The bow is one of the most underrated weapons in all of Fortnite. My personal favorite in the entire arsenal, the Fortnite bows guide, is going to show you why. Here is what you need to know about the powerful long-range weapon.
In this Fortnite bows guide, I will let you know about the various types of bows in the game. From the standard ones to the crossbow to other unique variants, we’ll cover them all. In addition to that, we’ll be sure to go over the various ammo types and crafting elements, too.
Bottom Line Up Front
The Fortnite bow is one of the most potent weapons in the game. Capable of taking out a foe in a single well-placed headshot, it is an underrated and valuable weapon. Bows are primarily great for mid to long-range fights, being like a sniper rifle in that regard. That said, bows are tricky for their angled shots that descend with gravity. Most bows use arrows or crossbow bolts, but there is an exception. In addition, some bows are, specifically, meant for crafting and customization purposes. Here are all of the bows that have ever been in Fortnite battle royale:
- Boom Bow
- TNTina’s Kaboom Bow
- Grappler Bow
- Plunger Bow
- Hawkeye’s Bow
- Makeshift Bow
- Mechanical Bow
- Mechanical Explosive Bow
- Mechanical Shockwave Bow
- Primal Bow
- Primal Flame Bow
- Primal Stink Bow
- Raz’s Explosive Bow
- Unstable Bow
- Cupid’s Crossbow
- Field Hunter Crossbow
- Dual Fiend Hunter Crossbow
What Are Fortnite Bows?
The bow, and its counterpart, the crossbow, are perhaps the most simple weapon in Fortnite. It is just a bow with some arrows that you can fire a single shot at a time with. There are some exceptions to this and different variations but most boil down to a single arrow fired at a time. To do this, the player must draw the nocked arrow back and ready it to fire.
If you fire the arrow too early, it is unlikely to go far. That said, this can technically be useful in specific rare scenarios. Otherwise, a fully drawn arrow will allow you to guide it wherever you like. What is notable about the bows is that they have relatively long-range to them, being almost like an alternative to sniper rifles in a way.
The problem with bows that some players do not like is the effect of gravity. Like in real life, the arrows are weighted, slower, and more significant than the bullets of the main guns in Fortnite. As such, gravity will pull down on the arrow and cause it to fall some.
Because of this, there is an arc to how the bows fire in Fortnite. Players need to keep this in mind as you need to account for this change in angle, especially for longer shots. It takes some time to get used to, making the bow one of the trickiest weapons in the game.
That said, if you can get used to this way of handling the bow, it is one of the most lucrative and elegant as well. I’m not a colossal sniper fan myself, so the bow has always appealed to me. In all honesty, I do my best in Fortnite with a bow, and I’m not nearly as good of a player when it is gone.
This is because the bow is powerful and is built for headshots. Though they are challenging to land, headshots with an arrow are devastating and can decimate shields and/or health in the process. It helps, too, that it is also enjoyable to use in battle, in my opinion.
In Chapter 3, no bows are in the game outside of limited-time events and the like. This is par for the course for Fortnite, as Epic Games has not made bows a permanent part of the game just yet. Hopefully, this will change in the future.
How Ammo Works
When it comes to the ammo that the bows used in battle, you can likely guess what it is already. The standard bows in the game use the arrow ammo type. At one point in the game’s history, the arrows were unlimited, and players did not have to worry about picking up more.
But that was mainly meant for a limited-time event mode. Nowadays, the arrow ammo type is like the others in the game. You pick up a bow, and it will only have a few arrows in it. You will need to conserve your supply with accurate shots or quickly find more while looking around the island.
Most bows in the game use arrows, but there is an exception. The boom bow uses the shotgun shells ammo, the same one used for shotguns. This is pretty common and easy to find, so using the boom bow is simple.
The other exception is when it comes to the bow’s more flashy sibling, the crossbow. Even more rare and limited in Fortnite, the crossbow will use crossbow bolts. Again, though, there is even an exception here as well. The dual fiend hunter crossbow, oddly, uses the medium ammo for it.
This is strange since the regular field hunter crossbow just uses the standard bolts. Medium arrow is also interesting since that is the one that assault rifles and other similar mid-range weapons use.
Crafting Bows Explained
Another critical aspect of using a bow in Fortnite is crafting. The two elements became synonymous in Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 6 Primal. During this season, Epic Games introduced crafting anywhere and everywhere on a wide scale.
