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Darkvision, also known as infravision,[1][note 1] was a type of vision that many creatures had, in addition to "normal sight", that allowed them to see in darkness.[2][3][4][5]


Darkvision allowed a creature to discern forms, as in normal daylight vision, but only in shades of gray. Monsters with this ability could only see in the dark up to a certain distance,[2][4][5] typically around 20 yards (18 meters).[6] Permanently subterranean creatures often possessed superior darkvision that allowed them to see in the dark at distances twice that far.[7][8] Darkvision did not function in darkness that was magical in origin.[9][10]

Despite the name "infravision", this form of vision did not allow creatures to see light that fell within the infrared spectrum;[6] it did not involve heat-sensing, and so sources of light or heat did not affect it.[1]


Creatures known to have darkvision included drow,[7] duergar,[8] dwarves,[3] svirfneblin, and many others.[11]


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  1. In 1st and 2nd editions, some creatures, such as elves, halflings, and gnomes, were said to have infravision, but this was changed in later editions such that these creatures instead have low-light vision, the ability to see well in dim light but not in total darkness. Some creatures have both forms of vision.

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