Ranger 5E — DnD class guide 2024

Unveil the secrets of the wilderness with this Ranger DnD 5E guide. Master the land, creatures, and combat techniques.

Ranger 5E: Female ranger with bow and arrow
© Dice Cove

You’ve always been drawn to nature, with a fierce desire to protect it, and others, from the dangers lurking beyond the confines of civilization. Now you’re ready to step into that role of protector and explorer, with a yearning to see new lands and become one with them. You want to play a Ranger, so grab your bow, and let’s hike out.

In this Ranger DnD 5E guide, we’ll train you on your options as a Ranger, as well as supportive choices you can make to build your character to achieve what you want. Whilst reading through this guide, you may find our articles on DnD terms and list of DnD books (and their common abbreviations) helpful.

This Ranger DnD 5E guide will evaluate each option for the Ranger on a scale of 1-5 — this is a rating of the abilities’ potency and overall usefulness, primarily focusing on combat where appropriate. That said, I will still evaluate everything, hopefully to aid you weigh any choices you might be considering at a glance, helping you know what to expect and make changes accordingly, if desired. The rating scheme is:

1 – Usually a bad choice, to be avoided
2 – Below average, this can apply to powerful but very niche abilities
3 – Average to Good, you won’t go wrong with it
4 – Very good
5 – Amazing, a must-have if there is such a thing

Be sure to check our other DnD 5E class guides: Artificer 5E guide, Barbarian 5E guide, Fighter 5E guide, Monk 5E guide, Paladin 5E guide, Rogue 5E guide, Sorcerer 5E guide, and Warlock 5E guide.


Version 1.0

  • Initial version


This rating system exists to best help you understand the effectiveness of all the options available to the class for you to build and enjoy your character. Remember though, your fun comes first; it’s actually very difficult to build a character that is entirely bad in DnD 5E, so if you have a concept that doesn’t rate highly, you might still have fun playing it. This is a guide, not a contract written by Asmodeus. Let it advise you and not force you away from your own ideas.

It’s recommended to have your book/PDF/DnD Beyond page open to reference and follow along with the guide.

Ranger DnD 5E Class Abilities Guide

Hit Dice 4 – The second hughes Hit Die available, this is more than adequate for melee Rangers and excellent for ranged ones.


Armor 5 – The only armor you don’t have access to is heavy, which is of no great loss to you unless you were planning a heavy weapon using build. Medium or light armor with a shield offers a good AC, with the option to raise it higher with other features.

Weapons 5 – You have access to all weapons, which is as good as it gets. Might I recommend the sling? Just kidding, unless you take the Crusher feat from (much) later in the guide.

Tools 1 – You don’t get any tool proficiencies, which is a shame as a Herbalism Kit would be very appropriate for this wild martial.

Saving Throws 5 – Dexterity is an excellent saving throw proficiency to have, being very common and usually resulting in damaging effects. Strength is considered a weak save but is reasonably common and often leads to conditions like prone or restrained, which set you up for more hurt down the road.

Skills 4 – More skills than is standard and from an excellent list to boot. 

Favored Enemy 2 – The usefulness of this feature is entirely dependent on your table and DM, whom you should work with to make sure you choose a relevant creature type, and that the features will actually be relevant. Niche is putting it lightly.

Natural Explorer 2 – The benefits granted by this feature are very nice for the exploration pillar of the game. This would have rated higher if they were a little more generally applicable and you got some sort of combat-orientated feature at this level. You may be seeing a theme emerging here, what the Ranger is meant to be good at is simply too dependent on the DM they have, unlike most other classes.

Fighting Style 4 – The first actual combat feature you get, this is not quite as impactful as it is for the Fighter, but any boost to your combat prowess is greatly welcomed. The Ranger is very flexible in how it can be played due to the variety of styles it gains access to. You can even use heavy weapons if you wish, as the effect of the Great Weapon Fighting style is so minimal you won’t feel the lack of it. Each Fighting Style will be assessed individually in more detail later on in the guide.

Spellcasting 3 – The Ranger is a half caster, meaning that they don’t get cantrips by default and their spell slot progression is slower than that of a Druid, for example, whilst ultimately ending at 5th level spells. This spellcasting is intended to support the Ranger’s martial role, with a lot of their spells modifying, or enhancing, their weapon attacks. There are some control and support spells, and it is possible to build a Ranger that is more heavily based on spellcasting, but deliberately ignoring their martial abilities will usually lead to subpar performance. 

This is only rated as a 3 because, whilst access to potent and unique spells is great, Rangers are very limited by the number of spells known they have, in contrast to the Paladin that is able to prepare different spells each day as they see fit. This is compounded by the Ranger being MAD if they choose to focus more on Wisdom to make the spells more reliable.

Primeval Awareness 3 – This feature covers enough creature types, with a large enough distance, that this is a valuable information gathering tool in a surprising amount of situations. This is held back at a 3 as it could provide more information, at least the number of creatures, and your spells slots are a preciously scarce resource.

Extra Attack 5 – The quintessential tier 2 damage increase for martial classes, well except the Rogue, that keeps you competitive whilst synergizing well with Hunter’s Mark, or spells that require you to hit with a weapon to achieve the effect.

Land’s Stride 3 – Very thematic for a wilderness-based class, but very niche and arguably less useful for ranged builds that won’t need to move around the terrain as much. This is only saved from being a 2 or lower as it’s a bonus ability, coming alongside the 8th level ASI, where most classes don’t gain anything else at this level.

Hide in Plain Sight 1 – This ability is just really bad, requiring a lot of hoops to jump through for a Stealth check bonus that only works as long as you stand still and do nothing at all. If you didn’t have to camouflage yourself again when you moved this might at least be a 2, but as it stands it’s clunky and lackluster. 

Vanish 2 – A bit of an odd ability for a Ranger to get at this level. This has some value for ranged characters, similar to Rogues but with a lesser payoff, but very limited use for melee builds. Very niche to say the least.

Feral Senses 2 – Not suffering disadvantage against invisible enemies is nice, but it doesn’t prevent their advantage whilst attacking you, with the second benefit being essentially useless. There’s no reason that an invisible creature’s location/square should be unknown to you if they aren’t actively hiding, and if they are the ability doesn’t help anyway. 

Foe Slayer 2 – This is a terrible capstone for a few reasons, the primary reasons being that it relies on fighting one of your favored enemies and that you have a good Wisdom modifier, the rest being that the benefit just simply isn’t good enough to be restricted to once per turn

Fighting Styles

The contents in the following list of Fighting Styles are arranged alphabetically but divided by the books they are found in to make it easy to see what you can choose from if certain sources are not allowed at your table. Please note the styles found in TCoE are listed as optional class features, so be sure to check with your DM before choosing them. Some styles may be rated differently here than they were in the Fighter 5E guide, this is because the opportunity cost for a Ranger taking a Fighting Style is lower, as their available styles are far fewer.


