Elves are generally considered one of the most beautiful races. They are slightly shorter and more delicate than humans and are not as hardy. Elves are a rare sight on the sword coast perhaps because they prefer the wild to human cities. While they are well known as a cheerful and frolicsome race many elves, especially drow, are as surly as dwarves or as prideful as humans.

There are many racial divisions of elves: Gold elves, drow (aka dark elves), moon elves, sea elves, wild elves, and winged elves (aka avariel). Elves are generally liked and even admired by humans and are easily accepted into their society. The same cannot be said for dwarves some of whom despise elves on principle.


Drow are a subterranean race of elves. They have dark grayish skin and are significantly different than surface elves in culture and attitude. Drow society is matriarchal, and drow women tend to view men of any race as inferior and weak to the point of misandry. Drow of either gender are stigmatized as evil by most non-Drow throughout Faerûn.


Avariel (or winged elves) have feathered wings and are capable of flight. They are more delicate than their earth-bound cousins, with hollow bones to aid their flight. They have pale skin and slightly larger than normal eyes. Avariel are said to have the most beautiful voices of all the elves. This makes them highly sought after by bards. Aerie is the only known avariel in the game.

Racial TraitsEdit

  • Racial Bonuses: +1 to hit with bows and swords. Infravision. 90% resistance to Charm and Sleep (only with G3 BG2 Fixpack and in Enhanced Editions). Enhanced Edition also limits their ThAC0 bonus to Long Swords, Longbows and Shortbows only.
  • Stat Modifiers: +1 Dex, -1 Con
  • Stat Minimum/Maximum:
    • Str: 3/18
    • Dex: 7/19
    • Con: 6/17
    • Int: 8/18
    • Wis: 3/18
    • Cha: 8/18


Accessible ClassesEdit

Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Mage (Diviner, Enchanter, Wild Mage specializations), Ranger, Sorcerer, Thief

Accessible Multi-ClassesEdit

Fighter / Thief, Fighter / Mage, Mage / Thief, Fighter / Mage/ Thief

Recommended ClassesEdit

Fighter / Mage (especially if the character goes for specialization in bows), Generalist Mage, Fighter / Mage / Thief, Ranger (especially Archer and Stalker kits), Sorcerer, Wild Mage.

Discouraged ClassesEdit

Diviner, Enchanter.

Elf is an excellent race to choose when playing a ranged character. Their ability to get 19 Dex allows them to get an extra +1 ranged THAC0 at character creation, which stacks with their Bow bonus. They also make great thieves for the same reasons, good mages, and the best rangers in the game. They are initially disadvantaged as fighters due to their constitution penalty but it is possible to create an elf character who can hold their own in a melee.

The penalty can be compensated for and may not matter by game's end if you are willing to stack both the Manual of Bodily Health in Baldur's Gate (game) and the +1 Constitution bonus from the Machine of Lum the Mad in Watcher's Keep on the same elf. If you also use the Manual of Quickness of Action and use the Dexterity upgrade from the Machine, you'll have 21 Dexterity. This provides -1 bonus AC and better ranged THAC0 than any other race (save for Halflings). The extra THAC0 bonus with Bows and Swords helps should you choose to use those weapons. The manual suggests these bonuses are only obtained with long bows and long swords, but in fact, they apply to all bows, and all swords.

Mage KitsEdit

Their specialist mage kits, however, are sub-par.

Diviner KitEdit

Diviners lose out on Summoning, which is critical for mages. You can use wands of monster summoning to band-aid this shortcoming, but it's just better to avoid it if you can as the Conjuration school easily has the best selection of quality spells across all 9 levels.

Enchanter KitEdit

Enchanters lose out on Invocation, which make up a significant portion of a mage's direct damage offense as well as the contingency and sequencer spells, but their spell selection is nowhere as handicapped as that of a Diviner's.

Wild Mage KitEdit

Wild mages can be a huge blast to play, although their unpredictability makes them a poor choice for inexperienced players.

In-Game DescriptionEdit

Elves tend to be shorter and slimmer than humans. Their features are finely chiseled and delicate, and they speak in melodic tones. Elves are looked upon as being frivolous and aloof. They concern themselves with natural beauty, dancing, frolicking, and other similar pursuits. Their humor is clever, as are their songs and poetry. There are six racial divisions of elves within the Realms: gold elves, moon elves, wild elves, sea elves, dark elves (drow), and winged elves (avariel).

Elves have the following traits:

  • 90% resistance against charm and sleep magics.
  • Infravision.
  • +1 THAC0 bonus with bows, short swords, and long swords.
  • +5% Open Locks, +5% Find Traps, +20% Pick Pockets, +15% Move Silently, +15% Hide in Shadows.
  • +1 Dexterity, -1 Constitution.

External linksEdit