The Bow (弓矢 Yumiya?, BOW) is a recurring weapon in the The Legend of Zelda series. The Bow is quite often Link's chief projectile weapon, and often has twice the attack power of the first sword in the games.

The ammunition for bows are Arrows, which often come with various enchantments, such as Fire, Ice and Light. There also exists a special kind of arrow known as the Silver Arrow, whose silvery arrowheads have the power to slay Ganon. Sometimes, arrows can be used in conjunction with Bombs to create Bomb Arrows.

The bow is not a unique collectible item in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but an equipment set consisting of numerous bows.


The Legend of Zelda

Artwork of the Bow from The Legend of Zelda

The Bow is found in Level 1 and Level 5 in the Second Quest, although in the First Quest it is not necessary until Level 6 where it is needed to defeat Gohma. Interestingly, rather then having an arrow supply, Link's Rupees are depleted by one each time he fires his Bow. However he must first buy arrows in a shop before he can use them. In the final dungeon, Level 9, the more powerful Silver Arrow can be found, which is necessary to finish off Ganon.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Bow is found in the first dungeon, Eastern Palace. The Silver Arrows can be obtained in a Great Fairy's Fountain in the Pyramid.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

The Bow can be purchased from the Mabe Village Shop for 980 Rupees. It can also be stolen along with other items in the shop, but it is quite hard and Link will be referred to as THIEF for the remainder of the game. Interestingly, if used in conjunction with bombs, a makeshift Bomb Arrow can be fired.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Main article: Fairy Bow

The Fairy Bow is found in the Forest Temple after defeating a group of Stalfos. It is used to attack distant enemies and activate eyes switches. Throughout the game it can be upgraded to fire a variety of magic arrows.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Main article: Hero's Bow

The Hero's Bow is found in Woodfall Temple after defeating a Dinolfos. Like the Fairy Bow, it can be upgraded to fire a variety of magic arrows.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

The Bow from Four Swords

The Bow can be found randomly on Item Podiums. It is used to hit enemies from a safe distance. Charging the attack longer will cause arrows to shoot faster. There is no limit to the number of arrows that can be fired.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Main article: Hero's Bow

The Hero's Bow is found in the Tower of the Gods after defeating a Darknut.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

A Bow from Four Swords Adventures

Link can find Bows on Item Podiums. There is no limit to the number of arrows he can fire. If Link holds down the A button, he can charge an arrow with power, allowing it to pierce through multiple targets, destroy objects like grass and pots, and carry along certain items such as large force gems and pin them to the far wall. While charging, Link will also remain facing the same direction, and can move and even make quick jumps using the R button.

If Link meets a Great Fairy, she will upgrade his Bow to a Lvl. 2 Bow, allowing him to fire three arrows in rapid succession, have up to three arrows on screen at a time per Link, and charge powered up shots in less time.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

The Bow is found in the Castor Wilds. If Link holds an arrow ready to fire, he can move slowly while facing the same direction. The bow's firing rate can be increased by catching the Joy Butterfly in the Wind Ruins, which appears after a successful Kinstone fusion with Din. The bow can also be upgraded to fire the more powerful Light Arrows through an optional sidequest.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Main article: Hero's Bow

The Hero's Bow is found the Goron Mines. It can be combined with either bombs to make Bomb Arrows or the Hawkeye to make a sniper bow.

Bows are also used by Bulblin archers. Ashei wields a bow when she and the Resistance come to aid Link inside Hyrule Castle. Princess Zelda is given the sacred Bow of Light by the Light Spirits and uses it to aid Link in the final battle with Ganondorf.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

The Bow is found in the Temple of Courage. It is aimed using the stylus and serves the same purpose as other bows, to hit far-off targets other weapons cannot reach. It is used against the dungeon's boss, Crayk.

