There are over a dozen skills that you can use in Baldur’s Gate 3 in addition to the spells you can use against your enemies. These skills essentially determine how well you’re able to execute various in-game actions be they lying, convincing another character, understanding religion, etc. Another important thing to keep in mind is to ensure that you confuse skills with abilities – abilities are basically attributes. Skills are further divided into active skills and passive skills. In this guide, we’ve provided an overview of all the different skills in Baldur’s Gate 3.


What Are Skills and How They Work

In the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, skills are the abilities that define your character’s prowess and talents. They are the numerical representation of your character’s aptitude in various areas, from physical prowess and stealth to knowledge of magic and the ability to persuade others.

Each skill is associated with a specific ability, and your proficiency in a skill is determined by a combination of your character’s inherent ability modifier and any additional proficiency bonus you may have. Skills are used to pass specific checks, which can occur during combat, dialogue, or exploration. The outcome of these checks can significantly influence the course of your adventure.

All Baldur’s Gate 3 Skills

AcrobaticsHelps you maintain balance, dodge traps, and resist enemy grapples.
Animal HandlingUseful when interacting with animals.
ArcanaEnables you to recognize magic and interact with enchanted items.
AthleticsUseful for physical actions like climbing, jumping, and shoving.
DeceptionHelps you manipulate the truth and deceive others.
HistoryGives you knowledge of the world’s past.
InsightHelps you read people and situations, and detect lies.
IntimidationEnables you to threaten and induce fear in others.
InvestigationHelps you analyze clues and solve mysteries.
MedicineUseful for healing wounds and diagnosing diseases.
NatureGives you knowledge about plants and animals.
PerceptionHelps you observe your environment and spot hidden details.
PerformanceHelps you entertain audiences.
PersuasionEnables you to convince others to do something.
ReligionGives you knowledge about deities and religious rites.
Sleight of HandUseful for pickpocketing, disarming traps, and other actions requiring dexterity.
StealthHelps you stay out of sight and hide.
SurvivalUseful for tracking, foraging, and understanding natural hazards.

Recommended Skills for Beginners

While all skills have their uses, some are particularly beneficial for beginners:

  1. Persuasion: This skill can help you talk your way out of tricky situations, potentially avoiding unnecessary combat.
  2. Perception: With a high Perception skill, you can spot traps, hidden treasures, and other secrets that others might miss.
  3. Athletics: This skill is useful for various physical actions, from climbing to shoving, which can come in handy in many situations.
  4. Stealth: Being able to sneak around unnoticed can give you the upper hand in combat or allow you to avoid it altogether.
  5. Investigation: This skill can help you uncover important information, solve puzzles, and find hidden objects.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Skills Overall

While every skill in Baldur’s Gate 3 has its unique benefits and uses, some skills stand out as particularly beneficial due to their versatility and the frequency with which they come into play. Here are the best Baldur’s Gate 3 skills that can be advantageous to any character, regardless of their class or playstyle:

  1. Persuasion: This skill is incredibly useful in dialogue, allowing you to convince NPCs to see things your way. Whether you’re trying to avoid a fight, negotiate better rewards, or just get more information, Persuasion is a skill that will come into play in almost every conversation.
  2. Perception: A high Perception skill can help you spot hidden traps, secret doors, and other hidden details in the environment. This skill is crucial for avoiding unnecessary damage and finding the best loot.
  3. Stealth: Whether you’re a rogue sneaking up for a backstab or just trying to avoid a fight, Stealth is a valuable skill. It allows you to move unseen by enemies, setting up ambushes or bypassing danger entirely.
  4. Athletics: This skill comes into play in various physical activities, such as climbing, swimming, and jumping. It’s also used in combat for actions like grappling and shoving.
  5. Arcana: If you’re playing a magic-using character, Arcana is a must-have skill. It allows you to identify magical items and spells, and it often comes into play when dealing with magical traps and puzzles.
  6. Medicine: In a game where combat is a frequent occurrence, being able to heal wounds and cure diseases is a valuable skill. Medicine allows you to stabilize dying characters and can often mean the difference between life and death for your party.

Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3

With the release of the final build, developers have added new skills to Baldur’s Gate 3 for all classes. Known as Illithid Powers aka Tadpole Skills, these are part of a hidden skill tree in Baldur’s Gate 3.

To unlock new illithid Powers, the first thing you need to do is find more Illithid tadpoles. These tadpoles are hidden all over the Forgotten Realms. You can find them in places like jars, pools of salty water, and even inside the heads of infected creatures. When you eat a tadpole, you unlock a new Illithid Power.

There are 25 different powers you can unlock, and they are all based on the abilities of the mind-flayers, a type of creature in the game.


Illithid Powers skill three can be accessed through the Illithid Power Menu. You can do this by pressing the B button. The menu looks like a tree with rings. The powers on the outside rings can only be unlocked after you unlock the powers next to them on the inside rings. The grey icons are for powers that are always working, and the red icons are for powers that you have to activate. To unlock a power, you just click and drag a tadpole from the top right corner of the screen to the power you want to unlock.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Illithid Powers (Tadpole) Skill Tree

Illithid PowerClassDescription
Favorable BeginningsAll ClassesYour first attack or ability check against any target gets a bonus equal to your proficiency bonus.
Charm (Illithid Power)All ClassesUse the tadpole’s power to charm an enemy attacking you, stopping them from attacking you until their next turn.
Luck of the Far RealmsAll ClassesIf you successfully attack an enemy, you can turn that hit into a critical hit.
Perilous StakesAll ClassesGive a creature power that heals it when it attacks, but also makes it vulnerable to all damage. Lasts for 3 turns.
Shield of ThrallsAll ClassesCreate a protective shield around you or an ally, giving the target 10 temporary hit points. Lasts for 1 turn.
Concentrated BlastAll ClassesAttack a foe with powerful psychic energy. You must be focusing on another spell to cast this spell. Concentration is broken upon cast.
Ability DrainAll ClassesOnce per turn, when you attack, the attack reduces the target’s corresponding ability by 1. The ability reduced is the same as the one used to make the attack.
Endless RageAll ClassesWhile raging, deal an extra 1d4 damage with weapon attacks, but receive 1d4 psychic damage each turn. Prevents rage from ending early.
Stage FrightAll ClassesMake your enemies fear failure. They get disadvantage on attack rolls and take 2d6 psychic damage each time they miss an attack roll. Ends when they hit with an attack roll.
Survival InstinctAll ClassesFill a creature with psychic force. If it reaches 0 HP, it regains 3d4 HP instead of falling unconscious.
Aberrant ShapeAll ClassesMagically transform into an Intellect Devourer that can deal psychic damage.
Psionic PullAll ClassesPull a creature or object towards you.
Fracture PsycheAll ClassesInvade a target’s mind and disrupt its defenses, reducing the target’s Armor Class by 1.
Force TunnelAll ClassesCharge forward and push all objects and creatures in your path away from you.
InkblotAll ClassesCreate a cloud of magical darkness and immediately try to hide. Creatures within the cloud can’t see and are heavily obscured. Creatures can’t make ranged attacks into or out of the darkness.
Horrific VisageAll ClassesUnleash your hidden magic and scare a creature with your twisted powers. Regain 2 Sorcery Points and potentially deal 1d4 Psychic damage per turn for 3 turns.
Supernatural AttractionAll ClassesYou are part of something bigger. Concentrate on your connection to teleport to another tadpole-infected creature.
Reflective ShellAll ClassesA protective shell surrounds you. It reflects any projectiles targeted at you back to their origin. Does not affect creatures that don’t rely on sight or that can see through illusions.
RepulsorAll ClassesChannel the power of the Absolute, knocking back all creatures and objects and dealing 2d6 Force damage.
FreecastAll ClassesSpell slots, charges, and similar resource costs for your next action or spell are removed. Refreshes after a rest.

These are all the skills in Baldur’s Gate 3. For more help on the game, you can check out our detailed Baldur’s Gate 3 wiki guides.