Despite having limited skills and tool proficiencies, very few class characters can excel in combat like the Fighter 5e can, since their armor and durability allow them to provide massive damage output.
A d&d Fighter can serve as both a Striker as well as a Defender, with their subclasses filling a variety of other roles. For example, an Eldritch Knight would make a good Librarian, while Purple Dragon Knights are ideal for a Face. Although, another class which is as durable as the fighter is the DnD paladin fifth edition.
But what 5e fighting styles do Fighters possess? What are their core class features? Which backgrounds and races would be the best for your character?
Therefore, in answer to all these questions and more, we’ve prepared a dnd Fighter guide to help you play the game your way!
DND 5E Fighter Class Features
- Hit Points:- For a martial character like the Fighter 5e, you couldn’t ask for a better Hit Dice than 1d10 per Fighter level. At the 1st level, you get Hit Point equivalent to your Constitution modifier added to 10. However, every time you make your Fighter level up 5e, your Hit Points equal a combination of your Constitution modifier and 1d10 or 6.
- Saves:- Making Constitution saving throws is quite common, but the same can’t be said for Strength saves.
Fighter Starting Equipment
- Two martial weapons, or a shield and a martial weapon
- An explorer’s pack or a dungeoneer’s pack
- Either a longbow with 20 arrows and leather armor, or chain mail
- Two Handaxes or a Light Crossbow containing 20 bolts
- Weapons: Martial weapons and plain weapons
- Skills: Any two out of Athletics, Perception, Acrobatics, History, Survival, Animal Handling, Intimidation, and Insight.
- Tools: None
- Armor: All shields and armor
- Second Wind 5E:- When it’s time for your turn, you can get a bonus action. During this bonus action, the Hit Points that you can regain will equal the sum of your Fighter level and 1d10. You can’t use the Second Wind 5e feature again unless you finish a long or short rest.
- Indomitable 5E:- If you fail to make a saving throw, you can reroll it from the 9th level. Doing so makes the usage of the second roll compulsory. Thus, to use this feature again, finish a long rest. From the 13th level, you’ll be able to use this feature twice before a long rest. This number increases to three, beginning at the 17th level.
Fighting Styles 5E
- Unlike the artificer guide 5e, you’d find more options of weapons over here, so go ahead
- Archery:- When you use ranged weapons to make attack rolls, you gain a +2 bonus.
- Great Weapon Fighting 5E:- If you’re wielding a melee weapon with both hands for an attack, you might choose to roll a 2 or 1 on a damage dice. In that case, you can reroll the dice. But even if the new roll is a 2 or a 1, you have to use it. So, to enable the Great weapon Fighting 5e feature, your weapon must be versatile or have a two-handed property.
- Dueling:- When you’ve got no weapons other than a one-handed melee weapon, it will grant you a +2 bonus to damage rolls.
- Protection:- If a visible creature attacks a target within 5 feet of you, you can impose disadvantage on the attack roll by using your reaction. However, to unlock this feature, you must be carrying a shield.
- Tunnel Fighter 5E (UA):- Until your next turn starts, you can remain in a defensive stance as a bonus action on your turn. At this time, you don’t need your reaction to make opportunity attacks. Furthermore, if your opponent moves more than 5 feet while still being within your reach, you can make a melee attack against them via your Tunnel Fighter 5e reaction.
- Two-Weapon Fighting:- While engaging in two-weapon fighting, you can add the second attack’s damage to your ability modifier.
- Defense:- A +1 bonus will enhance your AC while you’re wearing armor.
- 5E Extra Attack:- On your turn, every time you take the Attack action, you can’t attack just once anymore, but twice. This feature gets enabled from the 5th level. At the 11th level, you’ll be able to attack thrice. Once you reach the 20th level, the number of attacks increases to four.
- Action Surge:- This feature allows you to take an additional action, beginning at the 2nd level. Up to the 16th level, you can use it only once, and then finish a long or short rest for using it again. But from the 17th level, you’ll be able to use it twice before finishing a rest.
D&D Fighter: Abilities, Skills, and Feats
Here’s your 5e Fighter guide to the best feats, skills, and abilities for your game character!
- Strength:- Whether your Fighter is an Eldritch Knight or a Champion, higher Strength makes them even more powerful than usual.
- Constitution:- It grants extra Hit Points to your Fighter (dungeons & dragons).
- Wisdom:- Wisdom gives a considerable boost to your Perception and Survival skills.
- Dexterity:- Archers run on Dexterity, which is why they need lots of it. On the other hand, a 5e Fighter with a build based on Strength wears heavy armor. So, they don’t need Dexterity. The same goes for Eldritch Knights.
- Charisma:- Charisma powers up Intimidation and is a fantastic option for enhancing your saving throws. But a dnd Fighter doesn’t usually have enough qualities to make a good Face.
- Intelligence:- Your dnd 5e Fighter, especially an Eldritch Knight, needs this ability for spells which require you to make saving throws.
Strength-Based Melee Fighters
- Athletics (STR):- Surprisingly, Fighters don’t have any other skill that’s based on Strength. That being said, you can use Athletics for swimming, grappling your foes, pushing them, climbing, and a lot more!
