D&D 5e: Aarakocra Ranger Guide

Male aarakocra ranger shooting an arrow from above.

D&D 5e: Aarakocra Ranger Guide

“As your eyes in the sky, I’ll guide your way. Food, shelter, the safest path, I’m fortunate enough to be able to find them all from my vantage point. Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.”

How to Make an Aarakocra Ranger

Starting Stats

Most of the abilities and weapons a Ranger will use rely on Dexterity, which works out well, as you will get to add your race modifier to your starting score. A high Dexterity will be good for your ranged attacks and your Armor Class, especially since you won’t be able to Fly with medium armor on, despite being proficient.

The next ability score you’ll probably want to invest in as an Aarakocra is Wisdom. You’ll get a slight boost at character creation to your Wisdom which will in turn help with the casting of many of the Ranger’s spells as well as several of their unique abilities.

There are several Conclaves you could choose that will rely more heavily on this, which makes your character great for these options.

A male aarakocra ranger holds his spear, ready for battle

How to Play an Aarakocra Ranger

Monster Slayer

With this Conclave, you can, without spending any of your action economy, sense a creature’s immunities, vulnerabilities, and resistances with your Hunter’s Sense. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier, taking full advantage of that boost from character creation. 

This is also extremely helpful as it helps the entire party, not just one person. You will also get Magic-User’s Nemesis at higher levels, forcing casters to make a saving throw against your spell DC, another benefit of high Wisdom, or lose their spell. Combine this with the Mage Slayer Feat and you will be an absolute menace to any caster your party comes across.


This is a unique one for an Aarakocra as it is almost Rogue-like. Taking this subclass will grant you Darkvision with Umbral Sight, something handy to you since it’s very difficult to fly in darkness without it. This also makes you invisible to any creature using their Darkvision in return. As a bonus, Dread Ambusher boosts your Initiative equal to your Wisdom modifier, once again taking advantage of both your racial bonuses. 

Combining this with the Alert Feat and you will almost always be going first, hitting fast and hard, making a regular movement at 60-foot Fly speed your first turn of combat. Once you gain Iron Mind, you will become proficient in Wisdom Saving Throws as well, making it a challenge for many effects and spells to find purchase on you.

How to Roleplay as an Aarakocra Ranger

There are several routes to go when creating the type of character you want to be. You could be the hired guide or the expert on the wilderness and its creatures. As a flyer, you could be a military scout, scanning the horizon and tracking the ground. 

Perhaps you’ll be a boldly colored bird, drawing as much attention to yourself as you can so that your party can get a better vantage for themselves. You could be a protector of the lands or a seeker of glory in a hunt. There is no limit to all the different birds and personalities you could combine to make your character.

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