The crystal bow is a bow made from enchanted elven crystal. It requires the completion of Roving Elves to wield, as well as 50 Agility and 70 Ranged. (However, 56 Agility is a boostable requirement for passing through the forests of Tirannwn.) Along with the crystal shield, crystal halberd and the crystal saw, it is one of the four pieces of crystal equipment in RuneScape.
The crystal bow is extremely accurate when fully charged, providing a massive +100 Ranged attack. This beats the Rune crossbow and Dark bow, but ties the Armadyl crossbow. The Heavy Ballista has a higher ranged bonus of +120. The Crystal bow fires at a faster rate than the Rune crossbow, Armadyl crossbow, Dark bow and Heavy Ballista. Furthermore, along with the Armadyl crossbow, it is one of the most accurate weapons in the game when fully charged, surpassed only by Dharok's greataxe which has a +103 slash, the Crystal halberd with +110 slash, the Abyssal Bludgeon with +102 crush, the Heavy Ballista with +120 ranged and the four legendary Godswords, which all have a +132 slash.
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. This makes it ideal for battles which require long-range attacks such as Dagannoth Kings or the TzHaar Fight Cave. The only thing that outranges it is the dragonfire shield special attack with a range of 13 squares.
The attack speed interval of a Crystal bow is 3 seconds, which is between the shortbow and the crossbow in speed.
The bow can be imbued using 2,000 Nightmare Zone points per charge (resulting at 20,000 points to imbue a fully charged bow). This does not keep it from degrading, but its stats will stay at +100. Note that imbuing a degraded bow (such as 2/10) will increase its stats to its new state, which will cost a total of 4,000 points, so it is wise to imbue the bow at said state. As a result of the cost to imbue, it is actually inefficient to imbue a fully charged bow as its Ranged bonus is still +100, yet still costs the 20,000. It would be more efficient to wait until the bow is 9/10 charged (or lower), and then imbue it for only 18,000 points.
|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|
Crystal bows degrade during use. Each bow can fire up to 2,500 shots before it fully degrades and reverts into a crystal seed. Crystal bows start with 10 charges, and loses 1 charge after every 250 shots. Each time a crystal bow loses a charge, its accuracy and Strength bonuses decrease, in this manner:
|Condition||Ranged attack bonus||Ranged strength bonus|
Once a crystal bow runs out of charges, it turns back into a crystal seed, and must be recharged before it can be used again.
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 750,000 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|
| ||Chinchompas||45 (Grey) ||+45 (Grey) ||
- 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 appears to shoot glowing steel arrows.
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