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Arrows provide ammunition for bows and dispensers, and can either be crafted or found as a common drop from skeletons. When fired, they will fly in a ballistic trajectory affected by gravity and drag in air or water and will travel approximately 3 blocks when fired parallel to a flat plane with no charge, 15 blocks average with medium charge, and 24 blocks average with maximum charge. Arrows in water get much more drag than in air, and leave a trail of bubbles in their wake. Arrows (with bow at full strength) can travel 120 blocks when fired from the optimal angle.
They deal damage when fully charged (or, rarely, ); if they are charged to medium, they will deal , and if not charged at all. Arrows fired from dispensers deal damage. It appears that the speed of the arrow determines the damage. Immediately after hitting the target, there is a 0.5 second cooldown during which the target will be immune to further damage. Arrows hitting the mob in this state will lose all speed and drop to the ground.
Arrows will also stick into objects they come in contact with and will remain there for exactly a minute before disappearing; the distance from the object and the angle determine how far into the target the arrow will go. Arrows that have been fired by the player and stuck into terrain are retrievable and never break. Arrows shot by skeletons are special entities and cannot be collected. If someone is hit by an arrow while they have the Absorption effect, the arrow will do no damage when the effect wears off. If an arrow is stuck in a block and the block in which the arrow is stuck in is broken, then the arrow will fall, and the sound of an arrow hitting a block will be triggered again, even if the arrow just falls one block down.
They can bounce off entities like minecarts and mobs immune to damage. In multiplayer, if PvP is on, a player can hurt themselves if they run forward while shooting arrows while the server is lagging. It is also possible for players to damage themselves with their own arrows by firing one directly up and standing still. Arrows fired directly upward using a fully charged bow will fly so high that they disappear from view, but eventually fall. If that arrow lands on a block, and the player is directly beneath that block, then the player breaks that block, the arrow will fall and do one heart of damage to the player. In Pocket Edition, when shot on paintings, it will bounce off and injure anybody or thing under it. This bug has been fixed recently by being, the painting demolished and fall into item form.
If the block in which an arrow is stuck in is destroyed or disappears (e.g. leaves), the arrow will fall and can injure the player or a mob.
Arrows shot at rails will stop the minecart from passing over that block until the arrow despawns or is collected.
An arrow shot at a storage minecart will cause the minecart to break, dropping a minecart, a chest, and the contents of the storage minecart.
Sometimes, in the Xbox 360 Edition, arrows will fly into a mob, however not damaging the mob and bouncing back, then after a second they will continue flying in the direction you aimed the arrow.
 Arrows and circuits
While arrows shot at switches will not trigger said inputs directly, it is now possible to shoot arrows at wooden buttons to create a redstone signal, however, prior to these being added to the game, other workarounds could be used. For instance, a minecart can be used in such a way that destroying it with arrows releases the Wooden pressure plate it is resting on(or, since Beta 1.5, a Detector Rail), or a painting can be shot off a wall and fall onto a Wooden pressure plate to activate it. Boats can be used as targets since a bow shot with medium or full charge will break the boat in one shot. These methods can now be bypassed using wooden buttons, which can be activated directly by arrows.
Additionally, a wooden pressure plate can be activated by firing an arrow at it directly. This, however, requires one to force the block occupied by the pressure plate to update after the arrow makes contact. This can be achieved in SSP by passing particles through the pressure plate (by placing a torch or source of fire nearby or dripping lava or water above) and in both SSP and SMP by placing a boat on an adjacent half block (so part is over the pressure plate but not touching it). Arrows can also activate a pressure plate if fired at the side of the block to which it is attached, although only if fired at the top half. This can be used to create completely invisible switches that can be activated at a distance.
The ability for arrows to activate wooden pressure plates or buttons is not currently a feature in the Xbox 360 edition (12/19/13).
An alternative implies shooting an arrow on the upper half of a block holding a rail (powered or not). The minecart should stop on this track instead of going on; the cart can either be blocked (or sent back if in the middle of a ramp), in combination with looped minecart circuits, this can be an effective trigger, and does not require particle updates.
 Arrows in flight and Explosions
Arrows are affected by the blast from TNT and creepers while they are in flight (Confirmed in beta 1.7). A perfectly timed dispenser can be used to fire an arrow over primed TNT and the blast force imparted can be used to increase the flight range of the arrow. Using this same mechanic, a player could time a creeper explosion to do the same. Since explosions increase the speed of an arrow, they can also increase the damage dealt by them. Thus, enough TNT (or any explosion) propelling an arrow can kill a player in one hit.
- If an arrow is lodged in a block which has multiple states, it will dislodge itself when said block updates. This causes the arrow to shift slightly, and to replay the impact sound effect. This effect has been witnessed on furnaces, doors, gates, redstone ore, redstone lamps, redstone repeaters, pistons and command blocks.
- If an arrow is fired through a Nether Portal in the Overworld the arrow does one of three things in an apparent random pattern: either it remains in the Overworld, passing through the portal; or it disappears; or it travels through the portal to the Nether.
- An arrow can fly a maximum distance of 115 blocks if shot at a 45 degree angle. It reaches a height of around 34 blocks.
- The maximum height an arrow fired by a bow can reach is around 66 blocks.
- In previous versions, Arrows fired at Giants (which had to be hacked into the game) would not scale properly to size. This resulted in "Giant-sized" arrows sticking out of them from wherever they hit.
- If on a laggy server, arrows appear to bounce off of the player.
Issues relating to "Arrow" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
|0.24 (August 31, 2009)||Arrows were added and were fired by pressing Tab ↹.|
|0.26||Skeleton arrows were purple. The purple arrow texture can still be found in the minecraft.jar file, in the same image as the normal arrows, but it is not in use.|
|0.29_01||Arrows were removed after the Survival Test.|
|0.31 (January 22, 2010)||Arrows were re-added along with a bow.|
|0.31 (January 30, 2010)||Became craftable. The arrow sound effect was added in.|
|SF7||The tip of an arrow in crafting is now made from flint rather than iron.|
|1.6||Arrows used to stick in any block before this update, even some non-solid ones. For example, they could stick in torches, sugarcane, and portals.|
|1.8pre1||Arrows can no longer be rapid-fired from bows. Arrows (with bow at full strength) can travel 120 blocks when fired from the optimal angle, and stick to mobs.|
|1.0.0||Arrows no longer stick to mobs.|
|1.1||Arrows which are on fire now set entities they hit on fire. Before, arrows could be on fire (like other entities), but they did not set what they hit on fire, and there was no enchantment to fire flaming arrows.|
|1.3.1||12w23a||Arrows can activate the tripwire switch and wooden pressure plates.|
|1.4.2||12w34a||Arrows can activate the new wooden buttons.|
|12w34b||Arrows on fire can ignite TNT.|
|1.4.4||Arrows stick to players again, but not mobs.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|