Best 11 feats for a Ranger in 5e D&D

In my experience, the ranger is one of the least used mainstream classes in 5e D&D. While it might not be as fancy as the wizard or as brute as the barbarian, the ranger has quite a lot to offer in combat and role-playing.

If you are deciding on how to progress with your ranger, it is important to consider which feats are the best. Of course, many of these feats shine the most when the situation is just right, which isn’t often the case. We are ranking the feats based on:

  • Overall utility
  • How much they influence combat
  • Our experience using the feat
  • Community input

1. Sharpshooter

It is hard to find a good argument against placing Sharpshooter at the top of the list. The benefits of picking this feat for your ranger are obvious.

First, you can ignore cover that your enemies might use to hide behind. Second, your ranger will be able to shoot at targets at long range without having disadvantage on its attack roll. Third, you can take a -5 penalty to increase your damage by +10.

These three factors make the Sharpshooter feat a potent and must-have for any ranger that relies on ranged combat. As you are quite frail as a ranger, it allows you to stay at the back of the party while pulling your weight in terms of damage.

2. Crossbow Expert

If you prefer crossbows to regular bows, the Crossbow Expert feat is one that cannot be ignored. This feat gives a ton of interesting benefits for those that specialize in crossbows.

First, you have the ability to use a bonus attack if you are using a hand crossbow. The feat thus gives you a ton of extra damage in a turn as you can still perform a regular action next to your bonus action.

Second, you get the ability to ignore the loading property of crossbows. This benefit is very significant as it counters the main drawback of the crossbow: the fact that it requires an action to reload. Due to the Crossbow Expert feat, you can now make multiple crossbow attacks.

Third, this feat also allows you to shoot your crossbow at close range (equal or less than 5 feet) without having disadvantage. While you should avoid close combat as much as possible, having this drawback from the board is pretty useful.

Best feat for a ranger 5e

3. Lucky

Here we go again. You could have seen this one coming. Lucky is one of the best all-around feats for characters in DnD, and that includes rangers. There are a ton of situations where Lucky is useful for a ranger. Here are the two main benefits the ranger gets when they have the Lucky feat.

The improved accuracy gives you higher odds to hit the target. You get the chance to reroll an attack roll. If you are fighting heavily armored foes, this can help you deal more consistent damage.

Lucky can also aid you in surviving close combat encounters or ranged attacks aimed at you. You can avoid damage by rerolling a saving throw by spending one of your three lucky points.

As you see, the versatility of this feat makes it a very potent feat choice for a ranger – or other builds – in 5e. While it is kind of a vanilla pick, it is one that will definitely come in useful every playing session.

4. Elven accuracy

One of the best, if not the best race for a ranger is the elf. Elven accuracy is a great feat for any ranger that has access to it,. You get two very potent abilities that are a clear benefit for characters that rely on long-ranged attacks and stay out of close combat.

First, you get improved accuracy when you are using DEX, CHA, or WIS to make an attack roll. You get to choose if you roll another d20 so you can reroll a horrible result. Watch out, once you roll, you need to use the new roll.

If you roll an additional d20, and you are lucky enough to have the same number pop up as your first roll, you get to deal a critical hit. So a crit fisher might want to consider this feat.

powerful ranger feats

5. Mobile

Another feat that often pops up on lists like this is the mobile feat. Just like with artificers, mobile works great on rangers. The Mobile feat has two significant benefits for a ranger build.

The most important out of these two is the improved movement. You can easily dip out of combat or go closer to a target if you want to. The 10 feet of extra movement speed allows you to improve your hit-and-run strategy quite a bit.

Another benefit is that it allows you to avoid provoking opportunity attacks from enemies when you dip out of combat.

6. Magic Initiate

There are a ton of great cantrips and spells for Magic Initiate to choose from. A ranger can definitely find a few that will come in handy. Make sure you think deeply about the cantrips and spells you choose, as some are clearly much more suitable than others.

I would suggest a ranger pick one spell like Minor Illusion that focuses on helping you in combat without being a damage dealer. Then you could pick a cantrip like Eldritch Blast to help you out dealing damage.

Magic Initiate is also a pretty fun feat from a roleplaying perspective too. Not many foes will expect a ranger to blast a Fire Bolt or other spell at them.

7. Fey Touched

On to number 7 on our ranking of the best feats for a ranger in 5e! Fey Touched is a fantastic feat and extremely versatile, though in our experience, it is not as strong as it is often made out to be. Some would place Fey Touched in their top 5 or even top 3, which is definitely not an outlandish rank, though we do think others are better.

The main benefit of the Fey Touched feat is its versatility. You get an extra 1st level spell from a divination or enchantment spell list and thus have a potent extra tool in your arsenal.

The best spells for Fey Touched for a ranger would be Ensnaring Strike, Hail of Thorns, and Hunter’s Mark. These all have amazing synergy for characters who depend on long-range attacks. This extra magical spell is also a ton of fun from a roleplaying perspective.

8. Alert

Characters that do not have a lot of hit points and a high AC can benefit from the Alert feat quite a bit. Alert allows you to react quicker in combat. It does this by giving you a +5 bonus to your initiative rolls and a +5 to your passive Perception and Investigation checks.

These two perks are magnificent for rangers that do not want to be caught off guard and fulfill the scout role in their party. You can stay out of danger, spot traps and ambushes, and anticipate enemy attacks.

best ranger feats ranked

9. Observant

A pretty similar feat is Observant. This feat gives your ranger better perception and allows it to notice small details much better. A ranger that functions as the scout of the party will get quite a bit of utility out of the Observant feat.

The Observant feat gives the following interesting perks for your ranger:

Improved lip-reading: helps you to gather information or communicate with allies in loud areas.

Improved perception: Observant gives you a +5 to your passive Perception and Investigation checks.

Improved insight: this gives your ranger a +5 bonus to your passive Investigation checks. Thanks to that, you notice small details like traps and hidden clues.

You also get improved language understanding, though this is often just a minor plus.

10. Piercer

“Piercer” completes our top 10 best ranger feats. Don’t get me wrong, this feat is very strong for rangers, but in my experience, the other 9 edge it out. However, I can see why others would put Piercer in their top 5. The feat has a ton of interesting benefits.

Improved critical hits: You can reroll a damage die when you score a critical hit with a piercing weapon (an arrow). So you get to deal more damage.

Better armor penetration: As the name suggests, this feat helps you pierce the armor of your enemy as it helps you to ignore a bit of the armor of a target. So if you are fighting with a helmed horror, this will come in handy.

11. Resilient

Finishing off our ranking is Resilient. I would suggest a beginner consider Resilient to make themselves more able to survive dangerous combat situations. Resilient improves your saving throws and ability scores. This helps you survive combat as there is a lesser chance to get hit by enemies. The ability score boost helps you use your skills and abilities.

All of this is a nice asset for beginners who want to play the game while taking moderate risks and not be punished for mistakes. If you are more experienced in DnD or the ranger build, you are better off picking one of the previously mentioned feats.

Final words

There are plenty of strong feats for rangers to choose from. While we tried to give a ranking of some of the most important ones to consider, we know that DnD is a game of possibilities.

There are tons of different scenarios where certain feats outclass others completely, even if they are lower on this ranking. We tried to find those that most often add a ton of utility to your character and will be useful most often.

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