Baldur’s Gate 3: The Best Companions


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Baldur’s Gate 3: The Best Companions

Unless you decide to go solo, your time traveling through the Sword Coast will be colored by the fantastic companions Larian Studio’s put in the game. Do you take the intelligent, snarky wizard from Waterdeep? The secretive cleric with no memory? The vampire? Each companion has their own complexities and niches that are fun to explore. In this guide we’ll be going over our favorite picks for the best companions in Baldur’s Gate 3 that can join you in your adventure and where they rank from best to worst.

Preface

Before we get into the actual ranking of the companions I want to go over how I’ll be ranking them. While effectiveness in combat will play a part, I will also be ranking them based on their companion story and overall complexity. I will also only be going over companions found in act one to avoid spoilers for secret companions and act two. Regardless, be aware of some minor spoilers for companion quests ahead. With that said, let’s get into it.

Our Favorite Companions Ranked Good to Best

Currently, there are ten available companions in BG3. We selected our top 6 and ranked them below.

#6 Karlach

BG3_Companions_Karlach
Image: Larian Studios

The first companion on this list is everyone’s favorite Zariel Tiefling Karlach. While every companion is a treat, and Karlach can only be described as an absolute breath of fresh air, her character seems to lack the complexities of the other companions. Her time in the Hell’s and feelings of isolation because of it is an interesting character hook. Her reactions along her companion quest are believable and realistic, but small scale compared to characters like Shadowheart, Lae’zel or Gale.

There’s nothing wrong with a small story in a game of big world-shaking characters, but I was hoping for more interactions with devil politics and underhanded tricks. Especially when concerning one of the Archdevil’s personal assets.

In combat, Karlach is an absolute beast however. Keeping her as a Barbarian turns her into a killing machine. I find that very few enemies survive Karlach’s turn regardless of which subclass you choose. Unfortunately, since my character is a Barbarian as well, her role in my party is a little redundant. For anyone running squishier classes however, Karlach is an excellent companion in a battle.

Ultimately, while  Karlach is a fun character to have and decidedly more upbeat than the other companions surrounding the player, I find myself leaving her at camp more often than not.

#5 Lae’zel

BG3_Companions_Lae'zel
Image: Larian Studios

After Karlach, the rest of the companions are really close in the running. Except for maybe the top two spots, every character could probably shift slots depending on even the smallest character interaction. Which is why I’ve placed Lae’zel in the number five slot.

The opening cinematic with Lae’zel and the Githyanki riders is one of the reasons why I ultimately bought Baldur’s Gate 3 when it was in early access. It’s also one of the reasons why I ultimately ended up making my Tav a Githyanki as well. And maybe this is the reason why I feel that Lae’zel’s companion story doesn’t feel as personal to her compared to the other companions.

Don’t get me wrong, having a character find out her devotion is misplaced and shaking her worldview is interesting, but as a Githyanki myself it just seems like a continuation of my personal story. Seeing her change in outlook and demeanor is amazing and my kudos to Larian’s writing team, but I found myself more interested in the other companions’ story quests as Lae’zel’s felt more like the main story for my character. 

And this isn’t a bad thing. It shows how much work the team put into making sure each race feels different and unique and I’m all for it.

Much like Karlach, Lae’zel is a monster in combat. All that training in her Creche didn’t go to waste. I kept her as a Fighter and eventually went Battle Master and Lae’zel has an answer for almost any situation. 

#4 Shadowheart

BG3_Companions_Shadowheart
Image: Larian Studios

Next on the list is the mysterious Shadowheart. While I won’t go into too much detail about Shadowheart’s story since finding out about who she really is is a major point of her quest, I will talk about how much I love how her character is written.

Early on, if you take your time exploring Act 1, you get enough information to piece together what a lot of Shadowheart’s deal is. The real fun comes from how you decide to interact with Shadowheart after that point. Her story deals a lot with what it means to struggle with doing what you think is right, and doing what you feel is right. An issue that many people in real life grapple with.

