Best Paladin build in Baldur’s Gate 3: Race, skills, subclass & more

Sourav Banik
an image of a Paladin in Baldur's gate 3

In Baldur’s Gate 3, Paladins embody the perfect fusion of tanking and spellcasting. If you aim to defeat enemies with unparalleled efficiency, we’ve compiled everything necessary to craft the perfect Paladin build in BG3. Delve into the best subclass, race, and spell choices for the right build.

Paladins excel as versatile combatants, seamlessly transitioning between roles as DPS powerhouses, sturdy tanks, and adept spellcasters. Fueled by divine favor, they wield formidable strength that few can match.

After all, with plenty of armor, lots of health, and the ability to deal huge damage and heal yourself or other players, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a great class to choose as a jack of all trades.

However, there’s still a way to get this class wrong, and when built incorrectly, you’ll quickly find yourself falling way too early in the game. So, to help you dominate the battlefield, here’s the best Paladin build in Baldur’s Gate 3.

If you’d prefer to play an Oathbreaker Paladin, then check out our build guide here.


Best Race to choose for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3

A screenshot from the game Baldur's Gate 3

Choosing the right Race for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3 requires you to focus on two main abilities of the class: Strength and Charisma. With that in mind, here are some of the best races to choose for a Paladin:

  • High Half-Elf
  • Human
  • Mephistopheles Tiefling

We recommend choosing High Half-Elf or Mephistopheles Tiefling for the additional Fire Bolt or Mage Hand cantrips.

Best Subclass for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3

Oath of the Ancients is one of the best subclasses you can choose for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3. This subclass gives Healing Radiance, which can heal you and your allies by 5 hit points, making it a pretty helpful class action.

Best Background for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3

an image of a Paladin in Baldur's gate 3
Paladins are melee specialists in Baldur’s Gate 3.

An ideal background for a Paladin would be a Soldier in Baldur’s Gate 3. This will grant you proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation, two essential skills for this class.

The Outlander background would also be a solid secondary choice as it focuses on Athletics and Survival.

Best Ability Score spread for a Paladin

The recommended Ability Score spread for the Paladin is okay, but it can certainly be improved. We recommend using these:

  • Strength: 16
  • Dexterity: 10
  • Constitution: 14
  • Wisdom: 10
  • Intelligence: 8
  • Charisma: 16

The Paladin is tricky. They need a high Constitution for that Health but also need a high strength to deal good damage. On top of this, they’ll want a high Charisma for their spellcasting, meaning you’ll need to lower the other previously important stats. It’s a careful balance but one that, with some ability score improvements, will quickly prove effective.

Best Spells for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3

The best spells for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3 are:

  • Level 1: Command
  • Level 1: Compelled Duel
  • Level 1: Shield of Faith
  • Level 2: Heroism
  • Level 2: Protection from Evil and Good
  • Level 2: Magic Weapon
  • Level 2: Branding Smite
  • Level 3: Blinding Smite
  • Level 3: Remove Curse
  • Level 3: Revivify

Best Illithid powers for a Paladin

Ilithid Powers menu in Baldur's Gate 3
There’s a tonne of Ilithid powers to access if you don’t mind sticking tadpoles to your brain.

Luck of the Far Realms

There’s no Illithid power more perfect for the Paladin than Luck of the Far Realms. As a melee character who can pump Smite into their heavy attacks, getting the chance to choose whether you want an attack to be a critical is just beautiful. It’ll let deal devastating damage when you choose to.

Psionic Dominance

Melee characters having the ability to essentially counterspell lower-level attacks is just fantastic. It lets you protect yourself or others from harmful spells, and since you’re upfront, you’ll usually be within 9m of the caster, so this power will be ideal.

Psionic Backlash

In a similar way to Dominace, if you’re not able to stop the spell, you can always use Psionic Backlash to damage the spellcaster. These kinds of reactions are ideal to have in your Paladin’s back pocket and are always worth getting.

Best multiclass options for the Paladin

Paladin and Bard

The Paladin and Bard is a rather interesting multiclass option but truly capitalizes on both when you level high enough. The reason behind this is the notion that the Paladin reaches its peak around level seven, leaving you with five extra levels to put into the Bard.

This will give you tons of new spells, and will allow you to control the battlefield while being able to heal yourself and parties thanks to Healing Word and support your allies with Bardic Inspiration.

Paladin and Barbarian

The Paladin can be two things. A spellcaster and an upfront fighter. With a multiclass into Barbarian, you’re prioritizing that upfront fighting style. After all, you might as well capitalize on the high AC of the Paladin and the huge hitpoint pool from the Barbarian.

With this multiclass, you can place yourself as the tank and damage character, standing upfront and taking the enemy down quickly. On top of this, with the Paladin’s spells, you can also heal yourself while fighting, essentially working as a one-person army.

Best build for a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3

Race: High Half-Elf

Skills: Athletics, Insight, Intimidation

Subclass: Oath of the Ancients

Background: Soldier

Ability order from highest to lowest: Charisma, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence

Best Paladin build:

1Actions: Lay on Hands, Divine Sense — Subclass: Oath of the Ancients
2Spells: Command, Compelled Duel — Fighting Style: Duelling
3Spell: Shield of Faith
4Spell: Heroism, Protection from Evil and Good — Ability Improvement: Charisma +2
5Spells: Magic Weapon
6Aura of Protection
7Spell: Branding Smite
8Ability Improvement: Strength +2
9Spell: Revivify
10Lay on Hands Charge — Aura of Courage
11Improved Divine SmiteSpell: Blinding Smite
12Feat: Athlete

Check out some of our other Baldur’s Gate 3 guides:

Best Sorcerer build | Best Bard build | Best Rogue build | Best Ranger build | Best Barbarian build | Best Wizard build | Baldur’s Gate 3: What’s the max level cap? | Best Baldur’s Gate 3 classes tier list | How to revive characters in Baldur’s Gate 3 | Can you multiclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 | Baldur’s Gate 3 Soul Coins: How to get them & what they are | Baldur’s Gate 3: Fastest ways to get XP & level up | Baldur’s Gate 3: How to respec your character | Baldur’s Gate 3 Karmic Dice: What are they?

About The Author

Sourav is a Games Writer at Dexerto, specializing in writing tips and guides for a number of games, including Apex Legends, Baldur's Gate 3, Diablo 4, Palworld, The Finals, XDefiant, and occasionally Tech. He is also passionate about esports, following games such as Valorant and Rainbow Six Siege. He previously wrote for Sportskeeda. Contact Sourav at