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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

Not to be confused with a dwarven crossbow; For a comparison of different weapons, see Weapon.
Bow sprite preview.png

A bow is a ranged weapon that fires projectiles called arrows. Bows behave similarly to crossbows for the most part, though they seem to be preferred by elves and goblins.

As ranged weapons, bows use and train the bowman (bowdwarf) skill; as melee weapons, bows use and train the swordsman (swordsdwarf) skill, instead. Dwarves cannot forge bows nor arrows, limiting supply to artifacts, and whatever low-quality specimens can be traded from elven or human caravans and scavenged from invaders. Trading with humans is preferred because they have metal arrows. In most cases your dwarves would be better served with crossbows and bolts instead since the functionality is very similar but crossbows are native weapons. All dwarves can equip bows. Bows do not have to be made out of wood. Like all other weapons, they can be made out of metal.


  • If a squad is assigned multiple ammo types, dwarves with "individual choice ranged" may carry the wrong ammoBug:1374.
"Bow" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: egdoth
Elvish: ramí
Goblin: uneg
Human: ethro
Ranged and ammunition
Blowgun and blowdart · Bow and arrow · Crossbow and bolt
Edged (slashing)
Edged (piercing)
Dagger · Morningstar · Pick · Pike · Spear
See also: Attack types