Bow vs Crossbow in Minecraft

Minecraft has a range of different weapons that the players can use to play the game and fight against the enemies. In this article, we will discuss the bow vs crossbow in Minecraft and when to use in your playing. While most of the weapons are melee and are only good for short-range, some can be used from afar and are very beneficial if you want to save health. 

Bow and crossbow are used to take down enemies from a distance, and they work similarly, but players often get confused about what to choose between them. This article will discuss everything about the bow and crossbow and what would be perfect for your needs. So let’s get started.

Explore More About Bow Vs Crossbow Minecraft

The bow and crossbow fall under archery, and there is not much difference between them. Most users think they are the same, but that is also not true. They are very useful in some situations and provide an edge to the users.

For example, the user can shoot enemies from a distance without waiting for them to come near you. Let’s take a look at different parameters and specifications.

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How To Get Them

Crafting the bow and crossbow is somewhat, but you will need more raw material for the crossbow. 

How To Get Bow

Crafting the bow is very easy compared to other ways of obtaining it. You need 3 strings and 3 sticks to craft a bow. The process is also simple. Place the strings in the right column, place one stick in the second row of the first column, and place sticks in the 1st and 3rd rows of the 2nd column. Sticks can be obtained by plank, and string is obtained from cobwebs or spiders.

If your bow has broken, we have a separate on how to repair bow in Minecraft.

How To Get Crossbow 

The crossbow is introduced much later than the bow and requires more material to craft. Despite this, some players prefer to use a crossbow. It requires 3 sticks, 2 strings with iron ingots, and a tripwire hook. First, you must craft a trip wire hook that requires an iron ingot, stick, and wooden plank.

Arrange these items in the centre column and craft the tripwire hook. To craft the crossbow, you must place a stick, iron ingot, and stick in the first row. You also need to place the string, tripwire hook, and string in the second row and, finally, place the stick in the centre of the third row.


Both the crossbow and the bow have their advantages and limitations. You can enchant them with different enchantments or use different types of arrows with them.


The bow is much more durable than the crossbow and can fire 385 arrow shots before it becomes unusable. It is also much cheaper to make and much easier to repair. The bow also requires less time to reload and fire 9 shots in 10 seconds.

However, it is not good in terms of damage, and the damage scale goes from 1 to 11, depending upon how long you charge the shot. Also, it has less range than crossbows, and the influence of gravity and distance is more.


At first, the crossbow seems like a waste of time and resources because it lacks basic parameters such as durability and reloads time. The crossbow only lasted 326 arrow shots, which became unusable after that. Moreover, the reload time is also high, and it can fire 8 shots in 10 seconds, but the damage is the thing where it shines. The damage scale is 6 to 11, much higher than the bow.

Moreover, it can be equipped with firework rockets, which are explosive arrows that can damage the target and the area of influence around them. It can be used for shooting herds of enemies and deals 18 damage upon shooting, but it is much more expensive, and the repair cost is also high.


Enchantments have become much more popular and common among players in recent updates. Bow and crossbow can also be equipped with enchantments to increase their performance. Some of these enchantments can be equipped on both of them, while there are enchantments exclusive to only one.

Both can be equipped with Curse of Vanishing, mending, and Unbreaking enchantments, but they have much more.

Enchantment For Bow

The bow can be equipped with flame enchantments that shoot incendiary arrows. It can also be equipped with infinity arrows to free you from worrying about arrows. A powerful enchantment can increase the damage of shots, and you can also equip them with a punch enchantment similar to knockback and send the enemy away.

Enchantment For Crossbow

The most popular enchantment of crossbows is multishot, which enables the player to fire 3 to 5 shots simultaneously for better control of the crowd. It also has piercing enchantments that provide more penetration, and the arrow can shoot through a line of enemies. It has a quick charge enchantment that reduces reload time.

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Both the crossbow and bow have their advantages and limitations. Most players prefer bow over crossbow because it is much easier to craft, and you can use it for much longer. The best thing is that both of these weapons can defeat the dragon that is mostly in the air.

You can get the bow or crossbow either by crafting, or you can get it by trading Emeralds with fletcher villagers. There are also various other ways to get them by killing the mobs or in the chest. When you know their specification, it is up to you to determine the best.