The Heavily Armored Feat in DnD 5e Explained In-Depth

Last Updated on November 11, 2023

For characters looking to upgrade their armor from medium types, the Heavily Armored feat grants you a +1 increase on strength score and opens up the use of all heavy armor types:

Prerequisite: Proficiency with medium armor

You have trained to master the use of heavy armor, gaining the following benefits:

  • Increase your Strength score by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency with heavy armor.

Source: Player’s Handbook p167

What the Heavily Armored Feat Does

Heavily Armored Feat will give the character one point of strength and proficiency with any heavy armor.

This allows you to wear Ring Mail, Chain Mail, and Splint and Plate Mail in addition to any other Heavy armor in the game.

Unless you start out your career as a Fighter, Paladin, or some Cleric Domains, then heavy armor proficiency is difficult to come by. 

Heavily Armored gives you that second bite of the apple and allows you to get that much-needed AC increase.

The strength score is also a nice addition to the feat that can make the difference between modifiers. 

(For a list of all the Feats in D&D 5e you can refer to our Feats List)

Is It Worth Taking Over Other Feats?

The shortest answer, as is the case with almost all of the feats, is that it depends. If you have a character that relies on stealth, the answer is probably not.

Unless you have been able to lay your hands on some Mithril armor, then you will have disadvantage on all of your stealth checks, which as a rogue or some rangers is to be avoided!

However, there are certainly some use cases that exist that make it very worthwhile.

Your real deciding factor on taking this feat is going to be driven by your existing class, and only a handful of those are going to truly benefit from this without the addition of things like Mithril armors. 

Classes That Benefit from the Heavily Armored Feat


Excluding the Armorer subclass, Artificers do not gain proficiency with Heavy Armor, including the battlesmith, strangely.

With the additional class features and bonuses that Artificers gain, they can and often unwillingly find themselves fighting in the frontline.

Perhaps the party lacks a traditional martial class and you are the closest there is to being the “tank” of the party.

Where some artificers may lack dexterity, this gives us great opportunities to reach what we can achieve with the top end of medium armors and a shield with simple chainmail armor.

Adding the shield gets us to a solid 18, then we throw some of those wonderful infusions into your items, and all of a sudden you can stand up to the most punishing of blows!

Finding split mail (and again infusing it) lets us hit an AC of 2, making us very difficult to lay low! If we ever come across plate mail, we can sit comfortably with an AC of 22!


If you have chosen a Cleric subclass that doesn’t grant heavy armor but find yourself fighting toe to toe more often than you are flinging guiding bolts across the battlefield, you may well be using more of your healing spells on yourself than you would have liked.

In an effort to avoid this, taking the Heavily Armored feat can be a big aid.

Unlike the Artificer, however, we have to rely on spells to make the most of this increased armor class.

With the +2 we gain from spells such as Shield of Faith, we can easily stand at 20-22 AC with Heavy armor and shields. 

Druids, With a Caveat!

Druids are near and dear to my heart, and the refusal of metal armors endears them further to me. So why would a druid take the Heavily Armored feat?

Well, before taking this feat a conversation with the DM needs to be had.

Those dragon scales you took from your latest adventure, the shell of an Umber Hulk, or any other number of other natural carapaces or shells could, with the right mind set, skill set, and bank roll, be turned into armor.

The sight of a druid clad in the deep earth tones of a shell while arrows and spears glance harmlessly off is certainly one that would stick with me.

So, perhaps after speaking with your Dungeon Master, you can spend some hard-earned gold and turn your Druid into a heavily armored forest guardian.

Make sure what you are asking for is within the realms of what they deem as possible and reasonable!


While the archetypal ranger stays at range with his bow-slaying foes from the cover of the forest, there is a real way to build rangers that favor swords and spell casting.

Much the same way the Cleric or Druid does, the ranger, with their high degree of martial skill and weapon choice, could find themselves frontlining more often than not.

Perhaps your ranger is the Man-Tracking sort that can follow tracks over many miles and come face to face with a whole band of enemies, his only defense is the metal he puts between him and the quarry.

Wearing Heavy armor means he doesn’t end up a bandits fire-side story after his first quest!  

If you’re looking for other Feats, try these two:

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