How is 5e Challenge Rating Calculated?

How is 5e Challenge Rating Calculated?

How is 5e Challenge Rating Calculated?

Challenge rating is a very effective method of making the most primary 5e campaigns balanced and determining whether an encounter is difficult. This article will discuss how the 5e challenge rating is calculated.

What Is Challenge Rating In D&D 5e?

The Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, CR, and Challenge Rating is a numerical system used to determine a party of the four players, challenging to defeat a whole enemy.

Challenge Rating ranges from 0 to 30 and includes ⅛, ¼, and ½ ratings. CR is a fundamental way of calculating the battle difficulty. It should always be used as a very good baseline to build on.

Challenge Rating is often just an overly simplified system, so it should not be treated as a be-all-end-all determination of whether or not the fight needs to be scaled up or down. Improperly balanced parties, for some instance, one with no actual healing spells, may not stand up to an enemy with just a lot of long-term damage capabilities. Conversely, an enemy with such high burst damage will ravage a team of squishy players.

How does Challenge Rating Work?

Although the challenge rating ranks enemy NPCs and the monsters by the threat level, it is not equivalent to the character level. If a brown bear fought a 1st level wizard, it would be a fair fight. That wizard would quickly become a bear. 

It would seem that the CR is then equal for the four times the character level. However, it will quickly becomes more complicated when considering multiple monsters, player abilities, party composition, and many special abilities.

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Using Challenge Rating and XP 

Every challenge has its rating from 1 to 30 has a designated amount of experience points. This XP is awarded to the players who defeat the given monster. Some of the creatures pose such a low threat that they are designated CR o. Those with any attack are worth 10XP, and those without an attack are worth 0 XP. A creature’s CR is to determine its proficiency bonus.

The first time you will be able to look through the Monster Manual, you might think that a monster has a +11 to hit because it is a heartless monster. That may be true, but that +11 will still come from the creature’s ability score–for Example, strength for a melee attack– and their proficiency bonus. This is the same as how the players determine their attack bonuses. 

How To Calculate Challenge Rating 5e 

First and foremost, the Challenge Rating is instantly included in the monsters of all the Monster Manual, Tome of Foes, or any of the other manuals your party is using. IF you have chosen the prebuilt monsters and hazards, each of these will have a substantial number. 

After that, you can always determine the Challenge Rating of an encounter by the XP values that the monsters provided. This will fall under four categories–easy, Medium, Hard Deadly–that are recommended for the party of the face. Remember that anything below is easy and is beyond death is not recommended by a party to play. 

The danger categorized by the setbacks, dangerous, and deadly is checked to determine the Hazard CR. Besides this, the Character level with the four ranges of 4-6 levels is included. Setbacks are tropical traps. 

Dangerous traps are when you do choose to knock the Barbarian unconscious. Meanwhile, Deadly traps are almost ensured to affect the most instant Death rules. But, of course, your GM would only be using these setbacks and dangerous traps, which is for generic dungeoneering. 

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Note that the most deadly traps should be used for the most dangerous situations where you should listen to the DM.

Players Calculating Challenge Rating

Generally, it is tough for the players to calculate the Cr while in a duel. However, if you are combating a single monster and it does look like it’s an imposing threat, then it’s a sign that the Cr is equal to your level.

Suppose the monster is consistently throwing the spells and knocking you unconscious. In that case, they have a CR that is almost double your level. Meanwhile, Trap CR only requires the DMG to obtain the specific ranges of the effects to calculate. 

Aiding GMs for Challenge Ratings

It is advised that if you are a GM, you should not calculate CR by yourself but use a website to do so. If you want to calculate it yourself, use the DMG’s table to calculate how much XP an encounter will have for the Easy, Medium, and challenging encounters. The standard to obtain is three mediums and two herbs per day or four mediums and one deadly. 

Discover Ancient Treasures 

The party is tired, hurting, and just in need of shelter when they discover very ancient stone crypto, mysterious. The dusty tomb could hold immense treasure, danger, or both- depending on how they approach it. 

Perhaps they will foolishly wander into this setting-agnostic, densely-written classic dungeon, providing plenty of unique choices and twists on old favorites. 

Determine XP Thresholds

A PC’s XP threshold is the minimum XP worth of the enemies it can take on for a given encounter difficulty. For Example, a 3rd character’s XP threshold for just a medium encounter is 150 XP. This means that anything between 15 XP and the subsequent difficult threshold, 225 XP, will be in the very medium difficulty category. As soon as it will reaches 225 XP, it is categorized as hard. 

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Determine The Party’s XP Threshold 

After determining the party members’ threshold, add them together to determine the told XP threshold for each of the encounter difficulty. For Example, three 2nd level characters would need a total XP of 450 for a much more difficult battle. The 450 XP can be just from one creature, like an Azer, or spread across several enemies, but with more enemies, more problems. 


Calculating the CR is the 5e’s method of knowing how much a character can handle. The GM mostly does the calculation. This article has discussed how you can calculate the 5e challenge rating. We recommend you do some research to get the best results.