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Bows

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Bows are the best ranged attacking weapon in the game. They fire very quickly in the hands of an Amazon, and derive their bonus damage from your points in Dexterity. Amazons have a bow & crossbow tree, but other characters can be effective with them as well, especially Druids and Necromancers, who can take cover behind their minions and shoot from a distance. Necros and Druids tend become less useful with bows as they advance in levels, since their Dexterity isn't high enough, and they don't have any skills to boost their bow attacks.

Bows are not as specialized in Diablo II: every character can wield one and do moderately well with it. However the Amazon is the best, with a faster firing rate, excellent Attack Rating, and of course her bow & crossbow Skill Tab, as well as useful passive skills such as Critical Strike, Penetrate, and Pierce.

Obviously, the main benefit of a bow is that it provides a ranged attack that doesn't require constant mana expenditure, and can't be resisted. Successfully hitting the target is based on your to/hit (called Attack Rating in Diablo II) and also their armour class (called Defense in Diablo II.) Another added wrinkle in is that monsters with shields can block, rather than just carrying them for decoration.

Monsters are fast and have variety in their AI, and stun lock isn't so easy to obtain, so it shouldn't be as easy to line up your enemies and fill them full of arrows from a distance. The fully 360 degree movement system makes shots easier when monsters are coming in a straight line at you.

There are of course magical and unique bows. The magical and Rare bows boast a huge variety of modifiers. The Unique Bows and Unique Crossbows are very nice. Like all weapons, bows and crossbows can be socketed with gems, to add various sorts of magical damage to every shot.

Ammunition is required for every shot. You must have a quiver equipped in one hand, while your bow or crossbow is in the other. Quivers are frequently dropped by monsters, and sold by NPCs for low prices, so keeping enough arrows or bolts around isn't a real problem for an Amazon.

The venerable bow is the weapon of choice for those who prefer to destroy their enemies from a safe distance. Consisting of a flexible length of wood or other material, drawn back by a bowstring, bows can range from commonplace short wooden bows to the enormous long war bows, usable by only the strongest and most dexterous archers. A skilled bowman can easily decimate oncoming enemies before they have a chance to close in, and bows are effective at point blank range as well.

The weapon requires a quiver full of arrows equipped, and arrows can either be obtained from NPC merchants, or scavenged when dropped by the monsters you kill. Of all the classes in the game, the Amazon can lay claim to being the master of the weapons, and she has a skill tree devoted to various magical enhancements to the weapon. Bows occupy either a 2x3 or a 2x4 space in the inventory.

Bows, not crossbows, are also usable by the Act I Rogue mercenaries, who don't require a quiver of arrows for their function.

  • Sockets: Item sockets changed a lot in D2 v1.08, changing to match the sockets in D2X items. You will tend to find more sockets in items on higher difficulty levels.
  • Damage Bonus: This determines how you multiply the item damage by your stats to reach the actual damage. Each 100 points in that stat doubles your weapon's total physical damage. All Bows are 100 Dex, which means every point in Dex adds 1% of your weapon's total physical damage, thus each 100 points in Dex will double your bow damage.
  • Item Level: Used in many in-game calculations. Monsters must be of this level to drop the item, and your Clvl must be equal to or higher to have that item offered to gamble on.
  • Weapon Speed: A relative comparison of one bow to another. 0 is the base, negative ( -10, -20, etc) is faster, 10, 20, etc is slower. The "fast", "normal" etc displayed in the game is a very imprecise measurement. The numbers are the exact speeds used. Each 10 is equivalent to a normal SIAS item. Characters are abbreviated to their first letter: Am = Amazon and As = Assassin.

Normal[edit]

Item Item Name Properties Misc Stats Attack Rate
Bow-short.gif Short Bow 1-4 Damage
Str Req: None
Dex Req: 15
Item Level: 1
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-3
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 5
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-hunters.gif Hunter's Bow 2-6 Damage
Str Req: None
Dex Req: 28
Item Level: 5
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-4
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: -10
Firing Rate:
Very Fast: Am/B/D
Fast: As/N/P/S
Bow-longbow.gif Long Bow 3-10 Damage
Str Req: 22
Dex Req: 19
Item Level: 8
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-composite.gif Composite Bow 4-8 Damage
Str Req: 25
Dex Req: 35
Item Level: 12
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-4
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: -10
Firing Rate:
Very Fast: Am/B/D
Fast: As/N/P/S
Bow-short battle.gif Short Battle Bow 5-11 Damage
Str Req: 30
Dex Req: 40
Item Level: 18
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-long battke.gif Long Battle Bow 3-18 Damage
Str Req: 40
Dex Req: 50
Item Level: 23
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-6
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 10
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/B/D
Normal: As/N/P/S
Bow-short war.gif Short War Bow 6-14 Damage
Str Req: 35
Dex Req: 55
Item Level: 27
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-long war.gif Long War Bow 3-23 Damage
Str Req: 50
Dex Req: 65
Item Level: 31
Clvl Req: None
Sockets: 1-6
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 10
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/B/D
Normal: As/N/P/S

Exceptional Bows[edit]

Exceptional Bows are found in late Normal, and then all through Nightmare and Hell. Prior to v1.08 D2, they were only found on Nightmare and Hell.


