DnD 5E Backgrounds for Barbarian

There are ten different backgrounds are allocated for barbarians. Here are our list of backgrounds along with their explanation which lets you know the relation to these backgrounds with the barbarian. So if you’re creating your barbarian for your favorite 5e game and if you’d like to know which are work best for you then let’s get started with the top ten dnd 5e backgrounds for barbarian.

From these 5e backgrounds list almost any of the background in dungeons & dragons role playing game works in their own way. But there are a few more thematic options that you might want to consider. Such as

  1. Folk hero
  2. Outlander
  3. Sailor
  4. Soldier
  5. City Watch
  6. Faction Agent
  7. Far Traveler
  8. Mercenary Veteran
  9. Urban Bounty Hunter
  10. Uthgardt Tribe Member

So these are my dnd 5e best background for barbarian in 5th edition. So without any further ado let’s get started with each backgrounds relation with this barbarian.

Folk Hero

The folk hero background is one of the best and great for the Barbarians from their small towns with the big aspirations and of course this background is really a fun option.

Honestly saying! I like this background i hope you do as well. In any case it embodies all things in creating an unwitting, rising or even reluctant hero tropes. Usually, your character led an average life however something has been pushed them to the adventure. And of course this really works well for the barbarians.

Even though your character could have been had it some event happen triggers for an unearthly rage like a death of a loved one or an invading force. Or probably you do led a resistance against to an oppressive force with the use of herbs or even unlocking the untapped potential of your being.

And of course whatever the case is like, your character actually gained the reputation with a common folk. So, you would gain their favor and also they’ll help you with minor favors.

Now, the skill proficiencies that you get are the Animal Handling and Survival. Both the solid skills for barbarians since you must be used to roughing it in the wilderness. In any case….You’ll also gain a tool proficiency of your choice and in land vehicles…which makes sense if you consider horses as a vehicle…I guess though.

So gotta be honest, not wholly sure on that final part. But, it’ll be nice to have if/when you need it.

A hero of the folk destined for the great power and also for the glory shall work well with many kind of barbarian backstories. In any case growing a strong in the tribe and even becoming their champion who shall someday save the world is not an uncommon story for the barbarians.

Usually the folk hero offers the proficiencies with an animal handling and also survival skills, even both the skills are already in the barbarian’s skill list. It even grants proficiency with artisan tools and a land vehicle.

Here the artisan’s tool proficiency is mainly being wasted on the barbarian, but of course the vehicle proficiency covers much of the travel needs of most parties, cutting down costs and possibly boring roleplay.

Here the equipment of a background is not outstanding but it could be useful in common adventuring scenarios. It also include a set of artisan tools, a shovel, an iron pot, a set of common clothes, and ten gold coins.

Also the folk hero grants a useful but the situational feature. The feature shall make it so the folk you’re originate from a will try their best for helping you out as long as you are not disrespectful or harmful. The folk hero is a good background which covers the backstory of the barbarian and offers great proficiencies for adventuring parties.


This background is one of the classic choices for the barbarians in 5th edition. Its time for the most iconic selection.

However the outlander background 5e is perhaps one of the most useful options. And of course, you’ll probably see a lot of people select this for their Barbarian. Of course the main draw to this background is the Wanderer feature.

However this feature let you to be remember the areas that you’ve been so it’s harder to get them lost. And of course, you could gather food and the water (which is like assuming it’s available) for you and also up to five other type of creatures while travelling. So that, if your party is only has 6 people, you never need to worry about the food.

Outside of an insanely good background feature, the theme of an outlander 5e background seems to be made for Barbarians.

Usually, you would grew up on an outskirts of the civilization. Your character is being belonged or still it is belongs to the clan, tribe, or small settlement far away from towns and cities. So that you’re used to be roughing it and living off the land, so to speak. Which makes it perfect for the big, rough-and-tumble, no-nonsense and no manners Barbarian everyone thinks of.


You can play a big, burly person of a sea with the Sailor background for your Barbarian. Of course now, this is a bit of an odd one, I know. But, you must bear with me.

However the sailor 5e background might not be seem like it fits well with this barbarian. But, with their proficiency in an athletics and the perception skills that they’re great for ensuring your character fills their role. However you’ll also gain Navigator’s tools and also the water vehicle proficiencies. That if you’re playing a nautical campaign, are sure to come in handy.

Now, the Ship’s Passage feature is so much fine. Finding free passage if you need to travel across a large body of water is great whenever you need it. But of course the real kicker is the variant background feature; Bad Reputation.

