One of the best things about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that your decisions truly matter for most things — whether that’s choosing whether you side with the grove or the goblins, your romance option for this playthrough, or who will make up your party compositions the next time you leave camp.
After all, travelling with Lae’zel, Wyll and Gale is a far cry from kicking it around in Faerûn with Shadowheart, Karlach, and Astarion. Who you pick matters, and not just because you’re unsure if you’ll want to take a Rogue this time around over a Cleric. Sometimes you just want to hang out with people whose vibes match your own. Do you want to kick God and its creations in the face and laugh about it? Take Shadowheart, Astarion, and Lae’zel along for a ride. Hang out with genuinely nice people? Gale, Wyll, and Karlach.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, there are so many party compositions and, despite it easily being an 80+ hour game, so little time to hang out with everyone. So we’re going to make it easier for you all: by ranking just what sort of vibes you can expect from each party composition you can bring.
Remember, this is all based on the perspective of vibes and not actual combat prowess. What may work for one player, will not work for others. We’ve addressed this as best as we’re able to but let’s be blunt: we’re a queer gaming and entertainment website, if you’re not picking up what we’re putting down by now, there’s no helping you.
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Compositions and Why
Shadowheart, Karlach, and Lae’zel
Commonly titled ‘Girls Night’ or ‘Let’s Go Lesbians’ whenever I rock this party composition myself, you may be wondering why anyone would put Karlach in the middle of the rancid-yet-abundantly-homoerotic-vibes that is Lae’zel and Shadowheart. The answer is obvious — it’s funny.
Even if you don’t mind Lae’zel and Shadowheart not having a high opinion of one another, you’ll be treated to the fact that the one thing they do seem to agree on is that Karlach is the best person ever. Whether it’s because she looks like she could throw you over her shoulder and carry you to safety, or her ability to rip through swathes of enemies within seconds, everyone likes Karlach. If you don’t like Karlach… I don’t know what to say. You’re different, I guess!
Pro-tip: you can also add Jaheira to this party, but considering we’ve had all three of these characters since the start? It may not work as well.
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: Sapphics, people who are romancing Karlach and want Shadowheart and Lae’zel to know about it, and those who enjoy rancid vibes.
Worst Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: Those who believe not even Karlach’s golden retriever energy can save this group.
Wyll, Gale, and Karlach
Now this is a party composition I can get behind (literally, depending on my romantic interests)!
Sometimes you don’t want any drama at all. Or at least, drama that doesn’t exactly affect your inner party dynamics. And if that’s the case, then your safest bet is to stick with Wyll, your resident Warlock do-gooder, Gale, who may be a little pretentious but offsets it by being earnest about it, and Karlach who, as far as I’m concerned, can do no wrong.
You might be thinking, ‘but Aimee, doesn’t Wyll and Karlach have beef?’ Let me tell you, one conversation between those two and not only is it over, but they are now considered besties as far as I’m concerned. As for Gale, he’s just happy to be there, and while his curiosity can get him into hot water at times, there’s nothing quite like having a party that isn’t going to side-eye you because you want to help a local innocent without expecting pay. What works even better is that you can easily swap one of them out for Halsin once you’re able to recruit him. Everyone is vibing happily, and nobody is sad.
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: People who enjoy some peace and quiet, and appreciators of ‘good does not always mean boring’ characters.
Worst Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: People who crave the toxicity of characters who are two seconds away from strangling one another.
Minthara, Astarion, Shadowheart or Lae’zel
Do you want to be evil? I know evil is subjective and all, but do you want to be so evil that everyone will look at you and kinda shake their head and say ‘damn, you chose to be that evil?’ That’s the kinda evil I’m talking about here.
If the answer is yes, then I have good and bad news. The good news is that Minthara, Astarion, Shadowheart and/or Lae’zel will be THE perfect party for you. The bad news is that they’re… Well, how can I put this? They’ll probably be the only people in your party in the first place. Karlach, Wyll, and Gale (unless persuaded otherwise) will leave your party for good, and Halsin is dead. So no recruiting him whatsoever. Yay, I think?
Depending on what path you take Shadowheart and Lae’zel, either one of them could join Minthara and Astarion on their tour of being the worst people imaginable. So don’t feel like you’ve got to pick either one or the other. Test them both out. I mean, you’ve already slaughtered innocents at this point, and why shouldn’t you? You’re the main character!
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: People who want to set orphanages on fire and laugh about it. Alternatively, people who are stronger than I and can do a really evil playthrough in the first place.
Worst Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: People who want to recruit all of the companions (barring Minthara) on the first playthrough.
Gale, Shadowheart, and Lae’zel
Let’s look at what we have here: we’ve got a wizard whose love for his Goddess made him so egomaniacal he ended up getting cursed with a Netherese orb in his chest, a Cleric of Shar that has been groomed at a young age to believe in insurmountable evil, and a githyanki warrior who has been bred and educated on the lies of Vlaakith to be nothing more but a pawn for her plan. I think it goes without saying that these three? Gods, they have a messy relationship with religion.
Ultimately, this complex burden they all share makes them interesting enough to form one of the best parties in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Another pro-tip: you can also swap one of these out for Wyll and/or Karlach, because having a complicated relationship with your God is peak Dungeons and Dragons, actually.
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: People who have a deeply messed up relationship with religion and God(s).
Worst Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: People who don’t believe in the ‘I can fix them’ mentality.
Minsc, Astarion and Halsin
The problem with recruiting characters near Baldur’s Gate 3 end-game is that you don’t get the chance often to see more about their relationships with one another. Even so, I know whoever is putting Astarion, Halsin, and Minsc together has done so for two, very specific, reasons. The first is because Halsin, Minsc, and Astarion are actually different enough that their skills work together very well, regardless of whether it’s in a combat situation or not. And the second is, well… If you know, then you know.
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: For those who believe truly, madly, and deeply, that ‘obliterate that twink’ should be a lifestyle and not just a phrase.
Worst Baldur’s Gate 3 Party Composition For: Who would hate this? Really?