Armor Class is one of several factors in Baldur’s Gate 3 that will determine your survivability. This determines if the attack roll of the opponent will be successful or not. This is calculated based on the armor’s protective ability and specific bonuses such as a character’s Dexterity stat. The higher the number, the less the attacks will succeed against a character.
So to ensure your characters survive their battles, they must have a higher Armor Class. However, it is a bit more complicated.
How Armor Class is calculated in BG3
Armor Class in Baldur’s Gate 3 is primarily determined by the armor you have equipped on your character. The armor is variable depending on the character classes. Some of the classes are allowed to have proficiencies with the beefiest armor in the game while others cannot equip any sort of armor.
There are mainly three types of armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor. Shields also play a vital role in the determination of AC. The calculation of AC is based on three main things; Armor, Shields, and your Dexterity modifier.
Dexterity is directly affected by the type of armor you have equipped. The heavier it is, the more awkward it will be for your character to move around. The division of numbers has been done in the following way;
- No Armor: 10 + Dexterity Modifier
- Light Armor: Armor’s Rating + Dexterity Modifier
- Medium Armor: Armor’s Rating + Dexterity Modifier (limited to max out at +2)
- Heavy Armor: Armor’s Rating only
Dexterity and AC
A Dexterity Modifier is a natural trait your character will have. You can slot skill points in the modifier to increase its output. This stat affects several skills in fights, one of which is armor class. With certain armors, the game adds the bonus from your Dexterity modifier into the mix and raises the Armor Class.
Clothing provides the base 10 AC points along with the addition from your Dexterity Modifier. Padded Armor counts in the Light Armor Category will take your AC from 10 to 11. Overall the Light Armor division will give you a max of 12 base points of AC along with the Dexterity Modifier.
The Medium Armor also increases the base AC points from 12 to 15 along with the Dexterity Modifier. However, as the Medium Armor carries significant weight, it will affect Stealth with heavier sets.
You can only get a +2 points as a bonus with Medium Armor. This bonus combined with the best Medium Armor Set will give you a total AC of 17.
Heavy Armor class in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the big boy territory where players will have to let go of the Dexterity Modifier. You depend solely on the AC rating of the armor to survive attacks. Heavy Armor affects Dexterity quite badly. As such, you will receive a disadvantage to your stealth. This type of armor is best for tanks of the party in BG3 who will be in the thick of combat.
Shields, Helmets, and AC
Shields also play a role in the AC points contribution and will give you +2 AC points irrespective of the protective quality of the shield. If the character is proficient in using shields then these can make a hug difference in protective ability in the game.
This will also affect your Dexterity but not as much as heavy armor. One more thing to note is that not all the classes are proficient with shields. So, consider your class before transforming your build into a damage-absorbing tank.
Helmets also play a little role in the intimidation of your enemy. Equipping a low-level helmet (below Medium Helmet) will grant you a +1 bonus to Dexterity Saving Throws while equipping a Medium or Heavy Helmet will save you from Critical Hits.
Is Armor Class really necessary in BG3?
It all comes down to your survival instinct. We strongly suggest you take your chances and put on some armor. If your class can wear armor, then by all means get your hands on a set and equip it.
Armor Class in Baldur’s Gate 3 may seem like an ignorable quantity, but it is of more importance in your survival than you can imagine. A high AC rating will make it easier for enemies to fail their attack rolls in Baldur’s Gate 3. You can last longer and dish out punishment more effectively.
Ways to Increase Armor Class in Baldur’s Gate 3
You can try several combinations to increase your Armor Class rating in BG3. Some of them might be unconventional while most require you to choose the correct Character Class.
- Pick a Character Class with proficiencies with all armor types, including Shields.
- Start with Light Armor if you care about your speed and other Dexterity-related movements. Equip a light shield to have a Saving Throw bonus on your side. Equipping any selection of Helmets can help, as all of them are a great choice.
- If you are not a stealth-focused character then start off with Medium Armor. You will receive a maximum of +2 bonus to your Armor Class and will be decently protected from attacks.
- If you want to go with a tank build in BG3 then throw on the heaviest armor set you can find. If your character has Proficiency with Shields then equip one as well as it will add to the AC points list.