Elden Ring Bow Build: Weapons, Gear & Playstyle

With this Bow Build, I'll show you how to be really effective with ranged weapons in the game.

While an Elden Ring Bow Build is absolutely possible to pull off, it does not come without its fair share of disadvantages. As every fan knows, FromSoft games are usually a melee and magic affair, and ranged weapons like bows have always taken a back seat. And this is not helped by the fact that these classes of weapons are usually not all that satisfying to use either.

Let’s first look at the build summaries based on Bows in Elden Ring:

WeaponsAmmunitionAshes of WarArmorTalismans
-Composite Bow
-Pulley Bow
-Lion Greatbow
-Fire Arrow
-Sleepbone Arrow
-Bloodbone Arrow
-Rotbone Arrow
-Mighty Shot
-Through and Through
-Sky Shot
-Enchanted Shot
-Rain of Arrows
-Raging Wolf Set
-Crucible Tree Set
-Black Knife Set
-Arrow’s Reach Talisman
-Arrow’s Sting Talisman
-Ritual Sword Talisman
-Radagon’s Soreseal

Bow Build Overview

Starting Class.

The Bow Build in Elden Ring centers around bow weapons, offering limited options. Finding the right one can be challenging, as the ranged arsenal is smaller than melee weapons.

I want to stress that your starting class choice doesn’t lock you into a specific build. You can adapt any class into your desired playstyle as the game progresses.

For those starting with a bow, the Bandit and Samurai classes are excellent choices, offering the Shortbow and Longbow, respectively.

Bow Build Gear

Elden Ring Bow Build
Elden Ring Bow Build Gear.

In this build, your main focus will be maintaining distance from enemies and shooting arrows at them. Elden Ring offers a wide selection of ammunition, giving you the flexibility to adapt your tactics.

The game provides various types of ammunition for status effects like Poison and Blood. Using these allows you to diversify your playstyle without relying heavily on Incantations or Greases.

Additionally, your choice of Armor, Talismans, and Ashes of War will play a significant role in supporting your ranged combat style. I’ll cover these aspects in more detail below.


Bow Build Weapons in Elden Ring.
Composite Bow65.00.0100.029.0
Pulley Bow77.00.0100.055.0
Erdtree Bow98.0122.0100.050.0
Great Bow125.00.0100.050.0
Lion Great Bow120.00.0100.050.0

Elden Ring offers limited options for ranged weapons, including 7 Bows, 5 Light Bows, and 4 Greatbows, totaling only 16 viable armaments. There are also a few Crossbows and Ballistas, but these aren’t ideal for the Bow Build so I won’t consider them.

Out of the 16 Bows, I’ll focus on the 5 that I believe are most effective in combat. Remember that you can choose your preferred weapon based on your playstyle, and these are our top recommendations. Let’s dive into the weapon list for my Bow Build below.

Composite Bow

Bow 1
The Composite Bow

Starting with the Composite Bow, it’s one of the best Light Bows available early in the game. It’s a straightforward weapon, requiring 15 points in both Strength and Dexterity to wield, with E and D-rank scaling for those stats.

Unfortunately, the scaling remains unchanged even at the highest upgrade level, and players can’t modify the bow’s affinities through Infusions. This suggests that ranged weapons aren’t the primary focus in Elden Ring.

However, the Composite Bow still delivers decent damage and boasts a rapid rate of fire. It comes with the ‘Mighty Shot’ skill, which can be infused with other Ashes of War, allowing for skill customization. Its quick firing speed sets it apart from similar bows, making it a reliable choice.

Stats Attack Guard
Physical 65
Magic 0
Fire 0
Light 0
Holy 0
Critical/ Boost 100
Rng 29
Stats Scaling Requirments
Strength E 15
Dexterity D 15

Pulley Bow

Bow 2
The Pulley Bow

In this Bow Build, a highly effective tactic is to maintain distance from your foes and continuously shoot arrows as they approach you. The Pulley Bow, with one of the longest ranges in the game, excels in this role.

Embrace sniping as your primary strategy, even if it feels unfamiliar initially. You can also keep some melee weapons handy for close encounters when enemies close the gap.

