This doesn't appear to be covered by the rules, and there's not much more to this question other than the basic movement mechanics.

For your answers, consider the possible movements a character can be undergoing. For instance, if you can cast while falling, could you cast while jogging?


2 Answers 2


From a roleplay perspective, yes, you can be moving while casting.

From a mechanics and rules perspective, no, you are generally not considered to be in motion during the casting, because the casting a spell in combat is usually an Action, and an Action represents an instantaneous thing. For spells with longer casting times, the rules do not mention whether you can be in motion during that time; they do say (Player's Handbook p202) that your target has to be in range, but that's all.

This means that:

  • a spell with a casting time of 1 action or 1 bonus action happens in an instant
  • a spell with a longer casting time takes place at the instant of the last action used to cast it. For example, a 1 minute casting time is 10 rounds; the player would have to spend their action each turn for 10 turns to cast it in combat, and the effect would happen when they take the 10th action.


The different things you can do in a turn are not necessarily separate things; they are simply a way to represent how much you can get done in a short, roughly 6-second long interval.

Imagine a character with a 30ft speed, taking the following turn:

  • move 10ft
  • take an Action to Cast A Spell
  • move 20ft

That doesn't have to mean you walk 10ft, stand still, cast, and then walk again. All it means is that you move 30ft during that 6-second time, and that your spell happens after about 10ft of movement. You could be running, and choosing to cast at the best point during that run.

(It's worth noting that you don't necessarily stop moving at the end of your turn, either; if you move 30ft on this turn, then a goblin has their turn and shoots you with a crossbow, and you move 30ft on your next turn, it could be that you just ran 60ft, but got shot halfway.)

The only relevant restriction on casting a spell is that your target has to be in range while you cast it. If, as a result of your movement, you are in range at some points and out of range at other points, you have to take the Action to cast at a point where you're in range. There are no restrictions on whether you spend movement before or after that, or on saying for the sake of roleplay that you're in motion while casting - just that from a rules perspective, the spell happened while you were in a certain place.

If the spell has a casting time of 1 action or 1 bonus action, this means you could move however you like during your turn, and take your action to cast at a point when your target is range.

If a spell has a longer casting time, whether or not the target has to be in range for the whole time is a question for your DM - the section on a spell's range on page 202 of the Player's Handbook is unclear - but in general I'd say that it has to be in range the whole time. For example, to cast hallow, you'd have to remain touching the point you're targeting for the whole time, so you couldn't move around.

If a spell is affected by movement, it would say so. For example, feather fall says you can cast the spell when you "begin falling", which means you are moving (downward) while casting. If a spell requires you to stay still while casting it would say so. It would be strange if you couldn't cast while on a ship, for example, or riding a horse - and the rules certainly don't say that this is the case.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why must an action be an instantaneous thing? You can split up an Attack action, so why does that not apply to spells? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 21:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because a special exemption is only made for moving between attacks, not moving between parts of a spell. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 21:15

No, you cannot move while casting a spell (under a strict mechanical interpretation of the question).

The following ruling from Jeremy Crawford is relevant for clarification (see this tweet).

You can move before/after casting a spell on your turn, speed permitting. The casting isn't part of the move.

Although you can cast a spell during a turn in which you break up your movement before and after casting, you cannot move during the act of casting of a spell. So, no, you cannot cast while moving, such that "moving" refers to the game mechanic whereby you use your speed to move some distance.

Jogging is an active form of movement. It would require your character to use their speed to move. So, if on their turn they use their move to jog, they can cast by breaking up that movement before and after the casting, but they cannot jog any distance during the casting of the spell.

Falling is essentially a passive or consequential form of movement. You could cast a spell while falling because falling does not use your speed to move. However, you would not actually fall any distance during the casting. You would cast the spell at some point during the ongoing fall.

To avoid ambiguity, let the following suffice: You cannot travel any distance during the casting of a spell, but you can break up your movement before and after casting a spell. This answers your question mechanically. It does not account for the action economy abstraction which is detailed well in anaximander's answer.

Please note the following edge cases.

  1. Specific overrides general, so if there is a spell that includes movement as part of casting the spell, this answer does not apply to that spell.

  2. Spells with a longer casting time than 1 action require you to spend your action on each turn casting the spell until the casting time has elapsed. The answer still applies as written to each individual casting action. Therefore, you can move between the casting action on one turn and the casting action on the next turn, and on any one turn you can move before and/or after the casting action, but you can't move during one of the individual casting actions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Mechanically, your answer is sound. However, I find it lacks the notion of the action economy as an abstraction. Turns and actions and such things are all abstractions of the events that are occurring, as explained rather well in anaximander's answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Feb 20, 2017 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adam Agreed on all counts, but my impression of the question was one of mechanics, so I answered it mechanically. I assume that a "can" question is about rules mechanics, not abstraction, since the latter would be foregone. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's reasonable. I upvoted both answers because of their merits. I just felt that it was worth pointing out what would've made this answer more complete :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Feb 20, 2017 at 18:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ This does not address casting spells with longer casting times. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 20:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bloodcinder What does "the same" mean? If you mean that you cannot move between the first action spent casting a spell and the last action spent on that same spell, it would be nice if you could clarify that in the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tin Wizard
    Feb 20, 2017 at 22:21

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