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Throwing Weapons 5E Guide [Master The Art Of Ranged Combat]

Throwing Weapons 5E
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 12/31/2023
Est. Reading: 8 minutes

In the thrilling world of Dungeons and Dragons, mastering various means of attack can be absolutely exhilarating. One such form is throwing weapons.

As you dive into epic battles and treacherous terrains, the strategy of throwing weapons 5e or 5th edition can bolster both your defense and attack statures.

Having a great honed skill in using throwing weapons not only gives you the upper hand during attacks but also adds an element of surprise to catch your opponent off guard.

Imagine hurling a weapon across a room, watching as it whistles through the air to hit a target dead-on, your might and prowess palpable in that victorious moment. It is a fantastic spectacle indeed.

What are Throwing Weapons in 5E?

When you embark on your Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) journey, there will be moments requiring more than just a trusty blade or magic spell. In such cases, throwing weapons will become your best allies.

What are Throwing Weapons in 5E?

In the 5th Edition (5e) of DnD, a special class of weapons exists known as “thrown weapons.” These aren’t merely made to bash or slash. They have a unique attribute – the ‘thrown property.’

This aspect allows you to launch them over distances, transforming your melee into ranged counterattacks! Picture this: You’re not just swinging a handaxe; you’re also sending said handaxe soaring through the air to down an opponent.

The range for these thrown weapons varies. With a javelin, you can attempt a precise strike up to 30 feet away. Adventurous? Push it up to 120 feet, though with less accuracy. Keep in mind different throwing weapons specialize in distinctive scenarios and strategies.

What Are Throwing Weapons in DnD 5e?

When you plunge headlong into the compelling world of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) 5th Edition, there’s a host of throwing weapons at your disposal.

What Are Throwing Weapons In 5E

These are vital tools in your character’s arsenal, useful for both long-range and short-range combat. Let’s delve into four primary options: daggers, hand axes, darts, and javelins.


Ah yes, the Dagger is a classic go-to in any adventurer’s kit. Traditionally light and versatile, you can wield these single-handedly on the battlefield with elegant ease.

The key advantage to a dagger is its unassuming size: easy to conceal and swift to strike. Have you got an enemy at range? Just let it fly.

A thrown dagger utilizes your Dexterity for both attack and damage rolls, boasting a respectable range of 20/60ft. It’s not just a weapon but serves as a useful tool for carving or cutting in survival situations, too.

Hand axes

The humble Hand Axe. Rustic yet reliable, these robust weapons offer fantastic functionality in close quarters as well as from a distance.

Brandish it upfront or launch it across to catch your foes off guard with an attack range of 20/60 feet. Bonus point? It uses Strength for attack rolls, making it ideal for those hardy warriors among you.

If things get dicey on the battlefield, their chopping function doubles up as a survival tool.

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While not as dramatically appealing as some other choices, Darts remain an underappreciated gem in the array of throwing weapons available in your arsenal within DnD 5e.

They are humble yet handy; don’t underestimate their potential to inflict damage. Light enough to carry multiples but effective enough when thrown with precision – they’re truly worth their weight.

With a range of 20/60 feet and using Dexterity for attack rolls, the darts make a promising choice for stealthy characters looking to make a silent but deadly assault.


Stand proud and let your Javelin fly! Traditionally associated with skirmishes and grand competitions alike, javelins in DnD 5e offer a perfect blend of power and precision.

They are great options for those who prefer to keep their enemies at a distance, especially when the strategy calls for piercing attacks.

With an impressive range of 30/120 feet and utilizing Strength in your attack rolls, javelins are excellent choices for strong characters.

These throwing weapons were seemingly born to fly undeterred across battlefields, adding hunting possibilities to their multifunctional use.

How Do Throwing Weapons Work in 5E?

Thrown weapons are a fantastic tactical tool in your adventuring arsenal. You can make ranged attacks using these weapons, like a javelin stint with ranges of 30/120 feet.

How Do Throwing Weapons Work in 5E?

Besides the dart and the net, most thrown weapons also double as melee weapons, adding to their versatility on the battlefield.

What you have to remember is that these weapons are their own ammunition. So, when they’re thrown, they leave your possession. Yes, you got it right; you have to retrieve them after use or risk losing them.


Let’s discuss the weight factor because here’s where things get a bit tricky. Thrown weapons like hand axes and spears can be quite heavy for your character to carry around.

If weight management becomes an issue, that’s where daggers and darts prove handy with their light weight while still being cost-effective options.

Your carrying capacity could affect your mobility. But don’t worry too much. As you progress in levels and collect gold pieces (GP), you can always invest in buying additional thrown weaponry.

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Melee Weapons

On to the fun stuff – using thrown weapons up close! You see, when wielding many throwing weapons as melee tools, it’s often the same modifier as when chucking them away at enemies from a distance.

This means once their ranged utility is used up (or if an enemy gets too close for comfort), you can seamlessly transition into melee combat mode without having to switch weaponry.

Having this level of flexibility helps keep the pace and intensity throughout battles while ensuring you always keep your enemies guessing.


Ah, yes! The good old dagger is a fan favorite among adventurers for many reasons not limited by its throwing capabilities.

