Best 5 Dnd 5e Backgrounds to Choose

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  • Post last modified:October 10, 2023
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Dnd 5e backgrounds are an essential aspect of character creation in Dungeons and Dragons. They provide players with a backstory and a set of skills that can be used throughout the game. Each background comes with its own proficiency, equipment, and features that make it unique.

Some of the best Dnd 5e backgrounds include Acolyte, which provides characters with knowledge about religion and access to holy symbols; Criminal, which grants proficiency in stealth, deception, and thieves’ tools; and Sage, which offers proficiency in two languages and expertise in one knowledge skill.

Whether you choose to create your own background or use one from the Player’s Handbook or other sourcebooks, selecting a background is crucial for developing your character’s identity and role-playing opportunities. With so many options available, there is sure to be a background perfect for every type of character.

Popular Choices

One of the most popular choices for Dnd 5e backgrounds is the Acolyte. This background allows players to roleplay as former members of a religious organization, granting them proficiency in Insight and Religion skills, as well as access to various languages. Additionally, Acolytes have connections within their respective religious orders that can aid them during their adventures.

Another favored background is the Criminal. As its name suggests, this background allows players to roleplay as an ex-convict or a current criminal working in secret. Criminals gain proficiency in Stealth and Deception skills, making them effective at sneaking around and deceiving others. They also have access to criminal contacts that can provide valuable information or items.

Lastly, many players gravitate toward the Soldier background. This option lets players play as active-duty military members or retired veterans with experience in combat tactics and survival skills. Soldiers receive proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation skills, making them physically imposing and capable of intimidating both allies and enemies alike. They also have connections within military organizations that can provide backup during difficult missions.

Top 3 Most Commonly Used Backgrounds

Acolyte: The Acolyte background is one of the most commonly used backgrounds in Dungeons and Dragons 5e. Characters with this background have dedicated their lives to serving a deity or religious order, and as such, they possess knowledge of religious rites and practices that can be useful in many situations. Acolytes are typically well-respected members of their community who can call upon their faith to gain assistance from others.

Criminal: The Criminal background is another popular choice for D&D players looking to create a character with a shady past. Characters with this background have experience with criminal activities such as pickpocketing, burglary, or even murder. They also have connections within the underworld that can provide them with information or help when needed.

Soldier: The Soldier background is often chosen by players who want to create characters with a military or combat-oriented backstory. Soldiers have been trained in various weapons and tactics and are often skilled fighters or leaders on the battlefield. They may also have connections within military organizations that can provide them with resources or missions to undertake during gameplay.

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Overall, these three backgrounds are among the most commonly used in D&D 5e due to their versatility and potential for interesting storylines and character development opportunities.

Underrated Options

Underrated options for Dnd 5e backgrounds are often overlooked by players who stick to the default choices. One of these underrated options is the “Haunted” background, which adds a layer of mystery and intrigue to your character’s backstory. This option allows you to have a ghostly companion that can assist you in battle or provide valuable information about the world around you.

Another underrated option is the “Urchin” background, which provides your character with experience surviving on the streets and in urban environments. This can be especially useful in campaigns that take place primarily in cities, as your character will have an advantage over others when navigating through crowded streets or avoiding danger.

Finally, the “Hermit” background is often overlooked but can add depth to your character’s backstory. This option allows you to start with proficiency in two skills and a language of your choice, as well as a unique feature that reflects your time spent living alone in isolation. Consider this option if you want to play a character who has spent years meditating on life’s mysteries or studying ancient texts.

Roleplaying Potential

The roleplaying potential in Dnd 5e backgrounds is immense and can help players create a unique and interesting character backstory. Each background offers its own set of skills, languages, tools, and personality traits that can be used to build a rich narrative for your character. For example, the Entertainer background allows you to choose between being a musician or an actor with proficiency in one of those respective areas.

Taking on the role of your chosen background adds depth to your character’s personality and motivations. A Criminal background could mean that you were once involved in illegal activities before turning over a new leaf while still having connections in the criminal underworld that could come into play during gameplay. Meanwhile, selecting the Folk Hero background means you have saved a town or village from disaster at some point in time which sets up expectations from townsfolk who may seek your aid down the line.

While it’s possible to use any combination of race and class when creating a Dnd 5e character, selecting backgrounds gives players an opportunity to add more flavor by providing context for why their characters are skilled at certain things or how they came across different abilities or knowledge. Ultimately, choosing the right background can make all the difference when crafting an immersive story-driven campaign full of twists and turns for both player characters and dungeon masters alike!

Unique Abilities

When creating a character for Dnd 5e, choosing a unique ability can add depth and complexity to your character’s backstory. Some popular options include the Lucky feat, which allows you to reroll dice rolls three times per long rest, or the Observant feat, which gives you bonuses to perception and investigation checks.

Another unique ability option is the Actor feat, which grants proficiency in deception and performance skills as well as allows you to mimic voices and accents. This is particularly useful for characters who rely on charisma and charm in their interactions with other players or NPCs.

For those who prefer a more physical approach, the Mobile feat allows characters to move around the battlefield quickly while avoiding opportunity attacks. Combined with a character who specializes in ranged combat or hit-and-run tactics, this can result in an extremely effective and versatile play style. Ultimately, choosing a unique ability that complements your character’s class and playstyle can make them stand out from others in your party while providing interesting roleplaying opportunities.

DM Considerations

When creating a character for Dungeons and Dragons, one of the most important aspects to consider is the DM’s preferences. The DM (Dungeon Master) is responsible for running the game and crafting the story, so it’s crucial to take their style and preferences into account when building a character. For example, if your DM likes combat-heavy campaigns, you may want to focus on creating a strong fighter or spellcaster rather than a non-combat-oriented character.

Another consideration when it comes to DM preferences is how much emphasis they place on roleplaying versus mechanics. Some DMs enjoy heavy roleplaying sessions where characters interact with NPCs (non-player characters) and explore complex moral dilemmas, while others prefer more straightforward combat encounters with less emphasis on storytelling. To ensure that your chosen background fits with your DM’s style, make sure to discuss their expectations before starting the campaign.

Ultimately, creating a successful Dnd 5e character involves considering many factors beyond just mechanics and backstory. By taking into account your DM’s preferences for combat encounters and roleplaying sessions, you can craft a well-rounded character that complements the campaign as a whole.


In conclusion, choosing the best DnD 5e background for your character is a crucial step in creating a memorable and enjoyable gaming experience. Whether you want to add depth and complexity to your character’s backstory or simply have fun with a unique personality trait, there are plenty of options available for every type of player.

Some of the most popular backgrounds include the soldier, which provides combat-related skills and proficiencies, and the criminal, which offers sneaky abilities like lockpicking and deception. Other great choices include the folk hero, noble, sage, or acolyte backgrounds.

Ultimately, the key is to choose a background that fits with your character’s personality and goals while also providing useful skills and abilities that will help them succeed in their adventures. With so many options available in DnD 5e, there’s no shortage of ways to create a truly unforgettable gaming experience.

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