The full list of the Best Crossbow Enchantments in Minecraft is not too long at this point in time, party due to the fact that this piece of equipment is a relatively new addition to the game. Additionally, many previous enchantments that already apply to the bow, an incredibly similar weapon, do not actually carry over to the Crossbow. This doesn’t really make sense as far as the core function of these two items is concerned, but I suppose the developers wanted to leave some features exclusive to each weapon.
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Speaking of which, the Crossbow also has it’s own unique set of enchantments that cannot be used on the Bow. It also has access to a few additional buffs that are more general in nature, and can be applied to most pieces of equipment in the game.
So with this Minecraft Enchantments guide, we’re going to list all of the best buffs available for the weapon in the game so far. It’s not going to be a long list, but we will go into a bit of detail to justify our choices.
Best Crossbow Enchantments In Minecraft
As previously mentioned, the list of enchantments that can be applied to the Crossbow are extremely limited. If you’re expecting to see something obvious like the Infinity buff, which lets the Bow fire without consuming any arrows, then you’re not going to find that here. Speaking of which, we have a full Minecraft Infinity Enchantment Guide on our site as well.
Instead, enchantments exclusive to the Crossbow focus mostly on increasing the spread, reload speed and penetration of the weapon. There are also some others that focus on increasing it’s durability and repairing it when it does get damaged.
Now with all that out of the way, lets start off our list.
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Curse of Vanishing
When a player dies in Minecraft during a regular game, and the ‘Keep Inventory’ option has not been turned on, they drop all of the items they were carrying on them. The Curse of Vanishing however is an effect that causes the crossbow to disappear when they die, instead of dropping to the ground like a regular item. It completely ceases to exist and no one is able to go to the location of the player’s death to pick it up.
So right off the bat, our first addition to this Best Crossbow Enchantments list is a bit unique. Because it technically isn’t something you’d actively look for in an item. It also can’t really be classified as a buff, because the effect it has on the Crossbow is negative in nature. And while you might dismiss this as a useless and wasteful enchantment at first, let me argue in favor of it for a moment.
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Now you might not expect this from a title as cartoonish looking as Minecraft, but competitive multiplayer games can actually be extremely hectic. Regardless of what task they wish to accomplish, players usually have to spend hours exploring, accumulating resources and crafting different gear for themselves. And after all this effort, nothing stings quite so much as another player killing you and stealing your weapons and armor for themselves.
With the Curse of Vanishing however, this will never come to pass. And you’ll be glad that your opponents do not get their hands on it when you die. Sometimes it’s better to destroy an item than to let your foes have it.
You’d be surprised at how quickly the durability of a Crossbow will run out when you subject it to constant use. And unlike most other tools that have Diamond and Netherite versions with a massive amount of health, Crossbows only have one wooden variation. It’s durability is better than most other wooden tools, but it’s not at a particularly high value either.
So this is where an enchantment like ‘Unbreaking’ come into play. This basically increases an item’s health by giving it the chance to avoid consuming durability when it is used. So when you fire a shot with your crossbow, there is a chance that it will not be damaged as a result. And the enchantment can be applied up to level three, with each level increasing the chances of the durability not being used.
This buff is especially useful in multiplayer games where you may have to shoot at multiple fast moving enemies. And unlike NPC mobs that mostly have established patterns and behaviors, real players can be quite unpredictable. You’re likely to miss a lot of shots, and in a situation like that you’ll be glad to have Unbreaking by your side.
It’s also generally a really good starting enchantment for newer players. If you’re not good at aiming and you don’t want to wear out the Crossbow’s durability, simply go with this enchantment to minimize your losses. If you require a more general guide on how to repair ranged weapons or other items, check out our How To Repair A Bow In Minecraft guide.
Ranged weapons like Crossbows are not great in areas like Dungeons or Strongholds where you might get swarmed by a lot of enemies in narrow hallways. They require time to load, and even then there’s a high chance that you might miss your shot. In situations like these it’s almost always preferred that you go with melee weapons like Axes or Swords.
But what if there was an entry among the Minecraft’s Crossbow Enchantments that allowed you to hit a mob and even harm the enemy standing behind it? What if there was a buff that actually worked incredibly well in narrow hallways, allowing the player to damage multiple foes with a single shot? Well there is one exactly like this, and it’s called ‘Piercing.’
