Hey guys, Zyrk here. Some claim me to be the greatest archer and even one of the best players in this game. I don’t know about those claims, but it has been fun playing archer with really skilled players on private servers. Recently I’ve been asked by many members of the Conan community to reveal my secrets. I’m now making a guide to give back to the community and hoping to inspire other people to find ways to break the insanely boring spear meta. This guide includes some video references.
I first began playing Conan Exiles in the summer of 2018. With a quite competitive background I quickly found myself fighting for big boy status on private servers. Late 2018 I grew tired of the spear meta and wanted to try something else. Pet system and special arrows were introduced in October of 2018 and I began researching the possibility of running archery builds in team fights. The aim (pun intended) was to help team fights end faster, have a decent way to chase down runners and add more utility to my clan.
When reading this guide please keep in mind that this build is not very newbie friendly. It is very late game oriented and requires a decent knowledge of the game and quite a bit of farming to make it work.
Shoutout to my clan: Rekt, Suspect, Karla, Nasty, Greenie and the “new boys” Wellu, Koopee, Preda and Schukki.
Gear, buffs, inventory
Everything is always flawless and epic
Weapon: Eye of Khan / Huntress. If not available, pictish bow.
Helmet: Flawless aquilonian infantry + Any sort of gas mask (sandstorm/set/commander). This piece can be medium and you can still have light rolls.
Chest: Always khitan mercenary
Legs: Always khitan mercenary
Boots: Always khitan mercenary
Gloves: khitan mercenary OR if I know I’m fighting in hot areas, darfari light / pictish wizard
On medium helmet I put armor reduction kit, gas mask I use flexibility kits for increased climbing. You never know when you need to climb high. On all other light pieces I use thick armor plating for that few extra % of armor reduction. On bows I use the advanced weapon damage kit. Archery damage scales amazingly with weapon + arrow damage, armor penetration doesn’t seem to work.
Now I know with the new unnamed city named items you can make better builds, but on the hardcore endgame pvp servers that I play on, it is simply not worth to grind those items just to lose them in a fight to some stupid luck/glitch/bug/whatever.
Let’s talk about buffs
My specs require you to be fully buffed. You take crimson powder, purple lotus potion and golden lotus potion to buff you with strength, vitality and grit. Use the items in that order. Then you take elixir of grace, elixir of encumbrance, elixir of sight, elixir of freedom, hunter’s potion and warpaint vitality.
Sometimes you want to keep another set of buffs with you. This is especially important if you are raiding someone. Keep in mind these stored buffs in your inventory increase your encumbrance.
So, what do I bring with me to fights and raids?
- Snake arrows and Serpent-man arrows are your backbone. I take at least 400 arrows of these in total. Sometimes 300 snake 100 serpent-man, sometimes other way around. Test what you feel is good for you.
- Explosive and poison arrows. You need these to finish off your targets, take down anti climbs, etc. I normally take take 3-4 stacks of both. If I know there will be lots of anti climb to shoot down, I take as much as necessary. One anti climb takes 3 stacks of both.
- Feast of set. This is an OP heal in my opinion. It heals slightly less than a roasted haunch, but it also works as an antidote. It will remove all poisons and bleeds off you, then start healing you. Other option is to use Spiced Sliver for the antidote effect and then use a good food like hearty stew. I don’t like this option because it takes one slot from your already maxed out hotbar.
- Herbal tea. Use this AFTER you use feast of set to heal even more.
- Elixir of freedom. If you get crippled in a dangerous situation, you use this to remove the cripple.
- Star metal pickaxe. You never know when you have to chop down some wood/rocks or get rid of corpses. Also if you have reaper poison with you, you can poison the pickaxe and kill someone in the water by applying tons of poison to him. People don’t usually expect this and they think they are safe in the water.
- Repair hammer, to inspect the health of buildings you will be destroying.
- Fiber bedroll, so if you die to falls or other unlucky things, you can get back there quickly.
- Dragonpowder, earthenware jugs, tar. Do not premake bombs, they weight a lot. You use bombs to destroy buildings or to bomb pvp. More on that later.
