How to calculate base AC 5e without armor? What can be the highest?

Base ac 5e

Best way to calculate Base AC 5e when you don’t wear an Armor?

From the PHB p 14: In the absence of any armor or shield, Your character’s Base AC in 5e dnd is ten times his Dexterity modifier. Be aware that this is the way you calculate AC. Miraculous ancestry and Armor do not contribute to this AC, and they alter the way that your entire AC is calculated, as described on the same page on the PHB and in the detailed,

The term “base AC” is your AC before any modifications. It is not a game-specific term as of now because it has very little or no value beyond your Mage armor spell.

These modifiers could include:

  • Bonuses based on class, similar to the fighting style
  • Magical bonuses from the items
  • The spells give temporary bonuses.
  • Other items are not listed in this list.

Therefore, your “Base AC 5e” is 

Your Armor, 


 your abilities (if relevant)

your shield as well as your Armor of choice,


Your Dex or other stats, if appropriate. 

Additionally, Mage Armor would set your “base” AC to 13+dex.

What is the highest possible Base AC in dnd 5e?

The Highest Possible AC is 69

  1. Permanent AC: 34.
  2. Combat AC: 41.
  3. One-attack AC with the same build: 58 (63 max)
  4. One-attack AC with specialized build: 63 (69 max)

Under unusual circumstances, it is easily possible to get an AC of 49

  1. Highest permanent AC: 31
  2. Highest combat-ready AC: 35
  3. Highest the-stars-aligned AC: 49

Permanent AC with Magic Armor, no other Magic Items: 27

There are actually many ways to achieve this.

Barbarian 20 prevents several options that require levels in other classes

  • Barbarian 20
    1. 22: Unarmored Defense = 10 + 5 (20 DEX) + 7 (24 CON)
    2. +5: +3 Shield
  • Heavy Armor
    1. 21: +3 Plate Mail
    2. +1: Defense Fighting Style (Fighter 1 or Ranger 2 or Paladin 2)
    3. +5: +3 Shield
  • Medium Armor
    1. 18: +3 Half-Plate
    2. +3: 16 DEX or better and Medium Armor Master Feat
    3. +1: Defense Fighting Style (Fighter 1 or Ranger 2 or Paladin 2)
    4. +5: +3 Shield

Things that don’t work:

  • Light Armor 5e: 26
    1. 15: +3 Studded Leather
    2. +5: 20 DEX
    3. +1: Defense Fighting Style (Fighter 1 or Ranger 2 or Paladin 2)
    4. +5: +3 Shield
  • Robe of the Archmagi 5e: 25
    1. 15: Robe of the Archmagi (Wizard, Sorcerer, or Warlock 1)
    2. +5: 20 DEX
    3. +5: +3 Shield
  • Monk 5e: 20
    1. 20: Unarmored Defense = 10 + 5 (20 DEX) + 5 (20 WIS)
    2. +0: Precludes shield

What is Base Ac 5e?

The Base AC is inclusive of any applicable stat bonuses. Thus “base” in the case of Mage Armor is 13 + Dex. There is no additional benefit to this. Shields alter your Base AC and increase it by 2.

The shield + Armor includes also include your Dex light and medium armors. Your Base AC for the following types of Armor can be as follows:

  • None: 10 + Dex
  • Leather: 11 + Dex
  • Hide: 12 + Dex (max 2)
  • Chain: 16
  • Chain + Shield: 18
  • Mage Armor: 13 + Dex

Different other aspects determine the Base AC. However, it’s determined by the condition of your AC along with the accurate statistic. Finally, it is essential to note that there is no intention to create without distinctive characteristics among Unarmored Defenses and Mage Armor.

Do you get a proficiency bonus to AC?

PCs can increase their AC through the possibility to purchase higher-end armor/raising the Dex mod by two. Someone concerned about their AC may get around an additional 2 points or equivalent advantage to AC over 20 levels by using magical items. Monsters increase their to-hit by approximately six throughout twenty levels(page 274 from DMG). Thus, the CR 20 monster can gain an advantage of +2 when swinging at 20th level PCs compared to a CR 1 monster that is turning at a PC of the 1st level. It’s a bit odd since the monsters of CR 20 benefit from a +7 AC advantage over a beast with CR 1, and PCs are more likely to come across an additional three weapons during the same period (page 133 ) of the DMG’s standard treasure) as well as increase stats by +2 modifier + get an extra four proficiency points for an overall gain of 9.

i.e. between levels 1-20, you can anticipate that Monsters and PCs will be hit more often, with a cumulative of 2.

The Base AC is precisely that which your AC calculation method is. Base AC is not a legally defined term for me, but it is your AC’s more minor time portion. The current or total AC equals AC base AC + temp/situational bonuses/penalties (like the ones you get by The Shield spell).

There is no need to add your dex mod two times when you use Mage Armor.

It is only necessary (sometimes) to add the DEX in your AC due to the calculation method for AC while wearing Armor specifically requires it.