Like Minecraft, players could open up their inventory and tab over to the crafting section. There, players could upgrade and customize weapons to their liking. This required certain materials and emphasized the primal nature of the season.
However, crafting did stick around for the rest of Chapter 2. Unfortunately, the bow part was only in Season 6. During this time, there was the makeshift bow. This base version was not helpful, and players were recommended to craft using it as soon as possible.
With certain materials, the player could choose from two branching paths: mechanical or primal. The first side required animal materials from defeating beasts in the wilderness. On the other hand, mechanical parts were acquired by destroying machinery on the island.
Once a player picked which bow they wanted, there were still even more options from there. The player could further customize the bow they chose with two more options, adding extra layers like flames or explosives to the bow. Crafting bows and the system, in general, are not in the game at this time in Chapter 3.
Fortnite Bows Breakdown
To help you get to know the bows that have been in Fortnite for when they inevitably return, we will break them down. Below, you will find every bow ever released in the game. We will go over what the bow did at the time, what it was good for, and more. And if it had to do with crafting, we will be sure to note that, too.
One of the most popular bows ever released is the boom bow. It is also the most powerful weapon in the category when it comes to base damage. Like other bows in the game, you need to hold down the aim button to ready the arrow.
In this case, though, the boom bow uses unique explosive arrows in the form of shotgun shells ammo. Given that it is an explosive weapon, there is a small area of effect as well. This makes it decently useful for taking out players who are hiding inside structures, too.
The boom bow originally came out in Chapter 1, Season 8. At the time, it only had the legendary version and would be removed in the following season. It did come back in Chapter 2, Season 1 but not for very long at all.
TNTina’s Kaboom Bow
While the boom bow did not stick around in Chapter 2 for long, its improved version did. This weapon is the TNTina’s Kaboom bow. A mythic variant weapon of the boom bow, it is a bit different. What is notable about the weapon is that it has significantly less damage than the usual boom bow.
This may seem odd since it is rarer but it makes up for this in its area of effect damage. It deals damage over a larger area when it lands, exploding enemies and structures alike. The TNTina’s Kaboom bow came out in Chapter 2, Season 2, and was only available for that season.
Since it was a mythic bow, there was only one per match. To get it during Season 2, players had to find the NPC boss TNTina and take her out. She would then drop the weapon for players to use.
The grappler bow is similar to the Hawkeye bow that we will go over later. Introduced in Chapter 2, Season 6, it only lasted for that season. As the name implies, this bow is a mix of a traditional bow and a grappler. As such, it is not just meant for fighting enemies.
The grappler bow had the ability to latch onto a surface and grapple the player there. This made it great for leaping to a safer area quickly but at the cost of an arrow. Thankfully, it had more use beyond just this aspect. It could even be used to damage enemies.
The grappler bow deals standard damage and benefits from not having the gravity-based fall-off of some of the other bows.
The plunger bow is a non-damaging bow that was made available in the Party Royale game mode. It is a take on the bow that deals no damage but is there for movement purposes. The player is able to use it similar to other items with a plunger at the end of its arrow.
This allows the player to use it to grip onto a surface and launch themselves in that direction. It is similar to the grappler bow in that way but it deals no damage to enemies. It came out in Chapter 2, Season 2.
One of the first bows ever released in Fortnite was Hawkeye’s bow. Taken from the titular Marvel hero, this bow was modeled after his weapon. As such, it had two main functions to it that allowed the player to both deal damage and easily maneuver around the map.
Hawkeye’s bow allowed the player to shoot explosive arrows, similar to those in the boom bow. This meant that the player could deal decent damage, both against players and structures. Like the boom bow, it was able to deal some area of effect damage, too.
At the same time, though, it was the first to do the grappler bow’s style. Players could use the grappling hook on the arrow to launch themselves to a far-away area. Unfortunately, Hawkeye’s bow was only used during the Avengers Endgame limited-time mode in Chapter 1, Season 8.
Introduced in Season 6, the makeshift bow was one of the most important bows in Fortnite. The Primal season released crafting and the makeshift bow was at the heart of this. On its own, the makeshift bow was a standard weapon. It has arrows and damages fall-off and not much else.
It does not have good damage at all and this is because it is mainly for crafting. With certain materials, the makeshift bow could be turned into a beast. While not great on its own, it was useful for its numerous possibilities.
