Do Warforged (from Eberron) need to eat and drink to survive like Humans/elves/dwarves/etc.?

If not, what daily maintenance and sustenance do they require? How were Warforged maintained during the Wars?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You may also be interested in the answer to this closed question: What are the implications of the UA warforged's “Living Construct” trait? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20, 2020 at 4:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks, that's an interesting read. i tend to believe that means they must eat as "Living constructs" but i don't see anything specific. \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveED
    Jan 20, 2020 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ The living construct description that the answer quotes says that living constructs like the warforged "do not need to eat or breathe, but [they] can ingest food and drink if [they] wish." I'm not sure how to read that sentence the way your comment describes. Could the question be edited to explain your reading? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20, 2020 at 5:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ "if they wish" doesn't tell me if they MUST eat to survive, or if they have other things they can do which have the same effect as eating \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveED
    Jan 20, 2020 at 5:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the "do not need to eat or breathe" covers that the don't need food or drink to survive. \$\endgroup\$
    – RallozarX
    Jan 20, 2020 at 5:37

2 Answers 2


Warforged don’t need to eat or drink

As per the book Eberron: Rising From the Last War, the official fifth edition source for Eberron, Warforged have the Constructed Resilience trait, which confers several benefits including:

• You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe.

The description makes no mention of them requiring any other form of sustenance, and there’s no lore in the book indicating they require any either. I haven’t been able to find any in older sources, either.

In terms of maintenance, it’s worth noting that fifth edition Warforged are explicitly called out as being “living humanoids”, which means:

Resting, healing magic, and the Medicine skill all provide the same benefits to warforged that they do to other humanoids.

So there’s no special maintenance required.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much, I will get that book. I only have the Wayfarer's guide \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveED
    Jan 20, 2020 at 6:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveED worth noting that the D&D Beyond version of the Wayfarer’s Guide has been updated to use the official Warforged rules; I think they may have updated the DM’s Guild version too, if you have a look? So the Warforged rules should be identical in both. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20, 2020 at 6:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ they dont need to eat but can they eat? specifically can they use good berries \$\endgroup\$
    – Nullman
    Jan 20, 2020 at 13:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ yes, because "Resting, healing magic, and the Medicine skill all provide the same benefits to warforged that they do to other humanoids." And Goodberry is a transmutation spell that makes HEALING berries, therefore a warforged can benefit from eating a goodberry from the Goodberry spell. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20, 2020 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast thanks for catching that! It’s also true that they don’t need to sleep, which is why I made that mistake, but that’s not part of the question, so I’ll fix that up. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2020 at 14:08

Guybrush McKenzie’s answer explains the latest, current, official rules for warforged sustenance. But there was also a request for lore on this subject, so I think there is value in going back to the original descriptions of Eberron and the warforged, for the “3.5e revised edition” of D&D.

The original game rules for the warforged race included this section:

Warforged Racial Traits

  • Living Construct Subtype (Ex): [...]

    • A warforged does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, but he can still benefit from the effects of consumable spells and magic items such as heroes’ feast and potions.

    • Although living constructs do not need to sleep, a warforged wizard [or other spellcaster] must rest for 8 hours before preparing spells [or refreshing spell slots].

(Eberron Campaign Setting, pg. 23)

In addition to that, 3.5e had a great many Eberron supplements (where 5e has just Eberron: Rising from the Last War), giving space for more details like this:


Warforged need little to survive: not sleep, food, or even air to breathe. Warforged need only shelter from extremes of cold and heat, and to repair damage done to their bodies. [...] Yet warforged are thinking creatures, and as such they require activity to occupy their thoughts. [Followed by various descriptions of how warforged keep busy, including art and hobbies.]

(Races of Eberron, pg. 11)

Warforged Components


Tracker Mask (attached component): [...] the tracker mask grants its wearer the scent ability [like that of, e.g., a wolf] However, many warforged covet this item because it gives them the ability to smell all scents, not merely those of the a creature being tracked.

(Races of Eberron, p.g 176)

There are a lot more details like this; acquiring 3.5e supplements can really improve your Eberron game, as much of their content isn’t mechanical anyway, so the differences between the 3.5e rules and the 5e rules don’t matter. (The mechanical content, however, cannot be used as-is—3.5e and 5e are too different for that.)


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