The 10 Best 'Baldur's Gate' Companions, Ranked

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Larian Studios

In the rich, 'Forgotten Realms' setting of Baldur's Gate 3, the companions that join you on your journey are what truly bring the game to life. More than just extra swords, bows and spells in combat, these companions shape your story through their own intricate backgrounds, personalities, goals and relationships, quickly becoming the beating heart of your Dungeons and Dragons-inspired adventure.

That's why choosing the right companions to accompany you out of the ragtag bunch at camp can make all the difference. Some may open up surprising romance options, while others could conflict with your goals or worldview. To help you decide, we've ranked all 10 potential companions in Baldur's Gate 3. Read on to see our picks for the very best companions to help you save the world from the insidious plot of the 'Dead 3' Gods.

What are Baldur's Gate Companions?

Before deciding on the best Baldur's Gates companions, it's important to understand exactly what a companion is. Baldur's Gate companions are the various characters that can join your protagonist and accompany them on their journey through the game's story.

In Baldur's Gate 3, you start off with one pre-determined player character, but can recruit up to three additional party members as you progress through sections of the game. These companions will follow your player character, participate in dialogue, assist in combat encounters, and interject with their own reactions and suggestions.

Some companions are pre-made "origin characters" with deep, intricate backstories that tie into Baldur's Gate 3's overarching plot who also have their own personal questlines. Instead of choosing a customized character or a 'Dark Urge' character, who is a customized character with a unique backstory that is woven naturally into the game's plot, you can also choose to play as one of the origin characters for a different type of experience colored by their experiences and perceptions of the world around them.

No matter their background, companions fight at your side, help navigate quest puzzles, weigh in on dialogue choices, can develop romances with your protagonist, and overall bring life and depth to the journey. Choosing companions that complement your strengths and fit your moral compass can greatly impact your adventure and story experience.

How Did we Rank the Best Companions in 'Baldur's Gate 3?'

When ranking the best companions in Baldur's Gate 3, we used a holistic approach that takes into account usefulness across all aspects of the game, not just combat prowess. 

Here were our key criteria:

Gameplay Utility: How much does this companion help in exploration, combat, dialogue puzzles, and progression? What key skills, spells, or abilities do they offer?

Character Depth: Is the companion integral to main story arcs and side quests? Do they have intriguing backstories and engaging personalities? What is the quality of their interpersonal dynamics and dialogue?

Player Agency: How much can the player customize this companion? Can you shape their worldview and story impact through dialogue choices?

Replay Value: Do they open up surprising story branches or gameplay opportunities that incentivize additional playthroughs? Do their quests and arcs remain intriguing on repeated runs?

General Awesomeness: How memorable, fun, original or beloved is this particular Baldur's Gate companion? Do they make the adventure exponentially better by their very presence?

We weighed all these factors holistically to rank companions. A stellar personality or signature style can make up for a companion's combat shortcomings, while a companion with less depth and breadth is rated lower if their backstory and dialogue is lacking. By evaluating companions from all angles, we strived to provide the most well-rounded ranking possible.

10. Minsc (Human, Ranger)

Location: Sewers under Baldur's Gate

Best Build: Beast Master Ranger

Base Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Athletics, Perception, Survival

Base Abilities: Favored Enemy, Natural Explorer

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision: 2m

Hailing from the city of Baldur's Gate itself, the legendary Minsc is a force of chaotic righteousness. With his trusty companion Boo the hamster, Minsc charges heedlessly into battle with little strategy. Though his Folk Hero background from the previous Baldur's Gate games makes him eager to vanquish evil, his combat deficiencies and brain damage from previous torture land him at the bottom of our list. Minsc opens up no new story branches, lacks depth, and has severely limited characterization beyond his catchphrases. There is no romance option either and he is not an origin character. His replay value is low unless you adore over-the-top eccentric personalities. We'd only recommend choosing him as a companion only if you value comic relief over character progression.

