DnD classes list 5e 2023

All 14 Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition character classes and subclasses explained, with the core stats you need to create a character in 2023.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a full adventuring party out in the wilderness, rallying together while surrounded by goblin enemies

There are 14 DnD classes in Wizards of the Coast’s fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons (DnD 5e); from robed spellcasters, to great ax-wielding warriors, to enigmatic druids, fantasy fans are spoiled for choice. If you’re looking to roll up a Dungeons and Dragons character for your first (or ninety-first) adventure, this player’s guide gives a full intro to every single Wizards of the Coast-approved 5e class, from core stats to subclasses.

Once you’ve decided on one of the DnD 5e classes, we’ve other simple guides to help get your 5e character game-ready. You’ll need to choose which of the DnD races and DnD backgrounds they come from, then fill in their DnD character sheet. We recommend using a free DnD character creator tool to make this a lot quicker and easier.

For now, though, let’s review the 14 classes (13 official, and one unofficial) currently on offer in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons.

These are the 14 current DnD 5e classes:

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What are DnD 5e classes?

DnD 5e classes are the unique mechanics and exciting roleplaying possibilities which will govern how you progress in your campaign, making them a key component in your D&D experience.

Whichever class you choose comes with its own archetypes, playstyles, advantages, and disadvantages. So, considering how much time you will be investing in your character, it’s vital to consider all options before you make a firm decision.

What’s in a name, you ask? Well, quite a lot, actually – remember, this class is going to be your Dungeons and Dragons character’s fundamental defining category. People who don’t know your character’s DnD name may well address you by your class, all campaign long – so make sure to pick one you like.

DnD class stats and roles

A big question to ask yourself when looking at classes is what kind of role you want to take in the adventuring party. Do you want to be the armored support, like a Cleric? Or maybe the flashy damage dealer as a Sorcerer? Your character’s core DnD stats should guide you here; there are six primary abilities in D&D: 

  • Strength 
  • Constitution 
  • Wisdom 
  • Charisma 
  • Intelligence 
  • Dexterity

Each class will specialize in a primary ability that governs character-building and roleplaying options. For example, a Fighter will focus on Strength, maybe tending to run into battle impulsively and solve their problems with combat, while a Bard will focus on Charisma and charm their way out of sticky situations. When picking a class, look at their primary abilities and consider what sort of character you would want to roleplay.

What about DnD races?

You’ll also want to keep in mind which of the DnD races (also known as species from December 2022 onward) you want your character to be from. You can, of course, play any combination you like – and races aren’t tied to specific ability boosts anymore.

But each race does have its own in-game racial traits which pair particularly well with certain classes (the Goliath 5e race’s ability to ignore damage with ‘Stone’s Endurance’ lends itself well to a tanky Fighter, for example). Our in-depth DnD guides include many of our favorite class-race combos, so keep an eye out for those!

You might already have a class in mind – but a good adventurer knows their allies’ DnD skills and characteristics as well as their own, so make sure you check out all the classes before venturing forth!

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a barbarian character armed with an axe and shield, wearing a horned helmet, in a dungeon filled with gold

Barbarian 5e

Party role   Damage dealer, Tank
Primary ability Strength
Saving throws Strength, Constitution
Hit dice 1d12 per Level 
HP at 1st level   12 + Constitution modifier
Best races Dwarf, Half-Orc, Goliath

Yep, that’s right, he’s the one on the left with the horned helmet. The embodiment of anger management issues, the Barbarian 5e class is filled with the classic muscle-bound, hot-headed warriors we all know and love. Based on figures like Conan or Boudica, they are heavy hitters who excel in battle.

With their rage ability and higher-level subclass features, Barbarians have the potential to deal devastating damage in combat and are near-impossible to take down because, of all the DnD classes, they have the highest hit dice (which determine your health).

As this is a simple class that usually focuses on using brawn instead of brains, players will want to prioritize raising their Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity scores for an effective battle-ready Barbarian build.

DnD classes - Wizards of the Coast art of a Barbarian standing in front of a bear

Barbarian strengths

High hit dice and plenty of Rage mean the Barbarian is one tough cookie in combat. It’s a very satisfying experience to dominate the battlefield (even if your method of dealing damage can get a little same-y).

While every class has its own intricacies, the Barbarian isn’t too complicated to build. This means it could be a great choice for a new D&D player who still wants to feel like a powerful party member.

Barbarian weaknesses

Everyone has an Achilles’ heel, and the Barbarian has a few distinct weak spots. They’re only really built for melee, meaning ranged foes will be particularly problematic.

