Monks are one of the most interesting classes in Baldur’s Gate 3 if you love the idea of doing lots of damage, moving quickly, and getting to make lots and lots of attacks. Monks don’t depend on having powerful weapons as much as some other martially-minded classes, opting instead to strike with unarmed attacks a majority of the time. However, this increases the importance of one particular set of items for monks: their gloves. There are numerous gloves in the game that give bonuses specifically wired for monks, but these five are the best picks for the point in the game when they become available to you.
#5 The Sparkle Hands
These gloves give you lighting charges when you connect with an unarmed attack. When you hold lightning charges, you get a +1 to your attack and deal an extra point of lightning damage with every attack. This bonus does not scale up with how many charges you’re holding, and once you hold five lightning charges they will discharge with your next attack, dealing an extra 1d8 worth of lightning damage. Since you gain two charges for every unarmed strike you land with these gloves, a monk can set off this extra 1d8 with every flurry of blows you land on an enemy. Additionally, while you hold a single lightning charge, you gain advantage against foes wearing metal armor and against constructs.
You’ll find these gloves during Act 1, sitting inside a chest in the Sunlit Wetlands area. Its inside the sub-area known as the Decrepit Sanctuary. You’ll need to fight through some Wood Woalds to get ahold of it.
#4 Gloves of Crushing
These are powerful gloves for any kind of monk, with a nice simple bonus that isn’t hard to keep track of. They add +1 to every unarmed attack roll, and also make you do +2 bonus damage for every unarmed strike that you land. This will add up to a significant amount throughout an average fight in Act 2 and raises the minimum damage of one of your fists.
You can find a Zhentarim trader named Roah Moonglow inside the Moonrise Towers during Act 2. She sells numerous interesting items, including the Gloves of Crushing, but will only be available if you can avoid killing her or angering the Zhentarim in the goblin camp during Act 1.
#3 Bracers of Defense
These bracers are a great pick for early in the game for a monk. You gain +2 to your armor class while wearing these bracers, effectively reducing the chance that you are struck by an attack by 10%. You can only gain this benefit if you aren’t wearing armor or holding a shield, both of which are things monks won’t be doing anyway. For a more defensively-minded approach to defeating your foes with martial arts, these are an excellent choice.
You’ll find these bracers in Act 1, beneath the blighted village area. The apothecary’s shop has a basement that you can access via a hatch. Behind some crates on the north-facing wall, you can locate a lever, although it will also be highlighted with a successful perception check. Move the crates to pull the lever, leading you deeper into a cave. You’ll find these in an ornate chest within this hidden area.
#2 Thunderpalm Strikers
These excellent gloves let you deal an extra 1d4 worth of thunder damage with every unarmed strike, letting you destroy enemies made of stone with ease and raising your baseline damage significantly. It also lets you cast the “Thunderwave” spell once per long rest, an excellent spell for a monk to get ahold of for free, since it blasts all nearby enemies. You can drop yourself into a dangerous situation and knock the weakest foes off with a Thunderwave before finishing them off with a thunder-powered flurry of blows.
You can buy these gloves from a merchant named Bumpnagle. They’re on sale in Angleiron’s Cellar, an area accessible within the southernmost section of Baldur’s Gate called Rivington. Find the entrance to Angleiron’s via a cave a little bit north of Rivington General.
#1 Gloves of Soul Catching
This is the ultimate reward in the game for any monk who wants to truly maximize their punching power. Your unarmed strikes will deal an extra 1d10 worth of force damage, an incredible bonus all on its own considering how many otherwise very durable foes are vulnerable to force damage. Additionally, once per turn on a successful unarmed hit, you can either regain ten hit points, or you can instead gain advantage on attack rolls and saving throws for the rest of the turn. Lastly, these gloves raise your constitution score by two entire points, up to a maximum of twenty, helping you resist effects like poison and take a little more damage than you would otherwise.
These gloves are the reward for a long questline in Act 3 called “Save Hope”. This quest starts when you enter the House of Hope area, which is accessible through the occult shop called Devil’s Fee in northwest Baldur’s Gate. The trader here, Helsik, will help you with a portal to the House of Hope once you either pay her a significant sum of gold or help her retrieve the Gauntlets of Hill Giant Strength. You’ll start the questline as soon as you manage to enter the House of Hope, which will require you to retrieve the Orphic Hammer and smash Hope out of her prison, before defeating the devil Raphael. Make sure Hope survives these encounters so you can keep your reward.