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How Many Spells Does A Wizard Know In 5E D&D? [2024 Guide]

How Many Spells Does A Wizard Know In 5E
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 11/09/2023
Est. Reading: 10 minutes

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a heated game session of Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, grappling with the question, “How many spells does a wizard know in D&D 5e?”

Well, if you’re reading this article, chances are high that you’re seeking an answer to make your wizard character more knowledgeable and, consequently, more equipped for thrilling adventures.

This is indeed a critical aspect to get familiar with if you really want to leverage the magical prowess of your wizard.

We will go over the ins and outs of spell knowledge for wizards in D&D 5e. We’ll discuss not just quantity but also the vital elements that influence what spells can enhance your mystical maestro’s abilities.

So buckle up; magic is not an entity to be mastered overnight, but we’ll certainly try our best to guide your magical journey.

How to use the Hit Points in 5E?

LevelSpells KnownCantrips Known

What are Wizards in D&D 5E?

Wizards are characters within the exciting game of Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5E) who harness and master the secrets of magic.

What are Wizards in D&D 5E?

They’re scholars of the unknown, using logic and systematic study to categorize the magic that permeates their world into spells.

Wizards can tailor their list of prepared spells according to their adventuring needs. They carry a spellbook, which is the core tool used to inscribe all their spells.

This book defines what a Wizard is – a magical scholar holding the power to bring significant influence to your gaming experience in D&D 5E.

How Wizards Work in 5E

Wizards represent the prime enigma of Dungeons and Dragons, essentially being the scholars of arcane knowledge. Their power hails from their intellectual brilliance and extensive studies.

How Wizards Work in 5E
  • Spell Learning progression: As wizard levels up in their journey, they gain more spells. These spells are inscribed within their spellbook, providing the wizard the flexibility to prepare different spells each day.
  • Preparing Spells: Not every spell inscribed in their spellbook is ready to use for wizards. For casting different spells on various days, they need to prepare them first. The number of prepared spells equals their Intelligence modifier plus their wizard level.
  • Spell Limitation: The leveling process does set a limit on the number of spells a wizard can have from it directly.
  • Ritual Spells: Any spell inscribed in the spellbook that has a ritual tag can be used as a ritual while not requiring preparation.
  • Spell Notation: Each spell that the wizard learns carries unique notation describing its effects, an important tool to understand its power during combat or exploration.
  • Adding New Spells: Wizards often yearn for more knowledge. When they find new spells of 1st level or higher, they decipher arcane writings and add them to their book. It costs them 2 hours and 50 gold pieces per level of each spell.
  • Writing Known Spells: It’s easier for wizards to copy down spells they already know, costing around an hour and ten gold pieces per level for transcribing into multiple books or rewriting lost ones.

If you’re looking back on these mechanics, you might realize that playing a wizard requires more strategy than just casting Fireball into every room.

It’s all about knowing your magical capacity and your limitations and prepping accordingly for the magical games to begin.

Also Read: When Do You Get Feats In 5E? [Plan Your Character Progression]

How Many Spells Does A Wizard Know In D&D 5E?

Understanding the number of spells a wizard possesses in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is crucial to leveraging his powers and strategizing your gameplay effectively.

How Many Spells Does A Wizard Know In D&D 5E?

The quantity and variety of spells a wizard knows can significantly affect the game’s dynamics, presenting opportunities for plot twists, combat strategies, and exploring uncharted magical territories.

Wizards have 9-290 spells (level-dependent)

The exact number of spells a wizard knows directly corresponds with their level. They start their mystical journey knowing only a limited few spells but this arsenal expands as they gain experience, moving from mere apprentices in sorcery to becoming masters of magic.

At the very beginning, when they stand at level one, wizards know six 1st-level spells. As they progress up each level, they add two more spells from the wizard spell list to their repertoire, amassing a wide array of both low-level and high-level spells.

By the time they reach the pinnacle (at least in normal player progression) at level 20, wards can know an astounding range between 9-290 spells!

That’s not all! If you have been good (or clever enough) to collect some scrolls or find other wizards’ spellbooks on your journeys, you can add even more variance.

For every spell scroll or spellbook, you find along your travels that holds a spell not included in your portable library, you can spend some time and gold to copy it over into your collection.

This means that a dynamic and lucky wizard could eventually acquire every single Wizard spell available in the game! Remember, though, such power comes with responsibility.

How you use these countless magic options will define whether your wizard is truly a master mage or just another bookish scholar outclassed by real-world challenges.

