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25 Best One Handed Weapons DnD 5E [Improve Your Combat Style]

Best One Handed Weapons DnD 5e
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 01/03/2024
Est. Reading: 9 minutes

One of the key strategies for achieving success in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (DnD 5e) is understanding your armory.

An integral part of crafting a victorious character in this details-driven game lies in your weapon choice, and knowing the best one handed weapons DnD 5e offers can take your game character from good to unstoppable.

Choosing the right weapon isn’t just about damage, you must also consider your class’s proficiency, individual playing style, and even the storyline.

There’s no single answer to which one-handed weapon is the perfect fit for every character in every scenario, having a clear understanding of their attributes can guide you towards making a choice that complements your gameplay strategy masterfully.

Let’s gear up to discover some weaponry favorites that have proven their worth throughout countless campaigns and can give you an upper hand at conflict resolution, DnD style.

Best One-Handed Weapons in DnD 5e

Adventure and danger lurk around every corner in the mystical world of Dungeons and Dragons 5E.

Best One-Handed Weapons in DnD 5e

As a player, your choice of gear can be a critical determinant of survival and victory.

With several types of one-handed weapons to choose from, you’re not only arming yourself for the imminent battle but also adding a distinct flavor to your character’s persona.

Let’s delve into the characteristics of two stand-out examples: The Rapier and the Spear.


The rapier is a lightweight blade cherished for the edge it gives players, literally.

With a solid damage output of 1d8 piercing, it’s an excellent fit if you seek dexterity over brutish strength.

Strikes are swift and precise, making it favored by finesse fighters like rogues or dextrous bards who prefer tactical maneuvers over frontal assaults.

Combining low weight with high damage, it’s ideal for initiating sneak attacks while maintaining agility on the battlefield.

The rapier also pairs well with various feats or traits such as “Dual wielder” where you want two one-handed weapons that work seamlessly together.

Also Read: 12 Best Feats For Infiltrator Artificer 5E [Perfect The Art Of Espionage]


On the other hand, we have the spear – an iconic symbol of ancient warfare tactics. Simple yet effective, spears present high utility across various situations in DnD 5e.


Offering a damage output of 1d6 piercing (or upping to 1d8 when used with both hands), its versatile nature fits multiple fighting styles.

The spear’s reach is an added benefit when dealing with opponents beyond arm’s length or escaping close-quarter skirmishes relatively unscathed.

Its ranged attack capability further enhances its popularity among players needing flexible offensives at varied distances.

Beyond its mechanical uses, the spear can greatly contribute towards defining characters’ cultural backgrounds or professions; envision a tribal warrior or maybe even Poseidon’s sea-spawned offspring.


Another fascinating one-handed weapon choice you could consider is the humble sling.

Now, before you dismiss it because it’s a simple weapon, get this; the sling allows you to hit targets from afar with a solid 1d4 bludgeoning damage.

It is perfect for characters that use intelligence as their primary ability score.

Consider how useful this could be when facing down fearsome flying creatures or bringing down foes from just out of your reach.


Now if hard-hitting battle action excites you, a Warhammer is the way to go. This versatile tool of destruction can be wielded one-handedly, dishing out a mean 1d8 bludgeoning damage. Go two-handed and you’re dealing 1d10 damage instead.


A favorite among Fighters and Paladins, its high damage output makes short work of armory-clad foes or bolsters your frontline defense against hostiles.

Also Read: 10 Best Artificer Cantrips In D&D 5E [Infuse Magic Into Mundane Items]


For something more basic but still effective, check out the Club. It’s a simple weapon with low weight and deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage per strike.

It’s an excellent pick for magic users who need something lightweight for self-defense without compromising their spellcasting abilities.

Also ideal if you’re starting afresh with limited resources and need to defend yourself adequately.


When we talk DnD weapons, Swords remain irreplaceable classics across any edition or campaign.


The Longsword delivers reliable slashing power at 1d8 points per attack (go two-handed for an increased power surge of 1d10).

If speed matters to your character build over strength, opt for the Shortsword with a reasonably good damage potential of 1d6 instead.


