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The Hexblade warlock's Accursed Specter feature (XGtE, p. 56) says:

When you slay a humanoid, you can cause its spirit to rise from its corpse as a specter [...] It obeys your verbal commands

Does commanding the specter require my action?

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In the Basic Rules Combat section it says:

Other Activity on Your Turn Your turn can include a variety of flourishes that require neither your action nor your move.

You can communicate however you are able, through brief utterances and gestures, as you take your turn.

A verbal command is communication, and can be performed on your turn without using an action so long as it is brief.

If it is complex or difficult to convey your command, then your DM may require you to take an action at their discretion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you say this is identical to features which state "They obey any verbal commands that you issue to them (no action required by you)" such as from conjure animals ? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 5 at 7:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Correct, as per the Basic Rules Combat section, verbal commands do not require an action. In this case it says "no action" but your DM may still decide that your command takes too long to convey and requires one. \$\endgroup\$ – jgn Nov 5 at 7:47

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