Short bow

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Short bow

Short bow

A simple short selfbow made from a single piece of wood.

0.8 kg
Dmg Type
Armor penetration
81 ticks (1.35 secs)
99 ticks (1.65 secs)
22.9 tile(s)
75% - 65% - 45% - 25%
Avg. accuracy
44 (m/s)
Burst Count
1 (per burst)
3.67 (2.38)
Stopping power
Wood 30
Silver 45

The short bow is a very light, single-shot ranged weapon in RimWorld which deals a moderate amount of damage per shot; slightly longer time between shots; slightly shorter range and moderate accuracy.


The short bow is a low-tier neolithic weapon, and also the easiest ranged weapon to acquire in the game thanks to its extremely low resource requirement, lack of a requirement for proper facilities and a complete lack of research requirements. With scenarios such as naked brutality, a short bow is essential to earlygame survival as a safe means of hunting and basic defense against hostile wildlife and raiders. Curiously, short bows also have a slightly higher armor penetration rating than the much more powerful greatbow.

However, short bows are also the only neolithic ranged weapons that can't stagger humans, which puts them at a disadvantage against melee units. The short bow also has the 3rd lowest damage output out of all ranged weapons in the game, only beating the pila and incendiary launcher - the latter being a support weapon rather than straight-up aggro. Other weaknesses include low accuracy for a neolithic weapon (especially at medium range), as well as a rather slow projectile velocity. Naturally, a short bow will be significantly overshadowed in terms of combat performance by even the most basic of firearms such as autopistols and revolvers, with two short bows being required to match a single one of the aforementioned firearms.

The short bow is best-suited for close-quarters engagements overall since it's most accurate up to short ranges, and because of its sub-par projectile velocity. It's also a somewhat viable hunting weapon for smaller and lower-risk game.

Against an unarmored human, a short bow can kill with 4 hits to the torso, 3 hits to the head or neck, or 1 hit to the brain; cripple or destroy limbs in 3 hits; and cripple or destroy eyes and digits with a single hit. It'll generally take around 6 hits (~27.8 seconds average) to incapacitate that human from pain shock.

Overall, the short bow is best paired with a careful shooter until level 9, and with a trigger-happy shooter beyond that point.

Melee Combat

Tool Attack Damage Type Power AP Cooldown Likelihood Base DPS
Overall - - 9 13% 2.00s - 4.50
Limb Blunt Blunt 9 13% 2.00s 50.00% 4.50
Limb Poke Blunt 9 13% 2.00s 50.00% 4.50


Short bows can be purchased from neolithic war merchants and orbital combat suppliers, tribal and outlander settlements, or obtained from the following raider kinds:

Raider Kind Chance Average Quality Health
Archer 92.27% Poor 50-180%

Short bows can also be manufactured at any smithy or a crafting spot with no research required; from 30 wood and 2,400 ticks (40 secs) of work. A crafting skill of at least 2 is required.

You also start with two short bows with the lost tribe scenario, along with some pila, a wooden club, a steel ikwa and a jade knife (main article).

Short Bow vs. Comparable Weapons

This section goes over how well the short bow fares against comparable weapons (similar value, tech level or similar characteristics) in 1 vs. 1 combat.


  • All testing is semi-automated which allows for large sample sizes to be gathered per set of results with ease
  • All pawns have skill levels of 14 in ranged and melee
  • No pawns have any traits that affect combat performance
  • All pawns are of at least 18 years of age and completely healthy
  • Pawns are divided by walls to prevent stray shots from skewing results in any way
  • Weather conditions are kept clear and no cover is used

Results in the tables below are the percentages of battles that short bows either won or tied against the weapon listed in the first column of said tables, with a sample size of 2,000 battles per result. Higher percentages are better.


For the unarmored testing, all pawns wore normal quality plainleather pants and plainleather button-down shirts.

Other Weapon 3 7 12 18 25 32 40
Recurve bow 38.40% 30.85% 24.90% 23.00% - - -
Pila 83.50% 75.50% 65.85% 65.30% - - -

Flak Armor

For the flak armor testing, all pawns wore normal quality steel simple helmets, flak jackets, flak vests, plainleather button-down shirts and flak pants.

Other Weapon 3 7 12 18 25 32 40
Recurve bow 36.65% 30.50% 24.30% 22.00% - - -
Pila 90.50% 84.30% 74.60% 73.65% - - -

Marine Armor

For the marine armor testing, all pawns wore normal quality marine helmets, marine armor, plainleather button-down shirts and plainleather pants.

Other Weapon 3 7 12 18 25 32 40
Recurve bow 34.35% 27.35% 20.90% 19.35% - - -
Pila 91.25% 83.55% 69.95% 69.05% - - -

Quality table

Quality Beauty Deterioration


Market Value Accuracy








Damage Armor


Melee Damage

Per Second


Armor Penetration

Awful -3 4/day $22.31 60% 52% 36% 20% 10 15% 3.6 11%
Poor -3 3/day $33.48 67% 58% 40% 22% 11 16% 4.05 12%
Normal -3 2/day $44.64 75% 65% 45% 25% 11 16% 4.5 13%
Good -3 1.6/day $55.80 83% 72% 50% 28% 11 16% 4.95 15%
Excellent -3 1.2/day $66.96 90% 78% 54% 30% 11 16% 5.4 16%
Masterwork -3 0.6/day $111.60 100% 88% 61% 34% 14 21% 6.53 20%
Legendary -3 0.2/day $225 100% 98% 67% 38% 16 25% 7.42 22%


The graphs assume a normal quality short bow against an adult human that's out in the open in clear weather. For DPS, projectile speed has also been factored into the equation, with the weighting based on the base amount of attacks that it'll take to put the aforementioned target into pain shock.

Short bow's accuracy with various shooters without any trait. Short bow's DPS with various shooters without any trait.

Short bow's accuracy with various shooters with careful shooter. Short bow's DPS with various shooters with careful shooter.

Short bow's accuracy with various shooters with trigger-happy. Short bow's DPS with various shooters with trigger-happy.