D&D 5e barbarian feats tieflings

The Best Barbarian Feats: D&D 5e Mighty Guide

D&D Barbarian Feats featured art by heather-mc-kintosh. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

Feats are customizations that enhance characters and enable interesting concepts to come to life in D&D. Barbarians enjoy solid class abilities right out of the box, so complimentary feats sweeten the deal.

Barbarians aren’t dependent on feats to make a mess, but there are several that stand out.

Even so, some feats are better than others, so I’ll point out which ones are worth your time. My feat recommendations come from officially published sources (PHB and XGtE). Since Barbarian feats could focus on fighting with heavy two-handed weapons or with a one-handed weapon with a shield, I’ve split my recommendations by those two styles as well as general recommendations that don’t depend on a Barbarian’s weapon(s).

Best Barbarian Feats Using Heavy Weapons

Crusher: Great for increasing your stats while gaining bonus effects for your maul or warhammer. Your Reckless Attack feature makes the advantage-gaining bonus to your critical hits less relevant, but it is good for teamwork. You can also knock fools around with your hammer as you’ve always wanted to do. This feat pairs well with the Charger feat for knocking enemies back for minor battlefield control.

Great Weapon Master: Surprising no one, this is a powerful feat that allows Barbarians to take advantage of the advantage on attacks they can freely gain from their Reckless Attack feature. The -5 to hit isn’t as punishing when you have advantage on all your attacks. You’ll also be more likely to land critical hits so you can gain a bonus action attack to dish out impressively primal damage. This is one of the most important Barbarian feats for damage output.

Polearm Master: Gaining a bonus action that can benefit from your bonus rage damage will help you surpass the standard for your damage output. A character that is already utilizing bonus actions won’t have as much incentive to take this fear. It’s still an effective option for dealing damage. You may also benefit from Polearm Master’s synergy with Sentinel to be a Barbarian who fights with a degree of strategy. You’ll also be able to attack foes reliably with your reaction, increasing your damage output while protecting yourself and your allies. This is one of the most important Barbarian feats for damage output.

Slasher: Greatswords pair well with this feat. You’ll get a stat boost while gaining bonus effects to your slashing strikes. You can slow a foe’s speed, and your critical hits will gain a bonus die. Barbarians are good at crit fishing with Reckless Attack.

Best Barbarian Feats Using Weapon+Shield Style

Defensive Duelist: Though you won’t be swinging a mighty great axe, a rapier is a solid weapon for a Barbarian. Just because a weapon has the finesse property doesn’t mean you have to use Dexterity for your attack modifiers. You can still use your Strength to get your bonus damage while raging. Use your reaction to defend yourself with Defensive Duelist. It’s common for Barbarians characters to have a Dexterity stat of fourteen in order to get bonus AC from their medium/light armor or Unarmored Defense feature. Additionally, your AC will be even higher because you can use a shield while you’re not hefting a heavy weapon.

Mounted Combatant: Ride a noble steed to move quickly and attack ferociously. You’ll not regret taking this feat until you’re forced to make an Animal Handling skill check. You can easily soak up damage to protect your mount because you’re an enraged Barbarian, and you might not have to use Reckless Attack if your foes are smaller than your mount (as per the feat). I placed this in the single-handed weapon section of my feat recommendations because you’ll want to hold on to your mount with one hand. (also a great feat for Rogues)

Piercer: This is a much better feat than Savage Attacker. You get a stat increase in addition to the reroll. It’s just a solid feat for increasing damage output while improving stats.

Secondary Feats for Barbarians

Charger: Once you’ve begun to rage, you don’t want the enemy to get away from you for even one round or you’ll risk your rage subsiding. There will be instances when you need to use your action to dash instead of attack, but Charger enables you to still make an attack as a bonus action when you reach your new target or catch up to your previous quarry. Raging Barbarians are also likely to succeed on bonus action’s enhanced shove.

Lucky: You can utilize Lucky’s rerolls to have a better chance of succeeding on your saving throws. This becomes especially important when high-level magic and devastating abilities can cripple you.

Mobile: Though probably effective only if you’re not using theater of the mind in your campaign/combat encounter, it’s important to move quickly on the battlefield to reach prioritized targets. Mobile is great if you find yourself constantly losing turns just trying to Dash across difficult terrain or deal with minions to reach the spellcaster you want to cut down.

Resilient: I recommend boosting your Dexterity if you’re using Unarmored Defense. Danger Sense will often give you advantage on your Dex saves, so you might as well have proficiency in those saving throws to make sure you pass. If you’re not focusing on Unarmored Defense, higher Dexterity may still improve your AC due to your medium armor proficiency. Wisdom would be a valuable alternative saving throw to gain proficiency with since it’s a common saving throw, and you don’t want enemy spellcasters to turn your rage-filled attacks against your party with Dominate Person or Enemies Abound spells.

