The English Longbow is the Plainsrider Bow's older, meaner sister, possessing much more damage, the second highest in the game, behind the HRL-7, and tied with the Heavy Crossbow. However, each arrow is pulled back for a much longer time than the Plainsrider in order to achieve maximum distance and accuracy, limiting it to best be used as a source of burst damage. This also means that a player can regenerate all their ammo supply quickly with Bullet Storm or Swan Song by spamming the fire key.
The longbow requires only a brief draw time before a lethal shot can be fired. Because of this, it can deal with multiple enemies rapidly.
When fully drawn, the arrows travel at very high speed and have relaitvely low drop rate, making it easier to kill Snipers from a distance.
With the critical bonus from Low Blow, the English Longbow can kill a Bulldozer in 1 shot on Overkill difficulty. However, this is not very reliable, since the critical hit only has a 30% chance to proc.
With the critical bonus from Low Blow coupled with explosive arrows the longbow can wipe out Captain Winters and his shielded cronies in a matter of seconds, making it possibly one of the most effective ways of dealing with him.
Shooting before fully pulling the arrow back only affects the range and not the damage. This can be useful if you are stuck in close quarters.
The English Longbow's high base Concealment is somewhat unusual given the great length of the real-world weapon on which it was based. The minimal length of an authentic English longbow is typically 6ft. (approx. 1.8m) from end to end, which is taller than even the standing height of certain heisters in the game.
True to life, the English Longbow sports a significantly more powerful shot damage compared to the Plainsrider Bow, due to its real-world counterpart's heavy draw weight. Most bows typically have 40-60 lbs of draw weight, while medieval English Longbows ranged from 120-200 lbs. It does take slightly longer than its competitor to fully nock an arrow, though, as a side effect of this property.
The in-game weapon fires arrows with bodkin points, spike-like arrowheads typically made of unhardened steel with a square cross-section.
Contrary to popular belief, the longbow could not penetrate plate armour at long range, only at close range using bodkin arrows (unlike movie depiction of longbows with super long range kills against knights). The Longbow was more useful for its ability to kill/disable enemy mounts, disrupting massed charges and leading to falling injuries.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, however, arrows are quite effective versus most modern body armor, which is constructed from woven Kevlar cloth. Arrows' comparatively low velocity and high mass allows them to simply push fibers apart, which takes far less energy than breaking them. Even correctional stab vests, which use specialized fabrics to mitigate this, would likely fail against a longbow. Only hard armor inserts (e.g., the ceramic plates used in Interceptor body armor) offer reliable protection against such low-tech threats.