Ranged weapon

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Version 0.19: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Ranged weapons include all weapons capable of attacking any target within your line of sight. All of these require ammo to function, and most of them require you to wield a launcher. The ability to attack distant foes is very helpful, particularly for characters with fast movement speed (see kiting). However, ranged weapons are not without their drawbacks. Running out of ammo renders a ranged weapon nearly useless, and melee weapons tend to have better overall stats.


Weapon attributes

The following is a table of all ranged weapons in Crawl. Below is a short explanation of each field:

Name The name of the item as it appears in Crawl.
Damage The base amount of damage the weapon does, before various bonuses and adjustments.
Hit To hit modifier for the weapon, before any other adjustments.
Speed This is actually the attack delay, which is multiplied by 10 to get the "percentages" you see in-game. (That is, attack delay 10 shows as 100%.) Every 2 levels of weapon skill lowers the delay by 1 unit. A weapon's minimum delay is half of its base delay (rounded down) or 7 (5 for cutlass, 10 for hand crossbows, arbalests and triple crossbows), whichever is lower. Speed brand and haste cut delay by one third (round randomly up or down). These effects stack, after the base cap, but there's an absolute cap of 2 for attack delay.
Skill Which skill is required to effectively use this weapon.
One-handed min. size Minimum size required to be able to use the weapon with one hand. The order is little, small, medium, large, big.
Two-handed min. size Minimum size required to be able to use the weapon with two hands. When the player's size is equal or greater than 'Two-handed min. size', but less than 'One-handed min. size', the weapon cannot be used with a shield.
Missile The sort of ammo needed to use this weapon
Dam Type What category of damage does the weapon deal?
Prob A larger number indicates higher probability of acquiring through scrolls of acquirement.


Throwing weapons can be further divided into two categories: thrown weapons and blowguns.

Thrown weapons are unique among ranged weapons in that they do not require you to wield anything to use them; you simply hurl them without needing a free hand (Don't ask). This means you don't have to waste time in combat swapping weapons, saving turns and reducing frustration, you can wear shields, and you can save many scrolls of enchant weapon. Thrown weapons need 27 skill levels to reach minimum delay, but despite this the average damage per turn of tomahawks, javelins, and large rocks is better than any other ranged weapon at the same skill level.

Blowguns are very unusual ranged weapons. In spite of the fact that they are affected by your Throwing skill, they require you to wield a blowgun and fire needles at the enemy. These deal no damage, but inflict devastating status effects.

Name Dam Hit Speed Skill One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Missile Dam Type Prob Notes
Blowgun 0 +2 10 Throwing Little Little Needle None 0 Deals no damage, but inflicts status effects


Slings are ranged weapons which hurl sling bullets (or stones in a pinch) with great force. They are one-handed weapons for all but the tiniest characters and require much less skill than most other weapons to reach min delay, but they are significantly less powerful than their slower, more cumbersome alternatives.

Name Dam Hit Speed Skill One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Missile Dam Type Prob Notes
Hunting sling 5 +2 12 Slings Little Little Stone /
Sling bullet
Non-melee 10
Fustibalus 8 -1 14 Slings Small Little Stone /
Sling bullet
Non-melee 10


Bows are a moderate player's choice of ranged weapon, firing arrows at your opponents to deadly effect. They are universally more powerful than slings, and require only a reasonable skill investment to fire quickly. However, both kinds of bow require two hands to wield.

Name Dam Hit Speed Skill One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Missile Dam Type Prob Notes
Shortbow 9 +2 13 Bows - Little Arrow Non-melee 10
Longbow 15 0 17 Bows - Medium Arrow Non-melee 10


If you want a ranged weapon that tears into foes with the strength of a melee weapon, consider getting into crossbows. These contraptions are the largest, slowest ranged weapons available, but they launch their bolts with unparalleled force. Unfortunately, they require the most skill of all ranged weapons to attack quickly, particularly in the case of the super-heavy triple crossbow. With the exception of the tiny hand crossbow, crossbows are two-handed weapons and benefit much more from high strength than from dexterity.

Name Dam Hit Speed Skill One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Missile Dam Type Prob Notes
Hand crossbow 12 +5 15 Crossbows Little Little Bolt Non-melee 10
Arbalest 18 +2 19 Crossbows - Little Bolt Non-melee 10
Triple crossbow 22 0 23 Crossbows - Small Bolt Non-melee 2


Ranged weapons and their associated ammunition are capable of carrying a wide variety of brands which can greatly increase your lethality when used correctly:

Ranged Weapon Brands

  • Electrocution - Deals additional electricity damage
  • Flame - Converts all damage to fire, increases damage by 0-40%
  • Frost - Converts all damage to cold, increases damage by 0-40%
  • Penetration - Projectiles can pierce through enemies, hitting everything along its trajectory
  • Speed - Attacks take 66.6% normal time
  • Venom - Poisons target
  • Vorpal - Increases damage by 0-40%

Ammunition Brands

If both your launcher and your ammo have brands, the brand of the missile usually overrides that of the launcher. Exceptions include the vorpal and speed brands, which stack with any ammo, and the fire/cold damage brands, which cancel out each other when paired together.

Retired Weapons

Over the years, several weapons have been removed from the Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup arsenal.

See also


  • Prior to 0.18, each weapon had a strength weight percentage that determined how the weapon would benefit from your strength and dexterity.
  • Prior to 0.15, ranged combat was significantly more complicated. Min delay was heavily influenced by your stats, and there was a much smaller variety of weapons available.
  • Prior to 0.14, daggers, spears, hand axes, and clubs could be thrown.