Both sides enjoyed chances in the opening minutes of play, but Danny Venter couldn't find the target from a free-kick for Stars while Musa Bilankulu directed his header over the crossbar at the other end.
The game finally got its first shot on target after 10 minutes, although Kudakwashe Mahachi's effort was straight at Christoffer Mafoumbi, who safely held on.
The goalkeeper was again needed soon after, this time turning Vuyani Ntanga's effort away from danger, before Stars' response saw Venter and Katlego Mashego produce tame efforts which both failed to test the keeper.
Ea Lla Koto would finally break the deadlock midway through the first-half, Nkosingiphile Gumede adjudged to have handled the ball outside of the area, with Venter this time making no mistake with his free-kick to fire home past the keeper.
Arrows came close to restoring parity 13 minutes after the restart as Mahachi found Lerato Lamola from a corner, but the forward could only direct his shot straight at the keeper.
Mafoumbi continued to prove the difference in the second-half and produced an excellent double save in the final quarter to first deny substitute Kagisho Dikgacoi's effort before reacting well to thwart Bilankulu on the rebound.
Free State Stars then missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0, but Moeketsi Sekola somehow contrived to fire against the post after the goalkeeper had already been beaten, although they had already done enough to make sure of the points.