For when you don’t want to get too close. Bows provide a unique experience in Dark Souls 3. Archery allows the Ashen one to go about the world almost like an older stealth game rather than an action RPG. You can stay just out of enemies’ detection range fringing arrows from a sniping position or engage in long distant skirmishes with those that can fire back. To help the player make the best of this playstyle here are the top three bows in the game.
3. Composite bow
The composite bow is an example of the Dark Souls series habit of implementing real-life weapons in conjunction with crazy fire blasts and lightning strikes. Despite the blandness of being a real-world weapon in a fantasy setting with dragons, demons, and whatever the hell the sewer centipedes are, the composite bow is proven to be one of the best bows in the game.
What’s good about this bowBest close-range bow in the game.Extremely high fire rate being the bow with the fastest fire rate in the gameUseful in PVP to pepper your enemies with attacks from a distance
To use the composite bow you need to have a 12 in strength and a 12 in dexterity. Its weapon art is rapid-fire which lets the player fire arrows continuously. No matter how many times you upgrade it the scaling stays D in both strength and dexterity.
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The strategy with this weapon is to fire off as many arrows as possible in close range. In PVE you can choose to be patient or aggressive. In PVP expect to get rushed for using this weapon. You can compensate for this by being evasive or having a melee weapon.
This weapon does suffer from a few major drawbacks. Ha, drawbacks, because it’s a bow. This bows main weakness come from a lack of range. Even the basic longbow is better at sniping. However, that’s fine, long-range sniping is not really this bow’s purpose. In a bow-only build, it gives the player close-range damage. In a mixed build, it extends the player"s range longer than the length of their sword.
The other drawback is the low damage. The player"s goal when using this bow is to use enough arrows until the enemy looks like a pincushion. ust keep in mind how many arrows you have.
So, whether being your only close rang option or being used in conjunction with melee the composite bow is the best close-range bow.
How to get
The Ashen one can obtain the composite bow by purchasing it from the Shrine Handmaiden in Firelink Shrine. This can only be done after giving her Dreamchaser"s Ashes. The Dreamchaser’s Ashes can be found in the same tower of the Watchdogs of Farron behind an invisible wall. Just climb the stairs (do not I repeat do not take the elevator) and attack the walls on the balcony till you find it.
2. Millwood Greatbow
While technically a Greatbow The Millwood Greatbow makes this list. It is a DLC weapon the Millwood knights use to snipe the Ashen one as you traverse the Snowfield. This Greatbow is said to have been used by the knights to fight against the abyss dragon. The identity of the dragon is almost certainly Midir, the largest and one of the most difficult bosses in the game.
Which makes sense. To fight a colossal dragon use a colossal-sized bow. Although considering Midir isn’t being worn as a hat, like a creature from monster hunter maybe it wasn’t the greatest idea.
What’s good about this bowThe Millwood Greatbow does the highest damage of any bow or great bow. The Millwood Greatbow has the best bow weapon art in the game.This bow is amazing at sniping. Highlights of the bow in action during PVP are commonplace on the internet, where skilled snipers taking out unsuspecting players from afar.
To use this weapon the player needs 28 in strength and 12 in dexterity. It is the second heaviest bow-type weapon in the game. When fully upgrade it gets A scaling with strength. Its godly weapon art is Pierce Earth.
The pierce earth skill causes the arrows to explode on impact sending out an awesome shock wave. This wave shock can be used to knock enemies off cliffs, into the abyss, or whatever hole in the ground.
Despite how powerful this weapon is there are a few drawbacks. (drawbacks again, ha… this joke will never get old.)
This bow is plagued with an issue of its short-range…? Despite the massive size and power behind this bow, its range is not very far. After a certain range, there is a damage drop-off. So, it does less damage if the enemies are too far. This can be compensated with the amazing skill allowing the player to blast enemies an edge. The problem is there isn’t always a bottomless cliff when you need one.
The other issue is that it can’t be used by bow purists because it scales with strength rather than dexterity. All other bows can be used with dexterity, so it makes this one a little hard to plan for.
The best playstyle for this weapon is sniping despite its low range. It still does massive damage and has a great weapon art that can blow enemies apart.
How to get
It is technically possible to obtain this bow the moment the DLC comes available to the player upon meeting slave knight gale (the bearded guy in the red) in the cathedral of the deep. It only requires a send all, hail Mary of a run. You just have to weave your way through a gauntlet of knights and wolves. From the Snowfield, bonfire go right down the cliff past the wolves the moment you see ruins go left up the hill until you get to some evil trees. Go left there and it’s at the feet of the knight. Good luck. If you don’t want to do the run wait till you’re a bit stronger before making the attempt.
1. Black Bow of Pharis
Huzzah! The bow to beat all bows.
The Black bow of Pharis takes the top spot. It is named after the one who wields it, the hero Pharis. While Pharis is not present in Dark Souls 3 she can be found in the first game. She is known for protecting the Darkroom garden an area in the first Dark Soul. Pharis lives up to her forest Hunter covenant role firing her arrows at poor souls (or soulless undead) who trespass. She is a thief Robin Hood type of character, think generic ranger from any RPG.
What’s good about this bowThe Black Bow of Pharis is an amazing sniper to mid-range bow. It can also be used at close range.It has great range that puts it ahead of its rivals. The weapon skill of the Black bow of Pharis is also phenomenal allowing the player to fire three arrows at once.
To use the Black Bow of Pharis you need a strength of 9 and a dexterity of 18. This weapon gets B scaling in dexterity. The weapon art is the Pharis Triple-shot. This weapon art makes you fire three arrows at once.
Even as the highest bow on this list it still has a few drawbacks. (dang it, the joke got old)
Don’t expect to perform one-shot kills like with the Millwood. This weapon is just more consistent in doing damage from afar. It is much better in PVE than PVP but still strong in PVP format. The other drawback is that weapon art is only really effective with one ammo type.
The play style around this build revolves around firing arrows from all distances for consistent higher damage. The player should use dark arrows when using the weapon art so the arrows curve mid-flight and all three will hit the target.
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This bow is a must-have for bow-only builds and can even be appreciated by other dexterity builds looking for range damage.
How to get
The Black bows of Pharis can be obtained by killing a specific Elder Guru, the big guys with tree staves, in Farron Keep. It is one of the three located by the wall near the Keep Ruins bonfire. They are not easy to spot so keep your eyes peeled. With a bit of patience and archery, the player can safely snipe them with the longbow can collect the bow when they are dead.
Hopefully, this list will help you on your journey as an archer through the world of Dark Souls 3. At the very least let you know what the best bows are.