A 1st-level Wizard knows six level-one spells, three cantrips,

On starting their magical career at level one, a wizard knows six 1st-level spells and three cantrips. These spells are inscribed in their spellbooks and are their first taste of the magical potential they possess.

Cantrips, which are simple but versatile spells, are key to a wizard’s progress. They’re like the bread and butter of magic – not very flashy but essential for day-to-day adventuring needs. Your cantrips never change unless you opt to switch one out when you level up.

So invest quality time deciding on your initial set of cantrips and spells when designing your wizard character! Selecting these based on your preferred playing style can provide a strong head start in your magical journey.

If you know that stealth and deception are fitting for your intended direction, then spells that don’t require flashy displays or loud incantations would suit you perfectly.

Knowledge is power, especially for wizards. The more extensive your spell list becomes, the more adaptable you become to any situations faced in the unpredictable world of D&D.

Gain 2 spells/level

As you might rightly guess, experience comes with its perks. For wizards in D&D 5E, advancing levels are gainful not only in terms of enhanced power and abilities but also in knowledge of further spells.

With each level, your wizard scales, two additional spells from the wizard’s spell list are inscribed into your wizard’s spellbook.

This reflects the continuous intellectual evolution that your character undergoes as you face hordes of monsters and overcome numerous obstacles throughout the magical worlds of Dungeons & Dragons.

These extra couple of spells per level seem modest on the surface, but multiply this by twenty levels (standard progression limit unless DM has other plans) and marvel at the possibility.

Add to this mix any bonus spells earned through game events or discoveries, and it’s clear how your feeble newbie wizard can grow into a feared and revered master mage commanding an encyclopedia’s worth of magic.

Copy Spells: 50 GP, 2 hrs/spell level

Copying over new spells into your wizard’s spellbook is more than just taking down a text; it’s an engaging process – a tango between intellect, parchment, ink, and unorthodox arcane infusions.

But yes, it does come with a price (both monetary and temporal). Every spell has a specific level (ranging from 1 to 9) and gives you capabilities commensurate with its complexity.

Copying them into your spellbook requires astute focus over long periods.

For every level of the spell being added to your magical codex, be prepared to spend two hours working through the intricacies of each incantation or formula.

This would cost you 50 gold pieces per level – payment for magically infused ink, rare parchment, or other materials required for such a delicate endeavor. Resource management is key here- don’t expend all resources in one go.

Read More: How Does Concentration Work 5E? [Maintain Your Spells In DnD]

Copy Spellbook: 10 GP, 1 hr/spell level

But what happens when a wizard stumbles upon another spellbook – be it your peer, a fallen adversary, or some lost ancient tome full of arcane wisdom?

Well, in such remarkable circumstances, a wizard has the option to copy that book’s entire repertoire of spells into their spellbook.

Transcribing an entire book is an even more laborious and tedious task than copying individual spells. Yet, thanks to the existing structure offered by the found spellbook, it requires fewer resources for each spell: only ten gold pieces per spell level.

Don’t forget that time is still required, approximating about an hour of dedicated study and transcription for each level.

So, remember to balance urgency with the desire for greater power as you transfer this newfound knowledge to widen your wizardly wisdom.

Losing spellbook, losing unprepared spells

Realistically, you might be asking yourself, “What happens if my wizard loses his spellbook?” It’s a valid concern.

After all, the spellbook is the wizard’s essence, storing all spells they have learned over their magical career.

Imagine this scenario: In an epic battle against a fiery dragon, your wizard drops his spellbook into a fiery chasm by accident. Fret not; this isn’t as bad as it seems. While yes, losing your spellbook means losing access to unprepared spells, all is not lost.

Your wizard can still cast their already prepared spells and cantrips using their available slots. Losing your spellbook doesn’t mean you lose your magical connectivity or knowledge altogether.

To regain access to all of their spells, a backup book becomes an essential part of overcoming those grim scenarios with lost or destroyed books.

Explore More: Master The Jump Spell 5E In DnD [Leap over Obstacles & Foes]

Wizard can know up to 285 spells (PHB, XGE, TCE)

Depending upon your dedication and determination (or perhaps obsession) to increase your magical prowess significantly in D&D 5E, a wizard can theoretically know an outstanding number of spells up to 285!

This figure isn’t a hard cap by any means but signifies the total number of named Wizard spells in three book resources: Player’s Handbook (PHB), Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGE), and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (TCE).

Here’s how the math works out: The PHB has 178 Wizard Spells; XGE offers another 49, while TCE introduces a further chunk of 21 Wizard Spells into the D&D universe.

