[Top 5] D&D Best Animal Companions

Various animal companion minis.
So many companions, so little time (and gold).

Interested in including an animal friend in your campaign? Read on to see what your best options are!

A fun feature of playing a Beast Master Ranger, a Warlock, a Wizard, or a Druid is the option to have an animal companion or familiar. Who hasn’t wanted to have a cute little Owl or a terrifying Giant Crab as their partner in D&D crime? If you’re torn between two companions or unsure even what those options are, read on to discover the top 5 D&D animal companions. 


5. Mastiff

An armored doggo ready for battle!

Dogs are a man’s (or a teifling’s or a gnome’s, etc.) best friend both in reality and in the world of D&D. If you want a companion that can help with tracking and evaluating the terrain, a Mastiff is a great choice. 

What Makes a Mastiff Great?:

  • Mastiffs have high Perception skills, meaning if your character isn’t very perceptive their companion can help. 
  • Because Mastiffs have amazing smell and hearing, they get an advantage on Perception checks that rely on hearing or smell. Nothing escapes your trusty companion!
  • Because your Mastiff is so large, they can knock your enemies prone! Players get an advantage on non-ranged attacks towards prone enemies, so your companion can help you whale on your foes. 
  • Mastiffs are adorable. I mean, come on! Look at that face! If you want a companion that is both sweet and intimidating, a Mastiff checks all the boxes. 
  • A small character such as a gnome can ride a Mastiff as a mount! 

Mastiff full details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/mastiff

4. Wolf

Sometimes your companion gets into things when you're not around...best not to ask questions. 

Wolves are the classic animal companion in fantasy, and they’re classic for a reason! Dogs are great, but sometimes you want a dog x2. Wolves are just that!

What Makes a Wolf Great?: 

  • Wolves, much like dogs, are loyal AF. This is shown through your Wolf’s Pack Tactics feature. If you or your party members are within melee range of a foe, your Wolf gets an advantage on the attack roll. 
  • Like a lot of companions in this list, your Wolf can knock your enemies prone for you. Good boy, Wolfie!
  • Much like a regular dog, a Wolf has fantastic hearing and smell. Your Wolf gets an advantage on Perception checks that involve hearing or smell!
  • Wolves have this stoic, strong aura that perfectly fits with a more stoic character. Or, get you a companion that contrasts your character's bubbly-ness!
  • A Wolf runs pretty fast--this companion has an above-average speed of 40ft! Perfect for chase sequences. 

Wolf full details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/wolf

3. Pteranodon

You gotta admit that this looks sick as hell. 

Who doesn’t want a dinosaur as a pet? You can live that dream within D&D with a Pteranodon as your animal companion!

What Makes a Pteranodon Great?: 

  • Once again, this companion can serve as a mount to smaller characters like gnomes-- but Pteranodons can FLY. 
  • The Pteranodon is too quick for its enemies to catch! Your Pteranodon won't provoke an attack of opportunity when leaving melee range with a foe. 
  • Just imagine all the unique, funny, and badass role-play opportunities you get with having a literal dinosaur as your faithful companion!
  • This companion is pretty hearty even at first level; most beasts its size have around 10 hit points, whereas the Pteranodon can have up to 24 (3d8).  
  • Pteranodons are dexterous and will be able to keep up with more acrobatic characters. 

Pteranodon full details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/pteranodon

2. Giant Wolf Spider

Just looking at this picture gives me the heebie jeebies. 

If you want a companion who is scary while also being stealthy, the Giant Wolf Spider is for you! 

What Makes the Giant Wolf Spider Great?:

  • This companion is big enough to serve as a mount for smaller characters, such as gnomes or halflings!
  • Perfect for scouting and reconnaissance; Giant Wolf Spiders are skilled in Stealth and are a great help to a sneakier character. 
  • You shouldn’t discount a Giant Wolf Spider in battle! Their bite attack does 1d6+1 piercing damage, and if their victim doesn’t make a DC 11 Constitution saving roll, they also do 2d6 poison damage.
  • This companion has both Blindsight and Darkvision, meaning that they can get around no matter how dark their surroundings may be. 
  • Just like smaller spiders, this companion can climb easily on vertical surfaces or even ceilings! 

Giant Wolf Spider full details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/giant-wolf-spider

1. Panther

I know it's a panther, but a part of me says "Awwww, a kitty!". 

Panthers are intimidating and edgy, perfect for a character that loves to wear all black and wants a companion to match. But inside, all Panthers are house cats who love attention. Panthers are the perfect companion for a character with a hard outer shell and a gooey inside. 

What Makes a Panther Great?: 

  • Panthers can help track things by smell! Your Panther gets an advantage on any Perception checks involving smell. 
  • Your Panther has a Pounce ability that allows it to knock your enemies prone. This allows your companion to deal a lot of damage and helps your character to mow down foes faster. 
  • Due to their soft cat feet, your Panther is extremely Stealthy. This makes it easy for your companion to get the jump on your opponents while you distract them from the front!
  • Your companion has two different attack abilities--bite and claw. Both do a decent amount of piercing or slashing damage!
  • A Panther companion allows for a multitude of role-playing possibilities. Who wouldn’t look more intimidating, rich, and/or a little nuts with a Panther by their side? 

Panther full details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/panther

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