The crystal bow is a degradable bow made from enchanted elven crystal. It requires the completion of Roving Elves to wield, as well as 50 Agility and 70 Ranged. Along with the crystal shield, crystal halberd and the crystal saw, it is one of the four pieces of crystal equipment in RuneScape.
Because it is blessed by the elven goddess Seren, the crystal bow does not require any arrows to use, as it generates its own when fired. The bow's fired shots are coated in a green aura, similar to Craw's bow.
Along with being extremely accurate when fully charged, providing a Ranged bonus of +100, the crystal bow also has one of the longest ranges in the game, the same as a longbow, able to hit targets up to 10 squares away. However, Longrange does not increase attack range. This makes it ideal for battles which require long-range attacks such as Dagannoth Kings or the TzHaar Fight Cave. The only attack which can be performed from a further distance is the dragonfire shield special attack, with a range of 13 squares.
Unlike other bows, the Crystal bow has a unique attack speed of 5, which is between that of a shortbow and a longbow in speed. It is faster than a crossbow by 1 game tick.
|Accurate||Ranged and Hitpoints||Accuracy and damage|
|Rapid||Ranged and Hitpoints||Attack speed by 1 tick|
|Longrange||Ranged, Hitpoints and Defence||Attack range by 2 squares|
The crystal bow degrades over time. After 250 hits, it degrades into a "Crystal bow 9/10", and thereafter for every 250 hits, it will degrade another 1/10th until it reverts into a crystal seed after a total of 2,500 hits, and must be recharged before it can be used again. As the bow degrades, its accuracy and strength bonuses decrease as shown below.
The crystal bow can be imbued for 2,000 Nightmare Zone points per charge, requiring 20,000 points to imbue a fully charged bow. Imbuing the crystal bow does not keep it from degrading, however its stats will remain at their maximum, regardless of how much it has degraded. When the bow reverts back to a crystal seed, it will lose its imbue, and players must imbue it again using points from the Nightmare Zone. Additionally, imbuing a crystal bow that has already degraded to 9/10 or below will restore the bow's stats to their maximum.
Initially, Ilfeen charges 900,000 coins to re-enchant a crystal seed into a crystal bow. However, the price is decreased by 180,000 coins each time Ilfeen re-enchants a seed for a player, in the following manner, until reaching the minimum recharge cost of 180,000 coins:
|Enchantment||Cost for re-enchantment|
|Fifth and thereafter||180,000|
The amount that Ilfeen charges is dependent on the number of crystal seeds she has re-enchanted, not the number of crystal bows she has recharged. For example, a player who pays Ilfeen 900,000 coins to re-enchant a crystal seed into a Crystal shield will only have to pay her 720,000 coins to recharge a seed into a crystal bow.
Obtaining & trading crystal bows
A crystal bow with 2/10 charges is a possible reward for completion of Roving Elves. (Players who choose a crystal shield can choose to let the shield revert into a seed, then re-enchant that seed into a crystal bow.) Additionally, players can buy new crystal bows from Islwyn for 900,000 coins each. Unlike Ilfeen's recharge price, the price of a new crystal bow does not decrease.
The distinction between a new crystal bow and a full crystal bow is important, as only new crystal bows are tradeable. A crystal bow that is bought from Islwyn is new; a crystal seed that is re-enchanted into a crystal bow by Ilfeen is full. Once a shot is fired from a new crystal bow, it becomes a full crystal bow, and is untradeable.
As crystal seeds are tradeable, players can buy them from other players and pay Ilfeen to re-enchant them into crystal bows.
Analysis and strategy
Although crystal bows do not require any ammunition, they still have a cost associated with their use, in the form of their recharge cost. When the recharge price is 900,000 coins, the cost per shot (at 2,500 shots) is 360 coins. However, when the recharge price decreases to 180,000 coins, the cost per shot is 72 coins. Compare this to rune arrows, with a +49 bonus to Ranged Strength, whereas the crystal bow, on average, has a Ranged Strength of +61.
The chief disadvantages that crystal bows have, compared to other bows, are the requirements for using them and the relatively short degrading time. Crystal equipment has the second shortest lifespan of any equipment in the game (ahead of Iban's Staff). One crystal bow will last for 1 hour and 40 minutes of continuous shooting on Rapid, or 2 hours and 5 minutes on Accurate or Long range. Players who plan to use crystal bows on extended trips may wish to bring more than one bow. Additionally, players who would normally pick up their ammunition (either manually or through an Ava's device) may not save money by using a crystal bow, which requires no ammunition and therefore leaves behind no arrows to pick up.
Comparison between other ranged weapons
|Picture||Name||Levels to equip||Ranged Attack bonus||Notes|
|Dragon hunter crossbow||65||+95|
- The number of shots fired by crystal bows is tracked per player rather than per bow, making it possible to prevent a fully charged bow from degrading by using another crystal bow for every 250th shot.
- Attempting to cast Low Level Alchemy or High Level Alchemy on a crystal bow results in the message "You can't do that to elven crystal!" This is due to a glitch that allowed players to alchemise crystal bows on free-to-play worlds for 540,000 coins each. Players could buy crystal seeds, enchant them into bows for 180,000 coins, and alchemise the bows for significant profit. Because of this, Jagex made it impossible to alchemise members' objects on free-to-play worlds, and made it impossible to alchemise crystal equipment.
- The crystal bow requires 50 Agility to equip, however it is impossible to navigate the forests of Tirannwn during the required quests without level 56 Agility (or as low as 51 with a summer pie boost). (Unless using charter ships during regicide and roving elves)
- 10 tiles is the maximum distance for any attack in 'RuneScape'. The Crystal bow's attack range on Accurate and Rapid is 10, therefore Long Range can have no effect on this.
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