly into melee range against an enemy spellcaster.
- However, its use is somewhat situational, as it requires you to close in first.
- Consider this Feat for martial characters who have high movement speed, that you plan to use as outriders that target vulnerable foes first, like a Ranger, Rogue, or Barbarian.
- Magic Initiate: Bard: Learn spells from the Bard spell list, using Charisma as your Spellcasting Ability. You can learn 2 cantrips and a Level 1 spell, which recharges on a long rest.
- This one might be useful for a Paladin, Warlock, or Sorcerer that wants a bit of Bardic magic to play with without multiclassing. These classes have high Charisma, so their spellcasting won't suffer for it.
- Magic Initiate: Cleric: Learn spells from the Cleric spell list, using Wisdom as your Spellcasting Ability. You can learn 2 cantrips and a Level 1 spell, which recharges on a long rest.
- This one might be useful for a Druid or Ranger that wants to learn some Cleric spells without multiclassing.
- The Paladin spell list has some overlap with the Cleric's, so they won't gain much benefit from this Feat. They also use Charisma and not Wisdom as their spellcasting ability.
- Magic Initiate: Druid: Learn spells from the Druid spell list, using Wisdom as your Spellcasting Ability. You can learn 2 cantrips and a Level 1 spell, which recharges on a long rest.
- This Feat could help a Cleric that wishes to learn Druid spells (like Shillelagh) without multiclassing.
- A Ranger might also take this Feat to access spells that aren't on their list, but there's a fair amount of overlap.
- Magic Initiate: Sorcerer: Learn spells from the Sorcerer spell list, using Charisma as your Spellcasting Ability. You can learn 2 cantrips and a Level 1 spell, which recharges on a long rest.
- This could be useful for a Bard, Paladin, or Warlock that desires access to the lowest level of the Sorcerer spell list.
- Wizards don't much from this, since they use Intelligence as their spellcasting ability, and their spell lists have a lot of overlap.
- Magic Initiate: Warlock: Learn spells from the Warlock spell list, using Charisma as your Spellcasting Ability. You can learn 2 cantrips and a Level 1 spell, which recharges on a long rest.
- Warlock is a very good choice for the Magic Initiate Feat, as it grants access to Eldritch Blast, the most useful damage-dealing Cantrip in the game without having to multiclass.
- Even characters that don't use Charisma for spellcasting can benefit from a bit of that Warlock spice. For example, Rangers and Bards that don't have much direct damage in their spell list, or even Clerics that want to be ranged magical damage-dealers. Sorcerers can gain a potent combat cantrip in addition to their usual spell list.
- Magic Initiate: Wizard: Learn spells from the Wizard spell list, using Intelligence as your Spellcasting Ability. You can learn 2 cantrips and a Level 1 spell, which recharges on a long rest.
- An excellent feat for an Eldritch Knight, as they get some "free" cantrips and a Level 1 Spell to help expand their magical toolkit. Eldritch Knights already use Intelligence as their spellcasting ability, which means they can use these extra spells at a greater potency.
- Martial Adept: Gain 1 Superiority Die and 2 Maneuvers from the Fighter Battle Master subclass. Used Superiority Dice recharge on a short or long rest.
- This Feat works well for characters that want a taste of what the Fighter's Battle Master subclass has to offer without having to multiclass.
- Just about any class that can expect to do a fair amount of weapon combat can benefit. The Commander's Strike maneuver is a pretty good team-based move, too.
- Champion Fighters, Eldritch Knights, Rangers, Barbarians, Paladins, Clerics, Rogues, even Bards from the College of Swords or Valor, or Warlocks using the Pact of the Blade, may find some value in this small slice of the Battle Master toolkit.
- For more details on what the maneuvers actually do, check out our Baldur's Gate 3 Fighter Class Guide under the Battle Master section.
- Medium Armor Master: Medium armor no longer imposes Disadvantage on Stealth checks, and the Dexterity modifier bonus to Armor Class is raised to +3 (from +2)
- Requires Medium Armor Proficiency.
- This could be a useful feat for armor-wearing martial classes with high Dexterity bonuses and a love of Stealth. Gloom Stalker Rangers, Dexterity-based Fighters, sneaky Bards, Rogues with Medium Armor proficiency, and Clerics or Druids that poured points into Dexterity should consider it.
- Mobile: Increase movement speed, and eliminate speed penalties when Dashing on difficult terrain. Moving after a melee attack no longer provokes an attack of opportunity.
- A very good Feat for just about anyone, but with particular appeal to Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings, since they have less distance on their stride.
- The ability to escape attacks of opportunity can make moving around in melee combat much safer, too.
- Moderately Armored: +1 to Strength or Dexterity, gain Medium Armor Proficiency and Shield proficiency.
- Requires Light Armor Proficiency.
- This is really only applicable to Rogues, Bards, and Warlocks, since they get Light Armor by default but not Medium Armor proficiency.
- Wizards, Sorcerers, and Monks don't get any armor proficiency at all, and will need to get Light Armor proficiency from multiclassing, the Lightly Armored Feat, or a racial feature (like Human, Half-Elf, or Githyanki) in order to pick this Feat.
- Performer: +1 to Charisma, gain musical instrument proficiency.
- Most of a Bard's best features come from actually being a Bard, but if you want to busk as any character, this is the Feat for you.
- Paladins, Sorcerers, and Warlocks can make the most use of the Charisma bonus.