- Perception (WIS):- There is an unwritten rule in Dungeons & Dragons that at least two members of your party, if not more, should have Perception. Thus, this skill is one of the most crucial ones in the game.
- Intimidation (CHA):- Not many Fighters can make proper use of Charisma. But if you’ve got a Purple Dragon Knight with the right background and the right skills, then they can use Intimidation to become a good Face.
- Survival (WIS):- This skill helps if your party has to cross through the unknown wilderness.
- Acrobatics (DEX):- Fighters don’t normally use Acrobatics, so you can do without this skill.
- History (INT):- Eldritch Knights and other Fighters can use History to obtain background information. You never know when such information might come handy!
- Insight (WIS):- Very few Fighters rarely have enough Wisdom to be able to power up Insight. It’s immensely useful for a Face character, though.
- Animal Handling (WIS):- It doesn’t work in tandem with the Fighter’s operations, so it’s better to ignore this skill.
Best Fighter Feats 5E
- Crossbow Expert:- Two-weapon Fighters can use this feat to its utmost potential during melee combat.
- Heavy Armor Master:- Since you can minimize the damage you take to offset your reduced AC, the Heavy Armor Master feat is highly suitable for Fighters specializing in melee weapon attacks. Also, it works well even when you don’t wish to use a shield.
- Martial Adept:- It boosts the number of known maneuvers and the number of superiority dice, in the case of Battle Fighters.
- Great Weapon Master:- This feat is fantastic for any Fighter that excels in wielding a weapon with both hands.
- Defensive Duelist:- You’re going to love this option if you have professional Fighters in your party.
- Sharpshooter:- Ranged Fighter builds can get a +2 to attacks using the Archery style that comes with choosing the Sharpshooter feat.
- Polearm Master:- Your enemies will now think twice before charging past you to attack your allies, for your Defender gets more opportunity attacks. For instance, a spear with a shield, or a quarterstaff would work well, even when you don’t want to wield a polearm with reach.
- Sentinel:- In the case of Defenders, the Sentinel feat should be the first thing that comes to mind.
- Resilient:- Eldritch Knights can use this feat to make Intelligence saving throws. Although, fighter builds with high Dexterity will also find Resilient a good option.
- War Caster:- This feat is absolutely necessary for Eldritch Knights who are melee weapon attackers, especially while using a shield.
Fighter DND 5E: The Best Backgrounds
Go through this Fighter handbook 5e to understand what might be the best background for your character:-
- Cloistered Scholar:- The knowledge skills that come with this background are going to be very useful for Eldritch Knights.
- Soldier:- You can get proficient in using more tools, as well as two excellent skills as a bonus from the list of Fighter skills.
- Criminal:- If your Fighter has a decent Dexterity score, they can use Stealth to their benefit. Add to that some Deception and Charisma, and you’ve got yourself a valuable Face for your party. Additionally, a Fighter d&d can start unlocking doors and handling traps like a Rogue, with the Thieves’ tools that you get with this background.
- Urchin:- This background is similar to Criminal, but it focuses less on Charisma skills and more on Dexterity skills. This means that if your Fighter is of a Dexterity build, and doesn’t want to be a Face, then you should pick Urchin as your background.
- Sailor:- This background grants you not only two bonus skills from the Fighter skill list, but also boats! So pick this background if you want to set out on an aquatic campaign.
Best Fighter Build 5E: Races
If you want the best Fighter build 5e for your character, pick one of the following races:-
- Centaur:- The Centaur race makes a half-man, half-horse Fighter that can expand their skillset.
- Aarakocra:- This is the perfect race for Archers, as they can fly out of their enemies’ reach and even gain extra Dexterity.
- Aasimar:- Purple Dragon Knights would best belong to the Aasimar race. This is because it grants Healing Hands and Darkvision to the d&d Fighter. Additionally, the Charisma that it offers a Fighter makes them a good Face character. You’ll gain bonus Strength if you choose the Fallen Aasimar, whose Necrotic Shroud also increases your extra damage output.
- Bugbear:- No matter what your 5e Fighter build might be, the Bugbear race satisfies all of them.
- Dwarf:- Darkvision, extra Hit Points due to bonus Constitution, and resistance to poison_ these are what make a Dwarf a fantastic Fighter d&d. The Mountain Dwarf, primarily, provides an immense bonus to your Strength.
- Elf:- If your characters are Archers or Finesse Fighters, additional Dexterity makes Elves a great race choice for them. Moreover, you can get Darkvision, which Fighters can’t obtain on their own, as well as free proficiency in Perception. Choose the Shadar-Kai if you want to be able to teleport, along with bonuses to Constitution and Dexterity. But if your character is an Eldritch Knight, then go with the High Elf, which grants you a free cantrip paired with bonus Intelligence.
- Genasi:- Since Fighters are a front-line dnd class, they’d do well with an increase in their Constitution. For instance, Eldritch Knights would best choose the Fire Genasi, gaining a free offensive spell, additional Intelligence, and a free offensive cantrip in return. Other Fighters can go with the Earth Genasi subrace. It lets you move across steep terrain without any hassles, and also offers extra Strength.