And then there’s the veritable Greatsword—the embodiment of pure fighting prowess that instills fear into enemy ranks.

While technically a two-handed weapon, it deserves mention for its exceptional 2d6 slashing damage.

If you prefer to strike a devastating blow and have the strength to handle this beast, the Greatsword affirms your presence on any battlefield.


With a sense of chaos and unpredictable chaos, the Flail is favored by adventurers who never back away from up-close and personal combat.


Not only does this weapon deal 1d8 bludgeoning damage, but its randomness can also disorient opponents and turn the tables in your favor.

This metal spiked ball attached to a handle offers an aesthetic appeal that underlines your character’s infatuation with unconventional warfare.

With a weight category falling under 2lbs, it allows you to retain mobility without skimping on power.

Also Read: 24 Best Cantrips 5E [Select Spells To Enhance Your DnD Character]


The Glaive is a formidable force to reckon with on any battlefield. With its long reach and a damage capacity of 1d10 slashing, this polearm weapon imparts substantial advantage for characters needing to keep foes at bay.

Beyond its proficiency in melee attacks, the glaive is also capable of delivering devastating strikes when mounted or charging into war from certain distances, making it an excellent choice for characters like Cavaliers.


A symbol of raw strength, the Maul is all about power. It’s one of those weapons that allows you a 2d6 bludgeoning damage potential which can readily turn encounters in your favor if luck swings your way.


While it requires both hands in action due to its weighty design (10lbs), each successful strike compensates for your commitment by inflicting huge damages onto opponents, especially against armored ones.


The Javelin is essentially a lighter-weight spear catering to those requiring ranged attack resources while not compromising on melee capabilities.

With an impressive throw range of thirty feet (or up to one hundred twenty feet with disadvantage), it deals 1d6 piercing damage regardless if thrown or used in hand-to-hand combat – making it an ideal versatile weapon option for any situation.


The Lance – infamous among mounted fighters, deals 1d12 piercing damage, and shines in combats from atop a steed.


This is a bit of niche choice, but if your campaign involves plenty of horseback combat or jousting events, the Lance becomes incredibly dominant by providing an advantage for hits.


The Shortsword has often been the go-to for nimble combatants. It offers 1d6 piercing damage, which might not seem much, but combined with its lightweight and allowance for using dexterity instead of strength for attack/damage rolls makes it a favorite amongst Rogues or Rangers who rely on swift strikes and fluid movement.


The Battleaxe is built for no-nonsense warriors – those sturdy fighters who march right into the heart battle. It offers a generous 1d8 slashing which can extend to 1d10 when handled with both hands.


Its relatively heavier form (4lbs) pairs incredibly well with characters who possess high strength scores and are accustomed to charging head-on into conflict zones.


A symbol of finesse and dexterity, the scimitar is a curved sword that elegantly manages to deliver impressive damage.

With a standard damage output of 1d6 slashing, the scimitar finds favor among Rogues, Bards, and other classes opting for swift and smart combat.

This light weapon’s special feature connects the proficiency bonus for any attack rolls made with it to your Dexterity instead of your Strength.

The scimitar can also be dual-wielded, making it quite favored among characters who enjoy dealing double blows.

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The longsword is a classic addition to a warrior’s weaponry. Reliable and potent, this one-handed weapon dishes out 1d8 slashing damage (or increases to 1d10 if used with both hands).


The longsword is versatile and is seminal in shaping the image of a steadfast fighter taking on the enemy head-first with balanced strength and precision.

Epitomizing versatility and accessibility, the longsword is ideal for both beginners finding their feet in DnD 5e or seasoned players seeking dependability.

Martial Melee Weapons

Martial Melee Weapons encompasses an array of deadly tools varying from swords, axes to pole arms. Packing higher damage than simple weapons, they cater to fighters seeking true battlefield dominance.

Martial Melee Weapons

Though not everyone has access to martial weapons from their class or background selection, they are well worth the investment if you’re plotting an inherently combative browbeating character build.


Entering into polearm territory we have pikes offering formidable reach (10ft) and delivering 1d10 piercing damage substantial enough to pierce through most foes’ defenses.

