Minecraft is a game of exploration, adventure, and creativity. An enormous world awaits to be shaped and built into something grand by you. But unsurprisingly, there are numerous threats to deal with. Thankfully, you can snipe enemies from afar with an arrow (or multiple). But if you want to make your shots count, you’ll need the best arrow types in Minecraft!

Overview of Arrows in Minecraft

One of the most important tools in the game is the bow, which allows players to defend themselves from a distance and fire many kinds of unique arrows. Players can also make crossbows that can be pre-loaded with special arrows and stashed in the player’s inventory for the right moment.

There are many different types of arrows in Minecraft, each with its own unique properties and uses. Today we’ll explore the different types of arrows available in the game, how to craft them, and how to use them to your advantage.

How to Make Special Arrow Types in Minecraft

Many special arrow types in Minecraft are crafted with lingering potions. These are end-game items, only accessible to players that have entered “The End” and engaged in combat with the Ender Dragon.

Using an empty glass bottle to harvest its breath attack (or any of the residual purple clouds from its fireballs) will grant you a bottle of Dragon’s Breath. You can then mix the Dragon’s Breath with any splash potion at a brewing stand to make a lingering potion.

Remnants of the Ender Dragon's breath attack. Ready for harvesting.
Possibly grape flavored. Definitely spicy at least. (Image: Mojang via HGG)

Making regular potions takes a brewing stand, blaze powder to keep it fueled, various ingredients from all over the world of Minecraft, and an awkward potion. Awkward potions are brewed from nether wort and glass bottles full of water and are the base for every other potion.

You can then add various ingredients to get a huge variety of effects before adding the final components to amp up the potion in various ways. Redstone will enhance the duration of a potion, while glowstone will make its effects stronger (you’ll have to choose between the two).

Adding gunpowder afterwards will make it into a throwable splash potion. Only splash potions can be used to make lingering potions, which is what you’re looking for to make the best arrows in Minecraft.

Lastly, you can add a fermented spider eye, made out of a brown mushroom, sugar, and a spider eye. These reverse, or “corrupt”, the potion they’re mixed with, creating a brand new kind of potion out of it.

After turning any of these potions into a splash potion, and then into lingering potions, you can make special tipped arrows from them. Simply go to a crafting bench, place the potion with your desired effect in the center, and fully surround it with arrows to make your newly enhanced arrows.

Best Arrows in Minecraft, Ranked Good to Amazing

Without further ado, let’s dive into our list and why each arrow is ranked as such in Minecraft.


Arrow of Invisibility

These arrows will momentarily turn your target invisible. Invisibility is an interesting mechanic in Minecraft, reducing the distance at which you can be detected by enemy mobs down to a mere 7% of the usual range. While this doesn’t make you completely undetectable, it sure helps.

Each piece of armor worn by a player will reduce the effect of being invisible. Additionally, if you intend to use the invisibility effect in PvP combat, you’ll want to make sure to have your target take off all their armor, since the armor itself will not become invisible, just their player character model.

Sneaking through a Woodland Mansion in Minecraft while invisible.
Invisibility is invaluable when you’re trying to sneak through a Woodland Mansion. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

The uses for this are relatively niche, but can be used for some creative tactics (especially in PvP situations). Another use is to shoot vulnerable villagers, before any mobs have seen them, to buy enough time to attract the mobs to yourself. Just be careful how hard you shoot them.

Making an invisibility potion requires quite a chain of creations. It will start with getting ahold of a brewing stand and a golden carrot to make a potion of night vision. Golden carrots are made with, as you’d expect, golden nuggets and carrots. Then, you’ll need to make a fermented spider’s eye to reverse that night-vision potion into invisibility. Add redstone to extend the duration and you’ll be able to make any of your friends or enemies invisible from a distance.


Spectral Arrow (Java Only)

Spectral arrows will make your target glow for ten entire seconds, even if they pass behind a wall. During that time period, you’ll still be able to see an outline of whatever team color they’re in. This can be incredibly useful for PvP situations, or for fighting larger enemies like the Wither or the Ender Dragon. It lets you tag a target for everyone on your team to focus fire on.