Barbarians also tend to dump their mental and social stats (Wisdom, Intelligence, Charisma). Low Charisma and a lack of useful skills mean they won’t be helpful in social roleplaying situations, and they may feel a bit useless in campaigns with less focus on combat. A lack of Wisdom is the real killer, though. A lot of enemy attacks may call for a Wisdom saving throw, leaving your Barbarian vulnerable.

Ready to start building your own skull-crushing, body-building badass? Read our full-on D&D Barbarian 5e class guide for all the best races, subclasses, and builds.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Bard Dragonborn character playing a magical song on their lute, while tavern patrons dance behind them

Bard 5e

Party role   Utility, Support, Control
Primary ability Charisma 
Saving throws Charisma, Dexterity
Hit dice 1d8 per Level 
HP at 1st level   8+ Constitution modifier 
Best races Halfling, Half-Elf, Kenku

If you want to hone your roleplaying skills, the confident and charming Bard 5e class is a great choice. Often referred to as the ‘jack of all trades’ of the adventuring party, the Bard is a versatile class that can be a huge benefit to teammates, both in battle and social interactions.

A relatively tricky class to optimize, choosing the Bard’s spells requires strategic thinking and foresight. As they are primary spellcasters who truly shine in social situations, focus on raising their Charisma score as you progress. 

Thinking of taking up your lute / violin / bagpipes and setting out on a musical tour of the Forgotten Realms? Play out your options with our in-depth Bard 5e class guide.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Cleric dwarf character in heavy armour, wearing a circlet over their ginger hair and with a long, braided beard

Cleric 5e

Party role   Support, Healer, Damage dealer
Primary ability Wisdom 
Saving throws Wisdom, Charisma 
Hit dice 1d8 per Level 
HP at 1st level 8 + Constitution modifier
Best races Human, Dwarf, Aasimar

The Cleric 5e class is the divine agent of a god, and they act as your tanky healer, smiting evil while keeping their party alive. However, Clerics can follow vastly different archetypes and playstyles based on which DnD god and divine domain they choose.

The Player’s Handbook details seven divine domains that will dictate your party role; for example, if you are focused on healing, Life Cleric 5e is a great choice, whereas combat-orientated Clerics will benefit from the War domain.

Since Clerics are primary spellcasters with a wisdom focus, and the party’s healer too, invest in their Wisdom and Constitution scores as you gain a DnD level up. With their simple spellcasting mechanic and baked-in roleplaying options, they are a great pick for first-time players.

Fancy yourself a devoted warrior of faith? Choose your pious path and DnD Cleric spells with our complete, in-depth Cleric 5e class guide. 

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Druid character at the campfire

Druid 5e

Party role   Utility, Support, Healer, Control
Primary ability Wisdom 
Saving throws Intelligence, Wisdom 
Hit dice 1d8 per Level 
HP at 1st level   8 + Constitution modifier 
Best races Dwarf, Tortle, Shifter

Ever wanted to be one with nature or transform into any creature? If the answer is yes, then the Druid 5e class is for you. Druids are incredibly versatile, able to polymorph into beasts, heal the party, and control the elements to turn a battle in your favor. 

With quirky 5e spells and an aversion to metal, roleplaying as an eccentric Druid can be fun for players who love mysticism and folklore. Another primary spellcaster, you should focus on raising your Druid’s Wisdom score first and foremost. 

If you’re set on becoming one with nature, plant yourself in the most fertile soil possible with our comprehensive D&D Druid 5e class guide.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a fighter character with sword and shield bashing in a skeleton's skull

Fighter 5e

Party role   Tank, Damage dealer
Primary ability Strength or Dexterity
Saving throws Strength, Constitution 
Hit dice 1d10 per Level 
HP at 1st level   10 + Constitution modifier
Best races Dwarf, Elf, Dragonborn, Half-Orc

The classic action hero archetype, the Fighter 5e is a specialized battle machine and an excellent pick for players who love to deal damage in combat. Great for new players and an ideal base class to experiment with DnD multiclassing, the Fighter offers a range of roleplaying possibilities.

Like the Barbarian, focus on Strength/Dexterity and Constitution to make your Fighter a devastating force in combat.

Would you take the Fighter’s path? Begin your training with our complete D&D Fighter 5e class guide, including Fighting Styles, subclasses, races, builds, and more.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Monk character wielding dual swords, battling goblins

Monk 5e

Party role   Damage dealer, Control
Primary ability Wisdom & Dexterity 
Saving throws Dexterity, Strength (gain all saving throws at level 14) 
Hit dice 1d8 per Level
HP at 1st level   8 + Constitution modifier 
Best races Elf, Halfling, Aarakocra, Tortle

The Monk 5e class is the martial arts expert of the D&D world. Driven by discipline and the mystical force Ki, they destroy their enemies quickly and effectively. With their speed, Monks make excellent strikers in combat, able to break through enemy lines and target spellcasters. Their abilities make them great damage dealers, but they can be challenging to play due to their low hit dice and lack of DnD armor proficiency.

