Sharpshooter - Dual Hand Crossbow Build

Sharpshooter - Dual Hand Crossbow Build - Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)

By zanuffas
Last updated:
I present Sharpshooter Dual Hand Crossbow build in Baldur's Gate 3. It deadly build that will be able to hit more than six times on the initial turn. None of the enemies that you target will survive. The best thing? All of this happens when you are safely targeting them from high ground.

Sharpshooter Dual Hand Crossbow build

There is a little backstory with this build. At first, I wanted to make a Thief that could utilize the dual wielding in melee and use dual crossbows. This looked like a true Thief that would use both of them at will. However, as I was testing, dipping into both meant that playing on something like Tactician you would be at a huge disadvantage.

thief sharpshooter single round kill baldurs gate 3

Due to this, I decided to concentrate on this build purely on ranged attacks. Of course, we will still carry melee dual-wielding weapons if the situation arises where enemies are close to us. However, the goal is to take full control of the battlefield from a distance.

As you will see the additional bonus action from the Thief subclass changes, this can be utilized to make a scary Sharpshooter build. On top, we add Gloom Stalker and Fighter multiclass that further improves the number of attacks we can do.

Moreover, don't forget that you are also an expert at pickpocketing, so having your party geared and with pockets full of gold is mandatory.

Short overview

This is a short overview and progression of the build. Use it to get a quick glance if you want to pick the best options without going deep into the explanations. A more detailed description with texts, suggestions, and improvements can be found in the next sections.

Dual Hand Crossbow Build Leveling Overview Expand
Level Category Choice
1 Abilities Str 8, Dex 17 (15+2), Con 14, Int 8, Wis 16 (15 + 1), Cha 10
  Class rogue Baldur's Gate 3Rogue 1
  Skills Stealth, Sleight of Hand, Acrobatics, Perception, Survival, Insight
2 Class ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger 1
  Favoured Enemy PassiveFeature_FavoredEnemy_KeeperOfTheVeil Baldur's Gate 3Keeper of the Veil
  Natural Explorer PassiveFeature_NaturalExplorer_BeastTamer Baldur's Gate 3Beast Tamer
  Skills Perception, Survival, Animal Handling
3 Class ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger 2
  Spells Spell_Transmutation_LongstriderLongstrider, Spell_Divination_HuntersMark Baldur's Gate 3Hunter's Mark
  Fighting Style PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_Archery Baldur's Gate 3Archery
4 Class ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger 3
  Spells Spell_Conjuration_EnsnaringStrikeRanged Baldur's Gate 3Ensnaring Strike
  Subclass gloom stalkerGloom Stalker
5 Class ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger 4
  Feat Sharpshooter
6 Class ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger 5
  Spells Spell_Transmutation_SpikeGrowth Baldur's Gate 3Spike Growth
7 Class rogue Baldur's Gate 3Rogue 2
8 Class rogue Baldur's Gate 3Rogue 3
  Subclass rogue_thief Baldur's Gate 3Thief
9 Class rogue Baldur's Gate 3Rogue 4
  Feat Ability Improvement - Dexterity +2
10 Class fighter Baldur's Gate 3Fighter 1
  Fighting Style PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_Defense Baldur's Gate 3Defence
11 Class fighter Baldur's Gate 3Fighter 2
12 Class fighter Baldur's Gate 3Fighter 3
  Subclass fighter_battlemaster Baldur's Gate 3Battle Master
  Manoeuvre Action_MenacingAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Menacing Attack, Action_TripAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Trip Attack, Action_PushingAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Pushing Attack

Starting the Game

Let's start with the early game. I would go into what are the best Races, Abilities, and Skills for Sharpshooter build. Some of these choices are very impactful as you cannot respec them.


When starting the game, or respeccing pick the Rogue class. At first, it does not receive any significant bonuses. But don't worry as we level up it opens up with some amazing actions and unique passive effects.

rogue Baldur's Gate 3Rogue
Action_SneakAttack_Melee Baldur's Gate 3Sneak Attack (Melee) Exploit a foe's distraction to deal an additional 1d6 damage. Damage increases by 1d6 for every uneven Rogue Level gained.
Action_SneakAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Sneak Attack (Ranged) Exploit a foe's distraction to deal an additional 1d6 damage. Damage increases by 1d6 for every uneven Rogue Level gained.


