Did you realize that a significant portion, 60%, of DnD combat scenarios require ranged tactics? Yes indeed, battles often involve maintaining distance from the enemy.

It’s absolutely necessary to be equipped with top-tier long-range weaponry. Whether you’re an experienced archer or a beginner with a crossbow, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven ranged weapons for long-distance combat in DnD 5e.

Let’s get you armed and prepared for your upcoming battle!

1. Longbow

Take note that the Longbow is highly regarded as one of the most formidable ranged weapons in dnd 5e. Its impressive reach extends up to 600 feet, a distance that allows you to stay safe while launching harmful attacks.

Here’s a fact: A longbow inflicts 1d8 piercing damage, and it gives you the advantage of adding your Dexterity modifier. This implies that if your Dex stat is high, your shots can be extremely deadly.

Additionally, proficiency with a longbow enables you to add your proficiency bonus to attack rolls, highlighting its potential efficacy.

2. Heavy Crossbow

The heavy crossbow is a powerful tool, particularly when the aim is to deal considerable damage from a distance. This weapon of long reach packs a punch that’s difficult to dismiss.

Its distinguishing features are:

  • Substantial Damage: Its 1d10 piercing damage is sufficient to give your opponents pause.
  • Extended Range: With a reach of 100/400 feet, it’s ideal for maintaining a safe distance from danger.
  • Load Property: It demands an action or bonus action to load, ensuring that every shot is impactful.
  • Two-handed Weapon: True to its name, it requires both hands; this may restrict your adaptability, but it boosts strength.
  • Special Ammunition: You have the option to utilize different types of bolts for distinct effects.

Harnessing the power of the heavy crossbow will considerably enhance your offensive capabilities in DnD skirmishes.

3. Shortbow

Opting for a shortbow, you’ll discover it’s a valuable fallback during battles where movement is key. Not as bulky as other ranged weapons, the shortbow’s minimal weight provides a benefit in evading enemy strikes while counterattacking.

It doesn’t pack as much punch as the longbow, but it makes up for it with swifter draw periods and rapid reloading.

The shortbow relies on dexterity for attack rolls and damage assessment—making it perfect for agile characters such as rogues or rangers.

The range, while not extraordinary (80/320 feet), is sufficient to keep you out of harm’s way from direct combat threats. Always keep in mind to keep your distance; when foes get too close, that’s when your backup melee weapon becomes useful.

With careful placement and intelligent use, the shortbow can be just as lethal—if not more so—than heftier alternatives.

4. Light Crossbow

Switching our focus to the light crossbow, it holds a bit more punch than the usual shortbow, albeit with a slower reload time. This balance of power and speed could be a significant factor in an intense combat situation.

Let’s look at some distinctive attributes of the light crossbow:

  • It boasts a range of 80/320 feet, providing an advantage over weapons with less reach.
  • It inflicts piercing damage, perfect for breaching armors.
  • It utilizes bolts as ammunition, which are relatively easy to transport.
  • It can be operated with a single hand, enabling the other hand to remain unoccupied.
  • However, it necessitates the use of both hands for reloading – an aspect that might influence your choice.

5. Hand Crossbow

Hand crossbows may not boast the immense power of their larger equivalents, yet they possess a swift reload speed and can be conveniently handled with one hand.

This unique trait makes them a top choice for agile characters who prioritize speed over sheer strength. The ability to swiftly switch between melee and ranged combat without the need to relinquish your weapon is a significant advantage.

Hand crossbows also serve as the ideal tools for stealth attacks. Their compact size makes them less conspicuous than a full-sized crossbow.

When it comes to ammunition, the bolts are also smaller, which means you can carry a larger quantity in your quiver.

Even though they may not deliver the same impact as a longbow or heavy crossbow, the tactical benefits of a hand crossbow in 5e DnD gameplay should not be underestimated.

6. Javelin (Thrown)

Javelins, known for their use in athletic competitions, have also carved out a useful role in various combat scenarios. In the context of Dungeons and Dragons 5E, they can be utilized with impressive results.

Keep these crucial points in mind while wielding javelins:

  • They are not heavy and can be transported easily; you can hold several at one time.
  • Javelins provide the opportunity for range attacks without the requirement of a bow or crossbow.
  • These weapons are not restricted to throwing; they are equally effective in hand-to-hand combat.
  • A strong strength score can significantly improve the accuracy of your javelin throws.
  • Proficient wielders might even be able to retrieve their thrown javelins post-battle.

7. Blowgun

Though it might seem overly simple, a blowgun can be surprisingly effective under certain circumstances. Its low damage output – merely one piercing damage per hit – might lead you to dismiss it.

However, keep in mind that the blowgun has an impressive range of 100/400 feet, surpassing many other ranged weapons in reach.

In addition, it operates quietly; there’s no loud ‘twang’ as with a bow or crossbow. The dart silently heads towards your target and, if you’re skilled enough, they might not even be aware of its origin. It’s an ideal tool for an assassin or a stealthy rogue.

But the true strength of the blowgun lies in poison. Soak those tiny darts in powerful toxins and you’re suddenly inflicting severe damage from a distance – all while remaining unseen!

So, the humble blowgun shouldn’t be underestimated; when used intelligently, it can be deadly.


You’re now informed about the top 7 ranged weapons in DnD 5e. Each weapon offers unique benefits, from the longbow’s impressive reach to the stealthy surprise of a blowgun.

The heavy crossbow, for instance, has the capacity to hit targets up to 400 feet away, further than an American football field! Consider the impact of these weapons in your upcoming campaign.

Always remember these weapons and secure victory from a distance!