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

Empower yourself with the Baldur's Gate 3 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 Sacred Flame, Fire Bolt, and Eldritch Blast provide reliable damage output.
  • Tactical cantrips such as Shocking Grasp and Vicious Mockery offer strategic advantages like disabling reactions and imposing disadvantages on enemies.
  • 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 in Baldur’s Gate 3, alongside their class, range, damage, additional effects, and considerations

CantripClassRangeDamageAdditional EffectsLimitations and Considerations
Sacred FlameCleric18 meters1d6 to 1d8 radiant damageNo concentration, not blocked by objects, can hit target without line of sightLimited to Clerics, radiant damage effective against certain creatures, might be weaker than other options like Fire Bolt
ShillelaghDruidSelfTransforms weapon to deal 1d8+2 Bludgeoning damage, uses spellcasting ability for attack rollsBonus action spell, can be combined with other actions, limited to Druid classLimited to Druids, usage may be limited based on character build
Shocking GraspSorcerer, Wizard, Eldritch Knight Fighter, High ElvesTouch1d8 lightning damagePrevents enemy reactions, synergizes with metal armor, tactical advantage against certain enemiesLimited to melee range, effectiveness varies based on circumstances
Vicious MockeryBard18 meters1d4 psychic damage, imposes disadvantage on target's next attack rollEffective ranged debuff, protects party members from harmLimited to Bards, damage may seem insignificant
Produce FlameVariousSelf1d8 fire damage, also usable for illuminationCan be thrown on the same turn without action cost, versatile dual-purpose cantripLimited to specific classes or races, slightly lower damage than Fire Bolt
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

15. Sacred Flame

Sacred Flame is a cantrip exclusive to Clerics, and it requires an enemy within an 18-meter distance to fail a dexterity saving roll or take 1d6 to 1d8 radiant damage.

  • This Cleric-only cantrip does not need concentration and is not blocked by objects.
  • Even without line of sight, you can still hit a target with Sacred Flame.
  • It’s a unique aspect that sets it apart from other ranged spells.

Radiant damage is often effective against certain creatures, making Sacred Flame a powerful option against high-AC enemies.

  • Unfortunately, Sacred Flame is limited to one class, which holds it back from being widely available to every spellcaster.
  • While it can deal reasonable damage, it is sometimes considered weaker compared to other options like Fire Bolt.

14. Shillelagh

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

Shillelagh is an exclusive Druid bonus action spell. It makes a club, great club, or quarterstaff deal 1d8+2 Bludgeoning damage using your spellcasting ability for attack rolls.

  • It’s a rare spell allowing the addition of the spell attribute modifier to damage if treated as an attack cantrip.
  • Ideal for those using clubs or quarterstaffs as main weapons or boosting Wisdom.
  • It’s a bonus action, allowing combination with other actions, useful for chaining two attacks in one turn.
  • Limited to Druids, so its usage may vary among Druids who may not use it offensively.
  • With the right Druid subclass and paired with an action, Shillelagh can be effective in a Druid’s arsenal

13. Shocking Grasp

Shocking Grasp is an intriguing cantrip that offers an electrifying experience in melee combat. Primarily utilized by Sorcerers, Wizards, Eldritch Knight Fighters, and high elves, it delivers a jolt of energy that deals 1d8 lightning damage to the target.

  • Shocking Grasp prevents enemy reactions, aiding casters in avoiding opportunity attacks.
  • It’s advantageous against enemies in metal armor, granting a second D20 roll for better chances and damage, synergizing with abilities like Create/Destroy Water.
  • Its melee range limitation may affect effectiveness depending on playstyle and situation.
  • Consider surroundings like standing water when using it in battle.

12. Vicious Mockery

best cantrips baldur's gate 3
Vicious Mockery Showcase [image by us]
When it comes to adding insult to injury, Vicious Mockery stands as a unique cantrip available exclusively to Bards. Dealing 1d4 psychic damage within an 18-meter range, this cantrip is more about strategy than raw power.

  • Vicious Mockery’s real strength is imposing a disadvantage on the target’s next attack roll.
  • This reduces the chance of a high roll from your opponent, protecting party members.
  • Despite its modest damage, Vicious Mockery serves as a reliable ranged debuff.
  • It’s a valuable choice for defense when low on spell slots or seeking alternative options to hinder opponents.

11. Produce Flame

Produce Flame is a cantrip that acts as a standard ranged attack with an extra layer of functionality. Upon casting, the character summons a flame into the hand, illuminating up to 3 meters around the caster, which can be held for 99 turns. This flame can be thrown at the cost of another action, causing 1d8 fire damage.

  • Throwing the flame on the same turn, it’s summoned has no action cost.
  • Produce Flame is similar to Fire Bolt but with slightly less damage.
  • It can be used for illumination like Light but not on Allies.
  • This dual-purpose nature makes Produce Flame versatile for offense and illumination.

10. Fire Bolt

fire
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.

  • 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.

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

mage
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.

  • 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. 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. 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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Baldur’s Gate 3 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.

  • 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 Baldur’s Gate 3 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 writer at eXputer. He uses his passion for gaming to provide insightful takes in his guides. 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 || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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