A powerful greatbow. Fires a heavy arrow long distances.
The Greatbow is a light, single-shot ranged weapon in RimWorld which deals a slightly higher amount of damage per shot; slightly longer time between shots; slightly longer range and high accuracy.
It takes 3 shots to the torso to kill an unarmored human with a greatbow, or around 5 shots against a human with a normal armor vest. The greatbow can also instantly remove digits, cripple eyeballs and cause lethal brain damage if the victim's skull is unprotected. Limbs can be crippled in 2 shots against an unarmored human.
Since the greatbow has a slightly longer than typical time between shots, is single-shot in nature and has a fairly long range, it's best to pair the greatbow with a competent shooter to make the most of it. A healthy level 8 traitless shooter, level 4 careful shooter or level 10 trigger-happy can somewhat efficiently use the greatbow up to 22 cells. However, a level 13 traitless shooter, level 10 careful shooter or level 15 trigger-happy shooter is advisable to efficiently use the greatbow up to its maximum range of 32 cells.
On average, the greatbow is best paired with a careful shooter until level 12, and with a trigger-happy shooter beyond that point.
Great bows can be purchased from neolithic war merchants and orbital combat suppliers, or obtained from the following raider kinds:
- Heavy Archer - 44.3% (normal quality on average, 50-220% health)
- Chief - 87.5% (superior quality on average, 70-300% health)
Conclusion & Comparison
Although the greatbow is an outdated weapon, that doesn't mean it's a weapon to be underestimated in the slightest; it has a higher sustained damage output than all other neolithic tier weapons, and can even hold its own against low-tier modern firearms like the autopistol and revolver. The greatbow even offers superior damage output to the bolt-action rifle until 14 cells. The only neolithic weapon that can really compete with the greatbow is the pila since a single pilum can instantly destroy a vital organ or cripple a limb, instantly killing or severely hindering the enemy's combat capacity.
Interestingly, when talking about higher quality levels, the greatbow will slowly start to dominate the substantially more expensive bolt-action rifle in terms of DPS, achieving complete domination by masterwork quality for both weapons. This is because the bolt-action rifle already near-maxes out its accuracy at normal quality so it doesn't gain that much from being above good quality, but the greatbow will continue to make improvements in that aspect. Unless the extra 5 cells of range and higher projectile velocity of the bolt-action rifle matters, then you're actually better off using the greatbow.
That being said though, the assault rifle is also a very strong competitor because of its superior damage output and almost identical range, but the greatbow's higher damage per shot means that it may be better at crippling limbs in some situations.
The graphs assume a normal quality greatbow 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.