10 Best Cantrips In Baldur’s Gate 3 [Expert’s Picks]

Empower yourself with the Best Cantrips in order to destroy any enemy that dares gets in your way!

If you want to take your gameplay to the next level in Baldur’s Gate 3, then you need to use the Best Cantrips available. There are many Cantrips to choose from, but not all are as effective as each other. That is why having a good understanding of each Cantrip is a must.

Key Takeaways
  • Cantrips are fundamental spells in Baldur’s Gate 3, offering diverse effects and uses.
  • Each cantrip is tied to specific classes, races, or subclasses, creating unique character-building opportunities.
  • Understanding the strengths and limitations of cantrips is crucial for effective combat and role-play.
  • Cantrips like Fire Bolt and Eldritch Blast provide reliable damage output.
  • Utility cantrips like Guidance, Mage Hand, and Dancing Lights provide creative solutions for out-of-combat scenarios.
  • Cantrips like True Strike and Blade Ward offer specific advantages but may have limited applications.
  • Consider the context of your character build, playstyle, and party composition when choosing cantrips.

Best Cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 

Here’s an overview of all the best cantrips, alongside their class, range, damage, additional effects, and considerations

CantripClassRangeDamageAdditional EffectsLimitations and Considerations
Fire BoltVarious18 meters1d10 fire damageHigh chance of hitting, can ignite flammable substances, reliable damageUsable by multiple classes, potential collateral damage from igniting surfaces
Acid SplashSorcerer, Wizard, Eldritch Knight Fighter18 meters1d6 acid damage in 2-meter radiusOnly AoE cantrip, reduces target's armor class by 2, versatile damage typeLimited range, challenge hitting targets, common poison resistance
Ray of FrostEldritch Knight Fighter, Sorcerer, Wizard, High Elves18 meters1d8 cold damage, reduces target's movement by 3 metersFreezing movement can prevent opponent's attacks, control battlefieldLimited to caster classes, special effect against moving foes
Poison SprayVariousTouch1d12 poison damageTargets must fail constitution saving throw, damage potential hindered by resistancesLimited range, might not hit reliably, limited spell selection
GuidanceCleric, DruidTouchNo damageAdds 1d4 bonus on skill checks for 10 rounds, useful for non-combat tasksLimited to Clerics and Druids, out of combat utility
True StrikeVariousSelfNo damageGrants advantage on next attack roll, strategic advantageConcentration required, limited practical use
Mage HandVarious18 metersNo damageManipulates objects at range, diverse uses in and out of combatLimited manipulation based on object size and intricacy
Dancing LightsHigh Elves, Arcane Trickster Rogue, Druid9 metersNo damageIlluminates surroundings, negates disadvantage from darknessLimited to specific classes, center of illumination around caster
Blade WardHigh Elves, ClericSelfNo damageGrants resistance to physical damage, useful for defenseRequires constant casting for permanent effect, limits offensive capabilities
Eldritch BlastWarlock18 meters1d10 force damage, can hit multiple timesHighly potent damage cantrip, scales with character level, exclusive Warlock enhancementsLimited to Warlocks for exclusive enhancements, other classes have access but not enhancements

10. Fire Bolt

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Fire Bolt in-game description [captured by us]
Among the myriad of magical attacks available in Baldur’s Gate 3, Fire Bolt is a well-known and versatile option. Usable by Wizards, High Elves, and classes with access to cantrips, Fire Bolt delivers 1d10 fire damage.

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  • Fire Bolt is not just offensive; it ignites flammable substances and triggers explosives.
  • It lets you aim and launch a searing projectile.
  • It reliably hits targets without obstacles, conserving spell slots.
  • It has competitive cantrip damage and is useful for environmental manipulation.
  • Exercise caution with Fire Bolt, especially near flammable surfaces.
  • Precision and awareness make Fire Bolt valuable, offering power and strategic possibilities in your magical arsenal.

9. Acid Splash

Acid Splash is a unique saving throw cantrip that targets dexterity, meaning that affected enemies must fail a Dexterity saving throw for the attack to hit.

