Minecraft Bow

The bow is a ranged weapon that projects arrows at high speed. Arrows shot by a bow can damage players and mobs from a distance. It is a useful alternative to a sword in combat against enemies that stay out of melee range, like ghasts and blazes, or for killing passive mobs as they run away. Other mobile or ranged foes, like spiders and skeleton jockeys, are also easier to slay from afar. Bows have no effect on endermen, who teleport away before the arrow can strike them.

You can only use a bow if it is actively equipped and you have at least one arrow in your inventory. Shoot the bow by right-clicking while holding the bow as an active item. Holding the right mouse button before releasing it will cause the arrow to project at greater speed and over a larger distance than simply clicking and releasing. Holding the right mouse button until the bow’s strength is at maximum will yield a minor texture effect around the bow and increase the damage of the arrow if it hits a target. When pulled all the way back, bows can deal 4.5 or even 5 hearts of damage. Players move at a significantly slower speed while their bow is drawn.

Type: Weapons
Durability: 385
Renewable: Yes
Stackable: No
Data Value—Dec: 261, Hex: 105

Minecraft Bow Animation

After an arrow is shot, it slowly arcs down towards the ground until it hits a target. Arrows that hit solid blocks, like wood, stone or dirt, will become embedded in the block and can be picked up again by players. Aim the bow above distant enemies in order to hit the target with an arrow. Destroying a block embedded with arrows, or if a TNT block explodes while arrows are stuck in it, will cause the arrows to fall, dealing normal damage to mobs and players if they are struck.


Name Ingredients Input >> Output
Bow 3 Sticks and 3 String Crafting Bow from Sticks and String

Allows for distance attacks using arrows.
Dispenser 7 Cobblestone and Bow and Redstone Dust Crafting Dispenser from bow, cobblestone and redstone dust

Dispensers can store 9 stacks of items or blocks in a 3×3 grid. When powered by a redstone signal, it ejects a random item. Snowballs, eggs and arrows are fired out as projectiles.


Arrows were available to players in the Survival Test version of the game, but bows were not added until a later stage of development. They were first introduced in Indev 0.31, which was released in January 2010. Additional modifications to bow mechanics were added much later in Beta 1.2, along with its inclusion in the dispenser recipe.

Before the “draw” mechanic was added to bows, players could fire arrows in swift succession to instantly slay other living entities in the game. A bug with this mechanic also caused tamed wolves to attack their owner if the player shot accidentally shot themselves with a bow.

Interesting Facts

  • In Beta 1.5 and earlier versions, arrows did not pass through placed sugar cane blocks.
  • In certain situations, arrows can be used to trigger wooden pressure plates from a distance. However, arrows cannot trigger stone pressure plates under any circumstances.
  • Water can impede the flight of an arrow by reducing its velocity, although it will not stop its trajectory completely.
  • An arrow stuck in a large entity, like a ghast or large slime, will appear larger than normal.
  • Shooting an arrow next to an exploding TNT block will cause the arrow to fly in a different direction.

Comments are closed.