Baldur’s Gate 3 Hunter Ranger Build Guide – In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Hunter Ranger Build Guide, I’m going to cover my Ranger Build for Early Access, and show you what I’ve found to work best. I’ll be doing more Build Guides at the launch of Baldur’s Gate 3, but for now, let’s look at how you can use a Hunter Ranger effectively in the first Act of the game.
Be sure to check out our other Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds for Early Access including: Circle of the Land Druid, Circle of the Moon Druid, Wild Magic Sorcerer, Wildheart Barbarian, Draconic Sorcerer, Berserker Barbarian, College of Lore Bard, College of Valour Bard, Oath of Devotion Paladin, Oath of the Ancients Paladin, Oathbreaker Paladin!
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger Builds Features
- Abilities: Dexterity, Wisdom
- Subclasses: Hunter & Beast Tamer
- Unique Feature: Ranged Combat
- Hit Die: +10 HP + CON Modifier
Baldur’s Gate 3 Hunter Ranger Build Guide
The Hunter Ranger is a powerhouse of a Subclass that can be compared to other Martial Classes like the Barbarian and Fighter in terms of the overall damage they deal. Not only do they have Spells to restrain targets, but they also have the ability to mark them in order to inflict damage over time. However, it doesn’t end there since at Level 5, these Rangers can execute an Extra Attack, allowing them to eliminate threatening enemies in a few, if not a single round.
Because of how simple they are to play as the Hunter Ranger is considered one of the best beginner Classes in Early Access. On top of their damage potential, they have decent AC since they can equip Medium Armour. What’s more, is that they’re optimally positioned outside of harm’s way to shoot arrows safely from a distance.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Hunter Ranger Character Creation
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Ranger during Character Creation for the best results. You don’t have to follow this to the letter, and this will likely change at the full launch of the game. However, this will hold you in good stead during Early Access.
For Background, choosing one that provides you with Dexterity Skills should be enough since this is your primary Ability to hit and damage enemies, alongside Wisdom. Dexterity has Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. Some Background examples are Charlatan, Entertainer, and Urchin.
The first Race that works well for this Build is the Wood Elf. Wood Elves can reach 17 Dexterity while having a +1 Wisdom bonus. They also gain Proficiency in Perception and Stealth, and they have Darkvision. All of these qualities make them the clear favorite for a Ranger.
Alternatively, you can choose the Strongheart Halfling since they can also reach 17 Dexterity, and gain Lucky, allowing them to make another Attack Roll when they roll a natural 1. They even have Poison Resistance due to Strongheart Resilience as well as +1 Constitution. Last but not least is the Human who has an all-around good Ability Spread. As such, they can reach 16 Dexterity and 16 Wisdom during Character Creation.
For Skills again it’s not super important, but you’ll have high Dexterity and Wisdom, so selecting Skills that fall under these Abilities is ideal. Wisdom has Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival, and I’ve already listed what Dexterity Skills there are.
The primary Abilities that are needed for this Build are Dexterity since you’re going to focus on Bow combat, followed by Wisdom and Constitution. Wisdom is needed to land some Spells while Constitution increases HP and helps to maintain Concentration. Your Ability Spread should look something like this:
Out of all the Favored Enemies, the best one is Bounty Hunter because it imposes a Disadvantage on targets attacked using Ensnaring Strike, specifically when it comes to their Saving Throws and Attack Rolls. What’s more, is that you and your allies gain Advantage on Attack Rolls against them. As a result, they won’t be as effective in combat. Furthermore, the Cantrips featured in other Favored Enemies such as Sacred Flame aren’t that good.
For Natural Explorer, I suggest taking Beast Tamer so you can summon a Familiar that can assist you in combat. Just remember to summon them before the start of every encounter since you can’t do so once you’ve engaged enemies.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Hunter Ranger Level 2
At Level 2, you get to choose a powerful passive. For this Build, I suggest taking Archery to gain +2 Attack Rolls with Ranged Weapons. This will equate to a total of +7 to your Attack Rolls and +8 at Level 4 by taking into account your +2 Proficiency, +2 Archery bonus, and Dexterity Modifier.
Spells and Concentration
You also gain 2 Level 1 Spells and 2 Spell Slots. Here, you should take Ensnaring Strike and Hunter’s Mark. Ensnaring Strike allows you to restrain a target, thereby dealing 1-6 Piercing Damage after every turn if they fail their Strength Saving Throw in addition to the 4-9 Piercing Damage they initially receive. Meanwhile, Hunter’s Mark lets you deal 1-6 Slashing Damage against the marked creature every time you shoot them with your arrows. As long as the hunt is completed, which means you’ve slayed the same marked enemy, this Spell will stay with you until you take a Long Rest so you can keep applying it in the next encounters as a Bonus Action instead of spending a Spell Slot.
It’s also worth noting that both Spells require Concentration to remain active. Concentration is broken if you cast another Cantrip or Spell that also requires Concentration. You can tell which these are because it will say so on the Spell itself. For example, if you cast Ensnaring Strike, but then you cast Hunter’s Mark, you would stop “Concentrating” on Ensnaring Strike and begin Concentrating on Hunter’s Mark.
