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Mage Hand 5E [Can Mage Hand Open Locks?] 2024

Mage Hand 5E
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/10/2023
Est. Reading: 6 minutes

When you’re knee-deep in the thrilling world of Dungeons & Dragons, it’s the magical abilities that often steal the show. As spellcasters manipulate the elements, heal wounds, or foretell the future, one particular spell stands out for its simplicity and versatility. Yes, we’re talking about none other than Mage Hand 5E. It’s a wonder in the wizard’s toolkit that can revolutionize your gameplay.

Hold onto your dice and get ready to uncover just what makes this cantrip so intriguing. Whether you’re a seasoned sorcerer or a beginner bard looking to add some flair to your magical prowess, Mage Hand 5E packs a punch in an almost inconspicuous package.

Despite missing out on the spectacle of fireballs and lightning bolts, rest assured it’s every bit as useful – in both combat and non-combat situations! Let’s unwrap this unassuming marvel without further ado.

Mage Hand 5E Attributes

Casting Time1 Action
Range/Area30 feet
ComponentsVerbal (V), Somatic (S)
Duration1 Minute

What is Mage Hand 5E?

Mage Hand 5E is a cantrip in the 5th Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

What is Mage Hand 5E?

It enables you to create a spectral, floating hand that you can manipulate and use to interact with objects at a distance.

The hand can’t carry more than 10 pounds and cannot attack, activate magic items, or carry objects. It is visible and lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action.

This spell provides the ability to manipulate items or perform simple tasks from a safe distance, enhancing tactical flexibility during gameplay.

How do you get the Mage Hand spell in D&D 5E?

Mage Hand is one of the simplest, most versatile spells out there, and it becomes even more interesting when you realize just how many ways you can acquire it.

Yes, even in a vast universe like D&D 5E, where character classes and races define your abilities, many routes lead to this handy little cantrip.

Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

The clear-cut choice for any spell-hungry adventurer out there would be to take on one of these spellcasting classes. Each of these – Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard – comes with Mage Hand as an option right from the get-go.

Arcane Trickster

If you’re a rogue with a flair for magic tricks or illusions up your sleeve? Then this subclass is your ticket to getting Mage Hand along with some stealthy features that allow you to control your spectral hand without being noticed.

Eldritch Knight

This Fighter subclass is another path to harnessing magical abilities. By choosing Eldritch Knight at the third level of Fighter class progression, you gain access not only to Mage Hand but also the ability to perform spells that compliment your combat-focused play style.

Arcana Domain

For all Clerics under the Arcana Domain umbrella, consider yourselves lucky. The Mage Hand comes knocking at your door as one of two domain spells available right from the first level!


If you’re a Ranger who chose Swarmkeeper as their subclass at the third level or more prominent families of Fey creatures are calling out to you through its powerful natural magic.

High Elf

The High Elf race in D&D boasts various features – but most notable here is their ability to choose any wizard cantrip upon character creation – which could very well be your beloved Mage Hand!

Sun or Moon Half-Elf

These variants of Half-elf, tied to Sun and Moon elves, similarly inherit the elven magic clause of High Elves. So, elegantly sneak in Mage Hand as your cantrip of choice here.


Mage Hand comes standard for both subraces of this race – the Githyanki and the Githzerai. It’s a feature that pays homage to their psionic heritage and an excellent quirk, adding value to their personality.


The Dragonwrought Kobolds, a lineage introduced in the Unearthed Arcana, can gain access to the Mage Hand spell. This little race isn’t inherently magic-oriented, but hey, who says you can’t break the mold?

Mephistopheles and Mammon Tiefling

The infernal-blooded Tieflings who trace their ancestry back to Mephistopheles or Mammon have Mage Hand as a racial spell. Isn’t that a devilishly delightful piece of information?

Aberrant Dragonmark

Bearers of this specific type of Dragonmark have access to a list from which they can learn spells – and wouldn’t you know it? Our friend Mage Hand is one of them!

Artificer Initiate

If you’re not an Artificer by calling but are drawn to their particular brand of magic-meets-tech prowess, then picking up the Artificer Initiate feat opens up some interesting doors—including Mage Hand.

