Crossbows are long-ranged weapons; a type of bow that uses a mechanically compressed and held bowstring. They tend to fire slower than bows, but cause more damage on a hit. They are similar to bows and guns in use. Character stats are applied the same way for each type, although the item stats will be different from item to item.
Rogues and warriors can wield crossbows, but they can't use any melee weapons when wielding one.
Hunters are perhaps the only class which "truly" uses crossbows; that is, uses them as weapons instead of just enjoying the stats. Before patch 4.0.1, which caused hunters to use focus instead of mana, there were crossbows made purely for hunters; one example is which used to have intellect on it, boosting the hunter's mana. Given how hunters could have a greater use of a crossbow than rogues, crossbows were still considered to be hunter weapons.
As hunters use crossbows as weapons, the attack value of a crossbow becomes very relevant to them. The perhaps most important stat is the weapon speed which somewhat determines how much damage a weapon is capable of generating. The faster the speed, the more but weaker attacks - the slower the speed, the lesser but more powerful attacks. Generally, the latter is the most favorable. As mentioned on top this article, the weapon speed on crossbows is usually slower than on guns and bows.
The fastest crossbow in the game is the . The two slowest are the and - the latter was one of the most powerful weapons in pre-TBC. Notably, these two also are the slowest ranged weapons in the game as of patch 5.1.0.
Acquiring and upgrading
There are several ways to acquire a crossbow. Like all other weapons and armor, they can be:
- Bought from various types of vendors
- Looted from mobs
- Rewarded from quests
- Crafted by engineers (only one)
There are also different ways to improve your crossbow:
- Simply acquire a better crossbow with better stats
- Add an engineer-crafted scope on it
The availability of crossbows is more limited than the availability of bows and guns in World of Warcraft.
- The dwarven dwyar'hun (literally "star bow" from the older dwarven dialect) is a long-range weapon akin to a tiny crossbow that was in use before the dwarven discovery of gunpowder. It fires a tiny spiked ball carved from stone, with the spikes being at least two inches long (the "star"). Its last known major use was during the War of the Three Hammers. Gunpowder was discovered a few decades afterward, at which time the dwyar'hun fell out of use amongst the dwarves to the point of being completely abandoned. Modern dwarves would not recognize it unless having seen or read about it in the historical records. Today, only the skardyn continue to use this weapon.
- There are no heirloom crossbows.
- There are no legendary crossbows either.
- Draenei hunters were the only hunters who wielded a crossbow by default, however since Cataclysm they have been accompanied by humans and Forsaken.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Crossbows changed from ranged items to main hand items.
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Ammunition no longer needed for bows, guns and crossbows. All quivers converted into regular bags. (Source)
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): No longer needs to be trained.