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Sharpshooter 5E Feat Explained [Improve Your Ranged Attacks]

Sharpshooter 5E Feat Explained
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/26/2023
Est. Reading: 12 minutes

Imagine you’re a Dungeons & Dragons fanatic, whether you prefer the seat of a Dungeon Master or taking on heroic exploits as an adventurer. You’ve heard whispers of a feat that turns ordinary archers into deadly snipers.

The Sharpshooter 5E. This isn’t just another skill to sprinkle onto your character sheet but a powerful game-changer that opens up new tactical possibilities on the battlefield.

D&D is all about strategy and cunning, right? With the Sharpshooter 5E field, your gameplay can evolve from good to masterful. It could be what you need to turn your quaint little archer into the ultimate sniper on the imaginary battlefield.

Get ready as we take you through how this feat works, its benefits, and how it can entirely spruce up your D&D experience into an exciting rollercoaster of thrill and suspense.

What is Sharpshooter 5E?

In the world of Dungeons & Dragons, your character has specific features, known as feats, which enhance their abilities. Sharpshooter 5E is one such feat.

Specifically designed for players who enjoy combat from a distance, it gives your character the edge in any long-range battle scenario.

It offers the unique ability to ignore any cover a target may have, gives you more flexibility with range, and also adds precious bonus damage to your attacks.

Practically speaking, Sharpshooter 5E turns your character into a sniper – able to inflict serious damage without endangering themselves by venturing too close to opponents.

How Does Sharpshooter Work?

Whenever you engage in a D&D session, half the fun comes from being able to outwit your opponent and use your character’s skills to their best advantage.

How Does Sharpshooter Work?

The Sharpshooter feat allows you to do that. As a character with Sharpshooter, you will benefit from three key abilities that maximize your leverage on the battlefield.

  • Ignoring Partial Cover: With this feat, your character effectively sees through obstacles such as trees or rocks that provide some cover to enemies. That means reduced hit penalties for attacking targets attempting to find sanctuary behind half or three-quarters cover.
  • Expanding Attack Range: Often, long-distance shots are tough in D&D. Long ranges tend to decrease accuracy significantly, making it an enormous risk for you strategically. Sharpshooters don’t suffer this disadvantage, though—you can aim and shoot at distant targets with no worries about lost accuracy.
  • The trade-off in Damage: You can choose before every attack if you’d like to be more accurate or cause more damage. If you opt for the latter, take a -5 penalty on your attack roll but receive a +10 bonus on your damage roll. It might feel like swinging at a fastball with your eyes closed —if it hits, it’s going hard and fast.

All these fantastic perks apply not only when you are wielding a longbow or a short bow but also to any ranged weapon in the game that relies on ammunition or thrown properties.

The Sharpshooter feat makes sure that no matter the circumstances around the battlefield, opponents trying to duck behind rocks or trees for safety, or keeping distance to stay out of your range—every shot counts as though they were standing right in front of you without cover.

It’s an absolute game-changer for those who thrive in ranged combat scenarios and want their characters to inflict the maximum possible damage from safe distances.

Also Read: War Caster 5E Feat Explained 2023 [How To Use In DnD 5E?]

Making the Best of Sharpshooter 5E

Getting the best out of the Sharpshooter 5E feat isn’t just about adding it to your character sheet and calling it a day. You need strategies that would provide the most significant benefits in gameplay.

Let’s look at this from the perspectives of three classes: Fighters, Rangers, and Kensei Monks.

Fighter

If you’re playing as a Fighter, your high number of attacks per turn plus the Action Surge ability can reap optimal results with Sharpshooter.

Picture this: your Action Surge gives an additional action on top of your regular one, thereby doubling your attack capability. Couple that with the potential +10 damage from Sharpshooter, and you’ve got yourself a real force to be reckoned with!

Rangers

Rangers can also benefit greatly from Sharpshooter 5E – especially if you choose the archetype ‘Hunter.’ The Hunter provides an ability called ‘Colossus Slayer,’ granting an extra d8 (an eight-sided die) damage once per turn on any creature under its maximum health. Using this potent combo, there’s potential for massive long-range damage every round!

Kensei Monks

Kensei Monks unite martial arts and weaponry into one deadly combination. With their feature, ‘Kensei’s Shot,’ they can use a bonus action to deal extra damage equivalent to their Martial Arts die (which upgrades as they level up). Using this feature along with Sharpshooter can turn Kensei Monks into agile snipers in combat.