From Basic Rules pg 9, Under the Armor Class:

In the absence of Armor or shield, the AC of your character is ten times his Dexterity modifier. If your character is wearing an Armor, carries the shield or both, you can calculate your AC based on the rules of chapter 5.

Particular spells and features offer a different way to determine your Base AC.

Chapter 5 of pg 43 Equipment

Classification of Armor Class (AC) Armor is designed to protect its wearer from harm. Its Armor (and the shield) you put on determines your Armor Class.

Every kind of Armor (light medium heavy) is followed by a section explaining how and when your Dex mod can be included.

In the Light Armor section on pg 43:

If you’re wearing light armor, add to your Dexterity modification to your base number of the type of Armor you wear to determine your class of Armor.

How can you increase your Armor Class?

Armor is among the most popular ways to increase the class of Armor in 5e. The ability of a character to wear Armor directly connects directly to the class that they choose. Still, their skill scores and feats they perform are also considered.

The following table provides a list that lists the different kinds of non-magical armors that can be found in D&D 5e. If you consider wearing the type of Armor you prefer, be sure that your class has the ability in it. You also satisfy any other requirements like an STR minimum requirement to wear Heavy Armor and only wear non-metal Armor to Druids.

Type Armor Armor Class (AC) Cost Strength Stealth Weight
Light Armor Padded 11 + Dex modifier 5 gp Disadvantage 8 lb.
Light Armor Leather 11 + Dex modifier 10 gp 10 lb.
Light Armor Studded leather 12 + Dex modifier 45 gp 13 lb.
Medium Armor Hide 12 + Dex modifier (max 2) 10 gp 12 lb.
Medium Armor Chain shirt 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) 50 gp 20 lb.
Medium Armor Scale mail 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 50 gp Disadvantage 45 lb.
Medium Armor Breastplate 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 400 gp 20 lb.
Medium Armor Half plate 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) 750 gp Disadvantage 40 lb.
Medium Armor Heavy Armor
Medium Armor Ring mail 14 30 gp Disadvantage 40 lb.
Medium Armor Chain mail 16 75 gp Str 13 Disadvantage 55 lb.
Medium Armor Splint 17 200 gp Str 15 Disadvantage 60 lb.
Medium Armor Plate 18 1,500 gp Str 15 Disadvantage 65 lb.
Shield Shield 2 10 gp 6 lb.

Below are some of the things that directly or indirectly affect AC:

  • Defensive Duelist: You can apply your reaction to boost the bonus for proficiency to your AC
  • Dragon Hide Dragon Hide’s Your base AC will be 13 plus your Dexterity modifier.
  • Highly Armored – Improve your skill using heavy Armor
  • Lightly Armoured – Increase your proficiency by using light Armor
  • Medium Armor Master 3 points instead of 2 on your AC when you have a Dexterity of 16 or greater
  • Moderately Armored – Develop proficiency in middle armors and shields
  • Shield Master: You can include the shield’s AC bonus to any Dexterity saving roll you make to counter any spell or harmful effects that only target you


Due to how this D&D five-element system works, several spells provide advantages or disadvantages to attacks and resistances to particular damage kinds. There are many spells that aid in the increase of AC. While none of them is permanent, some are more effective than others.

  • Barkskin: 1-hour duration AC cannot be lower than 16
  • Ceremony (Wedding) Duration: 7 days duration + 2 AC, while both creatures are within 30 feet of one another.
  • Haste: 1-minute duration – +2 to AC and other effects
  • Mage Armor 8-hour duration – Base AC is 13. + Dexterity Modifier
  • True Polymorph: 1 Hour duration – Creature alters its AC to the character is transformed into
  • Shield of Faith: 10 minutes duration. +2 to AC
  • The Otherworldly Guide of Tasha: 1-minute duration, +2 AC as well as other effects
  • Warding Bond: 1 Hour duration + AC and other effects


“Your Base AC”  in 5e dndand “Your AC” mean the same thing.

Typically, your Base AC will refer to what you’re using before adding any mods. Such as Dexterity or Dexterity, which is the way it is defined in the section on equipment, but that’s not the meaning of Mage Armor. 

Suppose you’re looking at the unarmed defense, which makes you “armor class” to 10 + dex+ con or Draconic Resilience. You have an AC that is 13 + Dex even when not wearing Armor and Mage Armor which sets your Base AC at 13+ Dex. It’s all doing the identical thing.

It’s feasible there is a chance that “Base AC” is a mistake on Mage Armor, but we will not likely find any errors on this issue if it causes problems in a lot of games. People genuinely think it’s a mistake. Mage Armor is supposed to provide you with an AC equivalent to the sum of 13 + Dex plus Dex. If one were to counter this, there is no way to prove it. You can argue some rules govern Armor Class say that without Armor: (Page 14 of the Player’s Handbook)

Your character’s AC is ten times the modifier for Dexterity. You’ll notice it doesn’t say “Base AC 5e.” Hope you know how to calculate it now.

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