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The 15 Best Barbarian Feats in D&D 5e [Ranked]

The 15 Best Barbarian Feats in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Unlike their Fighter alternative, Barbarians have less valuable Feats overall, but the ones they do have access to are exceptional additions to their kit.

Barbarians are one of D&D’s most straightforward and brutal classes. They deal tons of damage while tanking damage that comes their way.

Even though they’re straightforward, certain Feats make them more exciting or increase their usefulness tenfold.

Best Barbarian Feats in 5e

15. Tough


When you gain this feat, your HP maximum will increase by an amount equal to twice your level. After that, your HP maximum will increase by an additional 2 HP whenever you gain a level.


Barbarians need a lot of ability increases to function efficiently, and even though Tough gives an increase to HP (similarly to a Constitution increase), it takes too long to provide sufficient benefits.

Playing a Variant Human (Hill Dwarfs are better anyway) allows you to take Tough earlier on, but if you’re not, just increase Constitution instead.

14. Resilient


You gain the following benefits and choose one ability score:

  • Chosen ability score increased by 1 (maximum of 20)
  • Gain Proficiency in the chosen ability in saving throws


Resilient shouldn’t be taken before you hit your Strength or Constitution maximum, but when taken, it can be pretty helpful for mental saves.

Barbarians are known for having lousy Wisdom saves (lack of mental statistics) because they rely on Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity. 

However, when you take Resilient and gain proficiency with Wisdom, many magical and other incapacity effects have less effect because of your proficiency with Wisdom saves.

13. Inspiring Leader


Spend 10 minutes inspiring your companions, choosing up to six friendly creatures (including yourself) within 30 feet of you who can hear, see, and understand you.

Each chosen creature gains temporary HP equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. A creature cannot gain the temporary HP from this feat again until it has finished a short or long rest.

Note: Your Charisma must be 13 or higher to obtain Inspiring Leader.


Inspiring Leader isn’t the best for Barbarians with relatively low Charisma statistics, but the temporary HP gained from it is a big plus.

Barbarians who put a lot of points into Charisma or choose to have Proficiency in Intimidation will get a lot of value out of Inspiring Leader.

At that point, you’ll be a Bard/Barbarian hybrid without even multiclassing in Bard and having spellcasting.

12. Polearm Master


Gain the following benefits:

  • Taking the Attack action and attacking with only a spear, glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff allows you to use a Bonus action and perform a melee attack with the opposite end of your weapon.

Attacking this way uses the same modifier as the primary attack. Your weapon’s damage die for this attack is d4, dealing Bludgeoning damage.

  • While wielding a spear, glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff, other creatures will provoke an opportunity attack from you when entering the reach you have with that respective weapon.


Increased opportunity attack range (since most polearms are longer than 5ft) helps Barbarians punish enemies around them for charging their party members.

The main problem with Polearm Master is the use of the Bonus action, as Rage and other subclass features are activated using a Bonus action, meaning you won’t use Polearm Master’s opposite end attack often enough or at all.

11. Shield Master


While holding a shield, you gain the following benefits:

  • Taking the Attack action on your turn allows you to use a bonus action to try and shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your equipped shield.
  • If you’re not incapacitated, your shield’s AC bonus can be added to any Dexterity save you make against a spell or other harmful effect that only targets you.
  • Being subjected to an effect allowing you to make a Dexterity save to only take half damage means you can use a reaction to take no damage if you succeed on the save, interposing your shield between the source of the effect and yourself.


Being able to shove enemies (potentially into prone) with your shield by using a Bonus action can be pretty helpful at times.

Shield Master can be put higher in the list when used by more tanky Barbarians, but the fact that the Wolf Totem has a similar feature and Barbarians often use their Bonus action for Rage, its usefulness drops a bit.

10. Fighting Initiate


Your martial training helped you develop a particular fighting style. Therefore, you learn one Fighting Style you choose from the Fighter class. If you already have a style, you must choose a different one.

Reaching a level granting the Ability Score Improvement feature means you can replace the feat’s Fighting Style with a different one (from Fighter class) you don’t already have.

Note: You must have Proficiency with a martial weapon to gain Fighting Initiate.


Barbarians can make good use of Fighting Initiate to increase their current abilities or supplement for features they lack.

Great Weapon Fighting gives you another chance to potentially hit a crit, while Blind Fighting allows you to deal with invisible enemies. Even Unarmed Fighting can be good for a Barbarian wanting to fight unarmed.

9. Tavern Brawler


You may increase your Strength and Constitution by 1, but not above 20. You also become proficient with improved weapons, and your unarmed strikes now use a d4 for their damage.

Whenever you hit a creature with an improvised weapon or an unarmed strike on your turn, you can expend a Bonus action in an attempt to grapple your target.


Barbarians naturally level Strength, making them a natural grappling candidate.

Reducing a creature’s speed to 0 and making it so they can’t run away provides a lot of control for the party, as the Barbarian proves he isn’t only capable of spitting out damage.

If you want to become a grappler, you should take Tavern Brawler instead of something like Grappler, as the overall benefits are better, and you can even start boxing someone if you don’t like them.

8. Chef


You’ve spent time and effort to master the culinary arts, gaining the following benefits:

  • Increase Constitution or Wisdom by 1, maxing out at 20.
  • Gain proficiency with cook’s utensils if you aren’t already.
  • You can cook special food as a part of your short rest, provided you have cook’s utensils on hand and ingredients. You prepare enough food for a number of creatures, equalling 4 + your Proficiency bonus.

