Dual Weapon Fighting and Two Weapon Fighting in 5e: The Complete Guide (2023)

Last Updated: January 22, 2023

The rogue draws a second dagger as the cave troll snarls and charges through the ancient crypt, spiked mace quivering in his raised fist.

With both daggers in hand, the rogue assumes a fighting stance. "Come on," he whispers under his breath.

Two-weapon combat can add charm to any DnD 5e character, but is especially suited to certain classes and player options.

In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about dual-weapon combat and take a detailed look at which classes are best dual-wielding.


Is two-weapon combat good in 5e?

In two-weapon combat, players can take a bonus action to make an extra attack. Two-weapon combat gives players the ability to perform an additional attack each round.

Two-weapon combat can be great depending on the situation. For some characters, using both weapons will allow you to routinely deal extra damage.

Especially at lower levels, dual-wielding can give players an advantage in combat.

The mere chance of making a second attack each round can be the difference between victory or near-defeat.

However, using two weapons is not for everyone. In fact, some characters and classes will not benefit at all.

This is why it's important to choose your character's class and perks carefully if you plan to create a dual wielder.

How does two-weapon combat work in DnD 5e?

DnD 5e has special rules for using two weapons at once. Using two weapons gives the player a chance to make an attack with either hand, but only under certain conditions.

According to the rules of the game, a character can only fight with two weapons if they are both weaponsluzand will not be able to addPity modifierfor the second attack.

If the gun in your left hand also hasejectedquality, characters may choose to make a ranged attack with this weapon.

Here's the downside: using two weapons requires the use of the player's sword.bonus action.

Each turn, the character must spend its extra action to perform this extra attack.

Here is a brief overview of the rules of two-weapon combat in DnD 5e:

  • Each class can use two weapons in DnD 5e
  • Two-weapon combat requires a light weapon unless the character takes command.dual weaponsachievement
  • Unless the character learnsfight with two weaponsthey cannot add the damage modifier to left-handed attacks.

The ruleset states that two-weapon combat is only possible with light weapons.

And when a character performs an extra hit using their extra action, the attack is made with no damage modifier.

However, these limitations can be overcome by gaining additional perks and skills.

Is it worth fighting with two weapons?

Whether it's worth dual-wielding depends on several factors, including your character's class and skill value.

Some characters will benefit more by using one heavy weapon or playing more defensively.

The table below compares the Warrior and Hunter classes. Using average throws, we can approximate the damage in different scenarios.

The table below compares the damage after 4 combat rounds between different classes. The table assumes that heroes use optimal weapons and skills.

For example, himThe barbarian uses his anger.and the thief usesstealth attackOnce per round.

Both fighter and ranger are assumed to have chosen the appropriate fighting style for their class and the weapon they wield (fight with two weapons,Defense,great shooting, itp…).

Heroes fight Goblins (AC 11).

Level 1 Dual Weapon Damage vs One-Handed vs Heavy Weapon Damage:

Class (1st level)Dual Weapon Combat Damage*Weapon and Shield Damage*High Weapon Damage*
barbarian (angrily)502737

At level five, characters have enhanced abilities. It assumes, for example, that Ranger is onhunter sign.

The warrior usesincrease the effectin the first round of the fight. Characters benefit from extra attacks if they have them.

Weapon options include short swords, long swords, or great swords. Characters using a shield get +2 to their AC. Heroes fight Drow (AC 15).

Level 5: Two-Handed, One-Handed, and Great Weapons:

Class (5th level)Dual Weapon Combat Damage*Weapon and Shield Damage*High Weapon Damage*
Guardian (with hunter mark)785956
Warrior (with Action Boost)694690
barbarian (angrily)6857Sixty-five
Rogue (with stealth attack)715315

If you are looking for more information on dual use, we also recommend this video:

Does using dual weapons count as two attacks?

While wielding two light weapons, melee characters can use thembonus actionmake a second attack with the left hand. In 5e, each player gets one extra action per turn.

For this reason, using a bonus action to perform an extra attack does not count as two attacks. Counts as one attack and one additional action.

Characters that gain extra attacks will still be able to use their extra action. For example, he can use a tier 2 fighter with two short swordsincrease the effectand one additional action for making three attacks in one round.

Can any class in DnD fight with two or two weapons?

Some classes gain access to special rules for two-weapon combat, but any class can use thembonus actionthe two make a second attack, provided they use a light weapon.

Sorcerers, Clerics, and Druids can even benefit from dual-weapon combat. One secRangeryfightersBoth can learn special two-weapon fighting techniques, each class can use two weapons if they wish.

While it is true that each class can fight with two light weapons, this is not always a good option.

As we'll see later, some classes will benefit more from this technique than others.

Two-Weapon Fighting or Two-Weapon Fighting?

In DnD 5e, two-weapon and two-weapon combat are technically not the same.

Most players will use the term interchangeably, but keep in mind that there is a difference between characters fromdouble carrierfeat and those who learnTwo-weapon fighting style.

While it's true that 5e allows any character to take advantage of two-weapon combat, some classes have the ability to learnfight with two weaponsfunction.

Characters with this combat skill can add their damage modifier to left-handed attacks.

Using the double carrier feat

Unlike two-weapon combat, two-weapon use does not apply to z-charactersdouble carrierachievement.

to learndouble carrierThis feat allows any character to take their two-weapon combat skills to the next level.

With this feat, dual-wielding characters can add an additional +1 to their AC.

What's more, characters with Dual Wielder can fight with any one-handed weapon (even if it's not light).

