Point Buy Calculator 5e

Created by Rijk de Wet
Reviewed by Wojciech Sas, PhD candidate and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Dec 16, 2021

Whether you're unsure how the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons' point buy system works, or you're a veteran player making hundreds of characters every day, the point buy calculator for 5e is here to help! This online tool enables you to navigate the 5e point buy system to assign ability scores for your D&D character — with support for the official SRD races and their 5e ability score bonuses. So, grab a pen and paper, and let's make your D&D character!

How to use the point buy calculator for 5e?

Let's make an Acrobatics check and jump right to learning how the point buy calculator for 5e works.

  1. Enter your base ability scores. These are the scores that you spend your points on. You can also see how your point expenditure adds up, based on the point cost table shown later in this article.

  2. Select your character's race. Your character's ability scores in 5e are increased based on which race you pick.

    • If your character's race is not on the list, you can select Other and enter the racial bonuses yourself.

    • Some races have free-floating +1's that can be assigned to ability scores. Don't forget to select which ability scores you'd like boosted!

  3. Find your character's ability scores summarized in a table at the bottom of the 5e point buy calculator. Most importantly, the table lists your character's total scores and their modifiers.

💡 Ability scores and modifiers. An ability modifier isn't added to an ability score in 5e. Instead, the modifier is determined by the ability score and is added to skill checks governed by that ability. For example, a character with an Intelligence score of 15 has a modifier of +2, and so gets a +2 bonus to Arcana checks they make.

If you want to customize the 5e point buy system to fit your table's house rules, you can enter advanced mode to:

  • Raise or lower the point total that you can spend from 27;

  • Change the lowest and highest purchasable ability scores from 8 and 15, respectively; and

  • Adjust the point costs per ability score.

What is D&D point buy?

It's great that the point buy calculator for 5e can do the point buy math for you, but if you're as curious as the Xanathar, you'd want to know how the 5e point buy system works. So let's roll an investigation check and get a closer look.

D&D characters have six ability scores (you can read more about them further down this article) that govern all of their other characteristics. How a player determines these statistics is up to their dungeon master (or DM), but most D&D tables use one of these methods:

  • The standard array method, where the player has the scores 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 15 and can assign them however they like;

  • The dice roll method, where you'd randomly generate your ability scores with dice; and

  • The point buy method, where you have a budget of points to spend on buying ability scores.

So, now you've discovered that point buy in D&D 5e is a method to determine player characters' ability scores. You must have rolled a natural 20 for that Investigation check!

What are the rules for D&D 5e point buy?

5th edition D&D's point buy rules let you spend 27 points to buy ability scores. The player must buy six scores and can assign them to the six abilities as they like. Each score has a point cost:

Ability score

Cost

8

0

9

1

10

2

11

3

12

4

13

5

14

7

15

9

And that's it! Now you know exactly how to do point buy in 5e.

How do I calculate ability score modifiers?

To calculate an ability score's modifier directly, subtract 10 from the score and halve it (rounding down to the nearest integer). Or you can consult this handy table:

Ability scores and corresponding modifiers.

Score

Modifier

1

−5

2–3

−4

4–5

−3

6–7

−2

8–9

−1

10–11

+0

12–13

+1

14–15

+2

16–17

+3

18–19

+4

20–21

+5

22–23

+6

24–25

+7

26–27

+8

28–29

+9

30

+10

💡 Remember that ability scores influence ability modifiers and not the other way around! You don't add an ability's modifier to the score. Instead, you add an ability's modifier to any skill checks you make with that ability.

FAQ

What are the six ability scores in D&D?

D&D 5e has six abilities that represent different aspects of a character:

  • Strength — natural athleticism and bodily power;
  • Dexterity — physical agility and reflexes;
  • Constitution — health and stamina;
  • Intelligence — mental and analytical skill;
  • Wisdom — awareness and intuition; and
  • Charisma — confidence and force of personality.

All creatures in D&D, including the players' characters, have these abilities and associated scores. For example, an orc has a high Strength score but a low Intelligence score.

Can 27 point buy get to 16 in 5e?

No. The official 5e point buy rules in the Player's Handbook limit the available scores to between 8 and 15. With the help of racial bonuses, a character using point buy can potentially begin with one or more ability scores of 17.

Can I put all 8s with point buy in 5e?

No — if you're following the official 5e point buy rules, you must spend all 27 points on ability scores. If you bought three 8s (costing you no points), you absolutely must spend the remaining 27 points on three 15s (costing you 9 points each).

Rijk de Wet
Base ability scores
Strength
Dexterity
Constitution
Intelligence
Wisdom
Charisma
Point buy cost: 0 / 27
Racial choice
Race
Human
Your ability scores each increase by 1.
Results
AbilityBase scoreRacial bonusTotal scoreModifierPoint cost
Strength8+19−10
Dexterity8+19−10
Constitution8+19−10
Intelligence8+19−10
Wisdom8+19−10
Charisma8+19−10
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