This impressive spectrum provides you with plenty of alternatives while selecting an optimal response to any situation! With so many options at hand, you bring flexibility and unpredictability that will keep all enemies on their toes.

Max 5 cantrips at the 10th level

For wizards, cantrips are vital tools in their magical repertoire. As a wizard progresses and gains experience, their mastery over these fundamental spells also increases.

By the time you reach the 10th level halfway up the wizard ladder, you have access to a maximum of five cantrips.

While it may seem like a small number compared to the impressive array of high-level spells one has at one’s disposal, never underestimate these versatile spells.

Unconstrained by spell slots and being always-prepared kind of magic, cantrips are the utility belt every Batman-esque wizard relies upon when things get dicey.

Whether it’s illuminating dark corridors with ‘Light,’ neatening your outfit with ‘Prestidigitation,’ or distracting guards with ‘Mage Hand,’ remember, these handy tools can lend just the right twist during unexpected moments in your game. Learn them wisely; use them well.

Also Read: How Does Resistance Work In 5E D&D? [Understand Damage Reduction]

Achieve Max Spells At 17th Level

In Dungeons & Dragons 5E, a wizard’s progression is marked not only by their rising levels but also by an ever-expanding repertoire of spells.

The apex of this magical accumulation occurs at the 17th level when the wizard has access to 9th-level spells – the highest level of magic.

At this point, your wizard can truly step into the big leagues of sorcery, boasting an awe-inspiring array of spells from every level.

From practical and subtle 1st-level spells right up to world-altering 9th-level ones, there’s hardly any obstacle you can’t overcome or any secret you can’t unlock.

The number of spells that you know from each level won’t be equal either. The upper tier known spells (6th–9th) are fewer because these spell slots are granted later in a wizard’s journey and hence present comparatively fewer options.

But despite their rarity, these upper-echelon workings bring power and effects that lower-tier magic could only dream about – truly game-changing capabilities.

You might wonder why emphasize achieving max-spells at the 17th level while clearly there are three more levels to go.

Well, after this point, your spell acquisition does slow down a bit because, for levels 18 through 20, no new spell slots get unlocked.

With a whopping potential figure ranging into hundreds already available for utilization, one could reasonably state they have reached peak magical prowess.

Limited Spell Scrolls and Tomes

Now, let’s discuss crafting and discovering spell scrolls and tomes, which bring an additional layer of complexity and opportunity to your wizarding experience.

As previously mentioned, aside from learning new spells by leveling up or finding them during adventures in other wizards’ spell books, creating new magic scrolls or deciphering arcane texts provides another avenue to expand your mystical arsenal.

While creating a scroll requires time, materials, and expenses proportional to the level of the spells, it grants your wizard more flexibility. These can act as backups for your most necessary spells without risking their loss if something unfortunate happens to the spellbook.

Coming across a magic tome in your travels, a veritable treasure trove of spells, is akin to hitting the jackpot.

While reading and learning spells from these might be more challenging (contingent on deciphering the writings), unlocking their secrets could offer an unprecedented magical advantage.

In fact, for canny adventurers, this could really ramp up their magic game, permitting even beyond-class capabilities like gaining a semi-permanent +2 increase to an ability score.

So, while these methods have built-in limits like inherent time costs (for transcribing scrolls) or potential threats, they pose (like cursed spell-books).

They still bring added versatilities and layered complexity to the game, making the journey as a wizard character even more fascinating.

Read More: How To Calculate Hit Points 5E In D&D? [Understand Your Health]

FAQs About ‘How many spells does a wizard know in D&D 5E?’

What is the maximum number of spells a Wizard can know in D&D 5E?

At level 20, a diligent wizard can know between 9 to an impressive 290 spells depending on discovery and dedication to learning.

How many spells does a Level 1 Wizard start with in D&D 5E?

A first-level Wizard starts with six level-one spells and three cantrips that they know.

Can Wizards acquire more spell knowledge beyond gaining levels in D&D 5E?

Yes, By transcribing from spell scrolls or deciphering magical tomes or other wizards’ spellbooks, they can add new spells to their repertoire.

How do Wizards add new spells at each level in D&D 5E?

With each level-up, a wizard gets to add two more spells of a level to which they have access.

When do Wizards achieve their maximum spell-casting power in D&D 5E?

Wizard peaks at their highest spell-casting power by the time they reach the 17th level – unlocking a cache of up to the game-changing eighth and ninth-level spells.


  • 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!