One of the crafting options for the makeshift bow is the mechanical bow. The first of two paths at first, the mechanical bow is more like what you would expect from a standard bow. To get it, players need to craft the makeshift bow with four mechanical parts.
The mechanical bow benefits from having great damage in exchange for a slower ready time. Like the makeshift bow before it, there are two more branching paths for this bow. You can customize it further with more crafting materials to do even more interesting effects.
Mechanical Explosive Bow
One of the customization options for the mechanical bow is the mechanical explosive bow. This is one of the best in the game, taking elements of the boom bow. To get it, players must use six normal grenades and they can make an explosive bow.
What I like about the mechanical explosive bow is the multiple grenades that it uses. This allows for a wider and more devastating area of attack. It is useful for taking out players and structures alike.
Mechanical Shockwave Bow
The other possible option for the mechanical bow is the mechanical shockwave bow. This one requires two shockwave grenades to make. It is similar in practice to the grenades used to make it. It will deal some serious damage to enemies but also blast them with a shockwave.
This shockwave will send them back, which is useful for surprising enemies in battle. The mechanical shockwave bow is one of the most powerful and accurate bows in the game.
The primal bow is the other option that you can pick for the makeshift bow. To make the primal bow, you need four animal bones dropped from animals around the island. With its primal nature, it takes that wild aspect and applies it to bows. In comparison to the mechanical bow, it is less powerful but much faster. In addition, it is a bit more unwieldy and inaccurate at times.
That said, it is one of the faster bows in the game and useful in that way. If you want to fire off arrow after arrow in battle, the primal bow might be for you. And also like the mechanical bow, it has two more customization options that you can pick.
Primal Flame Bow
The primal flame bow is the favorite of the two options that you can pick for the primal bow. It takes some of the stats and ideas of the primal bow with its speed. What it adds, though, is the ability to use flames to deal immense destruction across an area.
To do so, you need to craft a primal bow with either a gas can or a firefly jar. You can do either one in this case and both are pretty easy materials to find. With the primal flame bow, you can shoot arrows that start fires, making short work of player structures.
Primal Stink Bow
The other option for primal bow fans is the primal stink bow. With either a stink sac or three stink fish, you can create this one. It differs from the flame bow in that the stink bow is there for damage to players only. Shooting a primal stink bow arrow will deal direct damage as usual.
The unique part is that it will also create a cloud of gas that will deal damage to anyone within its range for a few seconds. This is great for dealing with multiple enemies at once.
Raz’s Explosive Bow
One of the few mythic bows is Raz’s explosive bow. It takes the normal mechanical explosive bow and amps its up further. It is a bit more powerful than its non-mythic counterpart and there was only one per match in Season 6.
To get it, players had to defeat Raz, the NPC boss, at The Spire. He would drop this bow, which is great for groups of enemies. Like the other one, it releases three grenades in a nearby area when launched to deal extra damage.
Lastly, for the normal bows, we have the unstable bow. Arriving also in Chapter 2, Season 6, the only way to get this one was to buy it from an NPC for 500 gold bars. The unstable bow is quite unique in that it is a glitched weapon of sorts.
It is a fast-firing bow that changes form with every arrow. It can switch between the mechanical explosive bow, the mechanical shockwave, the primal flame, and the primal stink bow. Each shot will result in a different form, being both random and extremely useful at times. This gives it flexibility that is uncanny and highly valuable.
When it comes to the bow, you cannot forget about the crossbow. For vampire hunter fans out there, the crossbow is iconic. At the same time, though, it is even rarer at times than the regular bow. Here are the few crossbow types that have appeared in Fortnite before and how they all work.
First up in this group is the crossbow. Before other bows would come out, the crossbow came first. It had a scope, making it even more similar to a sniper but slower. It was powerful enough and it had unlimited ammo when it was first released.
The original crossbow came out in Chapter 1, Season 2, and has reappeared multiple times. Its last appearance was in Chapter 2, Season 5.
Cupid’s crossbow takes the normal crossbow idea and changes it up just a little bit. What is noteworthy about this weapon is that it essentially functioned exactly the same. The key difference was in the design and theme of the weapon.
As you might guess, the Cupid’s crossbow weapon came out in the Valentine’s Day event in Fortnite. This happened during Season 2 and offered the same general stats and scope. The only difference was the cutesy, heart-themed nature to it.