I loathe to give too much more detail so as not to spoil anything, but watching Shadowhearts character shift throughout my playthrough was one of the highlights of my time with Baldur’s Gate 3.

In terms of combat, Shadowheart is all the support and utility you’re going to need. She’s a swiss army knife of helpful spells and can fit into just about any party composition. That alone makes her one of the best companions in Baldur’s Gate. 

#3 Astarion

BG3_Companions_Astarion
Image: Larian Studios

Taking the number three spot is the sharp tongued vampire spawn Astarion. Even in early access I was intrigued with Astarian’s situation. While having a brain bug that turns you into a squid monster is a terrible fate to have, it’s the only thing keeping Astarian free from his vampire master. It’s very much a lesser of two evils situation.

While Astarion tends to act as the devil on your shoulder in his usual snarky manner, his desire to utilize the tadpole and its powers make sense when the alternative is just as bleak. Astarion is an evil character done right, because he’s not evil for evil’s sake. He feels he doesn’t owe the world any sympathy because of what he’s been through, but he won’t go out of his way to kill civilians if it doesn’t further his goals. Plus he’s got some of the best dialogue in the game in my opinion.

In combat, Astarion is as devastating as you might think a Rogue can be. Stacking sneak attack as you level, cunning action and spells if you choose Arcane Trickster make Astarion an effective damage dealer. He can also pop any lock and disarm any trap you come across which makes him invaluable if you can’t do it yourself.  

#2 Gale

BG3_Companions_Gale
Image: Larian Studios

If you told me that Gale would be my second favorite companion while I was playing the Early Access of Baldur’s Gate 3 I would have called you a liar. Against all odds and a little bit of dialogue changes on Larian’s part, Gale became a character whose story I was fully invested in.

You’d think having a magical nuke in your chest would dampen one’s mood, but Gale somehow stays cheerful and charming despite it all. Even with his need to eat magical items, I couldn’t be mad at Gale. And the bombshell dropped on him in the early parts of Act 2 made me love his character even more. To my surprise, Gale’s story felt akin to an underdog story. Even though he is essentially the architect of his own misgivings in regards to his companion quest, I couldn’t help but root for him.

It doesn’t really need to be said how useful Gale is in combat. Going full Wizard means you have access to some of the most powerful spells in D&D 5th Edition. Put him as an evocation wizard and watch the world burn. 

#1 Wyll

BG3_Companions_Wyll
Image: Larian Studios

Wyll was always the character I was most interested in after meeting him in Early Access. A Warlock with a Devil Contract is exactly what I’m looking for in my fantasy games. And that was before Larian did a complete rewrite of his character. While I was worried I wouldn’t like the new Wyll when the game came out, I was happily mistaken. Wyll’s new rewrite did wonders for his already great character. Even something as simple as a line reread shows how his character has changed.

While I don’t know what the original story for Wyll was before his rewrite, it seems like Larian’s change took Wyll from a character who was emulating a hero, to one who is actually a hero. A hero who may have made a bad deal.

At least in the route I took, since I decided not to have Wyll kill Karlach, his companion story revolves around him getting out of his Devil Contract. In many ways Wyll’s companion story has a lot of elements I wish Karlach’s story had. Working to break out of a contract without losing one’s soul in the process has always interested me and I love how well done it was with Wyll. The complex scenario of a hero making a deal with a devil to do good is just icing on top.

In terms of combat, Wyll is incredibly fun to have on the team because Warlock’s go well with so many classes. He’s a multiclassers dream. In my game I gave him three levels in fighter to make him more of the knightly defender he comes off as and I don’t regret my decision at all.

Join the High Ground

And that’s the best companions in Baldur’s Gate 3 ranked. Who’s your favorite companion? Does your list look anything like mine? Tell me in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe for more content like this in the future. Happy Adventuring!

 

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