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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Hexslingers use debilitating spells to assist their ranged attacks. They begin the game with a sling, some spells to support its use, a scroll of poison to keep foes at a distance, and a robe.

Hexslingers are ranged combat specialists who complement their attacks with debilitating Hexes.

Preferred Species

Formicid, Deep Elf, Kobold, Spriggan, and Gnoll are the recommended species if you pick a Hexslinger Background.

Racial Restrictions

Felids are forbidden from becoming Hexslingers, as they cannot use ranged weapons.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Available Spells:

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Hexslinger adds 5 to your starting Intelligence and 7 to your starting Dexterity.


Hexslingers are split between Ranged Weapons, Hexes, and defensive skills. Focus on weapon skill first, as your starting hexes can't kill enemies by themselves.

Spell Details

Jinxbite is a self-buff that allows you to deal extra damage and drain enemies that fail to resist a will check. However, it halves your willpower, so it's not recommended against monsters with dangerous hexes like Paralyse or Banishment.

Sigil of Binding creates sigils that prevent anyone who steps on them from moving. This is best used against melee enemies to keep them away from you, as it won't prevent ranged enemies or casters from acting.

Inner Flame can be tricky to pull off without blowing yourself up, but is very effective against groups. It combos well with two other hexes: Sigil of Binding gives you space to avoid the explosion, while Dimensional Bullseye allows for creative sniping.

Dimensional Bullseye lets you attack the spell's target while attacking someone else simultaneously. Use this to pick off summoners and casters with smite-targeted spells you can't otherwise reach.

Cause Fear is both a great panic button and good offensive tool. It's an infinite use scroll of fear, which is about as powerful as it sounds... though the scroll has a much higher chance of success. It doesn't work on undead or demons, but is effective in the Lair and its non-Slime branches.

Look for Blink and Swiftness -- those are fantastic utilities for a ranged player throughout the entire game. Eventually, you'll also want to be able to cast other utility spells like Metabolic Englaciation or Leda's Liquefaction. You'll likely have a lot of experience left over, so pour it into Fighting, Armour/Dodging, and Stealth.


  • In 0.31, Hexslingers were reworked. Prior to this version:
  • Prior to 0.30, this background was named Arcane Marksman (AM).
  • Prior to 0.29, Arcane Marksmen started with a choice of hunting sling, hand crossbow, shortbow, or throwing weapons. Launchers were +0 and started with 20 of their respective ammo, which they had to worry about. Throwing started with 6 javelins (adjusted for species) and 2 throwing nets.
    • This version gave almost all backgrounds a consumable: AM now starts with a scroll of poison.
  • Prior to 0.28, Arcane Marksmen started with the Corona spell memorized. Slow was moved down to level 1 to compensate.
  • Prior to 0.27, Arcane Marksmen had the Book of Debilitation, and started with Leda's Liquefaction.
  • Prior to 0.20, the book of Debilitation had Gell's Gravitas instead of Portal Projectile.
  • Prior to 0.17, teleport control combined with the blink spell allowed for semi-controlled blinks which was super useful for kiting even fast enemies.
  • Prior to 0.15, Arcane Marksmen starting with javelins didn't get any throwing nets.
  • Prior to 0.14, Arcane Marksmen started with 2 levels of Spellcasting.
  • In earlier versions of the game, ammunition for launchers was much less common in the early game. This required careful ammo management until supplies were found deeper in the dungeon. In addition, AM started with spells that branded ammo, such as Poison Ammunition.
Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterBrigand
Zealots BerserkerChaos KnightCinder Acolyte
Warrior-mages WarperHexslingerEnchanterReaver
Mages Hedge WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistAlchemist
Adventurers ArtificerShapeshifterWandererDelver