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Main / Skills / Archery


Archery is a skill which involves an arrow and a bow.

Characteristic gained

Body / Body Control


To shoot you need to equip a bow in your hands and activate it, and then right click on your target. Make sure the bow is strung. Rare bow string strung in a bow will go unrare when unstrung.

If you have a target selected (player or animal, not archery target), you can also use the 'ranged' icon if you have the bow equipped.

The arrows shot first are the ones in your quiver on your body, next are the ones in your quiver in your inventory, and last are the ones in your inventory. If you have an empty quiver in your inventory, no arrows in your inventory or in other quivers in your inventory will be shot.

If a quiver is found in the inventory but it is empty, no arrow will be shot. This gives you good control over which arrows are shot. Arrows are fired in the following order: 1. War arrows, 2. Hunting arrows, 3. Arrow shafts.

  • The best bows are made from willow.
  • Arrows made from cedar are easier to improve.
  • Arrows made from maple take less damage.
  • Quality of the bow string affects hit chance and the chance that it breaks.
  • Quality of the arrow affects hit chance and the chance that it breaks.
  • Quality of the bow affects the damage done.
  • Archery has a lower hit chance during the night (from 21:00 to 06:00 wurm time).
  • Wearing a shield can significantly increase the rate at which you block arrows.
  • Bows work best when fired at their best range. ( For example, if you shoot longbow from 10 tiles you will be missing more than if you were shooting at 20 tiles. ) If you try to fire closer than their minimum range you will not shoot.
Bow Range
Minimum Optimal
Short Bow None 5
Bow 5 10
Long Bow 10 20


In general anything that affects speed, accuracy or skill gain works on the bow only. Anything that affects damage works only on arrows.

Skill based options

At various points in your bow skill progression you get the following special shooting options:

Skill Option
30 Shoot quickly
35 Aim at torso
40 Aim at left/right arm
50 Aim at head
60 Aim at face
70 Aim at legs

These options can be accessed via right-clicking on the enemy with a bow equipped and activated.


There are a number of factors which dictate roughly how much damage you'll deliver when shooting a target.

  • Height bonus, shooting down at your target will increase damage, shooting up will reduce it.
  • Arrow quality, higher quality arrows do more damage
  • Bow quality, higher quality bows do more damage
  • Criticals, they can happen
  • Armour, reduces the amount of damage taken when the shot is successful
  • Enchants, bloodthirst on the bow and FA/RT/FB on the arrows boost damage
  • Creature status (champion/greenish/raging) has no impact on the damage dealt, if it takes 22 war arrows to kill a scorpion then it would take the same 22 war arrows to kill a champion scorpion.

For players armour is a choice but for animals its a set static value and generally the tougher animals have stronger hides. Using BSB'd arrows for a consistent quality you can easily see the relative defensive strengths of creatures. Unsurprisingly crocodiles and scorpions are difficult to kill with arrows while mountain lions, rats and wild cats are very very easy. From this we can see that an un-armoured player has roughly the same natural armour as a wild cat. The damage delivered has changed over time during combat rebalancing so it makes sense to occasionally revisit how many arrows it takes to kill a particular target type.

At lower skill levels, net damage rate from bows is tiny compared to melee weapons. For example, with Fighting skill and relevant sword skill at 10, it is easy to kill a level 1 animal; with Fighting and relevant bow skill at 10, a level 1 animal has to stand still for you to shoot about 100 arrows to kill it. Considering that tons of arrows are needed, that arrows last only about 5 uses, and that each arrow takes about as much effort to prepare (improve) as a sword does, archery at low levels has an astronomical time-investment to fighting-effectiveness ratio.

Skillgain tips

  • You may gain up to 30 skill in a bow type by practicing on an archery target. The main archery skill is also limited to 40 while practicing on an archery target. When 40 main skill is hit, you will no longer be able to gain any skill from archery targets. It is possible to to gain 30 skill in one bow type, then begin a new bow type until your main skill reaches 40. The curve does not apply here, you are still able to get 40 archery on Epic with an archery target.
  • Although they give less skill than real arrows, it is best to use arrow shafts when practicing in this way as they are far easier to make and won't damage the target too much. Arrows that arent broken can be picked up at the archery target.
  • Firing on the target from outside your bow's optimal range will increase the difficulty, and thus increase your skillgain at higher skill levels.
  • Practicing at night will similarly increase the difficultly, so if you find the skillgain slowing you may want to practice when it's dark instead.
  • Beyond 40 skill the only way to gain further is by using archery on animals or in player vs. player combat. Unlike fighting skill, you gain random archery skill for every shot and optimum archery skill for every successful damage dealt. Fighting skill is also gained after a successful kill.
  • Using other players as targets to train is effective at any level. There is a 3 hour cooldown, which begins after the event message "You will not gain skill for attacking #### for a few hours".
  • WLers shooting same kingdom will go Hunted.
  • Skillgain is affected by Sleep bonus.
  • You can't gain archery and sub-archery skills from bred animals.
  • Priests of Vynora and Fo Can use bows.


Note: When a bow is unstrung, even if it has not been used and was strung minutes ago, the bowstring will be worse than before strung. Avoid unstringing and re-stringing if you can.


Note: You can use arrow shafts as normal arrows, but they have poor accuracy and damage, and will gain you less skill. They are however much easier to replace when broken.

Associated items

Associated skills


  • Archer at 50 skill
  • Hawk Eye at 70 skill
  • Eagle Eye at 90 skill

Chrysanthy's Archery Test

  • The test was conducted on August 28, 2014 to look into the effect of quality of the bow and arrows to damage and accuracy (no other factors were considered). The test was done during daytime wurm time to eliminate the accuracy penalty during night time and on flat surface to eliminate height bonus/penalty.

Chrysanthy has the following skills and the test data is given below:

  • Bow Used: Long Bow
  • Archery Skill: 40.43
  • Long Bow Skill: 30.30

Using 70.01ql longbow

  • Arrow Shaft Quality: 40.18
  • Archery Target Quality: 36.82
  • Damage on the Target: 5.89
  • Number of Successful Hits: 20/20

  • Arrow Shaft Quality: 13.13
  • Archery Target Quality: 36.30
  • Damage on the Target: 3.94
  • Number of Successful Hits: 19/20

Using 50.25ql longbow

  • Arrow Shaft Quality: 40.18
  • Archery Target Quality: 35.69
  • Damage on the Target: 3.73
  • Number of Successful Hits: 18/20

  • Arrow Shaft Quality: 13.13
  • Archery Target Quality: 34.90
  • Damage on the Target: 3.01
  • Number of Successful Hits: 14/20


  • The higher the quality of the bow, the greater the damage it deals.
  • The higher the quality of the bow, the higher accuracy rate it has.
  • The higher the quality of the arrow, the greater the damage it deals.
  • The higher the quality of the arrow, the higher accuracy rate it has.