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  • It deals 1d6 acid damage within an 18-meter range and affects everybody in a 2-meter radius, scaling with levels after level 5.
  • Acid Splash is the only AoE cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3.
  • Classes like Sorcerer, Wizard, and Eldritch Knight Fighter can cast it.
  • It lowers armor class by 2, useful against high AC targets.
  • Water-related spells can remove this effect.
  • Damage is relatively low, and hitting targets reliably can be challenging.
  • It’s valuable for ranged damage and against enemies resistant to fire damage like those with Hellish Resistance.
  • Effective on high AC targets and in choke points with multiple enemies.

8. Ray Of Frost

baldur's gate 3 best cantrips
Ray of Frost showcase [screenshot by us]
In the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, Ray of Frost stands out as a notable ranged attack cantrip. The spell unleashes a cold wave, inflicting damage on a target and slowing its movement.

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Specifically, the spell does 1d8 cold damage and reduces the target’s movement by 3 meters.

  • Ray of Frost can slow down aggressive melee enemies like Barbarians and Fighters, forcing them to use actions.
  • It can be cast on liquid surfaces to create an ice-ground effect, potentially knocking enemies prone.
  • While its damage isn’t high, it’s valuable for battlefield control and debuffing.
  • Synergy with Create/Destroy Water adds versatility.
  • Several classes (Eldritch Knight Fighters, Sorcerers, and Wizards) can use it, and High Elves learn it as part of their racial background.
  • Ray of Frost blends offense and tactical advantages for controlling foes and creating strategic opportunities on the battlefield.

7. Poison Spray

Poison Spray is a distinctive cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3, known for its attacking feature that occurs in a cone ahead of the selected character.

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Failing a constitution saving throw results in toxic gas damage, up to 1d12.

  • Poison resistance and immunity among common foes reduce its potential.
  • Monsters often have high constitution saving throws.
  • Major setback: close range, which can be risky depending on the character type.
  • For example, a Druid might use Poison Spray, but a Wizard may hesitate due to the risk.
  • Despite its impressive damage, limited range and common poison resistance make Poison Spray underwhelming in some situations.

6. Guidance

baldur's gate 3 best cantrips
Best Cantrips Guidance Showcase [screenshot by eXputer]
Guidance is another Cantrip that holds a special place in the arsenal of Best Cantrips. Unlike many cantrips focused on combat, Guidance is a powerful tool outside the battle.

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As a touch range buff, Guidance allows you or an ally to gain a 1d4 bonus on skill checks for 10 rounds or as long as you maintain concentration.

  • Guidance is usable by Clerics and Druids and obtainable through an Act 1 item.
  • It significantly boosts success chances in non-combat tasks like lock-picking, trap-disarming, or NPC persuasion.
  • You can cast it before dialogue rolls for an advantage.
  • While not a combat spell, its versatility and skill proficiency enhancement place it among high-tier utility spells.
  • In conversation or skill checks, Guidance often means the difference between success and failure.

5. True Strike

True Strike is a cantrip with an intriguing design but some practical limitations. In Baldur’s Gate 3, True Strike targets a character, granting the caster an advantage on their next attack roll against that opponent.

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It can be a potent spell for increasing the chance of a successful strike, particularly for classes like Warlock.

  • True Strike has limitations: it takes an action, provides an advantage for only the next two turns, and requires continuous casting.
  • Often, it’s more efficient to attack twice than to use True Strike due to its concentration requirement.
  • Suggestions for improvement include removing concentration, changing the casting method, or extending the duration.
  • True Strike is currently useful with specific tactics in niche situations like Rogues or Sorcerers.
  • While not a top choice for many, it’s an interesting spell concept focusing on precision and preparation.
  • Consider it for specific strategies or role-playing scenarios despite its limitations.

4. Mage Hand

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Mage Hand Showcase [image by us]
In Baldur’s Gate 3, Mage Hand is a versatile cantrip known for its wide-ranging applications inside and outside combat.

