What is the best bow?

So for the past forever I’ve been going for an archer playthrough, and I’ve been looking for the best bow in the the game. The best arrows are obviously the carbon fibre ones, but the answer to the best bow still evades me. I’ve heard many things about how the reflex recurve bow is the best, however just from using it and comparing the stats, a compound bow set to high beats it in almost every way. So, does anyone know what the best bow/greatbow is?

Well, I have not tried it, but the compound greatbow has a very impressive damage rating of 60 and over double the range of a reflex recurve, but it also takes almost 4x as long to reload. I have to imagine a bow of that size and power would create a great deal of noise as well, though I don’t see any stats for this on the item browser.
I’d say the reflex recurve is still your best bet, but that’s just based on a very quick scan of all the bows on the item browser. The hybrid longbow also looks appealing. Your final decision may also be based on your character as well, for example, if you are a very fast mover, long reloads may not be an issue.

Don’t forget there are also some pretty wicked bows found only in mods such as Cata++ and Mythological Replicas.

Great! I use Cata++ most of the time, so I would be very grateful if you could put a name to some of it’s “wicked bows”

I believe it’s called the Survivor’s Fighting Bow, it doubles as a reach weapon. There’s also a custom backpack with a built-in quiver, but I forget what it’s called exactly. It’s also been some time since I’ve played the ++ mod so I don’t know if anything I’m saying is out of date.

As far as basegame is, the best normal bow is Compound Bow. Can be modded, can be used even by 4 str survivors on low settings, and has very high damage and range.

I’ve yet to use the Greatbow version since I don’t have Hydraulic Muscles yet, but I can only imagine the terror it does.

Wouldn’t be surprised if I could kill a horde of Shoggoths with it.

And while theoretically CFA are the best, according to the item browser they can’t be crafted, so in my opinion the trio of broadhead/bodkin/target reign supreme.

Greatbow is essentially a man portable ballista. You can basically kill whatever you want with it.

Bows are split into two lines of improvement: slow reload with high damage, or fast reload with less damage.

Here’s the table of top end bows:

Bow Range Damage Reload Ticks Notes
Compound Greatbow 60 60 150 ST 18
Wooden Greatbow 35 35 100 ST 18
Compound Bow (High) 22 22 120 Adjustable
Compound Bow (Med) 18 18 110 Adjustable
Recurve 14 14 90
Compound Bow (Low) 14 14 85 Adjustable, ST5
Reflex Recurve 8 8 40

Assuming you can craft any of them, you have to decide if you want to reload quickly or do a lot of damage.

If you don’t mind taking some time shooting and are ST 18, the Compound Greatbow is an absolute beast. Otherwise, a high draw compound bow is the best, followed at a distant second by the recurve bow. If you want to be a more mobile archer, taking quick shots and scooting away, the reflex recurve bow is the peak of the “fast” bow line.


I can’t help but love the reflex recurve for the “shoot and scoot” strategy you mentioned.

Thanks everyone! I’ll make sure to put this info to great use :slight_smile:

But how do we know which Compound bow we have?

It says in the name. e.g compound bow (high), compound bow (low), compound greatbow.

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May I tangent this thread into a similar question about crossbows?

Generally it’s best to make a new thread. If you don’t Kevin will split it anyway so you may as well skip the middle man.

As darktoes said, it says in the name. You can change the setting of your compound bow by activating it.

It is setting base now to choose between those 3? How does that work. Replace the cord?

Compound bows have pulleys n stuff, so one can tighten and loosen it easily.

^ they have an unround pully that increasing pull efficiency and the ease of holding at full draw.

I think the adjustment is associated with it, adjusting the pully up/down or rotation to adjust draw weight.

I understand how such work irl. I did not know we had that detail in game. Thanks folks.

A lot of compounds have their limbs attached to the riser by a bolt. If you tighten the bolt, the limbs are put under more tension. Loosen it, and they’re under less tension. Not ALL compounds can do it, but a lot can. My own, for example, goes from 50lb to 70lb. Even has a little window on the side so you can tell if you loosen it too much (which can make the bow fall apart in your hands, which is really bad under tension.)