The Bow is also used inside the Molida Island Shooting Gallery, where Link can try to earn an optional Heart Container from Romanos by shooting pictures of ghosts while avoiding hitting pictures of little girls.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

The Bow is obtained in the fourth dungeon, the Fire Temple. It is used to defeat the dungeon's boss, Cragma. It functions similarly to the Bow from Phantom Hourglass. Later in the game, Link can obtain a stronger Bow called the Bow of Light.

The Bow is used in the Pirate Hideout to defeat the Miniblins while riding in a Mine Cart.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The icon of the Bow from Skyward Sword
The Bow from Skyward Sword

The Wooden Bow is found in the Sandship, after defeating Scervo. It is controlled by use of the Wii Remote. However, it is controlled differently than it is in Twilight Princess, where simply pointing at the screen with the Wii Remote is used to aim and fire. The Wii Remote is moved around to aim. There are two ways to fire the bow: holding down the A button on the Wii Remote for a slow charge, and holding down C, pulling back the Nunchuck, and then releasing C for a much faster charge. It can be used to shoot floating hearts to retrieve them. The Wooden Bow can be upgraded to the Iron Bow and then the Sacred Bow by going to the Scrap Shop in the Skyloft Bazaar, which increases the bow's accuracy and attack power. While charging, the bow will zoom-in for a closer view, and when fully charged and released, Link's arrow will spiral toward its target in a drill-like fashion, increasing the damage dealt.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Bow from A Link Between Worlds

The Bow appears as an item in the game. It is first obtained as a rented item from Ravio after Link fails to get past a puzzle that is blocking his way towards the Eastern Palace. The Bow drains part of Link's stamina meter instead of consuming arrows, eliminating the need to buy arrows but limiting the amount of shots that can be fired at a time. The Bow is also needed in the first battle with Yuga, to hit and stun the evil sorcerer before he has time to retreat into the walls as a painting.

After the Bow is purchased from Ravio's Shop, it can be upgraded by Mother Maiamai into the Nice Bow, enabling it to fire three arrows at once.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

The Bow in Tri Force Heroes

The Bow appears as an item in Tri Force Heroes, and can be found on Item Podiums. As in A Link Between Worlds, Link has an unlimited supply of arrows and instead uses some of his Energy Gauge to fire the Bow.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Artwork of Link wielding the Traver's Bow and Arrow from Breath of the Wild

In Breath of the Wild, bows are a class of equipable weapons. Like other weapon types, bows have a durability system and will break after repeated uses. Some special bows allow Link to fire multiple arrows at once while only using up a single arrow as ammunition. Other bows have a quick fire feature which allows him to fire several arrows in rapid succession. Like melee weapons and shields, some bows may also have a special bonus attribute which increases certain aspects, like durability and attack power, and Link can find and equip bows wielded by various enemies. Link can use a variety of arrows, including Bomb Arrows, Fire Arrows, Ice Arrows, and Light Arrows. The game also introduces Shock Arrows and Ancient Arrows. Ancient Arrows are extremely powerful high-tech arrows that can obliterate most non-boss enemies while causing a lot of damage to Guardians. However save for Guardians Ancient Arrows obliterate the weapons, shield, bows, and materials dropped by enemies. If Ancient Arrows fail to hit an enemy they can be recovered from walls or the ground. Some enemies can be killed with a single hit if hit by an arrow of an opposing element (i.e. hitting an Icy Lizalfos with a Fire Arrow). Additionally, Link can light normal arrows on fire by shooting them through flames, like in past titles. Breath of the Wild also introduces the ability to ignite arrows; if Link draws his bow without firing it and exposes the drawn arrow to a near by source of fire, he can then fire the lit arrow whenever he chooses though must fire it before it burns up. In addition, in high temperature areas of Death Mountain, normal arrows automatically ignite when drawn. While these lit arrows work similar to Fire Arrows they lack their magical properties and the fire will go out if it is raining. Similarly, Bomb Arrows explode instantly if drawn in high temperature areas, damaging Link and become unusable if its raining though they only explode on impact thus Link can keep them drawn as they lack a timed fuse. However Bomb Arrows use conventional gunpowder thus they produce incendiary explosions that produce fire thus have properties similar to burning Arrows and Fire Arrows though produce a powerful explosion. Additionally, Wooden Bows will burn when exposed to fire (such as when Link is in burning grass or hit by fire arrows or fire-based attacks) or extreme temperature areas of Death Mountain, though do not attract lightning during thunderstorms. Likewise, Metal Bows will not burn, but attract lightning during thunderstorms when equipped. Some bows can be used in all conditions as they are made of materials other than wood or metal. Bows are used by Gerudo, Hylians, Sheikah, and Rito for hunting animals. Link can use bows for hunting and bow fishing. Bow fishing involves shooting fish with arrows to kill them and is presumably practiced by Zora and Hylian fishermen in addition to fishing by hand and spear fishing.

