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MS Bowman art.png

The path of the Archer is probably one of the more difficult in MapleStory. Bows are faster than crossbows, but they also do less damage. At their second job, archers have two options, Hunter or Crossbowman, and will proceed on to Ranger and Sniper respectively. The general perception of archers is somewhat biased however, so do not expect to be picked first in a training party. If you decide to level an archer, you will be rewarded with fancy skills, many bossing opportunities, and very stable damage at Fourth Job.

Pros
  • Flashy Skills mainly in the Ranger/Sniper stage.
  • Has the highest accuracy in the game.
  • Gets soul arrow in 2nd job, allowing space saving for more pots.
  • Handles normal mobs pretty well (Puppet, hawk, Blizzard for Snipers, Inferno for Rangers).
  • Good mobbing skills.
  • Longest range.
  • Awesome for bossing.
  • Can hit as high as warrior with double shot very early on.
  • Highest armor of all ranged classes.
  • Very effective at 4th job while bossing with nightlords because of a special skill.
Cons
  • Low health, getting 2-hit-killed by monsters at high levels.
  • Low damage largely due to weak damage formula.
  • Very unstable damage until mastery in 2nd job.
  • Elemental advantage is screwed at higher levels, not much fire weak mobs to train on.
  • Biased view towards archers from other classes, other classes will be chosen over bowmen any time at anywhere at lower levels.
  • Gets KSed easily until 2nd job.

Starting Out[edit]

An archer's primary and secondary statistics are Dexterity (DEX) and Strength (STR), respectively. Luck and Intelligence are worthless to archers, so to be one it is ideal to keep them as low as possible. Strength isn't as useful as DEX, so it is suggested to keep it as low as possible as well.

Maple Island[edit]

Like every class, beginning Archers start out on Maple Island. There are a number of quests to do that serve to orient first time players to the game. After leaving the starting area, players are given free roam on the island. The strongest monster is Orange Mushroom, which can be hazardous. Fortunately, beginners don’t lose EXP when they die. To do some quests, try traveling to Amherst, where simple quests can be fulfilled to get items. Some must-do quests include:

Pio and the Recycling (relaxer chair)
Please Deliver a Letter to Lucas (hat)
Rain’s Maple Quiz (easy EXP)
The Elder's Introduction (Mai gives you best Maple Island weapon)

In addition, it is advisable not to use potions on Maple Island, as there is no penalty for dying. If health is needed, try finding a safe place to sit down and wait a few seconds to recover. It is advised that you complete all of the quests provided on the island because they will help you reach level 10 in record time. If that’s not up to personal preference, Maple Island can be left at any time by Vasily in Southperry.

Victoria Island[edit]

Athena Pierce.

The first step to being an Archer is already complete! Now that the prospective archer is on Victoria Island, or Vic for short, it’s time to head to the Job Instructor. For Archers, that’s Athena Pierce, in Henesys. The best way to get to Henesys is via the Pantheon Portal. At the Six Path Crossway Platform, go down the rope and you will end up at the Six Path Crossway. Go up the rope you see above you but not all the way up. You will see a portal NPC on the left at the higher area of the map. Go in the portal and talk to the NPC again. Select Henesys.

In order to promote to first job, the character in question must be at least level 10. It is recommended, however, that the advancement be made while still on level 10, as crucial skill points will be lost otherwise. If the future archer left before level 10, get there immediately. After reaching level 10, find Athena Pierce in the town of Henesys (the one at the bottom of the world map). She lives in a tree on the far right of Henesys.

After advancing to archer, the max HP and MP will nearly double. Also, it’s finally time to equip a bow! The potion shop of any town sells arrows at 1 meso each, or they can be found from monsters. Both STR and DEX raise an archer’s damage, but it’s not advisable to raise it. Dex is better for bows and STR is better for melee weapons. STR affects the minimum damage range of a bow, but only very slightly, at a rate of 4 STR = 1 DEX and at low levels almost unnoticeably. To use bows, a certain amount of dexterity is needed and no strength requirements are added, so just put in all 5 points into DEX.

If unsure, see the Builds page to see what skills to do. The most important skill at first is Archery Mastery, as it increases the range of arrows and your mobility.

