In Baldur’s Gate 3, feats are an excellent way to mold and shape your character into the perfect adventurer. They can enhance a class’s innate strengths, make up for their weaknesses, or provide completely new avenues of play you might not have thought possible. While a Barbarian has a pretty straightforward role in Baldur’s Gate 3 as a tanky damage dealer, the right feats can add a little spice to an otherwise simple class. Either that or double down on their already devastating damage output.
So without further ado, let’s go over the 10 best feats for Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Best Barbarian Feats in Baldur’s Gate 3, Ranked Good to Best
While any number of feats can work for a Barbarian, we’ve boiled this list down to the feats that would be powerful on any barbarian build you have in mind. Since the game’s level cap is 12, we’ll getting a max of 3 feats by the end of the game (the woes of not playing a fighter).
Additionally, while ability score improvements can be chosen in place of a feat, we’ll be omitting them from this list as they’re more of a general upgrade and not that interesting compared to the other feats you can choose from. That being said, they are still very strong and are worth taking if you just want to bump up your stats.
Every Barbarian needs high HP. Chances are, if you chose to play a Barbarian or multiclass into one, you had their high health in mind when making the decision.
You’ll be tanking blows as the designated frontline, and Reckless Attack will almost guarantee you’re being hit when someone attacks you. For the most part, you should be fine, but some fights can get dicey if you’re not careful. Even the mightiest Barbarian can be felled under the right circumstances, and this is exactly where the Tough feat comes in.
Sometimes there really can’t be too much of a good thing, and that’s true when it comes to bumping your health. The Tough feat increases your hit point maximum by 2 for every level you’ve gained. It may not seem like much in the beginning, but those 2 hit points add up over time. By level 12 you’ll be looking at an extra 24 points added to your maximum health pool. It may not be the most glamorous feat on the list, but it doubles down on one of the Barbarian’s strengths and shouldn’t be written off.
Dual-wielding is one of the coolest things to see in a fantasy setting. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many classes that can utilize Two-Weapon Fighting to its full potential. Luckily for us, the barbarian is one of them.
Most classes lose out on adding their strength/dexterity as bonus damage to their off-hand attack. However, thanks to the Barbarian’s Rage feature adding flat damage to all strength-based attacks, wielding two weapons becomes way more viable. The Dual Wielder feat just makes this even better.
The Dual Wielder feat allows you to use Two-Weapon Fighting even if you aren’t using light weapons. You also gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class as long as you’re wielding a melee weapon in each hand. This increases a dual-wielding Barbarian’s damage significantly as you can now use two d8 weapons instead of d6 weapons. Additionally, the bonus to AC isn’t anything to sneeze at. You may be designed to take hits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to up your defenses.
If you plan to multiclass into Fighter or any other class that gives you a fighting style, then you can up your damage even more. Grab the Two-Weapon Fighting style and now your off-hand gets the bonuses from your strength score as well. Your enemies will truly know the fear of a rampaging Barbarian.
Better reach can be the deciding factor in a fight. No one knows this more than the warrior who picks up a polearm. Much like the Dual Wielder feat, Polearm Master exists to make using a polearm weapon better. Add Rage on top of that and you get one of the best feats for a Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3.
The Polearm Master feat allows you to use your Bonus Action to attack with the butt of your weapon as long as you’re using a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear. This also lets you take Opportunity Attacks whenever a target comes into range of you. Aside from activating Rage, Barbarians don’t have a lot of uses for their Bonus Action. With Polearm Master, you can now use that bonus action to lay on some extra hurt to whoever you’re fighting.
Not only that, you now get to opportunity attack anyone who comes within reach of your weapon. And given the extended reach of a polearm, you become an excellent defender.
This feat truly shines when you pair it with the Sentinel feat. I’ll go into more detail when I talk about that feat below, but combining the two feats essentially lets the Barbarian control the battlefield and lock down anyone trying to move.
Tavern Brawler is a feat I completely overlooked until I realized just how fun it is. That, and the concept of a barbarian tearing up a tavern in their rage fits perfectly.
The Tavern Brawler feat adds your strength modifier twice to your damage and attack rolls when making an unarmed attack, using an improvised weapon, or throwing something. While this feat does a fair bit, we’re mostly looking at it for the bonus of throwing weapons. If you’ve ever wanted to be a Barbarian that pierces enemies to walls with javelins, then this is the feat for you.
Ultimately, this feat just adds a fun and interesting way to play the Barbarian. Most people will usually stick to heavy two-handed weapons when choosing a Barbarian, but this feat demonstrates that the class is a lot more versatile than it may initially seem.
Not everyone can be good at everything. Each class has its strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately, the Barbarian’s weaknesses lie in anything that isn’t combat.
