Arcane Marksman

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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Arcane Marksmen are Hunters who use debilitating spells to assist their ranged attacks. They are particularly good at keeping their enemies at a distance.

Arcane Marksmen are ranged combat specialists who complement their attacks with Hexes magic. What the Skald is to the Fighter, the Arcane Marksman is to the Hunter. Arcane Marksmen enter the Dungeon with the Corona spell in memory.

Preferred Races

Formicid, Deep Elf, Kobold, Spriggan, Troll, and Centaur are the recommended races if you pick an Arcane Marksman Background.

Starting Equipment

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

Arcane Marksmen start with the Corona spell memorised.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Arcane Marksman adds 2 to your starting Strength, 5 to your starting Intelligence and 5 to your starting Dexterity.


Arcane Marksmen are fragile and dependent on a limited ammo supply to get them through tough fights. The first floors of the dungeon often have extra ammunition lying around, make sure to look for it. If you're low on ammo, the most effective strategy is to use a melee weapon in easy fights, while you keep training your ranged combat skill. Reserve your ammo for nastier stuff like gnolls and adders.

Corona everything you don't overpower, regardless of whether you're shooting or going hand-to-hand. Slow often takes several castings to apply but can enable a kiting strategy for things you can't melee safely. Inner Flame can be tricky to pull off but is very effective against groups, especially if you can combine it with Portal Projectile. Cause Fear is both a great panic button and offensive tool, but doesn't work on undead or demons, so have fun with it in the Lair branches!

Look for Blink and Summon Butterflies -- those are fantastic utilities for a ranged player throughout the entire game. Eventually, you'll want to be able to cast Deflect Missiles or other utility spells as well. That's really all you need to sweep through most branches; an enchanted bow, a big stack of arrows, and a handful of spells. You'll have a lot of experience left over, so pour it into Fighting, Armour/Dodging, and Stealth.

Okawaru is a decent choice for playing it safe since the ammo gifts will help ease the strain on you until you build up a big surplus, and eventually will gift you you a well-enchanted longbow or arbalest too. If you find yourself running low on ammo, dive deeper into the main Dungeon or head for the Vaults. Centaurs and yaktaurs are eager to help you reload.


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.

Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterAssassin
Zealots BerserkerAbyssal KnightChaos Knight
Warrior-mages SkaldEnchanterTransmuterArcane MarksmanWarper
Mages WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistVenom Mage
Adventurers ArtificerWanderer