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Bow.pngBow Pull 0.pngBow Pull 1.pngBow Pull 2.png
PE Bow.pngPE Bow Pull 0.pngPE Bow Pull 1.pngPE Bow Pull 2.png









First appearances

See History



Data value

dec: 261 hex: 105 bin: 100000101



A bow is a ranged weapon that fires arrows.



Skeletons have an 8.5% chance of dropping a bow on death when killed by the player. The chance of dropping a bow is increased by 1% per level of looting, allowing up to an 11.5% chance of dropping.


Illusioners have an 8.5% chance of dropping a bow when killed by the player. The chance of dropping a bow is increased by 1% per level of looting, allowing up to an 11.5% chance of dropping.


Fletcher villagers will trade a non-enchanted bow for 2 to 3 emeralds as part of their tier 2 trades.


Bows have a chance of being caught by fishing as part of the treasure category. When caught, the bow may be damaged and contain random enchantments equivalent to a level 30 enchantment from an enchantment table.


Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Stick +

Damaged Bow

The durability of the two bows is added together, plus an extra 5% durability.



Bows can be drawn back by using it. In order to use the bow, you must have at least one arrow in your inventory, or be in creative mode. While the bow is being charged or remains fully charged, the player is forced to move at sneaking speed, unless they are riding a horse, minecart or boat at the time, which causes no speed decrease. The arrow shown inside the bow will always look like a regular arrow, regardless of what kind of arrow is actually being fired from the bow.[1]

Charging the bow to its maximum causes it to visually shake as an indicator, and releases an arrow with a white sparkling effect, signifying a critical hit. At minimum charge (3 ticks), the arrow will deal 1 (Half Heart.svg) and barely travel a block. At full charge (1 second), the arrow travels up to 64 blocks upwards, flies with a speed of roughly 53 m/s, and consistently deals 9 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) damage, with a smaller chance of dealing 10 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg), making it the most powerful weapon in the game. If the arrow hits another player, it will make a high pitched "ding" sound.

Charging time
0 - 0.2
No-charged attack damage 1 (Half Heart.svg)
0.3 - 0.9
Medium-charged attack damage 6 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg)
Full charged damage 9 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)
Critical hit damage 10 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg)
Durability 365

Damage caused by the arrow is unaffected by the Strength status effect.

Endermen cannot be shot using an arrow, as the arrow will either disappear as the enderman teleports, or it will become deflected. An arrow shot from a bow enchanted with Flame I can ignite the enderman, however.

Crafting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Dispenser Cobblestone +
Bow or
Damaged Bow +
Redstone Dust

The bow must be undamaged[Legacy Console Edition only] .
Enchantments on the bow do not affect the resulting dispenser.


Bows can receive seven different enchantments, and have a base enchantibility of 1. Bow enchantments have no effect on arrow speed or distance.

  • Power increases the damage by 25% times the level of power plus 1, up to a maximum of level V. A power V bow will deal a maximum of 25 (Heart.svg × 12.5).
  • Punch will increase the knock back (+4 blocks per level) applied by the bow, up to a maximum level of II.
  • Flame will ignite the arrow, causing it to likewise ignite any entities it hits. If not extinguished, the fire damage will do up to 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg). Flame will also allow the player to ignite TNT from a distance. There is only 1 level of flame.
  • Infinity allows you to fire the bow without consuming any arrows. A single arrow is still required to fire. Fired arrows shot from an infinity enchanted bow cannot be retrieved if they land on the ground. There is only 1 level of infinity. Tipped arrows will be consumed even with Infinity.
  • Unbreaking causes a(100/(Level+1))% chance a shot fired reduces the durability of the bow. Unbreaking has a maximum level of III.
  • Mending allows a certain proportion of XP orbs collected to contribute towards repairing the bow, rather than raising the player's experience. It can only be applied using enchanted books and an anvil.
    • Mending and Infinity are mutually exclusive.
  • Curse of Vanishing[Java and Legacy Console editions only] causes the bow to disappear instead of dropping on the ground when the player dies. However, the Keep Inventory gamerule will override this. It can only be applied using enchanted books and an anvil.


A bow can be used as fuel in furnaces, smelting 1.5 items per bow in the Java and Legacy Console editions or 1 item per bow in the Bedrock Edition.


As arrows are affected by gravity, they take an arcing path over distances. One must aim above the target when firing from a distance, or gain higher ground, to effectively make a hit. Arrows will slow down if shot through water

Arrows that hit solid blocks will become stuck and can be recollected, unless the arrow was shot by a bow enchanted with Infinity, a player in creative mode, or a skeleton/illusioner.

Arrows shot through lava will ignite, similar to the flame enchantment. The arrow will likewise ignite any entities it hits. If not extinguished, the fire damage will do up to 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg). If you give a wither skeleton a bow, they will also shoot flaming arrows.

Arrows from bows can trigger wooden pressure plates and wooden buttons. However, they cannot trigger stone pressure plates or stone buttons.

The player can choose which type of arrow to fire based on its location in the inventory. Arrows in the off-hand, or the selected hotbar slot if the bow is in the off-hand, are prioritized first. If there are no arrows in the off-hand or selected hotbar slot then the arrow closest to slot 0 is selected.


Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Availability Xbox points earned Trophy type (PS)
Xbox PS Bedrock Nintendo

Sniper Duel Kill a skeleton with an arrow from more than 50 meters Use a launched arrow to kill a skeleton, wither skeleton, or a stray from 50 or more blocks away, horizontally. Yes Yes Yes Yes 30G Silver

Dispense With This Construct a Dispenser. Yes Yes Yes Yes 20G Silver

Archer Kill a creeper with arrows. Yes Yes Yes Wii U, Switch 10G Bronze

Cupid Kill 2 players in a round of a public Battle mini game using a bow and arrow. Yes Yes No Wii U, Switch 20G Bronze


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Take Aim Shoot something with a bow and arrow Monster Hunter minecraft:adventure/shoot_arrow
Sniper duel Kill a skeleton from more than 50 meters away Take Aim Use a projectile to kill a skeleton from 50 or more blocks away, horizontally. minecraft:adventure/sniper_duel



June 14, 2009 Notch discussed how bows and arrows would work in Survival mode: "Bows and arrows can be made out of wood. To use it, select the bow from your inventory and make sure you’ve got some arrows. Click in front of you, and an arrow goes flying using real physics. To actually HIT something, aim above it."
0.24_SURVIVAL_TEST The player did not need a bow to shoot arrows. Instead, Tab ↹ was used to fire arrows. However, arrows still had to be collected to shoot. Launching arrows this way was much slower than the bow that now fires them.
0.31 (January 22, 2010) Development began on the bow and arrow.
0.31 (January 30, 2010)
Added bows. The right mouse button could be held down to fire in rapid succession. Each arrow dealt 4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg) for each hit. They would fly in a ballistic trajectory affected by gravity and drag in air or water. They would travel approximately 15 blocks when fired parallel to a flat plane. Arrows also had a maximum range of around 52 blocks when fired at a 38 degree angle on a flat plane.
Bows often failed to interact with objects, but would instead shoot. This was very inconvenient when trying to open doors, chests etc. This was due to the fact that shooting arrows was an instantaneous action.
1.2 Bows are now used to craft dispensers.
1.8 July 8, 2011 Notch teased hold-to-charge bows.
July 13, 2011 Notch indicated that along with bow charging, he would add an achievement based around shooting a skeleton at 50 meters, eventually to be known as Sniper duel.[2]
? Bow behavior is overhauled; they now need to be charged to fire.
Official release
1.0.0 RC1 A fully charged arrow now consistently deals 9 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) damage, with a rare chance of dealing 10 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg).
Bows have a durability of 385 uses.
Bows do not need arrows for ammo in Creative mode.
The bow could be enchanted via console commands, but no enchantment would affect it.
1.1 ? Bows can now be legitimately enchanted. Four enchantments were added: Flame, Punch, Power and Infinity.
1.2.1 12w06a Skeletons have a 2.5% chance of dropping a bow. One fifth of the time, this bow will be enchanted with Power I (20%).
1.4.6 12w50a Bows can now be enchanted with Unbreaking using an anvil and an appropriately enchanted book.
pre When a player hits another player from far away with a bow it makes a high pitched "dinging" sound.
1.7.2 13w36a Bows can be obtained as a "treasure" item from fishing.
Bows can be enchanted with Unbreaking directly in an enchantment table without the use of an anvil.
1.8 14w02a Fletcher villagers now sell 1 bow for 2–3 emeralds.
? Bow placement when drawing back was slightly changed.
1.9 15w31a The bow in the hotbar now shows an arrow when being drawn.
Bows can now shoot an additional 14 types of arrows, selected based on which arrow type is in the off-hand or closest to slot 0.
Bows cannot be used in the off-hand.
15w37a The bow can now be used in the off-hand.
Bows will prioritize the selected hotbar slot for arrows if the bow is in the off hand.
1.10 16w20a Bows are used by strays and can sometimes be obtained as a rare drop.
1.11 16w33a Bows can now be used to fuel furnaces.
1.11.1 16w50a Infinity and Mending are now mutually exclusive.
1.12 17w16a Illusioners use bows. Sometimes they can be obtained as a rare drop, although unenchanted.
1.13 17w47a Prior to The Flattening, this item's numeral ID was 261.
Pocket Edition Alpha
Added bows.
0.8.0 build 2
New bow rendering.
0.11.0 build 1 Bows can be obtained as a "treasure" item from fishing.
0.12.1 build 1 Fully charged bows now cause particles.
Pocket Edition
1.0.4 build 1 Bows can be obtained by trading with a fletcher villager.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1 CU1 1.0 Patch 1
Added bows.
TU5 Bow behavior is overhauled; they now need to be charged to fire.
TU31 CU19 1.22 Patch 3 Bows can now be obtained by trading with a fletcher villager
TU46 CU36 1.38 Patch 15 Bows can now shoot an additional 14 types of arrows, selected based on which arrow type is in the off-hand or closest to slot 0


Issues relating to "Bow" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • If a bow is enchanted with a level 1 enchantment, it will always get Power I.



  1. MC-87685 – "Drawn bow texture does not reflect arrow that will be shot" resolved as "Won't Fix"
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