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Locate Object 5e D&D Guide

Locate Object 5e D&D Guide

Locate Object is a 2nd-level detection spell available on the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, and Wizard spell lists.

Locate Object was cast, the air glittered, and a route formed in the spellcaster’s subconscious, pointing the way to their objective.

They set out on their adventure, following the path until they arrived at the location marked by a luminous symbol.

They reached down, scooped the object from its hiding place, and felt a rush of power as they claimed it as their own.

The Player’s Handbook says the following:

Locate Object 5e

2nd-level Divination

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: Self

Components: V, S, M (a forked twig)

Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Name or describe an item you are familiar with. As long as the object is within 1,000 feet of you, you can perceive the direction in which it is located.

If the object is moving, you are aware of its direction of motion.

If you have seen the object at least once up close (within 30 feet), you can use the spell to find it.

As an alternative, the spell can find the closest instance of a specific type of object, such as a particular article of clothing, piece of jewelry, piece of furniture, tool, or weapon.

Note: If any thickness of lead, even a narrow sheet, blocks a direct path between you and the object, this spell will not be able to find it.

When Can Classes Pick Locate Object?

Traditional classes, like the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, and Wizard, can freely unlock Locate Object.

The Bard, Cleric, Druid, and Wizard can unlock and use Locate Object at level 3, while the Paladin and Ranger can only unlock it at level 5.

No subclasses can freely unlock Locate Object.

Is Locate Object Good in 5e?

Locate Object isn’t half bad at tracking specific items, provided it is within range and not hidden behind a piece of lead or similar barrier.

It can be beneficial for adventurers seeking items or tracking a particular creature with an object in its possession.

Advantages – Locate Object

Object Detection

Even though Locate Object is a 2nd-level spell, it can detect any object (as long as you have seen it once before or it’s familiar to you).

Because of the relatively low cost, using Locate Object to find a rare item you misplaced or that was stolen is a fitting way to use the spell.

Lengthy Duration

Locate Object can last up to 10 minutes if its Concentration is kept up.

To put that into perspective, a regular round averages 6 seconds and lasts 10 minutes. So it has the potential to stay active for 100 rounds.

Disadvantages – Locate Object

Concentration Spell

Locate Object is a concentration spell that requires careful management and may not always be the best choice, especially in combat.

While this spell is active, you can’t cast another Concentration spell. If you do, it will cancel the spell, and its effects will stop.

Remember, you’ll also be limited to the spells you can cast.

Limited Range

Locate Object having a range of self isn’t a problem, but its affected area only being 1000 feet is.

If an object or item you are looking for isn’t within 1000 feet, there is no way to find it.

A campaign map is thousands of miles, meaning you will be looking for a long time.

Note: This drawback depends on the DM, as giving Locate Object too much range is overpowered, but keeping it vanilla could cause it to be underpowered.

Spells Similar To Locate Object 5e

Similar spells to Locate Object are, Detect Magic, Find the Path, Clairvoyance, and Divination.

When or How Should I Use Locate Object?

Search for Lost Objects

Losing valuable or rare objects in D&D can be heart-breaking, and you’ll want to get them back as soon as possible.


You must first be familiar with your object and be able to describe it. When you cast Lost Objects, you’ll need to concentrate on finding the object, or else the spell will be unsuccessful.

If the object is within range (1000 feet), the spell will give you a general direction of where you can find the object.

Only after knowing that the spell is within range and can be tracked can you start to look for your lost object.

Note: Tracking or locating an object like this is difficult if it isn’t immediately cast. Remember that stolen items travel extremely fast, especially if they’re valuable!

Tactical Situations

Locate Object isn’t completely useless in combat situations, as it can come in handy when looking for specific objects.

Effectively Use Locate Object

You can use Locate Object in three distinct ways while on a quest:

  1. You can locate the location of a quest item given to you (with a description) by the quest provider.
  2. If you want to find out if there’s some hidden treasure, simply try locating it (only if you found an indication of treasure or the DM allows you to use it in this way).
  3. When an enemy steals an object of value, you can immediately use Locate Object. You can retrieve your stolen item if the battle is over and your party isn’t preoccupied.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Locate Object Identify Magical Objects?

Yes, the Description of Locate Object doesn’t state if the items being searched for have to be magical or non-magical.

It just relates to the items being in range, nothing more.

Can Locate Object Find Hidden or Concealed Items?

One of the most common ways players use Locate Object is to find hidden treasure or concealed items.

Even though the spell has to be tweaked, it makes for a good questline. So many DMs try and add some type of ‘treasure hunt’ if players pick Locate Object.

Final Thoughts

Locate Object isn’t a spell for everyone, but it can help everyone! Locate Object can be underpowered without change.

So try to find the middle ground with your DM and make the spell work.

It has the potential to be a great addition to any campaign, so give it a try and see if you like it. Just don’t lose your items on purpose.

There’s a chance you might not get them back!

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