Archery 5 – Almost a must-have for any Ranger committing to a bow or other ranged weapon as their primary strategy. This not only makes your attacks more reliable and helps offset any cover the monster may be benefiting from, but also goes a long way to offset the accuracy penalty the +10 damage option imposes from Sharpshooter.

Defense 4 – With only access to medium armor and various incentives to not use a shield, this +1 to your AC can be very valuable. This isn’t as impactful as the other options on offer, so only warrants a 4 overall, although something can be said for it being agnostic of whatever weapon you choose to use.

Dueling 5 – A flat damage bonus that you can rely on and synergizes well with Extra Attack and some features, like the Gloom Stalker’s Dread Ambusher. This is better than using the versatile property of weapons like the longsword.

Two-Weapon Fighting 4 – This is essential if you want to use the two weapon iconic Ranger imagery (thanks Drizzt!), however, this only gets a 4 as you need your bonus action to make use of Hunter’s Mark. If you’re fighting a single big bad, then losing a single turn’s TWF attack for the additional d6’s is easily worth it.


Blind Fighting 3 – Blindsight is a very powerful PC ability, however, this only gets a 3 as its usefulness remains niche. Invisible enemies can be a real problem, but you likely won’t be fighting them for even half of your encounters. It does help mitigate a lack of darkvision on a Ranger, however, the Ranger has access to the Darkvision spell and one subclass has darkvision as a feature. If you do choose this then you may want to consider taking Fog Cloud as one of your spells known, allowing you to leverage this style to your advantage without having to rely on DM-given circumstances.

Druidic Warrior 4 – A great way to add some utility and coverage of different damage types to your Ranger, and a must-have for anyone attempting a more Wisdom or casting-focused build. Stand-out choices here include the excellent Guidance, Shillelagh, and Thorn Whip.

Thrown Weapon Fighting 5 – This is a necessity if you want to play a Ranger that’s dedicated to throwing weapons, or even just uses it regularly as a tactic, as this style allows you to ignore the object interaction limitation characters would normally face. Combined with a +2 damage and no inherent conflicts with how the Ranger works and this is a great and thematic option. It should be noted that whilst thrown weapons normally suffer from smaller damage dice, the combination of the +2 from this style and the extra d6 you can gain from Hunter’s Mark compensates for this.

Ranger 5E Optional Class Features (TCoE) Guide

Unlike many other classes, the Ranger receives a lot of optional features that replace existing features, completely changing the feel and handling of the class mechanically. Not all optional features are replacements, some are just additive, and overall they’re usually stronger than the PHB versions. These features do distract, somewhat, from the heavy exploration niche of the Ranger, so if you are playing at a table where those features may actually come up, you may want to weigh up which features to replace more carefully. The alternate options for the Beast Master’s companions will be rated in that subclass’ section.

Deft Explorer [Replaces Natural Explorer] 5 – This is an overwhelming improvement on Natural Explorer, providing you with benefits that are much more generally useful, whilst also giving you a more rewarding level progression. Each benefit will be individually rated to help you judge if, or when, you should take levels in another class:

  • Canny 5 This is essentially an Expertise of your choice along with two free languages of your choice, which is a large boost to your utility, particularly as this comes at 1st level.
  • Roving 4 Not only does your speed increase by 5 ft, but you also gain climbing and swimming speeds! This is a huge mobility increase, most features in the game don’t offer such a significant bump at once. This is only a 4 as how useful your mobility is depends on the environment and your DM. 
  • Tireless 4 Assuming that you have a modest Wisdom of 14, this will be worth 26 temporary hit points on average per long rest at level 10 when you gain this feature. That’s a significant chunk of your total maximum hit points per day, and could easily be higher. The ideal way to use these hit points is between combats, so you can start most, if not every, combat with a buffer of temporary hit points. The second part of this feature is much harder to rate, but as exhaustion is such a punishing mechanic it is a potent enough benefit to help rate this at least a 4 overall.

Favored Foe [Replaces Favored Enemy] 2 – This is not a good feature, the amount of damage is very small, you can’t mark a different creature without spending another use, and yet it still consumes your concentration meaning it won’t stack with your most valuable spells. This warrants a 2 as there are certain instances that this ability is most useful, such as level 1 before you gain the Spellcasting feature, or if you are using a build that will focus heavily on bonus actions like two-weapon fighting, as it won’t clash with your attacks like casting and moving Hunter’s Mark would. The last, somewhat, redeeming part of this feature is that it makes Foe Slayer a much better feature, making it at least a 3, although still not a good capstone feature. Depending on your character and campaign, you may actually prefer to keep Favored Enemy for the languages, at least.

Additional Ranger Spells 5 – There are a lot of good spells on offer with this feature, providing you with significantly more options with every spell level. Notably, adding these spells makes a more caster-focused Ranger possible, giving you more support, control, and healing options. Stand-out spells include Entangle, Aid, Enhance Ability, Magic Weapon, Revivify, and Greater Restoration. The summoning spells also give you a way to summon allies that is more table-friendly, instead of having to track and take actions for an entire pack of wolves, for example.

Spellcasting Focus 5 – Mostly a ribbon ability, but this allows you to play more to the martial Druid style of play, for example, wielding a shield and a staff that you have cast Shillelagh on. This provides you with a magical weapon that doubles as a spellcasting focus, the option to focus on Wisdom should you choose to, and still have the option of Polearm Master.

Primal Awareness [Replaces Primeval Awareness] 5 – This is a really good feature, but not an obvious choice to replace Primeval Awareness, the spells you gain are rather niche utility spells compared to the long-distance information gathering you normally get. That said, this feature allows you to fulfill the one with nature aspect of the Ranger without having to sacrifice any of your spell slots or spells known, which is fantastic. What makes this a 5 is that this offers a boost across your entire level progression, whilst coming alongside your subclass.

Martial Versatility 3 – This is essentially just giving the player a guaranteed way to change a choice that they are unhappy with, which a lot of tables would have normally done with a conversation with the DM. This is an additional ability, comes alongside an ASI, and can help some players out that can’t have that conversation, so it is worth at least a 3.

Nature’s Veil [Replaces Hide in Plain Sight] 5 – Far more potent and user-friendly than the feature it replaces, you can think of this as a bonus action, a turn-by-turn version of Greater Invisibility. Not only does it help you sneak by certain areas, but it can potentially give you advantage on all of your attacks, disadvantage on attacks against you, and deny monsters opportunity attacks. An easy swap to make unless you’re playing a lie in the mud for long periods of time kind of sniper character.