The outline of a mob tagged by a Spectral Arrow in Minecraft.
If only we could always see creepers through walls, but this will suffice for now. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

Currently, spectral arrows are only craftable in the Java version of Minecraft, and they are unusual in that they’re the only arrows that don’t take a lingering potion to create. Instead, you make spectral arrows by combining four pieces of glowstone with a single arrow, which will give you two spectral arrows.

As soon as you get into the Nether you’ll be able to find sources of glowstone along the walls and ceilings of that difficult, dreary dimension. Spectral arrows are especially helpful for tracking the Ghast in the Nether if you’re fighting a lot of them on a higher difficulty.


Arrow of Healing / Arrow of Regeneration

Arrows of healing might seem counterintuitive, since anyone you’re shooting an arrow at is going to get hurt either way. However, hidden in the code of Minecraft is a secret about the undead enemies you encounter, like skeletons, zombies, and the menacing Wither.

This secret is that any healing effects that help a living entity in the world live longer will actually do damage to undead enemies. On the other hand, the regeneration arrow is solely for use on other players as a healing method, letting you play as a supporting character in more situations.

Shooting an undead mob with Arrows of Healing to do extra damage.
Lethal healthcare delivered by arrows. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

These bright-red arrows of healing are crafted using a lingering potion of healing, which you should probably upgrade with some glowstone. That way, any other player shot with the healing arrows will actually have a net positive gain. These arrows will actually still just hurt other players when they aren’t upgraded!

You make potions of healing by using glistening melon slices, made with gold and slices of melon or bought from high-level farmer villagers. Regeneration potions are made of ghast tears that you can harvest from the floating ghast monsters in the Nether. Shoot them down over land instead of over lava to make sure you can harvest the tears.

If you’re going to make regen arrows to shoot your friends with, you should extend the duration of the potion first using some redstone. This will raise the time on the arrow from five seconds all the way to fifteen.


Arrow of Weakness

This arrow type make your targets do less damage, a helpful bonus for when you’re fighting the rare enemies in Minecraft that you don’t expect to take down without a major fight. For example, A horde of hoglins in the Nether can easily overwhelm a player if they’re in a bad position. Making some of their attacks do less damage can be a huge help.

Spreading weakness out among enemy players before they get close to you can save a ranged fighter during PVP combat. Since this arrow tip only affects melee damage, don’t waste arrows of weakness on ranged combat targets – like an evoker or the nether dragon.

A horde of weakened Hoglins chasing down a player in the Nether.
A dangerous group of Hoglins chases an intrepid wildlife journalist in The Nether. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

These are crafted using potions of weakness, which you create by brewing a fermented spider eye into a water bottle. Unlike other options, you won’t need nether wort to do this, just a brewing stand, Thus, they can be one of the first potions you start making early on if you can’t get any nether wort for a while.


Arrow of Harming

This arrow type has the simplest application of all the magical tipped arrows in Minecraft. Arrows are made to hurt a target from a distance, and the magic potion on these ones just makes them do that better. They’ll hurt everything a little more, except for undead enemies, who will actually be healed by the dark magic of these arrows.

A view of a forest in Minecraft, soon to be teeming with enemies as the sun sets.
As the sun sets, monsters will rise in the forest. The perfect hunting ground. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

You make potions of instant harming by corrupting a potion of healing, brewed as previously described by using glistening melons. You can also corrupt a potion of poison, brewed with a regular spider eye. The power of these potions will boost the power of the harming arrows, which can knock up to six additional hearts off of a target if it’s been properly buffed.


Arrow of Strength / Arrow of The Turtle Master

These arrows are invaluable for playing support in a multiplayer game. You’re going to want to make sure your allies are doing as much damage as possible, even if it means taking a couple of hearts off their health to properly put them into a berserker rage!

The strength arrow will make your target deal extra damage with melee, letting you maximize your damage output as a team. Before you hit them with a strength arrow though, let your knights get in close to their target.

Then hit them with an arrow of the turtle master, drastically reducing their speed but also buffing their damage resistance against all sources by a significant amount. This winning combo can destroy an enemy’s chance to get past your front lines.

