Rogues are some of the most useful and user-friendly classes in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. They're one of the original three classes that were in the earliest versions of the game, along with the Fighter and Wizard. The Rogue can cover a lot of ground when it comes to backstory and lore, which is why it's also a popular choice for multiclass and homebrew characters. A Rogue can be a street urchin, a suave, well-dressed spy, or a sinister assassin, among about a million other things.

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Compared to magic users, Rogues have zero resource management to worry about between rests. Everything that makes them amazing and useful in and out of combat can almost be used at will. They can get even better with Feats. Feats are taken in place of an ability score increase when your character reaches certain levels within their class. So, what Feats should you take to be the sneakiest Rogue? It largely depends on what kind of Rogue you wish to play.

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The race you choose is of the utmost importance as well. Many players may initially want a Human Rogue, and that is their prerogative, but it means you will be losing out on Darkvision, which is a massive downside for a Rogue. You are at Disadvantage more often in the dark, you cannot hide as well and lose the ability to sneak attack in more situations. However, Variant Human adds +1 to two stats, which means you can take one Skill and one Feat, making you even more useful than before in those social circumstances described above. Halflings and Elves both have it, as well as +2 to Dex, and are outstanding choices.

Updated on July 20th, 2021, by Kristy Ambrose: The Rogue continues to be a popular character throughout the RPG universe, as there is virtually no game that exists without some version of this compelling and versatile class. There are even more ways to customize Rogues than ever before, partly thanks to a few extra Feats that have been added to the D&D library along with some homebrews and supplemental materials, some of which are still in the experimental stages. Your character's best Feats could also depend on which Rogue subclass, or Archetype, that you choose.

Crossbow Expert

Dungeons And Dragon Hooded Woman Aiming A Crossbow
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: Ignores the loading property of any crossbow, no Disadvantage if you are within five feet of a hostile creature, attack with a one-handed weapon, use a bonus action to make an attack with a hand crossbow.
  • Ideal Archetype: Assassin, Scout
  • Prerequisite: None

We begin with combat specialists. When seeking to be a ranged fighter or a sniper in combat, this Feat is a great choice. You can safely fire your hand crossbow twice in one turn, keeping in mind that you will need one hand free to deal with the ammunition.

This is often taken for those who wish to be more of a ranged Rogue combatant, along with other feats. This feat pairs well with the Sharpshooter Feat to extend the ranged attack of your hand crossbow.

Skulker

rogue
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: Ranged weapon attack doesn't reveal your position, the possibility to hide in a lightly obscured area.
  • Ideal Archetype: Scout, Assassin, Thief
  • Prerequisite: Dexterity +13 or higher

As an expert at slinking through shadows, you may attempt to hide when you are lightly obscured from a creature from which you are hiding. When you are hidden from a creature and miss it with a ranged weapon attack, making the attack doesn’t reveal your position. This is useful because you may hide away in the shadows while your allies do the big, loud work, and then fire away from the distance, not even revealing yourself unless you score a hit.

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If you want to build a Rogue character, Dexterity is going to be your most important stat anyway, so it's likely you'll easily jump over the stat hurdle to obtain this Feat. You'll need a Dexterity score of at least 13 if you plan to multi-class, another option to keep in mind.

Sentinel

Dungeons & Dragons Armored Warrior Holding A Greatsword
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a target other than you, and that target doesn’t have this Feat, you can use a Reaction to make a melee attack against the attacking creature.
  • Ideal Archetype: Assassin, Arcane Trickster
  • Prerequisite: None.

What does this mean? Sneak attacks. More and more sneak attacks, at least in theory. There is always the distinct possibility that you are targeted over an ally, but if not, you can expect your single target damage to do great things.

This Feat may sometimes look better in theory than it performs in practice, but often this has to do with party dynamics. If you have a large meatshield always ready to try and draw attention to themselves, those sneak attacks will go on for days, and your DM may need to reconsider their encounters.

Mobile

goldmeadow stalwart halfling rogue art
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: Speed increases by 10 ft, Dash on difficult terrain, lose aggro when attached in melee with Opportunity.
  • Ideal Archetype: Swashbuckler, Mastermind
  • Prerequisite: None.

