How To Determine Attack Bonus 5E


At some point in your journey in Dungeons & Dragons 5E, you will have to make an attack roll. Every single class has a unique ability that has different potentials to attack and cause real damage. But, sometimes, even as a seasoned player, specific attacks are just plain confusing. So, how do you determine attack bonus? To learn how to do it in 5E, take a look below.

How to Determine Attack Bonus

Learning to determine the attack bonus is easy once you get the hang of it. To determine attack bonus, the formula is

Attack Roll = Base Attack Bonus + ability modifier + weapon’s enhancement bonus + other modifiers

It is good to remember that the only thing you should worry about is Ability Modifiers and Proficiency.

How To Increase Attack Bonus

Your attack roll highly depends on the ability modifier that’ll transform depending on the weapon you’re using. In general, the majority of melee weapons use Strength for calculating attack bonuses. Using the Weapon Finesse feat, the attack bonus with a light melee weapon, a rapier, or unarmed use Dexterity. Meanwhile, Ranged or thrown weapons use dexterity for calculating attack bonuses. As for the Brutal Throw feat, attack bonus with ONLY thrown weapons uses Strength.

Unlike previous editions, Casting Ability Score is needed by spells to calculate attack rolls. That means that a Wizard casting Firebolt adds their Intelligence modifier to their attack roll. Boosting the Ability Modifier, in conclusion, is one of the safest ways to get your Attack Bonus high.

Other Ways To Increase Attack Bonus

Proficiency Modifier

You can also increase your attack bonus using a proficiency modifier, but it’s good to warn you to only add it if you’re proficient with the weapon used. Proficiency to Greatsword attacks isn’t added unless they got proficient from feats or racial features. If you do have proficiency, it will significantly help with your accuracy.

Enchanted Weapons

If you chance upon enchanted weapons, it will also help. These boosts range from +1 to +3 and modify both your attack and damage rolls. If you own a weapon with a numerical bonus, you combine that with the attack roll. If you’re a spellcaster,  some magical items like the Wand of the War Mage can boost your attack bonus by +3 and compatible with all magic users.

Class Features

Finally, class features also contribute. These aren’t a lot, but they can boost your attack rolls. Some features add dice to attack rolls, like the most popular and powerful class feature: the Bardic Inspiration that gets a bonus to attack rolls. The Battle Master can also add similarly sized dice to their own rolls, while the Wild Magic Sorcerer can perform similar things to Bardic Inspiration but with tiny dice.

 The Archery Fighting Style also contributes +2 to a Fighter or Ranger’s attack rolls with a ranged weapon. Meanwhile, the War Cleric and Oath of Devotion can use their Channel Divinity to get significant bonuses on attack rolls for a short period.

In some cases, classes can also use an ability to enchant their weapon, providing it a magical bonus to attacks. These don’t stand a chance with ordinary enchantments. The Kensei Monk and Forge Cleric can access it without utilizing magic. Paladins can use Elemental Weapon to use it. Meanwhile, Wizards have access to Magic Weapon, which provides a magic bonus.


5E runs in the charm of this new “bounded accuracy” compared to the older versions. There might be fewer ways to increase your attack bonuses compared to older editions. If you want to be more accurate, plan and strategize to gain the upper hand on your attack rolls instead.

Want to know more about Attack Bonus? Check out the threads from Quora and Reddit to learn more about how to get the best out of your attack bonus. Happy playing!

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