Baldur's Gate 3 Sorcerer class guide - Metamagic, multiclassing, and best subclasses

Magic-users come in many flavors in Baldur's Gate 3, but Wizards and Sorcerers are two sides of the same coin. Where Wizards acquired their arcane power through careful study and amassed knowledge, a Sorcerer brings their power out thanks to an unusual natural talent or powerful lineage. What other magically-inclined classes need to learn, the Sorcerer achieves by feel and intuition, making them distinct from the other casting classes in key ways. To find out more about this, read on to see our full Baldur's Gate 3 Sorcerer class guide.

For other classes and aspects of the game, see 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. There are no Sorcerer Origin characters, but the Dark Urge may be customized as a Sorcerer.  

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 Sorcerer Playstyle

Like Wizards, Sorcerers are a pure arcane spellcasting class. That means they'll have little in the way of physical protection or HP, and will be quite vulnerable when targeted by foes or exposed to direct harm. Thus they should stay a safe distance away from the action, ideally behind a wall of more durable party members.

Unlike Wizards, Sorcerers have a smaller pool of spells to access and fewer spell slots to spend on them. However, they don't need to prepare their spells before casting and can draw on their full selection of spells whenever they decide to cast. As a general approach, Sorcerers readying for combat will want to focus on weighting their spell selection towards offensive magic.

They also have access to Metamagic, a unique feature that allows Sorcerers to alter the properties of spells as they cast them. For example, a Sorcerer can adjust a fireball to inflict no friendly fire damage on their allies, allowing it to be cast in tight quarters without risk of blowback. Another Metamagic ability can boost the range of a spell, and even makes melee-range spells like Shocking Grasp take effect over a distance, making these potent combats spells much easier to use freely.

Sorcerer Class Features

  • Key Abilities: Constitution and Charisma
    • Sorcerers rely on their personal determination and strength of will to power their spells, so you'll want a high Charisma to boost your spells.
    • While Constitution doesn't directly improve the damage a Sorcerer can do, a high score helps by increasing the Sorcerer's HP pool, as well as helping them succeed on Concentration checks, which prevent incoming damage from interrupting certain spells.
    • A Sorcerer should also invest points into Dexterity, to gain a bonus to their armor class when not wearing armor (or wearing light armor, if they gain proficiency).
  • Gear Proficiency: Daggers, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
  • Skill Proficiency: At creation, Sorcerers can choose 2 skills for their proficiency. Persuasion, Deception, and Arcana are good picks, as the former two improve your conversation outcomes and the latter takes advantage of your class nature.
    • Arcana
    • Deception
    • Insight
    • Intimidation
    • Persuasion
    • Religion
  • Sorcerer Spellcasting: Sorcerers learn more spells as they gain levels, and are able to learn more based on their Charisma modifier. 
  • Sorcery Points: Sorcerers power their Metamagic abilities with Sorcery points, and gain 1 point per level.  These recharge on a long rest. Metamagic abilities cost different amounts of Sorcery Points, with more potent Metamagics costing more. You can also spend Sorcery Points to cast spells if your spell slots are expended. Additionally, you can even spend prepared spell slots to charge up your Sorcery Points. This is a powerful resource that makes the Sorcerer's spell "economy" feel different from that of the Wizard.
  • Metamagic: Powered by spending Sorcery Points, Metamagic refers to a list of special effects you can use to change the properties of a spell you're casting. These effects range from increasing the effective range of a spell to having it affect more targets. Metamagic even allows a Sorcerer to cast spells when affected by the bane of all magic-users, Silence.
    Here's a list of Metamagic abilities and their effects and costs.
    • Careful Spell - Allies automatically succeed at saving throws against spells that require them. Costs 1 SP.
      • This ability allows you to cast spells that might otherwise deal heavy friendly fire damage or hurt allies in the way, like Fireball. 
    • Distant Spell - Increases the range of a spell by 50%, or to 9m in the case of a melee range spell. Costs 1 SP.
      • Some melee spells can be potent but expose the caster to risk because of their range. This fixes that problem, as well as allowing a Sorcerer to do some sniping from further away.
    • Extended Spell - Doubles the duration of a spell, including surface effects, summons, or buff/debuff conditions. Costs 1 SP.
      • Quite useful to have ahead of a long battle, or when using buffs that normally last only one or two turns.
    • Heightened Spell - Targets of spells have disadvantage on their first saving throw against the spell. Costs 3 SP.
      • A powerful tool for making sure a debuff spell can break through a target's defenses.
    • Quickened Spell - Cast Action spells as Bonus Actions instead. Costs 3 SP.
      • Kind of like the Thief's Fast Hands but for spellcasting, this allows you to potentially perform multiple spell casts per turn, provided you have the SP for it.
    • Subtle Spell - Cast a spell while Silenced. Costs 1 SP.
      • A nice panic button to have as you encounter more casters and enemies with anti-caster countermeasures later in the game.
    • Twinned Spell - If the cast spell can target just 1 creature, target a 2nd creature. Costs 1 SP per level of spell slot (minimum 1 SP).
      • Quite powerful for dealing with crowds, as single-target spells are often harder-hitting. 

