The myth of arrow quivers on the back

First of all, sorry if I post this in the wrong category!

And second I want to say that I am really looking forward to this game! I have long hoped for a accurate historical game as my hobby is reenactment!

With the latest video updates I saw the archery and it looked great! But one thing caught my eye. The use of arrow quivers on the back. I myself is a longbow archer and have spent a lot of time studying medieval images from this time period (1350-1420) and I have found no quivers on the back. Why? There are several reasons. First, you can not tell how many arrows you have by looking (obviously), you can neither see where the arrow are when you reach for them (and man, that is a long and unnecessary reach!). Someone carrying his arrows on the back will most likely fumble when trying to reach them aswell.
All of the images either shows the archers keeping arrows directly in their belt or in a quiver hanging from the belt. This makes scene because you have much more control over your arrows and you can faster pick them up. Not even on mounted archers is this seen. They keep their arrows hanging either by thier belt or by the horse (let the horse carry it!)
This would also be because of practical reasions.
The only possible use of carrying arrows on the back, would be to do it in larger stacks when transporting them but certainly not in combat.

Here are two pictures showing archers keeping their arrows in their arrows either in the belt or in a quiver hanging from the belt. These images fint right into the timeframe of the game.

Archers at a siege

Archers on a boat

I myself feel that if this game is going to be as historical as possible, this should be looked into. As I very much would like this movie myth to go dead!
If you have any proof of back quivers (especially from late 14th, early 15th century please let me know!).

I feel like I have to add something here that I totally missed when I posted this way back!
When I mean by the belt, I mean keeping the quiver at belt hight! By beeing in the belt or hanged over your shoulders like a bag (and the quiver itself ends up at belt level)


Agreed, this is one of those movie myths that gets irritating every time I see it. That’s not to say there may not have been times where it was done, but definitely not for combat, where one needed to be able to draw and loose (speaking of which: please, PLEASE don’t have anyone giving commands to “fire” arrows!) quickly (in which case they wouldn’t even USE quivers at all, but have the arrows stuck in the ground in front of them).


I actually wanted to make a thread about the same thing.
I don’t know much about the historical use but in my local archer club everyone has the quiver on his/her belt for pretty much all the reasons you mentioned.
In addition I’d say it makes ducking possible without the fear that a bunch of arrows are going to drop over your head and you have to pick them up again.


Indeed, there are benefits of sticking the arrows into the ground in from of you. They’re easy to reach and they become dirty! Dirty arrows penetrating an enemy’s body are sure to give them blood poisoning. So if they don’t die directly, they’ll die from sickness in time!


Good point, I’ve never thought about that but now, when you present all those arguments, it seems more than logical. Hope they will fixed this :slight_smile:

Good catch. I always knew there is something weird about all these elven archers and rangers in fantasy games since Ultima Online :smiley:

Is this also the case when you’re hunting? I have no knowledge of the techniques behind bow and arrows. But one might think that they would use different techniques when hunting and when they are in combat

not really. the quiver is worn on hip for convenience and ease of use. wouldn’t make sense to wear it on your back unless you’re transporting them somewhere.

dan needs to have a talk with the animators about this issue.


Yes, In all the hunting images I’ve seen, the hunters usually carry their arrows directly in their belt, not using any quiver.
Here are two examples.

Birdhunting (The arrow has no arrowhead because he wants to knock the birds out instead of piercing them)

Two hunters around 1405



I agree 100% with this. It may look cool for archers to have quivers on the back, but it’s impractical and uncomfortable. The strongest argument against it are probably the fact that you can’t tell how many arrows you have left, and also the standard archer would have a longer reach/reload period between each shot. I say ‘standard archer’ because I’ve seen skilled archers reload their bows from the quiver on their backs extremely quickly, but that would be something rare, I think if I had to train, say… 100 archers to reload and shoot efficently, I would equip them with waist/hips quivers, not quivers on their backs.

Just my 2 cents.

PS: I’ve practised archery in real life as well, so take this opinion from someone who at least has had some experience with bows (recurve bows mostly).


actually, it doesn’t even look cool. it’s really just something that stuck with us due to being repeated in movies so often.

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I agree. Like with swords sheathed on the back, the draw seems very uncomfortable.

But transporting arrows in a quiver on the back sounds reasonable in the perspective of longer marches. A quiver attached to the belt would dangle around a lot due to the movement of the legs, which would be an immense nuisance to the bearer.

In the new update video they have unfortunately the quivers on the back :frowning: Hope the devs fix this. I think this is pretty immersive breaking if you know about the waist quivers, as I do now.

Swords on the back makes me cry :wink: No but seriosuly, The draw length would be crazy long and you would have problems finding (and sheeting) you sword! So hopefully, any twohanded sword will be carried as any other sword on the belt.

Exactly my thought! I’ve read somewhere the talk of “barrles of arrows”. What would seem illogical to put all arrows in barrels because of the extra heavy weihgt a barrel would give. But the word barrel is a possible misinterpretation. Instead of a classic wooden barrel, it would more likely be a casket made out of sticks and then linen hardened with a beewax mixture atop of it. Making the casket both lightweight and waterproff!

(I will look into finding a picture of this, my even more nerdy medieval friend made one and it worked like a charm!)

+1 to this one! That is really a funny contemporary misconception.
At best, the “Fire!” command would be acceptable in some later sequels to the Kingdom Come, should they start to deal with the Hussite wars and their use of early hand cannons.

As an addition: sometimes even armoured knights or hired soldiers used bows for the first attack on the battlefield (especially in defense I guess) but without using any quiver at all. In some paintings of late medieval times they just laid the arrows in front of them on the ground like in the following painting:


I just want to say: good job to those posting images of actual medieval paintings/drawings showing how archers used to be painted/drawn, it would take seconds to go for the easy route and just post links to youtube videos showing all kinds of weird quivers and skills drawing arrows from the back or whatever, but taking the time to support the thread with those images goes a long way, it both shows interest and keeps the debate civilized. :smile:

Quivers on the back:
I was also thinking the same when i saw it… please change this.

Lord Crash:
Well armored archers was likely common… if he didn’t buy or get it from his paymaster/Lord he would try to get some by looting it when he got the change.

Sticking arrows in the ground.
Please ad this as an option in the game.
Use time of sticking the arrows in the ground -> faster “reload” as ling as you don’t move away.

There is also the matter of ‘retrieving arrows’ as seen in the video update. When you retrieve arrows from the practise target you usually put yourself ‘next’ to the arrow (not ‘right behing it’), it helps pull the arrow out of the target. You also usually use one hand to grab the shaft, and the other one is placed with the palm touching the target (next to the point where the arrow penetrated) which gives stability to the hand that is pulling the arrow out. Hope the explanation is understandable, it’s the first time I explain that in english and it’s one of those things that’s easier to just watch instead of describing it.

It’s not that big a deal, but since the devs probably need to animate that situation anyway they may as well do it properly. :slight_smile: (if any of the developers is reading this and needs further information, let me know).