[Top 10] D&D Best Bard Feats That Are Excellent

Best Bard Feats
Bards wield the power of words and song to perform fantastical feats of magic. (Fantasy Landscape Art by Marc Simonetti)

In the vast world of Dungeons & Dragons, bards hold the unique position as master songstresses and mages. Built upon the concept of versatility, these charismatic performers captivate audiences (sometimes even enemies) with their siren-like tunes, croon out powerful spells into existence, all the while embodying the essence of creativity.

Whether you want to gain the power to alter universes by song, earn a decent amount of gold every time you open your mouth or seduce your way out of, or into, every situation, finding the right feat fit for your charming troubadour is pivotal. Feats serve as a means to customize and optimize your character, making it easier to reach your roleplaying goals. 

For bards, carefully selecting your feats can open new avenues for fantastical storytelling, enhance your gameplay utility in and out of combat, and even increase the enjoyment in roleplaying!

Here's my top 10 list of excellent feats that would upgrade your bard from a random Class C street performer begging for coins to a world renowned rock star with the power to bring gods and goddesses to their knees.

10. Skill Expert [Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything]

Make a bard of all trades, master of... well, more than one if you get the Skill Expert feat. (FFXIC Rahetalius Bard by Kevin Glint)

Skill Expert

You have honed your proficiency with particular skills, granting you the following benefits:

  • Increase one ability score of your choice by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.
  • Choose one skill in which you have proficiency. You gain expertise with that skill, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it. The skill you choose must be one that isn't already benefiting from a feature, such as Expertise, that doubles your proficiency bonus.

Expertise is such a useful skill; only accessible to artificers, bards, rangers and rogues, it doubles your proficiency modifier on any skill you have it on. Bards already have Bardic Inspiration working for them, a resource that allows them to add a bonus to ability checks, sure, but the Skill Expert takes it a step further.

It not only grants proficiency to a skill of your choice, it also grants you expertise in your list of proficiencies. Other than that, you get to increase your ability score by one. It allows you the best of both worlds by gaining a feat and increasing one of your ability stats.

Bards are often referred to as a jack-of-all-trades (it’s literally one of the class features). With Skill Expert, it guarantees your bard is in fact a master of at least three skills once you reach fifth level in this class.

Why Skill Expert is nice feat fit for your Bard:

  • Jack of all trades, master of some. Bards already benefit from their Jack of All Trades class feature, which allows them add half of their proficiency modifier, rounded down, to any skill they don’t have proficiency on. With Skill Expert, you get to pick another expertise!
  • Trust me, I know what I’m doing. You gain another proficiency. It’s so simple, but it’s so good. It definitely makes your bard more versatile.
  • Ability Score Increase Please. You won’t miss out on the ability score increase because with Skill Expert, you get one point to do so at your disposal. And, you can increase whatever ability score of your choosing.


9. Mobile [Players Handbook]

Make your bard extra speedy by getting the Mobile feat.(Neverwinter; Bard, courtesy of Perfect World Entertainment)


You are exceptionally speedy and agile. You gain the following benefits:

  • Your speed increases by 10 feet.
  • When you use the Dash action, difficult terrain doesn't cost you extra movement on that turn.
  • When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don't provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not.

Keep your enemies on their toes by taking the Mobile feat. I consider this one of those feats that are just good to have if your playstyle ever needs you to get within or out of melee distance of enemies.

Bards would benefit greatly from the Mobile feat because it synergizes well with their spells; some of them, like Shocking Grasp, require touch to be cast. Cause devastation and make a quick getaway with the Mobile feat’s ability to ignore opportunity attacks from your target. Even better, it doesn’t even matter if you hit or not.

It also increases your movement by 10 feet. So whether you need to get in and get out, or chase down a fleeing foe (most classes have 30 feet as base speed), make every encounter more dynamic by getting the Mobile feat. Bonus points for slapping someone on the face with Shocking Grasp and blowing a raspberry as you run away. Definitely good for kiting your Dungeon Master’s patience. 

