DD 5e Feats That Increase
by Samuel James in
DnD Feats

Are you playing a D&D 5e campaign and looking to increase your character’s Dexterity? If so, this article is a must-read for you. Dexterity, a key attribute in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, impacts various aspects of gameplay, including your ability to move stealthily, perform skilled actions, and even influence your character’s performance in combat. We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help players select the best feats to boost Dexterity, thereby enhancing your character’s capabilities in this epic role-playing game.

In D&D, feats are special abilities that allow your character to perform unique actions or possess distinct capabilities. They are optional traits that can enhance your character’s core abilities and skills, and when chosen strategically, can greatly impact the game’s outcome. Selecting a feat that boosts Dexterity can make your character quicker, stealthier, and more skilled in various dexterity-based tasks.

In this guide, we’ve collated some of the best D&D 5e feats that can help you increase your Dexterity, providing detailed descriptions, highlighting how they impact your gameplay, and offering suggestions on which character types or builds can benefit most from them. We’ll also provide tips on strategically selecting these feats to maximize their benefits and suit your playstyle.

So, whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice spell-caster, this guide will help you navigate the vast landscape of D&D 5e feats to help you enhance your Dexterity. Let’s delve into the intriguing world of Dungeons & Dragons and unlock the agility of your character!

What is Dexterity and Why it Matters

Dexterity, one of the six ability scores in D&D 5e, is an essential attribute that defines a character’s agility, reflexes, and balance. It governs many aspects of your character’s abilities, and having a high Dexterity can significantly influence your game performance.

In the immersive world of Dungeons & Dragons, Dexterity directly impacts several game mechanics. It plays a crucial role in Armor Class (AC), which defines how hard it is for opponents to land a successful hit on your character. A higher Dexterity can lead to a higher AC, making your character more difficult to strike.

Moreover, Dexterity influences your character’s initiative in combat. Initiative determines the order of turns in a battle, and having a higher initiative means your character gets to act earlier, giving you a tactical advantage over your adversaries.

Additionally, Dexterity affects numerous skill checks, such as Stealth, Sleight of Hand, and Acrobatics. A character with high Dexterity can move quietly and unseen, expertly lift a pocket, or perform complex acrobatic maneuvers with ease. In essence, a character’s Dexterity score could mean the difference between a successful mission and a disastrous defeat.

Given the wide-ranging impact of Dexterity in D&D 5e, optimizing it can greatly enhance your gameplay. One of the effective ways to do this is through the strategic selection of feats. The right feats can significantly boost your Dexterity, making your character more agile, quicker in combat, and skilled in dexterity-based tasks.

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Understanding Feats in D&D 5e

Before we delve into the specific feats that can enhance your character’s Dexterity, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what feats are in D&D 5e.

Feats represent special abilities or enhancements that provide unique abilities, benefits, or powers to your character. They are optional features that you can choose instead of increasing your character’s ability scores, offering an avenue for customization beyond class and race selection. Feats can add a depth of strategy and personalization to your character’s development, allowing you to tailor your hero to your desired playstyle.

Feats in D&D 5e can significantly influence your gameplay by adding new abilities or improving existing ones. This can range from mastering weapons or magic, gaining resistances, to enhancing your ability scores, including Dexterity.

While feats can provide substantial advantages, it’s important to choose them carefully. Feats are a precious resource; you gain one every four character levels (or even less depending on your Dungeon Master’s rules). Each one you pick defines your character a bit more, differentiating your rogue, ranger, or monk from others.

Feats that improve Dexterity are particularly valuable for characters that rely on speed, agility, or skills related to stealth or precision. Choosing a feat that boosts Dexterity not only enhances your ability in these areas but also impacts various game mechanics, such as Armor Class and initiative, as we discussed in the previous section.

Top D&D 5e Feats that Boost Dexterity

1. Alert

At the top of our list is the Alert feat. Though it doesn’t directly increase your Dexterity score, it superbly complements characters who want to maximize their high Dexterity, particularly in combat scenarios.

