As the question states, if a creature has blindsight, do they have disadvantage on a target that is within the range of their blindsight and not otherwise hidden/covered?

The wording of the invisible condition suggests that attacks against an invisible creature have disadvantage AND the creature can't be seen without magic/special sense not BECAUSE the creature can't be seen.

Invisible Condition

An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense. For the purposes of hiding, the creature is heavily obscured. The creature's location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves.

Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage, and the creature's attack rolls have advantage.


6 Answers 6


The Special Sense Blindsight bypasses the mechanics of being Invisible

The Invisible condition states (emphasis mine):

An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense.

Blindsight is a special type of sense, along with senses like True Sight and Tremorsense.

The condition explicitly calls out that there are special senses that bypass the condition. As Blindsight allows a creature to see the unseen, being invisible is bypassed by that sense and thus the mechanics that the Invisible condition provides are not activated.

Jeremy Crawford also provides some support:

Blindsight lets you spot an invisible creature in range, but that creature can still try to hide behind something with Stealth.

Once you can see the creature the effects of being Invisible are no longer active.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Strictly rules as written, "impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense" and "Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage" are written as separate effects. The "Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage" line isn't written as conditional on not being able to see the creature. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2018 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Jeremy Crawford says exactly the opposite of what you are claiming: youtu.be/n42dboiQeOY?t=1206 Even if you can see the invisible creature through some other sense, you still have disadvantage attacking them. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2022 at 22:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GuillaumeF. Jeremy said a lot of things, and as shown by your link and the tweet I quoted, they can be contradictory. The tweet reference for my answer is purely anecdotal, the actual answer is in the rules I cite above it. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 13, 2022 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ They are not contradictory. Blindsight lets you see the creature, but that is not enough to prevent the disadvantage from attack rolls. The two bullet points of the Invisibility condition (can't see, and effect on attack rolls) are separate. Jeremy is very clear that this is the RAW and RAI outcome. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2022 at 22:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GuillaumeF. I’m sorry, but I disagree. The rules support my viewpoint and many seem to agree. Crawford isn’t always right :) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 13, 2022 at 22:28

No, it doesn't have disadvantage.

A creature with blindsight can perceive its environment without using sight. Therefore it can perceive invisible creatures.

"Invisible" means "unable to be seen". The Invisible condition is actually defined that way:

An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense.

So if someone can effectively see you, then you aren't invisible to them and the adverse effects of the Invisible condition don't apply to them. Note that there is precedent for being subject to a condition with respect to only some creatures: you are considered blinded when trying to see things that are heavily obscured.

The rules handle attacks between unseen characters in a consistent way, whether they're invisible, blind (and thus unable to see anything), or heavily obscured.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer would be improved by quoting/citing the sources of the relevant rules (rather than simply mentioning what they say). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 13, 2018 at 2:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are a number of possible Tweets that might support this, like this \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Nov 13, 2018 at 3:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Invisible" does not mean "unable to be seen" - if I am on the other side of a closed door or standing in the dark I am "unable to be seen" but I am not "invisible". Also, the "invisible" condition is not defined that way - it is a condition that certain magical effects (e.g. Invisibility spell) give you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Nov 13, 2018 at 3:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM And yet if you are on the other side of a closed door or standing in the dark, attack rolls against you have disadvantage. Unable to be seen = unable to be seen. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Nov 13, 2018 at 4:33

An Invisible creature is still Invisible even if someone can see it

Invisibility is a condition that certain magical effects (e.g. Invisibility spell) gives you and the condition only ends in the way that the effect says - I don't know of any that end just because something can "see" you. While you have the condition it does what it says it does.

So, yes, an Invisible creature attacks with advantage and is attacked with disadvantage even if the target/attacker can "see" it through blindsight, tremorsense, truesight etc.

Why? Because the advantage/disadvantage comes from the Invisible condition (PHB p.291) and is distinct from the advantage/disadvantage that comes from being unseen (PHB p.195). There are features like Faerie Fire that explicitly nullify the invisible conditions but simply being able to "see" the invisible creature doesn't.

This is explicitly the intention of the lead designer.

