Player in third person view holding a crossbow. The player has a full suit of iron armor equipped.

How to Make a Crossbow in Minecraft

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While more costly to make than a Bow in Minecraft, a Crossbow can be more powerful. To make one, you’ll need 4 kinds of ingredients—7 items total. This makes a Crossbow one of the more complex items to craft.

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Make a Crossbow

    Looking at the crafting recipe for making a crossbow, which needs 3 sticks, 2 string, 1 iron ingot, and 1 tripwire.

    To make a Crossbow, you’ll need 3 Sticks, 2 String, 1 Iron Ingot, and 1 Tripwire Hook. To assemble all of the pieces, start by sticking the Tripwire Hook onto the centermost slot of a Crafting Table. Above it, put the Iron Ingot, and then place the String on both the right and left slots beside the Tripwire Hook. Lastly, put 1 Stick on the bottom-middle slot, 1 on the top left slot, and 1 on the top-right slot.

    How to Make a Tripwire Hook

    While the other crafting components for a Crossbow are relatively easy to get, Tripwire Hooks require you to craft them (unless you want to loot some from Jungle Temple traps). To make a Tripwire Hook, you will need 1 Iron Ingot, 1 Stick, and 1 Wood Plank of any kind. On a Crafting Table, place the Wood Plank on the bottom-middle slot, put the Stick on the centermost slot, and then place the Iron Ingot on the top-middle slot.

    Other Ways to Get a Crossbow

    Arguably the easiest way to get a Crossbow is to obtain one as a drop from mobs. The pesky Pillagers are the best to farm for a Crossbow, as each has an 8.5% chance to drop one upon being defeated.

    You can also get a Crossbow as a drop from slaying a Piglin that is wielding one. The odds of them dropping a Crossbow is also 8.5% per mob, however, since Piglins only spawn in the Nether, they would be harder to farm for a Crossbow.

    Where to Find Crossbows as Chest Loot

    You have low odds of finding a Crossbow in the Chests of Bastion Remnants, however, you’re guaranteed to find one in the Chest of a Pillager Outpost. As such, you can potentially get a ton of Crossbows by raiding the latter kind of location. Furthermore, it’s always nice to give the hostile Pillagers a taste of their own medicine.

    Getting a Crossbow From Trading

    If you encounter a Journeyman-level Fletcher Villager, you can buy a Crossbow from them at the cost of 3 Emeralds. Additionally, you also have a chance of finding a Master-level Fletcher Villager who will sell you an Enchanted Crossbow. The enchantment is random, however, it can potentially be better than any enchantment you currently have access to.

    In the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, there is a 6.25% chance that a Master-level Fletcher will have an Enchanted Crossbow to sell you. If they do, it will cost you 8 Emeralds. As for the Java Edition, your chances of finding a Master-level Fletcher with this trade option are 66%. However, the price of their Enchanted Crossbow will be anywhere from 7 to 22 Emeralds.

    How to Use a Crossbow

    The player aiming a crossbow at an incoming zombie at night.

    You can use a Crossbow in a very similar manner as using a Bow. Simply hold a Crossbow in your hand and aim at your target to shoot projectiles at them. It takes 1.25 seconds to draw back the string of your Crossbow, which is slightly longer than the max draw time for a Bow. However, this extra bit of draw-time results in projectiles fired from a Crossbow dealing more damage and traveling further than those launched with a Bow.

    Every Type of Ammo You Can Use With a Crossbow

    In addition to being able to fire regular Arrows, Spectral Arrows, and Tipped Arrows as a Bow can, a Crossbow can also shoot Fireworks. The benefit of using Fireworks as ammo over Arrows is that Fireworks will explode on contact with your target. This means that Fireworks will do damage on making contact with enemies as well as with the following explosion. Furthermore, depending on the type of Fireworks you shoot, your foes can be enveloped by lovely particle effects in addition to a destructive fireball.

    How to Repair Your Crossbow

    Once more like with a Bow, you can repair a Crossbow on a Grindstone. This means that you’ll need to combine 2 Crossbows with low durability to get 1 that has high durability. The resulting Crossbow will have a durability value that is the sum of the 2 component Crossbows plus 5% of a Crossbow’s max durability.

    You can also use this same method on an Anvil to repair your Crossbow. Just keep in mind that neither way will allow you to retain the enchantments on your Crossbows. This differs from repairing Bows, as you cannot repair a Bow on an Avil at all.

    Every Enchantment You Can Put on a Crossbow

    • Quick Charge: decreases the draw-time before being able to fire your Crossbow
    • Multishot: allows your Crossbow to fire 3 projectiles at once
    • Piercing: causes your projectiles to go through targets while still damaging them
    • Unbreaking: gives the Crossbow a chance to avoid using durability points when firing projectiles
    • Mending (Anvil-only enchantment): the Crossbow will restore durability points when the player gains XP when holding it or having it in their offhand
    • Curse of Vanishing (Anvil-only enchantment): causes the Crossbow to be destroyed when the player dies