Dishonored Wiki
Dishonored Wiki
Howling Bolt Icon

Howling bolts are a type of crossbow ammunition available in Dishonored 2. When they hit an enemy or any surface, everyone in the immediate vicinity is temporarily blinded. Any enemy who is unaffected but within earshot will rush towards the impact point and begin searching for the culprit.

They can be found around Karnaca, or purchased from black market shops for 50 coins after the Pyro-Sonic Casing Blueprint has been found.

Howling bolts work by attaching a small green bug to an empty tube. The impact of this on a surface of any kind creates a noisy explosion. The Masterwork upgrades work by attaching a different species of bug (indicated by the different color) to a reverberating tube. The yellow species helps create a deep howl, while the blue bug helps create a sound based on the ancient music.

If Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin are hit by a howling bolt, their vision is blurred for a few seconds and they are knocked back. If this is an enemy howling bolt, they will briefly be unable to use their weapons, but this is not the case if the bolt was their own.

Usage tips[]

  • The impact of a howling bolt can be used by the protagonist to distract enemies away from their patrol route and clear a path for a stealthy approach, or to bring a group of enemies together to be dealt with by a grenade or other explosion.
  • Howling bolts do not deal enough damage to noticably harm a human, but do kill any bloodflies or rats caught in the effect, making them useful in quickly dealing with swarms.
    • This also limits the usefulness of Devouring Swarm against more than one howler, as a howling bolt fired by one of the gangsters will usually dispatch the swarm instantly.
  • Civilians will react to howling bolts that are too close to them, fleeing or cowering once the bolt's effect has worn off.
    • The bolt does not have to directly affect the civilian; simply being too close to them will be sufficient. If the bolt is far enough away, the civilians will ignore it.
  • Unlike most other ranged weapons, howling bolts are still effective if they hit an enemy's helmet, as any impact will set them off.
  • Due to the area-of-effect nature of howling bolts, the protagonist does not have to be particularly accurate when using one. Simply being near to an enemy is enough to affect them.
  • Howling bolts can be upgraded with one of two Masterwork upgrades that take effect when they impact a surface or character: Ancient Howl, which causes witches to flee, and Deep Howl, which causes wolfhounds and gravehounds to flee.
    • Like all Masterwork upgrades, these are mutually incompatible and cannot be uninstalled later.
    • Other NPCs react to an upgraded howling bolt in the same way they do to a howling bolt without upgrades.
  • Equipping the Resounding Shriek bone charm increases the effectiveness of a howling bolt, affecting and attracting more enemies.


Upgrade Name Cost Requirement Effect
Howling Bolt 250 Coins Pyro-Sonic Casing Blueprint Enables Black Market shops to sell bolts that stun and blind enemies for a time.
Ancient Howl Bolt 600 Coins Howling Bolt, Reverberation Tubing Blueprint (Masterwork) Blinds enemies. Causes witches to flee.
Deep Howl Bolt 600 Coins Howling Bolt, Reverberation Tubing Blueprint (Masterwork) Blinds enemies. Causes wolfhounds to flee.

Related Bone Charms[]

  • Resounding Shriek - Howling Bolts are louder and have a greater radius.


  • The sound of a howling bolt is a loud screech followed by a gentle pattering sound.
  • Howling bolts were originally called delirium bolts.[1]
  • Howling bolts found around the world all look the same, simply being an empty tube. It is only when the protagonist picks them up that the colored bug appears.
    • The exception to this is the bolts looted from traps. These always have the green bug in, but this bug will change color to match the type the protagonist has.
  • Most descriptions on the quick-access wheel are the same as the descriptions in the black market shops. However, when the howling bolt has a Masterwork upgrade, the sentence "Causes witches/wolfhounds to flee." is appended to the description in the quick-access wheel but not in the shops.
  • When affected, sometimes civilians cause the crosshair to turn red and sometimes not. Regardless, they will become alerted and then flee or cower.
  • When viewed in the quick-access wheel after a Masterwork upgrade has been installed, the howling bolt's name changes to "Ancient Howl Bolt" or "Deep Howl Bolt". Despite this, it is still called a "Howling Bolt" at other places.
  • Howling bolts create a small cloud of white smoke upon impact and leave a faint white trail behind them during their flight. They also leave behind a black residue on the surface, the same effect used for grenades.
    • Ancient Howl bolts also create a number of shimmering faint yellow lines in the air in a roughly spherical shape a few meters in diameter, centering around the point of impact.
  • Despite their name, Deep Howl bolts leave behind a high-pitched whine for a few seconds after the initial impact and screech. The pattering sound that accompanies the other two bolts is not audible.
  • Even though it has a yellow bug, the Deep Howl bolt leaves behind a green bug. The Ancient Howl bolt leave behind no bug or tube.