First Job Tips[edit]

  1. For unfunded archers, it is best to do Critical Shot first, and then Double Shot. Critical shot activates with all bow attacks, and costs no MP. Double Shot, at low levels, can be quite a drain on funds due to MP costs and the consumption of twice as many arrows.
  2. Doing all of the first job quests provided by the job instructor should help you level to level 20 easily. Also, take advantage of the fact that these quests provide a lot of potions and equipments.

Second Job Advancement[edit]

Go see Grendel at Level 30. He will say that you look much stronger and ready for 2nd job, and will bring you to a secret area, where you have to defeat Stone Golems and collect 30 Dark Marbles. They don't give any experience or drops except the Dark Marble. Once you are done, climb back up and exit the map through the portal. Take the 30 Dark Marbles back to Dark Lord and he will ask you to choose between 2 jobs, Hunter or Crossbowman.

Third Job Advancement[edit]

Once you are level 60, go to El Nath, and head to the house on the big hill (Chief Residence). Head to Rene, and talk with her. After a chat, head to Sharp Cliff I. Go inside the crystal portal at the bottom of the map. Double click on the Holy Stone at the bottom. Head inside, fight Athena Pierce's evil side, and head out with the Black Charm that it drops. Head back to Rene and give her this item, and voila, you are third job!

Fourth Job Advancement[edit]

Congratulations on hitting 100! Once you hit level 100, Rene the 3rd job instructor will contact you via lightbulb. After starting the quest, head to Leafre and talk to Legor in The Forest of the Priest. You will then get a quest to obtain two special items for the fourth job instructor to advance. You will have to kill Manon and Griffey to get the two items, but thankfully, they're special versions of the bosses, which you will find instantly upon entering their respective boss map. Note, they don't drop any of the items the real versions do. After hunting down these monsters and obtaining the two items, go talk to Legor. She will advance you to fourth job, give you the skill book for Maple Warrior 10, and give you 4 SP and 5 AP.

Advanced Guide[edit]

Jump Shot[edit]

This is a relatively simple trick that is hard to master, but it is easy with a good keyboard and especially the fact that now it is possible to attack while in air (except Arrow Blaster and Hurricane, but while shooting Hurricane jumping is allowed) There are 3 kinds of jump shots, forward jump shots, back jump shots, and stationary jump shots. While in practice, there is little to no reason to do a jump shot, it is necessary when fighting some bosses as you avoid getting hit entirely. For example, jump shooting against a Yeti will prevent earthquake damage and back jump shooting against Jr. Balrog will take you outside of his range of fire.

Stationary jump shots are the easiest. Just jump and shoot while in mid-air.

Forward jump shots are the next easiest. While walking forward, do a jump shot.

Back jump shots are the hardest, and most people cannot do them consistently. Basically, while walking forward, jump, move in the opposite direction while in air, and shoot immediately thereafter. Again, some keyboards simply don't allow this as they only allow one button to be hit at once. Additionally, this is not possible to do with snowshoes because you have to do this while you are "sliding". Go to El Nath to practice, slide forward, jump back and shoot all at once to see the effect. Snowshoes, prevent back shooting from working because snowshoes stop ALL sliding, note that even when you are not in El nath you still slide VERY minimally making back shooting possible and snowshoes prevent back shooting because snowshoes prevent ALL sliding.

Hunter or Crossbowman?[edit]

This is a classic example of speed vs. power. While Hunters have a higher damage/minute output in early levels, Crossbowmen catch up quickly in 2nd job. This is unfortunate as it gives a bad example of the strength of Crossbows in the first 30 levels; where the damage difference is minuscule and the speed difference is massive.

In second job however, Crossbows and Bows get the skill "booster" that levels the playing field in terms of speed. While hunters are still faster than Crossbows, it is less noticeable with booster on. (With no booster, the speed difference is 10%, with booster on the speed difference is only 6%). The damage difference does just the opposite, the higher level you are, the bigger the difference is between the classes. Crossbows just get stronger and stronger than Hunters. However, It is worth noting, bow's speeds got lowered and match the same as a crossbow's speed in patch 0.60

Frankly, both the speed difference and strength difference is minuscule compared to the different skills in 2nd job. Hunters get Arrow Bomb, a weaker attack that can cause up to 6 enemies to get stunned. Crossbows get Iron Arrow, a stronger attack that does not "home" on enemies but can go through walls.

Arrow Bomb versus Iron Arrow[edit]

The most visible difference between these Second Job classes is simply the Arrow Bomb vs. Iron Arrow debate. The skills are similar; they both hit up to 6 enemies and both cost up to 15 mana.

Targets

Arrow Bomb explodes in either direction from the target it strikes, which means groups of enemies must be close to the initial target to get hit by the area of effect (each target affected also has a chance to be stunned). Arrow bomb has the ability to shoot upward or downward at a slight angle (like a normal attack) and is useful when attacking from a safe spot.

Iron Arrow can only hit targets in a straight line and in one direction (as a bonus, the projectile can pass through walls). Iron Arrow is better at hitting multiple monsters, but cannot be used to safely snipe enemies from above or below.

Arrow Bomb damage

Due to recent patches, arrow bomb's impact damage has been raised to the normal attack of 450%, allowing its damage to match the splash damage. A critical strike from Arrow Bomb gives 1.2x-1.5x (varies with character stats) splash damage (making the attack have an average maximum of 675% splash damage )

When maxed, Arrow Bomb deals (450% x 6) for a maximum of 2700% damage (a critical strike will be (675% x 6) for a maximum of 4050% damage).

Arrow Bomb stun

When maxed, Arrow Bomb has a 60% chance to stun each enemy (the calculation to see if a target is stunned is applied to each individual target rather than the entire group as a whole). Admittedly, it doesn't seem like a "flat" 60% chance, weaker enemies tend to get stunned more often than the stronger enemies, and bosses never get stunned.

Iron Arrow damage

A maxed out Iron Arrow will hit all targets for 450%. However, due to the specialised skill Rangefinder, damage gets increased with distance between the character and the monster (up till 30% damage). Even then, if enemies are close to the character, the character deals increased critical rate chance, allowing more critical hits (up till 20% additive boost)

Iron Arrow, when maxed, deals (450% x1.3 x6) for a maximum of 3510% damage (a critical strike will be (675%x1.3x6) for a maximum of 5265% total damage).

Conclusion

Iron Arrow does more damage as the distance between the character and the monster increases , but Arrow Bomb allows the Hunter to attack from safer locations due to having a more flexible range. Both have the ability for crowd control, because Arrow Bomb can stun, and Iron Arrow has knockback.

Arrow Bomb damage
Number of targets Maximum damage Critical strike damage
1 450% 675%
2 900% 1350%
3 1350% 2025%
4 1800% 2700%
5 2250% 3375%
6 2700% 4050%
Iron Arrow damage
Number of targets Maximum damage Critical strike damage
1 585% 877.5%
2 1170% 1755%
3 1755% 2632.5%
4 2340% 3510%
5 2925% 4387.5%
6 3510% 5265%

Third Job class comparison[edit]

In 3rd job, the tables are reversed. Crossbows get Ice Shot, which freezes foes for up to 3 seconds as long as they aren't ice-resistant; however, it does not receive critical attacks. Hunters get Fire Shot, which is stronger and does receive criticals. In essence, however, the difference between these two bowmen can be summed up like this: Hunters are speedy, and Crossbows are powerful.

Stat comparison 1

20 Dex on a Crossbow = 21 Dex on a Bow. Similarly, 20 Weapon Attack on an Crossbow= 21 Weapon Attack on a Bow. This basically means that if you are a hunter with 42 dex, you will do the same damage per shot as a Crossbow with 40 Dex. Or if you are a hunter with 210 dex, you will do the same damage per shot as a Crossbowman with 200 dex. Bows have a Dex * 3.4 multiplier, whereas Crossbows have a Dex * 3.6 multiplier. Everything else stays exactly the same. For that same reason, the same amount of Weapon Attack has a higher net impact on a Bow in terms of unit output, while Dexterity has a higher net impact on a Crossbow in terms of unit output. Similarly, due to weapon requirements, Bow users will overall have 5 more Strength and 5 less Dexterity than Crossbow users, and Crossbow users will overall have 5 more Dexterity and 5 less Strength. Weapon Attack's impact overtime generates an increasing proportional rate to statistics such as Dexterity and Strength. Diminishing returns currently do not seem apparent.

Stat comparison 2

Equipment bonuses are ignored.

  • Level 70 Ranger, normal build-
    • Minimum Damage: (292*0.9*3.4*0.6+75)/100 = 6.11*80(average level 70 bow weapon attack) = 489
    • Maximum Damage: (292*3.4+75)/100 = 10.678*80 = 854
    • Average Damage: 672(941)
    • dpm:
      • Fast Bow: 53,760(75,280)
      • Fast Bow With Booster: 59,136(82,808)
  • Level 70 Sniper, normal build-
    • Minimum Damage: (297*0.9*3.6*0.6+70)/100 = 6.47*83(average level 70 crossbow weapon attack) = 537
    • Maximum Damage: (297*3.6+70)/100 = 11.392*83 = 946
    • Average Damage: 742(1039)
    • dpm:
      • Normal Crossbow: 54,908(76,886)
      • Normal Crossbow With Booster: 62,328(87,276)

This looks if you use the basic attack, the first number being without critical and the number in the brackets being with critical. Used the Attack ladder below for the damage per minute.

It must be clearly understood that Arrow Bomb and Iron Arrow are not buddy skills, and similarly, Ice Shot and Fire Shot are not buddy skills. The Ranger's damage dealing skill is Fire Shot while the Sniper's is Iron Arrow. The Ranger's disabling skill is Arrow Bomb while the Sniper's is Ice Shot.

Comparing Ice Shot with Arrow Bomb, their damage is relatively similar. Ice Shot has a flat damage rate of 140%. Arrow Bomb has a rating of 130%, but subsequent mobs that get hit gets slightly higher damage. Arrow Bomb can also hit critical, making the average damage of Arrow Bomb 170%. Yet, due to the damage difference between Ranger and Sniper, these two skills do about the same damage. Ice Shot guarantees a freeze but Arrow Bomb only has a 60% chance. Yet, Ice Shot cannot be used on Ice type monsters.

Now, for Fire Shot against Iron Arrow. Fire Shot does 150%, with critical the average is 190%. Iron Arrow does 180%, with critical that is 220%. However, Iron Arrow damage reduces as it hits more targets. In any case, Iron Arrow deals more damage as the Sniper inherently deals more damage. However, unlike Ice Shot, the elemental advantage of Fire must be considered. Ice Shot is only meant for freezing; its damage is a bonus. Fire Shot only has one purpose, which is to damage. Therefore, Rangers can catch up on the lack of damage by attacking Ice type monsters.

One last point about these 4 skills is that when you first reach level 70, the Sniper can immediately learn Ice Shot for 100% damage and 1 second freeze. His Iron Arrow is already at level 30. This means that the Sniper can immediately take advantage of his Ice Shot and take out huge numbers of monsters. The Ranger, on the other hand, has to take 10 levels to max out Fire Shot.

In the 1st job advance period, Hunter's edge on speed is superior to Crossbow's edge on damage. You're not spamming skills, and more speed and less damage vs. more damage and less speed generally comes to an almost equal damage over time, so the versatility of higher speed can be better (especially considering the level 25, 35, and 90 Bows have a FAST speed rating) but as weapon defense gets higher the Hunter's speed edge can lose out to the the higher damage per shot of the Crossbow. However, if you're spamming skills, then Bows are not better than Crossbows (though, not worse off either), and it becomes solely a choice.

Attack Speed Ladder[edit]

Attack Speed ladder
Rating Corresponding Shots/minute
0 (Normal (Cross)bow) 74 shots per minute
1 (Normal (Cross)bow with booster) 84 shots per minute
2 (Fast Bow) 80 shots per minute
3 (Fast Bow with booster) 88 shots per minute
Final Attack for Crossbow 200 shots per minute
Final Attack for Bow 160 shots per minute

A common misconception is that bows and crossbows fire at different speeds even though they are both rated normal. This is probably because crossbows have a slight delay before they fire, making them slower in practicality but the same speed when standing still and firing. The delay for bows comes after the shot, like most attacks. Also, all archer attack skills are the same speed with the same weapon. That is to say, Strafe and Double Shot are the same speed.