Levitate in 5e Dnd: Mechanics and how to use it best

Simple principles often are the most powerful. For example, Levitate 5e is pretty straightforward, as the name implies, but used by an innovative and creative player, it can be transformed into an all-powerful spell. 

In Dungeons and Dragons, a lot comes down to physics. There are powerful magic attacks like Finger of Death that deal damage unnaturally, but a heavy object crashing down is still dangerous for any creature. 

There are so many excellent mechanics for you to exploit and extraordinary ways to use Levitate 5e to surprise your DM or players in a way they never expected. So, let’s dive into this guide and explore the magical world of Dungeons and Dragons a little further. 

Levitate information

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes
  • School: transmutation
  • Class: Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Level: 2nd-level transmutation
  • Damage/Effect: None
  • Attack/Save: Constitution save
  • Components: V, S, M (small loop of leather, piece of gold wire bent in the shape of a cup, a long shank).

Spell mechanics

Choose an object or a creature within 60 feet that you can see. It now rises up vertically for up to 20 feet and will remain in that spot for the duration of Levitate. 

5e levitate

What is Levitate 5e, and how does it work

Levitate is pretty straightforward to understand but hard to use in practice. The reason for that is that the true strength of its mechanics only shines in the right situation and if you are smart about the way you use it. Here is a run down of what happens when you cast Levitate and what you should consider.

Choose a creature or an object. It must be: 

1) in a range of 60 feet, 2) be visible, 3) weigh 500 pounds or less. 

If the target is unwilling, it should make a constitution saving throw. If the CON saving throw succeeds, the target will be unaffected by this attack. 

While the target is Levitated, you can change the direction of the target up, down or horizontal in every direction when it is your turn. However, you can not make the target float outside your range. 

You can also pick yourself as the target for Levitate. If that is the case, you can use your movement action as the movement while you are in the air. 

What can the target do?

When the creature is suspended in the air, it can still move. For example, if there is a wall or another object nearby, it can push or pull on it. This way, the creature can move as if scaling the object by climbing it. 

What when the duration is over

Levitate is a concentration spell that lasts up to 10 minutes. If those 10 minutes are up, or if the caster’s concentration has been interrupted, the magic will stop taking effect. The target (creature or object) will gently float towards the ground. It will not take any fall damage. However, even if gently, delicate items can still be damaged when they hit the floor. 

When should you use Levitate

Combining with time stop

Levitate allows you (or your target) to only move about 20 feet per turn. Moreover, if you are not casting a spell on yourself, this will cost you an action. On the other hand, if you use the time to stop, you can guide your target up to 60 feet (the max range) in any direction you want. If you are fighting in an exciting place, like a vulcano, this has quite dangerous implications. 

Massive damage with Cloud of daggers

Cloud of daggers is one of the strongest and highest damage-dealing attacks for wizards and sorcerers in DnD 5e. If you take away the ability of your opponent to dodge, they are almost always in a lot of trouble when you cast Cloud of daggers. 

You can set up a cloud of daggers in the target air and then gently Levitate them inside the Cloud. That way, they can not dodge for over 10 minutes and will thus take tons of damage. You can also move around the target inside the Cloud if you feel extra evil. 

Get an overview 

As stated at the beginning of this article, you can cast Levitate on yourself. The exciting thing about this is that this makes the range unlimited. The spell description says that the target must be within 60 feet; however, you can never exit that area of effect if you are the target. 

Thanks to that, you can get an overview just about everywhere. For example, you can float over the highest trees, above a labyrinth of substantial city walls. Here is a short list of things you can get an overview of, thanks to being able to float high due to casting Levitate on yourself. 

levitate 5e how it works

Is Levitate worth taking?

There are a ton of level 2 (transmutation and other schools) spells to choose from as a Sorcerer and Wizard in the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. While there is a couple of fun uses for Levitate, it is not the best pick for your second slot. 

However, if you are a veteran DnD player who likes to surprise DMs and want to be creative in using magic, then Levitate can offer a much sought-after change of pace and tactics.

If you are a Dungeon Master, giving an NPC or two the ability to cast this magic can cause a ton of funny scenarios. Imagine your players being suddenly suspended in the air with no way to help their other party members. 

Advice and final thoughts

Dungeons and Dragons are all about using your imagination. While spells like magic stone and Disintegrate are very obvious damage dealers, Levitate is not as straightforward as it seems. Being able to move objects and creatures 20 feet at a time does not sound powerful.

However, with the right set of tools in the right situations, you can transform this level 2 transmutation into a compelling asset for your wizard or sorcerer. 

Casting Time1 action
Range60 feet
DurationConcentration, up to 10 minutes
ClassSorcerer, Wizard
Level2nd-level transmutation
Attack/SaveConstitution save
ComponentsV, S, M (small loop of leather, piece of gold wire bent in the shape of a cup, a long shank)
Spell Mechanics– Targets an object or creature within 60 feet that is visible and weighs 500 pounds or less
– Target makes a Constitution saving throw if unwilling
– The caster can change the target’s direction of movement (up, down, or horizontal) on their turn
– The caster can choose themselves as the target and use movement action while levitated
– Levitated creatures can still move and interact with nearby objects
– When duration ends or concentration is interrupted, the target floats gently to the ground
Best Uses– Combining with Time Stop for strategic movement
– Enhancing damage with Cloud of Daggers spell
– Gaining an aerial overview of areas such as labyrinths, forests, walls, towns, etc.
LimitationsNot the most optimal choice for a 2nd-level spell, but can be creatively used
DM TipsCan cause funny scenarios and frustrate players, perfect for cooling off aggressive or disruptive behavior

As a Dungeon master who likes to surprise and annoy players, the effect and long duration of Levitate can be downright annoying and frustrating. It is the perfect way to cool off a player who is too aggressive or not acting as part of the team. A magical time-out zone, so to say. 

Frequently asked questions about Levitate

Can you Levitate horizontally? 

Yes, from your second turn on, you can move the target in any direction for up to 20 feet per turn. These directions include horizontal ones. 

Does Levitate 5e stop fall ?

Yes, Levitate will stop you (or a target) from falling as long as it is within the 60 feet range of the spell. 

How high can you Levitate in DnD?

If you cast Levitate on an object or a creature other than yourself, the maximum height it can reach is 60 feet. However, if you cast it on yourself, you can go as high as you want. You will be able to move 20 feet at a time. Keep in mind that higher places have progressively less oxygen and are colder. 

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