Best Dark Souls 3 Bows With Locations [2024]

I have spent 6+ months playing Dark Souls 3 and I am happy to share the best Bows I found in the game!

While bows are usually used as a secondary weapon, they can be extremely devastating. Bows, with high enough scaling, can cause a lot of damage, making them effective at both PvE and PvP.

Key Takeaways

  • Bows serve as devastating secondary weapons, offering valuable versatility in both PvE and PvP scenarios.
  • The top bow selections include the swift Composite Bow, the long-range and adaptable Black Bow of Pharis, the high-damage Dragonslayer Greatbow, the versatile White Birch Bow with arrow invisibility, and the strength-focused Millwood Greatbow.
  • Bows provide an additional layer of complexity and strategy to the game, allowing players to choose their preferred playstyle and adapt to different challenges, making them a valuable addition to any playthrough.
About The Author

Farrukh Jafri has invested 400+ hours in Dark Souls 3. He has gone through extensive research playing the game, so you can easily trust the information he shares!

1. Composite Bow

Best Bow for PvE & PvP.

Why did I Choose Composite Bow?

I chose the Composite Bow for its versatility and effectiveness in both PvE and PvP. The swift and adaptable nature of this bow makes it a top choice for various situations, offering quick attacks and rapid-fire capabilities.

Dark Souls 3 Composite Bow
Composite Bow
SkillRapid Fire
Weapon CategoryBow
Wgt. 3.5
Attack typeNone
FP Cost—(4/4)
Purchasing Value3500
Soul Value150

Composite Bow Stats Table.

Introducing the Composite Bow, a swift short bow. It excels at short to mid-range combat, making it perfect for locked-on enemies, PvP, and quick foes.

With Quick attack and rapid-fire, it offers versatility. Quick attack lets you shoot after dodging or while sprinting (75% damage), while rapid fire shoots about two arrows per second (50% damage).

In PvE, it’s a potent secondary weapon for clearing ads, maintaining distance, and recovering from dodges. Its ability to fire while sprinting aids in escaping tough situations.

While it can help finish off foes with high health, some may find it undermines the game’s challenge. In summary, the Composite Bow stands out as one of the top all-around bows.

To acquire the Composite Bow, you must give the Dreamchaser’s Ashes to the shrine handmaiden.

  • Swift and excels at short to mid-range combat.
  • Versatile with quick attacks and rapid fire.
  • Potent secondary weapon for clearing ads and maintaining distance.
  • Can fire while sprinting, aiding in escaping tough situations.

  • May be considered to undermine the game’s challenge by some players.

2. Black Bow Of Pharis

Best Long-Range Bow.

Why did I Choose Black Bow Of Pharis?

The Black Bow of Pharis stands out as the most potent PvE bow with its long range, high damage, and adaptability. The Pharis triple shot adds versatility, making it effective against various enemies, especially large ones.

Dark Souls 3 Black Bow Of Pharis
Black Bow of Pharis
SkillPharis Triple-Shot
Weapon CategoryBow
Wgt. 3.0
Attack typeNone
FP Cost—(7/7)
Purchasing Value-
Soul Value150

Black Bow of Pharis Stats Table. 

The Black Bow of Pharis, a Dark Souls classic, stands out as arguably the most potent PvE bow in Dark Souls 3. It’s distinguished by being a unique longbow, held horizontally during shots, and offers the longest range among all bows.

It boasts the Pharis triple shot, enabling three-arrow shots and versatility with various arrow types, affecting its damage output.

In PvE, this longbow excels due to its high damage, extended range, and adaptability with various arrows, making it effective against stationary large enemies and bosses.

However, it’s not ideal for close-range encounters or quick escapes, lacking the ability to shoot immediately after dodging or while sprinting.

In the Farron Keep swamp, in the area close to the Keep Ruins bonfire, you will come across three elder Ghrus, giant boss-like enemies with a massive health pool (they won’t be easy to them).

You will have to kill all three. One of them will drop the back bow of Pharis upon his death.

