Our Best D&D Races for the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons classes seems to be a pretty popular series on our YouTube channel. This time we will delve into the D&D fighter. The fighter in 5E D&D is so much more interesting over the previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Because in 5E D&D a fighter can be built with either Dexterity or Strength as the primary ability score it makes for a lot options. Only the ranger is as flexible. Yes, I know other classes can be built using an alternate ability score but they usually are more interesting than optimized. But in the case of the ranger and fighter they loose any of their optimization.
We came up with 40 official D&D races optimized to play a fighter. That is a lot variety. When you factor in the seven different martial archetype subclasses to choose from you’ve got a lot of combinations.
D&D fighter — best race in 5E Dungeons & Dragons
Dexterity-based D&D races
Here is a list of races from the various D&D books that gain a bonus to their Dexterity ability score.
- Warforged (skirmisher)
With our Dexterity-based races the second ability score isn’t as important because you can easily build a ranged warrior who tends to be in the thick of it far less often.
Strength-based D&D races
Here is a list of races from the various D&D books that gain bonus to their Strength ability score.
- Dwarf (mountain/duergar)
- Goliath (poor man’s half-orc)
- Warforged (juggernaut)
In addition many of these get second ability score increase to Constitution making them even more effective as melee combatants.
Versatile D&D races
These are races with flexible ability scores and excel at any class in 5E D&D.
- Warforged (envoy)
These races can easily be built into either Strength or Dexterity-based D&D fighters.
D&D race features
At the core, a D&D fighter needs to be good at fighting. These racial features specifically make these races more effective in combat. All of these races get abilities that make them tankier, more damaging, or more effective at hitting in combat.
- Bugbear — Surprise Attack, Long-Limbed
- Half-orc — Relentless Endurance, Savage Attack
- Human (variant) — Feat
- Kobold — Grovel, Cower, and Beg, Pack Tactics
- Warforged — Warforged Resilience, Integrated Protection
D&D races with militant and warlike themes
Here we have races with a martial tradition in the fantasy worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. In the case of dwarves, elves, and orcs, they have warlike traditions that predate Dungeons & Dragons with tales and stories from Tolkien.
Our top 3 races to play a D&D fighter
Here we are at our top 3 picks for the fighter. One for Strength, Dexterity, and the overall best choice. Each one of these choices found their way on all of the lists.
- Halfling (stout) — Dexterity
- Half-orc — Strength
We were so close with going with the kobold for our top Dexterity build, but Sunlight Sensitivity edged them out in favor of the stout halfling. For Strength half-orc gets abilities that make it hit harder as well tankier and harder to bring down. Finally that brings us to our top pick, the warforged.
Warforged make great fighters whether your you want to build a Dexterity or Strength-based character. All three subraces are excellent for building a D&D fighter. Warforged literally have war in their name and a suite of abilities that makes them ideal warriors.
Feel free tell us about your fighter characters in the comments below.