Sentinel: Don’t let squishy fools get away from the blender that is your arm’s length. Every attack matters for an enraged Barbarian since you’re adding rage damage, so you want to secure reactions that can be used to attack.

Tough: I’m not certain this is your best option, but Tough is more effective on a Barbarian like the Totem Barbarian since it can resist so much damage. This makes the effective HP boost of Tough doubled, maxing at 80 instead of 40 effective HP. If you don’t know what I mean, damage resistance makes each point of your hitpoints twice as valuable, so damage resistance doubles your effective hitpoints.

Niche Barbarian Feats

Infernal Constitution (Tiefling only): Don’t choose this one if you’re playing as a Path of the Totem Warrior Barbarian and you chose the bear as your third-level option (resist all but psychic damage); otherwise, this feat is great for increasing your Constitution score while gaining additional resistances. With a regular Tiefling’s resistance to fire damage bolstered to resist both cold and poison damage, you’re partially a bear totem warrior. Cold resistance makes you better acclimated to extreme cold and frigid waters as you ignore their dangerous side effects.

Mage Slayer: For the Barbarian that wants to get in spellcasters’ faces to prove that magic is overrated, Mage Slayer is the answer. You can shatter their concentration and gain a reaction attack to punish spellcasting. They’ll be all but forced to Misty Step away from you and use a cantrip, effectively nerfing their turn.

Observant: This one only applies to Totem Barbarians who choose Eagle as their totem animal at sixth level for their Aspect of the Beast feature. You’ll be able to read lips from approximately one mile away, making you an effective spy. I’d caution you to ask your DM if this combination would function as intended, or if your DM would allow you to read lips anyway with a low-DC perception check. You also need to make sure spying on conversations is a skill that actually matters and may occur in the campaign you’re playing in.

Skill Expert: I’d only recommend this one if you want to have Expertise in Athletics checks to grapple chumps with incredibly reliable success rates. You can also increase your Constitution or Dexterity by one.

Tavern Brawler: I’m not a fan of this feat, but enough people post on Reddit about loving the style it enables that I figure I should bring it up. I like that it gives a bonus action option to grapple enemies. Barbarians can probably benefit from Tavern Brawler most of all the classes. Some players absolutely love Tavern Brawler for their Barbarian feats.


I’m certain that some of my recommendations may have surprised you, but so will Barbarians if you dig into the nitty-gritty for different tactics and character builds that suit one of the best-designed classes in D&D 5e. The Barbarian is beautifully simple and simply beautiful. The most common complaint I hear about them is that they’re one-dimensional, making the game grow stale for their players. I declare that feats can enable a variety of playstyles for Barbarians to keep things lively.

Did any of my recommendations cause you to Rage? Did any of them awaken your Feral Instinct to new possibilities? I’m willing to wager that you’ve found an interesting idea or two. Cast Message in the comments below to let me know your thoughts. My notifications are set to ‘Persistent Rage’ so I never miss a comment, and I love to respond. Thank you again for reading; I hope you’ll share it with your friends so you can discuss it with them too.

Check out more of our articles about feats:

You might also enjoy my Barbarian class guide on YouTube before you go:

6 thoughts on “<b>The Best Barbarian Feats</b>: D&D 5e Mighty Guide”

  1. Thank you. I’d never even considered mobile. With GWM, Mobile, & Eagle clan, I can see a really cool attack sequence at 14th level. Fly up at a 45° angle then back down and attack while landing on them. I hope my DM will give me x damage for the momentum? I could joust with out a horse.

    1. This sequence brings a tear of joy to my eye. It’s beautiful. Reminds me of Nacho Libre.
      If your DM doesn’t allow the momentum bonus, make your attacks and fly above the target afterward. At the end of your turn, fall on top of the target.

      1. That’s a Great idea. And if I need to I could attack the front line then fly up and land on the magic user. I’d suffer 1/2 damage but try to keep your concentration when a 250 lb 1/2 Orc in 1/2 plate armor lands in your lap!

  2. just hit eighth with a barb and need advice, do i multi do i feat, do i ASI? have 95 HP, 18 str, 15 dex, 15 con, 13 Wis, 13 cha and 8 int. The party is a bard, sorecerer and warrior besides me….

    1. Hi j, have you considered grabbing Polearm Master? It will give you an additional attack each round with your bonus action that can be compatible with Great Weapon Master (I assume that’s what you meant when you said you already have “heavy hitter”). I also noticed your stats for Dex and Con could be rounded out to improve your unarmored AC as a Barbarian by +2 while giving you more hitpoints from the Con boost. I wouldn’t recommend Tough before other feats like Resilient or Lucky; I say that because improving your saving throws can effectively increase your hitpoints more than Tough by helping you not take damage when you otherwise would. Your Wisdom would be a good ability score to round out with Resilient to gain proficiency with Wisdom saving throws.
      Can you also tell me what Barbarian Path (subclass) you selected? That might steer my recommendation somewhat.

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