Ranged Weapons

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Version 0.29: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Ranged Weapons is a skill that governs launchers, weapons which fire missiles from a distance. This includes slings, bows, and crossbows. Being able to attack enemies from any unobstructed tile in line of sight is a large perk, especially for faster characters. However, not only are they weaker than their melee counterparts, but ranged weapons suffer penalties when wearing heavy body armour. Note that while monsters need the Don't Melee flag in order to use ranged weapons in melee, players may do so without an explicit penalty.

All ranged weapons use dexterity instead of strength for damage calculations. See Ranged Combat for a list of commands.


At Ba DE Dg Ds Dj Dr Fe Fo Gr Gh Gn HO Hu Ko Mf Mi Mu Na Op On Sp Te Tr Vp VS
-3 0 3 -1 -1 -2 -1 N/A 0 0 -1 8 -1 0 3 -2 1 -2 -1 0 -3 0 1 -4 -2 -1

List of Ranged Weapons

Name Dam Hit Delay Minimum delay Hands Size Prob
Sling 7 0 14 7 (14 skill) One Little 10
Shortbow 9 +2 15 7 (16 skill) Two Little 10
Longbow 12 0 17 6 (22 skill) Two Medium 10
Arbalest 17 -2 19 10 (18 skill) Two Little 10
Hand crossbow 17 +3 18 10 (18 skill) One Little 10
Triple crossbow 23 -2 23 10 (26 skill) Two Small 2


Main article: Brand#Launchers

Ranged weapons have a separate set of brands from melee weapons, though most are similar to their melee counterpart. Ranged weapons may also get pain or holy wrath (but not distortion) from Kikubaaqudgha's and The Shining One's capstone gifts, though not by any other means.

Armour Penalty

Ranged weapons are uniquely penalized down by armor encumberance. The more encumbered you are, the slower you attack. The penalty, in decaAut, is as follows:

[ (e)^2 / 2250 ] * [ (90-2A) / (S + 3) ]

For e = encumbrance rating, A = Armour skill, and S = strength.

Therefore, lower strength species without armour skill suffer more from heavier armour.


Ranged weapons come with some large sacrifices: raw damage, a lack of auxiliary attacks, and a rather restrictive armour penalty. A plate armour, which a melee Minotaur might put on without a second thought, will now slow attacks anywhere from 0.3 to 0.8 (and that's with high strength and 10+ Armour skill). Conversely, the lower encumbrance of dragon scales becomes much more relevant.

The combination of light armour and the fact that most common launchers are two-handed means that ranged warriors are closer to casters than melee fighters. Thus, these weapons favour characters that would prefer Dodging anyways. Because of the light armour, ranged warriors can more easily hybridize into spell magic.

Spriggans and Tengu are fast and can continously kite enemies, though the former can't use the larger ranged weapons. Formicids can wield two-handed weapons with a shield. Most other species have average to negative aptitudes, though Deep Elves, Kobolds, and Minotaurs are skilled with them.

See also


  • In 0.29, ranged weapons were reworked. Prior to this:
    • Ranged weapons were split into Slings, Bows, and Crossbows, with their seperate skills. Slings crosstrained with Throwing.
    • Launchers required ammo to use (stones/sling bullets, arrows, bolts, respectively). Okawaru gifted ammo, and enemies using launchers would have plentiful amounts of it.
    • Weapon stats as a whole were drastically different. They scaled off strength instead of DEX, and were not especially encumbered by armour.
    • Fustibali existed as an upgrade to slings, slings were named hunting slings, and Throwing weapons were informally considered ranged weapons (as they were more similar; Throwing went mostly unchanged).
  • In 0.27, monsters with ranged attacks got unlimited ammunition (except nets). Throwing ammo was reduced as a result.
  • In 0.24, throwing weapons were streamlined. Darts replaced blowguns/needles, boomerangs replaced tomahawks and brands were simplified.
  • Prior to 0.18, each weapon had a strength weight percentage that determined how the weapon would benefit from your strength and dexterity. Additionally, more types of ammunition could have brands of their own.
  • Prior to 0.15, ranged combat was significantly more complicated; among other differences, min delay was heavily influenced by your stats. Additionally, 0.15 introduced greatslings (later called fustibali), hand crossbows, and triple crossbows, and removed the old version of darts.
  • Prior to 0.14, daggers, spears, hand axes, and clubs could be thrown.
  • Prior to 0.11, ammunition could have its own enchantment bonuses.
  • Prior to 0.6, darts could be fired from an early version of hand crossbows instead of being thrown by hand.

Retired Weapons

Over the years, a few ranged weapons have been retired or reworked into new forms:

Returning Weapons

Weapons Short BladesLong BladesRanged Weapons

AxesMaces & FlailsPolearmsStavesUnarmed CombatThrowing

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