I have a 5th level fighter with the Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style.

What is the number of attacks I can make?

I say 4 attacks, but others say 3 because they say the rule on page 72 states that I get (only) 1 extra attack.


2 Answers 2


3 attacks on your turn (if you don't use Action Surge).

(It could go up to five with Action Surge, though.)

The Two-Weapon Fighting rule states (PHB, page 195):

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative. If either weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.

The bonus action used as part of Two-Weapon Fighting is an attack, but it is not the Attack action.

When you are a 5th-level fighter and you take the Attack action, you can make two attacks. You can also use your bonus action to make an additional attack. Notably, you can only take one bonus action per turn, since the rules for bonus actions state:

You can take only one bonus action on your turn, so you must choose which bonus action to use when you have more than one available.

You only add your ability modifier to the damage of that bonus-action attack if you have the Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style (PHB, page 72):

When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Therefore, you are taking the Attack action (2 attacks) and then making an additional attack with your bonus action (1 attack), for a total of 3 attacks if you're using your action plus your bonus action. There's a clear difference between them.

Action Surge lets a 5th-level fighter attack up to 5 times in one turn, once per short rest.

The description of the Action Surge feature says (PHB, page 72):

Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but only once on the same turn.

Which means that if you use Action Surge, you would have 2 actions and 1 bonus action on your turn.

So with this, you can take your Attack action (2 attacks), then use Action Surge and take another Attack action (2 more attacks), and finally your Two-Weapon Fighting bonus action (one more attack), for a total of 5 attacks during your turn.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well explained but somehow I'm still unclear. From your explanation, WITHOUT using Action Surge a 5th level fighter with Two-Weapon Fighting has two attacks as per normal. With extra attack granted at 5th level, this would only be one extra attack (with one weapon, not two). Is this correct? The Action Surge would allow the player to make an additional action which could be an attack (2 attacks for Two-Weapon Fighter) or some other action like casting a spell etc.. Have I got that right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Fogcutter
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 18:57
  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ @Fogcutter Without using action surge, a 5th level fighter attacks 3 times as clearly explained. 2 attacks from your attack action and one attack from your bonus action. You are not granted one extra attack when you are 5th lvl. Your attack action, when you're 5th lvl, allows you to attack twice instead of once with one weapon. It doesn't matter if you have only one sword. Two-Weapon Fighting allows you to attack, using your bonus action, with your off-hand-weapon. Total of 3 attacks (Action + Bonus Action) Action Surge allows you to use Action+Action+Bonus Action (5 attacks) \$\endgroup\$
    – Davi Braid
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaviBraid, I am Also a little confused. Why would using Action Surge grant an additional BONUS action in addition to an additional Action? Shouldn't Action Surge only grant 4 attacks for the same reason that Second Attack can only grant 3? You have already used your Bonus Action for the round (In your initial Two-Weapon attack), and nothing about Action Surge implies that you get an additional Bonus Action. \$\endgroup\$
    – VarisBersk
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 11:25

Extra Attack, player's basic rules, page 25:

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Note that it specifically says 'whenever you take the Attack action'. Not whenever you attack.

From Two-Weapon Fighting, page 74:

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you're holding in your other hand.

This doesn't allow you to take the Attack action twice, it just gives you an extra (lowercase) attack.

So you take the Attack action, use your Extra Attack to attack twice, then use the bonus action attack from Two-Weapon Fighting to attack a third time.

  • 17
    \$\begingroup\$ Also worth noting that pretty much no matter what else happens the off hand attack still is a bonus action and you only ever get 1 of those. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 15:13
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If it did say "whenever you attack" instead of "whenever you take the Attack action", it would be an infinite, exponential loop. "I attacked, Extra Attack lets me attack twice. Two attacks means Extra Attack lets me attack four times. Four attacks means Extra Attack lets me attack eight times..." \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 20:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. it would be infinite, but not growing exponentially because no matter how many attacks you could perform in a row you can only ever make one attack at a time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 19:31

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