5E Feats: Your Complete 5E DnD Feat Guide

Feats are a major part of the 5E Dungeons & Dragons experience. While technically optional rules, pretty much every single DM is going to allow their use. Feats are an incredible way to supercharge your character, add an extra bit of flavor, or even allow for roleplaying and customization options that help to give your character that unique memorable ability/personality that breathes life into the story at your table.

This complete feat guide talks about the best and worst feats in 5E, talks about feats by grade and class, lists every single one, and links to our in-depth review of every single one so you can see our breakdown yourselves.

Here is a complete list of 5E feats with a link to the in-depth guide and breakdown I’ve done of each and every single one found in 5E. The list for racial feats out of Xanathar’s can also be found further down the page, with a guide for these coming soon in another article!

Wall full of tools
The feats offer players all they need to find the right tools to get the job done.

List of 5E DnD Feat Guides – Links to All In-Depth Feat Breakdowns

Ranking Every Single Feat in 5E

This can be difficult as some feats are overpowered but only for a very specific build, some feats are okay solo but devastating in conjunction with another, and if you like weird builds like I do you can make even mediocre feats sometimes work in special ways in the right situation or campaign.

However, some feats are absolute must-haves while others are, sadly, “Never Takes.” I’ve done in-depth reviews on every single feat in 5th Edition D&D so without any further ado, here are the grades

A Note on Grading Every 5E Feat

While I get the argument that “If C is average, then that’s where the most feats should be,” argument, I’ll also point out that’s forcing grading on a curve, and I don’t believe in grading on a curve.

Each feat is graded on its usefulness both on its own but also how it works in the game world. Are there cheap alternatives to what the feat has to offer (sorry, Linguist)? Is the feat clearly inferior to a +2 Con score boost or ability score improvement?

While not every feat is perfect, if a system did well then there should be far more A’s and B’s than anything else, and as few D’s and F’s as possible. Having a system where the overwhelming number of feats were C’s would be, frankly, mediocre beyond belief and would arguably make the few A-level tiered feats overpowered.

For all the complaints about 5E in general, and 5E feats in particular (and many, many of them are 100% legitimate), overall the balance of feats is actually quite good.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual grades.

S-Tier Feats

There aren’t really many here. In fact, as tempted as I am to include one of my personal favorites, at the end of the day you can make the argument there is only one true S-Tier feat, a feat so versatile and powerful it’s been banned at half the tables I’ve played at, and that’s Lucky.

The Lucky feat is insane. It’s game-changing. It boosts your player or nerfs the DM’s most dangerous rolls against the party or BOTH. You get all the information you need prior to using it, and it is one of the only feats that is good for every single build, every single class.

It’s the only feat we’ve ever seen banned at tables for 5E, which tells you all you need to know about how strong this feat is. And because of that whether you love it, hate it, or make that call based on what side of the DM screen you’re on, it’s the one feat that stands out a touch above the rest.

Grade: S-Tier with Honors

  • Lucky

A-Tier Feats

These feats vary widely and are going to be widely seen as excellent feats. They are powerful, versatile, absolutely necessary to a build, or sometimes all of the above. A feat can hit this tier by being insanely versatile, good for every class, or sometimes extremely niche but so much so that it’s seen as a “must” for every build of a type (see Sharpshooter as an example of this).

These are strong feats, some which are focused on a very specific build, others which are very versatile. While you will see some common favorites here, there are some surprises, as well.

  • Alert
  • Fey Touched
  • Fighting Initiate
  • Great Weapon Master
  • Healer
  • Heavy Armor Master
  • Inspiring Leader
  • Mage Slayer
  • Magic Initiate
  • Resilient
  • Ritual Caster
  • Sentinel
  • Shadow Touched
  • Sharpshooter
  • Skilled
  • Skill Expert
  • Spell Sniper
  • War Caster

Alert

Few feats are so consistently useful regardless of class than Alert. The Alert feat is excellent and on the short list of almost every veteran D&D player. The +5 to initiative is huge in combat and the fact you can not be surprised while awake means even if there’s an ambush, your player gets to fight back during the surprise round before initiative is then rolled.

This is an outstanding feat all the way through and there’s a reason it’s viable for every single player character, one of the very, very few feats that can say as much.

