Baldur’s Gate 3: Great Weapon Master [How To Activate & Uses]

Discover the power of the Great Weapon Master feat in Baldur's Gate 3 and learn how to maximize damage while balancing accuracy.

For players looking to maximize damage output in Baldur’s Gate 3, the Great Weapon Master feat is an essential unlock. This powerful feat boosts your attacks with heavy two-handed melee weapons at the cost of reduced accuracy. Learning how and when to utilize the Great Weapon Master takes some skill, but the payoff can be devastating strikes against your foes. With the right strategies, Baldur’s Gate 3 Great Weapon Master, can enable you to cleave through enemies in a few mighty blows.

Key Takeaways
  • Baldur’s Gate 3’s Great Weapon Master feat boosts melee damage at the cost of reduced attack accuracy when toggled on.
  • Unlock Great Weapon Master by reaching level 4 and selecting it over a normal ability score improvement in BG3.
  • Equip heavy, two-handed melee weapons like Greataxes to benefit the most from the extra damage.
  • Activate the feat during battles by toggling it on in your character’s Passives menu.
  • Target enemies with lower armor class to connect more attacks with the accuracy penalty.
  • Try to gain an advantage on attacks through abilities and terrain to offset the reduced hit chance.
  • Score critical hits and reduce enemies to 0 HP to gain bonus action melee attacks.
  • Disable Great Weapon Master temporarily if you frequently miss attacks due to the penalty.

What Is The Great Weapon Master Feat In Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur's Gate 3 Great Weapon Master
Great Weapon Master (Credit: eXputer)

One of the most impactful character-building choices in Baldur’s Gate 3 is selecting the Great Weapon Master feat. This powerful passive ability becomes available at level 4 and applies specifically when using heavy two-handed melee weapons. Enabling the Great Weapon Master toggle in Baldur’s Gate 3 allows you to deliver powerful and destructive attacks.

Deciding when to unleash this brute force requires careful judgment based on the enemy’s defenses. Used strategically against weaker foes, Great Weapon Master can enable you to overwhelm opponents swiftly.

When the Great Weapon Master is active, I gained the following benefits and drawbacks:

  • +10 bonus to damage rolls with melee weapon attacks
  • Each hit deals devastating damage
  • The damage boost applies to every normal hit, not just critical hits.
  • It would help if you weighed when the tradeoff is worthwhile based on enemy AC and your attack bonuses.
  • 5 penalty to attack rolls with melee weapons
  • The chances of hitting the enemies are reduced
  • It would help if you weighed when the tradeoff is worthwhile based on enemy AC and your attack bonuses.
  • Use abilities/spells that grant advantage to offset the accuracy penalty when feasible.

Unlocking The Great Weapon Master Feat

As you adventure and complete quests in Baldur’s Gate 3, your character will gain experience points (XP) and eventually reach level 4. The amount of XP needed to reach each level increases as you progress. 

Baldur's Gate 3 Great Weapon Master Choosing Feats Over Ability Score Improvements
Choosing Feats Over Ability Score Improvements (Credit: eXputer)
  • At level 4, accumulating around 2,700-3,300 XP is necessary to level up, with the exact amount varying based on your class.
  • Engage in battles with monsters, explore new areas, and complete quests to gather sufficient XP and trigger the level-up notification.

Choosing Feats Over Ability Score Improvements

When your character reaches certain levels in Baldur’s Gate 3, including level 4, you’ll be able to boost your abilities. You can increase one of your ability scores by 2 points, or you can select a special feat, like Great Weapon Master.

Baldur's Gate 3 Great Weapon Master Ability Score
Ability Score (Credit: eXputer)

Feats offer distinctive bonuses and abilities that can complement your preferred playstyle.

  • The Great Weapon Master feat, in particular, enables you to inflict additional damage using heavy melee weapons, although it diminishes your attack accuracy.
  • This feat suits warrior classes that rely on strength and heavy weaponry.

I selected the “Feats” option rather than “Ability Score Improvement” within the level-up menu to opt for a feat instead of an ability score improvement.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to review and choose the Great Weapon Master feat if it’s applicable to your class.
  • Once chosen, your character gains access to the potent effects of the Great Weapon Master feat.
  • This feature can be toggled on or off prior to attacks, allowing you to use it strategically and crush adversaries with your formidable two-handed weapons.

