From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
) Arrow.png
Name arrow
Appearance arrow
Damage vs. small 1d6
Damage vs. large 1d6
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill bow
Size one-handed
Base price 2 zm
Weight 1
Material iron

An arrow is a type of weapon that appears in NetHack. It is a projectile weapon designed for bows that is made of iron.

There are silver arrows. as well as multiple types of arrows designed for their own launchers:


Human Rangers start the game with two separate stacks of +0 and +2 arrows for their bow.[1]

Forest centaurs have a 12 chance of being generated with a bow and a stack of arrows.[2] Hunters are always generated with a bow and arrows, and chieftains, pages, roshi, and warriors have a 13 chance of generating with a bow and arrows.[3][4]

A humanoid monster with a weapon attack, the ability to wield weapons and no other ruleset governing its monster starting inventory has a chance of generating with a stack of arrows accompanying a bow, unless they are being generated on the Rogue level: the base odds are 114 for normal monsters, 112 for a monster that is a lord or nasty, 110 for a monster that is an overlord or both a lord and nasty, and 18 for a monster that is both nasty and an overlord.[5]

One of the weapons guarded by the ghost on the Rogue level is a +0 stack of arrows accompanying a bow, each of which have a 34 chance of being cursed.[6]

An arrow trap will shoot an arrow at any monster or character that steps on their square until they run out of arrows, and untrapping them produces 50−rnl(50) arrows.[7]

The Longbow of Diana can be invoked to create a stack of arrows.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

The themed room containing the ghost of an adventurer and their "bones" pile has an independent 920 chance of including a bow and arrows in the pile.

As part of commit 20cbadc - which strengthens quest leaders and makes it so that killing them no longer makes the game unwinnable - Orion, the Ranger quest leader, always generates with a stack of 50 +4 arrows for his yumi.


Arrows are ineffective in melee, and must be used by throwing or firing them from a wielded bow of any type. Like some other missile weapons, they can misfire if cursed, and have a chance to mulch upon hitting a monster based on enchantment, beatitude and Luck. Dipping arrows in a potion of sickness will poison them, adding +d6 damage and a 110 chance of instadeath per hit against monsters without poison resistance.

The number of arrows that can shot at once depends on the character's bow skill: A character shoots 1 arrow per attack Basic skill or lower, up to 2 arrows at Skilled, and up to 3 at Expert. Rangers shooting arrows gain a +1 multishot bonus that stacks with skill-based multishot.

The range for an arrow is dependent on the character's strength - the equation is \lfloor \frac{Strength}{2} \rfloor +1 when fired from a wielded bow, and \lfloor \frac{Strength}{4} \rfloor otherwise:[8][9][10]

Strength: 3 4, 5 6, 7 8, 9 10, 11 12, 13 14, 15 16, 17 18–18/31 18/31–21 22, 23 24, 25
Range of arrow (with wielded bow) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Range of arrow (without wielded bow) 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6


Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demonss - note that these bonuses apply per arrow, and can add up to deal more damage than melee attacks.

The calculations for poisoned arrows assume the monster is not poison resistant.

Weapon Number of arrows fired at once
1 1d2 (average 1.5) 1d3 (average 2) 1d4 (average 2.5)
+0 arrows \frac{1+6}{2}=\bold{3.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 1.5=\bold{5.25} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 2=\bold{7} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 2.5=\bold{8.75}
+7 arrows \frac{1+6}{2}+7=\bold{10.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 1.5=\bold{15.75} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 2=\bold{21} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 2.5=\bold{26.25}
poisoned +0 arrows \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}=\bold{7} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 1.5=\bold{10.5} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 2=\bold{14} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}\right )\times 2.5=\bold{17.5}
poisoned +7 arrows \frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}+7=\bold{14} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 1.5=\bold{21} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 2=\bold{28} \left (\frac{1+6}{2}+\frac{1+6}{2}+7\right )\times 2.5=\bold{35}


Arrows first appear in Hack 1.21 and Hack for PDP-11, which are based on Jay Fenlason's Hack, and are included in the initial weapon list for Hack 1.0.



In SLASH'EM, upgrading standard arrows will produce either elven arrows, dark elven arrows or ya, with an equal probability of each, while upgrading any type of arrow other than a silver arrow will produce standard arrows.


dNetHack adds the golden arrow and ancient arrow as arrow types.

TNNT (the game)

In TNNT (the game), the deathmatch opponent will always generate with a bow and a blessed and erodeproof stack of 20-29 +4 or +5 arrows if they represent a character that is a barbarian, knight, or ranger.


In SpliceHack, marrashi are generated with several stacks of standard arrows for their footbow, including a special filth-encrusted arrow.


In notdNetHack, in addition to dNetHack details, Eve is generated with a bow and arrows when summoned by an Illithanachronounbinder.


In EvilHack, centaur Rangers start with the same bow and arrows as human Rangers. All centaur characters start with knowledge of all bow-related weaponry, and gain a multishot bonus when firing arrows from them.

Gnoll hunters always generate with a bow and arrows, and player monster rangers that are humans or centaurs will generate with two stacks of arrows for their bows. Sergeants and lieutenants that are dwarven or human that are generated in the Castle will generate with a bow and arrows. Arrows can be used to create many items at a forge:

  • 2 arrows can be combined with a dagger to create a spear.
  • 2 arrows can be combined with a spear to create a dwarvish spear.
  • 2 arrows can be combined with a knife to create a dagger.
  • 2 arrows can be combined with 2 darts to create a knife.
  • 2 arrows can be combined with 2 crossbow bolts to create a club.

Encyclopedia entry

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

[ The Arrow and the Song,
           by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ]