In this guide, we’ll be going over what you should look for in a magic item for your ranger, the 15 best magic items for the class, and a couple of magic items that look tempting but simply aren’t worth the trouble.
What Makes a Good Ranger Magic Item?
It can be difficult to select magic items for rangers. The 5e class has continuously suffered from a lack of clear direction.
While rangers are no longer the underpowered class they used to be thanks to excellent subclasses and optional features, it isn’t totally clear what role they play in a party.
At their core, rangers are martial characters.
It’s easy to imagine them with a bow (after all it’s in the name), but with proficiency in simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor, they can fight at the frontlines as well as anyone.
Rangers are also a hybrid class; they can cast spells, though their spell slot progression is slower than usual, only reaching 5th-level spells at Level 20.
If they have a major weakness it’s that they lack the focus of other classes like the wizard or barbarian.
That said, rangers can make extremely effective frontline martials, ranged attackers, and stealthy characters all with a little bit of nature magic to give them an extra edge on any front.
Because of this versatility, rangers can benefit from a variety of magic items. Pretty much any generally useful magic item for martials or magic users can be effective in the hands of a ranger.
Therefore, this guide will focus on those items that specifically complement common ranger styles or support a particular weakness.
Remember that while this guide can provide a good idea of what to use with your ranger, you should also consider what works well with your character.
Magic items that complement a ranged ranger are probably not going to work well with your duel-wielding drow and his savage panther companion.
And don’t be afraid of going off book. After all, an immovable rod is going to be useful in anyone’s hands, and while +3 armor might be a little boring, it is undeniably effective.
What Are the Best Magic Items for Rangers?
Below are the 15 magic items that best complement the ranger class and its common playstyles. The items are organized by rarity as well as by tiers of play.
For anyone unfamiliar, the different tiers correspond roughly to the different kinds of stories and abilities on display (fighting wolves vs. fighting dark angels, to pick an extreme example).
Low-tier play covers (roughly) levels 1-5, mid-level play levels 6-13, and high-level play 14-20.
I’ve lumped low- and mid-tier play together in this guide since my only low-tier recommendation is the moon-touched sword, for reasons I’ll get into below.
Low- & Mid-Tier Play (1-5 + 6-13)
- Moon-Touched Sword (Common)
This sword sheds moonlight in a 30-foot radius around you in darkness, which doesn’t sound great at first.
However, for its rarity, the moon-touched sword is excellent since it is a magical weapon that can bypass the all-too-common nonmagical resistance to slashing damage that so many monsters have.
Plus, light is critical if you don’t have dark vision, and rangers sadly do not get access to cantrips.
2. Broom of Flying (Uncommon)
The broom of flying does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows any character with the command word to ride it into the sky with no time limit and a reasonable speed (50 feet or 30 feet if you weigh more than 200 pounds).
For ranged rangers, this is the best (read: cheapest) method of flight available, and getting high up and far away from the action is critical to letting you shoot arrows undisturbed.
The best part is it doesn’t even require attunement!
3. Boots of Elvenkind / Cloak of Elvenkind (Uncommon)
These two magic items do similar things, though the cloak is frankly better. The boots give you advantage on stealth checks that rely on moving quietly, and you make no sound while moving.
The cloak grants advantage for stealth checks made to hide and forces disadvantage on those trying to spot you. At least one of these is a must-have for stealthy characters.
4. Pearl of Power (Uncommon)
This item lets you regain up to a 3rd-level spell slot per day, which is excellent for rangers with their heavily limited spell slots.
5. Bracers of Archery (Uncommon)
An iconic item for any bow wielder, this gives you an easy +2 to attack and damage rolls made with bows (excluding crossbows).
6. Sentinel Shield (Uncommon)
For those rangers who want a shield, this is an excellent choice. It grants advantage on initiative and Wisdom (perception) rolls, sharpening a ranger’s already sharp senses.
7. Slippers of Spider Climbing (Uncommon)
These slippers allow you to simply walk up walls and onto ceilings, providing a similar benefit to the broom of flying. However, they also allow for sneaky trips up buildings to access windows or a cool way to climb a tree.
8. Mantle of Spell Resistance (Rare)
For a mostly martial character, rangers can be a little weak against spells. This strengthens that weakness, granting advantage on all spell-saving throws.
9. Ring of Spell Storing (Rare)
One of the best items for a ranger, you can store up to five spell levels worth of spells in this ring.
I highly recommend using all five levels on 1st-level spells, primarily Absorb Elements, to give you more defensive flexibility, maybe with a backup Fog Cloud or Speak with Animals for additional situational benefits.
10. Shadowfell Brand Tattoo (Rare)
This tattoo gives its wearer 60 feet of darkvision (critical for any ranger who doesn’t already have it) as well as advantage on Dexterity (stealth) checks.
That alone makes it decent, but it also grants the ability to half incoming damage as a reaction once per sunset, a move that could easily save your life.
That can reduce Disintegrate’s 75 points of damage to just 33 (D&D rounds up). The combination of stealth and defense make it ideal for a ranger who has forgone armor for stealth.