As with all D&D classes, various combinations work differently for different playstyles and scenarios- but if you tailor your in-game choices to make optimal use of these features and abilities, Sharpshooter could easily help shape your character into an overbearing power on any battlefield.

The Sharpshooter’s Limited Utility

While the Sharpshooter 5E feat possesses unrivaled potency for ranged assaults, it’s crucial to comprehend its limitations.

The Sharpshooter's Limited Utility

Yes, it can transform an archer into a lethal long-distance assailant, but some character classes gain significantly less – or even nothing – from it. Let’s scrutinize the limitations of this precision-based feat:

Anyone who doesn’t use ranged weapons

The first and perhaps most apparent limitation of the Sharpshooter 5E is that it is entirely irrelevant to any character that doesn’t make use primarily of ranged weaponry or attacks.

The crux of this feat lies in enhancing precision and potency during distance combat. So, if your character brandishes a broadsword, dagger, or any other close-combat weapon as their primary mode of attack, investing in this skill would be futile.

If your spells and abilities are primarily melee-based or require proximity to take effect, the benefits gleaned from Sharpshooter are diminished almost to nullity. In these cases, alternative feats geared more toward your combat style would serve you better.

Rogues

Specifically concerning Rogues, this class also has limited utility from the Sharpshooter 5E feat. While Rogues can indeed indulge in ranged combat with short bows or crossbows at times – making Sharpshooter seem initially alluring – they’re not traditionally heavy-hitting damage dealers from afar.

Rogues thrive best in getting up close and personal with targets for their trademark Sneak Attack. They rely heavily on stealth tactics, sudden strikes with finesse weapons like daggers or swords to catch enemies off guard for extra damage bonuses.

Since they don’t typically participate in extended-range combat where frequent archery attacks are made turn after turn, Sharpshooter’s extra damage at a hit chance penalty makes little sense when compared with their Sneak Attack’s potential for consistent high damage on hits.

While the Sharpshooter 5E feat offers substantial merits to archer-style combatants, it’s essential to consider your character’s play style before investing in this feature. After all, D&D is all about smart decisions and strategic growth – both on and off the battlefield.

Also Read: Rogue 5E Guide D&D 2023 [Uncover Strategies, Tips, & Tricks]

Is Sharpshooter Good?

Yes, As a long-range attacker in D&D, whether you’re an archer or a spell-caster, Sharpshooter 5E is an invaluable feat. What makes it especially good is its versatility and how it changes the game’s dynamics, truly adding depth to your strategic planning.

The ability to ignore half and three-quarters of cover means that obstacles that would usually protect your enemies are meaningless.

Having no disadvantage at long range gives you the freedom to engage enemies from a safe distance without worrying about accuracy dip.

Mounted with an attack bonus of +10 damage trade for -5 to attack rolls, it’s like putting power in precision’s hands. Quite literally, if you’re good at hitting your targets consistently with ranged attacks, this feat’s value increases exponentially. Certainly a game-changer!

Which 5E Classes Make the Most of Sharpshooters?

The Sharpshooter 5E feat isn’t just for any Dungeons & Dragons class. Some classes can truly capitalize on this feat, making their range attacks more lethal and accurate.

Which 5E Classes Make the Most of Sharpshooters?

Here, we will delve into which classes can use this feat to their best advantage, namely the Artificer, Barbarian, Bard, and Cleric.

Artificer

Artificers may not be your first choice when thinking of a sharpshooter. However, don’t underestimate the combination of magic-infused rounds striking from a distance.

The potential of an artificer armed with the Sharpshooter feat is vast. As a class famed for its ingenuity and adeptness at range combat, an Artificer’s ability to dish out maximum damage at significant distances is game-changing.

Mascot or Battle Smith subclasses can especially benefit here—they can use their Iron Defender or Steel Sentinel to draw attention away from them while they fire from afar.

Also Read: Artificer 5E Guide 2023 [Level Up Your D&D Gameplay]

Barbarian

Despite being infamously known for their melee prowess, barbarians are a capable ranged threat with the right build. At the same time, they may lack traditional projectile weapons offered in other classes.

Javelins and hand hatchets make fantastic alternatives that work with the Sharpshooter 5E feat. The add-on bonus is that barbarians bring to the table tenacity unmatched and skewed by other raw power classes.