Moreover, if you take damage while Concentrating on a Spell, you must make a Constitution Saving Throw, and if you fail, then the effect of that Spell ends. Should you succeed in your Saving Throw, you maintain your Concentration and the Spell continues. This is why it’s vital for Rangers to have average to high Constitution because of the Spells that require this Ability and is wasted if it’s constantly broken.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger Level 3
At Level 3, you’ll be selecting the Hunter Subclass. As a Hunter, you get to choose between 1 of 3 Hunter’s Prey. Here, you’re going to take Colossus Slayer for the increased 1-8 Damage with every Weapon attack you do. This passive is especially potent against stronger enemies, which are predominant in Early Access. But remember to reduce their HP beforehand to trigger its effect. Because of this, Colossus Slayer isn’t as useful against enemies you can one-shot so it’ll just be a waste.
Note that Hunter’s Mark and Colossus Slayer stack so you must use them together. It’s just that they each have different Damage Roll formulas but use the same Attack Rolls.
Spells and Replacement Spell
Additionally, you’ll be able to choose a third Ranger Spell. Here, I recommend taking Hail of Thorns or Cure Wounds. Hail of Thorns is really powerful. Should the target fail their Dexterity Saving Throw, they get the entire 5-19 Piercing Damage from the Spell’s thorns and its subsequent explosion. If they succeed, they still get 4-9 Thorn Piercing Damage plus half of the explosion damage at 1d10 divided by 2. Just remember that Hail of Thorns cannot be cast against an inanimate entity like the Intellect Devourer.
If you’re not running with a Cleric in your party, you may want to take Cure Wounds to be able to heal yourself or an ally you can touch. Because of your +3 Wisdom Modifier, you can effectively heal more HP than expected.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to unlearn and learn old and new Spells, respectively, via the Replacement Spell, similar to the Warlock. Unlearning a Spell lets you select what you wish to remove from your list. As a replacement, you’ll get to pick one Spell when you level up. But if you want to keep your current list, you can simply ignore this feature and continue to learn new Spells. In this Hunter Ranger Build Guide, we won’t be unlearning any Spells since the ones we’ve chosen are essential in combat.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger Level 4
At Level 4, you’ll gain 2 Ability points to place into Dexterity, bringing it to 18 and your corresponding Modifier to +4. This will not only increase the likelihood of you connecting your attacks but also increase your damage by +1.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger Level 5
At Level 5, you gain Extra Attack, which lets you make another attack using your Ranged Weapon and Spells that deal Weapon Damage, allowing you to obliterate powerful enemies.
Spike Growth allows you to control a large space of the battlefield with thorns that slow creatures down and damage them if they try to move through it. This is an excellent way to keep enemy melee units from getting to your allies and can be invaluable when you’re outnumbered.
Lesser Restoration lets you cure allies of diseases and conditions by touching them. It doesn’t require Concentration, only a single Action.
For this Hunter Ranger Build, you’ll primarily be wielding a Ranged Weapon such as The Joltshooter or Longbow +1. The Joltshooter not only lets you deal 5-12 Piercing Damage but also grants Lightning Charges upon dealing damage. This gives a +1 Attack Roll bonus together with +1 Lightning Damage. You can obtain this Weapon by doing the Rescue the Grand Duke Quest.
Comparatively, the Longbow +1 deals greater damage at 6-13. Note that both Ranged Weapons have Brace (Ranged). What this Weapon Action does is it grants an Advantage to your Damage Rolls to further improve your chances of dealing greater damage. The only caveat is you can’t move when you use Brace so you have to position yourself optimally right from the start.
For Medium Armor, you can go for Lae’zel’s Githyanki Half Plate or Scale Mail +1 to accommodate +2 of your Dexterity Modifier, giving you a total of 17 AC but you gain a Disadvantage on Stealth Rolls.
When it comes to Accessories, you’ll be equipping the Boots of Striding and Absolute’s Talisman. Boots of Striding is very beneficial to this Build since you have a lot of Spells that require Concentration. Your Movement Speed increases by 3m and you can’t be pushed back or knocked Prone.
Next is the Absolute’s Talisman, which will heal your HP by 1-8 after dealing damage. Both items can be found in the Shattered Sanctum. And finally, there’s the Amulet of Misty Step that’s nice to have. With this amulet from the Underdark, you gain access to the Misty Step Spell to help you teleport from one location to the other, thereby potentially granting you the +2 High Ground bonus for your Attack Rolls upon performing Ranged Attacks.
The Hunter Ranger is a very solid damage dealer because they’re straightforward to pilot and they inflict massive damage from afar. They excel in trapping a powerful target in place with Ensnaring Strike and even deal damage against multiple enemies with Hail of Thorns. As long as you’re able to succeed in your Constitution Saving Throw and you’re far from the limelight of combat, you’re going to maintain Concentration for Ensnaring Strike as well as your other Concentration Spells.
When executing Ranged Attacks, try to optimally position your character at High Ground. Doing so will grant a +2 Attack Roll bonus with respect to the target, thereby boosting the Hunter Ranger’s total Attack Roll to +10 by the time you reach Level 4. This would almost always guarantee a successful hit!
Lastly, even though you’re focused on executing Bow attacks, remember to equip 2 Shortswords as your Melee Weapons instead of a Two-Handed Martial Weapon like the Everburn Blade. As a result, you gain the Off-Hand Attack (Melee) Bonus Action, letting you move in for the kill when needed. Usually, you’ll need to switch to Melee Weapons when you incur a Disadvantage with Ranged Attacks since enemies are near you.
Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we update the other Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch Channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Wiki which is being worked on night and day!