Grade: A

Fey Touched

Fey Touched from Tasha’s is not only one of my favorite new feats, it’s one of my favorite feats, period. Misty Step is insanely effective and powerful as a spell to either get out of trouble or leap to a part of the battlefield you shouldn’t be able to reach with your class. Tossing this on a fighter or monk makes for an insane once per long rest moment where you can just wreck a DM’s plans or giving it to the spell starved warlock gives even more options to an already versatile class.

The additional learning of a first level spell from the enchantment/divination class gives some interesting options that can really add creative mechanics with great flavor to the mix.

Grade: A

Healer

This might seem high to some people, but this is the most overlooked feat that is actually secretly ridiculously strong, versatile, and gives serious hope to a party that doesn’t have a healer full of players with no desire to play cleric or other traditional healing class. This is a feat that is very strong at keeping squishy party members alive at low levels and actually scales to get stronger with every single level up.

This is one of my favorite feats because of what it can do to make unusual team compositions much more viable at all levels of campaign.

Grade: A

Inspiring Leader

Giving the entire party temporary hit points is no small thing, and as the level of the character grows, so does the amount of temporary hit points that everyone gains. This is a simple but powerfully effective feat that plays into great roleplaying moments at the table.

Grade: A

Mage Slayer

If you want to kill a mage, you want the feat that literally calls itself mage slayer. Great feat for martial fighters looking to survive closing the distance to get down and dirty with enemy spellcasters.

Grade: A

Magic Initiate

This is a feat that comes with some restrictions but gives so much potential to mix and match spell books that it’s hard not to love it. Pick a cantrip you can scale up powerfully, get a stat boost, get an extra first level spell, and use your creativity to go to town.

Grade: A

Ritual Caster

Ritual casting is incredibly powerful and really opens up a huge number of spells that casters can use. It might not have a lot of flash but when you add 20+ support spells that can do work out of battle and that character suddenly sees the versatile uses of their magic just explode.

Grade: A

Sentinel

This is simply one of the strongest feats in all of 5E Dungeons & Dragons especially for martial builds. This is a pure A by itself, much less before it gets combined with the also strong polearm feat to make your DM cry.

Grade: A

Sharpshooter

This feat is an absolute must for every build that focuses on distance fighting with a bow, a crossbow, or a sling. It lets distance fighters attack full distance without penalty, avoid partial cover, or even take a penalty to hit for +10 damage if the attack is still successful.

Grade: A

Skilled

One of the most versatile feats in the game and one that allows you to boost strengths, increase versatility, and shore up weak skills that are coming up a lot in campaign all at the same time.

Grade: A

Skill Expert

The bards and the rogues aren’t the only ones who can reach “super proficiency” now. Other classes, welcome to the feat that lets you become god-like in the skill of your choice…and add another proficiency to boot!

Grade: A

War Caster

Outstanding feat every full caster should look at picking up to hold concentration, bring a shield into the mix, or use spells for opportunity attacks. It’s a powerful feat that gets the job done.

Grade: A

Fighting Initiate

A very versatile feat that offers a dabble of some of the strongest aspects of fighter to other classes. Add AC, archery proficiency, the ability to borrow from the Battle Master archetype to command a battlefield, or become proficient in fighting with two weapons without taking the terrible Dual Wielder feat.

The fact you can change these out as you level up allows you to shift your focus as the build changes or multi-classing takes effect, allowing it to adjust to your specific needs.

Grade: A-

Great Weapon Master

It’s sharpshooter for melee based classes like fighters and barbarians. Check out the link above if you need a more in-depth look.

Grade: A-

Heavy Armor Master

There are very few ways to get damage reduction in 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Heavy Armor master takes a small amount of damage off of every slashing, piercing, and crushing attack that hits. This is especially useful for minimizing damage from enemies with 3-4 attacks per action as that damage reduction comes off each of those hits.

Great way to make already strong heavy armor even stronger – a great investment for those frontline fighters.

Grade: A-

Resilient

One of the few feats that is more about shoring up weaknesses versus adding to strengths. However, it’s versatile, helpful, and does serious work so it’s one that needs to at least be contemplated by most player builds to see if it fits in.