How To Activate The Great Weapon Master Feat In Baldur’s Gate 3?

You’ll need to manually toggle on the Heavy Weapons feat during combat to gain its damage-boosting effects. This is done by opening your Passives tab and clicking the feat’s icon when you want it active.

  1. Open the Passives tab at the bottom of the screen during battle to view your abilities.
  2. Find the icon for the Heavy Weapons feat. When inactive, it will appear greyed out.
  3. Click the icon to toggle on the Great Weapon Master feat before attacking Baldur’s Gate 3.
  4. You’ll then see adjusted stats on your melee weapon attacks – increased damage and reduced accuracy.
  5. The effects only apply while the feat is toggled on. You can disable it again at any time.

My Tips & Tricks

The Great Weapon Master feat can enable you to deal devastating damage in Baldur’s Gate 3 if utilized strategically. However, the accuracy penalty means you must be selective about when to activate it.

  • Disable the feat if regular attacks are frequently missing.
  • Prioritize lower Armor Class enemies to overcome the accuracy challenge.
  • Check enemy AC by hovering over them.
  • Toggle off the Great Weapon Master feat in Baldur’s Gate 3 when fighting high AC enemies or attempting clutch attacks.
  • Re-enable once conditions improve and you need the extra damage again.
  • Gain advantages through terrain, abilities, and spells to counter accuracy reduction.
  • Coordinate with allies for buffs, intimidation, and bonuses like Barbarian’s Reckless Attack.
  • Evaluate risks and rewards before using Great Weapon Master—massive damage potential, but missing is costly.

Get The Bonus Attack

One major benefit of the Baldur’s Gate 3 Great Weapon Master feat is unlocking a bonus melee attack under certain conditions. Properly utilizing this can let you dish out additional damage each turn.

Baldur's Gate 3 Great Weapon Master Get A Bonus Attack
Get A Bonus Attack (Credit: eXputer)
  • You gain a bonus attack if you score a critical hit on an attack roll. T
  • his happens when you roll a natural 20, resulting in automatically inflicting twice the normal amount of damage.
  • Reducing an enemy to 0 HP with a melee attack will also trigger the bonus attack. So cleaving through a damaged foe can let you immediately strike another.
  • Check your passive abilities when either condition is met – you should see the bonus attack appear.
  • Click it and select a target, just like a normal attack. Use it against the same foe or switch targets.
  • The bonus attack is a free action, allowing you to deal more punishment each turn if you meet the criteria.

With some lucky attack rolls, Great Weapon Master’s bonus attack gives you a chance to cleave through multiple enemies swiftly—the time it strategically to maximize damage against low health or AC targets.

My Opinion On Great Weapons Master

Great Weapon Master is probably my favorite feat on melee characters. I have used it with many characters in my many hours of experience in Baldur’s Gate 3, but I use it the most with Karlach. It has so much utility against fighting hordes, be it multiple shadows or risen soldiers. The bonus move with the possibility of stunning them (if you build it correctly) is simply too OP.

My updated hours on Baldur’s Gate 3

It does come with poor accuracy, so making sure you hit it is important. My strategy is simply to use Gale to root them in place and unleash Karlach’s might on them. I would not suggest using it in boss fights because one unfortunate roll and you may lose the entire fight.

That wraps up the guide for mastering combat with Great Weapon Master in Baldur’s Gate 3. Practice is key in using the damage boost effectively while considering the accuracy penalty. Use this guide to understand the feat’s strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, it’s recommended to go through the guide for Necromancy Of Thay in Baldur’s Gate 3. Lastly, take a moment to check out the Efrin guide and the Baldur’s Gate 3 Classes tier list


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Haris Umer is a Guides Writer on eXputer who can be seen torturing himself by playing FromSoftware’s offering of Souls games. He speaks about games with overwhelming passion, which readers can spot in his guides. Haris has been avidly playing video games for 15+ years now. You can learn more about his gaming experience through his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors In Medicine And Surgery.

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