- Quivering arrows, if you have any. You get these from unnamed city but they are a rare drop. They deal an insane amount of damage though and can kill off targets very easy. Use them wisely.
Spec (Attribute points)
I tested out all attribute bonuses (stuff you get every 10 points). Turns out many of them were and still are bugged, for example 40 archery points does not increase armor penetration like it says and salting the wounds (20 str points) did not work last week. However the most important ones that worked and still work are 40 vitality (increased healing effects), 40 grit (decreases stamina used per arrow fired), 50 grit (rolls take less stamina), 10 agility (sprinting takes less stamina), 20 encumbrance (cripples are not as bad), 10 archery (arrows cripple effect is stronger) and 20 archery (arrows ricochet off the ground). Always test out what works and does not work. Funcom unfortunately tends to break their stuff every patch, so test these out after every patch.
My current pvp build with eye of khan / huntress
40 vitality (with gas mask)
If +5 accuracy bow not available, I either run the above build but with lower accuracy or this
Sometimes you want to spec 30 encumbrance even with eye of khan available if you know you have to run around with lots of bombs or utility arrows.
If salting the wounds and crevice in the armor (20 str 40 accuracy) are working as intended and you want to trade your mobility to more damage output (roughly 40% more vs. light armor) this is with +5 accuracy bow ofcourse
Playstyle, your position in fights etc.
So you farmed all your stuff, you are buffed up, inventory is loaded. What do you do?
I think archers work best in team fights. You as the archer can help your spear player team members. I sometimes regard myself as the support player of the my clan. Soloing with archer is also great and I can easily take down any spear players. The best part is, if you feel unsafe, you can just outrun everyone with your 10 agility and 40+ grit.
Most important thing to understand is that your arrows cripple your opponent if you shoot them in the legs. The cripple last for like two seconds. I’ve seen an increasing number of players playing without 20 encumbrance in their spec, so those people are your first targets. They are in trouble if you chain some cripple to their feet. With cripples you make room for your spear players to move in and get some free hits in or at least force enemy players to waste rolls and run out of stamina. Cripple arrows are also great to kill off runners.
All arrows cripple. Serpent-man arrows deal a decent amount of damage, but you might want to mix some snake arrows in there. Now with the recent change to how reaper poison works, everyone has a million billion antidotes with them so snake arrows are not as good anymore. Still, use some snake arrows to catch your enemies off guard and make them waste their antidotes.
Now, explosive and poison arrows. These deal an ok amount of damage if you hit your opponent with them, but they deal damage even if you miss them and hit the ground near them. I always use explosive arrow first, then poison arrow. Explosive arrow splash damage does little damage, but when you shoot a poison to that explosive arrow effect, it creates a mini explosion and deal good amount of damage in the area. This is great to finish of low health opponents, kill players stuck in holes, force players to abandon their position, etc.
Now add bomb pvp . You can shoot explosive arrows around, creating the little “fire zones” they leave behind. You can then place a bomb in those fire zones to instantly ignite the bombs. This deals huge amounts of damage if your opponent happens to be close to those fire zones. If you have a friend ready to place bombs in your fire zones, its gg for your opponent.
You might wanna ask me about powershots . Powershots increase your arrow damage and makes the arrow fly faster and further away, but it takes a while to load. I only use powershots if I have to shoot really far away and the target is standing still. Otherwise powershots are not worth it in my opinion.
What about target lock ? I personally never use target lock, because it can’t predict the enemy movement like a human can. Also it does not aim for legs (no cripples!)
You will be targeted by enemy spear players when you enter the battlefield. You can run with your big stamina pool or try to fight them off. The way I deal with spear players is by shooting them in the feet once or twice, roll, repeat. They usually run out of stamina before me and that’s when I get to regen my stamina. Check my clips for a better explanation.
Moving while shooting makes your arrows less accurate. If your opponent is close by, you can keep moving, but if you want to hit things a little further away, you have to stop every time you are firing.
In the end it really boils down to you predicting your enemy movement, having good reflexes and landing those shots in your enemies feet. With practice you will learn! Good luck.My playstyle is easier to understand by looking at my videos.
