If you want to roll the most powerful Wizard in Faerun, here's our guide to the best race and ability scores for a Wizard in Baldur's Gate 3.

Best Race and Ability Scores for Wizard in Baldur’s Gate 3

A class for those who like to read, Wizards channel knowledge into deep pools of spells that no other class can match. Sure, they require a bit more management than their carefree Sorcerer cousins in Baldur’s Gate 3, but with great patience comes far more variety and versatility.

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They also choose from a slightly ridiculous amount of subclasses—eight, one more than Clerics for the most options available. When choosing to be a Wizard, you definitely have to sit down and study up on what direction to build them in. Here’s a quick guide to the best race and ability scores for your Wizard in Baldur’s Gate 3.

First off, they have the ability to replenish expended spell slots once per day, which is invaluable for a class that relies heavily on them rather than Cantrips. Each of the seven subclasses grants access to different types of spells, along with a subclass feature that greatly diversifies how each Wizard plays. You can also learn plenty of spells from scrolls found throughout the world—for a spot of gold, of course.

Best Races for Wizards in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

a red skinned asmodeus tiefling in baldurs gate 3 character creator

The Best Races for Wizards

  • Elf (High subrace)
  • Half-Elf (High subrace)
  • Tiefling (Asmodeus subrace)

As Baldur’s Gate 3 does away with race ability bonuses, you can freely make a Wizard of any race. That said, three races stand out as great choices: the Elf (High subrace), the Half-Elf (High subrace), and the Tiefling (Asmodeus subrace).

The High Elf race receives its choice of an extra Intelligence-based Cantrip to use from the beginning of the game. As the Wizard eventually has its Cantrips buffed to be quite powerful, an extra Cantrip goes far in all three acts of the game. 

The High Half Elf receives the same choice of an Intelligence-based Cantrip to choose. Firebolt is generally considered the best. Wizards run out of spell slots quickly, so Cantrips will help keep you in the fight.

The Asmodeus Tiefling, on the other hand, learns two spells that are useful to Wizards at levels 3 and 5, respectively. These are Hellish Rubuke, which does damage when attacked and otherwise can’t be learned by Wizards, and Darkness, which is a great defensive tool when overwhelmed.

All Wizard Subclasses in BG3

Wizards have an alarming number of subclasses to choose from at level 2, and while they all have their own focus, you still have access to almost all spells in the game no matter what you choose:

  • Abjuration School: Spells from this school summon wards, banish enemies, and nullify magic. You gain the powerful Arcane Ward feature to protect yourself from harm.
  • Conjuration School: This school focuses on summoning creatures and objects. Initially, you gain the ability to create water on command.
  • Divination School: Students of Divination will be able to tell the future through the use of the Portent feature; after each long rest, you roll two Portent Dice that can be used to replace bad rolls later in the day.
  • Enchantment School: Enchanting and beguiling enemies is the name of the game in this school. You gain Hypnotic Gaze, which can charm or incapacitate a creature. 
  • Evocation School: Evocation focuses on powerful elemental attacks. With the Sculpt Spells feature, you’ll miss hitting allies, and they automatically succeed their Saving Throws against your fireballs and lightning bolts.
  • Necromancy School: You and the dead are best buddies. You gain the Grim Harvest ability, which grants you hit points if you kill an enemy with a spell.
  • Illusion School: In this school, reality is your plaything. You gain the Improved Minor Illusion spell.
  • Transmutation School: You like mixing things. Alchemy gets a buff in this school, allowing you to brew extra concoctions with the Experimental Alchemy feature.

Each also decreases the amount of gold required to learn a spell from a scroll of its type as well. Furthermore, you choose two related spells upon selecting a subclass.

Related: Should You Join the Goblins or Save the Grove in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Best Ability Scores for Wizards in BG3

Ability scores give a modifier bonus to your dice rolls, and you have a total of 27 to allocate into six skills. Furthermore, you have the option to grant a +2 and a +1 bonus to two different abilities. For a Wizard, you’ll want to max out Intelligence above all else while not neglecting your defenses, like this:

High Elf

Strength: 8
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 15 (+1 bonus)
Intelligence: 17 (+2 bonus)
Wisdom: 10
Charisma: 10

If you plan on making use of longswords or other melee-based weapons, decreasing either Wisdom or Charisma to increase Strength is the way to go. Otherwise, this spread will make the most out of the overwhelming amount of spells you’ll have at your disposal with Intelligence at 17. It’s very important not to neglect Dexterity and Constitution, or you’ll die before you fire a single Magic Missile. At level 4, taking the Ability Score Improvement feat to increase Constitution and Intelligence one level each will allow them to reach the next modifier bonus tier, making you even more capable of surviving and dealing damage.

Best Backgrounds for Wizards

As for backgrounds, go for whichever makes the most sense for the character you wish to play rather than the skills you’ll receive. Still, to make the most of a Wizard’s high Intelligence, having proficiency in skills like Arcana and Investigation will help you immensely outside of combat as you explore Faerun. Backgrounds also provide you with a way to gain Inspiration Points, which, when certain conditions are fulfilled (successfully crafting a weapon as a Guild Artisan, saving someone as a Folk Hero), grant you valuable Inspiration Points that let you reroll failed checks; thus, choosing a background for roleplay purposes is generally better.

As Wizards come with many more options than the other spellcasting races in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll definitely have a fun time adventuring through Faerun as one. From burning goblins to a crisp and counterspelling opposing magic wielders, they’re a massive boon to any party—given you want to invest the time into unlocking spells and studying up how to best play them, that is. Luckily, you have our guide to the best race and ability scores for a Wizard in Baldur’s Gate 3. We also have guides to the other races in the game and plenty of other tips as well, so take a look through our archives for more information on the game.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

The above article was updated on 4/4/2024 by Lowell Bell to add additional information about Baldur’s Gate 3.

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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.