Illusioners have an 8.5% chance of dropping an unenchanted bow when killed by the player. The chance of dropping a bow is increased by 1% per level of Looting, allowing up to an 11.5% chance of dropping.
Skeletons and Strays
The chance of dropping a bow is increased by 1% per level of Looting, allowing up to an 11.5% chance of dropping.
The chance of being enchanted depends on the difficulty, whether it is normal or hard. The enchantment level is equal to enchant level 5-22.
Apprentice-level fletcher villagers sell bows for 2 emeralds as part of their trades, and expert-level fletcher villagers sell enchanted bows for 8[Bedrock Edition only] or 17–22[Java Edition only] emeralds as part of their trades.
The enchantment level is equal to enchant level 5–19.
Bows have a chance of being caught by fishing. When caught, the bow may be damaged and contain random enchantments equivalent to a level 30 enchantment from an enchantment table, including treasure enchantments like Mending.
|2x Damaged Bow||The durability of the two bows is added together, plus an extra 5% durability.|
Bows can be drawn back by using them. In order to use a bow, the player must have at least one arrow in their inventory or be in Creative mode. While the bow is being charged or remains fully charged, the player is forced to move at sneaking speed, unless they are riding a horse, minecart or boat, or flying with elytra. The arrow that is shown inside the bow always looks like a regular arrow, regardless of what kind of arrow is actually being shot from the bow.
When drawing a bow, the display zooms in slightly. Charging the bow to its maximum causes it to visually shake as an indicator. Releasing the button shoots an arrow. A white sparkling effect signifies a fully charged shot. The damage dealt can ultimately be less than the maximum damage if the arrow slows down after being shot. Drawing a bow can be canceled by switching to another hotbar slot while holding use.
While the bow is being drawn or held while drawn, movement is slowed. It is not possible to sprint while charging a bow or holding a drawn bow. When the bow is released, normal motion resumes although any prior sprint is cancelled.
If the arrow hits another player, it makes a high-pitched "ding" sound.[Java Edition only]
Fully charged shots launch critical arrows which have a trail of particles behind them and deal up to damage, where is the damage after any enchantments. The listed values below describe maximum damage from a bow with no Power enchantments, assuming the target is at a distance where drag and gravity are negligible. However, the critical damage is likely to be more around 8-10; critical damage is added at a random value between and and it is rare to have minimum or maximum values.
|Charging time||Maximum attack damage|
|0.1 s (no charge)||1|
|0.2–0.9 s (medium charge)||5|
|1+ s (full charge)||6|
|1+ s (critical)||11 × 5.5|
Damage caused by the arrow is not affected by the Strength status effect.
Endermen cannot be shot using an arrow, because the arrow either disappears as the enderman teleports, or it gets deflected. Even while immobile, the enderman is immune to damage from arrows. However, an arrow shot from a bow enchanted with Flame can ignite the enderman.
|Enchantments on the bow do not affect the resulting dispenser.|
Bows can receive several different enchantments and have a base enchantability of 1. Bow enchantments have no effect on arrow speed or distance. If a bow is enchanted with any level 1 enchantment, it always gets Power I.
|Power||Increases the damage dealt by bow-shot arrows.||V|
|Punch||Increases the knockback dealt by bow-shot arrows.||II|
|Flame||Ignites arrows, dealing fire damage to anyone hit as well as igniting TNT and campfires.||I|
|Infinity[n 1]||Stops the bow from consuming arrows when shot. A minimum of 1 arrow is still required to work.||I|
|Unbreaking||Grants a chance to negate durability consumption, making the bow last longer.||III|
|Mending[n 1]||Repairs the bow using experience, but also preventing the player from gaining score.||I|
|Curse of Vanishing||The bow vanishes on death, not dropping as an item. Overridden by keepInventory.||I|
- Mending and Infinity are mutually exclusive.
As in real life, a flying arrow in Minecraft is affected by gravity. Its vertical speed is modified by one block downward every second, resulting in a parabolic flight path. An arrow slows down if shot through water, reducing its damage to near zero unless brought back into the air or otherwise given momentum.[Java Edition only]
An arrow shot through lava ignites, giving it the effect of the Flame enchantment, igniting any entity it hits. If not extinguished, the fire inflicts up to 4 damage. Although a wither skeleton does not spawn naturally with bows, if it holds a bow then it also shoots flaming arrows.
