When I made my Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3, I thought I was being different. Surely others will pick one of the cooler Baldur’s Gate 3 classes—aloof rogues or self-serving sorcerers—and not a stodgy devotee to divine virtue, right?
Nope. In a big statistics dump from Baldur’s Gate 3’s first week, Larian revealed that Paladin is the most-picked class so far. Here’s the full list, from most to least-picked:
I guess I’m not special after all, but I’d already figured that out after I noticed how many PC Gamer staff members were Paladins, too, despite Fraser telling us all that Bard is the best.
Despite succumbing to the cognitive error of believing my thoughts are unique, I don’t regret the choice: Paladins kick ass. They fit in well with any mix of companions, offering high AC tanking, support buffs, healing, and big damage. I also like how picking an oath simplifies roleplaying: Instead of worrying about whether a decision is going to lead to a good or bad outcome for me or the characters, I just pick whatever feels true to my Oath of Devotion. Virtue ethics are way more fun than gloomy, calculating utilitarianism. Sometimes people die, but I can hardly be blamed for that with this pristine moral record.
If you want more spice, though, you can break your oath and become a whole new Paladin subclass, which Lauren says is also a lot of fun. You just can’t lose with a Paladin.
Sorcerer, Warlock, Rogue, Bard, and Barbarian seem about right as the next most-picked classes. Assuming a lot of people are rolling with Gale and Shadowheart in their parties, it makes sense to me that Wizard and Cleric aren’t getting much love. I feel like Monk is underplayed, though. No one wants to punch people? That’ll be my second custom character, if I ever get around to finishing the game with this one. (Maybe that’s what everyone else is thinking, too.)
It’s also interesting that the vast majority of players, over 93%, are making their own characters instead of picking an Origin character. That is how Larian CEO Swen Vincke suggested playing Baldur’s Gate 3 for a first run, saying before the launch that Origin characters “work better if you’ve played the game already once because then you see it through their eyes,” so I guess we’re being a good, obliging audience.
Those who are playing as Origin characters are favoring Gale, followed by Karlach, Astarion, Shadowheart, Wyll, and Lae’zel. Gale would probably be my last choice, personally, but I don’t even want to think about a third playthrough.
These stats come from anonymized data collection which can be turned off (there’s a setting in the launcher if you didn’t know), so they don’t represent every single player in Baldur’s Gate 3, but probably a very large proportion. You can see Larian’s full week one stats breakdown on Steam. The dev says we played “a combined 1225 years of Baldur’s Gate 3” during the first weekend.