Grade: A-

Shadow Touched

The Shadowfell changes a person, and remnants of what was no doubt a traumatic journey in that realm leaves awesome benefits. Invisibility is a powerful spell, so being able to free cast and cast it in the future with open spell slots is great. Solid spell list of other choices to pick from and while it’s close to an A, the many counters high-level characters have for invisibility knocks it down from an A to an A-.

From a roleplaying perspective this adds some wonderful flavor to a character build.

Grade: A-

Spell Sniper

Great casting feat that is fairly accurately described as “Sharpshooter for Spellcasters.” If you favor spells with attack rolls over AOEs and support, it’s time to give Spell Sniper a look.

Grade: A-

B-Tier Feats

B-Tier feats are feats that are strong. Many of them are more niche. Many feats that are aimed at specific characters or playing types in a way that isn’t overpowering but really accentuates a build. This is also a place for versatile feats that are quite useful but not overpowering or must-haves. Generally speaking, if a player is taking one of these feats it’s a solid choice that should do some good things.

  • Actor
  • Charger
  • Crusher
  • Defensive Duelist
  • Grappler
  • Gunner
  • Martial Adept
  • Metamagic Adept
  • Mobile
  • Observant
  • Piercer
  • Polearm Master
  • Slasher
  • Skulker
  • Telekinetic

Actor

Love the flavor, love the roleplay, and mechanically this feat actually has some incredibly powerful features especially in a high politics and/or intrigue style of campaign.

Grade: B+

Crusher

Crusher is a must take for monks who live and die on their quarterstaff and flurry of blows, but it also gives some major buffs to players choosing to go with the war hammer over more traditional blades and axes. This feat gives a stat boost, allows you to move a creature hit by an attack, and a critical hit “staggers” that creature which means everyone in your party making attack rolls against that creature until the beginning of your next turn get advanage.

That’s powerful and among the three new Tasha’s feats based on common weapon damage types, it’s the best one.

Grade: B+

Defensive Dualist

In very niche situations an incredibly powerful feat that does serious work, but it is a very niche feat. Do your research but when it fits well, it moves right up to an A level feat. When it doesn’t, it’s a trap.

Grade: B+

Martial Adept

Excellent martial feat that adds in a lot to not just the fighter classes, but any that want more versatility and customization to their combat build.

Grade: B+

Metamagic Adept

While non-sorcerers get limited use due to fewer sorcery points, it only takes one twin-spell from a wizard or the bard able to subtle cast any of her influence spells without notice to make this an incredibly powerful feat even for non-sorcerers. Add in having two options between each long rest and this can add quite a bit of pop to what your character can do!

Grade: B+

Mobile

Mobile is deadly with monks and surprisingly useful for most classes. Even small shifts in mobility can consistently make a major difference in the course of a campaign.

Grade: B+

Observant

Outstanding versatile feat that is a must-take for the perceptive player in the group.

Grade: B+

Piercer

Very solid feat offering some impressive benefits for players using weapons that cause piercing damage.

Grade: B+

Polearm Master

Really powerful feat on its own when using a martial weapon with longer range, and bumps up to an A+ when combined with Sentinel for the classic overpowered 5E feat combo.

Grade: B+

Telekenetic

Powerful feat from Tasha’s that teaches and enhances the Mage Hand Cantrip, as well as adding a bonus action of a telekinetic shove that can be especially useful for spellcasters not usually using a bonus action.

Grade: B+

Charger

Interesting feat with some powerful melee benefits that can make for some interesting and unique builds especially when space and mobility com into play.

Grade: B

Grappler

Fun feat that creates some interesting potential, especially if the DM uses homebrew rules with grappling/restraint that play in your favor.

Grade: B

Gunner

A necessary feat for adding in firearms to a D&D world but nothing too spectacular here. It is at least solid.

Grade: B-

Slasher

Feat to give bonuses to people who use slashing weapons. The weakest of the three “damage type” feats, but still just enough to warrant a low B grade.

Grade: B-

Skulker

A feat for the stealthy who want to make it much easier to become hidden and stay hidden, or return to being hidden, even if

Grade: B-

C-Tier Feats

Tiers that fall in the C-Tier list aren’t bad per say…but they’re not good, either. These often apply to an extremely narrow type of build, a very narrow type of campaign, or are just useful but not that useful. These are average feats and there are a time and place for them but you can go through many campaigns without seeing one of these come into play.