It is an excellent distraction tactic allowing your barbarian to withstand onslaughts while raining down havoc on enemies.

Also Read: Barbarian 5E Class Guide DnD [Tactics, Strategies, And Tips]

Bard

When considering archery skills and sterling long shots within D&D gameplay, bards might not cross your mind instantly. They probably should.

Bards are cunning by nature and offer a fascinating juxtaposition as sharpshooters—especially when considering Lore Bards, who often have more options in combat than most martial classes do.

College of Valor bards or even College of Swords bards can maximize the feat’s effectiveness by leveraging their combat-oriented abilities.

Cleric

You might associate clerics with healing powers, blessings, and wholesome energy. But who’s to say they can’t wield a bow and arrow to protect what they hold dear?

When it comes to D&D 5E, a War cleric or a Tempest cleric can truly maximize the Sharpshooter 5E feat. The War Domain grants bonus attacks, and combining it with Divine Strike for extra damage will get your cleric closer to the classic “holy warrior” archetype at range than you’d believe possible while clinging on to their vital healing abilities.

Utilizing these class features alongside the Sharpshooter feat creates a versatile support character capable of switching between roles in an instant.

Druid

Hold onto your magic staff because, with the Sharpshooter 5E feat, druids can be more than just healers or shape-shifters. Yes, these keepers of nature are better known for their spells and transformations than their archery.

Yet, with the right subclass, such as the Circle of the Moon or Land, that doesn’t rely heavily on Wild Shape during combat, a longbow or even a sling can prove quite lethal in their hands.

If you were to juxtapose a druid’s inherent mystical skills with sharpshooting precision, then you’d have an unexpected yet deadly combination.

Fighter

Literally built for combat, fighters make superb candidates for the Sharpshooter 5E feat, especially when you factor in subclasses such as Champion or BattleMaster.

Alongside notable features like Action Surge or Second Wind, fighters can make numerous attacks while bearing down on enemies from afar. Couple that with Sharpshooter’s damage boost and range increase—fighters become deadly skirmishers on any D&D battlefield.

Also Read: Fighter 5E Guide [Abilities, Strategies And Impactful Role]

Monk

Have you ever thought about a monk using a longbow? It sounds strange since monks are traditionally hand-to-hand combatants, but some subclasses do allow this combination.

Some of the Kensei monks, for instance, have an ability known as “Kensei weapons,” where they can choose certain weapons to be monk weapons – including longbows or shortbows.

Now imagine this: A Kensei monk swirling through foes like a dervish before drawing back an arrow to finish off an enemy at range – all made possible with Sharpshooter 5E.

Also Read: Monk 5E In D&D [Class Features, Subclasses, And Strategies]

Paladin

While paladins are often pictured fending off monstrosities, shield, and sword in hand, there’s no rule saying they can’t transition between melee and long-range combat.

Paladin’s abilities lean towards empowering smite damage mainly catered towards melee weapons—but a combination of Sharpshooter 5E and a subclass like Oath of Vengeance can give the Paladin an unexpected yet potent long-range offense.

This stratagem empowers your paladin to single-handedly hold off deadly threats while keeping the squishier members of your party safe.

Also Read: Paladin 5E Class Guide DnD [Abilities, Roles, & Strategies]

Ranger

Practically born to be sharpshooters. Combine their class abilities with Sharpshooter 5E, and you’ll have an efficient killer who can pick off enemies from even the most inconceivable ranges.

Ranger subclasses such as Hunter or Gloom Stalker up the ante by giving the ranger extra attacks or other benefits, such as rendering them virtually invisible in dim light or darkness.

Long story short, a ranger with Sharpshooter 5E is an adversary that any D&D villain would think twice before messing with.

Also Read: Drakewarden Ranger Subclass [How It Changes Your DnD Gameplay]

Rogue

If there’s any class that embodies stealth, precision, and lethal potshots from the shadows, it’s undoubtedly the rogue. With their knack for dexterity-based weapons, rogues can seriously capitalize on the Sharpshooter 5E feat.

Their Sneak Attack feature can amplify their damage output even modest distances; couple this with an assassin subclass, and you have a deadly sniper ready to come out of hiding at a moment’s notice. The stealthy nature of this class, mixed with ranged supremacy, makes the feat one powerful ally.

