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Weapon Icon
Weapon type Long Gun (SP)
Large Firearm (MP)
Clip capacity 1 arrow
Maximum ammo 9 arrows
First found "Bill's Town"
Weapon upgrade(s) Reload Speed (1)
Range (3)
Draw Speed (3)
Used by Joel, Ellie, Bill, Fireflies, Hunters, Cannibals
Fire rate Bars-3
Reload speed Bars-4
Damage Bars-6
Accuracy Bars-7
Body damage 55%
Head damage 100%
Destroy armor 1 shot
Execution 1 shot

The Bow is a weapon that appears in The Last of Us. It is silent, making it ideal for stealthy situations, although it has a limited range. It belongs to the long gun group.


Arrows follow a trajectory, similar to the way they do in real life. At range, the player must aim higher to hit targets.

Arrows travel significantly slower than bullets, requiring the player to lead moving targets at range.

The range, reload speed and draw speed of the bow can be upgraded.


The bow is first found in Bill's Town with the remains of an encampment. During the Lakeside Resort chapter, Ellie uses a different bow for hunting deer and later fighting the infected. It was later revealed that Ellie had scavenged the bow from a dead cannibal during the events of Left Behind.

In an environment where ammunition is scarce, reusable projectiles such as arrows make the bow an essential survival weapon. However, arrows have a chance of breaking causing the player to lose them. Arrows deal more damage to enemies unaware of the player's presence. When human enemies without armor as well as Runners and Stalkers are unaware of the players presence, one single shot is normally all it takes to kill them, provided it's in the body or the head. However this will not work for Clickers if you hit them in the body, you must get a dead on headshot in order to kill them with one arrow. However, be warned that this has about an 80% chance of breaking your arrow so unless you are out of Shivs, using your Bow is not advisable. This will work when playing as either Joel or Ellie.


Like suppressed weapons, the bow is completely invisible to the radar. The sound of arrows bouncing off environment can be heard however. Unlike all other long weapons, the bow costs 3 loadout points, making it cost in-between suppressed weapons and unsuppressed weapons. Players start off with seven arrows if it is not boosted; as with singleplayer, arrows may sometimes be recovered after firing. It has a similar effect in the multiplayer, arrows shot into certain walls or players can be retrieved.

If the user is aiming with the Bow for an extended period of time, the user will suffer shaking, making it gradually more difficult to aim. Letting go of the aim button and then aiming again resets the shaking effect.

A single arrow can break armor, and it takes two arrows to the body or one to the head to down unarmored enemies. It takes one shot to execute downed enemies. The Bow is a very good choice for players that can attack while they are out of the enemy's sight, and has good aiming and skill to successfully land strikes on moving targets.

The Bow is identical in terms of damage to the Hunting Rifle, and can be considered a silent alternative that fires more quickly but is trickier to aim.

In Factions, players who don't have the bow as their main weapon can still pick up arrows; this can be used strategically to deprive enemies of recoverable ammo.

Workbench UpgradesEdit

The following is a list of upgrades available for the bow at workbenches, and the parts and level of tools required to upgrade each.

Upgrade Description Level
Parts icon
Tool icon
Reload SpeedAllows you to reload the weapon faster.
RangeIncreases the range of the weapon.
Draw SpeedAllows you to draw the weapon faster.


The bow is a nearly silent weapon. The arrows are reusable, but have a chance of breaking. Use it for stealth kills and judge when an arrow might be more effective than a bullet. Keep in mind the bow does less damage to enemies who are aware of your presence.

Used byEdit



  • In a gameplay demo, Ellie asks Joel if she can use the bow and claims that she is experienced with it. This event occurs in the full game in Bill's Town on top of a white delivery truck which Bill appeared to use as a make shift look out post. Joel denies her the use of the bow possibly because he doesn't want her to have to kill anyone or anything. This can be interpreted multiple ways because of him saying to Ellie shortly after her request for him to give her the bow "How 'bout we just leave this kind of stuff to me."
  • In Factions, after killing enemies that are downed with an arrow, the arrow will remain hovering in the air even after the body of the enemy has disappeared and spawned elsewhere.
  • The bow, flamethrower and shorty are the only weapons in the game that aren't used by the enemies against Joel and Ellie in-game, although a cannibal briefly uses the bow on clickers.

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