In-depth Hardmode weapon tier list (2024)

Wooden Arrow/Endless Quiver
+costs nothing to use
-no distinguishing traits

An infinite ammo source that you'll likely use while exploring. Their low velocity compared with other ammo types is more noticeable with arrows than with bullets, but a Magic Quiver will fix that.

At first glance it seems to synergize well with The Bee's Knees, but Hardmode enemies have too much defense for that to be a good idea. However, it does synergize with Hellwing Bow.

Bone Arrow
+pierces once
-anti synergy with multi-shot bows

-difficult to resupply

Decent in pre-Hardmode, but in Hardmode you have access to as many Unholy Arrows as you could possibly want, so I see no good reason to use them at this point. They don't receive a fire rate penalty with the Daedalus Stormbow, but are still inferior to Unholy Arrows against the Destroyer.

Flaming Arrow
+easy to craft
-no distinguishing traits

They're alright. Feel free to use the freebies you get from chests, but if you're going to craft some cheap ammunition, craft Frostburn Arrows instead.

Frostburn Arrow
+easy to craft
-no distinguishing traits

Basically a free upgrade to Wooden/Flaming Arrows, but you should never find yourself in a situation where Frostburn Arrows are your best option since Unholy Arrows are buyable now.

Shimmer Arrow
+free upgrade to Wooden Arrows
-mind screw

An even cheaper budget option than the buyable arrows since you can just craft a bunch of Wooden Arrows and dump them in the Shimmer, and they have the same base damage as Unholy Arrows. However, I would consider their upside-down arc to be mostly a downside since you're probably used to a normal arrow trajectory. They do look very funny when used with the Daedalus Stormbow, though.

Jester's Arrow
+pierces infinitely (-10% per hit)
-uses a somewhat contested resource
-anti synergy with multi-shot bows

The only arrow that pierces infinitely, and works well against the Destroyer if you're using a standard repeater. In order for them to surpass Unholy Arrows, you need to manipulate the Destroyer to move horizontally (or vertically with Stormbow) so they can pierce more segments. Note that they will disappear after flying for some distance, so if you shoot them upwards, they're not coming back.

Unholy Arrow
+pierces four times (-5% per hit)
+no farming required

-anti synergy with multi-shot bows

You can buy them from the Arms Dealer for cheap or farm them from the Eye of Cthulhu, and they perform as well as Jester's Arrows for most purposes. Notably, they suffer from a lower piercing penalty than Jester's Arrows, and they don't cost any Fallen Stars to make.

Hellfire Arrow
+damages multiple enemies
+high knockback
+no farming required

-anti synergy with multi-shot bows

Really good for repelling groups of enemies thanks to their high knockback. Weapons like the Marrow and Pulse Bow also inherit their knockback value. However, they are generally not the preferred method of crowd control since the explosion radius is rather small, and their high knockback combined with the slower attack speed of bows/repeaters means that enemies won't end up bunched together like they do with Exploding Bullets.

(mythril or orichalcum anvil)

Holy Arrow
+high single-target DPS potential
+synergy with multi-shot bows
-penalized when used with Daedalus Stormbow

-less effective if target moves quickly

Essentially the arrow equivalent to Crystal Bullets, though the stars are significantly less accurate than the crystal shards spawned by the bullets. While their single-target DPS is very high against stationary or large targets, don't expect the stars to do more than 10 damage if you aren't using good ranged gear.

Cursed Arrow
+high base damage
-no distinguishing traits

Great for feeding weapons like the Shadowflame Bow, which are affected only by the arrow's base damage. Otherwise, pretty generic. Cursed Inferno is an excellent debuff when spread across multiple targets, which is something Cursed Arrows aren't good at because they don't pierce.

Ichor Arrow
+high velocity
+inflicts a powerful debuff

Considerably above average for bossing because they travel quickly and inflict Ichor. Also useful as a secondary if your primary is a gun with Crystal Bullets. If the debuff is all you care about, Ichor Arrows give you 50 more shots per Ichor than Ichor Darts, but the tradeoff is that Ichor Darts can be crafted by hand (and used with a Blowpipe/Blowgun) while Ichor Arrows require a Hardmode anvil.

(all mechanical bosses)

Chlorophyte Arrow
+ricochets once, smart bounce
-uses a highly contested resource

Less DPS potential than Holy Arrows, though they have the highest effective accuracy of any arrow thanks to their smart bounces. While not as reliable as Chlorophyte Bullets, they are still a relatively safe way to hit distant enemies that you don't want in your line-of-sight, and they are much better than any other arrow for killing scattered enemies over a wide area.


Venom Arrow
+highest base damage
+high velocity
+no farming required

-no other distinguishing traits

Usually the best arrow to use with the Phantasm against the final boss due to its velocity alone, which makes Magic Quiver optional. It also packs high base damage and decent knockback, and provides the best stat boosts for the Pulse Bow and Aerial Bane. Its sheer base damage allows it to usually tie with Holy Arrows against most relevant post-Golem bosses.

(final boss)

Luminite Arrow
+pierces four times
+highest potential DPS

-uses a highly contested resource
-comes too late to be of any use

The only piercing arrow that doesn't have an anti-synergy with the likes of Tsunami and Phantasm. It is more potent than Holy Arrows, but suffers from similar accuracy issues; if something is moving fast enough to dodge the stars, it'll probably dodge the secondary Luminite Arrows, too.

In-depth Hardmode weapon tier list (2024)
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