Why you should take the Mobile Feat

  • I’m fast as f*** boi! Increase your movement by 10 feet. Get better at running away from spurned lovers… Or their partners. You even get to ignore difficult terrain when you dash away. Good for you.
  • Hit and Run tactics. Get in, cause mayhem, and get out with the Mobile feat. It allows you to dart away from the enemy you just aggroed without triggering an attack of opportunity, even if you missed.
  • Let’s play: keep away. Mobile works so well with bards even as a concept. Imagine dissing a man with Vicious Mockery and them never getting to hit you when you just stay out of their reach. It’s like optimized kiting. Kiting is the tactic of keeping an enemy chasing you while also staying out of their range. 


8. Actor [PHB]

Play the patron of the arts, and wreak havoc while roleplaying, by getting the Actor feat for your bard. (Carnival by Julia Zhuravleva)


Skilled at mimicry and dramatics, you gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You have an advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Performance) checks when trying to pass yourself off as a different person.
  • You can mimic the speech of another person or the sounds made by other creatures. You must have heard the person speaking, or heard the creature make the sound, for at least 1 minute. A successful Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) check allows a listener to determine that the effect is faked.

The bard class and the actor feat is a match made in heaven, or the seven hells… It really depends on whether you’re the player using it to wreak havoc or the dungeon master who has to deal with it. 

Bards are made to excel in social interactions. More often than not, they become the adventuring party’s spokesperson, if not the party’s face. If you’re not much for roleplaying, or have a hard time getting into character, the Actor feat is there to help you. It increases your Charisma score by one point, and it gives you the ability to mimic voices and sounds in game.

The Actor feat also gives you advantage on Deception and Performance checks while disguised as a different person, which, trust me, happens more often than not. Overall, Actor is one of the best feats to get for your bard. It definitely helps in either managing the consequences made by your party’s chaotic choices or becoming the cause of chaos. It’s a fun feat to have all around.

Why the Actor feat is perfect for your Bard

  • The Masquerade. You embody your character so much that it’s difficult for others to tell if you’re actually acting or not. You gain advantage on Deception and Performance checks whenever you’re disguised as a different person. 
  • Channeling Matt Mercer. Actors are experts in figuring out who you are within just a few moments of interaction. You’ll be able to mimic voices or sounds you’ve heard as long as you’ve heard them for at least a minute. It’s the true ‘Become a Voice Actor in 1 minute’ tutorial.
  • Ability Score Increase Please pt. II. You don’t have to miss out on ASI with this feat as well. You get to increase your Charisma by 1 to a max of 20. That’s always nice.


7. Telepathic [TCE]

Never have to worry about losing your voice, through magic or just a rowdy night out. Telepathic has your back. (Wizards of the Coast: Ellywick Tumblestrum by Anna Steinbauer)


You awaken the ability to mentally connect with others, granting you the following benefits:

  • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You can speak telepathically to any creature you can see within 60 feet of you. Your telepathic utterances are in a language you know, and the creature understands you only if it knows that language. Your communication doesn't give the creature the ability to respond to you telepathically.
  • You can cast the Detect Thoughts spell, requiring no spell slot or components, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it this way again. Your spellcasting ability for the spell is the ability increased by this feat. If you have spell slots of 2nd level or higher, you can cast this spell with them.

Telepathic is a fun feat to have, especially for the charmers and faces of adventuring teams. It allows you to be sneaky while apart from your party (with a maximum distance of 60 feet), keeping them aware of what’s happening. It’s also very useful in scenarios where you can’t speak or open your mouth, such as underwater or in a noisy pub.

It also provides a lot of fun role playing opportunities. Maybe you’re playing a bard off the beaten path, nonverbal, but uses Telepathy and their instruments to communicate. Maybe someone in the party needs some ‘moral’ support while trying to woo a patron, or defending themselves at court; coaching them from behind scenes (still 60 feet away at most).

This feat also gives you a free Detect Thoughts spell everyday! Very useful in social encounters, which bards will have to deal with whether you like to or not. It’s a free spell because it doesn’t count among your known spells and doesn’t require a spell slot the first time you cast it every long rest. You can even use a second level spell slot or higher if you want to  cast it again without resting first. And don’t forget about the increase in Charisma!

Bards would benefit so much with the Telepathy spell. Your only limitations would be your imagination (and a few published rules).