- Rogues or characters that choose the Entertainer background at character creation can also take advantage of the ability to play music.
- Polearm Master: When attacking with a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear, you can use a bonus action to attack with the shaft. You can also make attacks of opportunity against targets that enter your polearm's range.
- This feat makes long weapons like spears and glaives more useful to martial characters, as well as Humans and Half-Elves (who gain polearm proficiency as a racial feature).
- Since many spellcasting classes have quarterstaff proficiency, this can improve their melee performance, though it's not advisable to use a precious Feat on just that if you're a caster.
- Resilient: +1 to an Ability, gain proficiency in that ability's saving throws.
- While somewhat of a situational Feat, it is widely applicable, given that you'll need ability saves of all kinds to survive Baldur's Gate 3.
- It's best to pick this feat if you have a high Ability Score in an odd number (like 13 or 15) that your class doesn't have proficiency in (such as Dexterity for a Fighter or Constitution for a Paladin). Picking Resilient will instantly raise that ability's bonus and allow you to take advantage of the bonus to improve their saving throws.
- Ritual Caster: Learn two ritual spells of your choice.
- This Feat requires an Intelligence or Wisdom score of 13 or higher.
- This is a surprisingly useful Feat for anyone with the requisite ability scores (though these are most likely to be Wizards, Druids, and Clerics).
- Ritual Spells are spells that, when prepared, can be cast outside of combat for free. Check your spellbook and mouse over a spell. If it's tagged as "Ritual", it's a ritual spell.
- At the cost of a spell slot, a Ritual Spell such as Longstrider, Speak With Animals. or Speak With the Dead, can be cast on the whole party and last for the rest of the day. It's a surprisingly useful feature for general adventuring and questing (though it comes at the price of having one less combat spell slot available).
- Savage Attacker: When making weapon attacks, roll for damage twice, then use the higher result.
- A simple but powerful feat for any weapon-based combat class, and might be useful for characters that are attempting to "min-max" their damage output, like Barbarians with Great Weapon Master or archery specialists with Sharpshooter.
- Sentinel: Use your reaction to attack an enemy in melee range that dares to attack an ally (as long as the ally doesn't have the Sentinel Feat themselves). Gain Advantage on Opportunity Attacks. Hitting creatures with Opportunity Attacks prevents them from moving for the rest of their turn.
- None shall pass! This is a useful feat for would-be "tank" melee classes that want to defend their nearby allies and thrive in the center of the crowd.
- Consider this Feat if you're a Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, or Monk.
- Sharpshooter: Your ranged attacks are no longer penalized by rules governing High Ground. You can make a ranged weapon attack with a weapon you're proficient at a -5 penalty to the attack roll, but deal +10 damage.
- This is the ranged equivalent of Great Weapon Mastery, and quite useful for maximizing an archery-focused character's damage output.
- Shield Master: +2 bonus to Dexterity saving throws when wielding a shield. Against spells that force a Dexterity save, you can use your reaction to take only half damage on a failed save, and no damage on a successful one.
- It's a bit of a big ask to spend a Feat just to make your Dexterity saves better while using one type of gear, but if you ever wanted to reenact the scenario of crouching behind your shield and coming through an evil wizard's fireball unscathed, this is the Feat you'll need to do it.
- Spell Sniper: Learn a cantrip, and the number you need to roll a critical hit while attacking with it is reduced by 1.
- This Feat requires spellcasting ability.
- The tabletop version of this Feat is an extreme enhancement for Warlocks, as it can make a cantrip like Eldritch Blast ignore most forms of cover and fire from twice as far away.
- However, the Baldur's Gate 3 version of Spell Sniper merely expands the Cantrip's critical range. This can still be useful for a Warlock or another Cantrip-reliant combat caster (maybe you just love Ray of Frost or Fire Bolt that much), but it's not really worth a Feat selection.
- Tavern Brawler: When you attack with an improvised weapon, thrown object, or use your bare fists (unarmed attack), your Strength Modifier is doubled for when added to attack and damage rolls.
- Though it also applies to improvised weapons and thrown objects (hello to Berserker Barbarians), this Feat was tailor-made for juicing up a Monk's unarmed strikes, so long as they have a higher Strength bonus than a Dexterity bonus.
- Tough: Increase maximum HP by +2 for every level.
- A feat that's as simple as can be, Tough works best if you take it late and have nothing else you might want.
- War Caster: Gain Advantage on Saving Throws to maintain Concentration. You can cast Shocking Grasp on a target attempting to move out of melee range.
- This is a good potential Feat for Eldritch Knights, melee Clerics or Warlocks, and even Sword Bards.
- Maintaining Concentration is the bane of the caster that likes to operate in the thick of the fight (or gets targeted by archers and other spellcasters), so a Feat that improves it can save your spell from fizzling.
- For melee casters like Eldritch Knights, the "Opportunity Spell" feature presents the opportunity to potentially end a fight if a damaged enemy attempts to flee your reach.
- Weapon Master: +1 to Strength or Dexterity, gain proficiency with four weapons of your choice.
- Useful for a class or race with limited weapon selections, like Drow Elves, Druids, or Clerics.
- Martial Weapons often have higher damage ranges, and there are often many good magical weapons of popular types like Longswords, so picking up a few common weapon types can greatly expand the selection available to a character.
- Monks might also use this perk, although some of their class features are dependent on using Monk-specific weapons or unarmed strikes.