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Elden Ring: Crossbow Vs Bow & Which Is Better

Not sure if you should use a crossbow or a bow in Elden Ring? This guide should clear all the doubts you have.

In Elden Ring, many players are confused about whether they should use a Crossbow or a Bow. Crossbows and Bows are both used for ranged attacks in the game. So while their purpose might be the same the way you use them can alter their performance. Bows require Arrows as their ammo and Crossbows use Bolts. So in this guide let us check Crossbow Vs Bow in Elden Ring and which is better.

Crossbows Vs Bows in Elden Ring


crossbows or bows in elden ring which is better

Crossbow Vs Bow in Elden Ring comes down to the range of your target. If you are closer to the target and want higher damage then you should use a Bow. And if you are far or very far from the target then you should use a crossbow. The main reason is your damage gets decreased based on how far you are from your enemy while using a bow.

Below is a test I performed outside the Gatefront site of grace. So for this test, I targetted the guard that stands in front of the wagon behind the Gatefront site of grace. In this test I attacked him using:


  • Red Branch Shortbow +6 with Arrows 1 for testing the damage of Bow.
  • Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow with Bolts 1 for testing the damage of Crossbow.

And here are its results.

  • When shooting the guard from standing near the site of grace the damage dealt was:
    • Red Branch Shortbow +6: 87
    • Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow: 83
  • Then I moved the character further away from the guard and made it stand near the tripod fire lamp outside the gate and shot him. Check the above image for reference. This time the damage was:
    • Red Branch Shortbow +6: 57
    • Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow: 76
  • To verify if aiming improves the damage output I aimed from near the tripod fire lamp and saw the damage was:
    • Red Branch Shortbow +6: 54
    • Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow: 72
  • You should check our guide on how to aim using a crossbow as there are many situations where auto-lock is not ideal.
  • And finally, I made the character shoot the guard from near the wagon. This time there is a great change in the bow’s damage.
    • Red Branch Shortbow +6: 142
    • Crepus’s Black-Key Crossbow: 83


Some things to remember here:

The damage will also change based on the bows and crossbows you use. And how much you have upgraded them. Another factor that affects damage is the type of arrow or bolts you use. An advantage of bows is you can keep firing without having to load the arrows, but when using crossbows you need to load them with bolts after each shot. Also, you can guard with your shield while holding a crossbow but you can’t use a shield with a bow.

So in conclusion, there is no better weapon when comparing them, rather their performances change with the distance between you and your target. If you are looking for higher damage and are quite near the target then you should use a Bow. But if you are far from the target but still want to do stable damage then use a Crossbow.


That covers this guide on Crossbows vs Bows in Elden Ring and which is better. In case you are looking for more in-depth mechanics then you should also check our guide on Two-Handed vs Dual-Wield in Elden Ring.