  • Artificer Initiate
  • Crossbow Expert
  • Dungeon Delver
  • Eldritch Adept
  • Elemental Adept
  • Keen Mind
  • Mounted Combatant
  • Poisoner
  • Tavern Brawler
  • Tough

Artificer Initiate

A great pick up for Artificers, and probably an afterthought for pretty much everyone else.

Grade: C+

Dungeon Delver

In a pure hack and slash campaign where the whole thing is non-stop combat where you struggle to even find a short rest much less anything longer, this feat suddenly becomes not only useful but mandatory. On the other hand in a low-combat campaign with plenty of intrigue

Grade: C+

Keen Mind

Keen mind is very interesting because how effective it is depends a ton on the DM, how thorough their notes are, and how much they’re willing to deal with the feat. The C+ grade often indicates that it’s an A in certain campaigns or situations while it’s an F in others.a

Grade: C+

Poisoner

The poisoner feat brings some badly needed mechanics to being able to use poison consistently and effectively, in addition to also adds poison resistance which can be a great benefit for the player. This does feel niche, and plays that way, but when it can come into effect that’s a nice little bonus.

Grade: C+

Crossbow Expert

Good thematic theme that fills out all the mechanics that are necessary to effectively play a crossbow expert in whatever flavor you want, but doesn’t really add anything that will excite you.

Grade: C

Mounted Combatant

If you want to focus on attacking from your horse, war dog, elephant, or other mount you will need the mounted combatant feat. Clearly this is a niche feat for a niche build, but it works in that situation.

Grade: C

Tavern Brawler

This is a feat that gives some very basic value when it comes to unarmed combat and has some great flavor features. Because of that combo it’s a fun average feat but nothing special. The flavor carries this feat.

Grade: C

Tough

Simple and to the point, this feat gives you more hit points. Every level, more hit points. 5E isn’t a particularly lethal system in most campaigns, but more health is always a good thing. Consider this the definition of a C feat. Gives value, but nothing that blows you out of the water.

Grade: C

Eldritch Adept

Can add a little more warlock to your warlock and might be an interesting flavor add for a character touched by Eldritch powers but not devoted to them, but fairly meh beyond that.

Grade: C-

Elemental Adept

Interesting feat, however also incredibly niche. It’s fairly underwhelming on the power section, and the versatility is there in, once again, niche situations but it’s not terrible just one of those where it’s for a time and place and campaign type and that’s probably it.

Grade: C-

D-Tier Feats

These are a weird collection of feats. Some are here because they’re mechanical feats to give players options that aren’t available if multi-classing isn’t allowed by a DM but are weak for a feat, some are focusing on mechanics that years of real world testing have resulted in DMs and players just dropping because they didn’t add up, and others seem good on paper, but then in-context of the game became far less useful.

  • Chef
  • Dual Wielder
  • Heavily Armored
  • Linguist (This hurts, but in-game it’s true)
  • Medium Armor Master
  • Moderately Armored (only here because of shield proficiency, but this really could easily STILL be an F)
  • Savage Attacker
  • Telepathic

Linguist

This is one of those feats that looks great on paper, but fails once you get into a campaign for one big reason: the sheer number of spells, magical items, and other “workarounds” that make knowing extra languages via feat a waste of a feat in many cases.

Grade: D+

Telepathic

Can be useful for low-level campaigns but the restrictions put in place to keep it from being too powerful might have gone a touch too far. There are some good points to this feat, but it’s also very roped in and in a long-term campaign most parties will have much better options.

Grade: D+

Savage Attacker

While this feat does give a chance to inflict more damage on a successful hit, the math has been done over and over, and it just doesn’t apply enough, or add enough, to warrant a much higher grade than a D.

Grade: D

Chef

I’m not saying your snacks aren’t delicious, but this feat leaves a sour aftertaste that just doesn’t get it done.

Grade: D-

Dual Wielder

It’s no secret that one of the areas that 5E has really dropped the ball is with 2-hand fighting, aka dual wielding, and this feat doesn’t do enough to solve that problem to justify taking this feat.

Grade: D-

Heavily Armored

A mechanical feat that is necessary if there isn’t multi-classing allowed by the DM but even then, it’s just not great. And it’s never a great pick in a campaign that allows multi-classing which will be almost all of them.