The Monk class offers unique character options with tons of pop culture references for roleplaying, from ninjas to air/water/earth/fire-benders. Focus on raising your Dexterity, Wisdom, and Constitution scores as you progress.

Will you master the power of the Ki with your next D&D character? Our fully loaded D&D Monk 5e guide uncovers this class’s rules, subclasses, and secret ways.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a paladin character in full plate armor fighting goblins with a sword and shield

 Paladin 5e

Party role   Tank, Damage dealer, Support, Healer
Primary ability Strength & Charisma 
Saving throws Wisdom, Charisma 
Hit dice 1d10 per Level 
HP at 1st level   10 + Constitution modifier
Best races Dragonborn, Half-Elf, Triton

Often taking the leadership role and becoming the face of the party, the Paladin 5e is a charismatic hybrid class, dealing in both spellcasting and melee combat. Unlike previous editions of the game, there are no DnD alignments or religious restrictions for your Paladin in 5e, making them personality-driven and only bound to their chosen Oath. These Oaths will define your character’s play style, so pick carefully.

For a well-rounded Paladin that can support your party and act as the negotiator/diplomat in social situations, focus on raising your Charisma and Strength scores.

Are you truly set upon taking your Oath and joining the noble champions of the righteous? Dive into our comprehensive Paladin 5e guide for more on Paladin stats, Oaths, subclasses, and more.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Ranger character with a bow and arrow in a forest

Ranger 5e

Party role   Damage dealer, Utility, Support 
Primary ability Dexterity &  Wisdom 
Saving throws Dexterity, Strength 
Hit dice 1d10 per Level 
HP at 1st level   10 + Constitution modifier
Best races Elf, Halfling, Human, Harengon

A hybrid class perfect for any players that love exploration, the Ranger 5e class is part martial warrior, part spellcaster, and can be invaluable party members. A popular choice, Rangers are the masters of nature and can take on multiple party roles. They can be both melee and ranged damage dealers with their DnD weapons, cast control spells, and provide heaps of utility for DnD campaigns with their tracking abilities.

Rangers get a ton of choices as they level up. They can select things like favored terrain and enemies, so it is always a good idea to consult with your DM when character-building. Focus on raising your Dexterity score for damage and Wisdom or Constitution for spells and skills.

Have you already donned your forest-green armor and nocked an arrow in preparation for the Ranger’s life? Best check out our comprehensive D&D Ranger 5e guide for all the key subclasses, races, builds, and more.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a rogue character in a hood, with a dagger in hand

Rogue 5e

Party role   Damage dealer, Utility
Primary ability Dexterity
Saving throws Dexterity, Intelligence 
Hit dice 1d8 per Level 
HP at 1st level   8+ Constitution modifier
Best races Halfling, Elf, Kobold

The Rogue 5e is an elusive class that prides itself on its ability to pick your pockets while stabbing you in the back. Awarded the most skills out of all classes, a Rogue can build themselves into an irreplaceable ‘multi-tool’ teammate, picking locks, gathering information, and deceiving their way out of disputes.

With abilities like sneak attack, they can obliterate single targets, making them satisfying to play for damage-dealing. Focus on raising your Rogue’s Dexterity score, and strategically pick your level-up options to support the playstyle you want.

Ready to hit the backstreets and make a name for yourself? Check out our comprehensive D&D Rogue 5e class guide to dive deeper into the shadows.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Sorcerer character casting a spell from one hand, wielding a magic staff in the other hand

Sorcerer 5e

Party role   Damage dealers, Control
Primary ability Charisma
Saving throws Constitution, Charisma 
Hit dice 1d6 per Level 
HP at 1st level   6 + Constitution modifier 
Best races Tiefling, Human, Half-elf

Unlike other spellcasters, a Sorcerer 5e has their magic granted through natural means; their powers come from raw ability. It’s quite a complex class, but the offering of versatile spells and DnD cantrips make Sorcerers well-equipped for most dungeon crawling and social interactions.

With their proficiency in Constitution saving throws and the ability to use sorcery points to make more spell slots, they are an enticing spellcaster class for any player. Focus on raising your charisma score for spellcasting and remember that fire spells in D&D 5e are always a powerful choice.

