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The Torque Bow[1] was a deadly weapon, wielded exclusively by the elite Locust warriors, the Theron Guards, and occasionally by the higher ranking Palace Guards. It is quite distinct among Locust-produced weaponry. Functionally, the Torque Bow is a muzzle-loading coilgun in the shape of an archaic crossbow that fires a bolt that contains Imulsion in the head.

The Torque Bow fires an Imulsion-fueled, explosive-tipped, armor-piercing projectile that resembles a large arrow (or rather, a crossbow bolt). The projectile has a timed fuse which is designed to explode a half-second after penetrating a target, blasting it apart from the inside — almost invariably causing critical injury for the unfortunate target (if not instantaneous death). The weapon's name comes from its unique tandem launch system; in addition to the magnetic coils giving the projectile motive force, the Torque Bow also uses a small motor to apply rotational force to the projectile - ergo increasing kinetic energy transferred to the target. The limbs on the top and bottom of the barrel control the tension of the motor and are what actually launches the bolt through the coil mechanism.

When the trigger on the Torque Bow is pulled, an electric motor inside begins revving up and providing power, while said motor also applies rotational force. Onlookers will see a brightening glow from inside the weapon as the magnetic coils warm up. Whilst the Torque Bow can fire at any time, in order to achieve the desired "lethal" penetration level and long effective range, the user must charge the weapon as appropriate; too little power, and the Torque Bow's bolt will fail to penetrate. It may even kill the shooter if the bolt lands close enough.

In order to protect the coilgun system from explosive overloads, keep the weapon's size down, and keep heat build-up from being an issue, the Torque Bow has a fail-safe system whereby it will automatically fire a bolt at maximum power if it charges too long.


A Theron with the weapon.

The Torque Bow is a unique weapon, one specifically designed for Locust Elites (such as Therons) - its advanced design shows, as it is far more dangerous and far more utilitarian than many Locust weapons. As a projectile weapon, it is capable of instantly dispatching a humanoid target; even a heavily-armored Gear is no match for the Torque Bow's savagery. Its range and accuracy, provided a bolt is fully charged, is phenomenal, and unlike other explosive weapons, the Torque Bow maintains this accuracy even over extreme ranges. It is also a viciously effective close-combat weapon; the large, scythe-like blades on the Torque Bow's forward limbs enable it to be used in devastating melee attacks, making the Torque Bow second only to the Chainsaw Bayonet in melee strength.

The Torque Bow's primary weakness is its low ammunition capacity - it launches only a single bolt at a time, and is rather slow to reload. A secondary, but far more crippling, weakness is that the motor and magnetic coil take time to charge - an uncharged (or undercharged) Torque Bow bolt will fall short or fail to penetrate the target, resulting in shots that generally fail to kill the intended recipient. When charging, the Torque Bow emits a distinctive whining (from the magnetic coils) and whirring (from the rotational system), giving an audible clue to all nearby that a Torque Bow is being charged. Additionally, a charged Torque Bow emits a bright light from the inside of the barrel as the weapon charges, making an easy target for foes, especially in dark locations.

It is worth noting that the Torque Bow eschews the electric-optical sights used by the Lancer and Hammerburst and has no iron sights, instead using a laser sighting device to target. This device is a mixed blessing; it makes it easy to see how charged the weapon is, allowing one to used undercharged shots to fire around corners or obstacles, and allowing accurate targeting in mid-ranged firefights. However, this targeting system takes time and patience to master, which can generally result in a lot of missed shots if misused. This sighting system necessitates precision aiming for quality shots, which means that the user must expose himself - barrel glowing brightly - to fire a shot off and, furthermore, has a time limit to do this in due to the Torque Bow firing automatically if fully-charged for too long. Because of this, the Torque Bow is a weapon that takes time and practice to make the most of - and a weapon whose users are favored targets for snipers and marksmen using Hammerbursts. At maximum charge, the Torque Bow can easily take off someone's head.