However this feature usually lets skip the tab on food and also the minor services in the towns and other settlements because of your fearsome reputation. Such as many backgrounds, this is all up to your Dungeon Master. So, check out with them and make sure you’re both on the same page.

Now, why do I think this is a good background for a Barbarian? There are two words for this question is Viking. Berserker.

After all, Vikings were basically the pirates of the northern waters in and around 11th century England. And, berserkers are one of the more famous historical examples that fit the theme of 5e’s Barbarian class.

In any case the sailor is the best utilized in sea/aquatic-based campaigns, but of course here the proficiencies are an excellent thing for any adventure. Here is the first skill proficiency is athletics, that is the must and should have for the barbarians and of course the other is the perception, a superb proficiency to have in general.

In any case the other proficiencies are the primarily useless in non-sea/aquatic-based campaigns. Even though these proficiencies are the navigator’s tools and maritime vehicles. In a sea/aquatic-based campaigns, these proficiencies are the truly amazing for having and get a lot of use.

The equipment includes 50 feet of rope, a lucky charm, common clothes, and 10 gold. The background’s feature is also only valuable for sea/aquatic-based. It allows you free passage on other ships you have had relations with.


Playing a disciplined barbarian with the Soldier background is a more fun way to subvert tropes. Theming might be a little weird here. But, since the barbarians are martial fighters, I feel like it’s worth a mention.

Suppose, if you’re basically going with the Soldier background for your Barbarian, then you’re probably looking in order to get the Athletics and Intimidation skills. You have the chance to grab these as a Barbarian anyway. But, if you wanted other skills, then you can grab these with your background instead.

Here the proficiencies in the land vehicles is too nice if your party needs a cart or carriage driver.

Honestly, the Military Rank background feature is…alright!. It’s no better or worse than a lot of the other background features. But, if that’s what works for your Barbarian, then it must be great.

Really, the idea of making a Barbarian Soldier is almost oxymoronic.

The Soldiers are regimented and disciplined. Barbarians are free and wild. But, maybe you’re playing the front line berserker or a member of the reinforcements that come in to help with breaking the last resistance of enemies. Or, maybe you’re part of a military that regularly deploys a special unit which specializes in barbaric tactics.

The barbarians would yearn for the combat and also being a soldier background could be one of the causes and solution. Of course the war could have been triggered something inside of the character, here’s a deep rage which resulted in the barbarian or else the barbarian entering the fight just for enjoying the horrors of war.

Either way, this particular background shall aligns with most of the barbarians. Of course this background offers the proficiency with some athletics and the intimidation, which could frequently be the most used skills of the barbarian, mainly with the barbarian’s insanely high strength and fearful appearance.

In any case the remaining of the proficiencies include a gaming set and vehicle proficiency. Of course the gaming set doesn’t get much use, but also the vehicle proficiency is helpful in most adventuring parties. You also gain military equipment.

Of course the feature of this specific background could be used combined with an intimidation to assert oneself in a military outpost or base. This background provides skill proficiencies perfect for the barbarian and some fun additional proficiencies.

City Watch

The City Watch background is an another great way for playing a more disciplined character. This one’s kind of like the Soldier.

Here the theme may not fit the wild berserker that you might think of whenever you think of a barbarian. Of course, your character could have been an enforce for the local guard of a town or the city. And, that’s why you’d select the City Watch background.

Here you can get the proficiency in an Athletics and insight. Both are simply good for any character and also the latter helps you break out the trope of the gullible brute Barbarians tend to fill.

Here is the background feature, Watcher’s Eye, is alright.

However your character could find out the watch outposts and might be fit in with a local guardship. You’ll have an easier time for getting information from a local watch and might be receive help from them. But, that’s all up to your DM.

Here the barbarian can be served his tribe or the village like a protector of the people; of course the city watch is just like that. By protecting the folk from crime, then the city watch acts like a police. While the barbarians frequently hold a carefree nature with some anger issues, defending their folk is a priority.

However the background grants proficiency in the athletics and insights. Of course these proficiencies are much greater for chasing and interrogating the criminals, but they are also great with the barbarian’s high strength and also the sound wisdom. It mainly offers two additional languages and the Watcher’s Eye feature too.

Of course the feature would allow you to quickly discover the criminal dens and the city watch outposts. The background could also contains the general equipment of a city watch, a uniform, a set of manacles, a horn for summoning help, and 10 gold coins.