Fiend Hunter Crossbow
While the fiend hunter crossbow looks quite similar in design to the regular one, it is a bit different. This is in large part due to the fact that the fiend hunter crossbow has no scope. That said, it makes up for this by having a better aiming down the sight zoom comparable to other rifles.
That said, I think this is fine as the scope on the original is a bit unnecessary. In practice, it has roughly the same amount of damage as the regular crossbow, too. The catch here is that it first came out for the Fortnitemares Halloween event. It is never in the game outside of that event. It also was only featured in Chapter 1, Season 6, and Chapter 2, Season 4’s Fortnitemares events.
Dual Fiend Hunter Crossbow
A fan-favorite in the crossbow group is the dual fiend hunter crossbow. It is one of only a select handful of weapons that are dual-wield items. It takes two fiend hunter crossbows and has the player hold one in each hand. There are some key differences between these and the other crossbows.
For one, there is no drop-off when it comes to gravity with the bullets. It is also semi-automatic, being relatively slow in nature. It also does not use crossbow bolts but, rather, medium bullets. It does not deal a ton of damage, either, but, together, it can be brutal.
The dual fiend hunter crossbow is also the newest on this list, releasing in Chapter 2, Season 8. The general purpose of these dual-wielding weapons is to fight the undead monsters in that season. They deal double the amount of damage to sideways NPCs compared to other players.
Question: What is the best bow in Fortnite?
Answer: The best bow in Fortnite is going to ultimately come down to personal preference. I think that most of the bows, outside of maybe the makeshift, are worth using. That said, I think that there are three main weapons that are my favorite and the best in my opinion.
The first two are the mechanical explosive bow and the primal flame bow. Having that added effect of explosives or flames is great for dealing with players and structures. The one downfall of the bow is the inability to destroy forts and these two can help with that issue.
The other bow version that I really like is the dual fiend hunter crossbow. The crossbow has a different vibe to it and this version is the best. Dual-wielding is pretty uncommon in Fortnite already so it is great when available. This dual crossbow, though, is fantastic, decently fast, and deadly.
Question: How do you aim with the bow in Fortnite?
Answer: This is the tricky part about bows. Aiming with them is almost an art form and requires patience to master. What you want to do is first hold down the aiming button on your platform. For console players on a controller, this is going to be holding down the left trigger.
While this is held down, the character will ready the arrow. Most of the time, you will want to fully ready the arrow before firing. This gives the most accurate and long-distance shot that you can have. That said, you can fire it early if you want for close-range fights.
Lastly, you need to worry about the arc of the shot. It takes some timing and practice to learn but the arrow will fall down some. This is especially true over longer distances. Be sure to aim just a little bit higher than you want to ensure that the arrow falls down and hits the target. The same idea goes for shooting a running target. Shoot a little ahead of them to meet them at their destination.
Question: What Fortnite bow does the most damage?
Answer: The bow that does the most damage in the entire game is the boom bow. This is especially true with the later variants like the legendary version. At its highest rating, it triumphs over the other bows in the category, especially with the Hawkeye variant.
Though I do not think that the boom bow is the best bow in the category, it is still great. Unlike the others, it is one of the only bows that I think is good for structures and players alike. It is able to blow them up quite easily and take out players in the process.
That said, the base damage is the highest with the boom bow. However, if you are able to nail headshots, the other bows will do significantly more damage with higher versions. This is worth keeping in mind as experienced hunters can deal some serious damage.
Question: How do you get the gold bow in Fortnite?
Answer: The gold bow in Fortnite is the legendary bow. Like other legendary weapons in the game, it will have a golden orange box around the weapon while in your inventory. Only a few different bows have legendary variants.
The boom bow, for instance, is only legendary while some of the primal and mechanical bows can be legendary. That requires more materials to upgrade them to that status. The final one is the dual fiend hunter bow. It has several rarity options, including legendary. To get the legendary variant and the weapon in general, players need to visit the sideways zone areas. Beyond the legendary versions, there were also mythic and exotic bow weapons in the past.
The Fortnite bow is a weapon that every player should at least try and consider at some point. While it is certainly not for everyone, I am a huge fan and think you should try it. The sheer force and utility of this weapon is great, even if it is not too useful for taking down structures.
However, the bow is just a single slice of the Fortnite weapon pie. If you want to find out more about all of the other weapons, we have you covered. Check out our general Fortnite weapons piece to see the other weapon categories that exist in the game right now.
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