The Best 11 Feats for Rangers by Subclass

There is a lot of argument out there about the usefulness of Rangers. A lot of players even think that Rangers should be taken out of the game entirely.

To be frank, they’re wrong. Rangers are awesome! They’re versatile yet oddly specialized.

They can get as many attacks as a monk, deal as much damage as a rogue, or heal as well as a paladin and look good doing it!

The way to manage this is to figure out what you do well and then expand on that.

A good feat choice will mesh with your subclass and your core ranger abilities to carve out an unfillable niche in your party.

In this post, we will first discuss which feats are good for all rangers and then break it down by subclass to give you direction as your character grows.

The Best Feats for All Rangers

As a ranger, you will be a combatant. There is no way to avoid that. Too many ranger abilities directly relate to combat for you to try to focus too much on anything else.

But, we are playing Dungeons and Dragons here. If you took all the combat rules out of the game, there wouldn’t really be anything left.

So we’ve picked three feats that every ranger should consider depending on where they like to be in the battlefield.

One of the early abilities Rangers get is the Fighting Style ability. This allows you to focus on what loadout you typically wield.

Here are your options:

  • Archery: +2 to attack rolls with ranged weapons
  • Blind Fighting: Gain Blindsight 10 feet
  • Defense: Gain +1 to AC while wearing armor
  • Druidic Warrior: Gain two druid Cantrips
  • Dueling: Gain +2 to damage rolls when your offhand is empty.
  • Thrown Weapon Fighting: +2 to attack rolls with thrown weapons, draw thrown weapons as part of attack.
  • Two Weapon Fighting: Add your ability modifier to your off-hand attacks.

This decision will affect where you are in the fight, and it will therefore affect which feat you should take at 4th level.

And you should take one of these feats at 4th level. The abilities granted are too useful, and they will give you more benefit than a potential +1 to attack and damage.

There is a bit of overlap, so pay attention, class. There will be a quiz later down in the dungeon.

Dual Wielder

If you chose Two-Weapon fighting, Thrown Weapon fighting (make sure to use daggers or hand axes), or Blind Fighting, then Dual Wielder is for you.

With these three fighting styles, you are guaranteed to be either in melee or wielding two weapons.

This feat gives you a +1 bonus to AC while wielding a melee weapon in each hand and allows you to use two weapons that do not have the “light” descriptor for two-weapon fighting.

Sharpshooter

The most common Ranger type is the archer. In fact, many players say that because of their spells, Rangers are the ultimate Arcane Archer and that the fighter subclass ought to be a Ranger subclass instead.

I tend to agree.

If you take the Archery, Thrown Weapon Fighting, or Druidic Warrior (magic stone), Sharpshooter will make a bulwark of ranged combat support.

This feat allows your ranged attacks to ignore disadvantage at long range, half-cover, and three-quarters cover, and you can choose to take a -5 penalty to hit in order to deal +10 damage.

Medium Armor Master

Rangers gain proficiency in Medium Armor and shields; however, many rangers stick with light armor because they want to keep the high Dexterity bonus without that inconvenient disadvantage to stealth checks.

This feat will take care of that for you. So, regardless of which Fighting Style you chose, this feat will allow you to do that in medium armor with no penalty.

In addition, you will be able to add 3 instead 2 to your AC if your Dexterity is high enough.

With this feat, you could SNEAK around in half-plate with a +3 Dex bonus and a shield. That’s a 23 AC (24 with Defense Fighting style or the Defensive Duelist Feat) if you can afford the 750 gp price tag.

The Best Feat for Every Ranger Subclass

There are 8 different Ranger Subclasses, and each one is as awesome as the last. The variability in the classes give you a range of options when deciding where you want to be on the battlefield.

Ranger Subclasses and Feats

Beast Master

Often lamented as the worst Ranger subclass, Beast Master works best if you are a small character race, such as Gnome or Halfling, and choose a companion beast that is Medium.

This gives you the benefit of using your beast as a mount, and that opens you up to the wonderful world of mounted combat.

Mounted Combatant is the feat to choose at 8th level.

You will have advantage on attack rolls on Small creatures, you can force an attack at your mount to target you, and your mount will take no damage when it passes a Dexterity save that originally subjects it to half damage.

Drakewarden

Drakewarden made up for Beast Master’s lack by giving you an upgraded companion with unique special abilities. While Mounted Combatant is also a good feat here, you lose some of your Drake’s abilities while mounted.

Therefore, Sentinel is the best choice at 8th level. Your companion’s abilities work best when they are within 30 feet of you, ideally in melee.