Picking a race provides various benefits - abilities, dialogue options, looks, etc. For this build, I list below the best options in my opinion that allow you to maximize the effectiveness of the Dual Crossbow Build

Race Features Description
Halfling_Lightfoot Baldur's Gate 3Lightfoot Halfling
  • Naturally Stealthy - your nimble nature makes you skilled at concealment. You have an advantage on Stealth checks.
  • Lucky - when you roll a 1 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
  • Brave - you have an advantage on saving throws against being frightened
This race option makes for the perfect Dual Crossbow build. You have bonuses to stealth and also can avoid rolls of 1 with Lucky. The only downside is slower movement speed, resulting in less distance traveled due to Halfling's size.
Githyanki Baldur's Gate 3Githyanki
  • Martial Prodigy - A lifetime of relentless training gave you Armour Proficiency with Light and Medium Armour, as well as Proficiency with the Shortsword, Longsword, and Greatsword
Githyanki are another great race and the main reason is that they get Misty Step at level 5. This can be a lifesaver as you will be able to reach the best positions and vantage points before combat engagement. Moreover, you get Astral Knowledge that allows increasing perception or dexterity for exploration and pickpocketing
Half-Elf_WoodHalf-Elf Baldur's Gate 3Wood Half-Elf
  • Civil Militia - You have weapon proficiency with Spears, Pikes, Halberds, and Glaives, and Armour Proficiency with Light Armour and Shield
  • Darkvision - Grant a creature the ability to see in the dark out to a range of 12m.
  • Fey Ancestry - You have Advantage on Saving Throws against being Charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.
  • Fleet of Foot - Your base walking speed is 10.5m.
A safe choice that has Dark Vision and better movement speed compared to others
Gnome_Deep Baldur's Gate 3Deep Gnome
  • Gnome Cunning - you have advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma Saving Throws.
  • Superior Darkvision - this creature can see in the dark within 24m.
  • Stone Camouflage -You have advantage on Stealth checks.
A good choice that gets bonuses to stealth checks. Have in mind that they have shorter movement distances, but bonuses to saving throws are very valuable.


Ability Value Description
strengthStrength 8 Unfortunately, we gimp on strength. It is a good stat, but our build will be using other ways to increase the weapon damage.
dexterityproficient_ability Baldur's Gate 3Dexterity 17 (15 + 2) This is your main ability that determines the damage, saving throw effectiveness, ability checks, and initiative. You will want to maximize it as early as you can.
constitution bg3Constitution 14 This ability will determine your health pool and how effective you are at saving throws for the Constitution. Generally, this will improve your survivability.
intelligenceIntelligence 8 Not important for us
wisdomWisdom 16 (15 + 1) Just my personal preference to get some better Saving Throws as many spells target Wisdom and better perception rolls to detect more environmental things.
charismaCharisma 10 Not important for us, just enough to not get a penalty from Charisma Saving Throws.

Skills and Expertise

Regarding the skills the choices are easy. First, you want to cover your Dexterity-related proficiencies - Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

After that, I recommend prioritizing Wisdom - Perception, Survival, Insight. And the rest is up to you. Generally don't worry too much about these, just be sure to get Stealth and Sleight of Hand.

thief sharpshooter rogue skills baldurs gate 3

Leveling Progression

Here is the detailed progression for the build to get you started. You can use it as a guideline because early games can be daunting and overwhelming. Later on, once you get the feel for the class you can start picking your own options

Level 2 - Ranger Lv 1

This is the level where we start multiclassing to Ranger. Our goal is to unlock its subclass which will give some unique actions. Ranger complements well our Gloomstalker Assasin build as they have actions that give bonuses when attacking at the start of the combat.

ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger
Rangers are unrivaled scouts and trackers, honing a deep connection with nature in order to hunt their favoured prey.