Theron 1.jpg

The Torque Bow is a Locust weapon. The elite Theron Guards use it as they consider it a more honorable weapon, it requires skill on the part of the user and yields more "bang for your buck" when used properly. The Torque Bow, though a thoroughly modern weapon, makes numerous nods to archaic weapons throughout human history. The Hollow of the planet was used as a dumping ground for hundreds of years by humanity, and the Locust salvaged much of this. The Torque Bow is cobbled together from spare parts, and it became a favorite for hunting food while in the Hollow.[2]

The design itself is reminiscent of a crossbow, with the large limbs and distinct magnetic acceleration system of the Torque Bow only adding to this. A natural progression of applying a technologically-advanced means to improve an ancient design, the Torque Bow's unique setup truly differentiates it from other weapons, and shows a level of sophistication amongst Locust technology rarely seen, as most Locust equipment is designed for firepower and reliability above all else.


The Torque Bow should be used in any mid to long range fights. It fires a highly explosive bolt. Once the bolt makes contact with a surface, it will explode within seconds. When found, this weapon should be picked up, as it is extremely useful in almost every situation. In the final Act of Gears of War, this weapon is recommended as it can scatter the Kryll that surround General RAAM. A suggested way of firing when fighting RAAM is to hold the right trigger before aiming, so one doesn't have to wait while out of cover to charge. If you hold the fire button long enough, you can make the bolt explode right when the Kryll are going back to RAAM, dealing RAAM damage, and scattering the Kryll at the same time.

In Gears of War 2, a Torque Bow bolt will cause instant decapitation upon hitting the head of an enemy. The bolt will carry away the victim's head and pin it to the next surface it hits before exploding. Headshots with this weapon are extremely powerful and are able to kill many of the larger Locust, such as Boomers, Grinders, and Kantus, with a single shot to the head, which usually takes around 2-3 shots with the Longshot Sniper Rifle, even if you achieve a Perfect Reload. Perfectly aligned (taking into account bolt arc), it is possible to get multiple headshots with one bolt. In Gears of War, the Torque Bow could kill almost any enemy in one shot. This included the Berserker (while it's vulnerable), the Boomer, and a Reaver. It takes more than one bolt to kill each in Gears of War 2 (except the Berserker since there weren't any). In Horde Mode, the Torque Bow should always be aimed at the head of Boomers, Kantus, and much more powerful foes.


Aiming the Torque Bow.

In Multiplayer, this weapon is extremely powerful. If used correctly, it can kill any enemy in a single shot. Even if the reload is missed but shot correctly, this weapon can still take out any enemy. However, this weapon should be used with extreme caution, as the targeting system is very confusing at first and can lead to suicides often. A disadvantage to the user of this weapon can be their online position in a match. The host of a match can fire this weapon as they would in local single player, though people connecting to this host will have to deal with latency.

Skilled players with the Torque Bow are capable of firing under-charged bolts around corners, bouncing them off one player and into something behind them, or sticking the bolt on top of thin cover just above a crouched player. This last skill shot is extremely tricky but, if pulled off, can lead the covered player to believe they are safe, since the bolt hit the cover and not them, before killing them. Another technique, which does not require as much skill, but is less likely to succeed, is to shoot the ground next to a player behind cover at piercing velocity. With an active reload shot, this move can sometimes kill the player in one hit.

In the Gears of War 2 Multiplayer Demo, it was shown the Torque Bow had its own execution move. The player puts the weapon's blade on the victim's neck, holding the head in place, and brings their foot down onto the head, decapitating the unfortunate downed player.

In Gears of War 2, if you shoot an enemy in the head, it will count as a headshot. Also, when you shoot an enemy's head, the head is removed from its body with the bolt still attached to it, and when it hits the nearest object, it will explode.

The Torque Bow is a great all-round weapon against Locust enemies in Horde. With its long range and ability to stick to opponents, it can easily down tougher enemies such as Boomers, Grinders, Bloodmounts, and Maulers. It is not recommended you use it against Kantus priests. They will often see it charging and will roll to the side when it is fired at them. Make every shot count; ammo is limited and hard to find until the later levels where Theron Guards and Palace Guards are plentiful. Ammo can be picked up from ammo boxes, however.

Changes in Gears of War 2[]

In terms of appearance, the Torque Bow looks very similar to the original with an improved, more detailed look from the new graphics engine. One noticeable difference is that a bolt is actually shown loaded in the weapon because a tip is shown sticking out of the end of the chamber.