The player can choose the type of arrow to shoot based on its location in the inventory. Arrows in the off-hand, or the selected hotbar slot if the bow is in the off-hand, are prioritized first. If there are no arrows in the off-hand or selected hotbar slot then the arrow closest to slot 0 is selected.
|Sound||Subtitles||Source||Description||Resource location||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation|
|Arrow fired||Players||Plays when an arrow is fired by a player||1.0||Around 1.2[sound 1]||16|
|Player hit||Players||Plays when an arrow shot by a player hits another player||1.0||1.0||16|
|Item breaks||Players||When durability is exhausted||0.8||0.8 - 1.2 ||16|
- Depends on how long the bow is charged for, around 1.2 with a fully charged bow [check the code]
|Name||Identifier||Numeric ID||Form||Translation key|
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS4)|
|Sniper Duel||Kill a Skeleton with an arrow from more than 50 meters.||Use a launched arrow to kill a skeleton, spider jockey, wither skeleton, or a stray from 50 or more blocks away, horizontally.||30G||Bronze|
|Dispense with This||Construct a Dispenser.||—||20G||Bronze|
|Archer||Kill a creeper with arrows.||—||10G||Bronze|
|Bullseye||Hit the bullseye of a Target block||—||15G||Bronze|
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Resource location|
|Take Aim||Shoot something with an arrow||Monster Hunter||Using a bow or a crossbow, shoot an entity with an arrow, tipped arrow, or spectral arrow.|
|Sniper Duel||Kill a Skeleton from at least 50 meters away||Take Aim||Be at least 50 blocks away horizontally when a skeleton is killed by an arrow after the player has attacked it once.|
|Bullseye||Hit the bullseye of a Target block from at least 30 meters away||Take Aim||Be at least 30 blocks away horizontally when the center of a target is shot with a projectile by the player.|
|Java Edition Classic|
|June 14, 2009||Notch discussed how bows and arrows would work in Survival mode: "Bows and arrows can be made out of wood. To use it, select the bow from your inventory and make sure you’ve got some arrows. Click in front of you, and an arrow goes flying using real physics. To actually HIT something, aim above it."|
|0.24 SURVIVAL TEST||The player did not need a bow to shoot arrows. Instead, Tab ↹ was used to fire arrows. However, arrows still had to be collected to shoot. Launching arrows this way was much slower than the bow that now fires them.|
|Java Edition Indev|
|0.31||20100110||Added bow texture to items.png.|
|20100122||Added bows as item with changed texture. The right mouse button can be held down to fire in rapid succession. Each arrow deals 4 for each hit. They fly in a ballistic trajectory affected by gravity and drag in air or water. They travel approximately 15 blocks when fired parallel to a flat plane. Arrows also have a maximum range of around 52 blocks when fired at a 38 degree angle on a flat plane.|
|Bows often fail to interact with objects, but instead shoot. This is due to the fact that shooting arrows is an instantaneous action.|
|At this point, bows have no durability, and can essentially be used infinitely.|
|Java Edition Alpha|
|v1.2.6||Interacting with objects (door, chest, etc.) while holding a bow no longer shoots the arrow.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.2||Bows are now used to craft dispensers.|
|1.8||July 8, 2011||Notch teased hold-to-charge bows.|
|July 13, 2011||Notch indicated that along with bow charging, he would add an achievement based around shooting a skeleton at 50 meters, eventually to be known as Sniper duel.|
|Pre-release||Bow behavior has been overhauled; they now need to be charged to fire.|
|1.0.0||RC1||A fully charged arrow from a bow now consistently deals 9 damage, with a rare chance of dealing 10.|
|Bows now have a durability of 385 uses.|
|Bows no longer need arrows for ammo in Creative mode.|
|The bow can now be enchanted via console commands, but no enchantment affects it.|
|1.1||release||Bows can now be legitimately enchanted. Four enchantments have been added: Flame, Punch, Power and Infinity.|
|1.2.1||12w06a||Skeletons now have a 2.5% chance of dropping a bow. One fifth of the time, this bow is enchanted with Power I (20%).|