Familiarization with the rules of dual use in DnD 5e can help to avoid confusion in this area. For example, the dual wielder feat allows a character to draw two weapons at once.

Some GMs may not strictly enforce this rule, but others may require a character to use the Dual Tenant feat if they want to draw two swords in a single action.

What weapons can I use twice in DnD 5e?

Most characters can only use two weapons.light weapons in DnD5e. Unless the gun has a light property, it generally cannot be used in two-weapon combat.

Weapons with this property include short swords,daggers, maces and hand axes.

As long as characters use light weapons with both hands, they are free to use their bonus action to make an extra attack when making a melee attack with their action.

To be able to wield another weapon at the same time, players must takedouble carrierachievement. This feat allows players to use medium or heavy weapons for two-weapon combat, but only if the weapon can be wielded with one hand.

Many heavy weapons require the use of both hands and therefore cannot be used in two-weapon combat at all.

Dual Weapon Bonus Attack: What Happens?

Each player receives one bonus action per round. When a character receives an additional attack, the situation does not change.

If a player has the ability to perform an additional attack, he will only have one additional action.

For example, a level 5 warrior can make an additional attack. If a warrior was using two weapons, he could take a bonus action and make a third attack each round.

If a character uses his bonus action, he does not get another bonus action, no matter how many extra attack actions he has. Even a level 20 fighter can only use the bonus action once per turn.

What classes are best for two-weapon combat?

Some classes in DnD 5e gain additional abilities that make two-weapon combat particularly powerful. And while anyone can pick up two short swords and swing them, players looking to deal some serious damage will need to plan ahead.


OnWarrioraccessesfight with two weaponslevel one style.

Characters with this skill can add a damage modifier to any-handed attacks. Depending on the character's stats, this can cause significant damage in combat.

Strength is usually the main asset of a warrior. Having an extra attack can be game-changing in low-level campaigns.

However, the benefits of this style decrease at higher levels. Since warriors get bonus attacks anyway, it's best to use two-handed weapons for them.


Like a warriorforestercan learnfight with two weaponsstyle and deal extra damage with this technique.

ASkillThe Base Hunter will also benefit from dual-weapon combat, gaining extra attacks to use each turn.delicacyweapon.

Unlike warriors, Rangers need your helpbonus actionto activate signature spells such ashunter sign.

Since the Mark of the Hunter requires an additional action, Guardians will need to combine their actions carefully.


Barbarians have abilities that can greatly increase the effectiveness of two-weapon combat.

For example, barbarians can useFuryskill and adds bonus damage to melee attacks. The furious barbarian can wield dual weaponsshort swordsand addanger damageon every hit.


Dual weapons can be a surprisingly powerful option forRogueclass... In general, rogues useSkillpower-based attacks that do less damage than strength-based classes, so having another attack can really help.

When fighting with two weapons, rogues also get a second chance to activate theirsstealth attackskill!

For most rogues, the goal of each combat round is to perform a stealth attack. At lower levels, having a second chance to trigger a stealth attack will greatly increase the damage done by the rogue.

multiclass characters

Finally, multiclass characters can specialize in two-weapon combat, leveling up in Fighter or Hunter.

Doing so will increase the damage output of any character that wants to do more than just look cool while wielding two swords.

What feats are good for two-handed combat?

Since two-weapon combat is available to every class, it doesn't take much to get started with two weapons.

Almost anyone with two light melee weapons can land an extra hit each turn.

Ondouble carrierThis feat is an obvious choice for characters who rely on their strength.

based on skillsHowever, it is better for a character to choose other feats, even if he plans to use two weapons.

Another good option ismobileachievement. Since wielders of both weapons often engage in close-quarters combat, extra mobility on the battlefield becomes even more important.

Thanks to the Mobility feat, the character's speed increases and does not cause attacks of opportunity from the creatures it attacks.

If dual-wielding is so good, why isn't everyone using it?

Characters with high Strength scores will typically deal more damage with heavy weapons.

Monks get approxbonus attack hisMartial arts, so they wouldn't gain anything from fighting with two weapons.

Because two-weapon combat requires an additional action, some players may find it better to use one weapon.

For example, although warriors can learnfight with two weaponsstyle, fighting with two short swords may be weaker than using one great sword.

Which classes should avoid two-weapon combat?

In most cases, spellcasters will gain little by wielding two weapons. While it may surprise the audience when a wizard pulls out a pair of scimitars, a spell will almost always be the better option.

In general, priests, wizards, wizards, and druids will probably be better off using a single weapon, be it a bow, sword, or staff.

Of course, there's no reason why either of these classes can't use dual weapons. The rules definitely give them that opportunity.

If a player wants a mage to run into battle with two swords, that's none of my business. I just hope they get lucky.


Double use immediately increases the cool factor of each DnD character, but it's not always the best decision.

Although all characters have the ability to fight with two weapons, some classes are more suited to technique than others.

Characters they takedouble carrierthe feat gives you more options in two-weapon combat.

Those who usefight with two weaponsThis style is likely to benefit from this archetype more than anyone else. Rogues are also a great option for anyone looking to deal massive damage with two weapons.

While using two weapons will make any adventurer more intimidating, it's not always the best option.

If you plan to create such a character, be careful about choosing the right class and feats.

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Dual Weapon Fighting and Two Weapon Fighting in 5e: The Complete Guide (1)

rich croquettes

As a child, I played a lot, in the first edition. In the last couple of years since the 5e launched, I've really started getting back into it. I'm currently running an online campaign for a few friends and my brothers, and we're also playing a side session to mix things up.


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