Faction Agent

You can use this faction agent background for the sake of your Barbarian for a character sent on the particular mission. Of course this one might be a weirder one on this list. But, hear me out once.

If you would like your barbarian in order to belong to the faction or even some kind of the organization, of course the faction agent background would fit perfectly. However it mainly focuses less on the physical attributes in that case it might stop you out from selecting it. But, of course i may feel that it pads out the barbarian and even provides them more depth than the musclebound meathead they tend to be. In any case i usually had a Faction Agent Barbarian in my current game.

My fiancee has played a Storm Herald, Which is one of the 5e Barbarian subclasses from the Xanathar’s Guide to Everything book, who was a Faction Agent under a secretive organization. Here you can read that her proficiencies helped  her outside of the combat which is something like the Barbarians usually lack. And of course, it shall give her a good tie-in to the events of the game since she had orders from her superiors. And, even then, if you would like to play an enforcer for your faction, that works too.

Far Traveler

You can use the Far Traveler background if your Barbarian comes from the foreign land, Another background which is more cerebral than your typical Barbarian.

Of course here the point of the far traveler background is for making a “Fish-Out-of-Water” character. In any case you’re the stranger in the strange land and of course everyone would notice you. So that, your barbarian needs to be reflect that.

Again, think a viking in the ancient England. You’re the big and strong (perhaps) but of course you have the certain magnetism which the people of the land can not be ignored.

However your proficiencies from a far traveler background, Insight and Perception, keep you alive in both of the  hazardous and civilized encounters.

Here of course a far traveler Barbarian probably reflects a society which emphasizes strength or a physical prowess in general. The goliaths or other 5e race that tend to live in extreme environments are good picks for this background and class combo.

Here is the far traveler someone that who has traveled across the lands and sees, unlike most of the other common folk. In any case many other barbarians originate from the tribes would deeply in the forests or in the mountains, that they leave to be explore the world or fulfill a purpose.

Mainly this is one of the barbarian background ideas are easily match with the many barbarians backstories. It usually offers the proficiency with an insight and perception, in the form of both generally best proficiencies which could be find out us on a barbarian, perception more so. In an addition to this, it basically provides the proficiency with the selected musical instrument or a gaming set. While it is not helpful, it could be something like from one of your homeland to deepen the character’s backstory.

However along with these background proficiencies, it woud also grants an additional language. Here is the far traveler background shall come up with the traveling-focused equipment, a set of traveler’s clothes, its selected musical instrument or a gaming set, the poorly made maps of your homeland, a tiny piece of jewelry, ten gold coins of your homeland, and also five standard gold coins.

Al though here the far traveler background may offer decent amount of helpful proficiencies but none of that capitalize on the barbarian’s ability score. The background could also be working into the backstory of most barbarians without much hustle.

Mercenary Veteran

Making a decent amount of gold during enjoying yourself in life-threatening battles is an easily applicable for many barbarians. Of course while being a paid for joining the wars and battles could be great and of course the adventuring life would be offered more potential gold and even the mightier battles. Like a mercenary veteran, you could gain the proficiency in athletics and persuasion.

In any case the athletics is the perfect one for the barbarian with their significant strength and also the persuasion. Of course while it also best one, the barbarians frequently lack the social skills for being usage of them more consciously. However with all of these proficiencies, the mercenary veteran would be gaining the proficiency with a selected gaming set and a chosen land vehicle.

In the sense of the gaming set proficiency is not that much advantageous, however the land vehicle proficiency would come in handy with most of the adventuring parties, and also in covering your traveling needs and costs. It is more like the soldier background, however here’s the mercenary veteran’s equipment includes a uniform of the company served in, the insignia of rank, the selected gaming set, and even a pouch with 10 gold which are your last wages.

The feature is being granted by the background is more helpful; because of your mercenary experience, of course you know some of the information regarding of most of the mercenary groups and could be recognized them from their insignia. So in an addition, you know about their leaders, operations and even about their previous works. Besides of the general information regarding of these groups, you could be even recall the places where they’d abide in certain areas.

So in that regards, the mercenary veteran is the best background with good proficiencies and a great feature for most of the campaigns.


These are the best background for barbarian 5e and also you can see from here about the 5e backgrounds features and i hope you’ve got an idea about are barbarians good 5e! And what is my opinion on it is, yes of course these are good and their backgrounds are good as you’ve seen in the above pragraphs explained about them. Thank you guys for checking this article and i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring everyone.

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