Ranger DnD 5E Stats Guide

As mentioned in this Ranger DnD 5E guide, rangers are inherently MAD with their Spellcasting feature using Wisdom, whilst they will also want Strength or Dexterity, and a decent Constitution. For those that would prefer a Strength-based build, you will still need, ideally, a 14 Dex as the Ranger doesn’t get access to heavy armor. Str builds can certainly work, but you will have a more diverse stat array by focusing on Dexterity instead of Strength, allowing you to invest a small amount in a tertiary stat of your choice. It is certainly possible to build a Ranger that focuses on Wisdom, this is easier if the Optional Class Features from TCoE are available to you, but those builds will also want at least a 14 Dexterity.

Depending on your build priorities, if you are focused on Str or Dex for weapon use, then you may be comfortable with only a 16 in Wisdom, and not investing beyond that. If you want to pick up a feat or two, then try to get your primary stat to an 18 first if you aren’t choosing to play a variant human. You should consider your stats and priorities when you allocate your ability scores and choose a race at first level. 

Strength 2 – With the hang-up of needing some Dexterity for medium armor, this just isn’t as appealing to you as it is for some other martial classes. If you are attracted to the idea of being a Ranger that uses heavy weapons then this might be for you, if you are interested in being Str-based for grappling purposes, then you are better suited having a 10-12 in this stat and gaining Expertise in Athletics.

Dexterity 5 – An excellent stat to base your character on, thanks to the many benefits associated with having a high Dex, such as a high initiative modifier, a handful of skills that will benefit, and the ability to switch between ranged and melee weapons with ease. This stat is needed for your armor proficiencies and is a prerequisite for multiclassing in and out of this class. It’s recommended to start with as high a Dexterity as you can afford and max it out when you’re able to. If you are focused on Strength or Wisdom, then you can start with a 14 here and not raise it, but you will always benefit from a higher Dex mod.

Constitution 3 – You’re a martial character that will likely be concentrating on spells, or even features, in combat often so you’ll want a decent Con to say the least. This is mitigated if you are primarily a ranged character, however, at least a 14 here is recommended no matter what your build is.

Intelligence 1 – You have no real use for this, you can invest in this for roleplay reasons or if you want to be really good at Int-based skills, but even in that regard this shouldn’t be higher than a 12 unless you’ve rolled really well, or are looking to multiclass into Artificer or Wizard.

Wisdom 4 – Not only do your spells rely on this, but it’s also a great stat to have a good score in thanks to how common, and devastating, Wisdom saving throws become towards the end of tier 2 and how useful Perception is. Ideally, you should start this at a 16, but whatever you can afford is best. If you want to focus on Wisdom as your primary stat then it’s highly advised you get the Shillelagh cantrip so you can still leverage Extra Attack.

Charisma 2 – A tertiary stat if you want to be a bit of a face Ranger, you can safely dump this to an 8 if you want, but if you want to do that talking thing to people then a 10-12 would be advised along with proficiency in the relevant skills.

Ranger DnD 5E Archetypes (Subclasses) Guide

Rangers are one of the most heavily influenced by their subclass in 5E, with the subclass you choose contributing significantly to your damage, and potentially changing how you approach play entirely. It’s important to think about what subclass you want to take when you are creating your character, as this can affect your race choice. For example, if you are planning to take the Gloom Stalker subclass, you may reconsider your race choice if part of what was important to you is having darkvision.


This subclass represents a specialized hunter of certain creatures, giving you benefits against your choice of larger enemies, hordes of enemies, or more generic benefits that you can choose at multiple points in your level progression. The concept of being a specialized hunter of certain creatures is no longer the purview of just this subclass, with entire archetypes focusing on different types of enemies, so before choosing this one you may want to check if your chosen foe is better represented in another. As each feature has multiple choices, each one will be rated individually:

Hunter’s Prey [3rd level] – This will be your hallmark feature and is where you decide if you really want to lock yourself into a niche or not.

Colossus Slayer 4 – Additional damage is the mainstay of a Ranger subclass and this option has no restriction on what monster it can apply to, they just need to have taken at least one point of damage first. That restriction is what holds this back from being a 5, as it can mean that on the first turn of combat, or others if you need to switch targets, you may not get it at all. Otherwise, this is actually slightly more potent than other subclasses, as the additional damage is a d8, rather than a d6. This is the recommended option for most situations unless you know that you will be consistently facing larger enemies, or many enemies at once. It will also work well whether you are a melee or ranged character.

Giant Killer 2 – More attacks, and thus more chances to leverage something like Hunter’s Mark, are great, but besides this being restricted to large and above enemies only, it also relies on you being within hitting distance. As a result, this isn’t a suitable choice for most ranged weapon builds and pushes this firmly into a 2.

Horde Breaker 1 – On paper, this sounds really cool, you’re basically a blender for minions right?! Well, not really. The problem with this is largely that you have to throw yourself into the middle of the enemies to reliably use it, which makes it far more likely that you’ll get hit. But, on top of that, you won’t benefit from Hunter’s Mark as much as you have to attack multiple enemies and it’s very likely that the combat just won’t line up for you to be able to use this at all. If you do decide to take this option, then it is highly recommended that you invest in Constitution and consider using a weapon with the reach property, to help ensure that you can use it more often and not die whilst doing so.

Defensive Tactics [7th level] – In stark contrast to the 3rd level abilities, these choices are not so defining unless you let them be. Instead, these all present a solid defensive option that can come up in any campaign, in any combat.

Escape the Horde 3 – If you want to be a skirmisher, but don’t want to invest in Mobile, then this is an okay substitution. This is only rated as a 3 because attacks at disadvantage can still hit you, and this really requires additional build decisions to function as well as it can. If you decide to take this option then it’s recommended that you take the Defense style and use whichever armor will give you the highest AC at the time, no matter the Stealth penalties, to give you the best chance that those opportunity attacks will miss. It’s also recommended that you take the Longstrider spell, and perhaps a race with a higher than 30 ft. speed so that you have enough movement to really skirmish effectively. The Roving part of the Deft Explorer feature is also helpful for this choice.

Multiattack Defense 4 – Multiattack is a really common monster feature that can be absolutely devastating to your hit point pool, this feature goes a long way to mitigating that, even to the point where you can get in a monster’s face and try to AC tank. Much like Escape the Horde, it’s recommended that you try to get your AC as high as possible to maximize the effectiveness of this option.

Steel Will 3 – Frightened is a condition that comes up pretty frequently when fighting the horrors of D&D, however, this only gets a 3 as there are far, far better features at this level on other subclasses that would protect better, and against more conditions.

Multiattack [11th level] – This is a much easier choice for most Rangers, with one option being purely for ranged builds, and the other for melee builds.

Volley 4 – Whilst still dependent on the number of monsters you’re facing and their positioning, this ability uses a large enough area that you could reasonably hit three or more monsters with it. The strength of this feature is that you can still leverage Hunter’s Mark as you are still making attack rolls with a weapon and that it functions as an AOE, but has no risk of affecting your allies.

Whirlwind Attack 1 – Not only does this heavily overlap with Horde Breaker, it’s actually worse in a lot of ways. Whilst you can make an unrestricted amount of attacks, the more attacks you can make with this action, the worse of a position you are in, being completely encircled is not good. To compare this with Horde Breaker, if you only have two monsters close enough to use this, it may actually be better to use Horde Breaker instead, as you can make your normal two attacks, with the possibility of a third. This is relegated to a 1 because it can be very self-destructive, whilst not paying off significantly more than a 3rd level feature.

Superior Hunter’s Defense [15th level] – This is mostly you getting to choose a Rogue feature to steal, but they’re really good features. The only knock against this overall is that this comes online so much later than for the Rogue that it feels like an unnecessary restriction.

Evasion 4 – This is an amazing ability that can save you from a tremendous amount of damage, but what holds this back from a 5 is that it comes online at such a high level. At 15th level, there will be plenty of monster features that target other stats like Wisdom, Constitution, and maybe even Intelligence or Charisma.

Stand Against the Tide 2 – This is a very niche ability that has too much potential to not do anything at all. It requires the creature to miss you, there to be another monster within its reach, the attack to hit that other monster, and then it can still fall afoul of that monster’s stat block. You see, resistance, or outright immunity, to nonmagical damage becomes increasingly common for monsters in higher levels/CRs, but most monsters don’t have magical attacks themselves. This isn’t normally an issue, as PCs don’t usually have defenses that distinguish between magical and nonmagical attacks, but redirecting a monster’s attack to another monster can hit those defenses and do little, or no damage even if it hits. When this works it will be great and satisfying, but that is too infrequent to bring this higher than a 2. 

Uncanny Dodge 5 – Being able to halve the damage from an attack is a great defensive ability, and one that doesn’t suffer from coming online at a higher level, typically the higher level you are, the harder the monsters hit you.

Beast Master

If your idea of a Ranger is a wilderness expert with a formidable animal companion, then this is the subclass for you. This subclass will be reviewed in to stages, first the PHB version, and the with the optional companions from TCoE.

Ranger’s Companion 3 – This is what makes you a Beast Master, granting you your animal companion and allowing it to work with your action economy. This feature suffers from two issues, the power of it is firmly tied to which creature you choose as your companion, and it eats into your own attacks, setting a high bar for the companion to clear to be better than just attacking yourself. The scaling provided in this feature is largely competitive, only the hit points and additional damage may seem lackluster depending on your beast choice. Thematically, finding another beast to bond with if yours dies feels very callous and counter to building a relationship with your companion, this is something resolved by the optional version. Recommended creatures for animal companions include the flying snake, the giant crab, and the panther. It’s important to note that when the beast attacks it is taking the Attack action, meaning that any creatures with Multiattack will only make one attack until 11th level.

Exceptional Training 3 – This is an important feature for keeping your companion relevant by making their attacks magical, the ability to issue some commands as a bonus action still feels too restrictive, and is mostly useful for them taking the Help action before you attack.

Bestial Fury 4 – This is a fairly substantial increase to your damage, allowing you to leverage the bonus damage you add to the companions attack to a greater extent and increasing the chance of any conditions their attacks may impose. 

Share Spells 3 – The power of this feature depends entirely on your spells known, if you are an archer build then there is a good chance that a lot of your spells won’t apply to your animal companion. This is an efficient way of healing you both, however, if you have Cure Wounds prepared, and some buffs can increase your team’s damage and mobility.

Primal Companion [Optional replacement for Ranger’s Companion] 5 – This fixes a lot of the problems with the Beast Master subclass, allowing you to use your companion entirely as a bonus action, and allowing them to Dodge without a command. The templates provided by this feature are overall mechanically better than the choices you could make from the Monster Manual, however, you do lose access to certain abilities, such as blindsight, that you could have chosen previously. The recommended template to use in general is the Beast of the Land, however, Beast of the Sky does offer some skirmishing and aerial scouting capabilities using spells like Beast Sense and Speak with Animals. The great thing about this feature is you can change the template you’re using every long rest, allowing you to prepare for whatever the day is going to bring.  

Gloom Stalker

This Ranger disappears into the shadows, hunting the monsters that seek to prey on the innocent in the darkness. This subclass focuses on going first and devastating the enemy in a hard-hitting first round, whilst leveraging the darkness to their advantage. Due to the additional attack this subclass gets, it’s a good base for a Sharpshooter build or Fighter dip.

Gloom Stalker Magic 5 – This is a good selection of spells that would help a Ranger and their party survive in a hostile environment like the Underdark. Rope Trick and Greater Invisibility are the standouts here, but Disguise Self can prove incredibly useful without conflicting with your Hunter’s Mark concentration.

Dread Ambusher 5 – A speed boost to ensure that you can position yourself how you want to, with an additional attack that does an extra 1d8 of damage! This is only on the first turn of combat, in comparison to other subclasses that can add damage in every round potentially, but this attack is worth enough much damage that it balances out. The fact that this is a passive benefit that works every combat means that this subclass can get through a lot of combat encounters on any given day. Note: If you dip two levels into Fighter, using Action Surge would double the additional attack, giving you six attacks on the first turn of combat if you don’t find a way to attack with your bonus action too.

Umbral Sight 5 – Granting, or enhancing, darkvision is a very nice feature, particularly when it comes alongside Dread Ambusher, but this goes the extra mile by making you invisible to any creature relying on darkvision to see you. This is a huge benefit as it means if you can leverage it, you will be attacking at advantage whilst they will have disadvantage to attack you. You can consider this a free Greater Invisibility when it is relevant.

Iron Mind 5 – Wisdom saving throws can be devastating to fail and become increasingly common as you level up, making this a great defensive option.

Stalker’s Flurry 5 – A second chance if you miss one of your attacks? An excellent ability that greatly reduces the risk from feats like Sharpshooter and Great Weapon Master, as well as helping to ensure that you get that additional d8 from your Dread Ambusher attack.

Shadowy Dodge 5 – An at-will ability that lets you give a monster disadvantage whilst only costing your reaction, a fantastic defense that drives home that this subclass can fight all day long as long as they some hit points.