Here are some clips to see the build in action. I’m not making a pvp movie out of these for now, so these are just rough cuts from my clips
First raid day of battleborn pvp event on 9.3.2019. The server had very good clans around, so we were excited to see the competition. Some could claim that most of the top EU players participated. First day we raided three different clans, here are my highlights. [No links allowed on these forums, check my reddit post on conan exiles reddit]
We raided the last remaining clan for two days. Our best opponents yet and the toughest raid I’ve ever been in. Here are my highlights from the second day. [No links allowed on these forums, check my reddit post on conan exiles reddit]
Last video is from old patch, where we raided a known clan called Darfari Madness. Insane raid with lots of action, another clan counter raiding us etc. Showing my highlights from that night in this clip. [No links allowed on these forums, check my reddit post on conan exiles reddit]
Other tips, tricks and secrets
I always thought about making a guide about stuff that I found out during my 1,5k hours in conan. So to add to this guide, here are some more or less related tips and tricks. Obviously there are very shady glitches that I know about but I won’t be posting them here. The stuff I post here is in my opinion ok to use on any servers, if not stated otherwise
So I saw a video of someone playing the game on xbox and I found out that they have a button to put in 10 attribute points at a time. I searched the game files if we had such an option on PC and sure enough I found what I wanted, but it was not bound to anything by default and it can’t be bound through the conan settings menu. So you have to do this manually yourself. Your hotkey settings are stored in a file called Input.ini and you can find it in conanexiles -> conansandbox -> saved -> config -> windowsnoeditor
Now you want to add the next line to that file. Replace the K in “Key=K” as you wish.
Now open your attribute menu in the game, hover over the attribute that you want to spend points on and press the key you bound, in my case K. You should spend 10 points with a single click.
Don’t worry about the color indicator of your encumbrance meter. It is wrong. Only things you need to know is that if you are under 50% encumbered, you are doing very good. If you are between 50%-89% encumbered, you drain slightly more stamina while running but this is fine. I am almost always 50-89 encumbered because I have to carry so much stuff with me to fights. If you are over 90% though you are gonna drain your stamina really fast, get rid of something asap. Over 100% you are dead of course.
Map room things
If someone starts a teleport with a map room, you can ■■■■■■ that teleport by pressing any of the teleport objects on the map room. This also means you can teleport to obelisks that you have no yet unlocked. Just tell a friend to click the teleport and then spam the teleport button yourself.
So you might know about auto run. This is something you can bind through the keybind settings in game. What if you want to auto sprint? Easy. First activate your auto run. Now start sprinting by pressing your sprint button. Press nothing else. Now click open any menu, map, etc. You get stuck on auto sprint. This will stay until you you press your sprint button again. While auto sprinting, you can click map room teleport. This way you can teleport but you don’t have to stop. Nice way to get away from people chasing you.
Flying rhinos and other big things.
You killed a rhino and want to skin it, but it flew away a thousand miles on your screen. This is related to unreal engine and your FPS. Cap your fps to 60 or lower from the game settings so that they only make a little jump instead of taking off to the moon.
Testing out stuff
Test out everything in single player before you try it out on servers. Stuff usually works the same on single. To make life easier, learn to open the console command line. Some useful command lines
>makemeadmin (password) | gives you admin privilege
>god | godmode>fly | makes you fly
>Slomo (0-100) | Makes your game run slower or faster. 1 is the default. This is amazing because it lets you fly “faster” than the default speed. Also helps with other things.
Long jump / spear roll / whatever you call it
Please note this particular trick is considered cheating on some private servers. However you can see it in some of my clips because some servers allow it. It gives a cool new element and raises the skill cap, much like bunny hopping in FPS games. The idea is to have something in your hand like a spear, roll off a cliff/foundation/any edge, and right as you cross the edge in your roll you unsheathe your weapon. This makes you jump a very big distance.These are just some of the useful things that come to my mind.
Hopefully this guide gave you something! If people like it, I would consider writing guides about other things like leveling, farming, base locations, raiding, etc.
Enjoy the archery stuff, and be prepared. People will hate you!