In combat, one team mate may 'Help' another willing ally:


You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn.

Alternatively, you can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally’s attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first attack roll is made with advantage.

The Question I have is: Can this be used as a bonus action, or used whilst concentrating on a spell?


3 Answers 3


If something can be performed using a bonus action, it is always explicitly stated in the description. The lack of such a statement indicates that it can only be used as an action.

Concentration is only broken by specific things, which are listed on page 203 of the PHB and are:

  • Casting another spell that requires concentration (*)
  • Taking damage
  • Being incapacilated or killed

(*) Readying a spell or casting a spell with a casting time over 1 action also requires concentration (PHB 193 and 202, respectively).

Taking the Help action is none of these and thus will not interfere with concentration.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Page 202 of the PHB adds an additional condition that is easily overlooked: When you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, [...] you must maintain your concentration while you do so. \$\endgroup\$
    – nwp
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ And that includes reading a spell action. While you are holding that spell, you are concentrating on it ... Even if the spell doesn't require concentration. "and holding onto the spell's magic requires concentration" PHB 193 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @J.A.Streich and nwp, I have included those in my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:36

Help is an action; it does not break concentration

In the PHB, 192 under Actions in Combat, Help is listed as an option:

When you take your action on your turn, you can take one of the actions presented here, [...]

This is not a bonus action, but purely your action.

For concentration, the only things that can break that are listed under PHB, 202-3, under "Longer Casting Times" and "Concentration":

When you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn casting the spell, and you must maintain your concentration while doing so [...]

Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn't interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration:

  • Casting another spell that requires concentration. [...]

  • Taking damage. [...]

  • Being incapacitated or killed. [...]

In addition, Readying a spell would also end concentration (as you are concentrating on a new spell) from PHB 193.

Using your action does not break concentration unless the above occur.

  • \$\begingroup\$ And holding a readied spell also uses concentration, and there are a handful of abilities that require you to concentrate as if on a spell... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich Can't ready a spell and take the Help action at the same time, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I wasn't suggesting that you could. I was suggesting your list of what breaks concentration is incomplete. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich Not really... A readied spell is a cast spell, so "casting another spell that requires concentration" covers it. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Very true, but having the extra line in doesn't hurt and helps clarify something that may not be known. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:02

I just wanted to contribute to this as you can use Help as a bonus action IF you are playing with a Rogue and choose the Roguish Archetype: Mastermind - once you reach 3rd Level in that class. (XGE p. 46)


Starting at 3rd level, you can use the Help action as a bonus action. Additionally, when you use the Help action to aid an ally in attacking a creature, the target of that attack can be within 30 feet of you, rather than within 5 feet of you, if the target can see or hear you.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ damn that's good catch! \$\endgroup\$
    – tuskiomi
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 19:52

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