Horizon Walker

Whilst some Rangers may guard the borders of civilization along the edge of forests or deep caves, these Rangers protect the plane from extraplanar horrors, finding and guarding portals to anywhere and everywhere. To get the most out of the theme of this archetype you will need to work with your DM to make sure that portals will appear at all, never mind enough for you to feel relevant in that way. Fear not, because mechanically this subclass stands up on its own two feet, before teleporting out of view.

Horizon Walker Magic 5 – A great selection of spells that will serve you well at all levels, particularly Misty Step and Protection from Evil and Good, which can help you out in many situations. Haste, should you get high enough to use it, is best used on a ranged build to try and reduce the risk of losing concentration on it, and so missing an entire turn due to Haste’s unique drawback.

Detect Portal 3 – This is a thematic ribbon feature that can be handy in some campaigns, this comes alongside your subclass spells and Planar Warrior, so gets a 3 despite being exceedingly niche.

Planar Warrior 4 – This is a tricky feature to rate as it conflicts entirely with Hunter’s Mark, which is normally a Ranger’s primary damage boost outside of their subclass features. In fact, because it clashes with Hunter’s Mark, you can see this subclass actually doing less damage than others that can stack their subclass features with it. However, this feature’s redeeming quality is converting your attack’s damage to force, circumventing some damage resistances/immunities that you may have to deal with otherwise. This scrapes a 4 thanks to the scaling up to 2d8 at 11th level, but it’s important to note that this feature will only benefit one attack per turn.

Ethereal Step 2 – At first this ability looks really great, a 7th level spell at 7th level as a character, and it’s converted into a bonus action?! In reality, this amounts to a once per rest get out of jail free card, letting you run away without provoking any attacks of opportunity. This can certainly come in handy, but is so limited and directly clashes with Planar Warrior, relegating it to a 2 at best.

Distant Strike 2 – This can be really great on paper, you can potentially make an additional attack and can more reliably reach your targets if you are a melee character. However, this relies on having three separate monsters to attack and having enough movement to reach them all as you can only teleport 10 ft. each time. This is like a higher-level, more reliable version of the Hunter’s Horde Breaker option, which was not good.

Spectral Defense 5 – After a rocky set of mid-level abilities, the Horizon Walker ends strong with a great defensive ability that highlights how many queues this archetype takes from the Hunter. This ability is very similar to Uncanny Dodge, that the Hunter can choose at this level, trading the ability to stack the reduction with resistance, for not having to see the enemy that attacks you. Either way, this can save you enough hit points to let you tank some very nasty encounters.

Monster Slayer

This is a generalist subclass that gets a feature version of Hunter’s Mark that can stack with the spell and later grants you additional benefits. This archetype particularly excels at dealing with monsters that can cast spells or have abilities that force saving throws, with examples given including Vampires and Dragons. The primary downside to this archetype is that the feature that everything hinges on can only be used once per rest, giving it a higher nova potential, but making it poor across longer adventuring days or any time that a short rest is hard to perform successfully.

Monster Slayer Magic 3 – An okay list, but a very situational one for the levels you are most likely to play. Protection from Evil and Good covers enough monster types to be useful, but Zone of Truth is niche, as is Magic Circle. If you get high enough, both Banishment and Hold Monster are great spells, but you have to get there and won’t have many slots for them.

Hunter’s Sense 3 – This can be very useful, but is so situational that it is restricted to a 3, and only this high as it comes alongside other features. The problem here is that the ideal time to use this is before combat starts, and you likely won’t have the luxury of seeing your enemies before combat starts, whilst also being within 60 feet of them.

Slayer’s Prey 4 – This is basically a feature version of Hunter’s Mark, which you can look at in two ways. You can either use this in tandem with Hunter’s Mark, allowing you to save spell slots when you need them, or stack them together for more damage against meatier monsters. The alternative is to not take Hunter’s Mark at all, or swap it out once you gain this feature, allowing you to learn a different spell instead, with a small damage downgrade. Overall a good ability, but not great and the bonus action requirement makes it clunkier to use than other subclass damage boosts.

Supernatural Defense 4 – Adding a d6 to saving throws and grapple checks is a great defensive boost and the raw power of it is worth a 4, what holds it back is relying on having already used your Hunter’s Prey feature on the monster. This means that there’s a good chance that you won’t actually get the bonus, whether the monster has gone before you in the initiative order, you decided to use Hunter’s Mark first, or there are just multiple monsters forcing saving throws in the combat. This feature really highlights that this subclass is aimed at hunting down certain kinds of monsters, that aren’t likely to have minions with saving throw-based abilities.

Magic-User’s Nemesis 3 – This feature is Counterspell, except better as you won’t need to make a check to prevent higher level spells, spend a slot, or risk being countered yourself. What limits this to a 3 is that there are plenty of monsters you can fight that this won’t help you against, for example, this won’t prevent a vampire from charming your allies, and that is a monster specifically mentioned in the subclass fluff. When it is useful you’ll likely want to use it more than once, which makes the once per rest restriction really limiting without the option to spend spell slots to do it again.

Slayer’s Counter 4 – A fantastic ability, allowing you to completely avoid needing to make a saving throw, whilst also delivering some additional damage. This is only held back from a 5 by requiring you to have marked the monster with Slayer’s Prey, falling into the same drawbacks as Supernatural Defense.

Fey Wanderer

Much like the Avatar is the bridge between the spiritual world and the mortal world, this Ranger is the bridge between the Feywild and the Prime Material. There are some suggestions given for how you gained your fey magic, but that is purely a roleplay choice for you to make. Mechanically this is the best subclass for a face Ranger, and at later levels, excels at summoning and teleportation. Moreso than many other subclasses, this Ranger is heavily incentivized to invest in Wisdom.

Fey Wanderer Magic 4 – A really good spell selection, with Charm Person reinforcing the face role, Misty Step and Dimension Door giving you teleportation normally absent from the Ranger, and the option of using Dispel Magic instead of relying on a fullcaster. This spell list is not only very mechanically effective but, also very evocative of the fey flavor.

Dreadful Strikes 4 – Additional damage is not only a staple of a Ranger subclass but a mandatory element as the main class relies on it. The damage here is the most anemic of all the subclasses with only a d4, later increasing to a d6, but that small difference is compensated for by the damage being psychic. This is a damage type that is rarely resisted, or nullified entirely by immunity, and can help a character without a magic weapon still land meaningful damage. The damage here is just a bit too low for a 5.

Otherworldly Glamour 5 – An excellent ability that is even better than just allowing you to use Wisdom instead of Charisma for social checks. If you are planning to take on the face role for your party, then it is recommended that you invest at least a +1, or as high as you can afford, into Charisma to get the most out of this feature.

Beguiling Twist 4 – This is a good example of planning your character ahead of time, as there are multiple races that have features that make this feature partially redundant. However, if you don’t have any overlap between this feature and your race, or anything else, then this is a solid defensive boost against common monster-imposed conditions. The ability to possibly frighten or charm a creature is nice but may run into immunity against those conditions as you level up.

