Centaur Guide 5e

Published on June 10, 2020, Last modified on November 7th, 2022

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What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the centaur 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 centaur. 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 Centaur in 5e?

Source: Mythic Odyessys of Theros

Centaur are half-human, half-horse creatures. They are considered fey instead of humanoid and tend to revere nature in all of its forms.

Centaur 5e Traits

Ability Score Increase: +2 STR, +1 WIS is a fairly rare ability score, but it isn’t necessarily a sought after one. Most WIS based casters use DEX as their attack and AC modifiers.

Age: Aging at the same rate as humans is pretty standard.

Alignment:  Neutral alignment is less cut and dry than Good and Chaotic

Size: Medium

Speed: 40ft is the best walking movement speed out of any race.

Fey: Being the fey creature type allows you to avoid some pretty nasty spells, like Hold and Dominate Person. You are more susceptible to other spells, like Hallow and Protection from Evil and Good, but these aren’t as bad as the spells you gain immunity to.

Charge: This ability will likely net you a bonus attack with your Hooves at least once per encounter.

Hooves: an unarmed option is always nice.

Equine Build: The extra carrying capacity is nice, but the restrictions to climbing are very tough to navigate.

Survivor: None of these skills are particularly useful, but a free proficiency in survival could help a Ranger or Druid.

Languages: Common and Sylvan

Centaur 5e Subraces

Updated

In the Monsters of the Multiverse update, centaurs are basically the same as they were originally. The only real change is the free ASI choices and a slight buff to the natural weapon damage.

Charge: This is the same as the original centaur, but slightly improved due to the increased damage of the hooves.

Equine Build: This is the same as the original centaur.

Hooves: 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.

Natural Affinity: This trait has just been renamed from the original centaur’s Survivor. None of these skills are particularly useful, but a free proficiency in survival could help a ranger or druid.

Which 5e Classes Work With Centaur?

Artificer: Nothing here for an artificer.

  • Updated: Melee artificers are now an option with the free ASI choice when combined with Charge, though it won't be particularly effective.

Barbarian: The +2 to STR and the Charge ability are perfect for barbarians.

  • Updated: The updated centaur is slightly better due to improved hoof damage and the option to put an ASI to DEX or CON instead of WIS.

Bard: Nothing here for a bard.

  • Updated: Nothing here for a bard.

Cleric: Seeing as +2 to WIS is rare, the +1 will do here. A +2 to STR will help if you plan on wading (or galloping) into battle.

  • Updated: You can now choose more WIS than STR, making a hybrid melee attacking and spellcasting cleric a solid choice here.

Druid: Poor racial traits for a druid.

  • Updated: Poor racial traits for a druid.

Fighter: The +2 to STR and the Charge ability are perfect for fighters.

  • Updated: With flexible ASIs, the centaur is great for just about any melee fighter build.

Monk: Nothing here for a monk.

  • Updated: Nothing here for a monk.

Paladin: The +2 to STR and the Charge ability are perfect for paladins.

  • Updated: With flexible ASIs, the centaur is great for just about any melee paladin build.

Ranger: Viable for that elusive STR-based melee ranger, but won't be a good choice otherwise.

  • Updated: Now that you aren't pigeonholed into STR, centaurs can be decent melee rangers with DEX weapons.

Rogue: Nothing here for a rogue.

  • Updated: Nothing here for a rogue.

Sorcerer: Nothing here for a sorcerer.

  • Updated: Nothing here for a sorcerer.

Warlock: Nothing here for a warlock.

  • Updated: Nothing here for a warlock.

Wizard: Nothing here for a wizard.

  • Updated: Nothing here for a wizard.

Sources Used in This Guide

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.

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