Baldur's Gate 3Ranger

Ranger (Beast Master) Build Guide for Baldur’s Gate 3

Beast Master Ranger Build and Guide

The Beast Master is one of the three subclasses for the Ranger offered at the launch of Baldur’s Gate 3 and has a close bond with an animal companion.

This allows them to summon them at a moment’s notice to fight side by side, with them listening to your every command!

Can you use your beast master to turn the tide of combat in your favor?

With this Beast Master Ranger build guide, you may yet prove your worth.

Find out where the Ranger ranks in our Baldur’s Gate 3 class tier list.

wolf companion protecting

Pros and Cons


  • Summon an Animal Companion to fit a versatile playstyle
  • Companion gets stronger as you level up
  • Access to additional out-of-combat utility


  • Lack of options for character features
  • Animal companions can feel weaker at higher levels
  • Lack of burst damage like the Hunter/Gloomstalker subclasses

The Beast Master Class has gone through significant changes from D&D 5th Edition to BG3. In BG3 you are able to pick from five animal companions to summon.

As you level up, your companions will get increased stats as well as some new abilities!

The companions are as follows, along with their strengths
  • The Bear: Having the Highest HP of the companions, as well as an ability to taunt nearby enemies, the Bear is the tank of the group.
  • The Boar: The Boar has a unique ability to charge in a straight line, dealing damage and potentially knocking enemies prone. The Boar is perfect for fights where your party is outnumbered.
  • Giant Spider: Being able to Jump a whopping 67 ft in the game, the Giant Spider is great at getting around the battlefield. That combined with its ability to web enemies makes it a great companion to take control of the fight!
  • The Raven: The Raven is unique in that it’s the only flying companion, and it has the ability to fly up to a range of 60 ft. It also has an attack that has the potential to blind a target for one round, perfect to take care of spellcasters or other ranged units!
  • The Wolf: The Wolf is the all-rounder of the group, it has above-decent AC, good single-target damage, and the ability to knock a single target prone.
bg3 bear crowd reaction

(A very loving Bear animal companion – Circa 1492 DR Colorized)

Outside of the animal companions, the Beast Master is overall a great subclass with a versatile play style. With spells like Speak with Animals or Befriend Animals, you’re able to assist your party with unique out-of-combat magic.

Being able to choose from five different companions for different scenarios, combined with your ability to attack with either your weapons and spells in and out of combat, you can provide a lot of party coverage with this subclass.

The Beast Master has some negative points for it as well.

While the Beast Master has the options of the five animal companions, there is little customization of the subclass that exists in some of the other subclasses that the Ranger has to offer.

Compared to the other two subclasses, the Beast Master has less overall potential damage as well. To round it off, while it feels strong early, the animal companions start to feel a bit weak when you get to the higher levels. This is subject to change on full release though.


Since Ability Scores are no longer tied to the races in BG3, when it comes to picking a race for a class or subclass you have to look to either the traits the races receive or just personal preference.

An example of a good race pick based on traits would be the Wood Elf. The Elf race gives Keen Senses which gives you proficiency in the Perception skill, and being of the sub race wood elf gives you the Mask of the Wild skill which gives you proficiency in Stealth.

wood elf beast master

Both of those are core skills for the Ranger class.


You will want to have Dexterity as your primary ability score. It not only increases your damage but also increases your AC so you have a reduced chance of being hit.

Your second-highest ability score should be Wisdom. This is going to increase your spell casting, as well as probably the most useful skill, Perception.

Constitution would be a good third ability to put points into as every class could use a good health buff. All other skills are free to dump unless you want to be a STRanger and use Strength-based weapons.

beast master skills


When picking a background for your Beast Master, you want to look for proficiencies that work best with this subclass.

The best for the Ranger is the Outlander, a background where you grew up away from civilization. This background provides the Athletics and Survival proficiencies, both of which work well thematically for the Ranger.

Other good backgrounds include:

  • Folk Hero: provides the Animal Handling and Survival proficiencies.
  • Sailor: provides the Athletics and Perception proficiencies.
  • Criminal: provides the Deception and Stealth Proficiencies.

outlander background


The Ranger class allows you to pick 3 skills from the following 8:

  • Animal Handling
  • Athletics
  • Insight
  • Investigation
  • Nature
  • Perception
  • Stealth
  • Survival

You’re going to want to focus on skills that revolve around your ability scores as you would any class but also think about the Beast Master subclass at the same time. For the Ranger class, you should prioritize Perception or Survival from the Wisdom ability score, and Acrobatics or Stealth from the Dexterity ability score.

beast master proficiencies

For the Beast Master, you should consider taking Animal Handling as it fits well with the theme of your subclass. This pairs really well when you choose a background that picks one of those for you, like Outlander for Survival or Folk Hero for Animal Handling AND Survival. As you can see from the picture, if you combine the right race and background, you can really fill out your proficiencies.

Recommended Spells and Abilities

  • Level 1
    • Favored Enemy
      • Any
    • Natural Explorer
      • Beast Tamer
      • Any of the Wasteland Wanderer Traits
  • Level 2
    • Ranger Class Passive
      • Archery
    • Spells (Choice of 2)
      • If Combat Oriented
        • Ensnaring Strike
        • Hunter’s Mark
        • Hail of Thorns
      • If Roleplay Oriented
        • Speak With Animals
        • Hunter’s Mark
        • Animal Friendship
  • Level 3
    • Beast Master Subclass
      • Spells (Choice of 1)
        • If Combat-oriented
          • Whatever spell you didn’t choose at level 2
        • If Roleplay-oriented
          • Whatever spell you didn’t choose at level 2
  • Level 4
    • Ability Score Increase (2 Points to a Stat)
      • DEX 16 -> 18
  • Level 5
    • Gain Extra Attack
    • Spells (Choice of 1)
      • Access to Level 2 Spells
      • Spike Growth

beast master ranger level up

When you pick the Ranger class you are prompted to pick a Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer Trait. For the Beast Master, the Favored Enemy has no real bearing on the Beast Master Subclass, so you may choose one as you see fit. For the Natural Explorer trait, you should choose the Beast Tamer trait, as it allows you to use the “Find Familiar” spell without expending a spell slot.

This will allow you to have an animal companion with you before you take the Beast Master subclass and allows you to have 2 animal companions on the field once you do. If you wanted a second option, you should choose one of the 3 Wasteland Wanderer traits, that simply gives you resistance to Cold, Fire, or Poison damage.

beast master favored enemy

Level 2

At level 2 you gain access to spellcasting and a class passive. For your class passive you’re going to want to probably take Archery for a +2 to your attack rolls with ranged weapons, but are free to pick whatever fits best for your fighting type.

For spell casting you’re always going to want to run Hunter’s Mark, it’s a staple ranger ability that gives you an extra bit of damage to your target. If you’re wanting to go a more damage-focused build, you should run with Hunter’s Mark, with Ensnaring Strike or Hail of Thorns. If you want to run a more roleplay build, you can run Hunter’s Mark, with Speak with Animals or Animal Friendship.

find familiar

Level 3

At level 3, you gain an additional level 1 spell slot and can simply take whatever you didn’t grab at level 2.

Level 4

When you reach level 4, you’re able to take an ASI (Ability Score Increase) or a Feat. For this build you will want to take the ASI to get your DEX to 18, as it gives a +4 ability mod that affects your AC, attack, and damage output.

beast master ranged attack

Level 5

Finally, at level 5, you gain access to the level 2 spells and an extra attack. You want to take Spike Growth for your level 2 spell no matter if you’re going roleplay or combat. It’s a great spell to give you more control over the battlefield to assist your animal companion and your party.


The Ranger has access to Medium Armor, all simple weapons, martial weapons and a shield.

For your armor you’re going to want to find Githyanki Half plate as it gives the highest base AC with a max of +2 from your DEX. You can either steal this armor from Lae’zel or on one of the Githyanki Patrol.

githyanki half plate

For helmets you can grab the Helmet of Grit. Wearing it gives the user +1 to DEX saving throws and when the wearer has 50% hit points or less, they have an additional Bonus Action. It is located in the Shattered Sanctum. To find it you have to walk up the stairs behind the throne and unlock the gate. Once there you can find the Helmet of Grit in the chests.

helmet of grit

For boots you should look to find “Disintegrating Night Walkers” as it gives you immunity to slipping, being enwebbed entangled or ensnared. On top of that, the boots also allow the user to use the misty step spell, which can be good for either positioning or fleeing. You can find these boots on the corpse of True Soul Nere at the Grymforge.

disintegrating night walkers

For weapons you should look to find either a +1 Heavy Crossbow or “The Joltshooter” as both are going to offer you maximum damage to your ranged attacks. For a melee weapon the “Sword of Screams” fits best, and you could always pair a shield with it to boost your AC further.

the joltshooter

You can find the Joltshooter as a Quest Reward for Rescue the Grand Duke, a +1 Heavy Crossbow from Derryth Bonecloak at the Myconid Village within the Underdark, or the Sword of Screams from the dead body of True Soul Nere in the Grymforge.


Overall the Beast Master class gives you a jack of all trades, master of none feeling in the best of ways.

You’re able to cover a lot of combat-related areas alone, with the versatility of your bestial companion mixed with your ability to fight from afar or up close.

While you’re not able to provide big burst damage like some of the other classes, rest assured if you pick the Beast Master you will always have a use in your party.