Does this make sense? I don't ask that question anymore.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. That is what I believed may have been the correct interpretation but there was some confusion in my group about there being disadvantage even when the creature was seen or "perceived" by blindsight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Nov 13, 2018 at 1:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rpeinhardt: Although you are free to accept any answer, and DaleM is clearly an expert, if you are interested in consensus as evidenced by the votes, you will see that this answer has less agreement from other voters. If you are interested in the reasons behind polarised versions of answers, this seems to be a classic example of gamist vs narrative interpretations of rules - neither are inherently "wrong", however the swing was heavily gamist for D&D v4, and there was a deliberate swing back the other way for 5E. More detail on that would be the topic of another question \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2018 at 7:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rpeinhardt Rules do what they say, and this is indeed what the rules say. 5e has, quote honestly, poorly written rules from the perspective of "saying what they should say"; instead, 5e was written in a conversational manner, with next to no attention payed to "oh, and did we write what we meant to?" in most of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Nov 13, 2018 at 14:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ Neil Slater: That's a VERY good comment. Really, it's kind of an answer unto itself. Thank you! I've unmarked this answer as chosen not necessarily because I think it's wrong, but because it seems to be more complex. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Nov 13, 2018 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater Dale M's answer is the correct one, both RAI and RAW. The "consensus" is wrong and mistaken. See Jeremy Crawford video for explanation: youtu.be/n42dboiQeOY?t=1206 \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2022 at 22:29

By Rules-As-Written a creature with Blindsight still has disadvantage attacking an invisible PC because the disadvantage is called out as a function of the Invisible condition, not as a result of the normal disadvantage suffered due to not seeing a creature. The fact that the two features of Invisible ("Can't be seen" and "Have Advantage on attack and Disadvantage on being attack") are separated into two bullet points supports the idea that they are separate things and not that the second one follows from the first. This doesn't make much sense from a logical perspective.

The Rules-As-Intended is almost certainly that the Advantage/Disadvantage comment in the Invisible condition is just a reminder that the rules for Sight imply Advantage on attack and Disadvantage on being attacked when a creature can't be seen.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You are wrong, the Rules-As-Intended is the same as RAW: a creature with blindsight still has disadvantage attacking an invisible creature. Jeremy Crawford himself specified that this was the intended mechanic: youtu.be/n42dboiQeOY?t=1206 \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2022 at 22:17

Compare Blindsight and Truesight to the rules for Faerie Fire. Creatures caught in Faerie Fire are outlined by the spell. But Faerie Fire doesn't just let you sense them, it specifies that the creature does not benefit from invisibility.

Now compare the text for blur, which gives disadvantage on attacks based on visual stimuli. An attacker is immune if it doesn't rely on sight, such as blindsight, or can see through illusions, such as truesight. It spells out that its benefits are nullified.

From a rule-based standpoint, there is some benefit that invisibility has that blur doesn't, and there's some benefit to Faerie Fire that Blindsight and Truesight lack.

From a narrative standpoint, Blindsight allows you to sense an invisible creature, but not perfectly. You may be able to sense the creature is up next to you, and maybe you might be able to work out that they are attacking. But no matter how good your ears or nose are, you wouldn't be able to track finer details like eye movement or shoulder position, so you can't be sure you know how the details of how the creature is attacking or defending.

And Truesight may have similar narrative limitations. Truesight is a way to see through illusions and invisibility, but it doesn't grant infallible vision enough to nullify these effects. While it's not spelled out WHY it doesn't fully nullify invisibility, there's a variety of explanations. The spell/item that granted it might be flawed. There might be too much information for the brain to process to see through invisibility perfectly. Because of that, there's a visual delay or motion blur or slowed reactions.

But in the end, it does come down to the DM. Me personally, I'd say the blindsight/ truesight person could use their reaction to try to perceive an oncoming attack, or bonus action to try and identify how the person is defending. Sight person would use a perception check against a stealth check from invisible person. If perception wins, I'd say the invisible person was making enough noise or shifting enough dirt or telegraphing their moves too much and they gave away their defensive stance or attack pattern, nullifying the additional benefit of invisibility.


Yes, the attack is made with disadvantage.

The Invisible condition has two effects - the creature cannot be seen without the aid of special senses, and attacks against it are made with disadvantage while its own attacks are made with advantage.

The fact the attacker has blindsight lets it automatically know the creature's location - however, the creature is still invisible, and the second bullet point makes no provisions for having special senses or not (IE there is no wording "unless you see the creature,").

The only way to remove this disadvantage is to either remove the Invisible condition, or to render the creature unable to benefit from it, for example with a faerie fire or branding smite spell.


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