Balance implications of +3 racial bonuses

Many races have a +2 bonus to one ability and a +1 bonus to another ability. They do not usually have +3 to a single ability.

I am wondering about the implications of having races with such bonuses in my game.

I am considering point buy only. What I see is possible that was not possible before (with +2/+1), is

  • 18 in the primary stat at level 1
  • 20 in primary stat with first ASI

However, this 20 in the primary stat means that I cannot exceed 15 in the secondary stat. It seems to me that no class in 5e benefits from less than two abilities (at least constitution and one other).


  • The changeling race can already have a +3 bonus
  • It is entirely possible to have 18 on level one with rolled stats, yet rolling stats is, so far as I know, not considered unbalanced.

Is my analysis above correct and does this mean that a +3 racial bonus instead of +2/+1 does not pose severe balance issues?