Favoured Enemy

This is a set of abilities unique to the Ranger class. Based on your selection you can get new spells or unique effects against specific enemy types. Generally, anything works here based on your roleplaying choices. I personally would choose:

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_FavoredEnemy_KeeperOfTheVeil Baldur's Gate 3Keeper of the Veil You get a spell - Protection from Evil and Good. It does not use any spell slot. it is very useful in some encounters, just don't forget to activate it
PassiveFeature_FavoredEnemy_BountyHunter Baldur's Gate 3Bounty Hunter Useful if you plan on using Ensnaring Strike spell. Once you hit enemies with it they get a Disadvantage on Saving Throw

Natural Explorer

You also get these nature-related boons for the Ranger. These are based on the class experience in nature and how it is able to survive in different conditions. None of these provide any gam breaking bonuses so pick what you prefer. My choice:

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_NaturalExplorer_BeastTamer Baldur's Gate 3Beast Tamer Allows summoning a Familiar. They take animal forms and have unique effects both in combat and outside. You can use them for scouting.

Level 3 - Ranger Lv 2

At level 2 Ranger we get some sweet bonuses. Probably the strangest one is Spells. That is right, our Assassin builds will have spells that can be used if the situation arises. They will not be super effective as we will not have high Wisdom ability.


You will have a choice of two spells to select from the list. Here are the best one that you can choose in my opinion:

Spell Description
Spell_Transmutation_LongstriderLongstrider Increases your movement speed allowing you to move longer distances each turn. It resets each Long Rest, so can be used on all encounters. I think it is especially relevant if you are going for Melee Dual Wielding.
Spell_Conjuration_EnsnaringStrikeRanged Baldur's Gate 3Ensnaring Strike A mandatory option if you have taken the Bounty Hunter feature from "Favoured Enemy" as otherwise the bonus is wasted. It can ensnare a target and then deal bonus damage each turn.
Spell_Divination_HuntersMark Baldur's Gate 3Hunter's Mark Another good spell in the Ranger arsenal for Assassin. After the initial attack, we will lose a lot of damage bonuses. Hunter's Mark can be used to sustain the damage we do over longer combat encounters.

Fighting Style

You get also to select a Fighting Style. As we are going for Sharpshooter:

Styles Description
PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_Archery Baldur's Gate 3Archery You gain a +2 bonus to ranged weapon attacks. This will be very valuable when you start using Sharpshooter feat.

Getting a weapon

You should also be able to pickpocket or buy Hand Crossbow +1 from vendors in Druid's Grove. They are the ones that can be dual-wielded and will give crazy damage numbers for this build

Level 4 - Ranger Lv 3

We reach a big milestone and finally, can choose the Ranger subclass. For our theme, the main choice is Gloom Stalker. Similar to Assassins they ambush and attack their foes from shadows and gain very good features. This subclass will be a gamechanger where you can instantly take out at least one enemy at the start of the combat

gloom stalkerGloom Stalker
Action_DreadAmbusher_Melee Baldur's Gate 3Dread Ambusher You specialize in taking out foes swiftly and ruthlessly
You gain a +3 bonus to initiative.
On the first turn of combat, your movement speed increases by 3m, and you can make an attack that deals an additional 1d8 damage.
PassiveFeature_SuperiorDarkvision Baldur's Gate 3Superior Darkvision This creature can see in the dark within 24m.
dread ambusher hide Baldur's Gate 3Dread Ambusher: Hide Hide from enemies by succeeding Stealth checks. Stick to the dark and avoid enemy sightlines. Attacking or casting a spell will reveal your location.
Action_UmbralCloak shroud Baldur's Gate 3Umbral Shroud Wrap yourself in shadows to become Invisible if you are obscured.


Because we only still have level 1 spells, take anything that seems valuable to you. Overall, anything works as none of these will give a huge edge in combat. You can also take the spell that you skipped from the first selection.

Replace Spell

We also skip this. unfortunately, we do not have any level 2 spells yet. The valuable ones were already taken

Level 5 - Ranger Lv 4

We continue progressing with Ranger. This level is the first time we will obtain a Feat, which was delayed due to our multiclassing choice.


