I’ve covered a lot of weapons in these 2-minute Payday guides. I’ve gone over rifles, shotguns, pistols, melee weapons, throwables, akimbos…and yet in none of those videos, none of my many lists, has my personal favorite weapon ever come up. The weapon that I consider the most versatile and single-best option in the game, something I’m amazed more people don’t use, something I’m usually using in the other slot in all the videos. I’m talking about the Plainsrider Bow from the Western Pack, and by extension all bow-type weapons in the game. In this video, I’m making my case for 5 Reasons the Bows are the Best Weapons in Payday 2.

Reason #1 is the explosive arrow ammunition, the primary ammo type you should use for any and all situations. I pretty much never unequip explosive arrows, as they’re the main reason the bows are so good. That being said, poison arrows slot well into damage-over-time builds like Grinder, and regular arrows would let you bring the weapon in stealth.

Reason #2: It’s a grenade launcher with none of the downsides. The explosive bow has high-concealment, rapid reload speed, high ammo count, and low self-damage, which are things you can’t say about most of the other area-of-effect weapons. This makes the bow probably the most forgiving explosive weapon you can use once you’ve mastered its arc. The one downside it retained is that you can’t get new ammo from ground pickups, however:

Reason #3: If you spec into Swan Song, you can rapid-fire almost two dozen uncharged arrows and they’ll drop to your feet without detonating, letting you refill your reserve ammo whenever you enter bleedout. This removes the bow’s primary downside and makes it an all-purpose self-sustaining primary. Though I should note that if you don’t want to spare the points, the base 30+ arrows should be enough to last a whole heist if you reserve their use for Shields, Dozer visors and special occasions.

Reason #4: The arrows are the only explosive projectiles in the game that are immune to police gunfire. You can shoot them without worrying about enemy bullets blowing them up in your face, which is so nice considering that’s a major downside to regular Payday explosives.

And finally #5, the 29 concealment deserves special mention because it allows you to slot the bow into pretty much any build. My favorite is Low Blow, because that 30% critical hit chance is really powerful on an explosive weapon. In general I find the best secondary is an all-purpose pistol or SMG, something well-rounded and reliable so you can save your arrows for ideal occasions.

As mentioned before, these tips refer to all the bow-type weapons in the game, not just the Plainsrider. I prefer the Plainsrider because you can notch a new arrow extremely quickly after firing the last one, but that comes down to personal playstyle. They each have little things that make them special for different builds. I highly recommend, if you haven’t, delving into explosive bows and giving them a try, because they’re really a great and unique option in your heisting arsenal. But no matter what weapons you bring, best of luck with your future heists and Happy Independence Day, this is aabicus with the SPUF of Legend, keep those helmets flying!