  • Distinguished longbow with the longest range.
  • Pharis triple shot for three-arrow shots.
  • High damage, extended range, and adaptability with various arrows.
  • Effective against stationary large enemies and bosses in PvE.

  • Not ideal for close-range encounters or quick escapes.

3. Dragonslayer Greatbow

Best Bow for Strength-Based Builds.

Why did I Choose Dragonslayer Greatbow?

I chose the Dragonslayer Greatbow for its high damage output, making it a standout choice for strength-based builds in both PvE and specific PvP scenarios.

Dark Souls 3 Dragonslayer Greatbow
Dragonslayer Greatbow (credit: Weplay)
SkillPuncturing Arrow
Weapon CategoryGreatBow
Wgt. 10.0
Attack typeNone
FP Cost—(20/20)
Purchasing Value
Soul Value1000

Dragonslayer Greatbow Stats Table.

The Dragonslayer Greatbow, a standout among the best bows, impresses with its high damage output, dealing 427 attack at +5 with 40 strength and dexterity. It exclusively fires great arrows, packing a punch but demanding a slow shooting pace due to its high damage.

This bow requires a few seconds to load an arrow, making it less suitable for PvP engagements when compared to other options like the Pharis bow or Composite bow.

For PvE, it proves versatile, from damaging enemies and clearing ads to delivering high boss damage. Overall, it’s an exceptionally potent PvE bow and can serve well in specific PvP scenarios, provided you have high strength.

The Dragonslayer Greatbow is outstanding, particularly for those with high strength.

You can find one lying with 5 Dragonslayer Greatarrows on a corpse on top of Anor Londo, where most Silver Knight archers are posted in Dark Souls 3.

  • High damage output, especially with 40 strength and dexterity.
  • Versatile in PvE for damaging enemies and delivering high boss damage.
  • Exceptionally potent for strength-based builds.

  • Slow shooting pace due to high damage.
  • Less suitable for quick PvP engagements.

4. White Birch Bow

Best Bow for Strategic PvP Battles.

Why did I Choose White Birch Bow?

I chose the White Birch Bow for its unique arrow-hiding ability, facilitating evasion and smooth escapes. It adds complexity to PvP battles and excels at maintaining distance.

Best Dark Souls 3 Bows
White Birch Bow (credit: Moose Torrent)
SkillUnseen Arrow
Weapon CategoryBow
Wgt. 2.5
Attack typeNone
FP Cost-(6/6)
Purchasing Value
Soul Value300

White Birch Bow Stats Table.

The White Birch Bow facilitates evasion and smooth escapes from tense encounters, featuring a special arrow-hiding ability for strategic gameplay.

Effective in both PvP and PvE, although not as a primary weapon, the White Birch Bow’s speed and adaptability accommodate various scenarios.

Its arrow invisibility adds a layer of complexity to PvP battles, leaving opponents second-guessing your moves. Quick firing combined with invisible arrows allows for confusion and multi-angle attacks in a short time.

Despite its low damage, it excels at maintaining distance, frustrating PvP adversaries, and dealing with ads, making it one of Dark Souls 3’s finest bows.

The White Birch Bow is a DLC weapon and you will require the Ringed City DLC to acquire it. It can be found near the Ringed City Streets bonfire.

Near the bonfire, in the swamp, is an area full of hobbled clerics. There, lying atop a corpse, you can find the Millwood Greatbow.

  • Arrow invisibility for strategic gameplay.
  • Speed and adaptability for various scenarios.
  • Effective in both PvP and PvE, adding complexity to battles.

  • Low damage output compared to some other bows.

5. Shortbow

Best Bow for Quick Combat.

Why did I Choose Shortbow?

I chose the Short Bow for its similarity to the Composite Bow, offering quick and effective combat. Its ability to quickshoot after dodging and while sprinting makes it a reliable choice for various situations.

Best Dark Souls 3 Bows
Short Bow


SkillRapid Fire
Weapon CategoryBow
Wgt. 2.0
Attack typeNone
FP Cost-(4/4)
Purchasing Value1000
Soul Value100

Short Bow Stats Table. 