High-Tier Play (14-20)
11. Manual of Quickness of Action (Very Rare)
This is useful for every character as it grants an additional 2 free points to your Dexterity score, even pushing it above 20. It is especially valuable for rangers since they so often are Dexterity-based characters.
12. Scimitar of Speed (Very Rare)
An excellent weapon, this +2 scimitar grants the ability to make an extra attack as a bonus action.
Essentially, it carries all the benefits of two-weapon fighting with none of the downsides (such as being unable to wield a shield, having to find two magic weapons to wield, and losing your modifier to your attack and damage rolls).
13. Orb of the Veil (Very Rare)
When carried, this orb grants a +2 to your Wisdom score (a ranger’s primary spell-casting stat) and increases your maximum Wisdom by 2 as well.
It also grants 60 feet of darkvision or adds 60 feet to your total darkvision range if you already have darkvision.
Lastly, it grants advantage on Wisdom checks to find hidden doors or paths. If this sounds too good to be true, it kind of is.
The orb is cursed, though the downsides are hardly noticeable for a ranger. A character with this orb “suffers” the downsides of refusing to part with it, snuffing out all nonmagical fires within 30 feet, and halving the amount of fire damage they do.
As long as your ranger doesn’t make a habit of shooting fiery arrows, it’s all upsides.
14. Cloak of Invisibility / Ring of Invisibility (Legendary)
These two items grant invisibility, the king of status effects for stealthy characters.
The cloak, in my opinion, is better than the ring; it grants two hours of invisibility that doesn’t break when you attack or cast a spell. You can break the invisibility up in chunks, and it recharges after 24 hours.
The ring, on the other hand (ha ha), grants unlimited invisibility, but if you attack or cast a spell, you lose the status.
For combat, the cloak is clearly superior, but you might want to make a character with more of a scouting theme.
15. Ring of Three Wishes (Legendary)
Lastly, the iconic ring of wishes. Of course, everyone can benefit from this magic item. However, rangers are a particularly good use for it.
If you cast Wish for a purpose other than replicating a spell lower than 9th level, there is a 33% chance you can never cast Wish again.
However, rangers can’t cast Wish on their own, so this punishment isn’t nearly as bad for them as for the arcane casters in the party.
Items To Avoid
These are items I highly recommend giving a pass when looking for cool magic items to outfit your ranger with.
For this list, I’ve chosen items that are specifically tempting for rangers but are nevertheless subpar choices for a variety of reasons.
1. Ammunition +X (Uncommon +1, Rare +2, Very Rare +3)
You might be tempted to pick up a +3 arrow since this bonus stacks with the magical bonus from your weapon (giving you a possible +6 bonus).
However, these pieces of magical ammunition are single use only; after one shot, they lose all their magic. Compared to simply getting a +X bow or sword, they just aren’t worth the cost.
2. Efficient Quiver (Uncommon)
The efficient quiver is like a bag of holding just for arrows and thrown weapons. Many first-time ranger players will be drawn to something that ensures they’ll always have plenty of arrows.
However, the vast majority of DMs don’t actually make you track your ammo, so this item is usually worthless.
Even if your DM does make you keep track of how many arrows have been left broken in your enemies and how many you have left to shoot, a handy haversack (Rare) is much more effective at holding arrows and other useful items.
3. Wings of Flying (Rare)
This item is bad for one simple reason: the broom of flying exists. The wings of flying are more expensive, have a recharge timer, and require attunement.
4. Oathbow (Very Rare)
You’d think a weapon that grants advantage on attack rolls and 3d6 extra damage would be good, but when you look closer, it turns out the oathbow only works on one enemy, once per day.
The rest of the time, it does nothing. Literally nothing.
If your chosen enemy dies the next round due to an overwhelming attack from the cleric, you just have a regular bow for the rest of the adventuring day. I recommend just grabbing a +3 longbow.
5. Animated Shield (Very Rare)
It seems carrying a shield without the trouble of actually carrying it would be good, but really this shield is outclassed by the cloak of protection.
That item only grants +1 to AC instead of +2, but it also grants +1 to all saving throws and is much, much cheaper (only Uncommon, instead of Very Rare).
6. Absorbing Tattoo (Very Rare)
This is actually a good item, in theory. Once per day, as a reaction, you gain immunity to the damage type of the tattoo and regain hit points equal to half the damage you would have taken.
However, it’s simply too expensive when the excellent defensive spell Absorb Elements (as a reaction, gain resistance to an elemental damage type) exists.
I wouldn’t say no to it, but between this and a powerful weapon or piece of armor, I’d take the latter.
The 15 magic items above work to further strengthen the ranger’s strong points and fortify its weaknesses. With these, your ranger will be more effective at what they do best.
It’s true that there are a lot of magic items that can work well with your ranger character. I highly recommend browsing if you have the time or finding other recommendations for general utility or thematic items.
But if you’re looking for an item that specifically complements your particular ranger style, these are some of the best you can get.