Arrow Traps are wall-mounted ranged traps that shoot an Arrow when something moves through its trigger range.
Arrow traps sense anything moving within 6-7 tiles in front of them, but cannot detect movement above or below their line of sight or through walls.
Once triggered, they immediately fire a single Arrow that travels on a straight, horizontal trajectory until it hits a character (dealing 2 HP of damage) or a solid wall. It will not fire at monsters that spawn in front of it (such as Bats or Spiders) until they move.
Once the Arrow has been used, the trap is harmless.
If the Arrow can be retrieved, it makes a useful weapon against tough enemies, as it will deal 2 HP of damage to anything it hits, rather than the usual 1 from any other thrown object.
However, the Arrow head will break off if it hits an enemy that will either be stunned by the Arrow or will leave a corpse. The leftover shaft can be picked up and thrown, but does not hurt enemies so is only really useful for triggering other arrow traps.
Since Arrow Trap traps only have a single Arrow loaded into them, the usual strategy of disarming them is to trip them by throwing a decoy object into their target zone, such as a rock or pot. Be aware that Critters will not trigger the arrow trap in Spelunky 2.
Keep in mind that the Arrow will rebound off a wall at a roughly 45 degree angle downwards, so take care when triggering them from below.
If you have a shield, it will protect you from any arrows that hit you from the front.
It is also possible to use a corpse (such as a Caveman or a Damsel) as a 'meat shield' to absorb the shot. This will cause you to drop the body you were holding.
Be aware that this will expend two of a Damsel's three hit points, so do not attempt this with a Damsel who has already taken damage if you intend to sacrifice them or bring them to the exit alive.
Despite the trap's 'line of sight' being 7 tiles long, dropping past an arrow trap far away will cause the Arrow to go over your head as you fall faster than the Arrow travels.
The faster you are falling, the closer to the arrow trap you can fall and not get hurt. But, beware that the Arrow may ricochet off a wall and hit you anyway.
It is also possible to whip an Arrow out of the air as it is coming towards you. This is very difficult to pull off as your timing must be exact, but is possible to do if there is no other way. This won't work unless there is at least one space between you and the Arrow Trap.