Brewing a potion of strength in Minecraft.
(Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

Potions of strength are brewed using blaze powder, which you’ll already need to have some of in order to brew any potions at all. Meanwhile, potions of the turtle master are brewed using turtle shells, which you can only acquire by breeding sea turtles and protecting them while their eggs are sitting safely on the beach. Buffing turtle master potions with glowstone will enhance both of their effects, slowing your target more than it would have while also more vastly raising its defensive attributes.


Arrow of Decay (Bedrock Only)

These monstrously powerful arrows will apply the Wither effect to your target. This effect is similar to poison but doesn’t deal quite as much damage. In exchange, it is capable of killing its target while poison damage is not. It also deals damage to undead mobs when poison can’t.

Additionally, any player character targeted by these effects will have their entire hearts bar blacked out, so they can’t see how much health they have left. This can induce panic during a PvP encounter, forcing your target to flee even if they aren’t anywhere close to death.

Unsurprisingly, wither skeletons, along with the boss mobs like The Wither and the Ender Dragon, are all immune to the wither effect. Witches also don’t take nearly as much damage from it as anyone else does.

A high-level fletcher villager is the only way to get Arrows of Decay.
A high-level fletcher like this will always have special arrows for sale. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

These arrows are only available in the Bedrock edition of the game, so Java players will just have to be satisfied with regular poison. Unlike every other arrow, these cannot be crafted by the players. Instead, you’ll need to get lucky enough to have a top-level fletcher in your village that unlocks this particular kind of special arrow.

You can level up your fletcher by trading with them frequently and making sure they’re protected from zombies at night. Otherwise, if they’re killed, it will erase all your progress. You’ll need to trade them emeralds and arrows in exchange for special arrows. You might need a lot of fletchers in town in order to get lucky enough to have one of them spawn these rare, deadly Arrows of Decay.


Arrow of Slowness

These arrows are excellent for fighting a big group of close-range enemies all at once, since it’ll slow them all down enough for you to pick out a few at a time. Much more preferable to having to contend with the entire crowd at once.

This is very helpful during a Pillager Raid when it’s unlikely you’ll be able to engage with each target quickly enough to take them all down. By default, they drop a target’s speed by 15% for a little while, or by 60% if you enhance the arrow first. Use this to separate groups of enemies effectively.

Slowing down pillagers during a raid with Arrows of Slowness.
Fighting off a raid is tough even if you use Creative mode for infinite supplies. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

You make a potion of slowness, the base item for these arrows, by corrupting a potion of swiftness or jumping. These are made, respectively, out of sugar and rabbits’ feet. Sugar is typically much easier to acquire and a lot more renewable than rabbit’s feet, so you should only bother inverting a jumping potion in a pinch. Afterwards, just add a pinch of glowstone to really slow down your enemies.


Arrow of Poison

Lastly, we need to mention the arrow that simply has the most straightforward properties, helping you two-shot almost any target in Minecraft if you can apply it properly. The dreaded poison effect gradually reduces the health of a poisoned target until they have half a heart left.

You’ll become acquainted with this effect early on by fighting against Witches, who always carry splash potions of poison as one of their main attacks. Land a shot of poison on a big enemy early on in a fight, and by the time it gets close to you and forces you to draw your sword or axe, you’ll fell their last heart in a single shot. Undead enemies are immune to poison.

Example of a health bar afflicted with poison.
Our health bar in this shot shows the poison effect gradually reducing our hearts. (Image: Mojang via HGG / Nathan Hart)

Poison arrows are made out of regular, un-fermented spider eyes. Enhance their effects with glowstone to help them deal more damage, quicker.

These arrows get our top spot for being affordable on top of being effective. You’ll probably have more spider eyes lying around than you know what to do with by the point where you can start crafting your own tipped arrows in Minecraft.

Join the High Ground

At the end of the day, when you load your bow, you don’t want to have to think too much about what targets you’re shooting at. With that in mind, poison arrows or arrows of slowness, with their broadly useful effects, are likely going to be your best picks for whatever situation you find yourself in Minecraft.

Keeping a quiver full of these special arrows can make sure that you and your castle-building buddies can take the high ground wherever you go.

If you found our list of the best arrows in Minecraft useful, let us know in comments below! Or do you think another one deserves to be on the list? And make sure to subscribe for more weekly content like this.

Happy gaming!