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A night elf adjusting his bow.

Bows are long-ranged weapons that use muscle power to fire (although the Strength attribute has no effect on damage). They are similar to crossbows and guns in use; all three use the shooting skill and related hunter skills. Character stats are applied the same way for each type, although the item stats will be different for each type.

Acquiring and upgrading[]

With one exception, unlike guns, players cannot craft bows. Bows must be bought, looted or earned from quests.

A bow may be enhanced by installing an engineer-crafted scope on it.


Back when World of Warcraft first came out, only a few races started with the bow skill, the other hunters had to train how to use bows from a weapon master. This has since changed and now all hunters know how to shoot a bow from the start.


Bows normally use arrows as ammunition and even shared with crossbows, however, to make things easier range weapons no longer require actual ammunition to fire anymore.


A quiver is a bag item which holds only arrows. Quivers were considered very useful to hunters, who burn through substantial quantities of ammo, and whose Ability whirlwind [Auto Shot] ability receives the full benefit of the increased rate of fire.

With ammunition no longer needed quivers were removed from the game or turned into normal bags.

Notable bows[]

Patch changes[]

  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Bows will be changed from ranged items to main hand items.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Bows no longer use ammunition.

See also[]