There are obvious cases where special arrows (fire, ice, shock, etc.) do more damage against an enemy:

  • When the effect causes additional "special damage" after the initial hit: Enemies whose gear gets lit on fire seem to sustain additional damage from the flames.
  • There's a clear rock-paper-scissors thing happening, where some element types do more damage against certain elemental enemies: A fire arrow seems to take out an Ice Wizzrobe in one shot, vs. many hits with regular arrows.

But I'm wondering if special arrows will do more damage when they don't seem to set off any "special" elemental effect. For example, when I shoot a shock or fire arrow at most bosses (like a Hinox, say), it seems that they're immune, or cancel the effect - the shock or bomb arrow hits and gives no indication of electricity or an explosion (presumably because those enemies are immune to being electrified or blown up?)

But do those arrows still do more damage, or do they essentially function like "normal" arrows when used against enemies immune to their effects?

  • 4
    Side note - Hinoxes can still be affected by elemental arrows. If the Hinox is wearing wooden leg braces, you can set those on fire with fire arrows, and the Hinox will try to put the fire out. If the leg braces are made of metal, you can shoot shock arrows to freeze the Hinox in place for a second or two.
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 16:26
  • Other side note: It's not a triangle of weaknesses. Fire enemies are weak to ice and ice enemies are weak to fire. There's no enemies that are particularly weak to electricity. And the only resistance (damage-wise, unrelated to effect immunities) is against their own type.
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


According to this post, all arrows do the same amount of base damage. Bomb arrows appear to do a little bit extra, though that's probably because the enemy takes damage from both the arrow itself and the resulting explosion.

Certain elemental arrows can be used to instantly kill enemies of the opposite type. Fire arrows kill ice enemies, ice arrows kill fire enemies, and ancient arrows kill Guardian enemies (if you shoot them in the eye, otherwise they always take 1/3 of their maximum health in damage). Other than that, the only benefit to using elemental arrows is to apply the elemental effect to the enemy hit.

  • I thought that ancient arrows do extreme damage to everything.
    – Bloonarius
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 23:17
  • @Bloonchipper That's quite an understatement. Everything that's not a Guardian or boss just evaporates without drops. That's "applying the elemental effect" though.
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 15:24
  • Ah, so anything that is not a boss or guardian will vanish without drops, interesting, no wonder when I killed a Lynel with it the Lynel didn't drop anything.
    – Bloonarius
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 15:49

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