Feats are a variant rule in the Player’s Handbook. They allow you to attain massive, usually situational benefits and potentially small stat boosts. Fighters need feats in order to be as effective as possible, but every single class has access to these influential playstyle changers.But, what situations arise where you get access to feats? They are an optional rule, after all. Let’s quickly go over all the scenarios that allow you to grab one of these with our when do you get feats 5E guide.
When Do You Get Feats 5e
Every single class can get feats whenever their Ability Scores rise. For most classes, that means you can get feats at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th levels. Feats completely replace ability scores, meaning that if you really need an ability score to 20, it might not be a great idea to grab feats. However, some feats increase an ability score while also giving you a small benefit (for instance, the Actor feat increases Charisma and offers some benefits for disguising).
The Fighter has more ability score increases than the other classes. They gain additional ability score boosts at 6th and 14th levels. Fighters that are focusing on being a Fighter should really consider diving head-first into feats right away, since… Well, you don’t get much more than those!
When should you get feats, though? Well, if your build requires you to get a feat (for example, Grappler for a grapple build) then you should get it early. But in most cases, your primary stat is so important for you; Strength for melee builds, Dexterity for… like every build, casting stats for casters. You’ll probably be able to get 2-3 feats in the late game that strictly buff situational bonuses.
Other Ways to Get Feats
The only other (rules-as-written) way to get feats is being a Variant Human. Rather than getting a +1 bonus to all scores, you can choose to only get two +1s and a feat. This tends to be significantly better than the standard human build. If you plan on being a human, get your 1st level feat.
Without GM fiat, that’s it. You get your ability scores when the game says you can. And feats are not always essential; if you really wanted to, you could just increase your ability scores at every level. And it wouldn’t be bad!
But if you want your character to stand out and be a legitimate threat on the battlefield, feats are critical. War Caster is fantastic for magic users, Alert is great for anyone who wants to go first. You can even use feats that boost ability scores, like Observant, to still increase ability scores while still getting useful upsides. If you’re done with your primary score, you should really consider getting feats, and maybe buffing your secondary score anyways.
Need more D&D? See our guide to calculating attack bonuses in 5E.