- Goliath:- Pick this race if you want to excel in making melee weapon attacks. Your daily Hit Points’ total increases due to the Stone’s Endurance feature, fantastic ability improvement, and free proficiency in Athletics.
- Half-Orc:- A Fighter dnd 5e can become as durable as a Barbarian by gaining Relentless Endurance. So, if you pair the enhanced critical range of a Champion Fighter with Savage Attacks, the damage to your foes would be disastrous.
- Halfling:- Like the Elf race, Archers and Finesse Fighters can obtain bonus Dexterity with the Halfling race as well. Moreover, the Stout Halfling is an excellent subrace choice, for it grants you resistance to poison as well as additional Constitution.
- Minotaur:- Even more powerful than a Centaur, this race allows you to become an expert in making melee weapon attacks.
- Human:- Every player is familiar with the versatility of the Human race. The Variant Human, mainly, gives you an amazing feat at the 1st level, along with massive bonuses to two abilities of your choice.
- Kobold:- This race lets you gain access to Pack Tactics Advantage quickly. In addition, if you combine the improved critical range of a Champion Fighter with Pack Tactics, you’ll be able to deal critical hits to your opponents. Although that would be possible even if yours is a simple Fighter build.
- Lizardfolk:- You don’t even need to wear armor, as the Lizardfolk race gives you 20 Dexterity scores_ enough for a high AC. But this race’s Hungry Jaws depends on your Strength. So, if you choose to focus on your Dexterity rather than on your Strength scores, you might have to give up Hungry Jaws.
- Tiefling:- With bonus spells, Fire Resistance, and Darkvision, this is an excellent choice for Fighters. The Feral Variant would make a great Eldritch Knight that’s based on Dexterity. But Purple Dragon Knights would best choose the Zariel Tiefling subrace.
- Shifter:- As we’ve mentioned before, Fighters can’t get Darkvision by themselves. But you can fulfil that need by choosing the Shifter race. The Swiftstride Shifter subrace would make great Archers that focus on Dexterity. Furthermore, with the Beasthide Shifter, you can get fantastic ability score increases and a great free skill.
- Warforged:- Select this race if you want a massive bonus to your AC, a nice increase in your ability scores, and additional Constitution. And if you’ve got the Defensive fighting style 5e and full plate armor with a shield, you’ll get 22 AC_ making your Fighter practically impossible to defeat. However, the most awesome part is that you don’t even need spells or magic to become this powerful!
- Satyr:- Not only Purple Dragon Knights, but also characters based on Dexterity find Satyrs to be an ideal race. Since Fighters are usually weak when it comes to magic, the Satyr race grants them Magic Resistance.
- Leonin:- One roar from this Fighter, and crowds will scamper. Leonins are an awesome race for Fighters focusing on building their Strength.
- Simic Hybrid:- It’s a lot similar to the Human race in that it is versatile, allowing for 5e Fighter optimization.
5E Fighter Guide to Weapons
Not many players can understand which weapons to go with. But we’re hoping that this Fighter dnd 5e guide can help you choose!
- Hand Crossbow:- This is a ranged weapon, but it’s better to use it only till you get the Crossbow Expert feat.
- Maul/Greatsword:- It’s a fantastic option for those Fighters who can’t defend themselves with both hands.
- War Pick/Warhammer/Longsword:- Using this single weapon will help to boost your Strength.
- Shortsword:- For two-weapon fighting, it grants you bonus Dexterity.
- Glaive:- If your Fighter can use both hands to defend themselves, they’d better go with a Glaive.
- Rapier:- You can use this single weapon to enhance your Dexterity scores.
- Handaxe:- Fighters adept at two-weapon fighting can use a Handaxe for powering their Strength.
- Shortbow/Longbow :- A small Fighter 5e should go with a Shortbow, since Longbows can be quite substantial.
There’s a lot more on Gameizmo, stay updated.
The DND Fighter Table
This table lays out the class features and the proficiency bonus of Fighters at each level.
|1st||Second Wind, Fighting Style||+2|
|2nd||Action Surge (One Use)||+2|
|3rd||Martial Archetype (Champion): Improved Critica||+2|
|4th||Ability Score Improvement ( STR 17 – >19)||+2|
|6th||Ability Score Improvement (STR 19 – >20), (CON 16 – >17)||+3|
|7th||Martial Archetype feature: Remarkable Athlete||+3|
|8th||Ability Score Improvement (CON 17 – >19)||+3|
|9th||Indomitable (One Use)||+4|
|10th||Martial Archetype feature: Additional Fighting Style (Defense)||+4|
|12th||Ability Score Improvement (WIS 9 – >10), CON (19 – >20)||+4|
|13th||Indomitable (Two Uses)||+5|
|14th||Ability Score Improvement||+5|
|15th||Martial Archetype feature: Super Critical||+5|
|16th||Ability Score Improvement||+5|
|17th||Indomitable (Three Uses), Action Surge (Two Uses)||+6|
|18th||Martial Archetype feature: Survivor||+6|
|19th||Ability Score Improvement||+6|