The Shortbow is very similar to the Composite Bow and is useful for all the same reasons. It is very quick and has the same skillset.

The Short bow’s ability to quickshoot right after a dodge and while sprinting makes it a very effective weapon for both PvP and PvE. It requires a strength level of at least 7 and a dexterity level of at least 12.

All in all, the Short Bow is an excellent alternative to the Composite Bow and excels in causing damage quickly and helping make distance.

This bow cannot be buffed or infused and can be bought from Greirat once he returns from his expedition to the undead settlement (it is also a starting weapon for the thief class). A great option for people wanting a quick secondary bow.

  • Very quick with a similar skillset to Composite Bow.
  • Quickshoot after dodge and while sprinting for effective combat.
  • Cannot be buffed or infused, making it a straightforward choice.

  • Cannot be buffed or infused, limiting customization.

6. Millwood Greatbow

Best Bow for High Damage Output.

Why did I Choose Millwood Greatbow?

I chose the Millwood Greatbow for its exceptional damage output, especially for strength-based builds. Despite the shorter range, its A strength scaling makes it a top pick for those prioritizing strength.

Best Dark Souls 3 Bows
Millwood Greatbow
SkillPierce Earth
Weapon CategoryGraetBow
Wgt. 9.0
Attack typeNone
FP Cost-(20/20)
Purchasing Value-
Soul Value1000

Milwood Greatbow Stats Table. 

While the Dragonslayer Greatbow tops my list as the favorite great bow, the Millwood Greatbow offers another excellent choice. It features an A strength scaling, demanding a minimum strength level of 28 and a dexterity level of 12 for effective use.

Although it has the shortest range, it boasts the highest damage among all great bows and, indeed, all bows in general.

The lower range and strength scaling directly correlate with its exceptional damage output, making it a top pick for strength-based builds. If you prioritize strength as your primary stat and can overlook the reduced range,

I recommend opting for the Millwood Greatbow over the Dragonslayer Greatbow. You’ll find it on a corpse guarded by Millwood knights. In conclusion, it stands as an outstanding choice for strength-based builds.

  • Highest damage among all great bows and bows in general.
  • A strength scaling makes it suitable for strength-based builds.

  • Shortest range among great bows.

Best Bows Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table for my picks of Best Bows:

No.BowsBest forPhysical AttackRangeDurabilityWgt.FP Cost
1Composite BowBest Bow for PvE & PvP.7342653.5-(4/4)
2Black BowBest Long-Range Bow.6763653-(7/7)
3Dragonslayer Great bowBest Bow for Strength-Based Builds.1265010010-(20/20)
4White Birch BowBest Bow for Strategic PvP Battles.9249502.5-(6/6)
5ShortbowBest Bow for Quick Combat.7742402-(4/4)
6Millwood Great bowBest Bow for High Damage Output.13939100--

Why Others Were Not Chosen?

  1. Longbow: Lacks the unique Pharis triple shot and might be considered less versatile for PvE scenarios.
  2. Darkmoon Longbow: Its reliance on magic damage might not be as universally effective as the high damage output of the Dragonslayer Greatbow.
  3. Dragonrider Bow: High strength and dexterity requirements, make it less accessible, and it lacks unique features compared to the selected bows.

What Would I Recommend?

As an experienced Dark Souls 3 player, I would recommend the Black Bow of Pharis and the Dragonslayer Greatbow as two excellent choices from the guide.

The Black Bow of Pharis stands out for its long range, high damage, and versatility, making it an ideal pick for PvE scenarios where engaging enemies from a distance is crucial. Its unique Pharis triple shot adds an extra layer of adaptability, making it effective against various enemy types.

On the other hand, the Dragonslayer Greatbow is a powerhouse for strength-based builds, delivering exceptional damage in both PvE and specific PvP situations. While it has a slower shooting pace, its high damage output compensates for it, making it a formidable choice for players who prioritize strength in their builds.

These two bows offer distinct advantages, catering to different playstyles and scenarios in the challenging world of Dark Souls 3.

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