Characters equipped with the Alert feat are always primed and ready for action. They gain a considerable +5 bonus to initiative, enabling them to act swiftly in combat scenarios—a critical advantage for characters who lean heavily on their speed, agility, and quick thinking. The Alert feat also provides immunity to being surprised while conscious, and opponents do not get an advantage on attack rolls against the character as a result of being unseen by them.

This feat is invaluable for any character build emphasizing Dexterity, as it allows them to exploit their high Dexterity score to the fullest. It is especially beneficial for characters like Rogues or Rangers, who can leverage the boost in initiative to land quick, decisive strikes.

2. Mobile

Another stellar feat for Dexterity-focused characters is Mobile. Like Alert, it doesn’t directly increase your Dexterity score but offers benefits that are a perfect match for high Dexterity.

With the Mobile feat, your character’s speed sees an increase of 10 feet—a significant boost that can be the difference between escaping a chase or getting caught, or effectively evading an enemy’s clutches. Furthermore, when you utilize the Dash action, difficult terrain doesn’t cost you extra movement on that turn.

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But perhaps one of the most potent advantages of this feat is the ability to avoid opportunity attacks. When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not.

This feat is a fantastic choice for characters who rely on speed and mobility, such as Monks or certain types of Fighters. The ability to move quickly and avoid opportunity attacks can significantly shift the tide of battle in your favor.

3. Lightly Armored

While the Lightly Armored feat may appear straightforward, it provides a valuable boost to your Dexterity-based characters who may not be as robust when it comes to taking hits. This feat increases your Strength or Dexterity by 1, up to a maximum of 20, and you gain proficiency with light armor.

The addition of light armor proficiency can enhance your Armor Class, particularly useful for squishier Dexterity-based classes such as Rogues or certain types of Bards who could benefit from the added protection. This boost in Dexterity and AC can make your character more nimble and hardy in the face of danger.

Keep in mind, though, that while the Lightly Armored feat is beneficial, its effectiveness will significantly depend on your character’s class and build.

4. Weapon Master

Another feat that provides a direct boost to your Dexterity is the Weapon Master. This feat is especially beneficial for characters who rely on Dexterity for their attack rolls. Upon choosing this feat, you gain a +1 increase to your Strength or Dexterity score, up to a maximum of 20.

Additionally, you gain proficiency with four weapons of your choice. This can be particularly advantageous for Dexterity-based fighters who favor finesse or ranged weapons, or for characters of classes that lack weapon proficiencies.

While the Weapon Master feat does provide a valuable increase to Dexterity, its benefits extend beyond the numerical increase. By providing additional weapon proficiencies, it allows Dexterity-based characters to diversify their combat options, providing flexibility and adaptability in various combat scenarios.

5. Skulker

Last, but certainly not least, is the Skulker feat. It’s a fantastic choice for characters who are often engaged in stealth and subterfuge. While it doesn’t directly increase the Dexterity score, it greatly amplifies the benefits of a high Dexterity in specific situations.

The Skulker feat allows characters to hide when they’re only lightly obscured from the creature from which they are hiding. This greatly increases the potential areas where a character can become hidden, effectively turning dim light, patches of natural phenomena, or even a curtain into a potential hiding spot.

Furthermore, this feat allows characters to remain hidden when they miss a ranged weapon attack. Typically, attacking reveals a character’s position, but Skulkers get to remain unseen, making it an excellent feat for sneaky rogues and cunning rangers.

