D&D Mounted Combat
D&D Core Info

Mounted Combat

According to the rules, a mount may be any willing creature that is at least one size larger than the rider and has the appropriate anatomy for riding. Halflings, Gnomes, and Goblins and Kobolds, are all classified as small creatures, and may ride medium-sized mounts, such as mules, wolves, goats, giant frogs and dolphins. A mount can only be controlled if it has been trained to accept a rider, or is considered an intelligent creature (typically one who has an Intelligence of 6 or higher, but it's really up to the DM's to decide).

Mounting/Dismounting | Forced Dismounting | Controlling Mounts |
Controlled Mounts | Opportunity Attacks |
Where am I while mounted? Reach? | Feats & Mounts


  • Mounting or Dismounting a creature costs half of your movement speed.
  • You can NOT mount a creature if your speed is 0.
  • Mounting a creature is NOT an action.
  • The mount needs to be within 5 ft. of you (no matter your size, the mount's size, your reach, etc.).

Forced Dismounting

  • If an effect moves your mount against its will while you're on it, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall off the mount, landing prone in a space within 5 feet of the mounts new location (i.e. if the mount is pushed 20ft, you fall within 5ft of the mount's new location). If an effect moves both the rider AND the mount, the check must still be made.
  • If you are knocked prone while mounted (or grappled and moved, shoved, etc.), you must make the same saving throw (i.e. you may be unseated without affecting your mount). If you fail, you fall off prone within 5ft. of the mount. If you succeed, you remain in the saddle.
  • If your mount is knocked prone, you can use your reaction to dismount it as it falls and land on your feet. Otherwise, you are dismounted and fall prone in a space within 5 feet it.
  • Note: Military saddles give advantage on checks to stay mounted (not saving throws).

Controlling Mounts

  • You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently.
  • Intelligent creatures, such as dragons, act independently with no restrictions to the creature's actions.
  • You can control a mount only if it has been trained to accept a rider.

Controlled Mounts

  • The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it.
  • A controlled mount moves as you direct it, and it has only three action options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge.
  • A controlled mount can still use any bonus actions and reactions that it has.
  • A controlled mount can move and act even on the turn that you mount it.
  • If you have the Mounted Combatant feat, while mounted on a controlled mount, you have advantage on melee attack rolls against any unmounted creature that is smaller than your mount.

Opportunity Attacks

  • Mount Provokes Opportunity Attack: If the mount provokes an opportunity attack while you're on it, the attacker can target you or the mount.
  • Enemy Provokes Opportunity Attack: A mount has only three actions (Dash, Disengage, and Dodge), but has no restrictions to it's reaction. So, as long as the mount has a reaction available, it should be able to take an opportunity attack. However, as there is no actual rule for this situation, it is up to the DM (since a creature can't take an attack action, the DM might not allow attacks as reactions; or perhaps the mount is busy taking orders from the rider, or is too scared to fight).

Where am I while mounted? How does reach work?

This is an area of much debate. There are three popular options, each with advantages and disadvantages. The DM should choose one option.

  • Mearls Method: The rider is essentially a free-moving creature trapped inside a box the shape of the mount's space. When mounting a mount, the creature would presumably move into the nearest space within the mount's space, and would continue to occupy that space unless the rider moves. The rider would need to use their movement to climb all over their mount in order to get to a place where they could reach foes with their weapons.
    Pros: This method has some realism, as a rider would have to move/lean around the mount to make an attack (especially on very large mounts).
    • The DM would have to institute some "facing" rules for the mount, since the movement of the mount would affect the position of the rider. This requires more tracking work.
    • If the rider is using a lance while riding a horse, they can move into a space away from their target, negating the lance's Disadvantage on attacks against adjacent foes (which was added to balance the lance against other weapons).
    • Complicates the Mounted Combatant feat's second bullet (You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead). The feat can become useless if the rider is out of the attacker's reach.
  • Blob Method: When you mount a creature, you share that creature's space, effectively making the rider and the mount a single blob.
    Pros: Easy to play
    Cons: Lacks Realism, especailly on huge and gargantuan mounts (a rider on a brontasaurus could wield a longsword and attack any enemy adjacent to the brontasaurus).
  • Center of Mass Method: When mounting a mount, you occupy the center-most space in the creature's space. If the center of the creature's space is an intersection, you occupy all spaces which touch that intersection. This means that a human on a horse occupies the mount's entire space. On an elephant, a human occupies only the center square of the elephant's space. On a Brontosaurus, a human occupies a 10 foot square in the center of the mount's space.
    Pros: Realisistic. Reach weapons and ranged weapons make sense.
    Cons: Complicates the Mounted Combatant feat's second bullet (You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead). The feat can become useless if the rider is out of the attacker's reach.

Feats and Mounts

  • Charger. This feat requires you to use your own action (not your mount's) to dash, so this does not work with mounted combat.
  • Defensive Duelist. This feat allows you to use your Reaction to increase your AC while wielding a finesse weapon you are proficient in. This can be especially useful if you have Mounted Combatant because you can still use it when you take attacks originally intended for your mount. Note: This feat does NOT increase your mount's AC.
  • Mounted Combatant. This feat has three main benefits. First, it gives you advantage on melee attack rolls against unmounted creatures that are smaller than your mount. Second, it allows you to force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead. This is highly useful to help keep your mount alive, however this feature may only be effective if the DM chooses the Blob Method (see above). The final benefit allows your mount to take no damage when it succeeds a Dexterity save that usually results in half damage, and half damage when it fails.

Visit the Thieves Guild for more Resources