When you gain a ranged weapon (Short Bow, Long Bow, Arquebus, Gun Leech, etc...) you can do a lot more with it than might be immediately evident, even if it is far lower a level than the rest of your weapons.

  • Light scouting: enchant your weapon with just a single Rune of Light and you can shoot your projectiles to illuminate open spaces. Particularly useful in scouting out the Sewers and Caves levels.
  • Snipe to weaken': enchant your weapon with Runes of Bleed and shoot away at enemies. Feel free to run back after you shoot them. As long as you don't leave the level, the enemies will keep the damage, and might even die from the bleed effect. (An exception to this would be armored enemies that have +Heal on their armors, or Trolls, which regenerate health continuously)
  • To take care of armored enemies, you can pair with a minion equipped with a Nymph Face. Nymph AI is very aggressive but also very cowardly; your minion will attack and almost immediately retreat, often stealing an enemy's equipped item. This rapidly removes all enemy armor and solves the problem of armor maybe causing them to regenerate health.
  • For "Floor Bosses", stealing their equipment also weakens them a lot and readies them for being sniped off without putting the minion at huge risk.
  • Ladder sniping: this is useful when you are on a higher level than enemies, and there is only a single ladder leading up to your level. Go down the ladder, shoot once, and climb back up the ladder. Enemies can only attack you if you're at the same level, so they will be unable to attack you on the ladder and will walk away after a bit. Then you can shoot them again and again. With this strategy, as long as your enemy doesn't regenerate health, you can kill them, even with say a Level 1 Short Bow.
  • Teleporting enemies away safely: go to a cleared floor and enchant your ranged weapon with a Rune of Teleport. Your ranged weapon will teleport to some random place on that floor, so go find it. Now when you shoot enemies, there is a chance they'll be teleported away! This is very useful for getting enemies out of your way. You can also throw a Rune of Teleport at them for a 100% of success, or eat it yourself to escape, but enchantments last forever. Consumption is a one-time thing.
  • Racial Pairing: what race you are hugely affects how you can use your bow. I tried loads of combinations and these ended up being my favorites:
    • Goblin Hit & Run: Goblin Face + Ranged Weapon allows you to run away, shoot, and repeat, as you are the fastest race in the game. You're fragile, but as long as you have the space and are running continuously, you can snipe and kill enemies with little fear that they'll reach you.
    • Drow Longshooting: Drow Face + Ranged Weapon gives you Infravision, which allows you to track enemy movement in the darkness. This means you can shoot them from incredibly long distances with great accuracy.
    • Vampiric Leechshooting: Vampire Face + Ranged Weapon allows you to leech enemy health by shooting arrows at them. A great way to keep high health.
  • What race your minion is also affects your gameplay.
    • Golem/Troll Pairing': Both of these are highly health-conserving tanks. Summoning a minion to block of enemies physically while you shoot them down is an excellent battle strategy. Just make sure your minion has a main, melee weapon only. If you give them a ranged weapon, they'll try to back off to shoot it first. Same with a thrown weapon.
    • Nymph Pairing: A good scouting race for the minion. It will be fast, aggressive, and will strip enemy of any defensive gear that might reduce the efficacy of your arrows.

So why do I have a specific guide about Ranged weaponry and how to use them? Because that is how I beat the game.

At the end of my game, not counting end-game items, I had a Longbow with +5 Light +5 Bleed +1 Slow +1 Teleport, coupled with a Drow Face that had +4 Heal +2 Thorns +1 Protection. I would equip a Gnoll Face before looting chests, a Vampire face if I needed health, and a Goblin Face for traveling to previous levels quickly. I stopped using armor out of fear of curses and due to my heavily enchanted Drow Face.

My minion swapped between a lot of armors, mainly a Wizard Hat and Helmet, both with +2 Heal and other buffs, but it'd been polymorphed to a Troll which was very helpful. It also was equipped with a high level Leech for most of the endgame. Cursed, but powerful. Occasionally I'd give it a Chakram or Spear to throw but mostly I kept my minion strictly melee while I kept myself strictly ranged.

Other items I stored and used fairly aggressively later on were Runes of XP and Runes of Slow. I would throw Runes of Slow at floor bosses, and used Runes of XP in sticky situations to kill everything with a Quickening.

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