The pike’s size might give away your position if you’re attempting any stealth missions but fear not.

If having sturdy ground control on the battlefield aligns with your fighting style then pike proves mighty complicated for enemies seeking a close-quarters fight.

Heavy Crossbow

A heavy crossbow is a one-handed ranged weapon with a damage output of 1d10 piercing. While it does require a strength-based character due to its “heavy” property, it compensates splendidly by offering you the range of up to 100 ft (or up to 400ft at a disadvantage).

Heavy Crossbow

The crossbow’s loading attribute, however, dismisses multiattack opportunities in one turn. This weapon shines when your character wisely positions behind frontline fighters or barricades for optimum utilization.


The mace traditionally serves to symbolize authority and power. Even in DnD 5e, this is a powerful melee weapon that deals out 1d6 bludgeoning damage.

More than just the brute strength it delivers, maces find frequent use for their relative ease of availability and cost-effectiveness which makes them go-to equipment for cleric characters or other classes with an avid propensity of wisdom over dexterity or strength.


A quarterstaff is a game classic that has stood the test of time. It dishes out a damage of 1d6 (1d8 if wielded with two hands), making it an excellent choice for those who value versatility.


This humble piece of equipment is more than just a sturdy stick, as its lightweight nature plays to the advantage of characters preferring speed and agility.

It’s the perfect choice for spellcasters who lean towards war magic, allowing them to capitalize on its full potential when combined with feats like “Polearm Master”.

Also noteworthy is the quarterstaff’s economical benefit – as one of the cost-effective choices in DnD 5E, it permits adventurers to save their treasured gold coins for other necessities.


Are you someone who wishes to channel your inner Neptune? The trident might be right up your alley! With a damage profile identical to that of a spear (1d6 piercing), it brings additional flair thanks to its aquatic associations.

Ideal for underwater combat scenarios, holding this three-pronged weapon instantly confers upon your character an imposing and regal demeanor.

While it doesn’t offer any unique mechanical advantages, it’s the perfect emblem for sea-themed characters or those with nautical narratives.


The dagger is indispensable in DnD 5E owing to its lightweight profile and dual utility as both melee range and thrown weapon. Not only does it deliver 1d4 piercing damage, but it also provides significant resourcefulness.


Lightweight yet lethal, daggers can be dual-wielded or even used as silent takedown tools.

Ideal for rogues and dual-wielding fighters who prefer deceptive tactics over face-to-face confrontations, these stealthy slicers are excellent close-quarters weapons that put opponents in their grave before they realize they’re in danger.


If you have an affinity towards pole weapons that boast impressive reach, look no further than the halberd.

Bestowing a formidable 1d10 slashing damage, the halberd leads the pack when it comes to dealing devastating blows.

Its unique feature is that while it requires two hands to swing, it’s treated as a one-handed weapon for spells and abilities that require free hand.

The fact that you can catch enemies off guard with its reach makes this polearm a terrific tactical choice for strategically inclined players who enjoy outsmarting their foes.

Also Read: 10 Best Feats For Druid 5E [Cast Nature’s Spells With Greater Authority]

FAQs about one handed weapons

What is considered a one-handed weapon in DnD 5E?

In Dungeons and Dragons 5E, a one-handed weapon refers to any kind of weaponry that a character can proficiently wield with just a single hand.

How does one choose the best one-handed weapon for their character?

Selecting the best one-handed weapon depends on your character class, gameplay style, and the specific requirements of your campaign. Consider elements such as damage output, weight, special attributes, and context-specific advantages.

Can you dual wield one-handed weapons in DnD 5e?

Yes, you can dual wield certain one-handed weapons in DnD 5e; it often adds an extra layer of strategy and damage potential during combat scenarios.

What classes benefit most from using one-handed weapons in DnD 5E?

Several classes benefit from one-handed weapons including fighters, rogues, paladins, and some spellcasting classes like bards and warlocks who often combine combat with magic casting.

Do all one-handed weapons do similar damage in DnD 5e?

No, different types of one-handed weapons do varying amounts of damage. The choice between them often involves balancing versatility benefits against raw damage potential.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!