Initiate of High Sorcery

This is a feat exclusive for those within the confines of Krynn—where High Sorcery governs all magical affairs—but guess what? Pick this feat, and voila! You’ve got yourself access to Mage Hand and more.

Magic Initiate

Magic Initiate is another such feat that’s generic yet rewarding. Choosing Wizard, Sorcerer, Bard, or Warlock as your class allows you to pick up two cantrips from their lists – making it yet another route towards acquiring Mage Hand.

Strixhaven Initiate

Associated with the university-theme book Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, this feat lets you cast spells related to a chosen Strixhaven college. Lo and behold, if you pick Lorehold or Silverquill College’s spells list, there’s our trusty Mage Hand!


Telekinetic grants you the Mage Hand spell without requiring any specific class or race. Now, who said you need to be a spellcaster to have a magical hand?

Armed with these numerous paths leading to the Mage Hand cantrip, you’re well on your way to adding this versatile spell to your arsenal. But remember, how and when you cast it forms the real charm of this handy little magical trick!

Also Read: Disguise Self 5E [How To Use Disguise Self In DnD] 2024

How Does Mage Hand Work in 5e?

Mage Hand in Dungeons & Dragons 5E operates through the following steps:

How Does Mage Hand Work in 5e?
  • Spell Casting: First, you cast the spell as an action, specifying a point within range (30 feet). An ethereal hand then appears at the chosen location.
  • Controlling the Hand: Once cast, you control this spectral hand and can use it to manipulate objects, open doors or containers, retrieve items from an open container, or pour contents out of a vial. The hand hovers and moves according to your commands.
  • Weight Limitation: The spectral hand created by Mage Hand can handle items weighing up to 10 pounds. Thus, it can’t carry more than this weight and cannot be used to pull or lift heavier objects.
  • Explicit Restraints: The mage hand is incapable of attacking, cannot activate magic items, or carry any items that weigh more than their weight limit.
  • Non-Invisibility in Combat: Unless your character class provides the ability to do so, Mage Hand is not invisible and might be spotted in a stealthy situation or during combat scenarios.
  • Multiple Usage: Casting another Mage Hand before the duration of an existing one expires makes the first one disappear.

By using Mage Hand intelligently in D&D 5E gameplay, players are able to manipulate their environment from a safe distance and potentially gain significant tactical advantage.

What Are the Rules for Mage Hand in 5e?

Mage Hand is a versatile cantrip in Dungeons & Dragons 5E, offering magical aid for a variety of scenarios. It allows your character to manipulate the environment from a safe distance, but there are also several key rules and limitations related to its usage:

  • Actions It Can Perform: Once cast, you can use your action to control the Mage Hand and perform simple tasks such as manipulating an object, opening an unlocked door or container, stowing or retrieving an item from an open container, or pouring out a vial’s contents.
  • Actions It Cannot Perform: The Mage Hand cannot attack, activate magical items, or carry more than its weight limit of 10 pounds.
  • Visibility: Unless you’re a class like an Arcane Trickster that can make the hand invisible, it is usually visible and might be spotted in stealth situations.
  • Duration: The Mage Hand lasts for one minute (or until you decide to dismiss it as an action) and requires concentration to maintain.
  • One at a Time: If you cast this spell again while it’s still active (within one minute), the first hand disappears.
  • Interactivity With Other Spells: The Mage Hand is not able to wield weapons or act as a conduit for other spells but can assist with straightforward tasks during gameplay.

FAQs about Mage Hand 5E

What makes Mage Hand 5E unique among cantrips in Dungeons and Dragons?

In D&D, Mage Hand 5E stands out for its versatility. It allows the caster to create a spectral hand that can manipulate objects, open doors or containers, and much more within a significant range.

Can you use Mage Hand 5E for combat in D&D?

While Mage Hand cannot attack or activate magic items directly, its strategic use to manipulate the environment can certainly tip the scales in combat situations.

Do you need material components to cast Mage Hand in D&D 5E?

No, the Mage Hand spell requires no materials – only a vocal and somatic component to cast.

What’s the weight limit for objects manipulated by Mage Hand 5E?

The magical hand created by this feat can’t lift more than 10 pounds or carry more than that weight.

Can you cast multiple instances of Mage Hand simultaneously in D&D?

No, if you cast this spell again while it is already active, the first manifestation of the hand disappears.


  • 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!