9. Minthara (Drow, Paladin)

Location: Goblin Camp, Moonrise Towers

Best Build: Oath of Vengeance Paladin

Base Proficiencies: Athletics, History, Perception, Intimidation, Persuasion

Base Abilities: Superior Darkvision (24m range), Fey Ancestry

Initiative: +1

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: 24m

As a Lolth-sworn Drow, Minthara has a mysterious past and serves the demon lord Ardulia as an Oath of Vengeance Paladin. She excels at intimidation and deception, wielding both social and martial prowess due to her Noble background. Recruitable in Act 2 with some finessing or in Act 1 if you make certain choices, Minthara enables certain evil story branches, but forces high corruption costs later. Her cruel personality and hidden agenda make her a risky companion who may not truly work for your benefit. Relative to some of the more fleshed out Baldur's Gate companions, Minthara has little in the way of redeeming qualities and a subpar romance option and she is also not an origin character. Proceed with caution if adding this agent of chaos to your party.

8. Halsin (Wood Elf, Druid)

Location: Goblin Camp

Best Build: Circle of the Land Druid

Base Proficiencies: Athletics, Nature, Animal Handling, Survival

Base Abilities: Darkvision, Fey Ancestry

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: 12m

As an ancient Wood Elf Druid with an Outlander background, Halsin has vast knowledge of races, regions, and the natural world. Imprisoned by the goblins in their camp, he joins your party upon his rescue. Halsin can identify mysteries about the strange mind flayer tadpoles and provide key insights on the events plaguing Baldur's Gate. His skills lean more towards a support role rather than frontline combat. And while wise and knowledgeable, his advanced years make him somewhat set in his traditionalist ways. Halsin has an abridged and somewhat memeable romance option with his Wild Shaped  bear form, but his mentorship and guidance on your quest are invaluable assets if you seek a scholarly voice of reason in your party.

7. Jaheira (Half-Elf, Druid)

Location: Last Light Inn

Best Build: Circle of the Moon Druid

Base Proficiencies: Athletics, Nature, Animal Handling, Intimidation 

Base Abilities: Darkvision, Fey Ancestry

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: 12m

As a battle-hardened Half-Elf Druid from Baldur's Gate with a Folk Hero background, Jaheira excels as a frontline shapeshifter who leads the charge in combat. Whether in animal form or blasting foes with elemental spells, she brings a tough yet caring presence as one seeking to protect the natural order. Though brusque in manner, Jahiera's commitment to harmony and the safety of her adopted family in the city of Baulder's Gate shows of her caring side. However her close-minded judgments can still miss the bigger picture and her lack of origin character status makes her less compelling. With expanded spell options from multiple schools of magic and Wild Shape flexibility, Jahiera proves a stalwart protector and champion of the downtrodden who can hold her own against the game's fiercest threats. However, don't expect an excess of diplomacy or a romance option.

6. Wyll (Human, Warlock)

Location: Druid Grove

Best Build: Pact of the Blade Warlock

Base Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Intimidation, Arcana, Survival

Base Abilities: Dark One's Blessing, Civil Milita, Human Versatility 

Initiative: +3

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: None

This witty Warlock is useful both in and out of combat with his mix of spells, blades, and social charisma. As the son of the Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate with a Folk Hero background, Wyll brings veteran combat tactics and useful connections. Though driven by a pact with the demon Mizora granting him formidable infernal power, Wyll's charming wit and roguish skillset make him an excellent party member. Just beware the hidden costs of his true power, even as he serves as the legendary 'Blade of Frontiers'. Wyll can be optionally romanced as well, although his romance is not as well-defined as most other romance options in the game. His versatility makes him a great option for your party,  even if he is less compelling than the other origin characters.

5. Gale (Human, Wizard)

Location: Ravaged Beach

Best Build: Evocation Wizard

Base Proficiencies: Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation 

Base Abilities: Civil Milita, Human Versaility 

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: None

This eccentric Wizard scholar will eagerly assist with identifying magical items and obscure lore. As a researcher blessed by the goddess Mystra herself with a Sage background, Gale carries dangerous Weave anchors implanted in his body allowing immense arcane power. Though desperate to contain their unstable magic, Gale's expertise across all schools - from illusions to explosive Evocation - make him an invaluable ally. Well-connected in the magical community yet weakened by his predicament, Gale's breadth of knowledge - and potential romance and origin character status - place him in the upper half of our list. Just be prepared to aid him in his secretive quest to stabilize his magics bestowed by Mystra.