The Pulley Bow delivers good damage and range, but it can’t be infused with Ashes of War. It comes with the ‘Mighty Shot’ skill, which cannot be changed. However, it’s an easy weapon to wield, requiring only 11 points in both Strength and Dexterity.

Stats Attack Guard
Physical 77
Magic 0
Fire 0
Light 0
Holy 0
Critical/ Boost 100
Rng 55
Stats Scaling Requirments
Strength D 11
Dexterity D 11

Erdtree Bow

Bow 3
The Erdtree Bow

The Erdtree Bow is my first magical bow on the list, dealing both Physical and Holy damage. To wield it effectively, you’ll need 8 Strength, 12 Dexterity, and 14 Faith. As a Holy Bow, Faith is its primary scaling stat, but it never exceeds D rank, even at the highest level.

The Erdtree Bow is a solid ranged weapon with great damage and range. It starts with the ‘Mighty Shot’ skill, and like most special weapons, this skill can’t be swapped out for another Ash of War. However, for stronger bows, ‘Mighty Shot’ is one of the best skills for maximizing damage output.

This bow truly shines when using Holy Damage ammunition like Golden Arrows. It deals bonus damage on top of its regular output in such scenarios.

Stats Attack Guard
Physical 40
Magic 0
Fire 0
Light 0
Holy 0
Critical/ Boost 100
Range 50
Stats Scaling Requirments
Strength E 8
Dexterity E 12
Faith D 14


Bow 4
The Greatbow

Yes, you read that right; there’s a weapon called the Greatbow in the game, and it lives up to its name. This massive bow can help players one-shot many lesser enemies and deal substantial damage to stronger foes, including bosses and mini-bosses.

However, there’s a tradeoff for its power. Greatbows are slower compared to light bows. To wield it effectively, you’ll need 20 points in both Strength and Dexterity, which is a reasonable investment. The weapon has a fixed D rank scaling for both stats, and it doesn’t improve even at the maximum upgrade level of +25.

The Greatbow can be infused with Ashes of War, allowing you to change its skill. Its default ‘Through and Through’ skill is quite impressive, as it enables you to fire a devastating arrow that can pierce shields and hit enemies behind your main target.

Stats Attack Guard
Physical 125
Magic 0
Fire 0
Light 0
Holy 0
Critical/ Boost 100
Range 50
Stats Scaling Requirments
Strength D 20
Dexterity D 20

Lion Greatbow

Bow 5
The Lion Greatbow

Now, this is the most unique weapon on this Bow Build guide, and it also happens to be the only one that is a boss weapon. To get this, you first have to defeat one of the key bosses in the game, Starscourge Radahn, and then trade his remembrance at the Finger Reader in Roundtable Hold for the bow.

The Lion Greatbow requires 22 Strength and 18 Dexterity to wield, and it had D-rank scaling for both of these. Even at the maximum level of +10, this does not change one bit, but the weapon still deals a tremendous amount of damage nonetheless.

As a unique armament, the bow cannot be infused with an Ash of War but its own ‘Radahn‘s Rain’ skill is devastating by itself. You launch a group of arrows into the air, and then they fall onto your enemies like rain. Additionally, if you use the Radahn’s Spear ammunition with the Lion Greatbow, then your attacks gain a 20% bonus to their damage.

Stats Attack Guard
Physical 120
Magic 0
Fire 0
Light 0
Holy 0
Critical/ Boost 100
Range 50
Stats Scaling Requirments
Strength D 22
Dexterity D 18


Elden Ring Bow Build

As mentioned above, the Elden Ring features the greatest variety so far when it comes to the type of ammunition available for Bows and Crossbows to use. There are arrows that can inflict almost all status effects in the game, with some even being more effective at this task than actual melee weapons and the best spells in Elden Ring.

So, with this section of the Bow Build, I’ll go over the best types of ammunition available to you and how to use them in the most effective way possible. These can be bought at Merchants or crafted by the players themselves.

