Ranged weapons in Elden Ring are usually overshadowed by their melee and magic counterparts. However, they provide great utility and allow you to engage enemies from a distance without getting in hitting range. You can eliminate enemies before they even get close to you to hit you.
Knowing the right ranged weapon and how it works can help you master it quickly. So, let’s look at some of the best ranged weapons in Elden Ring.
How ranged weapons work in Elden Ring
While starting your Elden Ring adventure, during the character selection phase, only two classes the Bandit and Samurai will offer you ranged weapons in your arsenal. Choosing any other class will then require you to explore and find one in the Elden Ring.
Ranged weapons, as the name suggests, allow you to deal damage to enemies while maintaining your distance. The ranged weapons often work well as secondary weapon proving you with a different damage option and a plan B when fighting bosses.
The ranged weapons in Elden Ring are divided into five categories:
- Light bows
The Bow is the standard ranged weapon boasting standard stats with decent damage and rate of fire. Light bows are rapid firing ranged weapons that have lower damage than bows.
Greatbows are much stronger bows that feature a higher physical damage output however they have a slow rate of fire.
Crossbows are semi-automatic ranged weapons that require you to load a bolt beforehand you fire them. They hit for high damage but it takes some time to reload them. Ballistae are a very unique ranged weapon, similar to crossbows, that fire off a powerful projectile that does splash damage.
Best ranged weapons to use in Elden Ring
10) Misbegotten Shortbow (Light Bow)
Light bows boast a quicker rate of fire and the Misbegotten Shortbow has the highest damage output among them. This makes it the perfect PvP weapon as it allows you to rake up meaningful hits without having to worry about missing shots.
Getting it can be a bit tedious which is why we have ranked it at number 10. Otherwise, it is a decent enough ranged weapon for you to use.
9) Erdtree Bow/ Erdtree Greatbow (Bow/Greatbow)
Elden Ring’s Erdtree Bow and its Greatbow counterpart are both pretty similar with the only fundamental difference being the damage and rate of fire.
It comes down to personal preference on whichever you should go with. But regardless of your choice, you will be choosing a weapon that offers decent physical and holy damage. Faith builds will find great use from either bow or greatbow due to their damage potential.
The Erdtree Greatbow is also a strong early to mid-game ranged weapon in Elden Ring, which becomes only better once you use Somber Smithing Stones on it to upgrade.
8) Jar Cannon (Ballista)
Ballistae are some of the most unique ranged weapons in Elden Ring since they offer something that other weapons don’t. You don’t have much choice in this category with only two options being the Hand Ballista and Jar Cannon.
The Jar Cannon is the better of the two and offers a ridiculous amount of damage that is combined with a high crit and splash damage potential.
The only drawbacks of the Jar Cannon that hold it back are its slow reload speed and higher strength requirements.
7) Pulley Crossbow (Crossbow)
Crossbows struggle to find a niche in Elden Ring. They are good on the first shot but when the time to reload comes into play they fall flat. This is where the Pulley Crossbow feels different from the rest. Its quick-fire rate makes up for this drawback by shooting three times with every shot.
The initial damage stat of the Pulley Crossbow may be lower compared with other crossbows, but the overall damage output holds its own thanks to the addition of bleed and other status effect bolts.
You will have to manage your ammo usage, as this weapon burns through your ammo at a tremendous rate.
6) Golem Greatbow (Greatbow)
The Golem Greatbow may seem intimidating at first due to all the high stat requirements it comes with, but once you finally get to use it, it will be worth it.
The Golem Greatbow is one the highest damage ranged weapons in Elden Ring which when combined with its weapon skill, “Through and Through”, becomes a devastating weapon to wield.
You will be able to strike down multiple enemies with a single bolt shot which will give you decent area and crowd control capabilities.
5) Serpent Bow (Bow)
The Serpent Bow would be way higher on this list if it was aesthetics alone but still, it doesn’t lack functionality at all. In fact, it is one of the best regular Bows in Elden Ring, largely due to its ability to apply poison to the arrows it fires.
This bow when combined with regular poison arrows can really stack up the poison damage that you deliver.
4) Black Bow (Bow)
The Black Bow makes a return after having appeared in previous Souls games. The Black Bow’s damage output is the same as your usual bow in Elden Ring.
The gimmick here is that this damage output is combined with the super-quick fire rate of a light bow. This makes the Black Bow a hybrid between a regular and light bow, enjoying the best of both worlds.
The bow also has decent status effect delivering capability thanks to its weapon skill “Barrage”.
Unfortunately, the high requirements for wielding the Black Bow limit it as a late-game ranged weapon in Elden Ring. But once you are able to use it creating a build specifically for the Black Bow can really be a rewarding investment.
3) Horn Bow (Bow)
The Horn Bow offers something different from the rest of the ranged weapons that Elden Ring has to offer. It is the only ranged weapon that allows you to deal magic damage with every shot, on top of its physical damage.
Like the serpent bow, you can stack this damage by using magic arrows instead of normal ones. This damage stack will allow you to rip through enemies with magic weakness.
If the magic damage buff wasn’t enough, your Horn Bow will also boost with your Intelligence stat upgrades. This makes the Horn Bow the perfect backs-to-the-wall second weapon for mage builds in Elden Ring.
2) Pulley Bow (Bow)
The Pulley Crossbow’s close compatriot the Pulley Bow also makes the list at a very impressive number 2 position. The Pulley Bow has a strong bite to it, coming with a high base physical damage which even makes up for its lower rate of fire.
The real selling point for Pulley Bow is impressive long-range coverage. Being the longest-range weapon in Elden Ring, the Pulley Bow is perfect for those looking to create a Sharp-Shooter/Sniper build.
The Pulley Bow will also have longevity in your build since it will scale up as you level up Strength and Dexterity stats which you will likely increase as the game progresses. So, investing time in Pulley Bow will be worth it in both the long and short run.
1) Lion Greatbow (Greatbow)
The Lion Greatbow is the best ranged in Elden Ring period. It is obtained after pitting the mighty Starscourage Radahn in battle and consuming the Remembrance of the Starscourge. The Lion Greatbow is one of the few unlockable weapons that retains its overpowered nature even after you unlock it.
The Lion Greatbow is capable of delivering some of the highest ranged damage in Elden Ring, which you can also boost further by changing out its arrow to Radahn’s Spear Greatarrows.
The arrow change and “Radahn’s Rain”, the Lion Greatbow’s weapon skill, sees you shoot a devastating arrow barrage that rains on the battlefield leaving destruction in its wake.
The attack is almost identical to the one that Radahn tormented you with, so it’s nice to use the same move on your enemies. The Lion Greatbow is good enough to be your main weapon, especially for an Archer Build.