Artwork of Link wielding the Traver's Bow and Ancient Arrow from Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild introduces various bows that were originally used by certain tribes such as the Gerudo, Sheikah, Rito, and Zora as well as bows originally used Hyrulean Soldiers and Knights of Hyrule. The Korok also developed high quality wooden Forest Dweller's Bows for Hylians that can fire multiple arrows. Hylian civilians also utilize Wooden Bows and Traveler's Bow though they are less powerful as they are designed primarily for hunting and self protection. The game also introduces enemy made bows such as the Boko Bow, Lizal Bow, and Lynel Bow and their stronger variants. The Rito specialize in aerial archery and bowmaking with Harth being a Rito bowsmith capable of reforging Rito Champion Revali's Great Eagle Bow which is the strongest Rito made bow. Revali, Teba, and Harth are all Rito archers with Harth owning a Swallow Bow. The Sheikah traditionally wield Phrenic Bow, while the Sheikah Yiga Clan wield the double shot Duplex Bow, and Robbie developed the high-tech Ancient Bow which can be crafted by Cherry using recycled ancient Sheikah technology materials. Monk Maz Koshia and Cado are both Sheikah archers while Yiga Footsoldiers archers defend Karusa Valley. Guardian Scouts do not wield high-tech bows as their laser technology renders bows redundant. Zora utilize Silver Bow made of rustproof metal. Both Demon Sergeant Seggin and Prince Sidon are noted to be capable archers though only Seggin can wield Shock Arrows as other Zora are forbidden to wield them as Seggin possesses an unusually high Shock Resistance for a Zora, though even his resistance has its limits. Gerudo utilize Golden Bows for both combat and hunting though have apparently developed Sand Seal-based archery since they lost their ancient horse culture. Gorons seem to favor Cannon technology over archery though the Goron Gusto Shop sells Fire and Ice Arrows to Gerudo and Hylian tourists. The Hyrulean army had Soldier's Bow for Hyrulean Soldiers, while Knights were issued stronger Knight's Bows, and the King of Hyrule issued Royal Bows to only the kingdom's most talented archers which is the best made of the Hylian bows. Before the Great Calamity, the Sheikah developed Royal Guard's Bows for the Royal Guard Knights to wield against Ganon but their low durability made them impractical despite their high attack power. However one ended up atop the fireplace in Princess Zelda's Room and could be found in the Castle's armory. Royal Guard's Bows have become rare collector's items in Hyrule since the Great Calamity. Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos occasionally use bows crafted by other races or monsters though Lynels and Yiga Clan use their own bows which they do not share with other races though Link can defeat them to acquire their bows as with most enemy weapons in Breath of the Wild. Lynels bows are generally well made multi-shot bows. Steel Lizal Bows are the among the strongest bows crafted by Lizalfos. Bokoblin bows are generally poorly crafted though Dragonbone Boko Bows are reinforced with dragonbone and are among the best bows crafted by Bokoblin. Moblins wield bows made by Bokoblins, Lizalfos, and those once utilized by the Hyrulean army. Silver Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos tend to wield Royal Bows. Hinox wear Royal Bows as necklace jewelry. The Hylian hunter Quince is a bowman by trade who uses bow and arrows to hunt animals for meat. During the prologue, the Old Man teaches Link how to use a bow to hunt in the Forest of Spirits on the Great Plateau. The Korok Hestu has the power to increase a person's bow inventory. Bows not found in Treasure Chests generally respawn after Link leaves the area while most slain enemy archers are revived wielding bows after a Blood Moon. Bokoblin and Lizalfos senties wield bows and carry Monster Horns they can blow to alert nearby allies of Link's presence if they spot him. A ? meter appears over their head as they notice Link and when it fills up completely they will notice Link and blow their horns unless Link is wearing a disguise that effects them though they will still watch Link out of curiosity. Headshots or hitting a Guardian in the eye tend to cause critical damage. Headshots can also kill some enemies and animals as well as momentarily stun Lynels and Guardians.

