The best Baldur's Gate 3 backgrounds for earning inspiration

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian )

The best Baldur's Gate 3 backgrounds grant you skills that match your existing talents, as well as inspiration - or rather, the chance to earn inspiration by roleplaying and achieving certain difficult objectives within the game. These are Inspiration Goals, and we'll explain about them too as we cover everything you need to know about the best backgrounds in Baldur's Gate 3, and what backgrounds pair well with what classes.

Recent updates

This BG3 backgrounds guide was updated on September 26. We didn't need to add anything new, but everything you'll find below is the most accurate info we've been able to find!

Best backgrounds in Baldur's Gate 3

Choosing a background in Character Creation in Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

The best backgrounds in Baldur's Gate 3 depend very much on the class you pick, as each background provides proficiency in two skills, as well as some unique inspiration goals tied to that background. For that reason, you should pick a background with skills you'll use often and want to be as good at as possible. 

Certain backgrounds also pair naturally with certain classes in Baldur's Gate 3 - for example, a Rogue could definitely be helped by getting the Stealth and Sleight of Hand Proficiency that the Urchin background provides. Here's some natural pairings for you to consider:

Best classes and backgrounds

  • Bard: Charlatan, Criminal, Entertainer, Guild Artisan, Noble, Urchin
  • Barbarian: Folk Hero, Outlander, Soldier
  • Cleric: Acolyte, Folk Hero, Outlander
  • Druid: Acolyte, Folk Hero, Outlander
  • Fighter: Outlander, Soldier
  • Monk: Acolyte, Criminal, Folk Hero, Outlander, Soldier, Urchin
  • Ranger: Acolyte, Criminal, Folk Hero, Outlander, Soldier, Urchin
  • Rogue: Charlatan, Criminal, Entertainer, Urchin
  • Paladin: Acolyte, Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Noble, Outlander, Soldier
  • Sorcerer: Charlatan, Criminal, Guild Artisan, Noble, Soldier, Urchin
  • Warlock: Charlatan, Criminal, Guild Artisan, Noble, Soldier, Urchin
  • Wizard: Acolyte, Noble, Sage

All that being said, any class can fit with any background, and it depends on what sort of build you want to make. The match-ups we've suggested above are for more traditional, focused builds, but backgrounds can also be a way to break out of the mould a little and build a new kind of character with a more diverse skillset.

All backgrounds in Baldur's Gate 3

Background and class skills in Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Below we've got the full list of character backgrounds for Baldur's Gate 3, including the skills they offer the character and what you need to do to get inspiration.

  • Acolyte
    • Skills: Insight (Wisdom), Religion (Intelligence)
    • Inspiration Goals: Serving gods, faiths and finding divine objects
  • Charlatan
    • Skills: Deception (Charisma), Sleight of Hand (Dexterity)
    • Inspiration Goals: Committing scams and manipulating people.
  • Criminal
    • Skills: Deception (Charisma), Stealth (Dexterity)
    • Inspiration Goals: Stealing things and generally making money off illegal activity.
  • Entertainer
    • Skills: Acrobatics (Dexterity), Performance (Charisma)
    • Inspiration Goals: Entertaining others while also providing great stories.
  • Folk Hero
    • Skills: Animal Handling (Wisdom), Survival (Wisdom)
    • Inspiration Goals: Saving innocent people from peril and building your legend.
  • Guild Artisan
    • Skills: Insight (Wisdom), Persuasion (Charisma)
    • Inspiration Goals: Repairing valuable objects and plying your trade as a craftsman and businessman.
  • Noble
    • Skills: History (Intelligence), Persuasion (Charisma)
    • Inspiration Goals: Acquiring power, status and building your social standing.
  • Outlander
    • Skills: Athletics (Strength), Survival (Wisdom)
    • Inspiration Goals: Confronting wild threats and coming out victorious with new discoveries.
  • Sage
    • Skills: Arcane (Intelligence), History (Intelligence)
    • Inspiration Goals: Finding rare lore and learning to build upon your existing knowledge.
  • Soldier
    • Skills: Athletics (Strength), Intimidation (Charisma)
    • Inspiration Goals: Showing strategic prowess and winning great battlefield victories.
  • Urchin
    • Skills: Sleight of Hand (Dexterity), Stealth (Dexterity)
    • Inspiration Goals: Applying your street smarts wisely and helping the less fortunate.

There is also the Haunted One background, unique to the BG3 Dark Urge origin character.

How to get Inspiration with Inspiration Goals

Astarion gains Inspiration in Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Inspiration in Baldur's Gate 3 is a special mechanic tied to your background, wherein completing "Inspiration Goals" (achievements that match the desires and ambitions of your background) grant you an Inspiration point as a reward, as well as 25 XP. Here's what you need to know:

  • Every background comes with various hidden achievements tied to it, known as Inspiration Goals.
  • Inspiration goals might be specific: A Folk Hero gains Inspiration by rescuing Volo from the Baldur's Gate 3 Goblin Camp.
  • Or they might be more general: A Soldier gains Inspiration by surviving a combat encounter with any ten or more enemies.
  • Each character can only complete an Inspiration Goal once. Goals are unique achievements that can't be repeated, you'll have to complete a different goal for more Inspiration.
  • Your companions also have backgrounds with Inspiration Goals that can be completed through group actions - as long as they're part of your current Baldur's Gate 3 party, any party member achieving those goals counts as a collective victory. So anybody can be the one to rescue Volo, but as long as Folk Hero Wyll is in the party, his Goal is completed.

Speaking of which, each of your companions has the following Backgrounds, to help you determine what actions will help them achieve their goals:

  • Astarion: Charlatan
  • Gale: Sage
  • Lae'zel: Soldier
  • Shadowheart: Acolyte
  • Wyll: Folk Hero
  • Karlach: Outlander

What is Inspiration in Baldur's Gate 3?

Journal of Inspiration in Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Inspiration is a special resource that's the reward for completing any Inspiration Goal. Here's the basics:

  • Once you complete an Inspiration Goal, you get a point of Inspiration for the party, to be used by any of your companions in Baldur's Gate 3.
  • Inspiration can be triggered on any Ability Check outside of combat. It allows you to reattempt the roll once.
  • You can only have four Inspiration points banked at any one time, maximum. Completing Inspiration Goals after that point won't get you any more, so use them up before that happens!
  • Inspiration is therefore a great way to undo a failed check or help increase success where it really matters to you, especially if the Baldur's Gate 3 advantage and disadvantage mechanics are working against you. It's effectively a safety net, and a very useful one!

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.