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, it is one of the two 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. This makes it one of the few Ranged weapons, along with the chargebow, kayle's chargebow, zaryte bow, boogie bow and dominion crossbow, that does not require ammunition. This lack of an ammunition requirement makes the crystal bow useful for firing at targets that are behind barriers that prevent normal collection of arrows, such as the greater demons in the Ogre Enclave. It also makes a very useful backup weapon in the event that a hand cannon explodes, as the player can simply switch to the bow without having to equip new ammunition.
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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 lose 1 charge after every 250 shots.
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.
Before the Evolution of Combat, the crystal bow (as well as shield) used to lose some of its combat bonuses every time it degraded. Now the stats remain the same all through the bow's use span.
*Note the bows/shields that are recharged by Ilfeen are non tradeable even when fully charged*
Ilfeen will recharge crystal seeds into crystal bows or crystal shields. She can be found teleporting back and forth between two clearings in Isafdar; however, players who have completed The Prisoner of Glouphrie can also find her in the centre of the elven village Lletya.
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:
Please note that these bows/shields can be bought new on the Grand Exchange, but not once the shield/bow has been used
|Enchantment||Cost for re-enchantment||Price per charge|
|Fifth and thereafter||180,000||72|
Ilfeen is also able to re-enchant partially degraded crystal equipment, at a proportion of the cost. For example, a crystal bow in '9/10' condition can be recharged back to full condition for 180,000 coins if the minimum recharge cost has already been reached. A recharge this way will not count towards reducing the cost for future re-enchantments.
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 or the Grand Exchange 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. By comparison, rune arrows are 151 coins.
One crystal bow will last for 2 hours and 5 minutes of continuous shooting. Players who plan to use crystal bows on extended trips may wish to bring more than one bow.
Some chief disadvantages that crystal bows have, compared to other bows, are the requirements for using them and the relatively short degrading time. Aside from Ancient Warriors' Equipment and Dominion Tower weaponry, crystal equipment has the shortest lifespan in the game. 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.
Arrows have a 20% chance of breaking so each arrow lasts approximately 5 shots. Therefore, when purchasing 500 rune arrows for 151 coins each, the player is effectively buying approximately 2,500 shots' worth of rune arrows for 75,500 coins, around half the cost of the cheapest crystal bow recharge. As the crystal bow is a single item and does not use ammo, you do not lose arrows upon death.
- Attempting to light a fire using the crystal bow results in the message "The bow resists all attempts to light a fire. It seems that the sentient tools of the elves don't approve you burning down forests."
- The above message used to say "You cannot light the fire, because the Crystal Bow has no string." Prior to the release of RuneScape High Detail, the crystal bow indeed had no string.
- The attack range of the crystal bow is 7 spaces, the same as any shortbow.
- 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 at all.
- The crystal bow appears to shoot green-glowing steel arrows.
- If you die in the wilderness with the crystal bow, you can run back and pick it back up. Because of this, many 1 itemers use the Bow. If their prayer drops, simply run back and pick the bow back up.
- While the crystal bow displays the strength of any ammo equipped, it only does damage based on its own ranged strength.
- The new crystal bow was incorrectly listed on the Grand Exchange for being thrown ammo after the Evolution of Combat update.
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