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Minecraft Bow

Dec value: 261
Hex value: 105
Maximum damage: 5 hearts
Durability: 385 shots
Maximum stack 1

Bows are used to fire arrows from a great distance, which is perfect to deal with difficult mobs from a distance, like creepers and cave spiders. Bows are created using 3 sticks and 3 pieces of string. String is often harder to obtain early in game as it’s dropped by spiders and dropped when cobwebs are broken.

Skeletons will sometimes drop a bow. There’s a small chance that bow is enchanted with Power I. Bows can also be found in the bonus chest. Bows can be enchanted with various power enhancing abilities. A full list is at the bottom of this article.


Like other tools and weapons, bows have a limited durability. The bow can be fired 385 times, but it can be repaired by placing 2 bows in a crafting interface. This will create a new bow with the durability of the old ones added together, plus 10%. Note that any enchantment on the old bows do not transfer to the new bow.

Firing a Bow

The basics of using a bow are easy. You simply equip the bow, click and hold the right mouse button and release when you want to fire. You can only fire your bow if you have arrows in your inventory. It doesn’t matter where in your inventory you place the arrows, so it’s advised to not put them on your hot bar, in order to save that space for more important items or blocks.

When you pull your bow you create tension up to a certain point. This tension determines how far your arrow can go and how much damage it does. If you pull your bow to its maximum your character’s arms will start to shake a little, this is only to indicate you’ve reached full power. A fully drawn bow will send arrows the furthers and fastest, it will also do extra damage similar to that of a special attack done by swords and other items.

It’s important to note that arrows are affected by gravity. If you want to kill a mob or player from afar, you’ll have to aim above their heads to make sure you hit your opponent. You might also want to consider their movement. Arrows take a while to reach their destination, if a player or mob moves, the arrow will simply fly passed them. Arrows are also affected by water which will severely slow them down, though it’s still possible to fire your bow underwater. Any players or mobs in close range can easily be killed, though aiming higher than them is often required.

Other Uses

Bows are almost required to kill ghasts, blazes and the Ender dragon, as they can fly. It’s possible to kill them with a sword, but it would take a lot longer in most cases. Endermen cannot be killed with a bow, once the arrow reaches the enderman, the enderman will teleport away.

Arrows shot on minecart rails will stop any minecart that hits the arrow, this is a stronger breaking method than using powered rails.

It’s possible to fire arrows through lava, which will catch fire. Mobs and players can be set on fire by these fire arrows, which is often used in traps with dispensers. However, blocks cannot be set on fire by this. Shooting arrows through fire will not set them on fire.