Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Weapons Guide
There are three types of weapons available to the Demon Hunter in Diablo 3: Bows, Hand Crossbows, and Crossbows. In this guide to the Demon Hunter’s available weapons, you will discover exactly what the differences are between these weapons and which ones are the best to use.
Bows and Crossbows
Bows and Crossbows are two-handed weapons. They can be equipped in the main-hand slot and you can use a quiver in the off-hand slot when using these weapons. Both of these are powerful ranged weapons. There are just two differences between them:
- Bows get 15% bonus damage from the Archery passive skill, while Crossbows get +50% bonus damage to critical hits. This favors Bows over Crossbows unless you have a very high critical hit rate but no +bonus damage to critical hit gear. This is very hard to do and generally implies poor gear choice, so Bows do get more out of the Archery passive.
- Crossbows are slower than bows. This favors Crossbows, as you regenerate Hatred over time. This makes slower weapons more effective, so this favors Crossbows.
Since Archery is better for Bows but Crossbows are slower, we’ll consider this an even draw. You may have your own opinion of this, but really the difference between Bows and Crossbows is just personal preference.
Hand Crossbows Guide
Unlike Bows and Crossbows, Hand Crossbows can be dual-wielded. This means you can actually equip two Hand Crossbows, one in the main hand slot and one in the off-hand slot. You can also use a quiver with a Hand Crossbow if you have nothing better to put in the off-hand slot.
In Diablo 3, dual wielding increases your attack speed by 15%. That is the only bonus you get from dual-wielding. You alternate attacks with each weapon and each weapon keeps its own attack speed. This means that you have to be pretty careful about using weapons in the off-hand slot. Your two weapons need to be about the same damage or otherwise you will actually not gain any damage over using a quiver when dual wielding.
The real bonus of dual wielding comes from the fact that weapons share bonus stats like +dexterity and the like. Weapons tend to have huge stat pools for global stats like dexterity and vitality, so when you dual wield Hand Crossbows you really want to use stat-rich weapons. Dual Wielding Hand Crossbows that do not offer great stat bonuses will usually result in less damage than using just a two-handed bow with a quiver.
Also, Archery provides 10% critical hit when using a Hand Crossbow. This is a great benefit if you have a lot of +bonus damage with critical hit gear.