In Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker is very powerful when combined with Rogue and Fighter. This Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build guide will walk you through it.
If you’re playing Baldur’s Gate 3, you’re definitely going to want to take a look at a bunch of different Baldur’s Gate 3 builds and figure out which path you want to pursue with each of your characters. There are a lot of top tier builds. One of my favorites is the Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build.
In Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker is a subclass for Ranger, so it’s ultimately a Ranger build. Normally, Ranger is not particularly powerful. It’s like a Fighter, but tuned slightly weaker and given more versatility.
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However, Ranger levels synergize so well with Rogue and Fighter levels, when you combine all three, you get a truly powerful top tier unit that can compete with Tavern Brawler Monks, Hexblade Paladins and all the other popular class builds. That’s when things get spicy.
This Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build gets 2 Actions, 2 Bonus Actions, an extra bonus attack, 2 weapon proficiencies, extreme stealth and slight of hand bonuses. It’s a very popular build and if you’re looking for a Combat Rogue type of character, most people who’ve deep dived on Baldur’s Gate 3 would recommend this build or a similar build.
As with all Baldur’s Gate 3 builds, there’s some flexibility. You might prefer some different spell choices or a different level here and there, or different equipment options. Just to establish my own personal cred, I have 5 playthroughs and 250 hours in BG3 at the time of writing this, I’ve tried out quite a few builds in both leveling and endgame.
Anyway, that’s enough introduction. Let’s get into the Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build.
Abilities – Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build
In terms of abilities for the Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build, you want:
- Strength: 9
- Dexterity: 17
- Constitution: 16
- Intelligence: 10
- Wisdom: 10
- Charisma: 12
You have an odd number of Strength here because when you do a 17/16 split you end up with an odd point left over. I just put it into Strength because it was lowest.
The main thing to note here is that this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build doesn’t require any stats except Dexterity and Constitution really. We’re not using any of the Ranger spells except Longstrider for the most part.
Constitution boosts your health. Dexterity boosts your damage, AC and initiative. Everything else is just for conversation rolls and saving throws. You could take a few points out of Constitution and spread them around for better conversation rolls, especially if it’s your main.
I recommend more into Charisma than everything else because of the sheer amount of Charisma dialog choices, but it’s really dealer’s choice here.
Progression – Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build
For this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, ultimately you want to end up at Ranger 5 / Rogue 3 / Fighter 4.
Here’s the best order to do that. We’ll go in depth after this:
- Ranger 1-5
- For spells, take Longstrider, Hail of Thorns and anything else you want.
- Speak With Animals is useful. Goodberries is good.
- Spike Growth is good.
- Fighting Style
- Two-Weapon Fighting or Archery. They help around the same amount and we’ll end up with both. I like Two-Weapon Fighting first.
- Gloom Stalker. Bonus attack on round one, monster initiative bonus, stealth skills, darkvision.
- Get an ASI (Ability Score Increase) for Dexterity.
- At level 5 you get the Extra Attack.
- Rogue 6-8
- Not a lot of choices the first few levels of Rogue. At level 3, pick Thief.
- Fighter 9-12
- Action Surge is great, it’s one of the main reasons we’re here.
- Pick up your other Fighting Style, Archery or Two-Weapon Fighting
- For subclass, go Battle Master.
- Feat, take Sharpshooter.
For this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, first five levels you’ll take in Ranger. That way you’re not delaying your Extra Attack and you’re a solid, effective fighter in the early game with some useful utility spells.
For spells, I definitely recommend Longstrider. It’s a level 1 spell that lasts all day and significantly increases movespeed. Remember to cast it once after a rest and it’s basically a permanent passive movespeed increase.
Speak with Animals is good if you don’t have it. Hail of Thorns is nice especially early on. It’s a good AoE option. It gets outshined later on, but it’s a solid spell for Act 1.
The heals are useful, but for this build we tanked our Wisdom so they’d be pretty ineffectual. I’d steer clear of them.
Goodberries is a solid skill. It’s a very efficient level 1 healing skill that doesn’t rely on Wisdom. It’s a little bit of extra effort because it forces you to play with the menus for a bit to get your heal, but it’s still kind of fun. You’ll use it from time to time.
You’d think Hunter’s Mark would be good, but it ends up being a waste of a spell slot. Later on you’ll just skip casting it in order to get in an extra offhand attack. You might want to take it anyway, though, just for early game and the class fantasy.