  1. Fire Arrow: Basic arrow ignited to deal significant fire damage, easily craftable and effective against most enemies due to their vulnerability to fire.
  2. Sleepbone Arrow: Enables stealth tactics by inducing sleep in targets, allowing for powerful critical strikes while they’re vulnerable.
  3. Bloodbone Arrow: Inflicts Hemorrhage, dealing substantial damage over time with successive hits, ideal for maintaining distance and wearing down foes.
  4. Rotbone Arrow: Applies Scarlet Rot, causing rapid but short-lived damage over time, allowing players to observe the effect or speed up the process with additional attacks.

Ashes of War

Ashes of War.

Unlike the massive collection of Ashes of War available for melee weapons in the game, the selection of ranged skills is extremely limited. There are a total of 7 of them in the entire game, and one of these is exclusive to the Lion Greatbow.

The remaining 6 are still decent skills, and you’re going to go over them now for this Bow Build. It’s also worth mentioning again that none of these can provide any affinity to a Bow apart from the standard one.

Mighty Shot: Unleashes a charged shot dealing significant damage, exclusive to Light Bows and Longbows, dropped by a Teardrop Scarab in the eastern part of the Weeping Peninsula region.

Barrage: Allows rapid succession of arrows after assuming a stance, restricted to light bows, dropped by a Teardrop Scarab in the north of the Seethewater River on Mt. Gelmir.

Through and Through: Pierces through shields to hit enemies behind the initial target, usable only with Greatbows, dropped by an invisible Teardrop Scarab outside the Volcano Manor on Mt. Gelmir.

Sky Shot: Launches an arrow into the air to hit targets behind cover, suitable for Light Bows and Longbows, found on a Teardrop Scarab in the northwest of the Isolated Merchant’s Shack on the Caelid map.

Enchanted Shot: Bends arrows in flight to hit evasive targets, increasing damage and speed, applicable for light bows and longbows, dropped by a Teardrop Beetle hiding in Nokron, the Eternal City.

Rain of Arrows: Unleashes a barrage of arrows from the sky, inflicting substantial damage in a localized area, obtained by finding the “Redmane” Painting in Caelid and solving its associated puzzle.

Similar Article: Top 8 Best Katanas In Elden Ring.


WeaponPhysicalVs StrikeVs SlashVs PierceMagicFireLightHoly
Raging Wolf Set25.923.025.924.919.822.113.818.5
Crucible Tree Set33.827.333.031.325.624.222.027.6
Black Knife Set22.521.624.424.417.518.913.522.5

Some of the best Armors sets do not provide your character with any sort of special buff or ability that would make me recommend them over others. Some rare ones do, but even those don’t have anything special to offer for a Bow user. And so your choice of armor set depends purely on the type of Bow user you intend to be.

Once again, armor is situational, and it is purely dependent on how you choose to play the game. Many players even select their preferred armor sets based on what looks nice over what provides better defense.

Raging Wolf Set

Elden Ring Bow Build
Armor 1- Raging Wolf Set
Physical Vs Strike Vs Slash Vs Pierce Magic Fire Light Holy
25.9 23 25.9 24.9 19.8 22.1 13.8 18.5

The Raging Wolf Set not only boasts an impressive appearance but also stands as one of the top Medium armor sets in Elden Ring. It’s the same set that featured prominently in the game’s trailers.

I must say, this armor is versatile and suitable for various combat situations. It provides excellent physical damage reduction and performs well against most elemental damage types. Its only vulnerability is to Lightning damage, but you can switch to an alternative set for those specific encounters with lightning-wielding bosses or mini-bosses. Alternatively, you can choose to persevere with the Raging Wolf Set equipped, which is how I tackled the game.

What makes this armor truly outstanding is its versatility. It allows you to absorb a few hits while still maintaining a Medium load, enabling effective dodge rolls. So whether you need to evade an attack from a slow-moving enemy or invest in Endurance to absorb blows with a shield, this armor set has you covered. Even if the shield fails, you can withstand a couple of close-range strikes without succumbing.

