Video Games

Baldur’s Gate 3 Ability Scores, Explained

Baldur's Gate 3 Ability Scores, Explained
Image via Larian Studios.

If you’re not an experienced player of Dungeons & Dragons, ability scores—what many other games call attributes—might have you a little confused in Baldur’s Gate 3. As Larian Studios’ revival of the classic RPG series bases itself heavily on D&D 5e, its rules and systems are more complicated than most comparable games, including Larian’s stellar Divinity: Original Sin 2, so you may be going in rather blind.

Ability scores, which you’ll set during character creation, make up how your character will interact with the world. There are six abilities to consider in Baldur’s Gate 3: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each of the 12 classes will greatly value certain abilities over others. 

In tabletop games, there are many different ways of allocating ability scores, but in Baldur’s Gate 3 there’s only the point buy system, meaning you have to place 27 ability points into these six stats that have a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 15 (outside of racial and class bonuses).

Here’s The Abilities in More Detail


Increases your chance to hit enemies with Strength-based weapons, which by default are most melee weapons unless otherwise labeled a finesse weapon, and deal damage to them. A higher Strength score will allow you to jump farther and carry more.


Increases your chance to hit enemies with Dexterity-based weapons, which by default are most ranged weapons and finesse weapons, and deal damage to them. Dexterity also gives you a higher chance to move earlier in combat and affects your Armor Class.


The amount of hit points you have. Straightforward but very important.


Wizards need high intelligence to make sure their spells hit enemies.


Clerics, Druids, and Rangers need high Wisdom to make sure their spells hit.


Bards, Paladins, Sorcerers, and Warlocks—believe it or not—use their Charisma to cast spells; it affects how likely they are to connect.

The most important thing to remember about ability scores is that, for every 2 levels above 10, you gain a bonus to ability checks. For example, if you have 14 Strength, you will receive a +2 to any dice roll based on Strength. However, 15 Strength will still net only +2; you must upgrade it one more level to get the +3 bonus. Luckily, at every fourth level you can choose a new feat (which can dramatically change how your character plays) or Ability Score Improvement, which allows you to increase an ability by 2 points or two abilities by 1 point.

These modifiers also affect skills outside of combat. Athletics, for example, will gain a bonus from your Strength each time you have to scale a wall or swim against a strong current, while Charisma will help when you try to intimidate a city guard into letting you pass. Here’s what each stat governs:

Strength: Athletics
Dexterity: Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
Constitution: None
Intelligence: Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, Religion
Wisdom: Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Survival
Charisma: Deception, Intimidation, Performance, Persuasion

This all may sound rather confusing, so to keep things simple, Larian has marked the key ability for each class with a little star during character creation. Keep your primary ability as high as possible while not neglecting Dexterity and Constitution and you should be fine while exploring the dangerous world of Faerun. A Warlock, for instance, will want as high of a Charisma score as possible, but without Dexterity and Constitution scores of 12 or higher, that Warlock won’t live long enough to make use of their demon-inspired spells.

That’s all you need to know when it comes to the complicated ability score system in Baldur’s Gate 3. Of course, there will be min-max builds for each class, but for a game such as this, experimentation and building the character you want is much more important than building the ‘right,’ most powerful adventurer. Larian Studios has also confirmed respecing will be in the game, so don’t feel afraid to try something unorthodox as you journey through Faerun. But if you’re still looking for more tips on making it through the game, check out our full set of guides.

About the author

Lowell Bell
Lowell is a freelance contributor with The Escapist that began his career reporting on live events such as the Penny Arcade Expo and E3 back in 2012. Over the last couple of years, he carved a niche for himself covering competitive Pokémon as he transitioned into game criticism full time. About a decade ago, Lowell moved to Japan for a year or two but is still there, raising a Shiba Inu named Zelda with his wife while missing access to good burritos. He also has a love/hate relationship with Japanese role-playing games.