Pair this subclass with Thrown or Two Weapon Fighting. Sadly, your lil homie, Drake, has fewer Hit points than you, and with Sentinel you’ll be able to punish anyone who attacks them.

Fey Wanderer

This nifty subclass gives Rangers the rare opportunity to be the face of the party, especially when dealing with magical, sylvan, or otherwise non-human societies.

Essentially blessed by the fae and their wild, untamed magic, the Fey Wanderer gains Charisma-related abilities and a fair clip of enchantment spells.

For this subclass, we recommend Fey Touched (Wisdom). This feat gives you an additional casting of misty step plus any other spell from any class list, provided it is illusion or enchantment.

The bonus to Wisdom will help all of your other spells, and for flavor, it can’t be beat.

That being said, this is the only Ranger subclass that improves your spellcasting, so pair this with the Druidic Warrior fighting style.

If you do, consider the Spell Sniper feat. Between those two choices, you will have access to all of the druid attack cantrips (produce flame, magic stone, shillelagh), and your range will be doubled for all of them.

Gloom Stalker

Gloom Stalkers are masters of the ambush, and their abilities work with both ranged and melee weapons.

To this end, you will want to stay mobile to make sure you are in position to get the ambush, especially if you multiclass this with Rogue, as we’ve discussed here.

Therefore, take Mobile at 8th level. This feat will grant you an easy 10 feet to your speed. Add that to the 10 feet you get for Dread Ambusher, and your speed can only be matched by a monk.

Combine this with the Tabaxi race, and suddenly you are moving at 100 feet in the first round and gaining an extra 1d8 damage per attack.

Horizon Walker

Horizon Walker gets some nifty planar travel-related abilities.

In addition to dealing extra force damage, Horizon Walkers have a tendency to teleport around the battlefield, which means you will be able to move without provoking attacks of opportunity.

More importantly, the enemy will have to chase you around in an effort to catch up to you, Blinky. Therefore, we recommend the Polearm Master feat.

With this feat, you are granted an attack of opportunity whenever someone comes into your reach. Since the bad guys will be chasing you all over the battlefield, you will have ample opportunity to use this one.

Hunter

Hunters love to specialize against one type of foe, and their abilities work with both ranged and melee weapons.

So, at 8th or 12th level, after you’ve taken one of the feats we mentioned earlier, you’ll want to think about further specializing.

For this, we recommend either Mage Slayer or Skill Expertise.

If the type of foe you are hunting is known for its magical abilities, such as humanoids, aberrations, or fiends, Mage Slayer will definitely give you an edge to cancel out their more arcane advantages.

If not, Skill Expert will shore up your Intelligence based skills. If you like to hunt Undead, for example, take Skill Expert for Arcana or Religion.

If you hunt monstrosities, take Nature. This will give you the edge in tracking, predicting, and identifying these creatures.

Monster Slayer

Like Hunters, Monster Slayers love to specialize against one type of foe, and their abilities work with both ranged and melee weapons.

So, at 8th or 12th level, after you’ve taken one of the feats we mentioned earlier, you’ll want to think about further specializing.

For this, we recommend either Mage Slayer or Skill Expertise.

If the type of foe you are hunting is known for its magical abilities, such as humanoids, aberrations, or fiends, Mage Slayer will definitely give you an edge to cancel out their more arcane advantages.

If not, Skill Expert will shore up your Intelligence based skills. If you like to hunt Undead, for example, take Skill Expert for Arcana or Religion.

If you hunt monstrosities, take Nature. This will give you the edge in tracking, predicting, and identifying these creatures.

Swarmkeeper

Swarmkeepers are weird, and cool, and versatile! On any given turn, you are either getting a bonus to damage, a movement bonus, or a utility.

At 8th or 12th level, you’ll want to capitalize on that in one of two ways.

Either take the Polearm Master feat and wield a spear, or take the Piercer feat, and use the Swarmkeeper ability to add piercing damage to every attack.

With Polearm Master, you can take advantage of the Gathered Swarm ability to either move yourself or your foe after an attack without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Then, when the enemy chases you down, you gain an extra attack with your weapon.

With Piercer, you can use the Gathered Swarm ability to add extra piercing damage.

Should you score a critical hit, you can roll an extra die of damage than normal. Should you roll low on your damage dice, you can reroll one of them for free.

Final Thoughts

Rangers can be anywhere, hunting anything. Your feat choice will only supplement what you already do well.

Roll on, my friends.