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A crossbow is a ranged weapon that uses arrows or fireworks as ammunition.



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


Ingredients Grinding recipe Description
2x Damaged Crossbow or
2x Damaged Arrow Loaded Crossbow or
2x Damaged Firework Loaded Crossbow
The durability of the two crossbows is added together, plus an extra 5% durability.‌
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 have a small chance (8.5%) of dropping a loaded or unloaded crossbow when killed; this rate increases by 12% per level of Looting.

Natural generation[edit]

Crossbows have a 50% chance to be found in pillager outpost watchtower chest.


Journeyman-level Fletcher villagers have a 50% chance of selling an unenchanted crossbow for 3 emeralds.[until BE 1.12.0]

Journeyman-level Fletcher villagers sell an unenchanted crossbow for 3 emeralds.‌[Java Edition only][upcoming: BE 1.12.0]

Master-level Fletcher villagers have a 116 (6.25%) chance of selling an enchanted crossbow for 8 emeralds.‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Master-level Fletcher villagers have 23 chance of selling an enchanted crossbow for 7-22 emeralds.‌[Java Edition only]


Charging the crossbow (GIF).

Despite using iron in its crafting recipe, it cannot be smelted into iron nuggets.[1]


Crossbows are similar to bows, but take longer to load and are slightly more powerful, shooting farther due to slightly higher accuracy. They can be drawn back by using them, forcing the player to move at a sneaking speed, and unlike bows, the arrow or firework rocket will only be fired after it is fully loaded. Once it has reached 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 rocket must be present in the 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. Once loaded, crossbows will retain their ammunition even if unselected.

Endermen cannot be hit with crossbow arrows no matter what, as an enderman shot with an arrow will teleport, and the arrow will disappear without a trace.

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


Firework rockets can be fired by loading the crossbow while holding the rockets in the off-hand. Firework rockets with higher flight duration will launch farther and also have a longer time before they explode.

Firework rockets also work with the Multishot enchantment, enabling the player to shoot 3 firework rockets at a time.

If a shot firework rocket hits a mob or block, the rocket will explode instantly.‌[Java Edition only] If the firework rocket has no explosion effect, it deals no damage. The explosion of a firework rocket deals 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) to 6 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) points of damage, with one firework star. Each additional firework star on the rocket will deal an additional 1 (Half Heart.svg) to 2 (Heart.svg) points of damage.


Crossbows can be repaired in an anvil or grindstone by combining two crossbows. Any loaded ammunition will be retained from the crossbow in the first slot, but sacrificed from the crossbow in the second slot.


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. Multishot crossbows use 3 durability points per shot. A crossbow can have either multishot or piercing, but not both.
  • 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.


Crossbows can be used as fuel in furnaces, smelting 1.5 items per crossbow.


Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Internal ID
Advancement-plain-raw.png Ol' BetsyShoot a crossbowAdventureminecraft:adventure/ol_betsy
Advancement-fancy-raw.png Two Birds, One ArrowKill two Phantoms with a piercing arrowOl' Betsyminecraft:adventure/two_birds_one_arrow
Advancement-plain-raw.png Who's the Pillager Now?Give a Pillager a taste of their own medicineOl' BetsyKill a pillager with a crossbow.minecraft:adventure/whos_the_pillager_now
Advancement-fancy-raw.png ArbalisticKill five unique mobs with one crossbow shotOl' Betsyminecraft:adventure/arbalistic


Java Edition
September 29, 2018Crossbows are announced at MINECON Earth 2018.
1.1418w43aAdded crossbows. They can be enchanted with either the Quick Charge (Highest Level III), Piercing (Highest Level IV), or Multishot (Highest Level I)
18w47aCrossbows can now be found inside loot chests at the top of pillager outposts.
Bedrock Edition
1.8.0beta crossbows as part of Experimental Gameplay.
1.9.0beta pillagers, which use and drop crossbows.
beta now appear bigger in a pillager's hand.
1.10.0beta implemented crossbows, separate from Experimental Gameplay.
Crossbows can now be found in pillager outpost chests.
1.11.0beta and enchanted crossbows can now be bought from fletcher villagers.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.12.0beta fletcher villagers now have 100% chance to sell unenchanted crossbow, rather than 50% chance.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Added crossbows.


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


  • 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.
  • Multishot is effective on spaced mobs while Piercing is effective on packed mobs.
  • If talking about ammunition, power, and single targets, bows are more effective with the Infinity and Power enchantments, while crossbows are good at crowd-controlling with Multishot/Piercing enchantments.
  • Loading a crossbow with fireworks and then firing it at an enderman or wither with its Wither Armor active will damage it. This is because fireworks deal explosion damage and not projectile damage. This is the only method of damaging an enderman or wither with its Wither Armor at long range.