Certain weapons in video games are extremely easy to use, you press a single button, and your character performs a certain attack on their own. Then come to the trickier weapons; there can be so many numbers to keep track of that the maneuverability can feel like an entirely different monster to tame.
Bows and crossbows comprise the latter. They are hard to understand and even harder to master. However, they do provide decent perks, so much so that the bow-based weapons are among the best choices in Elden Ring.
Press the LB / L1 button on your controller to aim with a bow or crossbow. Wait for the crosshair to show up, then press the RB / R1 button to fire your shot.
But, a shepherd cannot become a hunter in a single day. It takes dedication and hard work to learn the art of archery. Elden Ring is a FromSoftware game. Therefore, you can expect to dedicate a decent portion of your time to learning how not to die with a bow.
To decrease your number of deaths, this guide will show you everything you need to know about bows and crossbows in Elden Ring. With that said, let’s get started!
Manual Aiming in Elden Ring
Elden Ring features a simple yet hard-to-master manual suite for bows and crossbows. You need to have the item equipped in your either hand. You may as well double equip a bow depending on your tastes and requirements.
While locking is supported, it is generally better to hit the areas you want to target with manual aiming. Therefore, let’s dive into the inner workings of this mechanic.
How to Aim Manually
As a skilled archer, it is usually expected of you to target the boss’s weak spots to deal outstanding damage. Therefore, you need to get the basics down. To aim a bow, a player must do the following:
- Begin by equipping a bow. You may use any bow you can find since the aiming mechanic is the same for each.
- You may lock onto an enemy to automatically hit your shots, or you can press one of the following to initiate the manual aiming mode:
- Left-Shift button
- You can press the RB button to launch the arrow from your bow. The release might not be instantaneous due to the fixed releasing animation.
The same method can be used for a crossbow. However, the loading time might vary from weapon to weapon.
Bows in Elden Ring
Elden Ring features a wide number of weapons and accessories. When it comes to bows, you get to choose from the following five:
- Albinauric Bow
- Horn Bow
- Erdtree Bow
- Serpent Bow
- Pulley Bow
- Black Bow
Each of these bows grants its own set of unique effects. An Erdtree bow can scale with faith, while a Serpent Bow is more aligned with Arc.
The Statistics for every Elden Ring bow are mentioned below:
|75-||50||—||—||—||—||100-||E8||D 15||–||–||D11||3.5||– (6 6)None|
|80-||50||—||—||—||—||100-||E9||D14||—||—||—||4.0||– (6)Mighty Shot|
|77-||55||—||—||—||—||100-||D11||D11||—||—||—||5.0||– (6 6)Mighty Shot|
|70-||50||—||—||—||—||100-||E9||D20||—||—||—||4.0||– (2 2)Barrage|
|40-||50||—||—||—||50||100-||E8||E12||—||D14||—||4.0||– (6 6)Mighty Shot|
|65-||50||30.||—||—||—||100-||E10||D14||-12||—||—||4.5||– (6 6)Mighty Shot|
What Are Crossbows in Elden Ring?
Crossbows are the more damage-heavy variant of bows. However, they are usually slower to reload and have a lesser range. With that said, you get to choose from the following options when it comes to a crossbow in Elden Ring:
- Soldier’s Crossbow
- Light Crossbow
- Heavy Crossbow
- Pulley Crossbow
- Full Moon Crossbow
- Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow
Similar to bows, each shot consumes an arrow. While the damage is the main decider when picking crossbows, you should also focus a bit on their attributes and attack speeds.
Here are the complete stats for crossbows in Elden Ring:
Full Moon Crossbow
Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow
What Are The Best Bows and Crossbows in Elden Ring?
Almost every weapon in Elden Ring is masterfully crafted to match the player level. However, there are certain items that tend to stand a cut above the rest. Therefore, we will show the best bows and crossbows available for your reading pleasure.
The Pulley Crossbow is the clear winner here since it operates on Strength and Dexterity rather than any other stat attribute. It’s a great option for those looking to fight their weapons from a moderate distance.
However, the amount of ammo it consumes is pretty high. Therefore, it is recommended to use it in moderation.
The Longbow and Horn Bow are the winners due to their range and the ability to deal serious damage. The longbow has a high damage per shot but possesses a low rate of fire. Whereas, the Horn bow is more specialized in dealing magic damage. We recommend you calculate your shots before shooting because of the high reload timer.