Skeletons and Strays
The chance of dropping a bow is increased by 1% per level of looting, allowing up to an 11.5% chance of dropping.
The chance of being enchanted depends on the difficulty, whether it is normal or hard. The enchantment level is equal to enchant level 5-22.
|This feature is exclusive to Java Edition.|
Illusioners have an 8.5% chance of dropping an unenchanted 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.
Apprentice-level fletcher villagers sell bows for 2 emeralds as part of their trade, and expert-level fletcher villagers sell enchanted bows for 8[Bedrock Edition only] or 17–22[Java Edition only] emeralds as part of their trade.
The enchantment level is equal to enchant level 5–19.
Bows have a chance of being caught by fishing. When caught, the bow may be damaged and contain random enchantments equivalent to a level 30 enchantment from an enchantment table, including treasure enchantments.
|2x 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 a bow, the player must have at least one arrow in their 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. The arrow that is shown inside the bow always looks like a regular arrow, regardless of what kind of arrow is actually being fired from the bow.
When drawing a bow, the display zooms in slightly. Charging the bow to its maximum causes it to visually shake as an indicator. Releasing the button releases an arrow. A white sparkling effect signifies a full charged shot. The damage can be less than the maximum damage if the arrow slows down after being shot.
If the arrow hits another player, it makes a high-pitched "ding" sound.
Fully charged shots have a 25% chance to deal extra critical damage.
|Charging time||Maximum attack damage|
|0.1 s (no charge)||1|
|0.2–0.9 s (medium charge)||6|
|1+ s (full charge)||9|
|1+ s (critical)||10|
Information above describes if the target has no armor[needs testing]
Damage caused by the arrow is not affected by the Strength status effect.
Endermen cannot be shot using an arrow, because the arrow either disappears as the enderman teleports, or it gets deflected. However, an arrow shot from a bow enchanted with Flame can ignite the enderman.
Damaged Bow +
|The bow must be undamaged.[Bedrock Edition only][until BE 1.16.0]|
Enchantments on the bow do not affect the resulting dispenser.
|Power||Increases the damage by
|Punch||Increases the knockback (+3 blocks per level) applied by the bow.||II|
|Flame||Ignites arrow, dealing Fire damage.||I|
|Infinity[n 1]||Prevents the bow from consuming arrows when fired. 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.
Tipped arrows are consumed even with Infinity.
|Unbreaking||Unbreaking causes a
|Mending[n 1]||Allows a certain proportion of XP orbs collected to contribute toward repairing the bow, rather than raising the player's experience.||I|
|Curse of Vanishing[Java Edition only][upcoming: BE 1.16.0]||Causes the bow to disappear instead of dropping on the ground when the player dies. The keepInventory gamerule overrides this.||I|
- Mending and Infinity are mutually exclusive.
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 slow down if shot through water.
Arrows shot through lava ignite, similar to the Flame enchantment. The arrow likewise ignites any entities it hits. If not extinguished, the fire damage can be up to 4. Although they cannot spawn naturally with bows, if a wither skeleton holds a bow it also shoots flaming arrows.
The player can choose the 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.