Grade: D-

Medium Armor Master

Medium Armor isn’t great in 5E. Mastery of the armor makes it more viable but is it worth taking a feat for moderate improvements? Not really.

Grade: D-

Moderately Armored

The moderately armored feat is another feat that exists to put in mechanics when multi-classing isn’t allowed. This allows for the use of medium armor and would be an easy F except for the fact it also gives shield proficiency.

Grade: D-

F-Tier Feats

There aren’t many, but there are a couple feats that are so mind-numbingly bad as to be straight up fails. I have four that make this hall of shame and warrant never being taken.

  • Athlete
  • Durable
  • Lightly Armored
  • Weapon Master

Athlete

I see what they were going for in flavor, but this is a feat that is just junk, most of the benefits come de facto from the extra movement the Mobile feat provides, the +1 is only making up for the +1/+1 or +2 you could otherwise take,

Durable

In theory good on paper, in practice I’ve never seen a campaign where a combination of hit dice, potions, or temp hit points from team mates didn’t make up all lost HP and then some. Because of that raising hit die minimums isn’t that thrilling. The +1 to Con is good, but that could have been taken with a +1 to STR, DEX, WIS, or anything else, which makes this a dud and that’s before figuring in the large number of DMs who give max HP healing from hit dice during small rests, which would render this feat completely moot for all but the highest Constitution characters.

Lightly Armored

As covered in detail in the feat guide, any class that doesn’t have light armor proficiency almost certainly has better options available to them whether via spell, unarmored defense, or other mechanical means available in-game.

Weapon Master

Weapon Master is one of the weakest feats in the game. Proficiency in 4 weapons doesn’t do anything to move the needle and this feat is worse than a +2 ability score, +1/1 ability score, or 1-level multiclassing to Paladin or Fighter in every way.

5E DnD Racial Feat Guides

These are the rarely talked about feats from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, which are certain skills or features that are race/species specific. These aren’t used by many DMs, so if you’re interested in one make sure to talk with your game master prior to picking it to see if these are in play or not.

Many DMs choose not to use them, but some may allow it since generally speaking the PHB, Volo’s, Xanathar’s, and Tasha’s are considered sort of core canon in 5E.

There’s also many who don’t use them simply because this part of Xanathar’s was so little talked about that they might simply not know that they exist, and there are also two others listed that you don’t find in Xanatahar’s. These are both from Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberon.

  • Aberrant Dragonmark (WGE)*
  • Bountiful Luck
  • Dragon Fear
  • Dragon Hide
  • Drow High Magic
  • Dwarven Fortitude
  • Elven Accuracy
  • Fade Away
  • Fey Teleportation
  • Flames of Phlegethos
  • Infernal Constitution
  • Orcish Fury
  • Prodigy
  • Revenant Blade (EBR)
  • Second Chance
  • Squat Nimbleness
  • Wood Elf Magic

While most experienced players will be very familiar with the abbreviations, for newcomers PHB is The Player’s Handbook, TGE is Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and EBR/WGE is Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberon.

*Aberrant Dragonmarks were designed specifically for the Eberon world, so talk to a DM if you want to use them as most will keep them regulated to that narrow world an not accept them as mainstream for most 5E campaigns in other settings.

In Conclusion

I know feats are considered an optional rule in 5th edition, but they are so integral to the building of characters, to fleshing out the game, and adding cool diversity of characters that I can’t imagine playing, or DM’ing, a game that didn’t allow them.

While I can, and often do, introduce some house rules (or ban the Lucky feat), for the most part a game with a full range of feats available leads to more interesting characters, more diverse builds, and a lot of fun.

With this large guide you can separate the good from the great, the average from the bad, and clearly see which are just wastes of an ability score increase.

Each one links to the individual feat guide that does a serious deep dive into the feat, while an in-depth roundup of the racial feats is one the way (if not already done and linked to).

Feats are an absolute mainstays of the average 5E D&D game as well as most campaigns. While there are certainly arguments for experienced DMs to add homebrew feats or to help alter some of the weaker feats to make them better, and I’m more than happy to talk to players about doing so if they have a good idea and/or argument for doing so.

I hope you find this resource useful, if you’re a blogger or YouTuber and think your audience mind find it helpful, please feel free to link to this page (or any individual feat guide) we’ve done and let us know about your favorite feats.

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