How to Determine Saving Throws In 5E


In this latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons, spells and traps can target your Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma saves. That means your character’s body is naturally trying to defend itself. All of these show that you can determine saving throws when you call for something that is trying to mess with you without you being willing. But how do you really determine saving throws? Read down below to learn how to determine yours.

How To Determine Saving Throws

In the beginning, your Ability Modifier will define your saving throws start. Compared to skill checks, you can’t just choose to be proficient here. The class you are in determines the two saving throws you begin with proficiency in. For example, Barbarians are known to be proficient in Strength and Constitution saving throws. A level 1 Dwarf Barbarian with 16 Strength has a Strength saving throw of +5, signifying +3 Strength and +2 Proficiency.

Although, if that similar Dwarf turned into a Wizard instead of a Barbarian, they wouldn’t be proficient. Instead, what they would have is a Strength saving throw of +3.

Other Modifiers To Determine Saving Throws


A level 6 Paladin can add their Charisma bonus to any creature they choose, making saving throws within their Aura of Protection. Learn more about Paladins in this post!


There are severely few options that increase your Saving Throw modifier. You can get an upgrade with saving throws, using magical items such as the Cloak of Resistance, but that’s the only item.

Proficiency Bonus

Besides this, other ways can be taken to obtain more proficiencies, so you can have your Proficiency Bonus effect more saves. At level 14, the Monk becomes proficient in all saving throws. Meanwhile, the Samurai Fighter earns proficiencies through class abilities. Its Resilient feat upgrades a stat and gives you proficiency in that stat’s saving throw. 

Important Saving Throws

The three most crucial saving throws that should be prioritized. These are  Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom. Dexterity save is the easiest way to save to avoid damage. Constitution dodges diseases and death-effects. Wisdom deflects mind-control and effects that can make you lose turns.

Even though Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma are still useful, they save you from fewer effects compared to the other three. If you wish to prioritize what saves to get, follow this order:

Intelligence < Charisma = Strength < Dexterity < Constitution = Wisdom

Intelligence has a tiny list of spells that affect it, the same with Charisma. Strength has the most spells, but Charisma’s saves are geared towards more impactful effects. Dexterity has the most spells that target it in the game, but most of these deal with hitpoint damage and can be healed. On the other hand,  Constitution can kill your character through specific conditions and “you die” effects, while Wisdom is essential against Dominate and Charm effects.


The saving throw abilities may not seem like a big deal, but they significantly impact how the game is played. It can be hard to boost, but you don’t need min-maxed numbers to avoid Spell DCs. Also, don’t take the order seriously as it is just from personal preference. Situations vary, so it’s up to you how you will prioritize your saving throws

If you want to learn in detail more about saving throws, check out these insightful threads from Reddit and Stackexchange and watch the video below to learn more. Happy playing!

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