4. Karlach (Tiefling, Barbarian)

Location: Risen Road

Best Build: Beserker Barbarian 

Base Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Athletics, Perception, Intimidation 

Base Abilities: Hellish Resistance, Thaumaturgy (Cantrip)

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: 12m

As a hotheaded warrior harboring a vicious infernal engine in her chest and with an Outlander background, Karlach is always spoiling for a fight against her former master, the archduke Gortash. As an origin character, she can be optionally romanced and truly packs a mean punch in melee combat when entering her berserker frenzies. Though brash and struggling with inner fury, Karlach's Barbarian talents allow her to serve as the party's frontline wrecking ball. Her desire to do right makes her loyal to a fault, though her thirst for vengeance drives harsh impulses. For pure martial chaos and a strong moral compass, few can match this fearsome Tiefling juggernaut.

3. Astarion (High Elf, Rogue)

Location: Wrecked Nautiloid

Best Build: Arcane Trickster Rogue

Base Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Deception, History, Perception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth

Base Abilities: Elven Weapon Training, Darkvision, Fey Ancestry 

Initiative: +3

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: 12m

This charming High Elf Rogue with a Charlaton background has great utility for scouting, lockpicking and minor spellcasting. Enslaved by the vampire lord Cazador, Astarion struggles to suppress his bloodthirsty urges and longs for freedom, making him a compelling romance option and a strong origin character. His Initiative and Dexterity make him an excellent skirmisher and ranged damage-dealer. Yet the risk of Astarion losing control provides story intrigue and a morality test. With expanded magical abilities from his Arcane Trickster talents combined with his roguish charm, Astarion earns high marks though caution around possible his penchant for betrayal is warranted.

2. Shadowheart (Half-Elf, Cleric)

Location: Wrecked Nautiloid

Best Build: Life Domain Cleric

Base Proficiencies: Insight, Religion

Base Abilities: Civil Milita, Darkvision, Fey Ancestry

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: 12m

As a shady Trickery Domain cleric with an Acolyte background and origin character story, Shadowheart is evasive about her hidden mission yet fiercely capable with healing magic and guidance from the goddess Shar. An intriguing romance option, Shadowheart exerts her independence in finding identity beyond Shar, bringing emotional depth to her storyline. And her Turn Undead, Inflict Wounds and buff/debuff spells excel in combat. If you need a pure healer for your party, you can also respec her from a Trickery Domain cleric to a Life Domain clearic through Withers, which is where she truly shines. This also thematically resonates with her storyline if she chooses to reject becoming a Dark Justiciar. Shadowheart earns her #2 spot on our Baldur's Gate companions list through formidable magic, multifaceted personality and mysterious background story holding secrets that promise to shape the protagonist's adventure in surprising ways.

1. Lae'zel (Githyanki, Fighter)

Location: Wrecked Nautiloid

Best Build: Battlemaster Fighter

Base Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival

Base Abilities: Astral Knowledge, Githyanki Psionics: Magehand, Martial Prodigy

Initiative: +2

Movement Speed: 9m

Darkvision Range: No Darkvision

As a fierce Githyanki warrior on a secret mission with a Soldier background, Lae'zel initially excels at intimidation, survival skills, and melee combat. But her personal quest discovering Vlaakith's treachery in the Githyanki creche proves one of the game's best. Breaking from her previous dogma to question her peoples' orthodoxy, Lae'zel emerges as the most compelling companion and is a great origin character to play as. Her masterful sword skills and tactical Battle Master talents make her a combat powerhouse. An excellent romance option as well, Lae'zel adapts into a more caring protector seeking meaning for herself beyond service to any master. This stunning character growth combined with badass martial prowess justify Lae'zel as our #1 Baldur's Gate 3 companion.

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