There are a number of different types of bows available for use, each varying slightly in range, attack speed, and accuracy. The longbow offers a fair attack speeds, a long range, and fair accuracy. The shortbow has a good attack speed, poor range, and good accuracy. The flatbow provides a good attack speed, a good range, and poor accuracy. The recurve bow has a fair attack speed, a fair range, and good accuracy. The hornbow provides a poor attack speed, a fair range, and fair accuracy, but has armor penetration.
There are five types of bows, and each has different advantages and disadvantages. The longbow has a medium attack speed, long range, and medium accuracy. The flatbow has a fast attack speed, long range, but poor accuracy. The horn bow has a slow attack speed, medium range, medium accuracy, and 10% armor penetration. The recurve bow has a medium attack speed, medium range and good accuracy. The short bow has a quick attack speed, short range, and good accuracy.
— Rakanja, Expert Ranger
A Bow is a two-handed projectile weapon, preferred by Rangers, that requires a minimum marksmanship rank to deliver its maximum of 15 to 28 piercing damage. There are five primary classes of bows, each with properties that suit specific situations. Bows are also used to pull enemies away from well defended positions.
- Maximum damage range1: 15 - 28.
- Damage type: Piercing damage.
- Attack rate/interval: Depends on bow class, see below.
- Range: Depends on bow class, see below.
- Projectile flight time and arc size: Depends on bow class. This influences how high the bow's arrows fly, determining accuracy on moving targets and for interrupts, as well as the steepness of hills that will obscure shots.
The following table shows the different inherent properties of the bow classes:
|Bow class||Attack interval||Range2||Flight time3||Arc size||Other properties||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Flatbow||2.025 seconds||1.35||0.88 seconds||High||Maximum firing rate and maximum firing range||Arrows easily dodged and slow to interrupt|
|Longbow||2.475 seconds||1.35||0.59 seconds||Medium||Well balanced and maximum firing range|
|Hornbow||2.700 seconds||1.2||0.59 seconds||Medium||10% armor penetration||More damage based on enemy's Armor rating||Slow firing when not using Attack skills|
|Recurve Bow||2.475 seconds||1.2||0.40 seconds||Low||Well balanced and fastest arrows|
|Shortbow||2.025 seconds||1.0||0.59 seconds||Medium||Maximum firing rate||Shortest range|
1 Projectile weapons inflict more damage against foes at lower elevation and less damage against foes at higher elevation.
- Testing has yielded attacks that can do up to 200% of the listed maximum damage (not including modifiers)
- Critical hits are not affected by elevation. If the elevation bonus is higher than a critical can achieve, then that value is used instead.
2 Range is approximate, and is measured in aggro circle / danger zone radii. Range is also affected by elevation: arrows fly further from higher elevations (relative to target) and shorter from lower elevations.
3 Flight time is at Shortbow range.
Although most bows in Guild Wars are named "(skin) (type)", as in "Jade Longbow" or "Ancient Recurve Bow", many Core and Prophecies bows have names which do not specify their type.
 Bow styles
Note: This is a list of all the different appearances a bow may have. It is completely independent of its stats and modifiers; for example a Composite Bow may be as effective as an Eternal Bow if they share the same inscription and modifiers.
 By campaign
- The Candy Cane Bow and Wintergreen Bow can only be obtained during special in-game events.
- The Ironwing Flatbow is only available in Factions elite missions.
- Not available as a drop.
- Zehtuka's Shortbow can be found lying on the ground in various explorable areas of the Desolation.
- The official English names of the Black Hawk's Lust bow, the Scorpion Bow and Scorpion's Lust Bow are currently unknown. They are promotional items exclusive to Taiwan, Korea and Japan respectively.
 By model type
Bow types (excluding promotional items) by model:
- 1 The Ironwing Flatbow is only available in elite missions.
- 2 Not available as a drop.
- 3 Zehtuka's Shortbow can be found lying on the ground in various explorable areas in the Desolation.
- Some bows have two seperate skins for bows; e.g. Tormented Bows have one skin for Flatbows, Hornbows and Longbows and another skin for Recurve Bows and Shortbows.
- Archer's Signet and Favorable Winds are the only non-bow attack or preparation skills that require a bow.