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  • Casters summon a spectral hand to manipulate objects up to 18 meters away.
  • Most casting classes have Mage Hand, except Bards, who need the College of Lore or College of Valour subclass.
  • High Elf races in BG3, including Asmodeus Tieflings, can acquire it.
  • Requires a concentration check, usable for 10 turns on success.
  • In combat, it can strategically push targets off high places or into specific spells.
  • Useful for puzzle-solving and manipulating trapped objects safely.
  • Despite some finding it tedious, its tactical value and unique uses make it valuable for casters.

3. Dancing Lights

baldur's gate 3 best cantrips
Dancing Lights Showcase [image by eXputer]
Dancing Lights, an evocation cantrip, is an interesting spell designed to illuminate the surroundings.

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It is available to High Elves, including the half-High Elf subrace, or to those who roll a Rogue and select Arcane Trickster as a subclass or choose to roll a Druid.

  • The spell creates light, removing the disadvantage in a nine-meter radius around the caster.
  • Best for illumination in non-stealth situations.
  • Unlike Light, Dancing Lights centers illumination on the caster.
  • Valuable for negating common disadvantages, but it requires concentration depending on the character’s build.
  • Despite drawbacks, it offers a strategic advantage, aiding exploration and combat, making it useful for casters.

2. Blade Ward

For those looking for protection in combat, Blade Ward serves as a valuable defensive cantrip, especially for characters who are more vulnerable to physical damage.

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All casters can use this spell but is acquired as a cantrip by High Elves or Clerics.

  • Blade Ward grants resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from regular weapons for two turns.
  • It belongs to the Abjuration school and requires recasting every other turn to maintain.
  • Combining it with Armor of Agathys or Sorcerers’ Extend Spell Meta-magic can make it an excellent choice.
  • The trade-off between offense and defense doesn’t always make it preferred, but it offers essential protection in critical combat situations.

1. Eldritch Blast

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Best Cantrips Eldritch Blast showcase [screenshot by eXputer]
Eldritch Blast is among the most potent cantrips available in Baldur’s Gate 3, particularly for Warlocks. Initially, the spell can inflict 1d10 damage through a ranged attack, sending a searing beam of crackling energy at the target.

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  • Eldritch Blast deals force damage, effective against most enemies, with low resistance.
  • Its unique scaling and features set it apart from Warlocks.
  • Unlike other cantrips, it increases in attacks, targeting one or multiple enemies.
  • Warlocks can enhance it with BG3 feats like Agonizing Blast, and doubling damage with a charisma modifier.
  • Fighters (Eldritch Knights) and some other spellcasting classes can learn it as a spell but not a cantrip.
  • Eldritch Blast is exceptional for Warlocks due to its exclusive features.
  • It’s a regular cantrip for non-Warlock classes but remains essential when a Warlock is in the party.

My Tips On The Best Cantrips

I am a hardcore caster enthusiast, so I have experimented with almost all the above-mentioned ones during my 30+ hour playthrough of BG3. However, there are a select few that stand out for me personally. Dancing Lights is one of the most basic Cantrips, but it is actually hilarious how useful it is. You can potentially make it to the Last Light Inn without taking a single point of Shadow Damage because of this one Cantrip. 

ibrahim bg3 save slot
My Baldur’s Gate 3 save slot (Image by eXputer)

One of the more fun ones is Vicious Mockery, which is exclusive to Bards. I love the idea of you saying something so bad to an entity that it takes actual damage from those words and feels disheartened for the rest of the fight as a debuff.

With that, you know all about Best Cantrips that are available for use. Choosing any of these from the list that suits your playstyle the most will ensure you can destroy any enemy in your way!

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Ibrahim Akhtar is a guides & features writer at eXputer. He uses his passion for gaming to provide insightful takes in his articles. Ibrahim spends most of his time defending Baldur's Gate from the forces of the Absolute. He has accumulated more than 15 years of gaming experience, having 1000 hours in The Witcher 3 and twice as much on Skyrim V. Ibrahim has previously worked at TopTierList. You can keep up with his Steam account to stay up to date on his latest explorations.

Experience: 1+ Years || Previously Worked for TopTierList || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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