A creature you touch regains a number of hit points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
School: 1st-level evocation

Player’s Handbook, pg. 230

Cure Wounds 5e

Cure Wounds is the classic healing spell that every fantasy universe has in one form or another. In DnD 5e, Cure Wounds behaves exactly as you’d expect, but it’s available to a whole lot more classes than you might guess at first.

Who Can Cast Cure Wounds in 5e?

The following classes have Cure Wounds on their spell list:

The following subclasses get Cure Wounds for free:

  • Cleric (Life Domain)

  • Sorcerer (Divine Soul – Good Affinity) (XGtE 50)

  • Warlock (The Celestial) (XGtE 54)

  • Druid (Circle of Wildfire) (TCoE 40)

What Does Cure Wounds Do in 5e?

Cure Wounds is a straightforward, 1st-level healing spell. It heals 1d8 + spellcasting modifier hit points to a creature you touch, which gives it the highest heal potential of any 1st-level spell.

What Are the Rules for Cure Wounds in 5e?

The rules for Cure Wounds in DnD 5e are as follows:

  • You can heal yourself with Cure Wounds. Some players are unsure if touch spells can be used on the caster — they can, so long as you can touch yourself (PHB 202).

    For example, if you’re restrained to a wall with manacles, you would not be able to heal yourself with Cure Wounds.

  • Cure Wounds does not repair dismemberment. If you lose a limb on one of your adventures, Cure Wounds will not fix it. You’ll need the Regenerate spell for that.

  • Cure Wounds does not damage undead. While Cure Wounds does not work on undead (or constructs), that doesn’t mean it hurts them.

    However, if you want to modify the spell to be some sort of Zombie stich-up torture trick, talk to your DM about your options.

  • You only add your spellcasting modifier once. If you upcast Cure Wounds, you can roll multiple d8. However, you cannot add your spellcasting modifier to each roll; you only add it once, after adding up each d8 roll.

dnd 5e cure wounds

How Do I Use Cure Wounds in 5e?

Cure Wounds is a straightforward healing spell, but there are some ways to optimize your use of it:

  1. Battle healing. Since Cure Wounds requires you to touch the target creature, it fits best on healers who don’t mind being in the thick of things. If you’re afraid of getting hit, Cure Wounds isn’t the first-level healing spell for you.

    Tanky classes like Paladins can also use Cure Wounds to self-sustain if an attack gets past their high AC.

  2. Stopping bloodstains. Being tracked on account of bloodstains your group’s Rogue is leaving behind? Stich those cuts right up with Cure Wounds! The DM can’t stop you — the curing wounds part is kind of in the name. 🙂

  3. Downtime moneymaker. The game’s rules clearly state that casting spells like Cure Wounds and Identify are commonly offered as spellcasting services (PHB 159).

    The immediate implication is that players have the option to pay for necessary spells that their party composition lacks.

    But this also opens up opportunities to sell your wound curing services while you’re just chilling in town. The Player’s Handbook indicates that spells like this typically cost between 10 and 50 gp — not too shabby for a downtime activity!

  4. Bringing someone back from the brink. If a party member is unconscious and making death saving throws, a healing spell can end all that anxiety real quick.

    Cure Wounds is one of the least effective for this purpose, because of its limited range, but it still works in a pinch.

Who Can I Target With Cure Wounds 5e?

You can target anyone you can touch with Cure Wounds, including yourself. While you can target undead or constructs with Cure Wounds, it won’t have any effect.

Is Cure Wounds 5e a Good Spell?

No, Cure Wounds is not a good spell. At early levels, it may seem attractive to be able to heal 50-100% of a player’s health pool with a single spell cast. The problem is that the foes you’re meeting during these levels also do that much damage in a typical round.

Cure Wounds is also heavily limited by its touch range and poor action economy (compared to Healing Word, discussed below).

On the pure numbers side, Cure Wounds is fairly powerful. 1d8 has an average result of 4.5, and a typical 1st-level spellcaster has a spellcasting modifier of +3. That leaves us with an average heal of 7.5, going up by 4.5 for each spell slot level above the first.

Cure Wounds 5e Compared to Healing Word

If you’re a Bard, Cleric, or Druid, you’ll have the choice between Cure Wounds and Healing Word — Healing Word is the better option. It has a 60-foot range, allowing you more freedom of movement in combat.

Plus, it only costs a bonus action, freeing you up to attack, cast a cantrip, or use another action.

Less importantly, Healing Word only has a verbal component, so you can use it even if your hands are bound.

The only downside to Healing Word is that it heals slightly less health. Healing Word heals for 1d4 + spellcasting modifier (average of 5.5 at 1st level). That’s only 2 less than Cure Wounds.

Healing Word scales worse than Cure Wounds when upcasting, but that actually doesn’t matter. The main function of low-level healing spells in the late game is saving an unconscious ally from making death saves.

Raw numbers don’t matter much for that purpose — even 1 hit point is enough to get a player back on their feet.

Cure Wounds 5e DM Tips

The only tip a DM might need for Cure Wounds relates to players who want to buy or sell it as a spellcasting service.

If your players want to sell Cure Wounds as a spellcasting service, consider how much locals would pay. Perhaps the rich quarter of a small town would have sufficient funds and find healing spells sufficiently rare enough to pay 50 gold for it.

But country folk without much liquid wealth might instead offer up some food or a family trinket in return for the service.

If your players want to buy Cure Wounds…tell them there are better ways to restore hit points while in town.

Simple Cure Wounds 5e Spell Text

Cure Wounds: (1st-level, touch, V/S) Target gains 1d8 + spellcasting modifier hit points. No effect on undead or constructs. | +1d8 for each level above first.