What is the Best Barbarian Build in Pathfinder Level 1?

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Are you ready to embark on a thrilling Pathfinder adventure as a Barbarian? As you dive into the world of Pathfinder, choosing the right build for your Barbarian character at level 1 is crucial. The perfect build will maximize your effectiveness in combat and enhance your overall gaming experience. In this article, we will explore the best Barbarian build options available at level 1, helping you make an informed decision for your character’s success.

Understanding the Barbarian Class

The Barbarian class in Pathfinder is a force to be reckoned with. Known for their raw power and ferocity, Barbarians excel in melee combat, unleashing devastating attacks on their foes. Their rage fuels their abilities, granting them increased strength, durability, and combat prowess. However, Barbarians also possess a unique set of weaknesses that need to be considered when choosing a build.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Barbarian Build

When selecting a Barbarian build at level 1, several factors should influence your decision. These factors include race selection and racial traits, ability scores allocation, weapon and armor proficiencies, and feat choices. Let’s delve deeper into each of these aspects.

Race Selection and Racial Traits

The choice of race for your Barbarian character can significantly impact your build. Different races offer unique racial traits that can enhance your Barbarian’s strengths or mitigate their weaknesses. For example, the Half-Orc race provides the “Ferocity” trait, allowing Barbarians to fight on even when reduced to negative hit points. The Human race, on the other hand, grants a bonus feat at level 1, providing additional versatility in your build options.

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Ability Scores Allocation

Allocating your ability scores wisely is crucial for optimizing your Barbarian’s performance. Strength should be your primary focus, as it directly influences your melee attack and damage rolls. Constitution is also vital, increasing your hit points and fortitude saves. Dexterity can be useful for improving your Armor Class and initiative rolls, while Wisdom and Charisma are generally less important for Barbarian builds.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Choosing the right weapons and armor for your Barbarian can greatly enhance their combat effectiveness. Two-handed weapons like greataxes or greatswords can maximize your damage output, while a combination of a one-handed weapon and a shield can provide better defensive capabilities. As for armor, Barbarians typically favor medium or light armor to maintain their mobility. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between protection and mobility, depending on your playstyle.

Feat Choices

Feats are an essential aspect of any Pathfinder build, and Barbarians have a variety of options to consider. At level 1, some recommended feats include Power Attack, which allows you to trade accuracy for increased damage, and Weapon Focus, granting a bonus to attack rolls with a specific weapon. These feats can help you specialize in your chosen weapon and deal devastating blows to your enemies.

Top Barbarian Builds for Level 1

Now that we have discussed the important factors to consider, let’s explore some of the top Barbarian builds specifically designed for level 1 characters. Each build offers a unique playstyle and focuses on different aspects of the Barbarian class.

Build 1: The Raging Berserker

This build focuses on maximizing damage output through the use of two-handed weapons and the Power Attack feat. By channeling your rage into devastating strikes, you become a fearsome force on the battlefield. Combine this with the Half-Orc race for their “Ferocity” trait, and you become an unstoppable force even when faced with near defeat.

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Build 2: The Shielded Sentinel

For those who prefer a more defensive approach, the Shielded Sentinel build combines a one-handed weapon and a shield to provide excellent protection. This build emphasizes high Armor Class and fortitude saves, making you a formidable tank on the frontlines. Consider selecting the Human race for the bonus feat, allowing you to further specialize in defensive abilities.

Build 3: The Agile Slayer

If you prefer a nimble and agile Barbarian, the Agile Slayer build might be the perfect fit. This build focuses on higher Dexterity and light armor, allowing you to swiftly maneuver around the battlefield and strike with precision. Consider taking the Weapon Finesse feat to use your Dexterity modifier for attack rolls with certain weapons, granting you increased accuracy.

Build 4: The Savage Mauler

The Savage Mauler build capitalizes on the Barbarian’s natural strength and durability. This build prioritizes high Constitution and focuses on using two-handed weapons to deal massive damage. Feats such as Cleave or Furious Focus can further enhance your destructive capabilities, allowing you to cleave through multiple enemies or make more accurate strikes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can a Barbarian effectively dual-wield weapons at level 1?

While dual-wielding can be a tempting option for Barbarians, it is generally not recommended at level 1. Barbarians lack the necessary feats and abilities to optimize dual-wielding, and it can hinder their overall effectiveness. It’s advisable to focus on a single weapon and maximize your damage output.

Is it advisable to focus on ranged combat or melee combat at this level?

At level 1, Barbarians are typically more effective in melee combat. Their rage abilities and class features are geared towards close-quarters combat, making them formidable opponents up close. However, if ranged combat fits your character concept or party dynamics, you can still opt for a ranged Barbarian build with appropriate feats and weapon choices.

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What are some recommended feats for a level 1 Barbarian?

Some recommended feats for a level 1 Barbarian include Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Cleave, Furious Focus, and Improved Initiative. These feats enhance your damage, accuracy, and combat versatility. However, the choice of feats ultimately depends on your playstyle and build preferences.


In the vast world of Pathfinder, the choice of the best Barbarian build at level 1 can greatly impact your gaming experience. By considering factors such as race selection, ability scores allocation, weapon and armor choices, and feat selection, you can create a formidable Barbarian character that excels in combat. Whether you prefer the raw strength of a Raging Berserker or the nimble agility of an Agile Slayer, the perfect build awaits you. So, grab your weapon, unleash your rage, and conquer the challenges that lie ahead as the best Barbarian in Pathfinder level 1!

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