Fly 5e Guide

Fly 5e Guide – D&D Flight Mechanics and Methods

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A fly 5e guide typically only covers one type of flying method. Sometimes it’s the spell Fly, while other times, it’s the natural ability to fly that some races are gifted with. In this Fly 5e Guide, we’ll cover it all.

I flew for the first time in the Dungeons and Dragons world when I was an Aasimar – with an innate ability to fly. Since then, I’ve flown with the Fly spell as a Sorcerer; which, ironically, is also innate since Sorcerers are born imbued with magic.

Fly 5e – At a Glance

Fly typically refers to the spell Fly, which 5e players can find in the Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard spell list. The 3rd level transmutation spell allows you to touch a creature and give it the ability to fly.

The spell lasts for 10 minutes unless Concentration is broken. You need a feather from the wing of a bird to cast it. While Fly is the most common reference to the word “fly” in DnD, it’s not the only one.

Fly can also refer to other means of flying that some D&D races have. It can also refer to various monsters in DnD who are called flies. So, the context matters more than anything when a player mentions “fly.”

Fly 5e Spell

  • Origin – Player’s Handbook
  • Level – 3rd-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – Touch
  • Components – V, S, M (a feather from any bird must be from the wing)
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 10 minutes
  • Class – Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

When you cast Fly, you touch a willing creature, and it can fly at a speed of 60ft as long as the spell is active. If the spell ends while the target is flying, then it will fall to the ground.

When you cast the spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can target an extra creature for each level above 3rd level. So if it’s at the 5th level, you can target three creatures, and so on.

Other Flying Spells

There are many ways to fly in Dungeons & Dragons. Some of them are more effort than they are worth, while others are completely underrated, in my opinion.

Gaseous Form

Gaseous Form

  • Origin – Basic Rules
  • Level – 3rd-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – Touch
  • Components – V, S, M (gauze and smoke)
  • Duration – 1 hour
  • Class – Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Gaseous Form is a spell that allows you to touch a creature and that creature turn into a misty cloud. The flying speed while in this form is 10ft. The target also gains buffs and can pass through cracks.

Mage Hand

Mage Hand
Image from forgotten realms fandom
  • Origin – Player’s Handbook
  • Level – Conjuration Cantrip
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – 30 feet
  • Components – V, S
  • Duration – 1 minute
  • Class – Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

This spell is a classic, so most spellcasters have used it before. However, not everyone thinks about ways to fly with it. The hand can only carry up to ten pounds, but there are ways to shrink yourself down to that size.

Bigby’s Hand

bigby's hand dnd

  • Origin – Player’s Handbook
  • Level – 5th-level Evocation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – 120 feet
  • Components – V, S, M (eggshell and snakeskin glove)
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 1 minute
  • Class – Sorcerer, Artificer, Wizard

Bigby’s Hand is a complicated spell that creates a giant hand that can be used to do anything that your hand can do – only amplified. Since it can push a creature, it only makes sense that it can also carry a creature.

Giant Insect

Giant Insect dnd

  • Origin – Basic Rules
  • Level – 4th-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – 30 feet
  • Components – V, S
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 10 minutes
  • Class – Druid

A Druid can fly with Wild Shape, but Giant Insect is another spell that they can utilize. You can transform insects into giant versions. If you do wasps, the wasps could carry you and party members.

Summon Celestial

  • Origin – Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
  • Level – 5th-level Conjuration
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – 90 feet
  • Components – V, S, M (golden reliquary worth at least 500gp)
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 1 hour
  • Class – Cleric, Paladin

Pure classes can use this spell to summon a Celestial Spirit. This spirit is angelic and can likely fly. You have to talk to the DM as to whether or not the celestial can carry you and fly.

Polymorph

polymorph 5e dnd guide

  • Origin – Player’s Handbook
  • Level – 4th-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – 60 feet
  • Components – V, S, M (caterpillar cocoon)
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 1 hour
  • Class – Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard

If you decide to transform the target into a flying creature, then that player can fly. This is a fairly straightforward spell, so there shouldn’t be any confusion as the DM will know it well.

Telekinesis

Telekinesis 5e Guide

  • Origin – Player’s Handbook
  • Level – 5th-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – 60 feet
  • Components – V, S
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 10 minutes
  • Class – Sorcerer, Wizard

Telekinesis allows you to move creatures with your mind. So you can very well move any creature as you can lift objects up to 1000 pounds or as large as a Huge creature. The creature is, in a way, flying.

Wind Walk

  • Origin – Basic Rules
  • Level – 6th-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 minute
  • Range – 30 feet
  • Components – V, S, M (fire and holy water)
  • Duration – 8 hours
  • Class – Druid

This spell can be cast on up to ten creatures and yourself. Use it to transform all targets into gaseous forms with a flying speed of an outstanding 300 feet. The creatures can only move or revert while in this form.

Tasha’s Otherworldy Guise

Tasha's Otherworldy Guise

  • Origin – Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
  • Level – 6th-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 bonus action
  • Range – Self
  • Components – V, S, M (something engraved with an Outer Planes symbol, worth at least 500 gp)
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 1 minute
  • Class – Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

This unique spell can transform the caster. While it gives immunities and special attacks, it also grants you spectral wings. The flying speed for the caster while in this form is 40 feet.

Investiture of Wind

Investiture of Wind

  • Origin – Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
  • Level – 6th-level Transmutation
  • Casting Time – 1 action
  • Range – Self
  • Components – V, S
  • Duration – Concentration, up to 10 minutes
  • Class – Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

This spell does a few things, but one of those things is the ability to fly with a speed of 60 feet. The other abilities include an increased ability to dodge ranged attacks and a tornado-like attack.

