The DnD weapons 5E has to offer range from pointy sticks to munitions of god-destroying power. This makes sense – if D&D is known for one thing, it’s combat. And while you might be itching to get your hands on some magical or legendary weapons, every new 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 stabby or shooty 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.
Below you’ll find something for characters of all classes and creeds. After all, you can’t picture a Ranger without their bow, or a Rogue without their sneaky dagger. However you want to tackle a battle, we’ve got the violence-doer to suit the job.
Here are the best DnD weapons 5e can provide:
- Simple weapons 5e
- Martial weapons 5e
- Rapier 5e
- Quarterstaff 5e
- Longbow 5e
- Dagger 5e
- Light crossbow 5e
- Greatsword 5e
- Javelin 5e
- Scimitar 5e
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, races, and 5e 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.
Here are the stats for a rapier 5e:
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.
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).
Here are the stats for a quarterstaff 5e:
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.
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.
Here are the stats for a longbow 5e:
|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.
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.
Here are the stats for a dagger 5e:
|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.
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.
Light crossbow 5e
Here are the stats for a light crossbow 5e:
|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.
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.
Here are the stats for a greatsword 5e:
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.
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).
Here are the stats for a javelin 5e:
|Properties||Thrown (Range 30/120)|
Let’s hope your D&D characters paid attention in their P.E. classes for this one. Javelins are like spears, but they’ve got a slightly different build that makes them less suited to close-range combat and much better suited to being hurled at the enemy.
The javelin is the same price and does the same amount of damage as the quarterstaff, so it’s a suitable beginner weapon. The only downside is that you’ll have to jog over to your skewered foe to retrieve the javelin after throwing – which probably won’t go down too well if they’re still alive.
Here’s the stats for a scimitar 5e:
A scimitar is a sword with a curved blade. In the real world, these swords were popular because they made it easy to slash enemies while riding on a horse. This might be something to incorporate into your roleplay, but it’s by no means the only way you can use this starter weapon.
Like the other finesse weapons on this list, the scimitar lets you use either Strength or Dexterity modifier for your attack and damage rolls. Anyone who ends up loving their scimitar should keep an eye out for the double-bladed scimitar 5e – an expensive but powerful double-headed blade that’s twice the fun to slice with.