DnD weapons 5e – the best common D&D 5e weapons

Beginner D&D players can’t expect to start out with legendary weapons, so here are the best standard 5e weapons to cut your teeth on

DnD weapons 5e - a ginger woman wielding a golden staff with a blue jewel, while casting a ball of blue magic. Other party companions are around her.

If D&D had to be known for one thing, it’d likely be its combat. The phrase ‘roll initiative’ is a welcome summons for Bards and Barbarians alike – but what do these D&D classes go into battle with? After all, you can’t picture a Ranger without their bow, or a Rogue without their sneaky dagger. DnD weapons are as integral to the game as D&D Dragons – and they’re in the game’s title.

D&D has a wide range of weapons available, ranging from simple swords to munitions of god-destroying power. While you might be itching to get your hands on some magical or legendary weapons, every new D&D character has to start somewhere. Common weapons may not sound very exciting, but you’d be surprised how much mileage you can get out of your very first pointy companion.

This guide is designed to take you through the best standard D&D weapons available in 5e. Very soon, you’ll know your simple weapons from your martial weapons, and you’ll be swashbuckling or shooting your way to combat success.

Here are the best DnD weapons 5e:

DnD weapons 5e - woman fighting with a sword and shield

Simple weapons 5e

First, let’s look at the two categories of weapons you should know about – simple weapons and martial weapons. Simple weapons include those that can typically be used proficiently by a common, untrained character. Think of weapons like clubs, maces, scythes – or even a very sharp stick. 

Martial weapons 5e

Martial weapons, on the other hand, are those that require more specialised training to wield effectively. This includes swords, axes, polearms, and so on.

Different classes, DnD races, and D&D feats will influence which weapons and weapon types your character has proficiency in – this allows you to add your proficiency bonus to attack rolls made with those weapons.

DnD weapons 5e - children play with a wooden sword

Rapier 5e

Here are the stats for a rapier 5e:

Type Martial, melee
Weight 2 lbs
Cost 25 gp
Damage 1d8 piercing
Properties Finesse

Ah, the rapier – the slender younger sibling to your standard swords. A rapier does all the damage of a longsword, but it’s a lighter load to carry on your adventures. And though it weighs the same as a common shortsword, the damage potential of a rapier is higher – you roll 1d8 instead of 1d6.

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A rapier is also a finesse weapon. This means you can use your choice of Strength or Dexterity modifier for the rapier’s attack and damage rolls (though you need to use the same modifier for both).

Because of this, you’ll want to pick a rapier if you’re planning on creating a more agile warrior. For example, a Swashbuckler Rogue would be particularly deadly with one of these to hand.

DnD weapons 5e - a ginger woman wielding a golden staff with a blue jewel, while casting a ball of blue magic. Other party companions are around her.

Quarterstaff 5e

Here are the stats for a quarterstaff 5e:

Type Simple, melee
Weight 4 lbs
Cost 2 sp
Damage 1d6 bludgeoning
Properties Versatile (1d8)

While one of the simplest weapons available, a quarterstaff has great potential in the right hands. Aesthetically, your adventurer could start out with a plain old wooden pole, or they might have a weapon that’s lovingly carved with intricate designs.

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Being Versatile means a quarterstaff can be used one-handed or two-handed – if you choose to wield with both hands, you’ll roll 1d8 of damage when making a melee attack. Even when held in one hand, a quarterstaff tends to deal more damage than your average club or light hammer – and with weights far below any heavy hammers, the quarterstaff is a balanced choice for those looking to bludgeon. They tend to be favoured by Monks, Rangers, and even Wizards looking for something to channel arcane energy into.

DnD weapons 5e - an elf on a boat aims a bow and arrow at an attacking sea creature

Longbow 5e

Here are the stats for a longbow 5e:

Type Martial, ranged
Weight 2 lbs
Cost 50 gp
Damage 1d8 piercing
Properties Ammunition, Heavy, (Range 150/600), Two-Handed

As you can see from the table, the longbow comes with plenty of properties. The range of the longbow is how far in feet you can shoot at both normal and long distance – though beware, as any shots beyond normal range are rolled with disadvantage, and you can’t shoot beyond your long range at all.

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Ammunition simply means you require ammo to use your longbow. Drawing an arrow from your quiver is considered part of your attack, but you’ll need at least one arrow and a free hand to load the bow up in order to do battle. At the end of a fight, you can recover half your expended ammunition by taking a minute to search around.

Finally, it’s important to note that the longbow is big. It must be wielded with two hands, and its Heavy property means small and tiny creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls when using it. This means your Halfling Ranger might want to use something else.

DnD weapons 5e - a vampire swinging a sword towards the viewer

Dagger 5e

Here are the stats for a dagger 5e:

Type Simple, melee
Weight 1 lb
Cost 2 gp
Damage 1d4 piercing
Properties Finesse, Light, Thrown (range 20/60)

Daggers are cheap and not much bigger than the average kitchen knife. This might not sound great, but they can be a vital starting weapon. Rogues may favour daggers for a quick sneak attack, and Sorcerers have been known to keep them around for more enchanted purposes.

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What a dagger lacks in might, it makes up for by being slight. Like a rapier, the dagger’s Finesse means Strength or Dexterity modifiers can be used for attack and damage rolls, and being Light makes it small and easy to handle – ideal for dual-wielding or hiding out of sight. You can also throw a dagger in a pinch – though be sure to go and find it again afterwards, or you’ve just lost your pointy friend.

DnD weapons 5e - two adventurers use magic and staffs to fight a white ice dragon

Light crossbow 5e

Here are the stats for a light crossbow 5e:

Type Simple, ranged
Weight 5 lbs
Cost 25 gp
Damage 1d8 piercing
Properties Ammunition, Loading, (Range 80/320), Two-Handed

For obvious reasons, guns aren’t really a thing in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Sure, a crafty Artificer may be able to get hold of a pistol, but generally you’ll need to talk to your Dungeon Master before bringing in a firearm that can shoot clean through a wooden shield.

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If you’re after a ranged weapon that’s a bit more mechanical than a plain old bow and arrow, try out a crossbow for size. We recommend a light crossbow – it’s middle of the road between a hand crossbow and a heavy crossbow in terms of damage and range, and you’re not encumbered by its weight (or price).

You do have the Loading property to think about, though. As well as requiring ammunition to fire at all, the light crossbow takes time to load, so you can only fire once, regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make in a turn.

DnD weapons 5e - dragon, panther, and warrior in combat

Greatsword 5e

Here are the stats for a greatsword 5e:

Type Martial, melee
Weight 6 lbs
Cost 50 gp
Damage 2d6 slashing
Properties Heavy, Two-Handed

There are plenty of lightweight options in this guide, but what if you’re a Paladin who’s armoured up and after something really beefy? Introducing the greatsword – it’s too big for small and tiny creatures to wield, but it sure packs a punch with 2d6 slashing damage.

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Along with the longbow, it’s one of the more pricey options on this list. However, it’s one of the most versatile weapons in the Forgotten Realms. Races like elves, dwarves, humans, and even sprites have been known to favour longswords (though, admittedly, the sprites fight with very tiny versions).