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Playing ranged characters, I want to take my first shot against an enemy from as far away as possible. However, there don't seem to be any obvious cues to tell me what that maximum range is. This forces me to do a bit of trial and error, taking a shot, then moving a little closer, then taking another shot until one actually hits.

Is there any way to know (aside from experience with each skill) if I am in range to hit an enemy before I actually take the shot?

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there's also an option to make sure that you will automatically move into range if you are out of range for the skill, so you don't waste it. – l I Aug 27 '12 at 17:59
up vote 22 down vote accepted

If you want to know the range of your skill, it's located on the tooltip. But knowing the numerical value is only useful for estimating whether you might be in range. To know if you are, you need to look at the icon for the skill itself.

By default, skills which are out of range will have a red bar along the bottom of the skill icon. If this bar is present, you are out of range, and your attacks will "Miss".

Do note that this is only helpful at determining raw distance; obstructions may be present that prevent you from actually hitting your target, even if it is in range.

enter image description here

In the above image, you can see that the Dagger skills for 1 and 2 are both out of range, while the 3rd skill is not (in this case, because it's a self-buff).

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One additional thing to note is that, once you've played for a bit and are able to judge distances a bit better, you can initiate a ranged skill before you're in range, and you will still hit as long as you move into range by the time the projectile reaches its target (e.g. slower moving weapon throws), or by the time the skill has charged (e.g. Hunter's Call for a ranger). This also works for multi-hit skills (like Rapid Fire), where you can initiate it out of range, miss with the first few hits, and hit with the last few as you move close enough. – Amos M. Carpenter Mar 15 '13 at 2:09

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