Aarakocra 5e Guide

Published on June 10, 2020, Last modified on October 4th, 2021

What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Aarakocra will be right for your character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your Aarakocra. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.

What are Aarakocra?

Aarakocra are medium humanoids that resemble, large, bipedal birds. They were the first class introduced in 5e that provides the ability to fly at 1st Level. Note, they are not Adventurer’s League legal.

Aarakocra Traits

Ability Score Increase: DEX +2 and WIS +1. This is one of the most common racial bonuses.

Age: Age doesn’t matter a whole lot in most D&D campaigns. Reaching maturity by 3 and living to 30 could end up poorly if you get hit with a Ghost’s Horrifying Visage

Alignment: Lawful/Chaotic Good

Size: Medium

Speed: 25ft Walking and 50ft Flying. Flight speed at 1st level is amazing.

Talons: Dealing a 1d4 + STR with an armed strike is a nice feature, but not something that will be used a ton.

Languages: Common, Aarakocra, and Auran

Which Classes Work With Aarakocra?

Artificer: The only beneficial thing here is flight.

Barbarian: Barbarians need to be in melee range to tank for their parties. Flying around and no beneficial racial bonuses means this race does not work for Barbs.

Bard: The only beneficial thing here is flight.

Cleric: Good racial bonuses and flight in nice. Not nice for a heavy armor Cleric.

Druid: Great racial bonuses and gets around the “no flying” caveat to wild shape.

Fighter: Similar to a Barb, most Fighters need to be in melee range tanking damage. A ranged Fighter could make some good use out of this class though.

Monk: Perfect racial bonuses and flight.

Paladin: Again, Paladins will want to be on the ground and tanking. Plus, their ranged options are awful.

Ranger: Perfect racial bonuses and flight.

Rogue: Solid racial bonuses and flight can get you into situations with advantage quite easily.

Sorcerer: The only beneficial thing here is flight.

Warlock: The only beneficial thing here is flight.

Wizard: The only beneficial thing here is flight.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.