Aarakocra Guide 5e
Published on June 10, 2020, Last modified on November 7th, 2022
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the aarakocra will be right for your 5e 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 Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
- 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 in 5e?
Source: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
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 5e 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
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
Aarakocra 5e Subraces
In the new Monsters of the Multiverse update, Aarakocra get some movement traits updated as well as some additional buffs.
Flight: Even though the Aarakocra’s flight speed was dropped from 50ft to equal to you walking speed, flight at 1st level is still an insanely powerful ability. The flight speed being equal to your movement speed also allows for shenanigans where you can buff your walking speed through different spells or class traits to increase your flight capabilities.
Talons: Unarmed options have received a buff from the typical 1d4 + STR to 1d6 + STR. While this isn’t going to be a huge change for most builds, it can certainly make the option more attractive for two-weapon or offhand builds.
Wind Caller: Gust of wind just isn’t a great spell. That said, it can be useful in niche circumstances, for example when trying to push enemies off a cliff.
Sources Used in This Guide
- BR: Basic Rules
- GotG: Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants
- SotDQ: Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
- ERLW: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- EEPC: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- EGtW: Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- FToD: Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- GGtR: Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- MotM: Monsters of the Multiverse
- MToF: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- MOoT: Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- PAitM: Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
- PHB: Player's Handbook
- SAiS: Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- SCoC: Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- SCAG: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- TCoE: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- TTP: The Tortle Package
- WBtW: The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- VRGtR: Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- VGtM: Volo's Guide to Monsters
- XGtE: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything