There are several types of ranged weapons in Terraria, including bows and guns. Each of them has its shooting mechanics, its own ammunition and basic parameters.
In this article, you can learn more basic information regarding these two types of weapons, as well as their advantages and disadvantages concerning each other.
Bows in Terraria
The bow is a ranged weapon that uses arrows as projectiles. There are currently 32 different bows available in Terraria, 11 of which are Hardmode-exclusive.
The weakest bow in the game is the Wooden Bow, while Phantasm, Aerial Bane and Pulse Bow share the title of the best.
Each bow has its own Damage, Velocity, Use Time, Knockback, Critical Rate, Rarity, and Cost. The best modifier for bows is Unreal, except for the Wooden Bow and early ore bows, whose lack of knockback make their best modifier Demonic or Rapid instead.
In addition to the essential ability to shoot, some bows have unique effects. For example, Bee’s Knees transforms wooden arrows into a swarm of bees, and Phantasm replaces regular arrows with its own. These features can both significantly enhance the attack and radically change its type. It is worth mentioning that depending on the kind of bow and arrow, shots can be affected by gravity, so sometimes you should shoot with a correction for the trajectory, taking into account the force of gravity.
Arrows act as ammunition for bows. In total, Terraria has 17 different types of arrows, including ordinary wooden ones that play the role of standard ones. Each projectile has its own damage, higher than the damage of a wooden arrow. Some also have additional effects and debuffs. For example, Spectral Arrow, which casts the Curse of Hell on hit.
Guns in Terraria
Guns are ranged weapons that fire bullets or comparable items as ammunition. They act as high precision firearms. There are currently 36 different guns available in Terraria, 20 of which are Hardmode-exclusive.
Among them, there are both prototypes of real-life types of weapons and fantastic ones. The weakest gun is Blowpipe, while the strongest is S.D.M.G.
Each gun has its own Damage, Velocity, Use Time, Knockback, Critical Rate, Rarity, and Cost. The best modifier for guns is Unreal, except for firearms without knockback.
In addition to the essential ability to shoot, some guns have unique effects and shooting mechanics. For example, The Sniper Rifle, as in real life, has the greatest base damage per hit, equal to 185, but it lacks the auto-fire ability, and the cooldown between shots is quite significant. Let’s take Venus Magnum as an example of applying a unique effect. This gun applies the High-Velocity Bullets buff to the loaded ammunition.
This type of weapon also has its kind of shells in the form of various bullets. There are currently 16 different bullets available in Terraria, 11 of which are Hardmode-exclusive. Each projectile has its own damage. Some also have additional effects and debuffs.
Bows vs Guns in Terraria
Having dealt with the main parameters and features of these two types of long-range weapons, we can compare them with each other, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages in relation to each other, as well as their common features.
First of all, it should be noted that both of these types of weapons are exclusively for ranged combat. Both bows and guns are used for shooter class builds. They have common parameters, as well as the principle of use. The best modifier for both weapon types is Unreal. Depending on the method of obtaining, some bows and guns can be crafted, while others can only be obtained as a drop from certain bosses. Certain species can also be purchased from NPCs.
The first and key difference is the required ammunition. If bows require arrows, then guns will be fired with bullets. It is also important to note that the developers of Terraria tried to balance the variety of ammunition for these types of weapons, so there are 17 variations of arrows and 16 variations of bullets in the game. Crafting bullets is usually more expensive than crafting arrows, but this is justified by the difference in the stages at which bows and guns become available to the player. If the player can get the first bow at the very beginning of the adventure, then it is necessary to wait until the first firearm. You can get a gun at an early stage only as loot in a chest or purchase it from a merchant.
The following fundamental difference is in the firing mechanics of these two types of weapons. The majority of bows are not capable of autofire, especially those obtainable in pre-Hardmode. At the same time, the majority of guns are qualified as autofire.
The trajectory of the projectiles is also different. Suppose the firearm is accurate (except for single types of weapons). In that case, when firing from most bows, the arrows deviate from the initial trajectory due to the dependence of the projectiles on the force of gravity. Often, guns also have a much higher rate of fire than bows.
The last significant difference in the number of weapons is 32 types of bows and 36 types of guns.
To summarize, I would like to note that the difference between bows and guns is mainly related to their types. Each type has its own distinctive features, unique weapons and mechanics. The player is free to choose any weapon suitable for his playing style, starting not only from personal preferences but also from the available accessories.