Crucible Tree Set

Elden Ring Black Flame Build
Armor 2 – Black Knife Set
Physical Vs Strike Vs Slash Vs Pierce Magic Fire Light Holy
33.8 27.3 33 31.3 25.6 24.2 22.6 27.6

The Crucible Tree Set is top-tier Heavy armor in Elden Ring, excelling in damage resistance across all types. It leans a bit more toward physical defense but offers solid overall protection.

While visually impressive, obtaining this set requires progressing far into the game, reaching Deeproot Depths. Once acquired, it provides excellent defense, suitable for close-quarters combat.

Keep in mind that it’s heavy, potentially pushing you into a Medium or Heavy Load. Invest in Endurance to maintain effective dodge rolls with this armor and a weapon.

Black Knife Set

Armor 2
Armor 3 – Black Knife set
Physical Vs Strike Vs Slash Vs Pierce Magic Fire Light Holy
22.5 21.6 24.4 24.4 17.5 18.9 13.5 22.5

The Black Knife Set has a unique feature that muffles your footsteps, making it easier to approach targets stealthily. While this ability primarily comes from the chest piece, it’s not exclusive, and players can achieve similar effects with spells or Talismans.

This set allows you to sneak up on enemies and perform critical attacks without detection. It’s particularly useful for moving around enemy areas undetected, as long as you avoid direct line of sight. However, initiating an attack will reveal your presence.

Although technically Heavy armor, it offers better stats than most light sets and is a good choice for stealthy maneuvers. Keep this in mind when sneaking in Elden Ring.



Elden Ring features some of the best Talismans that are useful in a number of different situations. Some give you simple buffs like increasing the amount of damage you do with particular types of weapons, while others massively enhance your core stats.

And with this article, I’m going to focus on those that specifically come in handy for an Bow Build. Thankfully, I don’t have to dig too deep as some of the easiest Talismans to acquire also happen to boost the power of ranged attacks.

  1. Arrow’s Reach Talisman: Extends bow range, ideal for sniping distant targets without drawing attention.
  2. Arrow’s Sting Talisman: Boosts arrow and bolt damage by +10%, enhancing efficiency in taking down enemies.
  3. Ritual Sword Talisman: Increases damage by +10% at maximum health, synergizing well with long-ranged playstyles. Stacks with Arrow’s Sting Talisman for a total +20% damage increase.
  4. Radagon’s Soreseal Talisman: Provides a significant boost of 5 points each to Strength, Dexterity, Vigor, and Endurance, equivalent to a free upgrade of 20 levels. The slight increase in damage taken is mitigated by the playstyle of a Bow user.

Bow Build Playstyle

Elden Ring Bow Build

To excel with a Bow Build, first decide your archer type and invest in the right arrows.

If you prefer close-range archery, go for a Light Bow with fast firing speed and use Rotbone or Bloodbone arrows to apply status effects quickly. Stay light and mobile by wearing light armor for easy dodging.

For a sniper approach, opt for a Greatbow with extended range. Use Great Arrows for more damage, but remember the slower firing speed, so keep your distance from enemies.

Unlike melee builds, your moveset won’t vary much; your goal is to stay at range and shoot arrows. The choice of bow and ammunition significantly impacts your effectiveness, so plan accordingly and maintain a good arrow supply to avoid running out in the middle of a dungeon.

My Take On Bow Builds

hours waterjuice
My Elden Ring hours on Steam

I’ve tested out virtually every in-game build, but the bow builds feel extremely underwhelming and sluggish to me, especially in the latest update. Their playstyle is passive and boring, the damage output is weak, and the flow of combat feels off to me. Like other in-game weapon types, Bows also have different weight classes, but they’re extremely clunky and unreliable.

elden rinng profiles waterjuice
My Elden Ring save slots on Steam

What ruins Bow builds for me is the aiming mechanic, which gets botched by Elden Ring’s wonky camera movements. Furthermore, the arrows themselves have no weightiness to them, so they don’t feel satisfying to shoot. In fact, you might even find yourself missing shots because of the camera and lack of impact that determines the precise range of each arrow.

That’s my Bow Build. While you’re here, explore our other Elden Ring Builds:

Did you find this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

Related Articles