How to Make a Bow in Minecraft

In Short
  • Minecraft requires you to have 3 sticks, 3 pieces of string, and a crafting table to make a bow.
  • As for the recipe, fill the third column with three strings and then learn where to place the sticks in the crafting table.
  • You can also get a bow from other methods like killing Skeletons and Strays, trading with Fletcher Villagers, and fishing.

Because Minecraft is a survival game, adapting to the world is rather important. And that’s why weapons are crucial, as you can fend off the incoming dangers. In the early game, melee weapons such as an axe or a sword are frequently used, but later on, you have an opportunity to use ranged weapons like bows and crossbows. If you wish to hone your skills like Legolas, we will be taking a look at how you can make a bow in Minecraft in this guide.

Required Resources

All you need to craft a bow are 3 sticks, 3 pieces of string, and a crafting table. Sticks are one of the most basic items in the game. They can be crafted from two wooden planks, placed vertically in a crafting grid.

Crafting recipe for sticks

To make planks, walk up to any tree and punch or chop one log. After you put it in the inventory’s crafting grid, you will see 4 wooden planks appear on the right. When it comes to the final resource, the fastest and easiest way to get string in Minecraft is by killing a spider. It’s a regular hostile mob that spawns in dark areas in most Minecraft biomes.

Spider in Minecraft

The crafting recipe for a Crafting table is as simple as the sticks are, but instead of two, you’ll need four planks. We already have a guide on how to make a crafting table in Minecraft, so make sure to check it out if you need help.

Minecraft Bow: Crafting Recipe

Now that you’ve collected the required items, follow the step-by-step process below to make a bow in Minecraft.

  1. First, you will need to select the crafting table and right-click to place it in the world.
Crafting table placed in the world
  1. Then, right-click to open its UI containing a 3 x 3 crafting grid.
  2. Place three pieces of string filling the third column completely.
  3. Then, place one stick in the center slot of the topmost row.
  4. The second stick should be placed in the leftmost slot of the second row.
  5. Finally, place the final stick in the center cell of the bottommost row.
  6. The finished bow crafting recipe should look something like this:
Crafting recipe for a bow in Minecraft

Get a Bow in Different Ways

In addition to crafting, you can also get a bow in different ways in your world. Let’s go over those in brief:

  • Killing Skeletons and Strays: You have about an 8.5% chance of obtaining a bow this way. However, it gets increased to 11.5% with the looting III enchantment on your sword.
  • Trading with Fletcher Villagers: Apprentice-level fletcher villagers in Minecraft can sell an unenchanted bow for only 2 emeralds. Though, an expert-level fletcher can trade an enchanted bow for anywhere between 7 to 21 emeralds.
  • Fishing: You can even get a bow by fishing and it’s considered a treasure item.

How to Use a Bow in Minecraft

So, after you’ve spent precious time making or looking for a bow, now let’s see what you can do with it.

Bow is primarily a ranged weapon. Do keep in mind that you’ll need at least one arrow in your inventory to use it in the first place. The arrows you use can be regular arrows. But they can also be tipped arrows, allowing you to inflict different effects upon your target.

If you do have any type of arrow in your inventory, hold right-click while the bow’s selected on your hotbar. This will slowly start charging the bow and your POV will even zoom in slightly. Once it’s fully charged (takes a couple of seconds), it will shake a little and you’re forced into a sneaking state, so you cannot move fast. Moreover, you can disable the attack just by scrolling to a different slot on your hotbar.

Charging a bow for a shot in Minecraft

When you release the button, an arrow will be shot from the bow. In addition, you can also shoot an arrow before the bow is fully charged. But do keep in mind that it’ll weaken the attack significantly.

Firing an arrow with a full charge (without a power enchantment) can deal up to 5.5 hearts of damage on a critical hit. Whereas, if you do not charge the bow at all, the attack will deal only about half a heart of damage. Not only that, but the arrows move at an arch, so it’s not always easy to hit the target, especially if it’s a player on a Minecraft server. Even though it is fairly simple to use, you’ll need some practice before becoming good at using a bow.

Believe it or not, the bow is also a part of a crafting recipe, and it’s the recipe for a dispenser. We already have a guide on how to make a dispenser in Minecraft, so check it out if you want to make one for yourself.

Crafting recipe for a dispenser

Repair and Enchant a Minecraft Bow

Bow has durability, just like other weapons, tools, and armor. When it reaches 0, the bow will break and you’ll lose it forever. Luckily, we can repair it in a simple way. You will need two bows, however, and it’s better if both lost some durability. Because, if you place two bows in a crafting grid, you’ll be able to get one bow with a combined durability and also 5% extra durability as a bonus.

You can repair a Minecraft bow in a crafting grid or in a grindstone. This doesn’t make a difference at all, so the player’s inventory crafting grid is the easiest option. However, keep in mind that after this conversion, you’ll receive one bow with higher durability and also lose a bow entirely.

Repairing a bow in Minecraft

This can be completely bypassed with Minecraft enchantments. You can apply them through the enchanting table or using enchanted books you may buy from villagers. Feel free to check out our dedicated guide on the best bow enchantments, so you can carry the best version of this weapon.

Putting mending on your bow in Minecraft allows you to repair it with only XP. Though, many players don’t go this route at all, since mending and infinity cannot be put on the same bow.

So, most of the time, players choose the infinity enchantment, as it’ll let you carry a single arrow and fire as many times as you’d like. Though, if that bow is close to breaking, then you’ll have to repair it manually.

Bow with all the enchantments

Note that if a bow, or any other tool or weapon for that matter, has been enchanted, repairing it in a crafting grid will remove its enchantments. So, you’ll need to use an anvil in Minecraft for restoring durability of enchanted tools and weapons.

So, there we go. Now you know how to make and use a bow in this lovely blocky game. Do you prefer a bow or a melee weapon? Tell us in the comment section below!

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