If I cast levitate on a creature, then stop concentrating on the spell while the creature is in the air, the creature would slowly float down to the ground, according to the spell description.

Say I cast levitate on another creature. Do I control their height as if I had cast it on myself?
Secondly, if I do control the creature's height vertically, can I control the speed at which the creature moves up and down?


2 Answers 2


The spell description includes the following:

You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on your turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.

So you can change the altitude of the creature affected by the spell by 20 feet each turn as long as they don't move outside of the range of the spell in the process. This is slightly different from changing your own altitude if you were the target of the spell since you are always going to be within range of yourself.

You could move them a lot higher than 60 feet off of the ground if you were able to fly or have some other means of increasing your own elevation.

Speed is not mentioned as part of the spell description. However, given that the target floats safely down to the ground when the spell ends, it can be assumed that you can't ram the target into the ceiling or floor using this spell. If you are trying to move the target fast enough to avoid something then the rules on how movement works tend to assume that all movement happens within your turn and that nothing else is moving at the same time (unless they use a reaction).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Speed is mentioned in the description. 20ft per turn is the speed. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Apr 30, 2021 at 8:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor That isn't really a speed so much as a total distance the spell can move a target. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30, 2021 at 23:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe it's the same, because turns is an abstraction, they don't exist in the game world. One turn represents ~6 seconds and the target can be moved by 20 ft within this time interval. This gives us total speed of 3⅓ feet (~1 meter) per second, or 2.275 mph. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    May 1, 2021 at 10:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Well, this is where things start to get complicated due to how initiative/turns/rounds work. One turn isn't 6 second, one round is. All turns are happening within the same 6 seconds, but they all get resolved in initiative order. If person 1 in initiative order moved an obstacle, to allow the party to pass, using levitate then the obstacle is immediately out of the way. It doesn't drift out of the way over the entire turn. If the last person in initiative did that, the next turn would start before anyone could move under the obstacle. \$\endgroup\$ May 3, 2021 at 11:35

This is what the spell description say about Levitate ending

When the spell ends, the target floats gently to the ground if it is still aloft.

This would imply that no matter the height, the target would just fall to the ground and take no damage. This could be intended to work similarly to Feather Fall.

Otherwise, if the spell is still active

You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on your turn.

Since one turn is ~6 seconds, and the duration for the spell is "Up to 10 minutes", if you maintain concentration for 10 minutes, you could move your target 2,000 feet up. Given the limitations of the spell, you should at max be able to move a creature 200 ft per minute, regardless of direction.

However, do note that the spell description states that

you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.

This means that you would need to follow your target somehow, possibly with a flying speed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note, the spell states: "Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell's range." \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30, 2021 at 1:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, at most you could move someone 60 feet then \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30, 2021 at 1:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can't. "Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target" is about expending an action when moving target which is other than you. The speed is still 20ft per turn. See Can you move a levitating target 120 feet in a single action? @Medix2 \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Apr 30, 2021 at 8:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Apr 30, 2021 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since you acknowledge that the spell maxes at 60 ft, you should probably edit your last paragraph. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    May 7, 2021 at 1:15

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