Dungeons & Dragons is becoming more and more popular as time goes on. New players are discovering the game and new DM’s are creating their own stories. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular games for tabletop gaming. But for a lot of newer players and even some experienced gamers, there are a few issues. It’s pretty difficult to find the perfect setup for D&D. There are a lot of places where you can potentially go wrong, but a lot of people forget the most important part of D&D. Part of that setup is finding the right battle mat. Our personal favorite is this Chessex roleplaying mat, but there are many good options to choose from. Join us as we review what makes the Best DnD Battle Mat!
The battle mat is a hugely important part of D&D since it’s the thing you’re going to be using to block out the different scenarios. You need the battle mat to be able to relay information to each other easier and more efficiently. Now, while you can get by with drawing a grid on some paper, we don’t really recommend it. Instead, it’s a better idea to spend a little bit of money on a quality battle mat, but where do you start? Well, don’t worry that’s what we made this list for. Let’s jump right into our list for the Best DnD battle mat guide.
Battle mats come in many different forms. If you are looking for a series of colorful, well-made mats that cover a variety of locations, the Giant Book of Battle Mats is your best bet. This book doesn’t have the same flexibility as other modular or blank options. However, the Giant Book of Battle Maps include 62 different high-quality themed mats.
These mats are slick and can be wiped clean of marker after use. One of the best parts of this book is that it lays open perfectly flat, allowing DMs to use the open book as a map without tearing out individual sheets. This means that the book is a great option that includes easy storage.
As far as downsides? Not a lot. The book isn’t the most flexible option available, but it excels with great art and ease of use. The biggest downside is likely the price, which is typically higher than other options. The good news is that the quality meets or exceeds that price.
This next option is for those who perhaps want an extra mat for their sessions or for those that just want to upgrade from pieces of paper. This Monster Protectors Battle mat is a great option for those who don’t have too much space to work with and need something on the smaller side. It’s worth noting that these double-sided battle mats do not come with any extra accessories like pens or erasers, so it isn’t great for beginners. But for those who are already prepared for some tabletop gaming, this is a great mat to add to your arsenal. It measures at 20” x 20” so it’s a square-shaped battle mat, with rounded corners too. Plus, even though it doesn’t come with pens, you can still use Dry Erase pens on this mat.
Stylistically it isn’t really all that special, it’s a standard white mat, which might look a little plain for some. But most battle mats don’t really need a lot of style since they’re designed to be blank canvases for you to use. Essentially it comes down to personal preference, if your group likes some fantasy-styled elements to play around with you might want a mat that’s more interesting.
In terms of functionality, this mat is made out of silicone which means a couple of things. It’s going to be less slidey than other materials and will basically ‘stick’ to the surface in a way. You can also expect It’s also going to have less of a tendency to curl up in the corners so really as soon as you get the mat, it should be good to go. It’s also double-sided, which is always a nice thing to have. All in all this is a great mat, but beginners might want to look for a more varied package.
The next choice on this list is another mat that is perfect as an additional mat or as a backup should you need it. We’ve chosen this mat from Chessex for its high quality and multifunctionality. If you’re familiar with the world of tabletop gaming, you’ve probably already heard of Chessex since they’re pretty popular. They’re pretty well known as the brand that offers a ton of different accessories and tools for you to use in your tabletop games. So this particular mat is suitably well made and of high quality.
The size of this mat spans 23.5” x 26”, which is a pretty decent size but not huge. It’s good for those who want a mat that doesn’t need a huge amount of space to use. This mat unfortunately doesn’t come with a storage tube so if you need that, be sure to look around for an extra one.
In terms of the multifunctionality here, it’s actually pretty nice. A lot of battle mats are double-sided, but they typically don’t have two different grids on either side. This mat has one side devoted to a standard square grid and another side with a hexagonal grid. So if you want to play any games that need a hexagonal grid, you can use this mat easily.
Stylistically this mat has an old parchment type of effect, so if you prefer plain white mats you’re out of luck. It’s made with a type of vinyl material that gives it a high feeling of quality. You can also use markers and erase them off with little issue, just be careful you don’t use permanent markers or anything. This is a fantastic mat, though if you’re a beginner you may want to look for a more comprehensive package. It’s a great quality mat that should last for a long time and it should handle quite a few games of D&D.
The next option on this list is the ultimate package for beginners to Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve gone for this package from Fat Zebra Designs for the large amount of accessories and quality mats. If you are completely new to D&D, this is the option for you. Coming with this option is 2 Double Sided mats, 4 Dry Erase Markers, 1 Dry Eraser and a 7Pcs dice set specifically designed for D&D. This alone makes it a very high-value choice and makes it perfect for newcomers.
These mats are both 24” x 36” which is a nice and large size. Though it means you’ll need a pretty large surface to get full use out of them. The Battle mats themselves are also of fairly high quality and offer a different style to fit different scenarios and aesthetics. But the mats aren’t the best of the best and can be prone to getting creased or having their corners curl up. So just be careful with how you store and use them.