Spike Growth is pretty good. It has a huge AoE.
You’re going to end up with 2 Fighting Styles in this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. That’s part of the reason we go into Fighter. It doesn’t really matter which order you take them in. We’re going to take Two-Weapon Fighting and Archery.
This guy uses Dual Hand Crossbows and rains armaggedon on enemies below, you can either beef up your offhand attacks or your ranged damage. It’s really up to you here. You’ll be running around with a Longbow for about half of Act 1, but you can get dual crossbows in Act 1 fairly early.
Push comes to shove I’d personally take Two-Weapon Fighting first but it’s up to you.
You’re going to pick Gloom Stalker, obviously. Hunter may seem attractive because it gets a small amount of bonus damage every round, but Gloom Stalker is better, trust me. Having a big damage spike at the start of the fight plus almost always going first is way better.
Gloom Stalker gives you a ton of stuff. A lot of it seems niche and utility oriented, but in practice, the Gloom Stalker bonuses are great to have around. It gives the aforementioned combat bonuses (first round bonus attack, bonus initiative) and then also stealth proficiency and darkvision, which are great to have around.
At level 4, you get a Feat. (You get Feats every 4 class levels). For your first Feat, pick an ASI (Ability Score Increase).
You get 2 Feats with this build. Your other Feat is going to be Sharpshooter. I like to get the ASI first because Sharpshooter reduces your accuracy and increases your damage. So, I like to improve my accuracy before I take it. If you do the ASI first, between that and the Auntie Ethel hair and equipment, you’ll have 20 Dex by the time you get Sharpshooter and you won’t notice the accuracy penalty as much.
You don’t have to make a choice here but you get an Extra Attack at Ranger level 5 and I want to highlight that you get that. It’s one of the big reasons we’re going Ranger first.
The Extra Attack is sort of your capstone ability for Ranger. That’s the best thing you’re gonna get. After this we don’t take any more levels here.
There aren’t many choices to make for the first few levels of Rogue. You can choose some proficiencies. You get Stealth and Sleight of Hand by default.
If this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build is going to be your party’s main Rogue, you’ll want to get Sleight of Hand proficiency so it can do all your party’s lockpicking and trap disarming. If you have someone else for that, you may want to switch it to Perception.
At level 3, you get to choose your Rogue subclass. Pick Thief, it’s the main reason we’re going into Rogue for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build.
You get some other useful stuff in those other Rogue levels. Dash as a bonus action is pretty good. Sneak Attack is a nice little damage boost. Rogue and Gloom Stalker’s stealth bonuses stack, you end up with a unit that’s extremely good at out-of-combat Rogue tasks.
But the extra Bonus Action is the real prize here. Now that we have it, we move on to Fighter.
For this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build we’re dipping into Fighter for a few key things: Action Surge, a second Fighting Style, the subclass, and our second feat.
Multiclassing to Fighter unlocks Heavy Armor Proficiency. You won’t really need it on this character. Your Dexterity is going to be so jacked that you’ll end up with excellent AC wearing the Armor of Agility. But it’s still a nice bonus.
Action Surge lets you take 2 attacks in a round every short rest. It synergizes well with Gloom Stalker’s start-of-combat burst round. It’s great in this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build.
Take whichever Fighting Style you didn’t take as a Ranger. If you took Two Weapon Fighting, take Archery. If you took Archery, take Two Weapon Fighting.
Early on you use your melee weapons a lot more. By end game you’re probably going to be shooting crossbows 90% of the time, so I usually take Two Weapon Fighting first because it also helps melee and Archery later.
Battle Master is the correct choice for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. You get Superiority Dice which adds a decent amount of consistent damage to your attacks and also lets you inflict Prone and Fear on hit. That’s an incredible bonus.
I do like Champion is because it gives 5% bonus crit and you can stack that with equipment that gives bonus crit to get that to like 10-15% bonus crit and it’s fun to have a beefy crit chance, but having tried both (I’ve used this Gloom Stalker build in 3 different playthroughs), Battle Master is the objectively more effective option.
You’re going to want to take Sharpshooter for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. In total you end up with an ASI (Ability Score Increase) and Sharpshooter.