Why your Bard would have a fun time with Telepathy

  • DJ, turn it up. Telepathy allows you to communicate with a creature within 60 feet of you. Now, it doesn’t allow you to cast spells silently, most bard spells require the Verbal component, which on the most basic of requirements, means you need a sound. Not a lot of Dungeon Masters would allow Telepathy to cast spells. But, it can be seen hilariously as a Radio DJ talking to their listeners (possibly unwilling). 
  • Free Spell for me. Get a free Detect Thoughts spell every short rest. It doesn’t count against your total known spells and it doesn’t require a spell slot to cast.
  • Ability Score Increase Please pt. III. This feat makes sure you don’t miss out on a possible ability score increase despite taking a feat giving you one point to place either on Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma. Of course, as a bard, it’s always good to increase your Charisma. Easier to charm the pants out of any NPC, even dragons. 


6. Resilient [PHB]

Keep your Concentration and never waste a turn by getting your bard the Resilient feat. (Bard in a tavern by Hieu)


Choose one ability score. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase the chosen ability score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency in saving throws using the chosen ability.

Resilient is a simple but overall useful feat. Bards were made to optimize their Charisma first and foremost, Dexterity coming a close second. Because of this, they aren’t necessarily built to be able to tank heavy damage. A stray fireball or two can land your bard in critical status or worse, put them down immediately, especially in the earlier levels.

With the Resilient feat, you’re making sure that your Bard will be able to survive longer than most. Increase your Constitution score. It’ll increase your base Hit Points per level and give you proficiency on your Constitution Saving throws.

This works well with Bards and their Constitution checks in case they get hit by damage. A higher constitution modifier means you can tank more damage without your concentration spell dropping.

Why Resilient is a Necessity for Your Bard

  • Constitution Saves. Let’s face it. More often than not, Bards tend to be squishy. And, facing stronger and smarter opponents as you get farther in your adventure, spellcasters start getting focused on as well. Make sure your strong concentration spells don’t get wasted just by getting damaged by getting proficiency on your Constitution Saving Throws.
  • Extra Hit Points. Increasing your Constitution Ability Score means that for each level your character is, there’s a possibility to increase your current maximum HP. As long as you increase your Constitution modifier of course.
  • Synergy. Bards have a lot of spells in their disposal that require concentration. Make sure your Concentration spells stick and never waste a spell slot by increasing your Constitution score. 


5. Lucky [PHB]

Make every dice roll count by taking the Lucky feat! (Wizards of the Coast: Wandering Troubadour by Rudy Siswanto)


You have inexplicable luck that seems to kick in at just the right moment.

  • You have 3 luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an additional d20. You can choose to spend one of your luck points after you roll the die, but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
  • You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20 and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker's roll or yours.
  • If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled.
  • You regain your expended luck points when you finish a long rest.

Picture this: you’re a charismatic and quick-witted bard, captivating audiences (even enemies) with your epics and enchanting spells. Bards are known for their ability to influence situations to their favor and inspire their companions. What happens, however, when the party faces overwhelming odds and every single roll matters?

Bards have their Bardic Inspiration, sure, but unless you’re a College of Lore bard you can’t use Cutting Words to alter the Dungeon Master’s roll directly. This is where the Lucky feat truly shines. It provides an extra layer of survivability and resilience by altering the result of the dice after it’s been rolled, but before the result is declared.

If your Bard gets the Lucky feat, it gives them an extra layer of maneuverability. They can use their reaction two fold, adding an assurance to make the disadvantage stick. It’s a fun reactive feat. Whether it’s turning a critical failure to a critical success or rerolling a crucial saving throw, the Lucky feat allows you to seize control of your destiny and create memorable moments for yourself and your friends.

Why Lucky is a Must Have for Every Bard

  • Director’s Cut. Alter your fate by making use of your pool of Luck Points. Whether it’s to give another chance for a better roll or to impose disadvantage on an enemy’s saves. It gives you some level of control, just enough so, much like a theater play, you’re able to direct things as you’d wish.
  • Not Today Satan. Deny your Dungeon Master’s Critical Success by forcing them to reroll with one Luck Point. Better to deal with 26 points of Fire Damage from a fireball than 52.
  • Extra Resources. The Lucky feat is a renewable resource. With three luck points every day, renewable every long rest, it works well in tandem with the Bard’s Bardic Inspiration. 


