Comparing Dungeons and Dragons' 4E Ranger to Its 5E Counterpart

Comparing Dungeons and Dragons’ 4E Ranger to Its 5E Counterpart

Comparing Dungeons and Dragons' 4E Ranger to Its 5E Counterpart

     Comparing Dungeons and Dragons’ 4E Ranger to Its 5E Counterpart

Dungeons & DragonsTabletop and other tabletop games continue to grow in popularity. Online tabletops are becoming more popular than ever, with some players feeling confident enough to go back to playing in person. The popularity of the fifth edition has been a major factor in this rise. Dungeons & DragonsShows that have made the game popular like stranger ThingsAndEssential Role. Ironically, however, the rise inD&DMany have explored alternatives to the current iteration in other editions.


This allows you to see older editions of the character archetypes, in the same vein as exploring the previous editions. The Ranger is a model class. Rangers are a combination of martial talent and a natural affinity for nature. They have been a part of many D&D stories. There are key differences between the 4E Ranger and the 4E version. Many of these differences are rooted in the fundamental differences between the two versions.



Core Differences between 4E and 5E in the Ranger


4E is a controversial entry in the long-running franchise. Some fans were dissatisfied with the fourth iteration D&D. It was too complicated and tried to be too many TTRPGs at one time. Crunch refers to the amount of math required to calculate attack rolls and other such tabletop terms. Pathfinder is a popular alternative to D&D because it offers a lot of fun grind. D&D can often have ironic gaps between what fans want, and the differences between fourth and fifth edition Rangers is a big one.


The 5E common player debate has been about Rangers. Many consider the Player’s Handbook base classes to be among the weakest pure combat potential. D&D is a major influence on combat mechanics across all genres, including Final Fantasy. In a few key ways, the 4E Ranger is stronger than the 5E one. The number of health points that they earn per level is the first and most obvious.


HP is literally vital for the survival of a character playing D&D or any other RPG. Rangers are the most resilient survivalists, so it makes sense that they would be hardy. This is illustrated in 4E, where the class’s starting HP is 12 HP (plus a CON modifier). This follows the 4E tendency to avoid the fragile experience at the first level common in 5E. The new game uses hit dice instead of a fixed amount to show the HP increase for each level. Ranger begins with a lighter 1d10. The health boost is a huge deal for D&D’s most prominent monster hunter.


The way they handle a Ranger’s iconic feature is one of the main differences between the two versions. From D&D to World of Warcraft, the Ranger archetype includes a companion animal who travels with them into battle. Although many low-level D&D creatures can serve as companions for a PC’s PC, each edition handles this feature differently. This was the main complaint that 5E players had with 5E. What a Ranger’s companion can do to benefit from the master’s abilities is the biggest difference.

Efforts to Fix 5E Ranger in Dungeons & Dragons


Rangers in 4E have the ability to use healing surges on their companions or themselves. In 5E, this ability is removed for both the Ranger as well as their companion. The Hunter’s Quarry feature, arguably more beneficial to Beast companions than the controversial Favored Foe mechanic, also benefits them. A Ranger can select enemies to damage in the short-term rather than the long-term effects associated with Favored Foe. Their companions receiving the same bonus damage closely mirrors Drizz’t and his panther in Dark Alliance than the slightly less powerful form it takes in 5E.


Other key differences are due to changes made between the fourth edition and fifth editions. However, a general drop in power for 5E rangers led to homebrewed classes of D&D. These were addressed later in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. The Hunter’s Quarry and Favored Foe changes are the most significant of the two and have been the most frequently addressed. A Ranger can choose a target in 4E to deal more damage than the Hunter’s Mark spell from 5E. Rangers can use this ability to do more damage to creatures that pose a greater threat.


5E’s Favored foe is the opposite. The player selects a type or creature that gives a bonus to attack that creature. It grants special abilities, such as the language that the creature may know. However, it is a double-edged blade. A player may encounter dragons only once if they choose dragons as their Favored foe. This can provide interesting roleplay opportunities throughout a campaign, but it can also leave players feeling less powerful than their companions. D&D 5E expansions books have also added subclasses to the mix and new rules to combat this feeling.


It can be difficult to find the right edition or any TTRPG game for a player or a DM. Each system can make small or large changes, with each having a different focus. However, those who want to explore older versions of D&D will have many options. Understanding how a particular player class works is a key part of this decision-making process. The trend is to present the most options while still giving players the opportunity for roleplay. For many Dungeons and Dragons fans, the Ranger is a very iconic archetype in fantasy. Knowing which edition has the best Ranger will help to swing the balance.

Comparing Dungeons and Dragons’ 4E Ranger to Its 5E Counterpart
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