Sorcerer Gear Recommendations

  • Sorcerers have the bare minimum in terms of gear proficiency. At the earliest levels, a light crossbow might do more damage than a cantrip, so it's worth keeping in one's pack. That said, if you're forced to resort to your dagger or quarterstaff to deal damage, you're in trouble (or affected by Silence). Keep in mind that some racial choices can grant weapon and armor proficiencies beyond the default.
  • Casting in armor is possible with the right proficiencies, but there are a lot of suits of magical clothing with desirable effects, which may be more worthwhile than a full suit of armor more meant for a martial class.

Sorcerer Subclasses

Rather than amplifying a specific facet of the Sorcerer's playstyle, Sorcerer subclasses instead add additional features that allow the player to build in new and interesting directions. Sorcerer Subclasses are chosen at character creation.

Draconic Bloodline

The Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer counts a powerful dragon among their ancestors. The dragon's famous durability and magical potential has carried over the generations, giving the Sorcerer enhanced resilience and even the ability to fly.

Thanks to the many passive benefits granted by their dragon forebear, Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers are quite tough, for spellcasters. They can resist elemental damage and dole out more elemental damage when it matches that of their dragon's bloodline. 

Note: This is distinct from the Dragonborn race option. 

Subclass Features
  • Draconic Ancestry: Sorcerers can choose a subtype of Dragon for their bloodline, and automatically learn a spell based on their ancestor. As their levels rise, they also gain the ability to add their Charisma modifier to spell damage in the element of their ancestor's type, as well as resist damage in that element. Check out the list below to see which elements and spells you gain affinity to.
    • Black - Acid affinity, Grease spell
    • Blue - Lightning affinity, Witch Bolt spell
    • Brass - Fire affinity, Sleep spell
    • Bronze - Lightning Affinity, Fog Cloud spell
    • Copper - Acid affinity, Tasha's Hideous Laughter spell
    • Gold - Fire affinity, Disguise Self spell
    • Green - Poison affinity, Ray of Sickness spell
    • Red - Fire affinity, Burning Hands spell
    • Silver - Cold affinity, Feather Fall spell
    • White - Cold affinity, Armor of Agathys spell
  • Draconic Resilience - Dragons are famously tough creatures and that toughness is reflected in their descendants. Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers have a base armor class of 13 when not wearing armor. They also gain 1 additional hit point per level compared with other Sorcerers. Note, though, that this is not the same as the Unarmored Defense class feature found on Monks and Barbarians, and the two do not stack.
  • Flight: Like dragons, Draconic Bloodline sorcerers gain the ability to fly, as per the spell of the same name.

Wild Magic

Baldur's Gate 3 hinges most of its mechanics on the roll of the dice - why not add a few more into your life? Wild Magic sorcery is for Sorcerers who don't mind gambling a bit, betting that the occasional ill turn of luck - which can include being turned into a sheep against your will, at an inopportune time -  will be outweighed by unmatched control over the mercurial forces of magic itself.