When your short rest ends, any creature who eats your food and then spends one or more Hit Dice to regain HP regains an extra 1d8 HP.

  • Finishing a long rest or with one hour of work, you may cook several treats equalling your Proficiency bonus.

The special treats last 8 hours, and a creature can expend a Bonus action to eat one treat, gaining temporary HP equal to your Proficiency bonus.


Chef is said to be potentially more impactful than Tough, as it provides many benefits for Barbarians and their party.

Increased Constitution, bonus HP regeneration (from Hit Dice), and temporary HP gain are great. 

The only problem is using the Bonus action, so if you want to use Chef efficiently, make sure your subclass doesn’t rely too much on its Bonus action.

7. Slasher


Gain the following benefits:

  • Your Dexterity and Strength increase by 1, reaching a maximum of 20.
  • Once every turn, when you’ve hit a creature with an attack dealing Slashing damage, you can reduce the target’s speed by 10 feet until your next turn starts.
  • When scoring a critical hit that deals Slashing damage to a targeted creature, you will grievously wound it. Until your next turn starts, the creature will have disadvantage on all its attack rolls.


Slasher has some great speed reduction that helps keep enemies close to you and away from your party members. 

While the Feat also has a nice critical hit benefit, if you aren’t focused on playing a pure crit Barbarian, you should count primarily on its slowing effect. Still, even with only that, Slasher remains a superb pick.

6. Mounted Combat


You are dangerous to face while mounted, and if you’re mounted and not incapacitated, you gain these benefits:

  • Gain advantage on melee attack rolls against unmounted creatures that are smaller than your mount.
  • Force an attack targeting your mount to target you instead.
  • A force subjecting your mount to an effect, having it make a Dexterity saving throw to take half damage, will instead take no damage on a successful saving throw or only half the damage on a fail.


Even though Barbarians don’t have many options for fighting while mounted, if you decide to get a mount, Mounted Combat is a must-have for you.

It not only keeps your mount alive for longer, but it also lets you use your massive HP pool and ability to deal loads of damage to good use, keeping you in the fight for longer.

Note: You also get access to high-damage die weapons like the Lance.

5. Durable


You become resilient and hardy, gaining the following effects:

  • Your Constitution score will increase by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • When rolling a Hit Die to regain HP, the minimum number of HP you can regain is equal to twice your Constitution modifier to a minimum of 2.


Even with your resistance to weapon damage types gained from your Rage, Barbarians remain exposed to magic damage, and one good way to live longer is to have more Constitution or regain more HP from your Hit Die.

Taking Durable provides you with both solutions and lets you heal back a lot of your HP that was chipped away by magic sources, keeping your HP fuller throughout the day.

4. Skill Expert


You may increase one of your ability scores by 1, but only to a maximum of 20, and you’ll gain proficiency with one skill you choose.

Then, you may choose one skill you have proficiency with, gaining expertise with that skill and doubling any ability checks made with it.

The chosen skill must be one that isn’t currently benefiting from a feature (like Expertise), which can double your proficiency bonus.


Barbarians are most useful in combat, but they become one of the most useless classes out of combat. Luckily, Skill Expert fixes that.

Being proficient in another skill and gaining expertise in skills you use a lot (Athletics) makes you much more useful out of combat.

3. Gift of the Chromatic Dragon


Manifest powers from chromatic dragons, gaining benefits:

Chromatic Infusion allows you to use a bonus action and touch a martial or simple weapon, infusing it with one of these damage types: Poison, Lightning, Fire, Cold, or Acid.

For a minute, the weapon now deals an extra 1d4 damage on a hit of the infused damage type. After using this bonus action, you can’t do so again until after finishing a long rest.

Reactive Resistance lets you use your reaction to give yourself resistance to whichever damage you took out of the following types: Poison, Lightning, Fire, Cold, or Acid damage.

The reaction can be used several times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you’ll regain all uses whenever you finish a long rest.


Gift of the Chromatic Dragon drastically improves your durability by providing resistance to most damage that Rage doesn’t protect you from.

Chromatic Infusion might not be as good because it uses your Bonus action, but the bonus damage can go a long way if you’re left without use for it.

2. Sentinel


Hitting a Creature using an opportunity attack forces their speed to become 0 for the rest of their turn, and creatures provoke your opportunity attacks even if they take their Disengage action.

Whenever a creature attacks a target other than you (and the target doesn’t already have this feat), you may use a reaction and proceed to perform a melee weapon attack against the creature that’s attacking.


Sentinel is probably one of the best, if not the best, Feat for Defender Barbarians.

Forcing enemies to stay in melee with you increases your overall damage output as you have more chances to potentially hit enemies, keeping enemies away from your squishy party members.

1. Great Weapon Master


Gain the following benefits:

  • When it’s your turn, and you score a critical hit while using a melee weapon or reduce a creature’s HP to 0 with a melee weapon, you may make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action.
  • Before making a melee attack using a melee weapon you have proficiency in, you can decide to take a -5 penalty to its attack roll. If the attack were to hit, you would add +10 to the damage of the attack.


Most Barbarians use two-handed weapons, and if you’re one, you should seriously consider taking Great Weapon Master.

The extra attack for more crit-focused builds and the bonus damage to your attacks are insane, especially if you can consistently hit your attacks.

Final Thoughts

Even though Barbarians don’t have too many different Feats to choose from, the ones they do have are exceptional.

The minimal number of choices also makes it easier for players to become accustomed to which Feats will work best with specific subclasses and playstyles, finding out what works best after putting it through gameplay tests.

Sometimes, having less is more, and that’s definitely the case for the Barbarian.

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