I like to take Sharpshooter later because early game you’re a little more of a hybrid character, endgame you become almost exclusively a ranged damage dealer. Also accuracy is an issue early game, if you take this feat later by the time you get it you’ll barely notice the accuracy penalty.
On my earlier variations of this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build I took Savage Attacker. Savage Attacker does not apply to your crossbow attacks. So take the ASI, the Dexterity is better.
I think this is the best order to take levels in for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. Having said that, let me point something out. You can get the 2nd Feat either from Fighter or Thief levels. You might want to take a 4th level in Thief to get Sharpshooter and have that earlier. That’s personal preference.
If you do that, you’ll have Sharpshooter at level 9 and you’ll get Battle Master as your last thing. If you do the final level in Fighter, you’ll get Action Surge at level 10 and Sharpshooter as your last thing. It’s up to you. You might want to get Sharpshooter earlier.
Getting 22 Dexterity – Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build
When you create or respec your character, you’re going to have 17 Dexterity. To get this to 22 for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, you need three things:
- An ASI Feat (Ability Score Increase)
- Auntie Ethel’s Hair (+1 Ability Score)
- The Mirror of Loss (+2 Ability Score)
The Feat you get from leveling up.
For the Hair, when fighting the Hag in Act 1, whittle her down to below around 15 HP and wait for her to offer you a deal. Demand both the power and the girl.
For the Mirror, in Act 3 in the House of Grief, at the very end of the dungeon, interact with the mirror and pass the Religion check. Give up 2 points in one stat, and then if Shar ‘takes notice’, you can gain 2 points in another. You might have to save scum for this. You can remove the -2 stat penalty with Remove Curse, but the +2 bonus is permanent. Note that you can’t do this with Shadowheart.
With those bonuses, you’ll have 22 Dexterity.
Equipment – Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build
We’re going to focus on endgame equipment for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, but I’ll make mention if there some equipment that’s particularly useful while leveling.
You’re dual wielding both melee and ranged weapons, so you’re going to have four weapons total when it comes to our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build.
Let’s start with Ranged because that’s your bread and butter for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build.
You want Dual Hand Crossbows. Unfortunately, there are no big-time Act 3 legendary hand crossbows. On the flipside, that also means you get the best hand crossbows you’re gonna get in Act 2, so you get your best equipment early.
These are the two you want:
- Hellfire Hand Crossbow: This drops off of Yurgir in the Temple of Shar near the end of Act 2. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find this weapon.
- Ne’er Misser: You buy this from Roah Moonglow at Moonrise Towers in Act 2. You can miss this. Make sure you swing by Moonrise Towers before you do the Temple of Shar.
Ne’er Misser is actually the better crossbow of the two for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, despite being Blue. It deals Force damage, which pierces a lot of resistances. I prefer it in the offhand, it’s better to have the stronger weapon in the offhand because in the rare chance you die, when you get revived you can still attack with it using your bonus action.
For leveling, you just want to get some Hand Crossbow +1s right away. This isn’t too hard, but it might take you up until mid Act 1. You can buy one off of Dammon, they sell them in the Myconid Colony in the Underdark, I think the goblin trader also has one. A named one drops in Grymforge on the way to the Forge, in the little temple near where the Shield Plate is located.
Orin drops two legendaries that are pretty much tailor-made for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. You’re going to want to just go ahead and pop those on.
- Bloodthirst: Increases crit chance, gives True Strike Riposte (counter attack with True Strike) OR inflicts vulnerability to piercing
- Crimson Mischief: Gives extra damage on attacks with advantage OR extra damage on offhand attacks
By the time you get these, you won’t be using your melee attacks much. Because of the Sharpshooter bonus it’ll almost always be the inferior option. So you’re mostly equipping these weapons for the passive effects.
These two legendaries have different effects depending on whether you put them in your main hand or your offhand, so choose your preference. Except the crit bonus, you get that no matter what. I like the True Strike Riposte and the extra damage on advantage.
The vulnerability to piercing is kind of ineffective because this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build doesn’t usually run up and stab things.
I want to point out another good weapon, though. There’s the Judiciar’s Scimitar, which you find by slaughtering the rats in the Gauntlet of Shar in Act 2 (if you use Speak With Animals there’s this whole subplot with the rats in there). It has a chance to inflict blind on advantage and it has a special attack that doesn’t break stealth.