Fey Reinforcements 5 – Not only do you get a good summoning spell without it counting against your spells known, not only do you get one free casting, but you can also trade duration for it concentration-free! That is a very potent ability for some harder fights, allowing you to still leverage other spells including potentially other summon spells. Do you want your own army of spirits? You can have it!

Misty Wanderer 5 – A bunch of free castings of MistyStep is great, but this also converts it into a mini Dimension Door. This adds a lot of mobility to your party, letting you shuttle yourself and one other character around for only a bonus action. Note: The way the feature is written means that you can still bring someone else along if you cast Misty Spell with a spell slot, instead of using the free castings this feature provides.


Besides never truly feeling alone (one versus a whole swarm, take that Beast Master!), this Ranger specializes in battlefield control by moving either themselves or the enemy. Notably, this is one of the few Rangers to be able to fly, giving them a valuable exploration tool and additional mobility in combat. Due to Gathered Swarm, this subclass is best suited for ranged weapon users.

Swarmkeeper Magic 5 – Gaining a cantrip from a feature like this is unusual for a Ranger, but very much appreciated as Mage Hand is a great cantrip. The other spells here are focused primarily on control, with Arcane Eye giving a very potent scouting tool to a class that naturally excels at scouting already.

Gathered Swarm 5 – A very versatile feature, this gives you the option of dealing additional damage, moving the monster up to 15ft horizontally in any direction you choose or moving yourself 5 ft in any direction. That last option won’t provoke an opportunity attack as you are being moved by something, rather than moving by your own movement speed. This feature can be very potent if you get creative with it, such as casting Spike Growth and doing additional damage whilst leaving them in a hazardous area. Another example would be to use Ensnaring Strike, letting you put the monster where you want them, and keeping them there.

Writhing Tide 5 – Flight is a great feature, even if it is only 10 ft. of it. The primary benefit of this is allowing you to get off the ground and, hopefully, out of reach of any ground-based monsters. This also allows you much more flexible angles to attack from, minimizing any cover that the monsters may be employing, which can include your own party. There’s also the out-of-combat utility of getting across gaps, or to higher places that may otherwise be inaccessible. 

Mighty Swarm 4 – Not the most exciting feature, this is a buff to all of your Gathered Swarm options. This is held back at a 4 as the damage increase is minor, a d10 would have been reasonable, and by knocking a creature prone as a ranged character you are imposing disadvantage on any remaining attacks you have. The half cover, however, is nothing but a benefit and if you have melee party members they can leverage the prone condition to great effect, beyond just hindering the monster’s movement.

Swarming Dispersal 5 – This is similar to the Horizon Walker’s Spectral Defense, trading the at-will nature of it for a free 30 ft teleport that can get you out of danger. Being able to move yourself so far makes this a significant panic button, and continues the theme of battlefield control and mobility.


Like the sound of the Beast Master but prefer the idea of having your own dragon…ish creature? This subclass provides a lot of damage, notably some AOE damage, defenses, and someone to keep you company on those lonely adventuring roads. If you expect to hit 11th level and beyond then it’s advised that you have a decent Wisdom score, ideally at least a 16, as your Drake’s Breath feature will benefit from it greatly.

Draconic Gift 4 – A nice ribbon feature to accompany your drake, this gets a 4 as it’s not intended to be anything more than some thematic fun.

Drake Companion 5 – An excellent companion option that combines an archetype’s normal damage boost with the drake’s attack damage. The drake will have a decent amount of hit points, but will primarily rely on its AC to survive which starts out okay but scales very nicely throughout your character progression. With the first summon being free, and any subsequent summons only requiring an action and a spell slot, it’s easy to ensure that it will be available for every combat. The only downside to this feature is needing to have the drake summoned in order to gain the additional damage you’re expected to have, and that having the drake attack conflicts with Hunter’s Mark and other spells. The damage of the drake’s bite is high enough to compensate for the latter, and if you can’t afford to have the drake around all the time then there may be other problems. Note: As the drake has a lot of scaling tied to your proficiency bonus, you can multiclass out of Ranger if you like without it stagnating completely but, its hit point maximum may become noticeably too low for your level later on.

Bond of Fang and Scale 5 – There’s a lot here and all of it is good, whilst at first it might seem a little disappointing that you can’t ride your drake as it uses its fancy new fly speed, such at-will flight isn’t common at this level for the most part anyway. Being able to ride the drake gives you a huge mobility increase, especially since it remains a medium creature, an exception to the normal mount rules which allows you to navigate spaces the same as if you were unmounted. When not mounted this gives your drake the freedom to scout and attack flying enemies, which would have been a weakness of its until now. The added resistance is welcome, but is a little complicated with the added damage to the drake’s bite, as monsters that the resistance will be relevant against are likely to be resistant, or immune, to the additional bite damage. That additional d6 compensates for the bite not being a magical attack, however, when you’re fighting creatures that lack resistance/immunity to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing it becomes a very competitive bonus action attack for you.

Drake’s Breath 5 –   An excellent AOE option that starts out with the same amount of damage as Fireball or Lightning Bolt, but allows you to choose the damage type and point of origin. The flexibility on offer here is excellent, and even though this consumes your action you can still use your bonus action to have the drake bite. The free use is very nice, but this is easily worth a 3rd level slot, or three, with the scaling at 15th level keeping this ability relevant through the rest of your career.

Perfected Bond 5 – Arguably one of the, if not the most, powerful archetype capstones available. Empowered Bite helps to keep the drake’s bite relevant, with Large Drake giving you a flying mount which is great enough that the inconvenience of your drake being large can be overlooked. Reflexive Resistance is similar to the capstones of the Horizon Walker and Swarmkeeper, providing a massive durability boost to yourself and your drake. What absolutely seals this as a 5 without a doubt is that you can all of this at the same time your Drake’s Breath feature improves to 10d6!

The Ranger is primarily a martial, however, the spells the class can access add significantly to the wilderness theme that it’s built upon, and can significantly enhance your combat, exploration, and utility. In this Ranger DnD 5E guide, we emphasize the significance of spells in enhancing your combat, exploration, and utility abilities, while also staying true to the wilderness theme that defines the class.

Guidance [Cantrip] – Applicable if you chose the Druidic Warrior fighting style, this is a very useful cantrip to pick up to help your party pass the skill checks which really matter.

Shilellagh [Cantrip] – Similar to the above, only applicable if you have chosen the Druidic Warrior fighting style, this is an essential spell for players looking to use Wisdom as a primary stat.