4. Fey Touched [TCE]

Embody the charm of the fey and increase your magical prowess by taking the Fey Touched feat. (Gallia of the Endless Dance by Johannes Voss)

Fey Touched

Your exposure to the Feywild's magic has changed you, granting you the following benefits:

  • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You learn the Misty Step spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice. The 1st-level spell must be from the Divination or Enchantment school of magic. You can cast each of these spells without expending a spell slot. Once you cast either of these spells in this way, you can't cast that spell in this way again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level. The spells' spellcasting ability is the ability increased by this feat.

Fey Touched, much like the following feat Shadow Touched, adds a lot of boons that compliments your bard’s abilities, in combat, out of it, and even your roleplaying style, should you choose it. This amazing feat grants you a free Misty Step spell, well suited for Bards as it gets you out of a sticky situation. What’s more is that it doesn’t count against your known spells and doesn’t require a spell slot to cast.

Aside from Misty Step, you get another 1st level spell of your choice; have your pick from the Divination or Enchantment spells list. This spell also doesn’t count among your known spells and doesn’t require a spell slot to cast. Note that both Misty Step and your chosen spell are only free to cast the first time you cast either spells for the day. You regain use of this every long rest.

But wait, there’s more! The Fey Touched feat also allows your Charisma (or wisdom or intelligence) score to increase by one point. This feat is jam packed full of boons, useful for any spellcaster (new or experienced) willing to take it. Optimize your Bard to the fullest with the Fey Touched feat.

Why Fey Touched is a great feat for your bard:

  • Spellcasting Versatility. You get a new 1st level spell of your choice within the Enchantment and Divination school of magic along with Misty Step. This allows you to further optimize your Bard however you like. Who would say no to extra spells am I right?
  • I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Get yourself out of unsavory situations (like the ire of a spurned lover) by using the free Misty Step spell that comes with this feat.
  • Ability Score Increase Please pt. IV. Never say Feys aren’t charming. There must be a reason why they’re able to charm so many people into the Feywilds. You can increase your Charisma by one point by learning from their techniques. 


3. Shadow Touched [TCE]

Utilize mystique and increase your allure by giving your bard the Shadow Touched feat. (Esrael, Moonlight Vampire by Thomas Loval)

Shadow Touched

Your exposure to the Shadowfell's magic has changed you, granting you the following benefits:

  • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You learn the Invisibility spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice. The 1st-level spell must be from the Illusion or Necromancy school of magic. You can cast each of these spells without expending a spell slot. Once you cast either of these spells in this way, you can't cast that spell in this way again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level. The spells' spellcasting ability is the ability increased by this feat.

A counterpart to Fey Touched, Shadow Touched gives you Invisibility and your choice of first level spell within the Illusion or Necromancy School of Magic. Instead of charming your audience with the allure of grace and beauty. Tempt them with the mystique and mystery that comes with the Shadow Touched aesthetic.

In place of bright colors and enchanting fairy dust, the aesthetic for this feat is broody and cool. Whether or not you take that into account when roleplaying your character, Shadow Touched is a great feat for your bard. Especially since it’ll allow you to disappear in faces of adversity… Like an irate mother.. Or three.

Why your Bard needs Shadow Touched

  • You Can’t See Me *Hand waving*. Gain the ability to cast Invisibility once a day, for free. Extremely useful in creating and avoiding chaos.
  • And Another One. Much like Fey Touched, you get a free level 1 spell of your choosing, this time from the Illusion and Necromancy schools of magic. Much more fun to pick from, in my opinion, and the main reason why this trumps Fey Touched in my book.
  • Ability Score Increase Please pt. V. This feat gives you one ability point to increase your Charisma score. Utilize. Optimize. Dramatize. Like a true bard.


2. War Caster [PHB]

Masterful Melodies and Mystic Might: Unleash your Harmonies and Defeat your Enemies with War Caster! (Final Fantasy XIV Fan Art by Bom Gyeon)

War Caster

Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell

You have practiced casting spells in the midst of combat, learning techniques that grant you the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on Constitution saving throws that you make to maintain your concentration on a spell when you take damage.
  • You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.
  • When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.