Subclass Features
  • Wild Magic: The uncontrolled undercurrent lurking behind every Wild Mage's spells, Wild Magic has a chance to trigger a random effect (a.k.a. a Wild Magic Surge) whenever they cast a Level 1 Spell or higher. These effects can be beneficial (like healing your allies) or detrimental (being temporarily polymorphed into a sheep). The chance of a surge occurring is higher depending on the level of the spell slot used. Here's a very incomplete selection of possible effects:
    • Gain the effects of a Fighter's Action Surge
    • Every creature nearby is set on fire and takes burning damage for several turns
    • Nearby creatures grow or shrink in size (as per the Enlarge/Reduce spell)
    • Gain temporary Flight
    • Get stuck in Otiluke's Resilient Sphere, preventing both incoming and outgoing damage.
    • Polymorph yourself into a sheep.
    • Polymorph those around you into dogs.
    • Swap positions with the target whenever you cast any spell or cantrip.
  • Tides of Chaos: An ability you can activate to gain advantage on an Attack Roll, Saving Throw, or Ability Check. The price is that this increases the chance of triggering a Wild Magic surge the next time you cast a spell.
  • Bend Luck: Spend Sorcery Points to roll a 1d4 and then use that number to add or subtract from a creature's Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Saving Throw. This allows you to "stack the deck" in favor of yourself or an ally, or against an enemy, almost at will (as long as you have Sorcery Points to spend). 
  • Controlled Chaos: Enemies have a chance to suffer from Wild Magic Surges when casting spells near you. This can be great to watch as your foes set themselves on fire trying to hurt you or your friends, but note that Wild Magic can cut both ways: Enemies can gain beneficial effects, as well.

Storm Sorcery

Storm Sorcerers are the ones that call the thunder, ride the lightning, and reap the whirlwind. With their very essences imbued with the power of the tempest, Storm Sorcerers automatically gain knowledge of several weather, lightning, and storm-related spells, and have special passive effects that amp up their lightning and thunder effects.

Subclass Features
  • Tempestuous Magic: You can Fly as a bonus action whenever you cast a Level 1 spell or higher. This effect lasts until your turn ends, and does not trigger Opportunity Attacks. An excellent mobility-enhancing passive ability, this allows your to move around the battlefield on a level unmatched by any of the other caster classes.
  • Heart of the Storm: You cause small, local AOE storm effects whenever you cast a spell that does Lightning or Thunder damage. Enemies in the area take lightning or thunder damage. You also take only half-damage from Lightning and Thunder damage. This spell is an excellent (if minor) AOE enhancer for your lightning and thunder spells.
  • Storm Spell Knowledge: Automatically learn the spells Call Lightning, Create or Destroy Water, Gust of Wind, Sleet Storm, and Thunderwave at the appropriate level. 
  • Storm's Fury: When enemies hit you with melee attacks, they take lightning damage and are potentially thrown away from you. A situational passive defense that can jolt melee attackers that make it through your gauntlet.

Sorcerer Level Progression

These are the class features you’ll get as you level up as a Sorcerer. 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: 6 HP + Constitution Modifier, gaining minimum of 4 HP + Con modifier per level.
  • Gear Proficiency: Daggers, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
  • Skill Proficiencies: Choose 2 skills from Arcana, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Deception, Religion.
  • Sorcerer Spellcasting
  • Sorcerer Spells: 4 Cantrips, 2 Level 1 spell slots
  • Known Spells: 1 + Charisma modifier spells
  • Sorcerer Subclass: Choose from Draconic Bloodline, Wild Magic, Storm Sorcery
    • Draconic Bloodline: Draconic Ancestry, Draconic Resilience
    • Wild Magic: Wild Magic, Tides of Chaos
    • Storm Sorcery: Tempestuous Magic 

Level 2

  • Sorcery Points: Spent to power metamagic, can be created by trading spell slots or spent to replenish spells slots
    • 2 Sorcery points
  • Metamagic: Choose 2 from Careful Spell, Distant Spell, Extended Spell, and Twinned Spell.
  • Sorcerer Spells: +1 Level 1 spell slot (3 total)

