D&D 5e: Aarakocra Artificer Guide

A flying male aarakocra artificer with a hammer.

D&D 5e: Aarakocra Artificer Guide

“My mind was always open. Now it needs to be sharp. I am no master of the sky, but my enemies will learn what it is that I’ve been working on the next time they try to invade our nests.”

How to Make an Aarakocra Artificer

The main class stat you’ll want to focus on is your Intelligence for your spells and abilities. Most would recommend putting your next best into a defensive Ability, which works well for Aarakocra with the racial bonus of +2 to Dexterity.

Given that you won’t be able to Fly with Medium or Heavy armor on, Dexterity and Light Armor will be your best defensive options for yourself. Being one of the few races that can Fly, the two Artificer types that will work the best with this are Artillerist and Armorer.

Artillerist is great because being able to fly keeps you out of melee range, letting you take advantage of the ranged class features. With the +2 racial bonus to Dexterity, this also increases your ranged attack benefits.

Armorer is something many might not expect, since the mental image it portrays is a big suit of heavy armor. Choosing to instead infuse your leather armor still provides benefits from either Guardian or Infiltrator models of armor.

A male aarakocra artificer with an artificial arm.

How to Play an Aarakocra Artificer


There are several benefits of combining the ability to fly and ranged combat, which is why this subclass could be one of the most fun. On top of that, your Eldritch Cannon does not have to be in your hands, so you can offer firepower and support from the sky and the ground at the same time. This makes the Infusion Repeating Shot a stellar one to take, increasing your ranged accuracy and damage on a weapon that requires ammunition. Along with Arcane Firearm increasing your damage from ranged spell attacks, you will provide superior ranged support both above and below.


Combining their natural Dexterity with this class again, Aarakocra can use the Infiltrator Model armor to get bonuses to their Stealth. This style of armor also increases your Movement by 5ft., making it easier to keep up with your party if you’re stuck fighting on the ground. You can also use the Infusion Armor of Magical Strength, allowing you to use your Intelligence bonus to help accomplish feats of Strength. It also has the benefit of being able to prevent you from being knocked Prone, which can be a fail safe to prevent you from being knocked out of the sky if it happens while flying.

As a midway between combat and roleplaying, there are some GMs that are hesitant to allow Aarakocra to be played at lower levels due to their high Fly speed. You could put forth that you could start the game unable to fly due to an injury or loss of a wing. As the Armorer features would allow your armor to replace the wing and function as it while active, it is a way to make flight something to work towards and not something immediate.

How to Roleplay as an Aarakocra Artificer

As insightful warriors of the sky, it is very common to see many Aarakocra portrayed as monks or otherworldly types of characters. You could be the inventor that had wild or dangerous ideas for experimental devices and contraptions. It could be that you are one of the defenders of your small town and use the firepower to make up for numbers. If you did try the aforementioned injury background, you could be seeking revenge on the one who did it to you, or maybe just be trying to find a way to make yourself feel whole again by discovering new ways to be able to soar through the sky again.

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