Early on you’ll probably be using scimitars because they have higher damage than shortswords and daggers. There are lots of pretty good green and blue scimitars. Eventually you’ll replace them with the Orin weapons, though.
There is no definitive best helmet for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, in my opinion. There are some standouts, and I’ll tell you what I use.
- Dark Justiciar Helmet: gives you 5% crit chance bonus while you’re obscured
- Helmet of Grit: under 50% health you get an extra bonus action
- Shadow of Menzoberranzan: Gives you another invisibility option. Also just looks super cool.
- Marksmanship Hat: +1 bonus to attack rolls
I’d say, objectively, Helmet of Grit is the best one for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. In practice, though, you have four party members and you’ll probably want to throw that on a front-liner or someone else who consistently takes damage, not your ranged damage dealer.
Aside from that, I think the Marksmanship Hat is probably the best actually, even though it’s a green item with a minor bonus, because it consistently increases your accuracy slightly without any conditions. Dark Justiciar Helmet gives a better bonus but you have to constantly be stealthing and running into shadows to maintain it.
I’d say if you’re not giving this character your Helmet of Grit, it’s a toss up between the Marksmanship Hat and the Dark Justiciar’s Helmet. For me, style breaks the tie. Usually I’m rolling with Shadowheart as my Gloom Stalker, and the Dark Justiciar’s Helmet looks whack whereas the Marksmanship Hat makes her look like Jennifer Connelly wearing a cowboy hat.
The Dark Justiciar Helmet is in the Gauntlet of Shar in Act 2. You get it in the library when you get the spear. Hard to miss. Helmet of Grit is in a chest in Cazador’s mansion, in the room that’s full of death spell. Shadow of Menzoberranzan is in the treasure cache in the Myconid Colony in the Underdark, you get it for defeating the Duerger. Marksmanship Hat is sold by Roah Moonglow at Moonrise Towers (you have to go there for this character anyway to get the Ne’er Misser crossbow).
Again, minor bonuses from cloaks. None are phenomenal for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, they’re all ‘nice to have’ little bonuses.
That said, here are some to look out for:
- Cloak of Displacement: enemies have disadvantage on you until you get hit. It’s sold by the merchant in the earlier area of the city in Act 3 near the bridge to Wyrm’s Crossing.
- Cloak of Protection: always nice. +1 AC. You buy it at the Last Light Inn in Act 2.
- Shade-Slayer Cloak: Crit chance +5% when stealthed. You buy this in Act 3 at the Thieves Guild.
- The Deathstalker Mantle: automatically become invisible after defeating an enemy. Dark Urge exclusive.
- Derivation Cloak: when you poison an enemy you heal yourself for 1-4 health
So, of those, Shade-Slayer Cloak is probably the best for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. Between that and the Dark Justiciar Helmet, you’re coming out of stealth with an extra 10% crit.
Unless you’re the Dark Urge. The Dark Urge cloak is amazing. But I’m not willing to do what it takes to get it. No spoilers.
The Derivation Cloak is interesting for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. It’s mostly useless except there is an amulet that buffs your attacks with poison damage whenever you get healed. So if you have that and this, you’ll get life leech on your attacks and have bonus poison damage, so long as you find a way to get that first heal off.
There are so many options for armor in the game, I don’t want to get into them all, especially since your entire party is competing for a lot of the top end ones. And this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build can wear any armor class, but doesn’t need to consider AC very much.
Here are some standout options.
- Helldusk Armor: this is a high AC legendary armor with a ton of bonuses that can be equipped by anyone regardless of armor proficiency. It’s probably the ‘best armor’, but only one character can have it equipped.
- Armor of Agility: this is a medium armor that will get you to 22 AC. It’s sold by the armorer near the middle of the Lower City in Act 3.
There are other options for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, but it’s just all the high end purple Heavy Armors from late Act 2 and Act 3. They all have defensive effects, none of them are particularly exceptional for this build specifically.
Your best bet is probably the Armor of Agility. It gets you to competitive endgame defensive stats and this character is probably the only character in your party who can effectively use it.
This is an easy pick. For this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build, you want the Helldusk Gloves. And before you get those, you want the Flawed Helldusk Gloves.
Helldusk Gloves add 1-6 fire damage on hit for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. This works with your crossbows. This is good for any character, but it’s especially good with this character because this character gets lots of medium damage attacks to apply the bonus to, as opposed to a few heavy damage attacks like some other classes.