Level 3

  • Metamagic:
    • +1 Metamagics known (3 total)
    • Heightened Spell, Quickened Spell, Subtle Spell added to available options.
  • Sorcerer Spells:
    • +1 Level 1 spell slot (4 total)
    • 2 Level 2 spell slots
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (3 total)

Level 4

  • Feat Selection: Can pick a Feat from All Classes Feat list. While any class at level 4 can pick many 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. Check out our full Feats guide for more advice on Sorcerer-appropriate Feats.
    • Recommended Sorcerer Feats:
      • Ability Improvement
      • Actor
      • Durable
      • Elemental Adept
      • Lucky
      • Performer
      • Resilient
      • Tough
      • War Caster
  • Sorcerer Spells: 
    • +1 Cantrips known (5 total)
    • +1 Level 1 spell slot (4 total)
    • +1 Level 2 spell slots (3 total)
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (4 total)

Level 5

  • Sorcerer Spells: 
    • 2 Level 3 Spell slots
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (5 total)

Level 6

  • Sorcerer Spells: 
    • +1 Level 3 spell slots (3 total)
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (6 total)
  • Draconic Bloodline: Elemental Affinity: Resist elemental damage and deal more elemental damage matching Draconic ancestry.
  • Wild Magic: Bend Luck: Roll additional dice to add or subtract from friendly and hostile dice rolls.
  • Storm Sorcery: Heart of the Storm: Do additional AOE thunder or lightning damage on spells, gain resistance to thunder and lightning damage.

Level 7

  • Sorcerer Spells: 
    • 1 Level 4 spell slot
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (7 total)

Level 8

  • Feat Selection: Can pick a Feat from All Classes Feat list
  • Sorcerer Spells: 
    • +1 Level 4 spell slot (2 total)
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (8 total)

Level 9

  • Sorcerer Spells: ​​​​​​​
    • +1 Level 4 spell slot (3 total)
    • 1 Level 5 spell slot
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (9 total)

Level 10

  • Sorcerer Spells: ​​​​​​​
    • +1 Cantrips known (6 total)
    • +1 Level 5 spell slot (2 total)
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (10 total)
  • Metamagic: +1 Metamagics known (4 total)

Level 11

  • Wild Magic: Controlled Chaos: Foes can suffer wild magic surges when casting near you.
  • Draconic Bloodline: Fly: You can fly at your movement speed.
  • Storm Sorcery: Storm's Fury: Melee attackers take Lightning damage can be knocked away
  • Sorcerer Spells: ​​​​​​​
    • 1 Level 6 spell slot 
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (11 total)

Level 12

  • Feat Selection: Can pick a Feat from All Classes Feat list
  • Sorcery Points: +1 SP (12 total)

Multiclass Sorcerers

Sorcerers are a front-loaded class. Even at Level 1 they gain possession of some of their best subclass bonuses, like Tempestuous Magic and Draconic Ancestry. These features in isolation are good enough to for any Charisma spellcaster like a Warlock or Bard to consider dipping a level into Sorcerer to take advantage. 

However, Sorcerers benefit the most by staying the way they are for at least 11 levels, when they round out their subclass benefits and gain their Level 6 spell slot, as well as maxing out their metamagic and spellcasting resources.

Bards are excellent second class choices for Sorcerers. Bardic Inspirationg is a unique feature that rounds out an otherwise spellcasting-focused Sorcerer's capabilities, and it may be worth sacrificing access to the top-level spells to take up a Bard subclass, such as the College of Lore or College of Swords to increase your team support capabilities or staying power in direct combat, respectively.

Warlocks are also strong choices for a quick class dip as a Sorcerer. Eldritch Blast is a very powerful combat cantrip, and the Warlock's ability to recharge their spell slots on a short rest gives a level of endurance to the Sorcerer that they'd lack otherwise.

Paladins are an unusual but potentially valid martial class choice for a Sorcerer. Their martial and armor proficiencies can improve the Sorcerer's durability. However, trying to gain unique Paladin class features like Divine Smite or Paladin spellcasting seems like an unproductive strategy, considering that the level split would, at a minimum, close off access to Level 6 spells, drop a Feat option, and remove the final subclass feature from the Sorcerer's progression. Be careful if picking this option.