Hide action in DnD 5E explained

Master the art of stealth using the Hide 5E action. Vanish from sight and surprise your foes.

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In Dungeons and Dragons 5E there are certain actions that are available to all creatures, no matter their class or statblock, or whether they’re a PC or NPC. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at one of those actions that let you sneak into places where you shouldn’t be, or help you catch a monster by surprise, the Hide action.

How the Hide action works

When you take the Hide action, you make a Stealth check using your Dexterity modifier until you are discovered or choose to stop hiding. This check is contested by the Perception (Wisdom) check of any creature actively looking for signs of your presence. In order to attempt to hide, you must not be seen by a creature you’re attempting to hide from, so an invisible creature can always attempt to hide from creatures that don’t have a special sense like blindsight, but they must still remain quiet. Any noise you make, such as shouting a warning to your party or knocking an object over, will give away your position.

In combat, most creatures are alert and looking for danger and will spot you if you come out of hiding to approach the creature. However, under certain circumstances, your DM may allow you to stay hidden as you approach and benefit from advantage on one attack before you are noticed.

Even if a creature isn’t actively searching for you, they may notice you if their passive Perception (Wisdom) score, which equals 10 + their Wisdom modifier + any other bonuses to their Perception, is equal to or higher than your Stealth check. If the creature would have advantage it has a +5 to this score, if they would have disadvantage they would have a -5 to this score. How well other creatures can see you will be determined by how well lit an area is, and how obscured it may be.

How to Hide as a bonus action

Using the Hide action can often be made more appealing if you can do it as a bonus action, rather than an action. This opens up the possibility of hiding and attacking a creature in the same turn, hiding and dashing to safety, and much more. Here are the ways that you can Hide as a bonus action:

  • Cunning Action, the Rogue’s 2nd level ability, allows you to Hide as a bonus action.
  • Vanish, the Ranger’s 14th level ability, allows you to Hide as a bonus action and prevents you from being tracked by nonmagical means.
  • Nimble Escape, the goblin’s racial ability, allows you to Hide as a bonus action.

We hope that you found this article helpful, and didn’t send you hiding behind your sofa. If your attention has been grabbed by escaping the attention of others then check out Rogue 5E guide, or if you’re interested in more content like this then check out our how to play section. Until next time may cover be plentiful, and your tippy-toes silent.

Expert Editor-in-Chief