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The War Bow is a ranged weapon in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is a low damage bow that specializes in delivering elemental payloads to targets, forcing them into vulnerable states. This bow is best used in conjunction with other weapons due to its low impact and tear damage.

Special Variants

Aside from the ones available from normal merchants, War Bows have 2 different variants of "Very Rare" value. Both can use all available Ammo types as Shadow variant does.

The Lodge War Bow is acquired as the most prestigious reward from the quest Weapons of the Lodge, requiring Aloy to earn a Blazing Sun on all 15 Hunting Ground trials in the base game. It has superior base elemental strength over the regular variants, making it the most powerful War Bow in the base game.

The Banuk Champion BowFW is only available once per playthrough, from Bluegleam Merchants in The Cut. It normally costs 12 Bluegleam, though the AdeptNG+ version requires additional resources. It is capable of 'overdrawn' shots which allow the user to fire exceedingly powerful shots by holding the string back longer than usual. Similar to the Banuk Striker and Banuk Powershot Bow, it shares the same drawback where undercharged shots deal less damage and elemental severity compared to standard bows. As long as the player overdraws their shots, it could be considered the most powerful War Bow in the entirety of the game due to its stats and unique mechanism.

Ammo

Elemental damage remains the same outside of Ultra Hard and Story difficulties.

Shock Arrow

Shock arrows deal low shock damage and medium shock severity on impact. They can be used to shock machines, temporarily stunning and locking them in place. Effective against machines with weakness to Shock. Successful hits on Power Cells will trigger explosive short-circuits, inflicting massive damage and shock severity to everything nearby. The numbers in brackets represent undercharged shots from the Banuk bow.

Ammo Game Mode Damage Elemental Severity
Basic
/Lodge
BanukFW Basic Lodge BanukFW
Shock Arrow
Shock Arrow
Story Damage-Icon 20 Damage-Icon 28(12) Shock-Icon 38 Shock-Icon 40 Shock-Icon 75(40)
Easy Damage-Icon 6 Damage-Icon 11(5) Shock-Icon 25 Shock-Icon 30 Shock-Icon 50(20)
Normal Damage-Icon 5 Damage-Icon 7(3)
Hard Damage-Icon 5 Damage-Icon 6(3)
Very Hard Damage-Icon 4 Damage-Icon 6(2)
Ultra Hard Damage-Icon 4 Damage-Icon 5(2) Shock-Icon 15 Shock-Icon 15 Shock-Icon 25(10)

Freeze Arrow

Freeze arrows deal low freeze damage and medium freeze severity on impact. They can be used to freeze enemies, slowing them down significantly and making machines more susceptible to impact damage. Effective against machines with Freeze weakness. Successful hits on Freeze canister will trigger cryo explosions that deals massive damage and Freeze severity to everything in vicinity. Numbers in brackets represent the undercharged shots of the Banuk bow.

Ammo Game Mode Damage Elemental Severity
Basic
/Lodge
BanukFW Basic Lodge BanukFW
Freeze Arrow
Freeze Arrow
Story Damage-Icon 20 Damage-Icon 28(12) Freeze-Icon 38 Freeze-Icon 40 Freeze-Icon 75(40)
Easy Damage-Icon 6 Damage-Icon 11(5) Freeze-Icon 25 Freeze-Icon 30 Freeze-Icon 50(20)
Normal Damage-Icon 5 Damage-Icon 7(3)
Hard Damage-Icon 5 Damage-Icon 6(3)
Very Hard Damage-Icon 4 Damage-Icon 6(2)
Ultra Hard Damage-Icon 4 Damage-Icon 5(2) Freeze-Icon 15 Freeze-Icon 15 Freeze-Icon 25(10)

Corruption Arrow

Corruption arrows deal no damage and high corruption severity on impact. Machines and humans corrupted by this arrow will be aggressive against other machines and humans while the effect lasts, and can be used to temporarily turn the odds in the player's favor. This corruption turns machines' lights green and, making them hostile to everything, including Aloy, unlike Override which makes them fight for her. Tougher enemies takes a higher dose for the effect to kick in. The numbers in brackets represent undercharged shots from the Banuk bow.

Ammo Game Mode Elemental Severity
Basic Lodge BanukFW
Corruption Arrow
Corruption Arrow
Story Corruption-Icon 70 Corruption-Icon 90 Corruption-Icon 120(60)
Easy Corruption-Icon 50 Corruption-Icon 60 Corruption-Icon 80(40)
Normal
Hard
Very Hard
Ultra Hard Corruption-Icon 25 Corruption-Icon 30 Corruption-Icon 40(20)

Ammo and Modification Slots by Variant

Bow Variant Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow Mod Slots
Basic Shock Arrow 1
Carja Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow 2
Shadow Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow 3
AdeptNG+ Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow 4
Lodge Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow 3
Adept LodgeNG+ Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow 4
Banuk ChampionFW Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow 3
Adept ChampionFW NG+ Shock Arrow Freeze Arrow Corruption Arrow 4

Acquisition Details

Variant Sources Regular Cost Ultra Hard Cost Sell Value
Basic Merchant-IconGeneral Merchants MetalShardsTransparent 100 MetalShardsTransparent 500 MetalShardsTransparent 25
Carja Merchant-IconTier 2/3/4 Merchants MetalShardsTransparent 300
5 Desert Glass
2 Slagshine Glass
MetalShardsTransparent 1,500
10 Desert Glass
4 Slagshine Glass
MetalShardsTransparent 50
Shadow Merchant-IconTier 3 & 4 Merchants MetalShardsTransparent 800
1 Trampler Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 4,000
2 Trampler Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 100
AdeptNG+ Merchant-IconTier 3 & 4 Merchants MetalShardsTransparent 1,600
1 Trampler Heart
1 Thunderjaw Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 8,000
2 Trampler Heart
2 Thunderjaw Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 100
Lodge Hunter's Lodge 15 Blazing Suns 15 Blazing Suns MetalShardsTransparent 100
Adept LodgeNG+ Hunter's Lodge 15 Blazing Suns 15 Blazing Suns MetalShardsTransparent 100
Banuk
ChampionFW
Bluegleam Merchants
(1 per playthrough)
12 Bluegleam 12 Bluegleam MetalShardsTransparent 100
Adept
ChampionFW NG+
Bluegleam Merchants
(1 per playthrough)
MetalShardsTransparent 1,250
12 Bluegleam
1 Frostclaw Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 6,250
12 Bluegleam
1 Frostclaw Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 100

Trivia

  • During one scene of Aloy training for the Proving, she is shown killing Watchers with normal arrows shot from a War Bow, which is not possible in gameplay.
  • The War Bow appears in Monster Hunter: World as part of collaboration between the PlayStation 4 version of the game and Horizon: Zero Dawn. The Bow has latent Thunder Element and supports Poison Coating, reflecting 2 of 3 of its ammo in its native game.
Weapons
Ranged Weapons Blast Sling - ForgefireFW - Hunter Bow - IcerailFW - Rattler - Ropecaster - Sharpshot Bow - Sling - StormslingerFW - Tearblaster - War Bow
Melee Weapons Spear - Sylens' Lance
Stealth Weapons Traps - Tripcaster
Heavy Weapons Deathbringer Gun - Disc Launcher - Firespitter - Firestriker - Mine LauncherFW - Oseram Cannon - Ravager Cannon
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