Magic Missile 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action

School

Evocation

Damage/Attack

Force

Range

120 feet

Class

Sorcerer, Wizard

Attack/Save

None

Duration

Instantaneous

Components

Verbal, Somatic

Components

Verbal, Somatic

Spell Description:

You create three glowing darts of magical force. Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range. A dart deals 1d4 + 1 force damage to its target. The darts all strike simultaneously, and you can direct them to hit one creature or several.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the spell creates one more dart for each slot level above 1st.

1st level5th level7th level9th level
Damage Dice(1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1)(1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1)(1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1)(1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1) + (1d4+1)
Minimum Damage2 + 2 + 22 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 22 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 22 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 +2 + 2 + 2
Average Damage3.5 + 3.5 + 3.53.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.53.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.53.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5
Maximum Damage5 + 5 + 55 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 55 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 55 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5

1st level, Evocation, Damage, Force

Level: Sorcerer (1), Wizard (1), Arcana Domain (1), Armorer (3), Eldritch Knight (3), Arcane Trickster (8), Bard (10, Magical Secrets)

Materials Required: None

Number of Targets: 3 (increased by 1 for every spell slot level above 1st)

Die Type: d4

Number of Dice: 3 (increased by 1 for every spell slot level above 1st)

Damage Type: Force

Save: None

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: None

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

What is Magic Missile?

Magic Missile is a 1st level Evocation spell that creates three magic bolts that deal damage to designated targets. A single target can be hit with any number of bolts of the caster’s choosing, so long as it is within range of the caster and the caster can see it.

Who can cast Magic Missile?

Magic Missile is naturally on the Sorcerer and Wizard spell lists and they can take the spell starting at 1st level. Arcana Domain Clerics can also take the spell at 1st level using their expanded spell list.

Armorers have Magic Missile on their expanded spell list starting at 3rd level. Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters can both take Magic Missile from the Wizard spell list, but Eldritch Knights gain access to the spell at 3rd level whilst Arcane Tricksters must wait until 8th level.

Bards can take Magic Missile using Magical Secrets, available to all bards by 10th level.

When and Where should I cast Magic Missile?

Magic Missile is, perhaps, one of the most iconic D&D spells, second only to Fireball. Its most significant feature is that its damage is guaranteed and cannot be avoided by any means.

It’s a great way to hit slippery enemies or ensure a killing blow on a dangerous enemy.

Why should I take Magic Missile?

Magic Missile’s damage is not as great as some other spells, but the lowered damage is bolstered by the fact that it cannot be avoided. It is an excellent and reliable source of damage, especially when upcast, because of its lack of avoidability.

Common Questions About Magic Missile