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This enchantment is an excellent way to conserve your arrows and allow you to damage the maximum amount of enemies possible with a single shot. But there are some conditions. First, you actually have to be a good enough shot to hit your targets, even in enclosed spaces. And secondly, you must funnel your targets into a position where they are standing in front of each other for the effect to actually work. You can only get better at aiming with practice, but luckily mobs in the game tend to stick close to each other by default so you shouldn’t have too many problems with getting them to line up.
Additionally, the number of targets that your arrows can penetrate depends on the level of the enchantment. So for example, a Crossbow with a ‘Piercing I’ enchantment will only penetrate one additional enemy. On the other hand, one with a ‘Piercing IV’ will hit four additional enemies. At max level, arrows can also go through other player’s shields and armor.
While the materials required to craft a Crossbow are not too difficult to obtain, it always hurts to lose an item you’ve been using for a while. And especially if your weapon already has another useful buff on it, you want to try and elongate it’s life as much as possible. So in instances like these, the Mending enchantment really comes in handy.
With this applied to your Crossbow, or any other weapon for that matter, the experience points you gain from killing enemies count toward repairing that item. So as you kill mobs and other players, the green orbs you collect from them actually keep repairing the weapon as it’s durability decreases with use. For each point of experience you collect, two durability points are restored.
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Now I don’t think have to explain why this is an incredible enchantment. Because what you basically have here is a self-sufficient Crossbow that repairs itself as it gets damaged. And if you pair this buff with another enchantment that drains durability faster, you get a weapon that can potentially keep on going for an extended period of time, or even forever.
You also keep gaining experience after the item is fully repaired, So your level can keep increasing, and you can still put those towards unlocking newer enchantments at the Enchanting Table.
As the name implies, the Multishot enchantment allows your Crossbow to fire three arrows per shot instead of one. Now the advantages of such a buff are pretty obvious. You’re essentially dealing triple the damage within the same amount of time, and with the same action. You only consume one arrow per shot as well, so the enchantment is even economical.
The spread of the three projectiles is also fairly tight, so this isn’t a situation where each arrow is flying in a different direction. They all stick to the same trajectory, and are even able to hit a single target multiple times if it is close enough. The Crossbow is now capable of clearing out small clusters of mobs quickly and efficiently. At his point, think of the weapon more as a shotgun.
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There are some downsides to this however, as the health of the Crossbow now declines at three times the rate. Without any enchantments, the weapon consumes one point of durability per shot. With Multi-Shot active however, that cost is now increased to three per shot. So as a tradeoff for the high damage, your crossbow will now degrade much faster.
In my opinion though, this is easily a price worth paying. Sure your Crossbow might break more quickly, but in return you get a ranged weapon that is both economical and powerful. I’ll go ahead and say that with the Multi-Shot applied, it can even match the power of a Diamond Sword at close range.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Crossbow is that it has to be reloaded with an arrow after each shot. This takes around 1.25 seconds by default, and although this doesn’t seem like a lot of time, it really is. Especially when engaged in combat with another player or a mob, this short gap in firing can be the difference between life and death.
But with the Quick Charge enchantment, players can shave around 0.25 seconds off this time for each level of the buff. So with a max level of 3, the time to reload can be decreased to around 0.5 seconds. For reference, this is faster than the speed at which a Bow is fully drawn.
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Now of course, this is generally helpful against NPC mobs. But even more than that, this enchantment will give you a massive edge in combat against human players. During multiplayer scenarios, others can constantly misjudge your response time and rush you with melee weapons. Unbeknownst to them, you’ll be much quicker on the draw.
As it stands right now, this entry on our Best Crossbow Enchantments list is among the most popular buffs for the weapon. After all, decreasing the time to fire by more than half is nothing to laugh at, as you’re basically overcoming one of the Crossbow’s greatest weaknesses. This one power-up makes this weapon faster and more powerful than a regular Bow, and that makes it worth it for me.
FAQs About Crossbos Enchantments
No, only a limited selection of enchantments are available for the Crossbow currently.
Yes, in terms of pure damage output the Crossbow is superior.
More than one enchantment can be applied to a Crossbow, although there are some exceptions to this rule.
In my opinion the best enchantment is the Quick Charge.
While you’re here, why not check out our How to Reset or Reload Chunks in Minecraft (2022) guide.