Greetings adventure! Planning on making a new 5e DnD character and wondering what the best race for a rogue is. We have covered you with this ranking, where we will answer that question as in-depth and clearly as possible.
If you want a clear-cut answer to the question, what is generally the best race for a rogue in 5e DnD? We consider the Human Variant race the best option for a Rogue. They are versatile, forgiving, and have a lot of options. They are perfect for new players who want to get the hang of the game.
However, playing a high fantasy game as a human is boring. Additionally, DMs and campaigns differ very much, so other races might be more suitable and stronger for your playing style as a rogue. Read more here to find out exactly how all races compare!
Top 11 races for a rogue in 5e
1. Human Variant
The human Variant as the best race for a rogue in 5e Dnd is a safe pick but a defendable one nonetheless. While you might argue that other races are more suitable, we consider the Human Variant the best. Mainly from the fact that they are strong no matter what campaign or DM you have and what kind of encounters you face. The Human Variant is the best race for a rogue, even more so when you are a newer player,
In the default DnD rules, the Human Variant gets a bonus to his Dex and another skill. We suggest putting that bonus in Constitution. On top of that, you can pick a feat at level 1, giving you an edge right at the start. You also get additional skills, which help you build one of the best level 1 classes in DnD if you pick right.
2. Deep Gnome
The Deep Gnome Race is an excellent pick if you want a rogue that is a bit more original. The Deep Gnome has not just awesome Dex but many other more than worthwhile skills.
As rogue of this race, you get 120 feet of Darkvision and disguise Self on top of that. This helps you to ambush your enemies and get away undetected. You also have the Svifneblin Camouflage to further increase your stealth capabilities. Deep Gnomes also have the Gnomish Magic Resistance to give you some extra defensive capabilities.
If you want to build a stealthy character that can hit high from an ambush, then the Deep Gnome Race is a top-tier option for a rogue in 5e DnD.
The Aarakocra is another top-tier race for a rogue character. The Aarakocra shines the most if you are going for an archer build. Thanks to the fact that they can fly, they can easily attack at a distance and then dip out of combat. You also are a decent scout, as you have a good defense and speed, which compensate for your lack of stealth.
You get some nice bonus Dexterity, and you can avoid walls – or use them to your advantage when fighting. Also, the fact that this race is pretty underused generally makes for a unique and fun build.
Fairies are elegant, can fly, and have good dexterity. These factors make them a great race for a rogue in 5e. You also get access to Faerie Fire, so they make a top-tier option for an Arcane Trickster build if you invest some points into INT.
Thanks to your stats and the fact that you have access to some spells without too many drawbacks, the Fairy is a great and original choice for the rogue. Check out our article on the best class for a Fairy if you are curious about what other builds are possible with this versatile race.
5. High Elf
The High Elf is one of the best race choices for a melee rogue. You get a high Dex, and your Perception makes you a top-tier rogue. The High Elf becomes potent when you have Booming Blade and use melee.
You should also get Cunning Action if you have a melee using High Elf Rogue. This way, you can do hit and runs with your Booming Blade and leave the tanking to your Frontliners. If you are lucky, you can also pull off a sneak attack. This strategy helps you deal a good amount of damage and overcome the relative fragility of a rogue.
Reading Tip: check out our guides on Swashbuckler feats and Swashbuckler weapons to make an even stronger build using this race.
The Kobolt – both classic and updated MMoM version – makes a great race for a rogue. The classic Kobolt with a customized origin gets a +2 in Dex and has Darkvision, which is a great base to work with.
However, I prefer the default rules when playing as a Kobolt Rogue. Thanks to things like Pack Tactics, you can use your familiar or summoned creature to aid you in battle and give you an automatic advantage on your rolls. This way, you can use your sneak attack and deal a ton of damage or even make a crit fisher build. You only need to watch out for that. You negate the Sunlight Sensitivity. However, this should be no problem if you use the pack tactics well.
7. Eladrin Elf
The second Elf variant is the Eladrin Elf. The Eladrin Elf is another great race for a Rogue due to its obvious advantages. These have access to Fey Step, which is extremely useful on a rogue and allows you to focus more on ranging and offense. In addition, Fey Step allows you to get out of a tricky situation and avoid taking too much damage during a fight.
Eladrin Elves have a good charisma stat and are pretty fun to roleplay. However, you need to consider that you are somewhat forced to use range as they are not as strong with melee as the High Elves.
The Kenku is pretty interesting and strong as a rogue. The classic version of the Kenku makes a decent pick for the race of your rogue. However, the updated version in MMoM is even stronger.
The main advantage this updated version has over the classic one is that you have Kenku Recall. This ability is fantastic for rogues that rely on their skills. You get two additional skills, and you can use any ability check where your proficiency in that skills applies. Due to that fact, Kenku Recall is extremely useful. However, you do need to keep in mind that the usage of Kenku Recall is limited.
9. High Half-Elf
I enjoy playing with the Half-Elf; they are versatile, forgiving, and have many extra options. You get a +2 Dex and two more +1s for your stats. Of all half-elf variants, the High Half-Elf race makes the best rogue, in my opinion. You get access to a Booming Blade, Darkvision and Fey Ancestry, and you have everything you need to make a good Rogue, no matter the encounters and quests your DM throws at you.
The only downside is that they have trouble getting out of battle when you are overwhelmed. But, of course, you are golden if you can counter that drawback with a good spell!
The Bugbear is a fantastic race for the rogue, even if they don’t look like it. The Bugbear is a perfect creature to pull off sneak and surprise attacks. You can choose from the Classic with customized builds and the updated MMoM version of the Bugbear.
Of those three options, the latter is the superior race pick for your rogue. With this build, you can deal a ton of damage and have a massive amount of DPR. The roleplaying is also pretty unique and fun if you are into that.
To make a Yuan-Ti rogue, you should go with the Customized Origin of the classic version. This version of the Yuan-Ti gets a +2 and +1 increase in their ability scores.
You also get a Darkvision, Poison immunity, and magic resistance. These are all pretty decent buffs for a rogue and allow you to be more damage-resistant. The fact that your innate spellcasting is not that user does not make this build bad. If you combine Evasion with magic resistance, you have a big advantage over enemies who rely on AoE spells.
Final words of advice on 5e rogue races
Looking at this list, you will notice that there is quite some overlap with the ranking of the best race for a warlock. This is expected as benefits like versatility (human variant), and free flight (Fairy) are strong in almost any class.
Make sure you pick a race that you enjoy playing with, has some good bonuses and is easy to roleplay. That way, you will likely enjoy the campaign no matter what you pick!