Fighter 5e Guide: Dungeons & Dragons


This Fighter 5e Guide

The Fighter Class in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition will be evaluated and discussed in this Fighter 5e guide to help you create an effective Fighter. After reading this Fighter 5e Guide you will have an understanding of the Fighter’s strengths and weaknesses, the Martial Archetypes, the classes unique abilities, and potential multi-classing opportunities.

The Fighter Class

The Fighter class in D&D 5e is the most specialized combat class in the game. Fighters are incredibly customizable and can be built to favor Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity, each of which offer a different play style and set of advantages. A Fighter has just as much potential to crush their opponent with overwhelming force as they do outlasting them in a prolonged duel, or outmaneuvering them during a swordfight.

Class Features

As a Fighter, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Fighter level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Fighter level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: none
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background: * (a) Chain Mail or (b) Leather Armor, Longbow, and 20 Arrows * (a) a martial weapon and a Shield or (b) two martial weapons * (a) a Light Crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) two handaxes * (a) a Dungeoneer’s Pack or (b) an Explorer’s Pack *

Fighter Multi-classing

The Fighter class is so heavily focused on melee combat that could be helpful to attempt a multi-class at some point or another. These multi-class suggestions are meant to bolster what the Fighter is already good at: killing things as quickly as possible.

Barbarian + Fighter

The Barbarian class is the only class that comes close to the Fighter’s combat prowess. Therefore, a multi-class combining the two most effective melee classes offers an overwhelming amount of power and damage per attack that is simply unmatched among other multi-classes.

Warlock + Fighter

Of the magically oriented classes, the Warlock is likely the most aggressive, while the Fighter is the most adept at melee weapon combat. This multi-class offers a variety of perks worth considering, such as a higher Charisma score than you might normally have as a Fighter. Honestly, Eldritch Blast alone is enough to consider taking at least one Warlock Level as a Fighter.

Paladin + Fighter

The Paladin class possesses one of the single most effective damage per attack abilities in all of D&D 5e, Divine Smite. At just Level Two, the Paladin unlocks the ability to tack on additional damage to a successful melee weapon attack by smiting their target. At the cost of one first level spell slot the Paladin can add anywhere from 2 to 16 damage to their attack. Given this ability, this multi-class becomes capable of delivering swift knockouts against even the hardiest opponents.

Martial Archetypes

At Level Three, the Fighter must choose a Martial Archetype to specialize in. This Archetype will greatly increase a Fighter’s combat abilities, and will also shape the way in which they approach combat. There are ten approved Martial Archetypes in D&D 5e. Those are: Arcane Archer, Banneret, Battle Master, Cavalier, Champion, Echo Knight, Eldritch Knight, Psi Warrior, Rune Knight, Samurai. The Martial Archetype selected will determine what your Fighter does when approaching combat, so evaluate your options carefully.  

Arcane Archer – A specialization that infuses magic with ranged attacks.
Banneret – A specialization that encourages leading allies through action.
Battle Master – A specialization that treats combat like an academic study.
Cavalier – A specialization that focuses on mounted combat.
Champion – A specialization that emphasizes physical strength and power.
Echo Knight – A specialization that summons shadows to aid the Fighter.
Eldritch Knight – A specialization that allows the Fighter to spellcast.
Psi Warrior – A specialization that allows the mastery of psionic power.
Rune Knight – A specialization that utilizes the power of magical runes.
Samurai – A specialization that teaches strong will and resolve.

Fighter Level Breakdown

At Level One, the Fighter selects a Fighting Style to specialize in and gains benefits when using that method of combat. They also begin with the Second Wind ability, which the Fighter can use to regain up to 11 Hit Points at Level One once per short or Long Rest. Level Two unlocks the Action Surge ability, which grants the Fighter one additional action during combat once per short or Long Rest. The Fighter selects a Marital Archetype at Level Three, which gives benefits at Levels 3, 7, 10, 15, and 18. At Level Four the Fighter can choose between an Ability Score Improvement or a new Feat.

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