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Many spells have "At higher levels" that provides for more targets or more damage.

For example Magic Missile can be cast as a second level spell and shoot 4 missiles instead of it's 3 as a first level spell.

Can a spell without that verbiage, such as Firestorm be cast in higher level slots for the same effect as the lower level spell?

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Yes, you can cast any spell of 1st level or higher using a higher-level spell slot.

The Spellcasting feature for every class that has it, such as the cleric or the wizard, includes the following sentence:

To cast [one of your class’s spells of 1st level or higher], you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher.

This is expanded upon in the description of "Spell Slots":

When a character casts a spell, he or she expends a slot of that spell's level or higher, effectively "filling" a slot with the spell. You can think of a spell slot as a groove of a certain size--small for a 1st-level slot, larger for a spell of higher level. A 1st-level spell fits into a slot of any size, but a 9th-level spell fits only in a 9th-level slot.

Only some spells specify an increased effect from using a higher slot. All others have the same effect regardless of which level slot they are cast in.

However, any spell of 1st level or higher can be cast using a spell slot of a higher level, regardless of whether it has any greater effect when you do so.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would also be an onerous restriction on Warlocks to no longer be able to cast lower-level spells when they attained a higher level, since their spells are always cast at the highest level possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Apr 30 at 6:25

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