This mighty miniature weapon pulls its weight when propelled by either Strength or Dexterity ability, depending on what suits your fighting style best.

While it may not seem like the most formidable option on first appearances, remember that it’s not just about power; speed and precision weigh equally in a fight. And that’s where the dagger truly shines.

Range Property

Throwing weapons essentially have two basic range properties – short and long. In close-quarters or midrange combat, thrown weapons function at their most precise; for longer distances, your accuracy starts to dwindle.

The rule of thumb is you generally don’t want to exceed the maximum long-range limit, or you’ll be wasting your time trying to hit anything.

With training and practice (or the right spells), even that limitation can be surmounted. Mind you, though, this comes with greater risk and uncertainty.

Which Thrown Weapon is Best?

The choice of thrown weapon in Dungeons & Dragons 5E can make or break your adventure. From close combat to ranged assaults, the decision largely depends on your playstyle, character class, and the situation at hand.

Which Thrown Weapon is Best?

Let’s embark upon understanding each one of these armaments in depth.


The humble dagger secures its spot as a personal favorite when it comes to thrown weapons. Notoriously known for its quick attacks and reliable damage, a dagger can be thrown using either Strength or Dexterity modifier.

The latter makes it ideal for sneak attacks by Rogues – the quintessential assassins in 5E.

Its 20/60 ft range is relatively limited compared to others on this list but remember – you get an interesting mix of melee and range in this compact package of lethal doom.

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Darts are brilliantly designed for characters favoring agility over brute strength. With the added advantage of being lightweight, darts offer you the liberty to throw them while on the move without penalties.

They are also silent, making them perfect for stealthy ambush plays where causing noise is undesirable. Their range extends up to 20/60 ft, just like the dagger, but rest assured; they can pierce right through even the toughest armors when used adeptly.


The robust handaxe – raw power personified! Marked with an impressive 20/60 ft throwing range identical to that of a dagger or dart, the handaxe stands out because of its ability to use your strength modifier instead, which surely packs a more substantial punch than dexterity-based weaponry.

While choosing a handaxe, you must keep in mind that they weigh more and carry increased encumbrance levels, proving they’re definitely not tailored just for anyone.


Javelins provide an enhanced throwing distance – going scars up to 30/120 ft. Ringing true to their historical counterpart, 5E Javelins are designed for long-ranged combat, providing a much-needed edge in open battles.

Characters with strong arms and high strength can easily project these far-off without compromising their defensive standing – something other close combative weapons fail to achieve.

Light Hammer

The light hammer, while another strength-based weapon like the handaxe, does not compromise on range or weight properties. Its throwing range mirrors that of a dagger, yet its damage can be significantly amplified if you hold high strength.

Their balance of range, weight, and damage potential makes them an ideal pick for characters favoring an up-close and personal play style.


In DnD 5E, the net takes up a rather unique space in thrown weaponry, coming without any traditional damage infliction capabilities.

Used strategically, the net confines an opponent within its trap, making them susceptible to subsequent attacks or perfect for capture missions where killing is not the objective.

The net goes beyond combat as its tactical advantages extend to various creative uses your mind can master, proving it to be an extremely interesting asset in the nimble hands of innovative players.


Spears are superior ranged weapons owing to their fundamental design principle – they’re made to be thrown. Offering you both versatility and the satisfaction of wielding a medieval classic, spears present fair damage ratings along with a remarkable throwing distance (20/60 ft).

They are compatible with all character types, especially welcoming towards characters with high-strength status who excel in controlled power displays.

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Embodying strength and nobility, tridents stand out from the bunch due to their striking trident-headed design that adds an extra oomph to your attack strategy.

Providing substantial leverage during both melees and ranged combats given their heftier construction plus formidable 20/60 ft throwing range – they act as one compact powerhouse indispensable when combating tougher enemies.


The Yklwa, an unconventional addition to our list, is inspired by African weaponry and has a throwing range of 10/30 ft. This exotic spear-like weapon specializes in delivering heavy-duty single-target damage.

While it doesn’t necessarily outshine the others in terms of range or mass versatility, its edge lies in the unique role-playing opportunities it allows – perfect for nurturing that intrinsic character narrative you’ve been so keen on building up.

FAQs About Throwing Weapons 5E

What counts as a throwing weapon in Dungeons and Dragons 5E?

Weapons like the dagger, dart, hand axe, javelin, light hammer, spear, trident, and Yklwa all qualify as throwing weapons in Dungeons and Dragons 5E.

Can you use Dexterity for throwing weapons in DnD 5E?

Yes, dexterity can be used when throwing a weapon like a dagger or dart. Others, such as the handaxe or javelin, will require strength instead.

Can I retrieve my thrown weapon after an attack?

Yes, Although it isn’t immediately returned to your inventory after an attack, you can pick up your thrown weapon after the battle concludes, given it wasn’t damaged or lost.

Can throw weapons be used for melee attacks, too?

Most certainly. In fact, many of them, like the dagger, handaxe, and trident, serve a dual purpose – they’re pretty effective for both ranged attacks and close combats.

How far can I throw a weapon?

The throwing range depends on the type of weapon. Javelins offer an extended range of 30/120 ft, while darts and daggers have a comparatively limited spectrum of 20/60ft.


  • 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!