Crossbow Expert 5e | DnD 5e Crossbow Expert Feat Guide

Crossbow Expert 5e

For players set on using crossbows, they often educate themselves with the feats available to find which might be the best possible feat to complement their crossbow and make it a strong beast that has been tamed. After learning all about it, the best feat for crossbow users has to be the Dnd Crossbow Expert 5e feat.

The feat does precisely as it says, making a crossbow user an expert at using crossbows. From a general standpoint, this feat is usually skipped and doesn’t attract much attention, as crossbows are situational rather than all-around weapons. However, for someone who feels a close connection to crossbows, this is the best chance they have to get the best out of this weapon.

How Does Crossbow Expert Work? And What Are Its Benefits?

How Does Crossbow Expert Work

The Crossbow Expert is a feat that gives an advantage to players who choose to use a Crossbow over other weapons. This advantage can allow these players to fight on par with players using different weapons. The feat will enable players with a crossbow to get similar use as someone who uses other weapons for their long and short bows.

The Dnd Crossbow Expert 5e feat also benefits its users when they are in close-range combat to get them out of sticky situations and prevent being cornered or ambushed. This is made possible with this feat’s benefits to its users. These benefits maximize damage and much more, making them a reliable weapon.

The Crossbow Expert buffs the crossbows enough to make them good enough for the mid and late stages of the game, which is hard to achieve against other better weapons. However, the Crossbow Expert feat can make that possible.

These benefits are mentioned below in detail to understand how the Crossbow Expert Feat exactly works and if it is a profitable option for you with the potential to complement your playing style.

1. The Feat Ignores The Loading Property Of Crossbows

The first benefit and arguably one of the most beneficial features the Crossbow Expert Feat offers is ignoring the property of loading in Crossbows. As long as a player using a crossbow has proficiency with the weapon, they can ignore its loading property.

This feature allows the player to take multiple shots without loading, which is one of the more significant disadvantages of a crossbow. Usually, a player could only fire one shot when using an action, reaction, or bonus action. However, with Crossbow Expert, multiple attacks can be dealt in a turn, which becomes helpful in both long ranges, mid-range, and close-range combat.

2. Creatures in Close Range (5 Feet) Don’t Cause Disadvantage On Crossbow Attacks

The next benefit of the Crossbow Expert is that the ranged attack rolls do not suffer any disadvantage when within 5 feet of a hostile creature. Since enemies closing in on a ranged attack player is the worst nightmare of those players, this feat deals with that issue and can facilitate some Gun-Fu action.

Enemies that close in with melee attacks are a massive issue for long-range fighters. That is significantly worse against crossbow players who have a single shot per turn. However, with the Crossbow Expert, both these disadvantages are dodged, so even spells such as the Guiding Bolt or Fire Bolt would gain an advantage within 5 feet of a hostile creature. This makes this feat truly the best one for crossbows.

3. Use An Attack Action With 1 Handed Weapon To Use The Crossbow As A Bonus Action

This is one of the most commonly utilized benefits of the Crossbow Expert. When players use an attack action with a 1-handed weapon, they can attack with the crossbow using the bonus action. This acts as additional damage to the opponents, getting you out of those “close” encounters.

This core feat is especially useful for players who use a hand crossbow as their primary choice of weapon. Even though the extra damage is a huge help by itself, it can be made further helpful by combining the Sharpshooter feat to achieve extra leverage to the +10 damage. Underestimating a crossbow with the Dnd Crossbow Expert feat might be a mistake for someone in front of it.

DnD 5e Classes That Should Use The Crossbow Expert Feat

DnD 5e Classes That Should Use The Crossbow Expert Feat

Below, we have mentioned the three best classes in Dnd 5e that should use the Crossbow Expert feat for a better experience.

1. Fighters

Fighters are a class with the Archery Style Fighting, which allows them to use weapons like the crossbow to their full potential. Additionally, the ASIs that a fighter acquires enable them to pick feats way cheaper. Such a fighter can fire 4 times per turn, and with 4 attacks with a melee weapon, they can fire the crossbow again as a bonus action.

2. Rogues

The negation of close-range disadvantages plays to a Rogue’s strengths. Considering that the Cunning action isn’t used as frequently, the extra attack can deal a lot of damage to a Rogue, thanks to bonus attacks. It is even better with the opportunity to apply Sneak attacks each turn.

3. Rangers

The Crossbow Expert is a better fit for fighters and rogues compared to rangers. The Crossbow Expert is great for rangers who use the crossbow as a primary weapon for the extra attack. However, in close range, it is only useful when the player gets cornered.

DnD 5e Classes That Should Avoid Using Crossbow Expert Feat

DnD 5e Classes That Should Avoid Using Crossbow Expert Feat

There are classes where the Crossbow Expert’s benefits are just not as useful. Of course, they are beneficial; however, it might just hold them back instead of giving them an advantage for these classes. There are better feat choices for some, while for others, the Crossbow Expert feat doesn’t make any sense.

Classes like Barbarians and Paladins barely ever use ranged attacks regularly, which kind of loses the whole point of a crossbow. As for a sorcerer who uses ranged attack spells (Check Sorcerer Spells List), the Gunner feat would be more useful than the Crossbow Expert. This is because the Gunner feat delivers the same “no-disadvantage” benefit while increasing the Dex of the player by one point. This makes it a better economical choice for a class like the spellcasters.

Here are some of the classes that are better off without the Crossbow Expert feat:

How Good is DnD 5e Crossbow Expert

The Crossbow Experts is graded a C in terms of its worth. Although it might sound slightly disappointing, it might not be the case for classes that have synergy with the crossbow, like the fighter and rogue class. Additionally, if you have strategies to use it, it can be a weapon just as potent as one wants.

The Crossbow Expert can get rangers out of sticky situations while giving a massive advantage to fighters, who get up to 4 attacks, and rogues who can slip in and out of conflicts with the help of the bonus attacks. Overall, the weapon is situational and suits best based on your class.

If you are dead set on becoming a crossbow player, the Crossbow Expert feat is probably your best bet. However, it might not be the best choice for most players. As it all comes down to what situation the player is in and how the benefits of the Crossbow Experts can help.

Therefore, it is essential to remember what the feat offers. It is a great choice for fighters, rogues, and rangers who play crossbows, yet make sure to keep other situations you might face where the crossbow might not be as useful.


Based on the class you are in, you know if using the Crossbow Expert is the right choice for you. Hopefully, you are up to mark with the benefits the DnD Crossbow Expert offers as well as its disadvantages and the thing to keep in mind before using it.


It is impossible to wield two-hand crossbows even with the Crossbow Expert feat. This is because this collides with the ammunition property of reloading as a free hand is required to reload the weapon. Since the Crossbow Expert feat doesn’t remove the reloading property, dual-wielding crossbows remain impossible. However, if you remain interested in dual wielding other weapons, you can check out this guide on Dual Wielding in D&D 5e.

If you are a player who is passionate about using the crossbow and choose to use the crossbow as your primary weapon, then doubling up on the Crossbow Expert Feat with the Sharpshooter Feat is the best choice there is to improve its usefulness as Sharpshooter is one of the best feats for ranged attacks.

The Crossbow Expert feat does allow a hand crossbow to fire twice. This is made possible because the first attack can be made using an action, while the second attack uses the bonus action. Unfortunately, this feature does not apply to either light crossbows or heavy crossbows.

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