Compound crossbow

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Trader Crossbow.png
Pricing: £800 (£600)
Weight: 9 blocks
Ammo: Hud Arrowhead.png 36  (£20 – £720)
Related achievements
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Recreational hunting weapon, equipped with powerful scope and firing trigger. Exceptional headshot damage. —Trader description 

The compound crossbow is a powerful single-shot weapon. It has a very high damage per shot, can penetrate multiple targets, and has a massive headshot multiplier of 4×, compared to the 2× multiplier of the rifles and the default 1.1× multiplier of most other weapons. It is generally used either to pick off lines of weaker specimens earlier in the game or individual powerful specimens such as Scrakes and Fleshpounds.


The sharpshooter perk gives various bonuses with the crossbow, and at level 6 spawn in with one.

Level Base damage Head damage 0.5× head damage† 0.35× head damage‡ Reload time
Base 300 1200 600 420 1.8
0 300 1322 661 462 1.8
1 300 1451 725 507 1.64
2 300 1656 828 579 1.5
3 300 1871 935 655 1.38
4 300 2184 1092 764 1.29
5 300 2700 1350 945 1.2
6 300 2880 1440 1008 1.13
† Applies to the Fleshpound on Beginner to Hard difficulty,
and the Scrake on Suicidal and Hell on Earth difficulty.

‡ Applies to the Fleshpound on Suicidal and Hell on Earth.

Price and ammunition[edit]

The crossbow always costs £800 and always comes equipped with a partial load of 12 bolts when acquired anew. One bolt costs £20, making it one of the most expensive weapons to use in the game. However, the bolts are recoverable depending on where they land and the sharpshooter receives a discount on ammunition of 7% per level, up to a maximum of 42%.


The aiming sights of the crossbow.

Crossbow damage is flat 300 on a bodyshot with a generous x4.0 headshot multiplier and an astounding 0.8 pierce efficiency. For an off perk user headshot damage is always 1200 and reloads in 1.8 seconds. Only exception to offperk reload time is Commando which global reload bonus allows him to reload it in 1.33 seconds. For on perk use, on perk headshot multiplier and general headshot multiplier climbs equally per level with each gaining 10% headshot damage until level 6. Onperk bonuses improves the Crossbow headshot multiplier from 4.2x at level 0, up to 9.6x at level 6 and allows Sharpshooter to reload it 60% faster. A level 6 Sharpshooter is capable of reloading the bolt in 1.1 seconds and can deal up to 2880 damage per headshot.

That huge damage spike only resisted by big specimen at high difficulty scales such as Fleshpounds and Scrakes, varying from 50% to 65%. This causes damage output and limited bolt count to become an obstacle at high difficulty levels besides accuracy of the bearer, considering the movement speed of these specimen when enraged.

Piercing targets cause the targets beyond the initial take 20% less damage per pierce multiplicatively. For example, second target behind the first one will take 300 x 0.8 = 240 damage and third target will take ⌊300 × 0.82⌋ = 192. Bolt shot can pierce as many targets as projectile collides until hits solid surface.


When used against weaker specimens more interesting tactics can be used. Against a single specimen which can be killed in a single body shot aiming down them, and possibly jumping for a better angle, will cause the bolt to impact in the nearby floor behind them for quick recovery of the bolt after their demise. Against lines of specimens it can penetrate multiple targets, this can even be used against powerful specimens if multiple headshots can be lined up, although the bolt is usually not recoverable afterward.

It should be noted that the Crossbow is treated as a hitscan weapon, like most of the bullet-based weapons, so you do not have to adjust for gravity or travel time. It has projectile characteristics and its bolts can be recovered after taking the shot if it were to pierce the specimen and close enough before it vanishes from where it stuck. Care to conserve ammunition when possible; either by recovering nailed bolts from walls and ground or piercing a few weak specimen at the same time. A jumpshot would kill any weak specimen upclose and you can recover the bolt easily.

