Rapid Shot in Pathfinder: Using it Effectively

The archer took a deep breath, steadying her hand. She focused on the army in front of her, letting her intuition and experience guide her aim. With a quick flurry of arrows, she struck down six soldiers in quick succession. 

The others hesitated for a moment, taken aback by the sudden onslaught. The archer took the opportunity to reload her bow and take aim once more.

This is the power of the rapid shot feat in Pathfinder. An archer can easily take down multiple foes by firing multiple arrows in a single round. However, rapid shot is not just about raw firepower. Used correctly, it can be a powerful strategic weapon.

The rapid shot feat is one of the more popular feats, and for a good reason – it allows you to fire off shots at an increased rate to inflict optimal damage.

This article will discuss the mechanics of the rapid shot feat and how you can use it effectively in your games!

Rapid Shot (Combat)

You can make an additional ranged attack.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Point-Blank Shot.

Benefit: When making a full-attack action with a ranged weapon, you can fire one additional time this round. All of your attack rolls take a –2 penalty when using Rapid Shot.

Source: PRPG Core Rulebook, pg. 132

What is Rapid Shot?

Rapid shot is a feat that allows you to make an additional ranged attack as part of a full-attack action. This extra attack comes at a cost: all of your attacks for the round take a -2 penalty.

This feat is most commonly associated with archers, as they can take advantage of the extra attacks to unleash a deadly hail of arrows upon their foes. However, any character with a ranged weapon can benefit from this feat.

There are a few key reasons why players might want to learn rapid shot:

  • It allows you to make an extra attack in a round, which can be very powerful when used correctly.
  • It can help you control the battlefield by taking down multiple foes at once. 
  • It’s a great way to boost your overall damage output for the round.

How Does the Rapid Shot Feat Work?

With rapid shot, you trade precision for speed, unleashing back-to-back attacks. But speed takes its toll; you lose some accuracy with each shot using this ability. 

Players use the rapid shot feat to unleash a flurry of arrows at your opponents or to take down multiple enemies at once. This feat can be very powerful when used correctly. 

The rapid shot feat is best for characters who can take advantage of the extra attacks. For example, those looking to use their attacks strategically. 

How Good is Rapid Shot?

The rapid shot feat is an excellent option for archers and other ranged characters in Pathfinder. With a bit of planning and forethought, you can use it to build the ultimate archer!

There are a few things to keep in mind when using rapid shot effectively. It’s vital to remember that the feat forces you to take a -2 penalty on all of your attack rolls for the round.

While the payoff can be well-worth the penalty, you should choose your targets carefully and focus on those you have the best chance of hitting.

The penalty is also why rapid shot is best used in conjunction with other abilities and feats, specifically ones that increase your accuracy or damage output.

For example, the feat Point-Blank Shot will increase your attack bonus at close-range, while feats like Deadly Aim can increase the amount of damage you deal with each attack.

Lastly, remember that rapid shot is not just about raw firepower. Used correctly, it can be a powerful tool for controlling the battlefield and turning the tide of an encounter. 

By firing multiple arrows in quick succession, you can force your enemies to take cover or hesitate in their attacks. This gives you the opportunity to move to a better position or retreat from combat if necessary.

Who Should Take the Rapid Shot Feat?

The rapid shot feat is best for characters who are proficient with ranged weapons and have a high dexterity score. The character needs to have enough accuracy to mitigate the -2 attack penalty. Otherwise, you’ll have difficulty hitting the opponent with your rapid shots. 

Having a high base attack bonus or taking the precise shot feat, or other feats or abilities that increase your precision are the best ways to make the rapid shot feat much more effective. 

In addition, characters who can deal large amounts of damage with their attacks will find this feat more useful. This is because the increased number of attacks means that more damage can be dealt overall.

The Ultimate Archer

There is no one definitive path to creating the ultimate archer in Pathfinder 1e. However, when making your archer character, there are several things that can enhance their performance and playability. 

When building your archer, it’s helpful to select an appropriate background, choose the right feat combinations, and pick out the best ranged weapons for your character.

Archers require a combination of strength, dexterity, and intelligence to be effective. You’ll need to be fast and nimble to avoid getting hit while also being strong enough to fire a heavy crossbow or longbow. You’ll also need a sharp mind to plan your shots and take advantage of the terrain.

You’ll want to get rapid shot for the extra attacks and point-blank shot (the prerequisite for precise shot) to offset the penalty. 

Precise Shot

Archers trained in precise shot can shoot or throw ranged weapons at an opponent engaged in melee without taking the standard penalty on their attack roll.

Usually, you take a –4 penalty on attack rolls with ranged weapons against an opponent who is engaged in combat. With precise shot, you can avoid this penalty, making it much easier to support a teammate engaged in melee combat.

Point-Blank Shot

Point-blank shot is a feat that has synergy with rapid shot, as it increases your strength at close-range. With this feat, you gain a +1 bonus to your attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.

By combining point-blank shot with rapid shot,  you can unleash a flurry of arrows at your enemies, dealing significant damage.


Haste is a spell that gives you an extra attack each round. When combined with rapid shot, you can make multiple attacks with your bow for every attack your enemies make!

This offers you the chance to take your enemy by storm, causing them to hunker down as you let arrows fly or possibly even eliminate them before they can strike. In addition, haste can improve your accuracy by giving you more opportunities to attack.


Manyshot is an ability that allows you to fire two arrows simultaneously. This can be a great way to increase your damage output, as you are effectively making two attacks with one arrow.

Because rapid shot is a prerequisite for Manyshot, it’s a good choice for those who’ve already taken rapid shot. During your adventures, you can use both of these abilities to great effect!

Aiming For Success

In summary, here are some tips and strategies for using the rapid shot feat effectively in your Pathfinder games:

  • Use rapid shot in conjunction with feats and abilities that allow you to make multiple attacks, such as the two-weapon fighting feat or the haste spell.
  • If you have a high base attack bonus, consider taking the precise shot feat to offset the -2 penalty to your attacks.
  • Choose targets that are easy to hit, such as targets that are standing still or those that are vulnerable to your attacks.
  • Use cover and concealment to your advantage, and try to position yourself so that you have a clear line of sight to your target.

Shoot Out

The rapid shot feat is a solid choice for players who want to maximize their archer’s potential. With the above tips in mind, you should be able to use this long-range feat effectively in your Pathfinder 1e games. 

Whether fighting with a team or on your own, you’ll find a way to overcome whatever challenge comes your way.

By selecting the right feats and abilities and positioning yourself carefully, you can use rapid shot to destroy even the mightiest of monsters.