Here is some advice and guidance to D&D players and Dungeon Masters for more effective, efficient and enjoyable combat.

Not all combat must end in the destruction of your foe in order to gain experience points. Especially for low-level characters with few hit points, combat is very risky and even the smallest monster can kill you.

Consider other ways around a confrontation, including parley, stealth, and bribes. If combat ensues and you decide to flee, remember that many monsters will halt pursuit for shiny things, a few coins dropped on the ground, or food. If you find a clever way to end combat or avoid it altogether, you may be awarded partial or full experience points by the DM as if you had killed the monster(s) outright.

In combat, positioning and movement matters. Don’t just think about the location of your own character.

Think about how your position impacts the effectiveness and limitations of the rest of your party.

Use terrain and obstacles to your advantage, especially during ranged combat.

Pick up used arrows after a combat. You may need them later.

Spell casters must remain still and be able to speak in order to cast their spells.

When the party encounters a monster, it is possible for both sides to be surprised. If only one side is surprised, the other side gets a free round to act before initiative is rolled.

Pay attention to the order of combat and think ahead. Be ready when it’s your turn to act to make the overall encounter smooth and efficient.

The enemy of your enemy may be your friend. Sometimes you can motivate intelligent (or hungry, etc.) monsters to attack each other instead of attacking you.