This is another Feat that is ideal for those playing a melee-focused Rogue. One of your primary goals is going to be to put yourself in a position to make more sneak attacks, which Mobile allows you to do in eliminating a target and then moving easily to the next, and then the next after that. That's why this class is a nice combo with Archetypes that are often focused on damage dealing and close combat.

Alert

  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: +5 bonus to initiative, other creatures will not gain Advantage on attack rolls against you if you can't see them, and you cannot be surprised while you are conscious.
  • Ideal Archetype: Scout, Thief
  • Prerequisite: None.

We move now to feats associated with scouting ahead for your party. Alert is handy for a variety of classes but works particularly well with a number of classic Rogue builds. This class is known for building hideouts in the woods as much as hiding in plain sight in a crowded city, so Alert is a natural choice.

As the party Scout, moving up ahead looking to see what is coming, this is fundamental to survival and removes a significant portion of danger in splitting the party. As a Scout, there are always hard-to-reach places that might merit a closer look. Perhaps it can provide more information about the enemy or can help find hidden treasure.

Athlete

Satyr D&D
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: +1 in Strength or Dexterity, stand up and climb more quickly and jump with only a 5-ft head start.
  • Ideal Archetype: Thief, Assassin, Swashbuckler
  • Prerequisite: None.

Here's another versatile Feat that's popular with a wide variety of classes. Climbing does not use extra movement, you can make a running long jump or a running high jump after moving only 5 feet on foot, rather than 10 feet, and you gain even more Dexterity, which is a high Rogue stat already. It's useful during combat, exploration, scouting, or hiding. Plus, it sounds like something a Rogue should know how to do anyway.

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Actor

D&D Child Tiefling with Toy Sword
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: Allows you to mimic the speech of another person, or sounds made by creatures, for up to a minute at a time.
  • Ideal Archetype: Arcane Trickster, Inquisitive
  • Prerequisite: None.

The Feats until now have been primarily geared towards combat and a bit of scouting, but experienced players know that there is more to successfully navigating a campaign than being a good fighter. At the heart of these four feats is Actor, which allows you to mimic the speech of another person, or sounds made by creatures, for up to a minute at a time. Assuming you have heard that person speak, you can then impersonate them in a number of different ways.

This also boosts Charisma if that is the type of Rogue one is playing. Combine this with a disguise, or throwing one’s voice from down a hallway, and suddenly the party may have access to far more options than before.

Observant

D&D Candlekeep Mysteries Cover Art via dnd.wizards.com
via dnd.wizards.com
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: +1 in Intelligence or Wisdom, you can read lips and have a +5 bonus in passive Perception and passive Investigation.
  • Ideal Archetype: Inquisitive, Thief
  • Prerequisite: None.

Observant is as it sounds. This Feat makes you aware of your surroundings, but more importantly, it allows you to read lips. At a gathering, in a festival, or in a royal court, you can be the fly on the wall that is watching nothing in particular and yet learning everything that is happening out of earshot. Any Rogue that uses either investigative techniques or espionage for gathering information would find this a handy Feat.

Linguist

golgari art mtg
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: +1 in Intelligence, you learn three languages and have the ability to create ciphers.
  • Ideal Archetype: Inquisitive, Swashbuckler, Arcane Trickster
  • Prerequisite: None.

Another handy addition for the espionage side of the Rogue spectrum, Linguist is a handy Feat for a Rogue that appears in public as opposed to hiding in the shadows. The bonus to Intelligence can help since Rogues don't really need this stat but it's not exactly useless either.

This Feat then ties in perfectly, for what good is the ability to read lips if you do not speak the language? Combine it with other Feats like Observant and Keen Mind to make it even more effective.

Keen Mind

mindblade render tiefling azre mtg d&d
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Benefits: +1 in Intelligence, you know which way is north, when is the next sunrise or sunset, and recall any events within the past month.
  • Ideal Archetype: Inquisitive, Arcane Trickster
  • Prerequisite: None.

Keen Mind as a Feat is an optional one in this sense but would lean heavily into the ability to create complex code and ciphers, as well as crack those of others. This means that communication between secret organizations is suddenly not so secret, which might be situational, but it's fun and very useful. It works well with Feats that give your character a bonus to Intelligence, like Observant, Linguist, or Keen Mind.

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