Finally, Skulker makes it so that a creature doesn’t have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks relying on sight when in dim light. Effectively, this makes dim light the same as bright light for the character, increasing their ability to spot hidden enemies or notice important details in low-light conditions.:

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Feat NameDirect DEX IncreaseKey BenefitsBest For
AlertNo+5 to initiative, immunity to surprise, unseen opponents don’t have advantageCharacters who rely heavily on quick reactions, such as Rogues and Rangers
MobileNoSpeed increase by 10 feet, no extra movement cost on Dash, no opportunity attacks after melee attackCharacters who rely on speed and mobility, like Monks or certain Fighters
Lightly ArmoredYes (+1 to STR or DEX)Increase in Strength or Dexterity and proficiency with light armorDexterity-based characters who could benefit from added protection, such as Rogues or Bards
Weapon MasterYes (+1 to STR or DEX)Increase in Strength or Dexterity, and proficiency with four weapons of choiceDexterity-based fighters who favor finesse or ranged weapons or characters of classes that lack weapon proficiencies
SkulkerNoAbility to hide in lightly obscured areas, remain hidden after missing ranged attack, no disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks in dim lightStealth-oriented characters, such as sneaky Rogues and cunning Rangers

Tips for Strategically Selecting Dexterity-Boosting Feats

Selecting the right feat to boost your Dexterity is a strategic decision, and it’s essential to consider your character’s build, role, and the nature of the campaign when making your choice. Here are some tips to help you select the most beneficial feats for your Dexterity-based character.

1. Consider Your Character’s Class and Role

Some classes benefit more from certain feats than others. For instance, Rogues and Rangers, which rely heavily on Dexterity, can benefit greatly from feats like Alert and Skulker. Conversely, classes like Bards or Sorcerers that don’t focus heavily on Dexterity might find other feats more beneficial. Understanding your character’s class and role can help you make an informed feat selection.

2. Think About Your Campaign

The nature of your campaign can significantly impact the utility of certain feats. If your campaign involves a lot of combat, feats like Alert or Mobile, which improve your initiative and mobility, might be more beneficial. On the other hand, if your campaign involves a lot of exploration or stealth, feats like Skulker might be more useful.

3. Align Your Feat Choice with Your Character’s Build

If you’re building a character focused on stealth and subtlety, choosing feats like Skulker or Mobile can enhance your ability to stay hidden and move quickly. Conversely, if you’re building a character focused on combat, feats like Weapon Master or Lightly Armored might be more beneficial.

4. Don’t Forget the Ability Score Increase

Remember that some feats also provide an Ability Score Increase (ASI), which can further boost your Dexterity. Both Lightly Armored and Weapon Master offer this advantage. An ASI in Dexterity not only improves related skills and abilities but also contributes to higher Armor Class, better initiative, and improved attack and damage rolls with certain weapons.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re making the most strategic decision when choosing feats to boost your character’s Dexterity. Remember, the goal is not just to increase your Dexterity score, but also to choose feats that provide benefits aligning with your character’s overall build and role within the campaign.

Conclusion: Leveraging Feats to Boost Your Dexterity

Feats are a vital aspect of character customization in D&D 5e, providing a unique layer of depth and strategy to the gameplay. Selecting feats that boost Dexterity can significantly improve your character’s performance, especially if Dexterity plays a pivotal role in their abilities and skills.

We explored five powerful feats – Alert, Mobile, Lightly Armored, Weapon Master, and Skulker – each offering its own set of benefits to Dexterity-centric characters. While some of these feats directly increase your Dexterity score, like Lightly Armored and Weapon Master, others like Alert and Skulker can make a character with high Dexterity even more formidable, amplifying their ability to react quickly, move stealthily, or strike accurately.

However, it’s crucial to select your feats strategically. Consider your character’s class and role, the specifics of your campaign, and how the feat aligns with your character’s overall build. Additionally, remember to leverage the Ability Score Increase provided by some feats to further bolster your Dexterity.

Samuel James is a passionate writer with a love for MMO and ARPG games. When he's not busy exploring virtual worlds, he enjoys taking his dog for long walks and writing detailed gaming guides for XPGoblin. He also loves watching sci-fi films, with a particular fondness for the works of Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.
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