Maneuvering into better positions, and forcing the specimens down paths where they have to come in a line can greatly help with this strategy. Changing the scope-type in the options to sprite based removes all scope sway (at the cost of the nice looking iron-sight model), allowing you to snipe on the run impeccably well. If you have room to maneuver, strafe to line up enemies. If you're on flat ground, lining up headshots on enemies of the same type (and thus the same height) can kill large amounts of foes quickly and efficiently.

The headshot damage is enough to take out almost all normal specimens with a single headshot under all normal difficulties and player counts even when used as off perk. As for the Scrake and Fleshpound, as a level 6 Sharpshooter this weapon will headshot for one shot kills on Scrakes and two shot kills on Fleshpounds in low difficulties regardless of player count and solo games at all difficulties. Only exception is high player count Suicidal and Hell on Earth matches, where those specimen gain extra resistance against bolt headshots.

This weapon is also extremely useful against Scrakes, as off-perk crossbow bolts can stun Scrakes if you headshot them when playing at difficulty levels lower than Suicidal. On Suicidal difficulty and above however, being a level 1+ Sharpshooter is required before it can be used to stun Scrakes. Limited bolt count of the weapon becomes a nuisance here and won't let the low level Sharpshooters take as many Scrakes as they want and damage output becomes a decisive factor when taking on Fleshpounds.

While it takes 4 bolt headshots to stun and kill a single Scrake at 6 player, Hell on Earth or Suicidal game as a level 1 Sharpshooter; it takes 6-7 bolt headshots to kill a Fleshpound in the same setup. The long reload time between bolts will cause Fleshpound to retaliate freely after enraging at the first shot until focus fired. This lack of damage will force Sharpshooter to stay away from the specimen and this won't be an optimal approach as they can put their teammates at stake while not having aggression of the specimen.

Being at least a level 4 Sharpshooter allow player to be more proficient and graceful while using Crossbow to push the bolt requirement per big specimen kill to be pretty close to level 6 results. A level 6 Sharpshooter can kill a Scrake in highest difficulty with 2 bolt headshots and a Fleshpound with 3-4 bolt headshots depending dealing damage to its head previous to letting it loose.

Advantages & Disadvantages[edit]


  • Extremely powerful, especially on headshot;
  • Capable of penetrating multiple targets with high 0.8 damage efficiency rate;
  • Can stun Husks and Gorefasts with a bodyshot;
  • Can dispatch Husks and Sirens with a single headshot even off-perk;
  • Reliably decapitates or directly kill all small specimen with a single shot;
  • Onperk Sharpshooter gets a notable discount per bolt;
  • A level 6 Sharpshooter spawns with one;
  • A high level Sharpshooter can kill a Scrake with only 2-3 headshots at most;
  • Bolts can be retrieved almost every time if shot at short distance;
  • Bolts can be shared between Crossbow wielding teammates by getting bolts stuck at nearby surfaces;
  • Equipped with a long-range scope for accuracy;
  • Projectile based thus hit register is notably larger than hitscan counter-parts;
  • No need to adjust for gravity, projectile weapon with hitscan traits.


  • Heavy at 9 blocks of weight;
  • Expensive bolt cost per shot;
  • Low ammunition pool;
  • Spamming and whiffing is deemed ineffective, requires precision;
  • Sharpshooter gets no discount for the weapon;
  • Had to be reloaded after each shot;
  • Long reload sequence until high perk levels;
  • Messes hitboxes of big specimen that require precise aim;
  • Impossible to retrieve stuck bolts shot at long distance if working alone;
  • Scrakes have increased 50% headshot resistance against crossbow bolts at Suicidal and above difficulties;
  • Fleshpounds have extra 30% headshot resistance on top of their innate resistance of 50% against crossbow bolts at Suicidal and above difficulties.

Bugs and exploits[edit]

It is possible to use the crossbow scope's zoom on other weapons. To do this, you must set your scope quality to textured, then zoom in with the crossbow. Once zoomed in, switch to another weapon and toggle the iron-sight quickly after doing so. This is most effective with the Sharpshooter class and the Handcannon. The effect will be removed if the iron sights are lowered or the weapon is switched.

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