Absorb Elements [1st level Spell] – A powerful defensive spell that can be invaluable in some encounters, don’t expect much out of the bonus weapon damage as the creatures using that element against you are likely resistant or immune to it.

Cure Wounds [1st level Spell] – Having the option to heal yourself, your party members, and your animal companions is very valuable. This won’t make you a great healer but, some healing is better than none.

Hunters Mark [1st level Spell] – The iconic Ranger spell, this can contribute a significant amount of damage over the course of its duration. It’s important to consider what subclass you are going to choose when learning this spell, as the bonus action use can clash with some subclass abilities.

Longstrider [1st level Spell] – A great mobility buff that doesn’t require concentration.

Pass without Trace [2nd level Spell] – An excellent spell that can carry your entire party through a Stealth check, even those clanking Paladins.

Spike Growth [2nd level Spell] – A control spell that can generate a significant amount of damage when paired with any abilities that push/pull enemies and brave party members with a good Athletics modifier and a lot of hit points.

Ranger DnD 5E Race Choices Guide

Races are good places to pick up abilities for certain character concepts, so if you’re thinking about playing a Ranger build but that race isn’t rated well here, it doesn’t mean your particular combination wouldn’t work or be fun to play. Like I said previously, it’s actually pretty difficult to make a truly bad character in 5e. 

Here are some examples of strong race choices for a Ranger:

Wood Elf 5 –   +2 Dex, darkvision, Perception proficiency, and Fey Ancestry is a great package to start off your Ranger with. A natural-born Ranger, the +1 Wis, and 35 ft. speed are very welcome, with Mask of the Wild a good thematic ability, situationally helpful to you if you decide to set up an ambush or sneak past monsters in the wild.

Firbolg 4 – Very thematic, this race would be a good base for both Str-based and Wis-based Rangers, with plenty of supplemental spellcasting and flavorful ribbon abilities. Hidden Step can be used for both retreating in combat and giving yourself advantage on one of your attacks. If the abilities were useable more frequently then this would be good enough for a 5.

Stout Halfling 5 – A +2 Dex bump, advantage on saves against frightened, and the fantastic Lucky makes this an easy 5 considering that you’ll also get a subrace. The Halfling Nimbleness feature is a bit situational but, should be useful enough to be welcome on Rangers looking to leverage some mobility around the battlefield. A Con bump is great as a martial, and poison is common enough amongst monsters that Stout Resilience can save you a significant amount of hit points over the course of your adventuring career.

Ranger 5E Feats Guide

The Ranger is a MAD class, meaning that feats are hard to take if you want to keep your stats high, however, there’s no real need to push all of your stats at every opportunity. For example, if you are playing a typical Dex-based build, then you can likely leave your Con and Wis modifiers at their starting values if you start with 14 and 14/16 respectively. Likewise, you can delay your Dexterity progression without too much hindrance, although it is recommended that you advance it to 18 first. If you intend to play a feat-heavy build, or simply want the benefits of a particular feat early in the game, then it’s recommended you take variant human for your race. Feats will be rated according to how well they support Ranger roles, or cover weaknesses, whilst taking any prerequisites into consideration.

Here are some examples of strong feat choices for a Ranger:

Alert 4 – This feat is good for any class, but the Ranger benefits from it as the class doesn’t have access to See Invisibility and can leverage the +5 initiative bump to either excel at initiative, or compensate for a middling Dex on Wis or Str-focused builds.

Crossbow Expert 4 – This is the kind of feat that your build revolves around, allowing you to leverage per hit damage bonuses like Sharpshooter and Hunter’s Mark in addition to the damage from a third attack. This doesn’t hit a 5 because, whilst not worrying about having an enemy in melee range is nice, the bonus action attack conflicts with many spells and subclass features.

Sharpshooter 5 – This is a great feat for archers, even if you don’t want to use the +10 damage option. Increasing your range and ignoring most forms of cover make you a much more effective archer overall, with the option of trying for the additional damage with Archery compensating for some of the penalty. 

Fey Touched 5 – Misty Step is an excellent spell and, unlike other feats, this feat allows you to also cast it with your own spell slots. For the first level spell, you can choose Hunter’s Mark, freeing up one of your spells known and a spell slot.

Piercer 4 – This will work with many weapon options, including ranged builds, adding a small damage increase whilst you bump your Dexterity. This is low enough in opportunity cost that it is worth a 4 but, the bump to your damage won’t be significant enough to warrant a 5.

Ranger DnD 5E Multiclassing Guide

In this section of Ranger DnD 5E guide, we’ll review each class in terms of how well they multiclass with Ranger, mentioning how many levels and what subclass (if any) would work best. The ratings take multiclassing prerequisites into consideration; if a multiclass will require you to have a 13 in a stat other than Dex or Wis, it will likely receive a lower score unless the stat is one you would already have at 13 or higher, for example, Charisma if you intend to play a face character.

General multiclass tips for the Ranger:

  • Think about why you’re multiclassing and if the new class will depend on one of your tertiary stats, this should be avoided where possible.
  • Between subclass abilities and spells, your bonus action is already very busy. Consider if your dip will regularly require the use of your bonus action, this will make it harder to get the most out of both classes.
  • If you are taking a dip for spellcasting, classes that use Wisdom as their spellcasting stat, the Cleric and Druid, should take priority for your consideration. When taking spellcasting from any other class, you should try to choose spells that won’t rely on the spellcasting modifier as much as possible.
  • One of the common complaints about the Ranger is a lack of damage, if this is what you want to fix with your multiclass, prioritize abilities that will give you more weapon attacks, increase the accuracy of your attacks, or simply add damage to your existing attacks. 
  • Due to the MADness of the Ranger, you should dip after your first ASI. ideally, this should be after 5th level so you get Extra Attack and either keep your dip short or go to 4th level to try and not delay your ASIs too much.
  • If you are playing a subclass that gets a companion, like the Drakewarden, consider choosing a class/subclass combination that would enhance your companion. An example of this would be the Circle of the Shepherd subclass for the Druid.

Artificer 2 – A niche option that needs you to have a decent Int modifier, this requires at least two levels to get real value out of. The main draws here are the ability to make your own magic items and access to some spells that you can prepare daily. Guidance and another utility spell are recommended for your cantrips, and if you go far enough for a subclass, the Armorer gives you the most bang for your buck without interfering much with your existing abilities.

Barbarian 2 – Only viable for Strength builds, this class will primarily increase your durability and grappling success rate, with a minor damage increase. Needing to have at least three stats of, realistically, over 13 in addition to a decent Con score is a tall order. Rage preventing you from casting any spells, or maintaining concentration on any you’ve already cast, is another nail in this multiclassing coffin. This gets a very low 2 for its synergy with Rangers already going down the Strength route but, is best avoided in general. If you go far enough for a subclass, then the Bear Totem is recommended for durability and the Zealot is recommended for damage.