Sorcerer

At first glance, sorcerers might not seem like an ideal candidate for the Sharpshooter 5E feat. After all, these magic-wielders are mostly associated with spells rather than weapons.

But remember that some subclasses, like a Draconic Bloodline or Divine Soul sorcerer, can wield longbows or crossbows.

A Metamagic option like Quicken Spell allows them to fire off an arrow after flinging a spell, offering a new dimension of layered attacks that bring both magical barrages and physical arrows raining down upon enemies.

Warlock

Warlocks in D&D 5E are versatile and often underestimated characters whose abilities can be heightened with Sharpshooter 5E. Hexblade Warlocks can be created as archer-style characters who greatly benefit from this feat.

The Hexblade’s Curse ability increases damage dealt to the cursed target; when paired with the addition of Sharpshooter’s bonus damage, they become formidable long-range fighters, keeping enemies at bay while inflicting serious damage from safety.

Also Read: Warlock 5E Class Guide DnD [Abilities, Playing Styles, & Tactics]

Wizard

Wizards are usually seen as scholars or magical practitioners in D&D – not someone you’ll catch wielding bows or crossbows often.

Bladesinger Wizards offer up the potential for sharpshooters in surprising ways! With their Extra Attack field strength at level 6, along with the Song of Victory granting additional potent shots later on, these characters get more than they bargained for.

Remember that a Bladesinger is nothing without their Intelligence. This directly affects how often you can use your Bladesong, hence both maintaining and optimizing your defense while going on the offensive with Sharpshooter 5E.

Ideal Feat Pairings to Enhance Sharpshooter

Feats are your hero’s unique abilities in Dungeons & Dragons that could make a crucial difference in gameplay. While Sharpshooter does make your character formidable, pairing it with other feats takes the game to another level.

Crossbow Expert

The crossbow is a long-range weapon that has traditionally been handicapped by the loading property, which means it can’t be used more than once in a turn. That’s until you unlock the Crossbow Expert feat.

This feat eliminates the loading handicap, allowing you to use a crossbow as many times as your base attack permits. Additionally, it lets you shoot at close quarters without any disadvantage.

The combination of Crossbow Expert and Sharpshooter means your character can rain deadly bolts down on enemies from any distance.

Lucky

On days when the dice rolls aren’t going in your favor, every D&D player wishes they had a do-over button. That’s what the Lucky feat provides – three extra dice rolls per day.

You choose whether to use the original roll or one of the Luck points after rolling the die but before any outcomes are determined. Combine this with Sharpshooter, and you’ve got yourself unlimited chances to land those high-damage attacks.

Skulker

Have you ever dreamed of blending into shadows and attacking enemies without revealing yourself? With Skulker, missing a ranged attack doesn’t reveal your position.

Skulker also helps you hide when lightly obscured and see through dim light conditions as if it were bright light – perfect for an archer lying in wait for their target.

When combined with Sharpshooters, Skulkers are highly efficient; they quietly take down foes from concealed positions without attracting attention.

Piercer

The Piercer feat adds an interesting twist to your damage mechanics – when you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack made with a piercing weapon, you can reroll the die and keep the new result.

If you land a critical hit with a piercing weapon, you can roll one additional damage die. Conjoining this with the Sharpshooter feat means your arrows or bolts would practically be striking like scaly bullets.

FAQs about Sharpshooter 5E

What’s the main benefit of the Sharpshooter 5E feat in Dungeons & Dragons gameplay?

The unique advantage of Sharpshooter 5E is it allows your character to hit enemies from long ranges, ignore cover, and deal bonus damage on attacks.

Can every class in D&D take advantage of the Sharpshooter 5E feat?

Not all classes will find Sharpshooter useful; it’s best suited for characters that primarily use ranged weapons, such as Rangers or Fighters, with a focus on archery.

How does Sharpshooter impact attack rolls in D&D gameplay?

Sharpshooter takes a calculated risk with hit probability – it allows you to trade accuracy (minus 5 from your attack roll) for damage (adding 10 to your damage roll).

Are there any downsides to using the Sharpshooter 5E feat?

Yes, while powerful, Sharpshooter can be risky because it makes you more likely to miss attacks due to the penalty on attack rolls.

Can I add any other feats to make my character’s Sharpshooter ability more effective?

Yes, feats like Crossbow Expert, Lucky, Skulker, and Piercer can complement and enhance the benefits provided by Sharpshooter.

Author

  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!

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