With this bundle, you get 2 battle mats that are both double-sided. With each side having a completely different look that will appeal to those who like to change up their surfaces. You get a Plain White, Parchment Styled, Grass Styled and Stone Styled surface. Meaning that there is probably a style here for everyone and it even allows for more immersive experiences. It allows you to suit the arena to what is going on in the campaign and for some DM’s this makes their job a lot easier, allowing you to better visualize the upcoming battle. Ultimately this is a fantastic bundle of different accessories and mats that make this option an amazing choice for beginners to D&D or tabletop gaming.
There is a lot to like about the Dry-Erase Dungeon Tiles from Role 4 Initiative. This pack includes 36 individual five-inch tiles. The tiles are all dry-erase and interlocking. You could use them to build a larger map, or stretch them out into a complex dungeon.
My favorite thing about this pack of tiles is the potential for using fog-of-war. As the DM, you can lay out each tile one at a time, ensuring that the adventures never know what is around the next corner. This kind of creative use is what landed the Dungeon Tiles on our list. With so many options, these are great for everything from tactical maps to sprawling dungeons.
As far as downsides, the issue is more execution than concept. The idea of interlocking dry-erase dungeon tiles makes for a great option for battle mats. You could easily form these together to create an entire dungeon crawl or a single fight. However, the quality of construction is the major issue. The tiles tend to peel at the edges after several uses. Whats more, many Amazon users report that “chipboard” tiles are more like laminated cardboard. Despite these issues, they aren’t a bad option for the price point.
If you’ve come all this way and you still have no idea which battle mat you want to get for D&D, don’t worry. In this section, we’ll be giving you some helpful advice and some tips to guide you in the right direction.
Double Check the Material of the Mat
Battle mats come in all shapes and sizes so it can be pretty tricky to find the perfect one for you in some cases. So beyond knowing the size limitation that you’re going to be working with, there’s another aspect you should focus on. The material that the mat is made from is incredibly important to the overall experience here. For instance, if you choose a mat made out of vinyl you’ll notice a couple of things. Vinyl is waterproof, but it’s also a pretty hard surface and fragile miniatures could be damaged.
Vinyl is also slightly harder to store since it needs to be rolled up and can’t be folded. Meaning you’d need some kind of storage tube as well. You can also get mats that are made out a cloth material, but these don’t have the same sort of heft and ease of use as sturdier mats. The advice here is to double check and research the material of the mat that you’re getting. You don’t want to end up with something that doesn’t perform to how you were expecting it to.
Look out for Bundles
This advice is geared towards beginners more than experienced D&D players, but either way it’s useful to remember. Some companies and sellers bundle together their battle mats with extra accessories and useful things like pens or dice. If you have no d&D equipment you should really be looking into these bundles since the value that they offer is second to none.
It’s a lot easier to go down this route instead of finding high quality accessories that could eventually cost you more. Specifically, look out for bundles that give you markers and an eraser along with the battle mat. We’ve featured a couple of these on this list but there are many more out there so look around to find the right bundle for you.
D&D Battle Mat Buying Tips
Be sure that you have a surface that’s a fair bit bigger than the battle mat you plan to get. You need to account for the space needed for character sheets, notes and the DM’s station. This is especially true if you’re getting a Mat that’s larger than 24” x 36”, since you’ll need a pretty big table to work on.
You want to aim to get a mat that lets you write and draw on it using markers. Mats that let you do this really make the entire experience a lot easier and more engaging. Though it isn’t essential to D&D and you can quite happily not do it. It’s simply another handy way of relaying information to each other.
Check out your local tabletop store or even ask a friend to see if they have battle mats that you can take a look at. Seeing pictures online isn’t really going to give you a sense of what the mat feels like or how it’ll be when in use. So check to see if you can find a mat in person and go from there.
What Are Battle Mats?
Battle mats are a tool used in a variety of tabletop roleplaying games, including D&D. In Dungeons and Dragons, many players prefer to visualize combat through the use of battle mats and miniature figurines. The mats represent the terrain where combat occurs. Usually, these mats are gridded, which makes it easier to navigate D&D’s movement rules. Typically, each 1-inch square represents five feet of movement.
Do You Need a Battle Map for D&D?
There are plenty of ways to play Dungeons and Dragons. When you gather around the table with the rest of your party, using a battle mat is a great way to visualize combat and apply the rules related to movement or range. Of course, there are other ways you can play.
Many people opt to play D&D using “Theatre of the Mind.” This method doesn’t involve the use of maps, mats, or minis. Instead, players visualize combat based on descriptions given by the Dungeon Master. There is no right way to play, as some prefer to visualize combat during their campaign.
Verdict – Best DnD Battle Mat
We’ve come to the end of our list for The Best D&D Battle Mat If it’s helped you out and given you some helpful information, let us know!