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I found a new bow (Rank B) on the field, and while I've given it to my Archer (Rank C), he can't seem to use it during a fight. What determines whether a unit can use an item?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The weapon has a ranking on it and the character has a weapon ranking. If the character weapon ranking is not greater to or equal to the weapon's then they cannot use it. The ranking goes from E (lowest) to A (highest).

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In the bottom left hand corner you can see the characters weapon rank.

No luck finding a picture of a weapon description though.

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Isn't S rank the highest? Reserved only for advanced classes? – Frank Feb 26 '13 at 21:27
I didn't know about the weapon ranks - thanks! – KatieK Feb 26 '13 at 21:28
@fbueckert No, in previous titles there were S rank weapons but in this game it only goes up to A. – Tony Feb 26 '13 at 21:29
Huh. That's too bad; S-rank weapon skill used to confer some pretty decent bonuses. – Frank Feb 26 '13 at 21:30
@Tony I just did the same thing and finally found a use for the Arms Scrolls I've had sitting around. – Brian Apr 8 '13 at 19:06

Additionally to @Tony's answer, it is good to note, that there are some weapons, that can't be used by just anybody, even if that character meets the weapon level requirement.

Those weapons are:

As well as any Dark Tome, which can only be used by Dark Mages, Sorcerers and any other tome user with the skill Shadowgift equipped, that is: Aversa and if married to the Avatar, Morgan as well. Some enemies and DLC characters may possess the Shadowgift skill as well, such as Micaiah and Katarina.

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