|1.4.6||12w50a||Bows can now be enchanted with Unbreaking using an anvil and an appropriate enchanted book.|
|pre||When a player hits another player from far away with a bow it makes a high pitched "dinging" sound.|
|1.7.2||13w36a||Bows can now be obtained as a "treasure" item from fishing.|
|Bows can now be enchanted with Unbreaking directly in an enchantment table without the use of an anvil.|
|1.8||14w02a||Fletcher villagers now sell 1 bow for 2–3 emeralds.|
|14w30a||Bow placement when drawing back has been slightly changed.|
|1.9||15w31a||When shooting, the arrows are no longer offset to the right of the Crosshair.|
|The bow in the hotbar now shows an arrow when being drawn.|
|Bows can now shoot an additional 14 types of arrows, selected based on the arrow type held in the off-hand or closest to slot 0.|
|Bows cannot be used in the off-hand.|
|15w37a||The bow can now be used in the off-hand.|
|Bows now prioritize the selected hotbar slot for arrows if the bow is in the off hand.|
|When using the bow in the off-hand, the bow does do the animation, but does not aim at the target.|
|1.10||16w20a||Bows are now used by strays and can now sometimes be obtained as a rare drop.|
|1.11||16w33a||Bows can now be used to fuel furnaces.|
|1.11.1||16w50a||Infinity and Mending are now mutually exclusive for bows.|
|1.12||17w16a||Bows are now used by illusioners and can now sometimes be obtained as a rare drop, although unenchanted.|
|1.13||17w47a||Prior to The Flattening, this item's numeral ID was 261.|
|1.13.1||18w30a||: Fixed a bug: When using the bow in the off-hand, the bow does do the animation, but does not aim at the target.|
|1.14||19w11a||Fletcher villagers now sell enchanted bows.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|v0.4.0||Bows now have a durability of 385 uses.|
|Bows also now slow down the player while aiming.|
|v0.5.0||Bows are now obtainable after activating the nether reactor.|
|v0.8.0||build 2||The texture of bows has been changed.|
|v0.11.0||build 1||Bows can now be obtained as a "treasure" item from fishing.|
|v0.12.1||build 1||Fully charged bows now cause particles.|
|Bows can now be enchanted.|
|Bows obtained by fishing can now be caught enchanted.|
|Bows are no longer available from the nether reactor.|
|v0.15.0||build 1||Added strays, which are equipped with a bow that can rarely be dropped by them.|
|Bows can now shoot an additional 14 types of arrows, selected based on the arrow type closest to slot 0.|
|1.0.4||alpha 184.108.40.206||Bows can now be obtained by trading with a fletcher villager.|
|1.1.0||alpha 220.127.116.11||Added the Mending enchantment, which can now be applied to bows and is mutually exclusive to the Infinity enchantment.|
|Arrows can now be placed in the offhand slot and bows now prioritize the arrows in that slot.|
|1.8.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Bows in the hotbar now show an arrow when being drawn.|
|1.10.0||beta 22.214.171.124||The texture of bows has been changed to match Java Edition's texture.|
|1.11.0||beta 126.96.36.199||Fletcher villagers now sell unenchanted bows for 2 emeralds, and enchanted bows for 8 emeralds.|
|1.16.210||beta 188.8.131.52||Bows in first-person view is now held differently.|
|1.17.0||beta 184.108.40.206||Bows are now held like it was before 220.127.116.11 beta.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU1||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||1.0.1||Added bows.|
|TU5||Bow behavior is overhauled; they now need to be charged to fire.|
|TU31||CU19||1.22||Patch 3||Bows can now be obtained by trading with a fletcher villager.|
|TU46||CU36||1.38||Patch 15||Bows can now shoot an additional 14 types of arrows, selected based on arrow type held in the off-hand or closest to slot 0.|
- Bows were intentionally left unchanged in the Texture Update.
- Dinnerbone got the idea for the high-pitched "ding" sound from playing on a former PvP server called Project Ares.
- – "Drawn bow texture does not reflect arrow that will be shot" resolved as "Won't Fix"
- "Also things I learnt from pvping today: Bows need to ding when you hit people (it's so much fun/rewarding!) & arrows don't render far enough" – @Dinnerbone (Nathan Adams) on Twitter, December 15, 2012
- "Minecraft PvP with Dinnerbone & Docm77 - Team DocBone @ 11:52" – docm77 on YouTube, December 7, 2013