War Caster is second on my list of recommendations because it works amazingly well with how bards were built to be played. Utilizing reactions, casting concentration spells, and dancing around in the battlefield, singing and hurling insults along the way.

Much like Resilient, War Caster gives you advantage on Concentration Checks, making your spellcasting ability much more stable. It also allows you to cast somatic spells while wielding weapons or shields on one or both hands. Infinitely useful for bards not under the College of Swords, who often get stuck in a bind deciding whether to cast a spell or stab. With War Caster you can do both.

The greatest thing about the War Caster feat is that it lets you cast a spell as your attack of opportunity. Normally, only melee attacks are allowed. This feat circumvents that. Imagine dissing an enemy as they ran away, and actually knocking them down? Vicious Mockery is the prime spell to cast here for the laughs. But, that’s the thing isn’t it? You have your whole spell list as your repertoire.

Why War Caster is an absolute necessity for Bards

  • You Dare Interrupt Me?! With the War Caster feat, you gain advantage on Concentration checks, which will often happen. Especially since most of the higher Bardic Spells are concentration spells.
  • Look Ma! No Hands! Somatic components won’t matter to you anymore. You’ll be able to cast spells while dual wielding weapons or shields.
  • Yo Mamas of Opportunity. You get to cast spells in your attacks of opportunity. This’ll guarantee hilarious combat for your party if used in tandem with not so good Yo Mama jokes powered by Vicious Mockery. Soon, everyone will realize that words can indeed hurt just as much as weapons do. War Caster could help with that.


1. Inspiring Leader [PHB]

Teamwork makes the dream work. Aspire to Inspire with the Inspiring Leader Feat.(Wizards of the Coast: Inspiring Bard by Eelis Kyttanen)

Inspiring Leader

Prerequisite: Charisma 13 or higher

  • You can spend 10 minutes inspiring your companions, shoring up their resolve to fight. When you do so, choose up to six friendly creatures (which can include yourself) within 30 feet of you who can see or hear you and who can understand you. Each creature can gain temporary hit points equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. A creature can't gain temporary hit points from this feat again until it has finished a short or long rest.

This is the ultimate utility feat fit for the Bards of every adventuring party! The beautiful thing about Inspiring Leader is that the higher your Level and Charisma Modifier, the higher the benefit. It’s also a passive ability, nothing to take note of. Nothing to memorize. The only thing you have to do to make use of this feat is to declare it.

The Inspiring Leader feat acts much like the Song of Rest. But instead of usually getting ignored by the party (trust me, I know. And it hurts. I’m with you, fellow bards, we’re all in this together.), because it’s Temporary Hit Points, they’ll be paying prime attention to this. And if you use this feat at higher levels, that’s a lot of Hit Points. And you can do this for a maximum of 6 characters, including yourself.

Even better is that you can use this feat every short and long rest! It’s like a permanent buffer against damage. Of course, Temporary HP rules still apply. Meaning that you can’t really stack Temporary HP above Temporary HP. But with that being the only caveat, it shouldn’t be a mystery to you why I put this feat at the top of this list. It’s just so good.

Why Inspiring Leader is the best feat to have as a Bard.

  • Temporary Hit Points. You and your party (maximum of 6 friendly creatures, including yourself), gain a number of Temp HP equal to your level and your Charisma Modifier. At its minimum, that is 5 Temporary Hit Points every time. And as a Bard, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have more than that.
  • Every Short or Long Rest. This pool of Temporary Hit Points refreshes every rest. Every time, back to the maximum amount of Temp HP, according to your current level and Charisma Modifier. Every time.
  • Like Seriously. Your survivability as an adventuring party often relies on the average hit points as a whole. Barbarians and high level Druids tend to contribute to this average the most, therefore they tend to survive more encounters. With Inspiring Leader, you bump up that average, ensuring your party, as a whole, would be able to survive the incoming encounters.


You may also be interested in: 

More on this topic:

With ease similar to breathing, Red creates worlds one breath at a time. Each day is a possibility for more; never ending inspiration stemming from books, games & films alike. Writing a day at a time.
Gamer Since: 2010
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Our Lives: Forever and Always by GBPatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Don't Starve, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, The Sims 4

More Top Stories