We finally get the first one. I see three main contenders for the Feats:

Feat Description
PassiveFeature_Sharpshooter_Bonuses Baldur's Gate 3Sharpshooter This is a crazy feat, that gives a flat 10 damage increase for ranged attacks. Of course, you lose 5 attack rolls, but you can usually overcome this by sneaking and shooting from high ground. I recommend using Dual hand Crossbows to get the maximum effect.

Replace Spell

We also skip this. unfortunately, we do not have any level 2 spells yet. The valuable ones were already taken

Level 6 - Ranger Lv 5

And we finally reached our goal of Ranger Level 5. How is this important? Well, we unlocked a new class feature - Extra Attack. This means that we get an additional weapon attack each turn. This is brutal and you can easily land 4 hits at the start of the combat if you are targeting an enemy who did not have a turn yet

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_ExtraAttack Baldur's Gate 3Extra Attack Can make an additional free attack after making an unarmed or weapon attack.


Finally, we get some level 2 spells. They are decent, not super strong, so we can definitely find a use for a few of them. Here are my recommendations from which you can choose 1 (and second from Replace Spell):

Spell Description
Spell_Illusion_Silence Baldur's Gate 3Silence Creates a sphere that silences enemies. Although they can move out from this, it will require them to waste their movement or even use Dash and skip the attack
Spell_Transmutation_SpikeGrowth Baldur's Gate 3Spike Growth Cover an area with spikes and if enemies move through it they get hit every 1.5 meters. This is perfect for controlling tight corridors.
Spell_Abjuration_LesserRestoration Baldur's Gate 3Lesser Restoration This spell can come in handy in some situations, so I recommend that at least one party member has it. It can remove paralysis, disease, poison, and blindness

Replace Spells

If you stopped using or did not use any spells from the Level 1 spell list now is the perfect time to switch. I recommend taking any level 2 spell from the above list.

Level 7 - Rogue Lv 2


You can choose proficiencies for one additional skill. Just go for the ones that are relevant to either Dexterity or Wisdom as you want to succeed at those as often as you can. This includes - Animal Wisdom, Survival, Insight, Medicine, Sleight of Hand, etc.

This level does not give any flashy moves, however, it unlocks cunning actions. These are similar to normal actions but instead of using Action Points, use Bonus actions. So in the same turn, you can attack and use them:

Action Description
Action_Hide cunning Baldur's Gate 3Cunning Action: Hide Hide from enemies by succeeding Stealth checks. Stick to the dark and avoid enemy sightlines. Attacking or casting a spell will reveal your location. Probably the most important. Now you can start sneaking using Bonus action and then use Sneak Attack at the same turn
Action_Dash_cunning Baldur's Gate 3Cunning Action: Dash Cover more distance this turn: double your movement speed.
Action_Disengage_cunning Baldur's Gate 3Cunning Action: Disengage Retreat safely: moving won't provoke Opportunity Attacks.

Level 8 - Rogue Lv 3

Congratulations! You reached level 3 Rogue which allows you to get a Thief subclass. What is special about it? Although it gets quite boring sounding abilities - Fast Hands and Second-Story Work, one of them is very powerful.

rogue_thief Baldur's Gate 3Thief
c_ico_bonusAction Baldur's Gate 3Fast Hands Gain an additional Bonus Action
PassiveFeature_SecondStoryWork_Falling Baldur's Gate 3Second-Story Work You've mastered the art of falling and gain Resistance to Falling damage.

I am talking about Fast Hands. This gives an additional bonus action and compared to other classes allows you to do more actions. Moreover, bonus action is used for healing, jumping, or shoving. However, when dual-wielding it can be turned to additional damage.

Level 9 - Rogue Lv 4

Level 4 does not give any unique class or subclass features. However, it unlocks a new Feat that is a huge milestone. They provide unique improvements and we will be utilizing them to get a damage boost for our build

Feat Description
Ability Improvement Allocate ability points to Dexterity +2.