The Flawed Helldusk Gloves do the same thing, but only 1-4 damage, on account of that they’re flawed.
You get the Helldusk Gloves from looting the Incubus in the House of Hope in Act 3. You get the Flawed Helldusk Gloves by trading in Infernal Iron to Dammon in Act 2 or Act 3 (you have to do it a couple of times, he gives you the whole Flawed Helldusk set this way).
There are lots of options for boots when it comes to our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. Most boots just reduce or eliminate penalties for terrain and other movement impairing effects. So you have all those boots available as options, and those are good on anyone. There are no boots that specifically cater to this character in any special way.
So the good boots are:
- Boots of Persistence: Freedom of Movement and Longstrider. You buy these from Dammon in Act 3.
- Disintegrating Nightwalkers: Immune to Entangled and similar effects, can’t slip on grease or ice. Gives Misty Step. Dropped by Nere in Grymforge in Act 1.
- Helldusk Boots: Can’t be shoved and ignore difficult terrain. Gortash’s chest in Act 3.
None of these are a huge priority and other characters can probably get more use out of them. You already have Longstrider as a spell. You already have Misty Step as a spell. I’d say the Helldusk Boots are the best.
You can also use The Speedy Lightfeet, which gives you 3 lightning charges on dash, which amounts to a small amount of extra damage sometimes. It’s not great but it’s not nothing.
Again, relatively small bonuses. A couple of standout options for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build here:
- Broodmother’s Revenge: Adds 1-6 poison damage to your weapon attacks when you get healed. You get this from looting Kagha in Act 1.
- Surgeon’s Subjugation Amulet: Inflicts Paralyze on Crit once per long rest. You get this from looting the surgeon in the House of Healing in Act 2.
I think the Broodmother’s Revenge is the best option here. Either it’s some situational bonus damage from a situation that comes up regularly, or you find some way to automatically trigger heals (like the Derivation Cloak or the Ring of Regeneration or the Helm of Balduran). It’s still significant bonus damage.
There are a few options for rings for our Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build. Caustic Band is your main must-have.
- Caustic Band: your weapon attacks do an extra 2 acid damage. You buy this from the mushroom lady in the Underdark.
- Killer’s Sweetheart: you get a guaranteed crit once per short rest after defeating an enemy. You get this from the Self-Same Trial in the Gauntlet of Shar. I believe you need to have done a romance.
- Ring of Free Action: Ignore difficult terrain, can’t be Paralyzed. You buy this in Moonrise Towers.
- Ring of Protection: AC +1, you get this from stealing the Idol and giving it to Mol in Act 1.
- Ring of Regeneration: Heals you for 1-4 every round. You get it from the wizard shop in the middle of the Lower City in Act 3.
So, lots of options there. I like the Caustic Band and Killer’s Sweetheart.
How to Use – Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build
The playstyle for this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build is pretty straightforward. You wield dual hand crossbows and you do ranged damage with them. If you have a free action where you can’t attack anything, you stealth for bonuses on your next attack.
With our equipment we stack as much passive on hit damage as we can. 1-6 fire damage from the Helldusk Gloves, 2 acid damage from the Caustic Band, 1-6 Poison Damage from the Broodmother’s Revenge. Then we also stack crit chance where we can.
Our build gives us an Extra Attack from Ranger and an extra Bonus Action from Thief, which is another extra attack. So we’re attacking 4 times per turn starting at level 8, and we’re getting all these bonuses to our regular attacks — the crit chance, the on hit damage, the bonuses from our Dexterity and our Sharpshooter feat.
On top of that, this Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build is a really effective Rogue — exceptional at lockpicking, pickpocketing, stealth and traps. And it gets near unbeatable initiative, insane stealth rolls and a bonus attack on the first round.
I highly recommend you try this popular Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker build.
That about covers it when it comes to the Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Gloom Stalker Build. Be sure to check the Baldur’s Gate 3 section for more content like this and check out the main page for a full list of RPGs we’ve covered on our site.
Ryan Night is a lifelong RPG fan and a professional writer. His favorite games include Final Fantasy 7, Xenogears and Metal Gear Solid. He’s been writing RPG guides since the early 2000s and has been a veteran of the games industry for over two decades. His new sci-fi novel, Draconis, is coming out soon. He also has a YouTube channel, where he talks about RPGs and movies.