Perception is linked to Wisdom.

Make a Perception check to notice clues, detect secret doors, spot imminent dangers, find traps, follow tracks, listen for sounds behind a closed door, or locate hidden objects. This skill is used against another creature’s Stealth check or against a DC set by the DM. In most situations, the DM uses your passive Perception check result to determine if you notice a clue or an imminent danger.

  • Perceive something:
    • Action type: Minor action[RC:150]. However, no action is required when the DM is using a creature's passive perception. Carefully searching an area (the creatures's space and squares adjacent to it) takes 1 minute or more.
    • DC: See the table for DCs when you’re trying to hear or spot something, searching an area, or looking for tracks.
    • Success: The creature perceives something. If the creature is carefully searching an area, it finds something assuming there's something to find.
    • Failure: You can’t try again unless circumstances change.[PH:186]
  • Find a Hidden Creature:
    • Action type: Minor action.
    • Opposed Check: Against a target creature's Stealth check. Relevant modifiers from the Listen and Spot tables may be applies depending on how the creature is trying to find a hidden target.
    • Success: The target is no longer hidden. If the creature is performing the check cannot see the target for some other reason, it still knows where the target is located.
Listen Perception DC
Battle 0
Normal conversation 10Easy[RC:151]
Whispers 20Hard[RC:151]
Through a door +5
Through a wall +10
More than 10 squares away +2

Spot or Search Perception DC
Barely hidden 10Easy
Well hidden 25 Hard
More than 10 squares away +2
Find Tracks Perception DC
Soft ground (snow, loose dirt, mud) 15 Moderate
Hard ground (wood or stone) 25 Hard
Rain or snow since tracks were made +10
Each day since tracks were made +2
Quarry obscured its tracks +5
Huge or larger creature -5
Group of ten or more -5

Perception utility powers

Characters trained in Perception may select a utility power in place of their class power (but not from a paragon path or epic destiny)


  • In the player's handbook, you can't retry a perception check unless circumstances change.[PH:186] This clause was silently dropped in the Rules Compendium.
  • Various DCs were changed from fixed amounts to the Easy/Moderate/hard.


  • The DC modifier for things more than 10 squares away is a flat +2, implying you can see someone several miles away. It is up to interpretation if the GM wants to increase it by +2 for each square beyond or +2 for every 10 squares.

Other bonus sources

  • An inquisitive's kit gives a +2 bonus to perception checks to search an area for something specific.
  • Investigation gear gives a +2 bonus to perception checks to search an area for specific details.
  • Surveyor's gear gives a +2 bonus to perception checks to search for secret doors and hidden rooms, but using the gear takes 5 minutes.
  • A listening cone gives a +2 bonus to perception checks to listen through doors and walls.

See also

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