Level 10 - Fighter Lv 1

At this level, we dip into the Fighter class using multiclassing. You could also think that not taking sacrificing Thief levels would impede the build. However, in reality, after level 6 the only valuable Class Feature is Evasion, and we can definitely live without it

fighter Baldur's Gate 3Fighter
Skill_Fighter_SecondWind Baldur's Gate 3Second Wind Draw on your stamina to heal yourself

Fighting Style

At level 1 Fighters unlock a unique specialty feature available only to them. There are multiple choices based on the weapons and combat type you plan to do. However, we are interested only in one:

Styles Description
PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_Defense Baldur's Gate 3Defence Probably the best option in this case, it gives +1 Armour Class improving the chance to avoid enemy attacks

Level 11 - Fighter Lv 2

At Fighter level 2, the build unlocks its full potential. We gain unique action - Action Surge. It will restore one action point that we can use for another attack. So in total, we will be able to do 4 attacks - two with the main hand (2 action points) and 2 with the off-hand (2 bonus action points).

With this setup, you can easily clear out multiple weaker enemies or concentrate on a single one. Just be sure to engage in combat from stealth to get the stealth attack bonus.

Level 12 - Fighter Lv 3

Now we take a step further and unlock the next subclass. Moreover, this level will give us Manoeuvre effects, that unlock special attack actions. Each of them gives a bonus 1d8 damage and unique effects.


fighter_battlemaster Baldur's Gate 3Battle Master
c_ico_res_superiorityDice Baldur's Gate 3Superiority Dice: 4 Your Superiority Dice are d8s. You have 4. At Fighter level 10, these dice become d10s. They fuel your Battle Master maneuvers and are expended upon use. You regain expended Superiority Dice after a Short or Long Rest.


This is a unique mechanic to Battle Master. You unlock new superiority dies that restore after short rest. They can be used for special attacks with some nice effects. For example - inducing fear, pushing enemies away, goading, etc.

Manoeuvre Description
Action_MenacingAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Menacing Attack Gives a bonus of 1d8 damage and provides a chance to Frighten an enemy. Frightened creatures have a disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls, meaning they will have a lower chance to hit you.
Action_TripAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Trip Attack Gives a bonus of 1d8 damage and provides a chance to Prone an enemy. Those who attack prone creatures in a 3-meter radius get an Advantage
Action_PushingAttack_Ranged Baldur's Gate 3Pushing Attack This is a bad boy. It will allow you to push enemies off cliffs and ledges giving some more combat options. Moreover, you get a bonus of 1d8 damage.

I personally recommend playing with these and respeccing if you see that you do not use them. There are other great Manoeuvre options to try out.

General Tips

Now I would like to cover some general tips on how to play Dual Crossbow Sharpshooter.

Engaging combat

This is the most important part of the Sharpshooter build is taking the correct position and entering combat from stealth and with an Advantage. This will guarantee you a Sneak Attack for a huge bonus 3d6 roll.

high ground sneak position thief sharpshooter baldurs gate 3

Moreover, to increase your attack roll and the chance of success try to find high grounds where enemies cannot see you and you are above them. This will also make it harder to reach you in case somebody would like to walk up to you.

Utilizing the two bonus action points

Because we are taking Thief multiclass, it gives Deft Hands perk and an additional bonus action. How to best use it? I think mainly you want to enter stealth and then hit from stealth for bonus damage rolls. This is probably the best choice, but in case you see an enemy that is close to death, just use it for an offhand attack and finish them off. Because during their turn even on low health they could make your combat problematic.

Leave merchants empty-pocketed

As with all rogues, having high dexterity, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth allows you to easily pickpocket merchants. Why is this useful? Generally, you can load yourself and allies with decent enchanted gear (sometimes even unique). Moreover, you can pick a lot of healing potions in case you have some free bonus actions for your companions.


Thank you for reading Dual Hand Crossbow build in Baldur's Gate 3. We covered all the main aspects of creating a powerful ranged wielder that uses dual crossbows. Moreover, we utilize the Fighter class to get additional action points for a possible 6-hit streak in a single run.




