A Crossbow is a great weapon for any Minecraft player’s arsenal. Similar to a simple bow and arrow, a Minecraft Crossbow allows the player to shoot projectiles over great distances to hit enemies very far away.
The difference between Crossbows and Bows in Minecraft, though, is that Crossbows are more powerful and can shoot further, but are slower to load. Both Crossbows and Bows also have different Enchantments that can be applied to them, as well. In this guide, we’ll be going over every Crossbow enchantment in Minecraft, and the best Crossbow build, to help you decide which is best for you.
How to craft a Crossbow in Minecraft
The other difference between a Bow and Crossbow in Minecraft is that a Bow is much easier to craft in the early game, making it a better starter weapon. However, once you are further into your survival world, it could be beneficial to replace your Bow with a Crossbow.
To craft a Crossbow, you’ll need three Sticks and two String, just like a Bow, but you’ll also need one Iron Ingot and one Tripwire Hook – itself crafted with another Iron Ingot, another Stick, and a Wooden Plank block.
The primary role of Crossbow Enchantments
Crossbows in Minecraft are very different from other tools and melee weapons because they involve shooting a projectile across great distances to attack enemies. Much like the bow and arrow, this makes it a very powerful weapon because you can easily avoid taking damage from enemies that get too close to you.
When it comes to enchantments on crossbows, there are three primary roles that they play:
Power – This is how much damage your enchantments will deal when fired from your crossbow.
Type of damage – These enchantments affect what kind of damage your arrows will deal to mobs and enemies.
Tool properties – These will affect how easy it is to use the crossbow and how long it will last
Now that we understand a little more about how crossbow enchantments work and why it’s such an effective weapon, let’s go over all the different ones in the game.
All Minecraft Crossbow Enchantments
Exclusive to Minecraft Crossbows, the Multishot enchantment will increase the number of arrows that your crossbow fires per shot, firing three arrows with a single shot, instead of the usual one. The best part is, it doesn’t even cost three arrows per shot, so you’ll be dealing out up to three times as much damage for the same cost in arrows.
Unlike some other enchantments, there is only one level to the Multishot enchantment. There is no grading system in which more arrows can be fired per shot; your crossbow either has Multishot or it doesn’t. Also, it should be noted that this enchantment is incompatible with the Piercing enchantment that we’ll look at next, so you’ll need to choose one or the other.
Piercing, like Multishot, is an exclusive enchantment for the Crossbow in Minecraft. The main effect of this upgrade is that it causes projectiles to travel through enemies when making contact, allowing you to fire an arrow through multiple enemies to deal damage to more of them with a single shot.
This enchantment is very similar to Multishot in that it allows you to deal out damage to a greater number of enemies per shot, but it doesn’t increase the amount of damage you deal with each one.
Unlike Multishot, however, there are levels to this enchantment, ranging from 1 to 4. Piercing I arrows, for example, might only travel through one mob to hit another behind it. However, a Piercing IV Crossbow would be able to shoot an arrow through as many as five mobs and deal damage to all of them.
Another great use for Piercing is that it can travel through a player’s shield, even when that player has it equipped and in use. This makes Piercing Crossbows a very effective weapon for PvP combat in online multiplayer Minecraft.
Another unique enchantment for the Crossbow is Quick Charge. As its name suggests, this enchantment increases the speed at which your Crossbow charges up to shoot arrows, decreasing your overall reload time. However, unlike Multishot and Piercing, Quick Charge does not increase the number of shots that your crossbow can fire. Instead, it simply speeds up the process by which you can fire those shots.
It’s another enchantment that has levels of scale, with the lowest level being I and the maximum being III. The only difference between these levels of enchantment is the amount of time it takes to fully charge your crossbow. According to the Minecraft wiki, with the Quick Charge III Enchantment, you can fire off an arrow in just 0.5 seconds, instead of the usual 1.25 seconds.
The downside of this enchantment is that it requires a lot of ammo to make it worthwhile.
The Unbreaking Enchantment is the first we’ll look at that is not exclusive to the Crossbow. Unbreaking can be applied to almost any tool or piece of armor in Minecraft.
The reason this enchantment can be used on multiple items is because it aids in extending the durability of you item. As such, using a Crossbow with this enchantment will allow you to fire off more shots than normal before it breaks. This is also an enchantment with three levels of effectiveness, ranging from I to III – the higher the level, the less chance your item will lose durability with each shot.
You’ll find that, with an Unbreaking III enchanted Crossbow, you’ll be able to fire hundreds of shots at your enemies before needing to repair or replace the weapon.
Mending is one of the few treasure enchantments in Minecraft, and is one of the most valuable enchantments you can apply to any of your items. Rather than adding a new power or ability to your Crossbow, Mending recovers lost durability of your item.
The way Mending works is by using experience orbs to repair items. When you carry out an action that earns you Exp orbs, some may be used up fixing your Crossbow instead of being added to your levels. So, while your level will go up slower, you’ll know your items are being repaired. However, you still need to keep an eye on your Mending item – in this case, your Crossbow – as it can still break if you you use it too many times without earning XP. A tool that breaks cannot be recovered.
Mending can be used with Unbreaking, meaning you’ll use up less Exp to maintain your weapon.
Curse Of Vanishing
Finally, the Curse of Vanishing is a rare treasure enchantment that makes the enchanted item disappear after the player holding it dies. As such, this isn’t really a desirable enchantment and is most commonly found already applied to tools or armor in loot chests spread throughout the Minecraft world. If you are playing on a multiplayer server, this enchantment can be quite fun for pranking other players, or for preventing others getting hold of your precious items after you die in PvP.
Best Minecraft Crossbow build
Since Multishot and Piercing are mutually exclusive, you can’t just apply each and every one of the above enchantments to your Crossbow. Plus Curse of Vanishing has a negative effect, so you’re unlikely to want that on your own Crossbow, leaving the option of which four enchantments with which to equip your new weapon. Then there’s the additional matter of max Enchantments levels, so if you want the very best Enchanted Crossbow in Minecraft, this is what you should be aiming for!
Alternatively, you can choose to replace Piercing with Multishot, depending on how good your aim is. However, since the benefit of Piercing is the number of mobs it can hit with one arrow, while Multishot fires off three arrows at the same time, the latter is likely to serve you slightly better.
We hope these tips help you improve your skills when wielding a crossbow in the game. If you manage to get your Enchanted Crossbow up to the maximum level of Enchantments, you’ll have one of the most effective weapons in the game. Now, have fun using your new powerful killing machine!
More Minecraft Enchantment guides
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