Think you can feel the arcane blood coursing through your veins? Read our exhaustive DnD Sorcerer 5e class guide to channel your powers.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Warlock Tiefling character with fire magic in both hands, with a body of water and an island castle in the background

Warlock 5e

Party role   Utility, Damage dealers, Control 
Primary ability Charisma 
Saving throws Wisdom, Charisma 
Hit dice 1d8 per Level
HP at 1st level   8 + Constitution modifier 
Best races Tiefling, Half-elf, Githzerai

Spellcasters who form a pact with an otherworldly patron, the Warlock 5e is granted incredible powers, making them uniquely strong damage dealers and unlike any other spellcaster in 5e. Despite their deceptively easy spellcasting, Warlocks are a mechanically complex class. Each level-up choice is meaningful and requires strategic thinking.

Their obligation to and relationship with their patron make them a story-building goldmine. You can be a cultist working for the fiends of hell, or an agent of the fey – the possibilities are endless. Great for damage dealers to multiclass into, too. Focus on your Charisma score for spellcasting, and don’t forget to Eldritch Blast 5e at every opportunity.

Ready to make your pact with forces unknown? Dive in deep with our DnD Warlock 5e guide, complete with all the Warlock races, subclasses, and builds you’ll need to get started.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a wizard character casting a spell from their grimoire

Wizard 5e

Party role   Utility, Damage dealers, Control
Primary ability Intelligence 
Saving throws Intelligence, Wisdom 
Hit dice 1d6 per Level 
HP at 1st level   6 + Constitution modifier
Best races Gnome, Human

The Wizard 5e class and fantasy go hand in hand, and many players will no doubt gravitate towards this class. With eight DnD schools of magic to choose from and a unique spellbook mechanic, Wizards immerse players completely into the ‘studious magical genius’ role, making roleplaying a breeze. They are a versatile class and can obliterate multiple enemies at once, but they are quite vulnerable due to their low hit dice.

Although tricky at first, once you understand the spellbook mechanic and how to use abilities like mage armor, a Wizard can be one of the party’s most effective damage dealers. Focus on your Intelligence score for spellcasting – and remember to keep your spellbook safe!

You have been accepted to Wargamer’s School of Wizardry and, er, Wizardry! Report to your first class in our D&D Wizard 5e guide, explaining the key schools of magic, best DnD Wizard spells, and more.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing an Artificer character manipulating magical technology, with several floating metal orbs wreathed in blue lightning, and machinery in the background

Artificer 5e

Party role Support, Utility
Primary ability Intelligence (or Strength or Dexterity)
Saving throws Intelligence and Constitution
Hit dice 1d8 per Artificer level
HP at 1st level 8 + Constitution modifier
Best races Human, Gnome, Kobold, Warforged

The Artificer 5e is a tinkerer and a lover of tools. Using powerful magical infusions, an Artificer can create and bolster magical items and weapons that will really help your party pack a punch. The Artificer plays a big role in supporting their peers – it’s up to them to make everyone as powerful as possible.

Of course, that isn’t to say that you have to help your party out at all times. Feel free to roleplay petty grudges or selfish motivations for not passing out all the hottest new gadgets – Wisdom is a common ‘dump’ stat for this class, so you definitely don’t have to be wise all the time.

Want to become a master of golems, explosives, and more? Check out our expertly engineered D&D Artificer 5e class guide for all the tools you need.

DnD classes 5e guide - Wizards of the Coast artwork showing a Blood Hunter character raising a cauldron of fizzing dragon's blood, with the carcass of a dead dragon behind

Blood Hunter 5e

Party role Control, Damage dealers
Primary ability Strength or Dexterity
Saving throws Dexterity and Intelligence
Hit dice 1d10 per level
HP at 1st level 1d10 + Constitution modifier
Best races Dwarf, Elf, Halfling

The Blood Hunter 5e is a DnD homebrew class from the mind of Critical Role Dungeon Master Matt Mercer, but it’s proven popular enough to get its own unofficial write-up on D&D Beyond. Based in part on The Witcher, Blood Hunters sacrifice their own health – and blood- to use the power of hemocraft magic against evil.

There’s a lot of roleplay potential in Blood Hunters. They gather in secretive orders, are misunderstood by much of society, and they must constantly grapple with the darkness within – as the darkness they use to fight evil may one day consume them all together. Roleplay aside, there are also plenty of ways to customize your hemocraft to deal damage to baddies in new and interesting ways.

Looking to join a Blood Hunter order? First, you’ll need to undergo the Hunter’s Bane ritual – then you should check out our D&D Blood Hunter 5e guide for everything you need to create a character.

You might have the perfect DnD class in mind now, but have you got a game to play them in? We can recommend our favorite DnD campaigns or DnD one shots to test your build in. Or, if you want to be really modern, take a look at the adventures coming up in the DnD 2023 release schedule.