Crossbow

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A crossbow is a powerful alternative to the bow that uses arrows or fireworks as ammunition.

Obtaining[edit]

Crafting[edit]

Ingredients Crafting recipe
Stick +
Iron Ingot +
String +
Tripwire Hook

Repairing[edit]

Ingredients Grindstone recipe Description
2× Damaged Crossbow or
2× Damaged Arrow Loaded Crossbow or
2× Damaged Firework Loaded Crossbow

Grindstone UI Clean.png

The durability of the two crossbows is added together, plus an extra 5% durability.‌‌[upcoming 1.14]
Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Damaged Crossbow or
Damaged Arrow Loaded Crossbow or
Damaged Firework Loaded Crossbow


The durability of the two crossbows is added together, plus an extra 5% durability.‌‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Pillagers[edit]

Pillagers have a small chance (8.5%) of dropping a crossbow when killed, and this rate increases per level of Looting. Crossbows can also be found in 50% of loot chests in pillager outposts.

Usage[edit]

Charging the crossbow (GIF).

Weapon[edit]

Crossbows are similar to bows, but take longer to load and are slightly more powerful, shooting farther. They can be drawn back by using them, forcing you to move at a sneaking speed, and unlike bows, the arrow will only be fired after it is fully loaded. At full charge, the player's speed returns to normal and the crossbow can be placed in another inventory slot or into an item frame without the arrow or firework rocket being unloaded or fired. In order to use the crossbow, at least one arrow or firework must be present in your inventory. The player can choose which type of arrow to fire based on its location in the inventory. Arrows in the off-hand, or the selected hotbar slot if the crossbow is in the off-hand, are prioritized first. If there are no arrows in the off-hand or selected hotbar slot, the arrow closest to slot 0 is selected.

Endermen cannot be hit with crossbow arrows, as an enderman shot with an arrow will teleport, and the arrow will disappear.

Attack damage
Minimum 6 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg)
Maximum 11 (Heart.svg × 5.5)
Average 9 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)

Fireworks[edit]

Firework rockets can be fired by shooting the crossbow while holding the rockets in the off-hand. Firework rockets with higher flight durations will launch further and also have a longer time before they explode. Launching firework rockets with multiple firework stars in them can obscure the targeted player's vision, due to the number of particles produced. Firework rockets also work with the Multi-Shot enchantment, enabling the player to shoot 3 firework rockets at a time.

If a shot firework rocket hits a mob, the rocket will explode instantly.

Repair[edit]

Crossbows can be repaired in an anvil or crafting table by combining two crossbows, but this will sacrifice any ammo loaded in both crossbows.

Enchantments[edit]

Crossbows can receive 3 unique enchantments, and have a base enchantability of 1.

Enchantments specific to crossbows include Quick Charge, Multishot, and Piercing. Multishot and Piercing are mutually exclusive, and normal methods of applying enchantments allow only one of them to be applied to a single crossbow simultaneously. It is possible to use commands to apply both to a single crossbow.

Quick Charge (I–III) decreases the reloading time of the crossbow by level * 0.25 seconds. Crossbows with Quick Charge III fire slightly faster than bows.

If commands are used to enchant a crossbow with Quick Charge V, the crossbow will charge instantly. A crossbow enchanted with Quick Charge VI is effectively impossible to charge, which renders it useless. This can only be done in Java Edition, as in Bedrock Edition, /enchant limits the level to the maximum normally obtainable.

Multishot (I) makes the crossbow fire a spread of 3 projectiles at once instead of a single projectile. This works for both arrows and firework rockets. Each shot still costs only one projectile, and because of that, it is only possible to recover one of three arrows shot from a Multishot crossbow.

Piercing (I–IV) makes arrows shot from the crossbow pierce entities they hit and continue their flight, which allows each arrow to hit up to level + 1 entities. Armor stands and end crystals cannot be pierced.

If commands are used to enchant a crossbow with Piercing V or a higher level of the enchantment, the enchantment will have no effect, and arrows shot from the crossbow will not pass through hit entities.‌[Java Edition only]

Crossbows can also be enchanted with Mending and Unbreaking.

Fuel[edit]

Crossbows can be used as fuel in furnaces, smelting 1 item per crossbow.

Advancements[edit]

Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Advancement-plain-raw.pngOl' BetsyShoot a CrossbowAdventureShoot an arrow using a crossbow.minecraft:adventure/ol_besty
Advancement-plain-raw.pngWho's the Pillager Now?Give a Pillager a taste of their own medicineOl' BetsyPlayer kills a Pillager with an arrow.minecraft:adventure/whos_the_pillager_now
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngTwo Birds, One ArrowKill two Phantoms with a piercing arrowOl' BetsyUsing a crossbow enchanted with Piercing, shoot two Phantoms with the same arrow.minecraft:adventure/two_birds_one_arrow
Advancement-fancy-raw.pngArbalisticKill five unique mobs with one crossbow arrowOl' BetsyUsing a crossbow enchanted with Piercing IV, kill five unique mobs (five mobs which are all different types from each other) with the same arrow.minecraft:adventure/arbalistic

History[edit]

September 29, 2018Crossbows are announced at MINECON Earth 2018.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.14 18w43a Added crossbows. They can be enchanted with either the Quick Charge (Highest Level III), Piercing (Highest Level IV), or Multishot (Highest Level I)
18w47a Crossbows can now be found inside loot chests at the top of pillager outposts.
Bedrock Edition
1.8 beta 1.8.0.10 Added crossbows as part of Experimental Gameplay.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.9 beta 1.9.0.0 Added pillagers, which use and drop crossbows.
beta 1.9.0.3 Crossbows now appear bigger in a pillager's hand.

Issues[edit]

Issues relating to "Crossbow" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit]

  • Crossbows enchanted with Quick Charge VI and above get stuck on the first frame on the recharging animation because the resulting charge time is negative, and the game never reaches the time markers that tell it to advance the animation or the reloading procedure itself. It is technically possible to charge such crossbows, but this would require overflowing the value which determines how long the crossbow has been charged for. This takes such an amount of time that this is practically impossible: for example, charging a crossbow with Quick Charge VI would take 69.4 years to complete.
  • Due to being able to be put away and still be loaded, a player could have 9 crossbows in their hotbar, allowing for the rapid unloading of arrows. With average damage, this does 90 total damage with normal arrows, which is enough to kill a player in protection IV diamond armor with resistance II (38.1 damage total, taking armor toughness into account), the highest effect obtainable in a survival game without using a Potion of the Turtle Master.

Gallery[edit]