The sound effects for the Torque Bow are also mostly the same. The weapon's charging, firing, and melee sound effects are all identical, if not slightly enhanced. The bolt piercing and explosion sound effects are also similar. One slight difference is that swinging the Torque Bow will generate the blade-slicing sound effect regardless of whether it actually connected with a surface or target. Also, the melee attack actually does more damage than a regular melee because of its sharp edges, making it the second strongest melee weapon in the game, behind the Lancer's chainsaw.

The firing mechanics are also extremely similar. This time, however, the reticule turned from a small circle to a new, rectangular design. This makes it much easier to see when the Torque Bow is charged with enough force for the bolt to penetrate a surface. The Torque Bow seems to take slightly longer to charge in the sequel, however. One new interesting feature is that the Torque Bow's perfect active reload now gives it the ability to automatically release the bolt as soon as it is charged enough for penetration. This allows for much greater precision, letting the wielder simply track a target while the bow shoots the bolt on its own. The new Torque Bow is also capable of making a 'headshot', piercing and removing the head if it is shot correctly. It should be noted that the bolt will explode even if it does not pierce, making it a makeshift grenade of sorts, and that if it remains fully charged for too long, it will fire on its own, whether you want it to or not, so watch where you aim. If you do shoot a bolt and it pierces the head, the bolt will keep going until it hits something, giving the player a chance for two kills with one bolt. There was a major change in the damage the weapon does: in Gears of War, the bolt could kill anything from a Boomer to a Reaver in one shot, while in Gears of War 2, the damage was lowered and it now takes 2 or 3 shots to kill a Boomer, and 4 to 5 shots to kill a Reaver. The Torque Bow is the most powerful weapon in the game in Gears of War 2 when it comes to headshots, even beating the sniper rifle as it can even kill Boomers and possibly Bloodmounts with a single bolt through the head.

Gears Tactics[]

The Torque bow is carried by Theron Guards and is dropped when they are killed and can subsequently be picked up by a Gear along with three bolts. Soldiers carrying a Torque Bow can't access their other weapons, but the bow can be dropped at any time. The bows have two firing modes, a direct shot that can do massive damage if it hits, and an indirect shot functionally similar to the Frag Grenade, but limited the bow's ammo rather than a cooldown.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Torque Bow was originally going to be given to the Locust Hunter, but was later given to the Theron Guards to make them more deadly. The Hunter was then given a Gnasher Shotgun and would become the Grenadier. It was also going to be wrist-mounted, but this was changed for animation purposes.
  • In Gears of War 2, a strange glitch will cause a Torque Bow bolt to get "stuck" in the player's character model. It will not explode, or even smoke, and appears to remain in place until the player dies. It will not appear to other players.
  • In Gears of War 3, when aiming the Torque Bow at a Boom Shield, the targeting beam will actually show where the bolt will ricochet off the shield.
  • In Gears of War 3, Clayton Carmine uses the Torque Bow as his primary weapon during the campaign.
  • In Gears of War 4, a Torque Bow bolt will automatically explode if it hits the shield of a Guardian or Sentinel.
  • It was ranked Number 4 on Gears of War's "Top 5 Weapons."[1]
  • Torque Bow bolts can close Emergence Holes and Swarm Nests.
  • When getting a headshot with the weapon, the bolt drags the head until it hits a wall or object. Upon impact and detonation, the bolt will go straight through, thus causing the enemy's head to burst.
  • Sticking an enemy with a Torque Bow bolt does a small amount of damage to that enemy, which can kill them before the subsequent explosion if they are on low health. This is more likely to occur in Campaign or Horde against enemies that can't be downed.
  • In real life, applying rotational force to a projectile decreases the amount of kinetic energy transferred to an object, as some energy is expended in rotating the object. This would, however, make the projectile more accurate.
  • Torque Bow bolts will ricochet off of allies in Gears of War 4 multiplayer, even if friendly fire is enabled. The trajectory of said ricochet is seen when aiming the weapon at an ally when charging.
  • Despite the bolt having an Imulsion tip and the weapon itself having an Imulsion-based mechanism it still appears fully functional in Gears of War 4 despite Imulsion no longer existing. The weapon does, however, have some sparking effects when charged and fired as well as a different sound effect, so it could be that the weapon can still operate without Imulsion or was modified to work without it.
  • The Torque Bow is used by the Theron Guard to assist RAAM in killing Sraak.



