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A crossbow is a powerful ranged weapon that uses arrows, tipped arrows or firework rockets as ammunition.



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

Crossbow Damaged Crossbow or
Damaged Arrow Loaded Crossbow or
Damaged Firework Loaded Crossbow


Pillagers have a small chance (8.5%) of dropping a crossbow when killed, and this rate increases per level of Looting.


Charging the crossbow (GIF).


Crossbows are similar to bows, but take longer to charge and are sightly more powerful, shooting further. They can be drawn back by using it, forcing one to move at a sneaking pace, and unlike bows, the arrow may only be shot 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. In order to use the crossbow, at least one arrow must be present in the inventory. Creative mode doesn't require arrows. 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 bow 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.

Damage caused by the arrow is unaffected by the Strength status effect.

Endermen cannot be shot using an arrow, as the arrow will disappear as the enderman teleports.

Charging time Attack damage

6 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg)

9 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)

10 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg)

11 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg)


Firework rockets can be fired by shooting the crossbow while holding the rockets in the offhand. 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 up to 3 rockets at a time.


Crossbows can be repaired in an anvil or crafting table by combining two of them, but this will sacrifice any ammo loaded in the second crossbow.


Crossbows can receive 3 unique enchantments, and have a base enchantability of 1. Their enchantments have no effect on arrow speed or distance.

Crossbows can be enchanted with Quick Charge, Multishot and Piercing (Multishot and Piercing are incompatible with each other):

  • Quick Charge (I–III) – Decreases the reloading time by level * 0.25 seconds. At level III it is slightly faster than bows.
  • Multishot (I) – Shoots 3 arrows at once, but will only consume 1 arrow. Also works with firework rockets.
  • Piercing (I–IV) – Shoots through level + 1 entities (except armor stands and end crystals).

Crossbows can also be enchanted with Mending and Unbreaking. Multishot is mutually exclusive to Piercing (a crossbow cannot have both enchantments applied at the same time, unless done by commands).


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


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Ol' Betsy Shoot a Crossbow Adventure Shoot an arrow using a crossbow. minecraft:adventure/ol_besty
Who's the Pillager Now? Give a Pillager a taste of their own medicine Ol' Betsy Use a crossbow to shoot a Pillager. minecraft:adventure/whos_the_pillager_now
Two Birds, One Arrow Kill two Phantoms with a piercing arrow Ol' Betsy Using a crossbow enchanted with Piercing, shoot two Phantoms with the same arrow. minecraft:adventure/two_birds_one_arrow
Arbalistic Kill five unique mobs with one crossbow arrow Ol' Betsy Using a crossbow enchanted with Piercing IV, shoot five unique mobs (five mobs which are all different types from each other) with the same arrow. minecraft:adventure/arbalistic


Upcoming Java Edition
September 29, 2018 Crossbows are announced at MINECON Earth 2018.
1.14 18w43a Added crossbows.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.8 beta Added crossbows.


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


  • When 3 arrows are fired using Multishot, only one of the arrows can be picked up as the crossbow only uses one arrow at a time.
  • If a crossbow is enchanted with Quick Charge V using commands, it can be charged instantly.
    • If a crossbow is enchanted with Quick Charge VI or higher using commands, the effect no longer works and the crossbow will not load.
  • If a crossbow is enchanted with Piercing V or higher using commands, the effect no longer works, so the arrow will not go through mobs.