They fixed offhand hand xbow getting damage bonus without 2 weapon fighting style recently, so you may want to swap out defensive fighting style for that


so would you take 2 weapon fighting as the Ranger style over archery now?


I think you can probably go with either first, with archery you'll have a better chance to hit, which means you'll be able to use the sharpshooter -5 to hit +10 to damage more often which will probably make up for the damage you lose on your offhand. That is just my guess though, but if you hate whichever one you pick you can always just re-spec your character with Withers.


What's the best Illithid Powers for this build?

Btw, great build!

Definitely Luck of the Far Realms, Favorable Beginnings, Ability Drain, Freecast and Black Hole. I haven't taken a deep look into them, so these may not be the perfect choices


Any recommendations for armor and accessories?

Hey, unfortunatley, I am currently working on another game, so will not be able to provide item recommendations. However, I plan to get back to this either November or December to include item recommendations. Cheers!


Would it okay to switch out Wisdom for Charisma?

Yes, definitely, just have in mind that it will be harder to detect traps, so be sure you have someone else in the party for that. Check the comments below for suggestion to use College of Swords Bard, as they benefit from Charisma


Thanks for The build! What about 6 College of Swords, 4 Thief and 2 Fighter?

Hmm, why would you go with College of Swords? It get's Extra Attack 1 level later, and loses bonus attack that Gloomstalker has. I do not think that flourishes outweigh this loss


Bardic Inspiration and Flourishes are sweet and Slashing Flourish can be used on the same enemy so it’s an extra attack that can be used ad long as you have B Inspiration slots.

Moreover you have some lv 3 spells.

Idk if Gloom Stalker build is better but College of Swords is a nice option I think, especially if we have not a Bard in our party.

Yeah, Slashing Flourish seems to be a good option. Just remember that you lose bonus initiative from Dread Ambusher, which is very valuable in the game.

Another thing you would have to juggle abilities around a bit, as you would go for Charisma now instead of Wisdom. This is also needed for spells.

Moreover, having Bard in the party is not necessary, I think what is a good option is to have someone with high Charisma - Sorc, Bard, Paladin, Warlock.

But overall I like this idea, it is a great option if you are a front-facing character and do many dialogues.


no gear recommendations?

Currently working on adding gear to the website and later including itinto the guides. However, with upcoming Cyberpunk release this may be postponed even later.

However, for this build, I recommend these weapons:

  1. Hand Crossbow +1 (Act 1)

  2. Firestorker (Act 1)

  3. Ne'er Misser (Act 2)

  4. Hellfire Hand Crossbow (Act 2)

These are the main weapons that you should have with the build :)


when will gear be added?

Hey, I have it in my list of builds to update, but no concrete date yet. Again, these crossbows are still the best option.


Why thief instead of assassin?

Assassin is a viable option, however, it adds a few complications to make it effective. First, you have to enter combat from stealth, so the build utilizes "all the bonuses" from Assassin. This is cool, but requires additional micromanaging and may not be sustainable on the main character, but could work on something like Astarion

Thief, on the other hand, gives bonus action that you can flat out get additional attack with Dual Hand Crossbows. Add on top Sharpshooter, and you get 30 damage per turn just from using this feat (if you do not miss). Moreover, Bonus Action can be used anytime, in combat, not just at the start (like Assassin's subclass features). So you can hide and next turn attack with two attacks (action + bonus action)

So it's more of a personal flavor which one you would like to pick.


Eih nice guide, do you think this is better than assassin/gloomstalker/fighter?

This is one is better in normal combat, if you are not starting from stealth. However, Assassin, is very powerful if you manage to hit enemies while they have not seen you, due to its subclass features.


Even after the latest patch that fixes bugged off-hand dmg, it still claps!


This build feels better taking Fighter to 5 rather than Ranger. Those extra 2 Ranger levels are harming you overall I think.

Hmm, do not really understand what you mean by hurting, could you elaborate? You get better bonuses from level 4-5 ranger than fighter 4-5


You changed the build its not thief/fighter anymore?

I updated the naming for Search reasons. However, it still utilizes Thief subclass in its core, and I included Fighter as it gives additional attacks

Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!