Item Item Name Properties Misc Stats Attack Rate
Bow-short.gif Edge Bow 6-19 Damage
Str Req: 25
Dex Req: 43
Item Level: 30
Clvl Req: 18*
Sockets: 1-3
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 5
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-hunters.gif Razor Bow 8-22 Damage
Str Req: 25
Dex Req: 62
Item Level: 33
Clvl Req: 21*
Sockets: 1-4
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: -10
Firing Rate:
Very Fast: Am/B/D
Fast: As/N/P/S
Bow-longbow.gif Cedar Bow 10-29 Damage
Str Req: 53
Dex Req: 49
Item Level: 35
Clvl Req: 23*
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-composite.gif Double Bow 11-26 Damage
Str Req: 58
Dex Req: 73
Item Level: 39
Clvl Req: 25
Sockets: 1-4
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: -10
Firing Rate:
Very Fast: Am/B/D
Fast: As/N/P/S
Bow-short battle.gif Short Siege Bow 13-30 Damage
Str Req: 65
Dex Req: 80
Item Level: 43
Clvl Req: 25
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-long battke.gif Large Siege Bow 10-42 Damage
Str Req: 85
Dex Req: 95
Item Level: 46
Clvl Req: 25
Sockets: 1-6
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 10
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/B/D
Normal: As/N/P/S
Bow-short war.gif Rune Bow 14-35 Damage
Str Req: 73
Dex Req: 103
Item Level: 49
Clvl Req: 25
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-long war.gif Gothic Bow 10-50 Damage
Str Req: 95
Dex Req: 118
Item Level: 52
Clvl Req: 25
Sockets: 1-6
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 10
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/B/D
Normal: As/N/P/S

* All Exceptional items are Clvl 25 in Diablo II. Some lower-quality ones are slightly lower in D2X.

Elite Bows[edit]

Elite Bows are Expansion only since Elite items do not exist at all in Diablo II. You can find Elite bows in Acts 4-5/Nightmare and then all through Hell, though like all Elite items, they drop very rarely.


Item Item Name Properties Misc Stats Attack Rate
Bow-short.gif Spider Bow 23-50 Dmg
Str Req: 64
Dex Req: 143
Item Level: 58
Clvl Req: 41
Sockets: 1-3
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 5
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-hunters.gif Blade Bow 21-41 Dmg
Str Req: 76
Dex Req: 119
Item Level: 60
Clvl Req: 45
Sockets: 1-4
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: -10
Firing Rate:
Very Fast: Am/B/D
Fast: As/N/P/S
Bow-longbow.gif Shadow Bow 15-59 Dmg
Str Req: 52
Dex Req: 188
Item Level: 61
Clvl Req: 47
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-composite.gif Great Bow 12-52 Dmg
Str Req: 121
Dex Req: 107
Item Level: 64
Clvl Req: 51
Sockets: 1-4
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: -10
Firing Rate:
Very Fast: Am/B/D
Fast: As/N/P/S
Bow-short battle.gif Diamond Bow 33-40 Dmg
Str Req: 89
Dex Req: 132
Item Level: 67
Clvl Req: 54
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-long battke.gif Crusader Bow 15-63 Dmg
Str Req: 97
Dex Req: 121
Item Level: 70
Clvl Req: 57
Sockets: 1-6
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 10
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/B/D
Normal: As/N/P/S
Bow-short war.gif Ward Bow 20-53 Dmg
Str Req: 72
Dex Req: 146
Item Level: 72
Clvl Req: 60
Sockets: 1-5
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x3
Weapon Speed: 0
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/As/B/D/P/S
Normal: N
Bow-long war.gif Hydra Bow 10-68 Dmg
Str Req: 134
Dex Req: 167
Item Level: 74
Clvl Req: 63
Sockets: 1-6
Dmg Bonus: 100 Dex
Inv Size: 2x4
Weapon Speed: 10
Firing Rate:
Fast: Am/B/D
Normal: As/N/P/S

Quivers[edit]

Arrows and Bolts/Quarrels are necessary to use a bow or crossbow, and they must be equipped in one hand, with the bow/crossbow in the other. They have no purpose otherwise, and are one of the simpler weapon-type items in the game.

In early versions of Diablo II arrows and bolts were sold in stacks of varying size for varying prices, and NPCs only stocked a few of each at a time. With v1.03 the variety was removed, as was the limited number of stacks. Quivers are now always the maximum stack, prices are fixed, and you can buy as many quivers at a time as you'd like. Monsters drop quivers of arrows or bolts quite frequently as well.

Item Item Name Properties Misc Stats
Bow-quiver-a.gif Quiver of Arrows D2: Up to 250
D2X: Up to 350
87 gold for 350




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