I recently learned that you can't ready bonus actions, because you can't ready any action that can normally be performed only on your turn:

A bonus action can be taken only on your turn. You, therefore, can't use Ready with a bonus action.

(from Crawford's official twitter rules channel thingy.)

This official change to the rules confuses me. It seems to say that specifically because you can't use a bonus action out-of-turn, you can't therefore ready it. But you can't use actions or moves out-of-turn either, so the same logic seems to invalidate most use of the ready action, leaving only reactions readyable. (It doesn't reason that you can't ready a bonus action therefore you can't use it out of turn, which would appear consistent with the rules.)

Furthermore, readying reactions is only useful if you want to delay a reaction that normally happens before its trigger so that it instead happens after its trigger, which is both rarely useful and not the sort of thing that fits with most of the official rules-changes/rewrites the design team has poured out thus far.

Are actions or movement normally usable off-turn? Is there any use for Ready beyond reaction timing given this official rules change? Is there a more recent errata overturning this one? What's going on here?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Minor correction, I think calling Crawford's tweets "errata" is incorrect or at least a bit inaccurate. Errata are published corrections to the books. Other issues aside, Crawfords tweets aren't even all RAW clarifications of the text and they are certainly not published in a manner that errata would imply. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 13:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer: official =/= errata. Rules Errata are specific documents published by WotC. They are not found on Twitter, they are found here. It is just confusing the source of the information to mix the two up is all I am saying. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 18:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I've put the [rules-as-written] tag on this, since it seems that the question is asking what is super-legalistically the case regardless of any non-RAW hermeneutic approach (such as “well the Ready action can't self-contradict, so obviously X”). If that tagging change doesn't represent the question accurately — if this isn't a solidly RAW-hermeneutics question — please clarify otherwise. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 19:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer: Crawford himself says that his tweets are not errata many times. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 19:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer FYI, the answer we're linking to here never says Crawford's tweets are errata. There is only one sentence in it that mentions errata, and it is not saying Crawford's tweets are that, and in fact in the following sentence categorically separates Crawford's tweets from errata. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12, 2018 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


When you "ready an action", you don't actually take your action outside of your turn. You're using your action for the Ready action, and you use it on your turn, potentially along with movement and a bonus action.

What you do later on, when the trigger occurs, is therefore not using your action - it's using a reaction that mimics an action. RAW, the rules use the phrasing "[...] the action you [...] take [...]", but mechanically you're still using your reaction, not your action - you just have all the options you would normally have with an action.

Basically, using Ready, you can turn an action or your movement (both of which would occur on your turn) into a reaction, which can occur outside of your turn (thanks @T.J.L. for the phrasing - that's exactly what I wanted to get across).

Now, Ready states:

[...] First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it. [...]

Hence, the rules allow actions and movement - but not bonus actions.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with some of this, but it's irrelevant because this answer doesn't address the issue in the question at all. I'm not asking why bonus actions aren't allowed; the errata already says why quite clearly, which is that bonus actions are taken during your turn and you aren't allowed to take actions restricted to being taken during your turn with the Ready action. There may be additional reasons, but that's not relevant to whether or not you can ready action actions, movement, object interaction actions, free actions, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 10:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ From what I understand, TheDarkWanderer's concern is that Jeremy Crawford is suggesting actions and moves are not allowed outside of a turn. JC's reasoning wasn't “readying doesn't let you ready bonus actions”, it was “you can't take bonus actions outside your turn, so you can't ready them.” You can't take actions or moves outside your turn either, so by the same logic, you can't ready those, either. The tweet's line of reasoning, and its implications, seem therefore in conflict with the rules around readying actions completely (and it's probably wrong). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 11:52
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ This is right. It calls out that the function of "Ready" is to turn a different action into a Reaction. The OP's confusion seems to be partially based on this distinction. Actions and movement are certainly only on your turn by default, but the entire purpose of Ready is to turn them into reactions. You decide the trigger (normal reactions define their own), and then what Action or Movement takes place when that trigger occurs. At no time are you taking an action out of turn, you're taking a custom Reaction that just happens to be very similar to what would otherwise be an Action. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Apr 11, 2018 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Note that the answer has been changed to help clarify. This answer certainly does answer the question as asked, I think you may have just missed the implication, which has now been more strongly defined. Readying an action converts a normal action or movement into a reaction, allowing you to use it as described in the errata. Actions include: Attack, Cast a spell, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Search, and Use an object (interaction). Bonus actions can't be readied. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doc
    Apr 11, 2018 at 20:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The tweet says that you can't use a bonus action out-of-turn and therefore you can't ready it. It doesn't say you can't ready it, therefore you can't use it out of turn. This answer addresses the latter, nonexistant tweet, but neglects the former, actual tweet. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2018 at 21:10

Technically? No.

Actions and movement are typically usable only on your turn, in this case you are taking an action (on your turn) that allows you to do either as a Reaction later with specific limitations.

You don't technically "Ready an Action" although almost all references to it and discussions at the table seem to lead to that somewhat erroneous conclusion, you actually take the Ready action.

The text in the Combat section of the PHB p192 (emphasis mine):

When you take your action on your turn, you can take one of the actions presented here, an action you gained from your class or a special feature, or an action that you improvise.

The if you look closer at the list provided thereafter you have the following (again emphasis mine):

  • Attack

  • Cast a Spell

  • Dash
  • Disengage
  • Dodge
  • Help
  • Hide
  • Ready
  • Search
  • Use an Object

As you can see Ready is an action that you take on your turn that allows you to specify a perceivable trigger and an action or movement in response to that trigger as your reaction.

Now Bonus Actions (along with the clarification from Crawford) specifically calls out that they are only usable on your turn. The subsection for Bonus Action is also under the parent section of Your Turn (PHB 189).

In the case of the referenced Tweet the rules are actually clear, Misty Step has a casting time of "1 bonus action" which disqualifies it from the Ready action.

PHB 193 (emphasis mine):

To be readied, a spell must have a casting time of 1 action, and holding onto the spell’s magic requires concentration...

All in all you are trading your action on your turn to be able to use a Reaction to gain more flexibility in the round.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .