Baldur’s Gate 3 race tier list - Best races for your first run

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Astarion the high elf rogue vampire in Baldur's Gate 3.
September 6, 2023: We've compiled a list of what the best race is for your first run in Baldur's Gate 3, now that it's out on PS5.

To help you make the best decision for your character, we’ve pieced together a comprehensive Baldur’s Gate 3 race tier list. When you load up Baldur's Gate 3 for the first time, one of the first choices you have to make with your character is what race they will be. Your choice of race in Baldur's Gate 3 will determine how you are treated by others in certain parts of the world. It can also offer unique bonuses and aesthetics, and tell completely different tales.

In the Dungeons & Dragons universe, race plays a major role in the development of characters. Depending on your race, your character might have an easier or harder time conversing with others in the world. Moreover, adding party members as companions is directly affected by your race, as some characters won't even entertain the idea of teaming up with certain races.

To learn more about the game, be sure to check out how to level up fast in Baldur's Gate 3, alongside the best builds for each class. We've also got a guide on the best Baldur's Gate 3 weapons.

Baldur's Gate 3 race guide
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Credit: Image via Larian Studios
Baldur's Gate 3 features a variety of races and subraces.

Baldur's Gate 3 race tier list

There are 11 races in Baldur's Gate 3 at launch, which might seem like quite an overwhelming amount to choose from. In addition to that, there are 33 subraces between the 11 base races, giving players a number of different customisation options before they even enter the world.

Your base race will define your character for the most part, while the subrace you choose offers additional bonuses and some unique lore. So here are the 11 races you can choose from when you start a run in Baldur's Gate 3:

  1. Dragonborn
  2. Drow
  3. Dwarf
  4. Elf
  5. Githyanki
  6. Gnome
  7. Halfling
  8. Half-elf
  9. Half-orc
  10. Human
  11. Tiefling

So that's the list of races, but which one is best? Below, we have compiled a tier list for all 11 races in Baldur's Gate 3. The tier list will go from S-tier (the best) to C-tier (the worst). Of course, these our are general opinions and could easily change as more updates come along in Baldur's Gate 3.

We'll also be lumping in the races with all of their subraces to make for one general ranking. If you see a race in the higher tiers, then this means that all of its subraces are likely usable. The races in the lower tiers might only have one or potentially no decent subraces.

Firstly, we have a simple breakdown for an at-a-glance reasoning. If you prefer a more detailed exploration as to the hows and whys of a race’s ranking, be sure to read on.

Tier Race
SGithyanki, Half-Elf, Dwarf
ADrow, Elf
BHuman, Tiefling
CGnome, Halfling
Unbanked/UnreleasedHalf-Orc, Dragonborn


  • Githyanki - Githyanki has the potential to be a stellar race in Baldur's Gate 3. It gives players +2 to Strength and +1 to Intelligence and has the capability to play either a warrior or wizard, along with some others as well. Githyanki is a true jack-of-all-trades race.
  • Half-Elf - Half-Elves all start out with a +2 to Charisma and then players are able to give another +1 to the ability of their choice. This freedom makes the Half-Elf extremely versatile.
  • Dwarf - Last in S-Tier, we have the Dwarf. The Shield Dwarf is the better subrace, as you start off with a +2 in Constitution and Strength. However, any Dwarf is a terrific choice if players are looking for a tanky, melee weapon-wielding character.


  • Drow - Drows are elves of the darker, slightly meaner variety. While Drows gain +2 in Dexterity, this isn't as good as gaining +2 in Strength, which is why it drops a tier to A. However, the Drow is still a strong race that has access to solid traits and spells.
  • Elf - Once again, the Elf gains +2 in Dexterity, which does help this particular race. Players will be naturally drawn to use a bow with their Elf character, and that's a great pick when you look at the race's proficiencies and traits.
An Elf in Baldur's Gate 3
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Credit: Image via Larian Studios
Elves are a strong race in Baldur's Gate 3.


  • Human - The most basic race goes right in the middle of the tier list. Humans in Baldur's Gate 3 gain a +1 in every ability and have no other bonuses. So if you're looking to truly craft your own character from scratch, then the Human is the way to go. However, if you want something more streamlined and specific, then go with another race.
  • Tiefling - These humanoid-demon creatures are a decent race to pick in Baldur's Gate 3. They are Charisma-based, fireproof, and have one of the most interesting backstories in the entire game.
  • Half-Orc - The half-orcs in Baldur's Gate 3 are a solid choice for combat. They gain +2 to Strength and +1 to their Constitution. Half-orcs also possess darkvision, as well as the Relentless Endurance perk which doesn't allow them to be downed immediately when reaching 0 hit points.
  • Dragonborn - Who doesn't want to play as a humanoid dragon, really? Dragonborn makes for great sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards as they can deal additional elemental damage depending on the subrace you choose. They're also proficient in Strength and Charisma, making them a great all-rounder.


  • Gnome - Unfortunately, Gnomes are fairly niche in Baldur's Gate 3, as players who pick this race are usually confined to playing as a Wizard. They gain +2 in Intelligence and are the definition of glass cannons.
  • Halflings - Speaking of niche, Halflings make some of the best Rangers and Rogues in Baldur's Gate 3. Halflings also make for great conversationalists if that's of any importance to you.
Baldur's Gate 3 race guide
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Credit: Image via Larian Studios
Race can play a huge role in your character's development.

Does race matter in Baldur’s Gate 3?

In case you’re asking yourself if the race you pick truly matters in Baldur's Gate 3, while the answer might differ to some, it's hard to argue that race doesn't matter.

The race you pick will define your entire character. Picking a certain one will have a direct impact on your experience in Baldur's Gate 3. Not only for the extra bonuses but in terms of the world itself. Characters will treat you differently depending on your choice, and you’ll have access to new opportunities just by selecting a specific race. If you don’t want to do repeat playthroughs, pick your preferred race right off the bat.

Race is one of the most important aspects of the world-building that Baldur's Gate 3 tries to accomplish. You can, of course, choose a Human to live a relatively relatable life, or choose to be a Dwarf or Elf will give you a completely unique experience that you otherwise wouldn't have had.

For more on Larian Studio’s latest, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 class tier list to help you in the final choice of your character creation experience. We’ve also detailed the Baldur’s Gate 3 solo experience and the Baldur’s Gate 3 co-op experience as well. And if you’re playing handheld, the best Baldur’s Gate 3 Steam Deck settings could also help.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and Baldur's Gate 3 page.