Bard 1 – Not only is this a Charisma-based spellcaster but, the number of Bardic Inspiration dice you get directly depends on your Cha modifier. This, combined with Bardic Inspiration being a long rest resource until Bard’s 5th level, makes this an awful multiclass for the Ranger, with the highlights being utility spells and Jack of All Trades. If you go far enough to grab Expertise and a subclass, then your best bet is the College of Swords. This subclass will give you a limited selection of fighting styles, a speed boost when you take the Attack action, and allow you to use your tiny pool of Bardic Inspiration dice for maneuver-like tricks. It’s worth noting that, despite the subclass’ name, the Blade Flourish feature works with both melee and ranged weapon attacks.

Cleric 5 – The strength of this multiclass option is a combination of the Cleric being a Wisdom-based fullcaster, and getting their subclass at 1st level. This makes for a very potent one-level dip, with the addition of Channel Divinity at 2nd level making it one of the more tempting two-level dips as well. Recommended Domains are War for the bonus action attack, access to Divine Favor, and the accuracy boosting Channel Divinity; Life for the boost to healing if you want to play more of a support Ranger, and Forge for the ability to create your own +1 weapon or armor. All of these Domains also grant proficiency with heavy armor, if you’re playing a Strength-focused build and want to grab plate armor.

Druid 4 – A very thematic dip, this only gets a 4 as you really need to take two levels to get real value out of it, and it will restrict you from using metal armor. If you are comfortable taking two levels, this class rewards you with a substantial amount of benefits. Besides the substantial boost of spellcasting you get, you’ll also gain the Wild Shape feature and subclass abilities. Wild Shape will only really be good for scouting and hiding unless you choose Circle of the Moon, however, many newer subclasses will use Wildshape as a resource for their features. Recommended subclasses include Circle of Stars for high damage potential and versatility, and Circle of the Shepherd for bolstering subclass companions and summoned creatures. 

Fighter 5 – Between the Fighter being very front-loaded and having a synergistic stat prerequisite, this is an excellent choice for a dip. Anywhere between one and four levels is recommended here, with each level being very rewarding but 5th level is entirely redundant unless you don’t plan on taking more than four levels of Ranger. The combination of an additional fighting style and Action Surge can significantly increase your damage over the course of the adventuring day, whilst Second Wind can help get you out of some tough spots or just let you adventure a little longer. If you go deep enough for a subclass, then most are decent to good choice for you, with the subclasses tied to Intelligence falling to the bottom of the pack. Battlemaster is a great choice for enhancing your weapon use with more damage and different rider effects, whilst the Samurai simultaneously increases your durability and accuracy, a great choice for Sharpshooter builds.

Monk 3 – This can be a a great choice for a multiclass dip but, how synergistic it is depends on if the Optional Class Features from TCoE are being used for the Monk and which fighting style you chose as a Ranger. If you built around ranged weapons, Strength, or took the Defense style, this dip is far less appealing for you. The draw of this dip is being able to have a respectable AC without armor, a bonus action attack, and being able to use a wider range of weapons with Dexterity. If you take two levels, then the movement speed increase is nice, and access to Ki provides some nova benefits and panic buttons. If you take three levels, then Kensei is recommended for the support to both melee and ranged combat, and Mercy for the efficiency of being able to provide emergency healing to allies in combat. It’s important to remember when dipping this class, you are a Ranger with Monk levels, not a Monk. You won’t have the Ki points to play like the latter, you are taking these levels to enhance the former.

Paladin 1 – Needing four stats at 13 or higher, whilst still needing Constitution to some degree, makes this a nonstarter. The first level of dipping this class will feel awful, only really providing a meagre five Lay on Hands points and a few uses of a  niche detection ability. The second level is more rewarding with another fighting style, access to Paladin spells, and Divine Smite, however, your Charisma will be terrible for preparing and using the spells, and you don’t have a lot of spell slots to be spending on Divine Smite. If you go far enough to take an Oath, then Vengeance is recommended for Vow of Emnity. This is a bad dip that should be avoided.

Rogue 5 – A small bump in damage from Sneak Attack, proficiency in one skill and Thieves’ Tools, and Expertise is huge amount of value from a one level dip. Cunning Action can provide a lot of options for you if you want to go for two levels, but consider how contested your bonus action is before doing this. This is best for characters that scout a lot or want to be more of a jack of all trades/skill monkey type of build. If you go far enough for a subclass, then Swashbuckler is a fantastic choice for skirmishing and helping ensure that you qualify for Sneak Attack, and Soulknife can add a great deal of reliability to your ability checks even if you don’t use the Psychic Blades. Sneak Attack also increases to 2d6 at the same level you gain a subclass, increasing the value of doing so.

Sorcerer 3 – The reliance on, and prerequisite of, Charisma and a d6 Hit Die are very unfortunate, however, access to excellent spells such as Shield and gaining subclass features at 1st level can still make this an interesting dip. As with most casting multiclass dips it’s best to choose spells that don’t require your spellcasting modifier for your cantrips and two leveled spells. The best subclasses to choose are either the Divine Soul, which would give you Favored by the Gods once per short rest, or the Clockwork Soul for Restore Balance which will scale with your proficiency bonus.

Warlock 3 – The Warlock is very similar to the Sorcerer, with the Charisma requirement being partially offset by getting subclass abilities at 1st level, however, instead of getting a lot of cantrips and boosting your overall spellcasting level, you gain a 1st level spell slot that will recharge on a short rest. If you choose to go two levels into this class Eldritch Invocations can add a lot of utility onto your Ranger. Recommended invocations include Fiendish Vigor for a source of temporary hit points, Devil’s Sight for a better version of darkvision, and Eldritch Sight for at-will castings of Detect Magic. Recommended patrons include the Genie for the additional damage to one attack per turn, and Fiend for the temporary hit points when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points.

Wizard 1 – Reliance on Intelligence, subclass abilities not coming until 2nd level, and a d6 Hit Die all add up to a very poor choice of multiclass for you. If you do choose this class then it is best to primarily choose ritual spells that you don’t need to prepare and spells like Shield that won’t use your Int modifier. Recommended subclasses if you choose to take two levels in this class include Divination for Portent, and War Magic for the small bump to initiative and Arcane Deflection.

Are you looking forward to bonding with nature and hunting down anything that would threaten what you care about, or are you already worried about getting all of that animal hair off of your formal cloak? If you enjoyed this Ranger DnD 5E guide and found it helpful, comment below, and check out our other DnD 5E class guides. Until next time, may your steps be silent and your aim true.

Expert Editor-in-Chief