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Best D&D Books for Beginners

Looking to start playing D&D? These books are amazing resources for new and experienced players!

Dungeons & Dragons might seem complicated when you start out. Luckily, there are countless resources available to help you navigate this ultimate adventuring experience. Whether you’re new or just looking to expand your knowledge of the game, here are the best D&D books for beginners.

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Dungeons & Dragons: Best Books for Beginners

With so many books, it’s tough to know how to get started with D&D, and it might seem intimidating. However, these five books give you a solid foundation and all the information you need to create your first character. From there, you open a world of endless possibilities and hours spent adventuring with friends.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Similar to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (discussed below), Xanathar’s Guide to Everything adds a ton of content. You get 25 subclasses, new spells, new feats, randomized backstories, and tools to help your dungeon master revitalize content like downtime, traps, and magic items. I’m more biased toward Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything as somebody who tends to play magic characters. But Xanathar’s Guide is also full of so much additional content that it’s worth considering it a great choice for new players.

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

If you want to play a spellcaster, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is a must-have book for you. It adds subclasses, group patrons, extra character options, more spells, artifacts, magic tattoos, and even more rule options that cover topics like sidekicks and natural hazards. There’s so much extra flavor added for all things magic with this book. However, the extra subclasses aren’t limited to magic classes! There’s something for everybody here.

Monster Manual

The Monster Manual is generally used by dungeon masters, but it never hurts to have information about the world you’ll be adventuring in. You get access to all the classic D&D monsters, like mind flayers, dragons, and everything in between. Additionally, you find statistics and stories about the monsters, giving you a better understanding of the threats that you and your party might face.

Dungeon Master’s Guide

Even if you aren’t planning on being a dungeon master, the Dungeon Master’s Guide includes a ton of information about the rules of the game. Plus, this book is often called the Core Rulebook, and for good reason. Aside from standard rules, you get information about topics like magic items and optional rules. It’s a necessity for every D&D group!

Player’s Handbook

Player’s Handbook is a must-have for both new and experienced D&D players. If you had to pick a single book to start with, this is the one you should grab. Player’s Handbook includes everything you need to create your first character and get started in a campaign. While it doesn’t have all the options for characters that have been added in later books, it can be easier to start off with fewer options since it gets overwhelming.

And those are the best D&D books for beginners. Gathering a full collection of books gets expensive quickly, especially if you’re new to the game and haven’t been buying them as they’re released over time. Luckily, you don’t need all of them to get started.

For more content like this, check out our D&D guide hub as we work to add more topics!

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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.