Barbarians only get access to two skills during character creation, and the list of skills available is fairly small. And if you’re anything like me, you love playing barbarian but also long for the ability to be present outside of combat. Well, this is where the Skilled feat comes in.
The Skilled feat lets you gain Proficiency in 3 skills of your choice. This nice and simple feat gives your Barbarian the ability to be more versatile in non-combat situations. Always liked the idea of a Barbarian with an interest in the arcane? Grab a proficiency in Arcana. Roleplay your character as having a musical side? Grab Performance and whistle a tune for your companions at camp.
This feat is purely for roleplay reasons, as Larian was nice enough to provide us companions with a wide variety of skills to help us. But in a game that’s roleplay-heavy as Baldur’s Gate 3, this feat is far from being a complete waste, especially for a Barbarian who longs to be more than just a muscle-bound murder-hobo.
Some may cringe at the idea of magic and Barbarian being uttered in the same sentence, but there are some instances where this combination can work. Yes, Barbarians cannot cast spells while raging, but that doesn’t mean a couple of spells will be wasted on our angry characters.
There are different types of the Magic Initiate feat denoting the different spellcasting classes, but essentially Magic Initiate allows a player to learn 2 Cantrips and a level 1 spell from that class’s spell list. You can grab Magic Initiate for the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes.
Any combat spells you grab will be virtually useless as they will conflict with your Rage. The main reason we grab this feat on the Barbarian is to add some versatility to the character. Much like the Skilled feat, there are some good cantrips and spells that can help the barbarian outside of combat.
Want to be better at Persuasion or Intimidation checks? Grab Thaumaturgy from the Cleric spell list or Friends from the Sorcerer spell list. Having trouble with seeing in the dark? Grab Light or Dancing Lights from the Wizard to light up the battlefield.
There are a lot of cool and useful combinations you can make. You’d be surprised at how well a little magic can benefit the Barbarian.
In the same vein as the Tough feat, Durable focuses on keeping you healthy for the many fights you’ll be faced with. Don’t get me wrong, Barbarian is one of the tankiest classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, but everyone needs some help from time to time.
The Durable feat allows you to regain full hit points whenever you take a short rest. Additionally, you increase your Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20. This feat is excellent if you like to marathon content before taking Long Rests and can help you round out an odd Constitution score.
It’s not flashy, but you can’t deny getting full HP on Short Rests isn’t useful. Especially for the class that’s going to be taking the lion’s share of damage in a fight.
Going first can be the difference between a clean sweep and a disastrous defeat. Plus, being able to position your Barbarian next to a spellcaster before they can act can effectively shut down that caster. You usually want to have your casters go first to control the battlefield, but the Barbarian can be a pretty effective controller as well.
The Alert feat gives your character a +5 to Initiative and can’t be Surprised. Another simple but effective feat, Alert makes it so no one can get the drop on you. This means that even if your party fails to detect an ambush, your Barbarian can still run in and ruin the enemy’s day. Few battle plans survive a raging Barbarian to the face.
This is the feat I hinted at back when we went over Polearm Master. Sentinel combined with Polearm Master is a devastating combo that sees a lot of play in the pen-and-paper 5th Edition. Even without the use of a polearm, Sentinel turns a Barbarian into an excellent defender.
The Sentinel feat allows a player to use their reaction to attack an enemy in melee range whenever said enemy attacks an ally. You also gain advantage on opportunity attacks, and when you hit a creature with one, it can no longer move for the rest of its turn.
You can easily see why this feat works so well with a polearm, as the longer reach means a larger area the Barbarian can control. Even without a polearm, a Barbarian with this feat will end up disrupting any melee combat that they’re a part of. And trust us, your companions will thank you for it.
Great Weapon Master
Anyone who’s researched how to make an effective Barbarian will not be surprised by this number-one spot. For the most part, Barbarians are usually paired with the biggest, heaviest weapon they can find, and Great Weapon Master ensures that they’re devastating with that weapon.
The Great Weapon Master feat makes it so when you land a critical hit or kill an enemy with a melee weapon attack, you can make another melee weapon attack as a bonus action. If you’re proficient with that heavy melee weapon, your attacks can also deal an additional 10 damage at the cost of a -5 Attack Roll penalty (which can be toggled on or off).
This feat makes it so your character can keep their hate train going. Since Barbarians don’t use their bonus action for anything besides raging, giving them the ability to attack for a bonus action is devastating. Especially when you unlock your Extra Attack.
Three attacks per round can destroy most mobs that attack you. There’s a reason why Great Weapon Master is widely considered one of the best feats for a Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Join the High Ground!
And that concludes our list of the best feats for Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3. Have any of these feats made it onto your Barbarian builds? Is there a feat you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe for more content like this in the future!