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?


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.

  • 2
    \$\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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