The Weapons and Equipment of Gears of War
Melee Weapons Chainsaw Bayonet · Combat Knife · Commando Knife · Machete · Powersaw
Rifles Designated Marksman Rifle · EMBAR Railgun · Enforcer Submachine Gun (Shock variant) · GZ18 Markza Sniper Rifle (Marksman variant) · Hunting Rifle · Musket · Longshot Sniper Rifle · Mark 1 Lancer Assault Rifle (Police variant) · Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle (Custom variant) · Mark 3 Lancer Assault Rifle (GL variant) · UIR Belt-fed Machine Gun
Shotguns Gnasher Shotgun · Overkill Shotgun · Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms MX8 Snub Pistol · Talon Autopistol · Zapper
Grenades Beacon Grenade · Bolo Grenade · Cytostatic Gas Grenade · Flashbang · Incendiary Grenade · Molotov Cocktail · Shock Grenade · Smoke Grenade · Stim-Gas Grenade
Heavy Weapons Auto-Turret · Booshka Grenade Launcher · Buzzkill · Chain Gun · COG Machine Gun · Cryo Cannon · Dropshot Munitions Launcher · Laser-Guided Rocket Pod · Longspear Rocket Launcher · Mortar · Mulcher · One-Shot · Rocket Launcher · Salvo Rocket Launcher · Scorcher Flamethrower · Silverback Rocket Launcher · Stomper · Tripwire Crossbow · Tri-Shot Chain Gun · Twin-Barrel Turret · UIR Machine Gun · UIR Minigun · Ultra-Violet Turret · Vulcan Gatling Gun
Super-Heavy Weapons Asp SAM Turret · Ball Turrets · Brader · Defence Missile System · High Velocity Main Cannon · Flechette Guns · Fortress Artillery Cannon · Industrial Staple Gun · Kestrel Missile Launcher · Mega Mech Gatling Gun · Naval Gun · Pariah Cannon · Railgun · Torpedo · UIR Artillery Battery · UIR Anti-Air Turret
Weapons of Mass Destruction Hammer of Dawn · Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon · Lightmass Bomb · Lightmass Missile · Nuclear Missile · Venom Bomb
Equipment Adrenaline Injector · Barrier · Blow Torch · COG/UIR Ammo Crates · Cloak · COG Armor · COG Tag · Fire Extinguisher · Gas Mask · Gut-Puncher · Propane Tanks · Pulse · Remote Targeting System · Stim · UIR Armor · UIR Tag
Other Bow · Flash · Hijack · Shock Trap
Melee Weapons Butcher Cleaver · Breaker Mace · Combat Knife · Crystal Tooth Bayonet · Dual Chainsaw Staff · Explosive Flail · Serrated Knife · Staff · Tremor Hammer
Rifles Breechshot · Claw Light Machine Gun · Hammerburst Assault Rifle (Gorgon variant) · Hammerburst II
Shotguns Elite Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms Boltok Pistol · Gorgon Submachine Gun
Grenades Bolo Grenade · Ink Grenade · Kryll Grenade
Heavy Weapons Boomshot Grenade Launcher · Canker · Digger Launcher · Multi-Turret · Nemacyst · Reaver Chain Gun · Torque Bow · Troika Heavy Machine Gun (RAAM's variant)
Super-Heavy Weapons Brumak Rocket Launcher · Wrist-Mounted Chain Gun · Brumak Rocket Mortar · Corpser Mine Layer · Hydra Missile Pod · Hydra Rocket Pod · Locust Defense Tower · Reaver Rocket Launcher · Siegebeast Catapult
Weapons of Mass Destruction Riftworm
Equipment Boom Shield · Imulsion Explosive Canister · Imulsion Injection Harness · Immune System Booster · Locust Ammo Crates · Locust Armor · Locust Emblem · Swarm Armor · Thumper · Torture Pod
Other Ticker
Easter Egg Weapons
Melee Weapons Elemental Cleavers · Fish Stick
Rifles A Real Gun
Shotguns Raging Buccaneer
Sidearms Despicable You · Memento Mori
Grenades Dom's Toms
Heavy Weapons Cluckshot · Trackshot
Other Relic Weapons