How to Roll for Stats in DnD 5E | Top Tips

Recently updated on December 27th, 2022 at 05:34 pm

In Dungeons and Dragons, dice are rolled to determine the stats of a character. These stats will give that character an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the number. Needless to say, this is a crucial moment for a player, as these stats will be what’s referenced when important moments are happening in a campaign.

As a DM or player, you can use this guide to help you decide what stats to assign for your players.

How do you Roll for Stats in 5e?

There are essentially three ways to roll for a character’s stats in 5E:

  1. Manual/Rolled
  2. Standard Array
  3. Point Buy

The most common, and most exciting in my opinion, is the Manual method.

Most Common Way to Roll Stats: Manual/Rolled

While there are other methods of making a character in DnD, manually rolling for your stats is the most common.

To do this, you’ll do the following:

  1. For each ability score, roll 4 6-sided dice
  2. Drop the lowest number rolled
  3. Add up the remaining dice
  4. The number you received is the number associated to the ability score
  5. Notate the number associated with that ability score (do this for every ability score)


Let’s say I’m rolling for my character’s Constitution score and end up with a 6,5,3, and another 5. I would drop the 3, add up the 6, 5, and 5, and my character’s Constitution would be 16 – I might consider filling the tank role!

Alternative Ways of Rolling Up a Character in D&D

As mentioned above, rolling dice to figure out your characters ability scores is just one way to build a character in DnD. You can also do one of the following:

Standard Array

Many players choose standard array when rolling up a D&D character for its simplicity. When choosing the Standard Array method, you have 6 number options:

  • 8
  • 10
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15

And, of course, there are 6 stats to roll for. As you may have guessed, Standard Array is simply assigning each stat to one of the options above. Doing so is generally considered the safe route, because you 1) have control over which stats are better and 2) Won’t have any stats that are too low (but also not too high).

Standard Array runs in the middle of rolls, not too high and not too low.

Point Buy

The Point Buy option for DnD character stat rolling is a bit more complex.

You start with a total of 27 “points” to use on ability scores.

Every ability score starts at 8. From there, you can use your 27 “points” to increase whichever attribute you’d like.

Similar to Standard Array, the floor is 8. Also, the highest you can go for any given attribute is 15. Unfortunately, you can’t pump 12 points into DEX to give your character 20.

But, if you are a ranger and want to have a high DEX, you can max it out at 15 and still have 18 points to use on your other attributes.

Conclusion – Rolling Stats in DnD 5E

That’s it!

Rolling stats in 5e is an excellent way to spend time with your group and get creative ideas about character building. Like we said above, this is crucial for your character, setting the tone for the entire campaign. If you’re like me, you’ll go full mid-max mode and calculate which ability scores need to be which number before you even write your DnD character’s backstory! And click here to get started if you’re struggling to come up with a D&D adventure!

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