OSRS Shortbow vs Longbow: Item Comparison


When it comes to training Ranged on Oldschool RuneScape, the amount of options are insane. There is everything from knives to darts, throwing axes, crossbows, and even cannons. One of the most common weapons are bows – consisting of both shortbows and longbows.

There is a shortbow and longbow variant for each of the main bow types. Both have their differences that may make one or the other more desirable. Let’s compare the OSRS shortbow vs the longbow.


For this comparison, we will be using the Magic bows. They tend to be the most common with mid to high level players.


OSRS Shortbow Comparison

  • Range Attack: +69


OSRS Longbow Comparison

  • Range Attack: +69

Stats for both bows in this case are identical. To find our “winner” we’ll need to look a bit deeper into what these bows actually do.


There are three key differences we need to take into account when comparing these bows. Their attack speed, attack distance, and special attacks.


  • They can attack from up to 7 squares of distance (9 using the Longrange attack style)
  • Faster attack speed
  • The special attack for the Magic Shortbow uses 55% of your bar, and fires two rapid shots back-to-back. These are not guaranteed to hit your target.


  • They can attack from up to 9 squares of distance (10 using the Longrange attack style)
  • Reduced attack speed
  • The special attack for the Magic Longbow uses 35% of your bar, and is guaranteed to hit your target with a minimum damage of 1.


Shortbows fire significantly faster than longbows, and ultimately offer a better overall DPS. The slight difference in attack distance is generally not worth the decrease in speed.

Price differences between the two are almost non-existent. Longbows actually tend to cost more as they are valued a bit higher for alchemy spells.

The special attack of the Magic Shortbow heavily outweighs the longbow. While the longbow would allow you to use the special attack two times rapidly, it has much less KO potential in PvP scenarios. Magic Shortbow’s special attack will often pack more of a punch and can do much more damage significantly faster.

Overall: Shortbows are better in every single scenario except when an extra couple of squares of attack distance is absolutely necessary. 

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