The Best Gnome Classes & Subclasses

Gnomes in Baldur’s Gate 3 are one the playable races that aren’t amongst the most popular choices but shouldn’t be ignored. Gnomes have innate traits that make the race a viable support character, as they can resist many attacks and wield spells.



Gnomes are also very versatile, as they can fit many roles and have more subraces than others. Gnomes’ subclasses include Rock Gnomes, Forest Gnomes, and Deep Gnomes, each having advantages that can fit many builds or party compositions in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Gnome Abilities In Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Gnomes Bards Cover

Gnomes are geared toward being great arcane spell casters but are also naturally defensive due to their bonuses to mental Saving Throws. This allows them to also build around becoming strong tanks and support characters that are hard to take down. Unfortunately, they are slow movers like other Baldur’s Gate 3‘s races Dwarf and Halfling. This can make it tough to position into a melee fight. Additionally, you will select one of three subraces – Rock, Forest, or Deep – to further round out their specializations. This will grant the following features and improvements:

All Gnome-Type Features

  • 7.5m Distance Per Turn
  • +2 Intelligence
  • Advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma Savings Throws

Rock Gnome

  • +1 Constitution
  • 12 m Dark Vision
  • Add double the proficiency bonus on History checks

Forest Gnome

  • +1 Dexterity
  • 12 m Dark Vision
  • Speak with Animals bonus spell

Deep Gnome

  • +1 Dexterity
  • 24 m Dark Vision
  • Advantage on Stealth checks

After selecting a subrace for a Gnome class in Baldur’s Gate 3, you should consider a Background that provides skill proficiency linked with those ability score bonuses. These include Charlatan (Deception, Sleight of Hand), Criminal (Deception, Stealth), Sage (Arcana, History), and Urchin (Sleight of Hand, Stealth). Other Backgrounds can be selected if the previously mentioned proficiencies are already part of your intended class – like Sleight of Hand for Rogues.

Best Gnome Subclasses

Baldurs Gate 3 Bard Badger

A Gnome’s stat spread shows that they make for gifted mages. It is up to you if you want to use this to make destructive blasters, party support, or add a bit of magic to a more martial-focused fighter class in Baldur’s Gate 3. Another great option is making full use of their Saving Throws to become an unwavering presence in battle.

Wizard – Abjuration School

The Abjuration School will turn Wizards into excellent party buffer who receives a magical shield as they cast. A Gnome will want to utilize spells that increase survivability, like Mage Armor and Protection from Evil and Good. Because Abjuration Spells are mostly cast on the party, Gnomes can keep their Intelligence at a minimum, raising it just for more prepared spells after each rest in Baldur’s Gate 3. They can also dedicate level-ups to earning useful feats like Tough and Skilled.

Wizard – Evocation School

The second Wizard option will turn Gnome players into a spell-slinging powerhouse. Unlike Abjuration, Evocation Intelligence is extra important to hit enemies or bypass their Saving Throws. Which subrace works best depends on spell selection.

A Rock Gnome will have more survival if using short-range spells in Baldur’s Gate 3, like Burning Hands and Thunderwave. Forest and Deep Gnomes may feel safe from afar, casting the like of Melf’s Acid Arrow and Witch Bolt.

Fighter – Eldritch Knight

Eldritch Knight allows Gnomes to combine their arcane prowess with physical combat. Most notably, they will be proficient with Strength, and Constitution Saving Throws while still having an advantage on all mental ones. With the option of using heavy armor and shields, the best magic choices are defensive spells like Blade Ward and False Life.

If you want to use classic Dungeons and Dragons attack spells like Chill Touch or Fire Bolt should build around Dexterity and wield a bow instead of melee weapons.

Rogue – Arcane Trickster

Much like Eldritch Knight, the Rogue subclass Arcane Trickster will allow a Gnome to utilize Intelligence-based magic and a few martial skills in Baldur’s Gate 3. But Arcane Tricksters are more about deception and role-play than brute warriors. You should consider versatile spells like Disguise Self and Charm Person.

Deep Gnomes are incredibly powerful, as their boost to Stealth checks will allow them to ambush enemies easily.

Rogue – Thief

The other Rogue subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 will make Gnomes into a shadowy assassin. This doesn’t grant any form of magic, but the bonuses of a Deep Gnome will still shine as a Thief. You will want to capitalize on Fast Hands feature, allowing you to dash or disengage as needed quickly. A great strategy is taking the Dual Wielder feat, making it easier to stay on the frontline. Alternatively, you should keep a short bow handy to fight from further away.

Barbarian – Wildheart

An unlikely but powerful pairing is to play a Rock Gnome Wildheart Barbarian. Bear Heart will make a Gnome near-indestructible while raging – they will be resistant to most damage and still maintain an advantage on many Saving Throws. If you are playing with several melee characters – like Baldur’s Gate 3’s fighter Lae’zel – another tactic is to use Wolf Heart instead. This will give nearby allies an advantage on melee attacks, turning the Gnome Barbarian into a sturdy support character.

With so many race-class varieties, you should consider dabbling with each on separate save files. A powerful build on paper may still not feel exactly right once played in-world. It is possible to enjoy multiple combinations and want to play through Baldur’s Gate 3 as a Gnome several times.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3

    Baldur’s Gate

    macOS, Microsoft Windows


    Larian Studios

    Larian Studios


    Larian Studios


    Baldur’s Gate 3 is a long-anticipated sequel to Baldur’s Gate 2, released in 2000 from BioWare and now being handled by Larian Studios. Set 120 years after the events of Shadows of Amn, Baldur’s Gate 3 puts players in the role of a customizable protagonist who has been captured and infected with a parasite that will turn them into a mind flayer. Before the process is complete, the ship they are on crashes, leaving them on a quest to cure themselves as they meet up with other survivors. Gameplay is turn-based and can be played co-operatively online or tackled alone in a single-player campaign with NPC allies. 

    How Long To Beat:
    22h 21m

    Baldur’s Gate 2

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