Crit rate for a substat, a flat 20% boost to Crit DMG, and then a 60%+ chance to deal inflict an AoE attack dealing 125% of your Attack stat every 4s at Refinement Rank 1 is baseline extraordinary on every and any archer that wants to deal damage. There are bows that will outperform Skyward Harp on certain characters - particularly archers that want to prioritise Charged Shots - but there is never a case when Skyward Harp isn’t a great choice for DPS.
An easy choice for first on the list.
The other 5* bow available in Genshin Impact right now is also worthy of its rarity. Where Skyward Harp is easier to make the most out of (raw stats paired with additional on-hit effects don’t require much set-up), Amos’ Bow does need more thought to get the most use out of it.
Atk as a sub-stat with a flat increase to Normal and Aimed Shot DMG gives a hefty boost to damage but does need Crit stat artifacts to make up for their absence on Amos’ Bow. The true power of Amos’ Bow, however, is in getting the maximum out of the scaling DMG bonus arrows get the longer they’re in flight. If you can consistently attack from far enough away that arrows are in flight for 0.5s, they gain an additional 40% DMG on top of the flat bonus Strong-Willed already provides - that’s 52% extra DMG at Refinement Rank 1!
That means you’ll want to be prioritising Aimed Shots if you’re using this bow: they can fly further, you have more control over their aim, and they have higher base damage to make the most out of that huge percent damage boost.
It’s more awkward set-up and lack of Crit stats put this below Skyward Harp, but make no mistake Amos’ Bow can and will outperform Skyward Harp on characters with powerful Aimed Shots - Ganyu, Venti, and Amber all come to mind.
Coming in at third is The Stringless. Elemental Mastery paired up with a 24% amp to Elemental Skill and Burst DMG at Refinement Rank 1 makes The Stringless one of the absolute best bows for any non-basic attacking archer. If you’re looking for sheer burst damage rather than consistent DPS, The Stringless is your go-to. If you’re looking to enable your teams’ Elemental Reactions, The Stringless is your go-to. If you just want to make use of your skills, The Stringless is your go-to
While the raw stats on the 5* bows will often just edge it out, for most Support or Enabler builds The Stringless is still often the better pick, and is a great choice for sub-DPS/Burst carries as well. Fischl or Childe, for example, can shred people with their Elemental Skills and Bursts courtesy of this bow.
If The Stringless is all about empowering abilities, then Rust is all-in on getting the absolute most out of Normal Attacks. A 40% increase to the DMG of Normal Attacks at Refinement Rank 1 certainly sets the tone, but it does come at the downside of a 10% hit to Aimed Shot DMG.
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Any build or character that allows you to eschew Aimed Shots in favour of Normal Attacking as often as feasibly possible can make great use out of Rust, making it an exceptionally strong DPS bow but with obvious caveats. In other words, Childe loves it, Ganyu hates it - and it’s that lack of versatility that pushes Rust a little further down the list.
Last on our tier list of best bows is the Favonius Warbow, and its raw utility earns its spot on this tier list. Energy Recharge alongside the Windfall ability makes this bow phenomenal for Support Archers that are Elemental Burst reliant. While it offers little in the way of damage amplification, if you want constant up-time on your Elemental Bursts there is no better bow out there - Venti or Diona, for example.
Another strong utility bow, but focusing more on Elemental Skill up-time over Elemental Burst.
A DPS bow in the same vein as Skyward Harp, offering high damage and additional AoE effects via its weapon ability and Crit Rate, but just with lower numbers compared to its 5* counterpart.
Crit DMG is a rarity as a sub-stat, and Press the Advantage makes this bow a great crowd-killer. Its middling utility versus single targets and bosses hurts it, however.