|Sound||Subtitle||Source||Description||Namespaced ID||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation distance|
|Item breaks||?||When durability is exhausted||1.0||0.9||16|
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS)|
|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.||30G||Bronze|
|Dispense With This||Construct a Dispenser.||—||20G||Bronze|
|Archer||Kill a creeper with arrows.||—||10G||Bronze|
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Namespaced ID|
|Take Aim||Shoot something with an arrow||Monster Hunter||Using a bow or a crossbow, shoot an entity with an arrow, tipped arrow, or spectral arrow.|
|Sniper Duel||Kill a Skeleton from at least 50 meters away||Take Aim||Kill a skeleton with a projectile while being at least 50 blocks away horizontally.|
|Bullseye||Hit the bullseye of a Target block from at least 30 meters away||Take Aim||Shoot the center of a target with a projectile from at least 30 blocks away.|
|Java Edition Classic|
|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.|
|Java Edition Indev|
|0.31||20100111-1||Added bow texture to items.png.|
|20100122||Added bows as item with changed texture. The right mouse button can be held down to fire in rapid succession. Each arrow deals 4 for each hit. They fly in a ballistic trajectory affected by gravity and drag in air or water. They travel approximately 15 blocks when fired parallel to a flat plane. Arrows also have a maximum range of around 52 blocks when fired at a 38 degree angle on a flat plane.|
|Bows often fail to interact with objects, but instead shoot. This is due to the fact that shooting arrows is an instantaneous action.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|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.|
|Pre-release||Bow behavior has been overhauled;they now need to be charged to fire.|
|1.0.0||RC1||A fully charged arrow from a bow now consistently deals 9 damage, with a rare chance of dealing 10.|
|Bows now have a durability of 385 uses.|
|Bows no longer need arrows for ammo in Creative mode.|
|The bow can now be enchanted via console commands, but no enchantment affects it.|
|1.1||?||Bows can now be legitimately enchanted. Four enchantments have been added: Flame, Punch, Power and Infinity.|
|1.2.1||12w06a||Skeletons now have a 2.5% chance of dropping a bow. One fifth of the time, this bow is 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 now be obtained as a "treasure" item from fishing.|
|Bows can now 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 has been slightly changed.|
|1.9||?||When shooting, the arrows are no longer offset to the right of the Crosshair.|
|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 the arrow type held 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 now prioritize the selected hotbar slot for arrows if the bow is in the off hand.|
|When using the bow in the off-hand, the bow does do the animation, but does not aim at the target.|
|1.10||16w20a||Bows are now used by strays and can now 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 for bows.|
|1.12||17w16a||Bows are now used by illusioners and can now sometimes be obtained as a rare drop, although unenchanted.|
|1.13||17w47a||Prior to The Flattening, this item's numeral ID was 261.|
|1.13.1||18w30a||：Fixed a bug： When using the bow in the off-hand, the bow does do the animation, but does not aim at the target.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.8.0||build 2||New bow rendering has been added.|
|0.11.0||build 1||Bows can now be obtained as a "treasure" item from fishing.|
|0.12.1||build 1||Fully charged bows now cause particles.|
|Bows can now be enchanted.|
|Bows obtained by fishing can now be caught enchanted.|
|0.15.0||build 1||Added strays, which are equipped with a bow that can rarely be dropped by them.|
|Bows can now shoot an additional 14 types of arrows, selected based on the arrow type closest to slot 0.|
|1.0.4||alpha 184.108.40.206||Bows can now be obtained by trading with a fletcher villager.|
|1.1.0||alpha 220.127.116.11||Added the Mending enchantment, which can now be applied to bows and is mutually exclusive to the Infinity enchantment.but in extreme rare cases you can get one to drop from a skeleton with both mending and infinity.|
|Arrows can now be placed in the offhand slot and bows now prioritize the arrows in that slot.|
|1.8.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Bows in the hotbar now show an arrow when being drawn.|
|1.11.0||beta 22.214.171.124||Fletcher villagers now sell unenchanted bows for 2 emeralds, and enchanted bows for 8 emeralds.|
|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 arrow type held in the off-hand or closest to slot 0.|
- If a bow is enchanted with a level 1 enchantment, it always gets Power 1.
- Bows are the first ranged weapon in Minecraft.
- Bows with its enchantments are effective against single targets, while the Crossbow enchantments affect multiple targets.
- Bows were intentionally left unchanged in the Texture Update as to appear to be made of a different wood type from crossbows.
- Dinnerbone got the idea for the high-pitched "ding" sound from playing on a former PvP server called Project Ares.
- – "Drawn bow texture does not reflect arrow that will be shot" resolved as "Won't Fix"