Magic Items that Give Fly

Magic items are the best way for standard classes and races that don’t have spellcasting to fly. There are endless items that the DM can create, but these are the most common ways to fly.

Winged Boots

Winged Boots dnd 5e

Winged Boots are simple boots that allow you to fly at the same speed that you can walk. They last for four hours straight – at once or separated into segments. The boots regain 2 hours of flight every 12 hours dormant.

Broom of Flying

Broom of Flying

The Broom of Flying can be used like a broom or can be ridden. It operates just like any other flying broom in fiction. The flying speed of the broom is 50 feet, and it can carry up to 400 pounds.

Boots of Levitation

The Boots of Levitation allows you to cast the Levitate spell at will on yourself as an action. The Levitate spell allows you to float for up to ten minutes which is pretty much just flying.

Cloak of the Bat

Cloak of the Bat
Image from forgotten realms fandom

I love this cloak that gives an advantage of Stealth checks. But it also allows users to fly at the speed of 40 feet whenever they grip the edges of the cloak as well as transform into a bat. This is honestly my dream magic item.

Figurine of Wondrous Power

The Figurine can transform into a real version of itself. The flying creatures are all strong enough to carry you. These figurines can be customized by the DM, but there are four flying options in the rulebook.

Wings of Flying

Wings of Flying dnd

Yes, yet another cloak that can fly. All you have to do is use a Command word, and you can sprout bat or bird wings for an hour. You get a flying speed of 60 feet and can use the item again in 1d12 hours.

Potion of Gaseous Form

When you drink this potion, you can turn into the gaseous form for an hour without having to use any Concentration. You can end the effect with a bonus action on your turn.

Carpet of Flying

Image from Critical Fandom

With the Command word, you can use an action to make this magic carpet fly. It comes in four sizes, so each size has a different carrying capacity and speed. The larger the carpet, the slower and stronger it is.

Wand of Polymorph

The Wand of Polymorph holds charges of the Polymorph spell that you can expend with an action. The charges to come back at dawn, at least some of them. If you use the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand is destroyed.

Potion of Flying

Potion of Flying
Image from forgotten realms fandom

No magic item that allows you to fly is more straightforward than the Potion of Flying. This potion gives you a flying speed equal to your walking speed for 1 hour. That’s all there is to it.

Races/Classes That Can Fly in 5e

Magic isn’t the only means of flight. After all, some races have wings, while some classes have an innate ability to sprout wings.

Aracokra

Aracokra dnd

The Aracokra is a bird-like race in D&D. They can fly at a speed of 50 feet, which is double their walking speed. They can only fly with light armor on. There aren’t many restrictions to the flying mechanics for the Aracokra. 

Winged Tiefling

The Winged Tielfing is just like the standard Tiefling with one simple difference. The Winged Tiefling has sprouted bat-like wings, which allows them to fly at a speed of 30 feet as long as they don’t have heavy armor on. 

Protector Aasimar

I love the Aasimar, and the Protector Aasimar is my favorite variant. This subrace can sprout wings from its back which only lasts for one minute. The subrace also allows you to deal extra radiant damage. 

Air Genasi

Genasi are elemental humanoids from another plane. The Air Genasi is a subrace that grants the levitate spell without any materials. You can use it once each long rest using Consitution.

Fairy

fairy dnd
Image from DND

The Fairy is a race in The Wild Beyond The Witchlight. The fey race can fly at a speed equal to their walking speed. They can’t use the flying speed unless wearing light armor.

Owlin

This Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos race can fly at a speed equal to its walking speed. It can’t use flight if it is wearing medium or heavy armor, much like the Fairy, even though the Owlin is larger.

Simic Hybrid

A Simic Hybrid is a Ravnica race with many attributes. One of these attributes is the ability to transform – in part – into other animals. You can glide like a manta, which isn’t exactly flying, but it’s pretty close. 

Druid Wild Shape

Druid Wild Shape
Image from forgotten realms fandom

Druid Wild Shape is the Druid’s main ability. They can transform into many creatures, including a bat, eagle, hawk, owl, raven, or vulture. All of these creatures can fly. Stronger flyers are available under certain conditions. 

Rules of Flying in 5e

The rules of flying are fairly simple. Combat works just as it would if you were walking. But a few rulings can help you understand how flying can work in combat as well as out of combat. 

Range

Flying in 5e range is just like if you were on the ground. The difference is that there’s a 3D aspect. Instead of just the horizontal range, the vertical rage is taken into account as well. 

Movement

Movement is also the same when flying as it is when walking. Use your flying speed rather than your walking speed, and make sure that you take the distance flown up and down into account. 

DM Rulings

DM rulings can overrule even the Basic Rules of D&D. That’s just the way that it is. However, the Basic Rules are the foundation of the rules. Anything not specified in there, the DM gets to decide. 

FAQs

Question: Can You Cast Fly On Yourself?

Answer: Yes. Any touch spell that doesn’t specify that it can’t be used on self, can be used on self. So touch your arm or shoulder and take advantage of the ability to cast Fly.

Question: Can Anyone Fly in 5e?

Answer: Technically, with the right item or spell, anyone can fly. It’s just a lot easier for some characters to fly than others. The less magic and the larger you are, the less likely you are to fly.

Question: What Level Can You Fly in DnD?

Answer: The earliest that a character can fly is the first level. But it all depends on the character, their class, and what resources they have. Some characters may not fly until well after 5th-level. 

Fly 5e Guide, Final Thoughts: Is it Worth It?

Fly is definitely worth it, in my opinion. Getting a height advantage or simply learning to cross difficult terrain with ease is always worth it. Even if you don’t get creative, flying is worth it.

Just like in real life or any other fictional world, flying is an advantage. Since you don’t have to do much in most cases to learn to fly as a spellcaster, grabbing it and preparing it is always a good bet.

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