"The best archers say targets seem to freeze when they concentrate on them. I think you could reach that level too."

The bow can also be used while riding horses or while vaulting off them, in which case Link will be able to fire an arrow in slow motion to ensure he hits an enemy. Whenever an arrow successfully connects with an enemy a metallic sound effect will play, confirming the hit. This slow motion shooting can also be done by leaping off an elevated or high point; however, slow motion shooting drains stamina and will end once Link is out of stamina. Jini the proprietor of the Mounted Archery Camp implies knowledge of horseback archery was lost and rediscovered out east presumably at the Equestrian Riding Course as he claims it was invented in the east despite existing since Ocarina of Time. However Gerudo seemed to have not rediscovered it as the Hylians did due to their lack of horse culture in Breath of the Wild. Upon hitting more than 20 targets in Jini's Horseback Archery drill, he notes the best archers say targets seem to freeze when they concentrate on them implying slow motion shooting is an ability common among extremely talented Hyrulean archers including Link himself and Yiga Footsoldiers wielding Duplex Bows as they can fire their bows in midair in a manner similar to Link. Link can also wield his bow while Shield Surfing.

Link can engage in various archery based mini-games such as Deer Hunting, Horseback Archery, and Aerial Archery.

Some Korok puzzles involve Link shooting flying targets, which will cause a Korok to appear once all the targets are hit, giving Link a Korok Seed which he can trade to Hestu to increase his bow inventory. Link can also purchase three bow mounts for his house to mount bows in his house to free up his inventory or to store away specific bows. Bows can be used for hunting wild animals, and are useful for hitting Blupees, which occasionally appear in forests and drop Rupees when hit similar to Squiddy.

Link can also obtain the Bow of Light from Princess Zelda during the final battle with Dark Beast Ganon. By using the Super Smash Bros. Zelda amiibo with the amiibo Rune a treasure chest containing the Twilight Bow may appear (only after a single Divine Beast is freed) which is based on the Bow of Light used by Princess Zelda in Twilight Princess.


Hyrulean Bows
Enemy Bows

Other appearances

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets

Like in A Link to the Past, the Bow is found in the first dungeon, Eastern Palace. Near the end of the game the Hero of Light discovers Sliver Arrows inside an ancient stone tablet.

Hyrule Warriors/Legends

The Bow is an item used to damage and make enemies stop for a bit; it is used to lengthen the duration the weak point smash gauge appears on some enemies. It is found in the third Prologue chapter, The Sorceress of the Woods, that takes place in Faron Woods; it is needed to take out the Deku Babas and is Gohma's weakness. Humorously, Proxi will point out that Link often carries a Bow and will even ask him if he forgot to bring one when it is obtained in Faron Woods.

After collecting it, any playable character can use it; there is no limit on how many arrows you can fire but there is a bit of lag between uses. It can be temporarily powered up to the Sacred Bow, enabling it to fire multiple Light Arrows at once. This power-up, though, makes a permanent appearance in the final battle against Ganon as the Light Arrows.

Link also utilizes the Bow in his Horse moveset.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Link's neutral special is referred to as the Bow yet physically resembles the Fairy Bow from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.


See also