Crossbows differ from bows in a number of ways. They use different ammunition, projectiles are loaded instead of nocked, and they provide a number of advantages and disadvantages compared to the standard bow.
- Walking speed is not affected while the crossbow is readied.
- Crossbows fire projectiles at a higher velocity than most bows, making them better for hitting moving targets.
- Ammunition varieties also include exploding bolts in each of the 3 elements.
- Crossbows are more powerful than most bows, with the regular crossbow having the same base damage as a Daedric Bow.
- Crossbows have a built-in 50% chance to stagger opponents. If combined with the Power Shot Perk, it will stagger 75% of the time.
- The Enhanced variety ignores 50% of enemy armor.
- Crossbows are loud, and can alert enemies at close range, making close-up assassinations difficult if surrounded.
- Crossbows reload slower than most bows (even though game-data, speed of 1, suggests crossbows are faster, the reload speed uses different formulae).
- The Dragonborn is vulnerable to melee attack for a few seconds during reload, since it cannot be cancelled and it's impossible to run.
- Crossbows have a shorter default arc range than a standard bow (can be fixed by simply aiming higher).
- There are only four types of crossbows to choose from; the Crossbow, the Enhanced Crossbow, the Dwarven Crossbow, and the Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow.
- Bolts can only be purchased from Fort Dawnguard or picked up from dead Dawnguard members (or, in the case of Dwarven bolts, collected from a dead Dwarven Sphere or purchased or forged during or after the Ancient Technology quest), whereas arrows are available in shops everywhere.
- Forging bolts are also available only if the Dragonborn is a member of the Dawnguard.
- Bolts are crafted in groups of 10 while crafting arrows produces 24 at a time.
- Fired bolts are less likely to be retrievable than arrows, even with the Hunter's Discipline perk.
- Unenchanted Bolts deal less damage than higher tier arrows (Dwarven Bolts deal 14, Steel Bolts 10, Vs 24 and 25 damage for Daedric and Dragonbone Arrows respectively) offsetting the damage bonus of the crossbows themselves. This can be negated by using exploding bolts, but those are harder to acquire and craft than regular bolts, and don't benefit from sneak attack multipliers, meaning a higher-quality bows and arrows will far outperform any crossbows for sneak attacks except in the case of highly armored enemies where the enhanced crossbow's armor bypass may tip the scale.
- If the Dragonborn joins the Volkihar Vampires, they will get basic ammunition much more rarely, only being able to collect them from fallen Dawnguard members, or even rarer, when fired at.
TypesEditTwo main types of crossbows are available, each with an enhanced variant. Crossbows may only be forged at Fort Dawnguard.
- Crossbow - the standard crossbow used primarily by the Dawnguard.
- Enhanced Crossbow - Similar damage to the standard crossbow but also ignores 50% armor rating.
- Dwarven Crossbow - After finding a Dwemer schematic for Sorine Jurard, the Dwarven crossbow can be crafted and purchased.
- Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow - After finding a Dwemer schematic for Sorine Jurard, a heavier Dwarven crossbow is available for creation and purchase. It has a combat advantage of ignoring half of a target's armor rating when detracting from its health. It can be upgraded at a grindstone with a dwarven metal ingot. It is the strongest Crossbow available to the Dragonborn.
|Name||Additional Effects||Item ID|
|Enhanced Crossbow||19||15||200||Attacks ignore 50% of armor.||xx00F19E|
|Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow||22||21||550||Attacks ignore 50% of armor.||xx00F19F|
- Main article: Bolts (Dawnguard)
Two types of crossbow bolts are available - steel bolts and dwarven bolts, along with their magical variants. Crossbow bolts can be created at a blacksmiths forge, with one firewood and one of the appropriate metal ingot. Recipes yield bolts in batches of ten.
Unlike arrows, crossbow bolts are stored in a quiver at the hip.
There are also exploding bolts which can only be made by finding their respective schematics. There are exploding fire, ice, and shock bolts. These can be found by doing the Ancient Technology quests for Sorine Jurard. Doing so unlocks them for forging and purchasing.
Movement while having a crossbow loaded will occasionally slow movement even though the fire command is not being held.
- Solution: 'sheathing' the crossbow or firing a bolt.
- A graphical glitch in first-person view while reloading a crossbow shows the left arm being half there, as if the inner forearm was removed.
- While in third person and reloading the crossbow, the bolt is hovering just out of the Dragonborn's hand.
- Standard followers do not fire when given a dwarven crossbow or enhanced dwarven crossbow. However, normal crossbows and enhanced crossbows function normally.
- When a crossbow is equipped, the quiver for the bolts hovers in mid-air instead of sitting on the hip.
- Bolts do not sink into enemy bodies. The metal tip can be seen just touching their body, but not penetrating.
- The crossbow, no matter which type, does not shoot.
Swapping from a crossbow to a sword and shield in third person will sometimes cause the sword and shield to be held like the crossbow.
- Solution: Swinging the sword or blocking.
- kill camera when firing a crossbow directly while being loaded, the crossbow will not fire and the Dragonborn will just stand there for several seconds before the kill camera fades. When you get a
- Occasionally performing a bash attack with a crossbow will make the noise of a bolt hitting a target and do as much damage as a normal crossbow shot.
- When at close range, a kill camera may activate, treating the crossbow as if it were a one-handed sword.
- When standing half way in a body of water, shooting the crossbow may result in rapid launching of bolts.
When first starting the game with a crossbow equipped, there is a third person glitch where a bolt appears between the Dragonborn's middle and ring finger on their left hand.
- To fix: Ready then sheath the crossbow.
- ↑ Holding down the attack command while holding a loaded crossbow will put the crossbow in firing mode which will reduce walking speed.
- ↑ Though the bolts travel at a higher velocity than arrows, archers will have to compensate for gravity at long range more than they would with bows. This is due to the bow's tendency to arc arrows slightly upward. The crossbow does not share this, and fires bolts straight forward.
|Weapon classes in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim|
|Arrows • Bolts (DG) • Bows • Crossbows (DG) • Battleaxes • Daggers • Greatswords • Maces • Swords • War Axes • Warhammers|
|Ancient Nord Weapons • Daedric Weapons • Dragonbone Weapons (DG) • Dwarven Weapons • Ebony Weapons • Elven Weapons|
Falmer Weapons • Forsworn Weapons • Glass Weapons • Imperial Weapons • Iron Weapons • Lunar Weapons • Nord Hero Weapons • Nordic Weapons (DB)
Orcish Weapons • Silver Weapons • Skyforge Steel Weapons • Stalhrim Weapons (DB) • Steel Weapons
|Staves • Enchanted Weapons • Unique Weapons • Console Commands|
|Archery • One-Handed • Two-Handed|