Last Updated on January 10, 2023
Levitate 5e helps you rise above the competition.
“All of a sudden I was floating. The enemies pelted me with all they had, and I could do nothing but whimper.”
What is Levitate in DnD 5e?
Levitate 5e is a 2nd-level transmutation spell that lets you suspend a creature or object up to 20 feet in the air for 10 minutes and move them vertically, including yourself. Levitate 5e’s principal uses are to disable melee attackers or avoid melee attacks while airborne. Levitate 5e takes an action and can be cast 60 feet.
Here is how Levitate is described in the Player’s Handbook:
- One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the duration.
- The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds.
- An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected.
- The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing.
- You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on your turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.
- When the spell ends, the target floats gently to the ground if it is still aloft.
Levitate 5e Stats
|Casting Time||1 action|
|Target||One creature or object you can see in range|
|Classes||Artificer, Sorcerer, Wizard|
|Components||Verbal, Somatic, Material*|
|Duration||Concentration, up to 10 minutes|
Is Levitate a good spell?
Levitate is one of the best 2nd level spells in 5e, especially in campaigns with lots of melee attackers. Levitate’s most powerful effect is that if the target fails its Constitution saving throw, it’s stuck in suspension for up to 10 minutes.
On the other hand, if your target passes their saving throw, Levitate (and its precious 2nd-level spell slot) is wasted.
A great way to use the Levitate ability is to suspend melee attackers in the air. If they fail their saving throw, they’ll essentially be a helpless piñata. Remember to Levitate enemies in the middle of the room so they can’t use objects to move, and hide beforehand to avoid breaking Concentration.
Enemies can still cast spells and use ranged attacks while levitated, but brawlers are out of luck! So don’t try levitating enemies that benefit from being in the air, such as a Beholder or a Mind Flayer.
Can you cast Levitate on yourself?
Casting Levitate on yourself is one of the best uses of Levitate in 5e. By casting Levitate on yourself you can reach higher ground, avoid attacks, and get an overview of an environment.
A great way to use Levitate when fighting melee attackers is to get out of range with Levitate and then rain down spells or ranged attacks from above. Levitate 5e has a built-in Feather Fall, so if your concentration is broken while levitating you’ll still float to the ground safely.
A neat trick for higher-level characters is to combine Levitate with Time Stop. Time Stop stops time for everyone but yourself for 1d4 + 1 turn in a row. You can levitate hundreds of feet and get a view from above to scout out distant terrain or draw a map of a labyrinth, etc.
Is Levitate useful in 5e?
Levitate is one of the most useful 5e spells, depending on player creativity and DM flexibility. You can use Levitate both offensively and defensively, or as a utility to scope out terrain and transport objects. Levitate is especially useful as a 9th-level Warlock since it can be cast at will without needing a spell slot.
Levitate on yourself is useful for:
- Avoiding melee combat
- Attacking melee enemies from above
- Scouting an environment
- Reaching an object
- Setting traps or planting items in advance
- Traversing difficult terrain
- Faster climbing
Levitate 5e on other targets is useful for:
- Disabling mobile enemies
- Disabling melee attackers
- Levitating party members
- Bringing something out of cover, as long as you can partially see it
- Hiding objects you don’t want others to see
If you have adventuring gear such as the Rope of Climbing or the Immovable Rod, Levitate is also very handy for moving across terrain horizontally.
Who can use Levitate 5e?
Per Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Drow Elves can learn Drow High Magic as a racial feat to Levitate without expending a spell slot once per long rest.
Air Genasi have Levitate as an ability starting at 5th level.
GameCows Tip: An Air Genasi Fighter with a reach weapon can levitate out of melee range, while still being able to attack enemies themselves. Super annoying, and effective!
Levitate 5e vs Hold Monster 5e and Hold Person 5e
Targets of Levitate 5e are suspended in the air, while targets of Hold Monster or Hold Person are paralyzed. That means a target of Levitate can still make ranged attacks, cast spells, speak, and other actions, while targets of Hold Monster and Hold Person cannot.
Targets of Hold Monster or Hold Person can make a saving throw every turn, while targets who fail a Levitate saving throw are stuck until the spell ends.
Levitate 5e vs Fly 5e
Fly 5e lets you fly in any direction, while with Levitate you can only move vertically without help or objects to grab onto. Levitate works similarly to Fly in areas such as forests where you can grab onto treetops and propel yourself forward, albeit a bit slower since it is treated like climbing.
Creative players have come up with some workarounds to make a poor man’s Fly out of Levitate. One idea is attaching a rope to a Pseudodragon familiar or other creature who can fly, and having them haul you at half speed.
Another idea is using Levitate plus the Telekinetic feat to Shove yourself during levitation and move 5 feet horizontally.
There are many workarounds to let levitators “fly.” It’s up to your party to interpret the wording of spell descriptions, and the final ruling is ultimately your DM’s call. When all else fails, appeal to the Rule of Cool!
Levitate 5e Tips and Tricks
- Use Levitate 5e to place objects for safekeeping. If you don’t want anyone to find that rare amulet you stole from the treasury, levitate it and cast Minor Illusion 5e to cover it up.
- If a room has dangerous ground but handholds on the ceiling, tie a rope to a bulkier character and Levitate them. Then hold on for dear life while they grapple across!
- Use Levitate 5e to prepare a location. For example, you can go off on your own to place ropes or other climbing equipment on a castle, so when your party arrives they can scale it without alerting anyone.
- Use Levitate 5e to hide in unsuspecting places. For example, if you are in a cave, you can hide behind a stalactite and then float down to flank enemies from behind.
- You don’t need to make climbing checks (usually Athletics) with Levitate 5e, so if you are scaling a perpendicular building, you can just keep levitating and hold onto windows or other handholds. Great for surprise attacks, or setting up an ambush!
A popular creative use of Levitate 5e is to attach a rope to one’s self and have party members tow you around like a balloon. Also popular for cows and other livestock, or to shame defeated enemies.
Levitate 5e FAQ
Can you move with Levitate DnD?
You can only move yourself or a target up or down with Levitate. To move in other directions, the levitated creature must push or pull on a fixed object or surface. Other creatures can Shove or move the levitated target with other abilities and items.
Can you drown enemies with Levitate 5e?
Water counts as a surface in DnD 5e, so that means you can’t drown creatures by levitating them downwards. They can just swim away.
Can you carry someone while Levitating 5e?
You can carry people or objects while levitating, but normal carrying capacity rules apply (your Strength score multiplied by 15). The combined weight can also not exceed 500 lbs.
A fun way to hide your party from guards who are searching a room is to levitate a bulkier party that carries your crew. Just don’t make any noise, and hope they don’t look up!