Crossbow Expert 5e
Published on March 12, 2022, Last modified on June 9th, 2022
Are you building a John Wick-style character that uses a crossbow instead of a firearm? Crossbow Expert may be for you.
Steve Prescott - Wizards of the Coast - Apprentice Sharpshooter
What Is Crossbow Expert 5e?
Crossbows are often underused in typical fantasy, and D&D is no different. While most classes might start with a crossbow, they’re often thrown to the wayside due to the clunkiness of reloading.
However, a feat is out there that gets rid of that annoying downside and allows you to ignore other pain points.
How Does Crossbow Expert Work?
With this feat, you’re granted three benefits:
- If you’re within 5 feet of a hostile creature, your ranged attack rolls don’t have disadvantage.
- You ignore the ‘loading’ property of crossbows that you are proficient with.
- When you make an attack action with a one handed weapon, you may use a bonus action to make an attack with a hand crossbow (if you are holding one).
Is Crossbow Expert Good?
In our 5e Feats Tier List, Crossbow Expert was given an A Tier rating, making it an excellent pickup for specific classes.
One of the more hotly debated feats (before the Errata), Crossbow Expert is still a worthwhile feat to pick up. Ignoring the “loading” property on crossbows enables rangers, fighters, and any other class with an extra attack to attack multiple times with a crossbow on a turn.
The second part of the feat, being able to make a ranged attack within 5ft, is also solid when ranged builds, even casters, inevitably get encroached upon.
The third section is also a nice bonus action for light crossbow users, who will get to attack an extra time.
Crossbow Expert 5e Interactions
There are a few interesting interactions with this feat, mainly with the extra attack. Here are some of the notable things you might run into:
- You can use any one-handed weapon to trigger the extra hand crossbow attack.
- This includes using a net for its unique attack or a hand crossbow to attack with it twice.
- Ignoring the loading property of crossbows allows you to use them for multiple attacks, but you still need to have a free hand to load the bolts.
- This feat also works with spellcasting. You won’t have disadvantage when making a ranged spell attack either.
Crossbow Expert 5e FAQs
Can Crossbow Expert proc off itself?
Yes! The feat’s bonus attack ability doesn’t care what the one-handed weapon is, as long as it’s one-handed. However, the only one-hand crossbow is the hand crossbow, not the light or heavy variants.
Does Crossbow Expert allow you to attack twice?
Crossbow Expert can allow for additional attacks in two ways. First, it allows you to ignore the loading property of crossbows, which allows you to attack as many times as your build allows with the Attack action. Also, as long as you have a bonus action available, you can use it with Crossbow Expert’s third ability. However, you only get one bonus action per round, so use it wisely.
Crossbows are neat but are often underused in D&D. However, that doesn’t mean that this feat is useless. In fact, this feat is one of the best to pick up for those who want to ignore the downsides of ranged combat completely.
How do you feel about Crossbow Expert? Is there an interaction you want to know about that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!