Crossbows differ from normal bows as they utilise bolts, instead of arrows. You can also wield a shield alongside a crossbow, boosting your defensive capabilities while retaining some decent ranged firepower. Free players are recommended to stick to bows though, as the free crossbows are pretty weak in comparison.
If you use a crossbow, you’ll identify as either a ranger or an archer. Insane accuracy stats make crossbows highly effective against enemies with high defensive stats. Bows do fire faster but crossbows hit harder, using the latter is a great way of training your ranged skill!
10. Dorgeshuun Crossbow
Of all crossbows to grind your ranged level up with, the Dorgeshuun is by far the best. With a high attack speed for its weapon type, as well as extremely cheap bolts in the form of Bone bolts. Obviously for pure DPS you won’t turn to this weapon but no other crossbow will give as much ranged experience!
Ranged Requirement: 28
Ranged Bonus: 42
Grand Exchange price: 2484
(SPOILER) How to obtain: You can purchase it from Nardok, found in the Dorgeshuun Mines, after completing the Lost Tribe quest. Or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
9. Steel Crossbow
The Steel Crossbow is the ideal choice for a character whose ranged level is 31-35. Offering decent offensive stats, you can obtain this weapon easily due to its puny Grand Exchange price. As expected, it fires Steel Bolts and is the lightest of all the crossbows in the game!
Ranged Requirement: 31
Ranged Bonus: 54
Grand Exchange price: 191
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Craft it with a Fletching level of 46 or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
8. Hunters’ Crossbow
Considered a pvp staple for rangers with a low ranged level, the Hunters’ Crossbow sports a high fire-rate and fires Kebbit bolts. As long as you’re carrying a chisel, you can hunt Kebbits and obtain a vast amount of bolts in a short space of time, saving time and money!
Ranged Requirement: 50
Ranged Bonus: 55
Grand Exchange price: 1631
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Purchase it from Leon at the hunting shop in Yanille for 1300 coins. Or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
7. Mith Crossbow
After reaching a ranged level of 36, you’ll want to use the Mith crossbow until you can use the next entry. This crossbow is fairly cheap with a nice damage output, making it almost mandatory for any aspiring archer.
Ranged Requirement: 36
Ranged Bonus: 66
Grand Exchange price: 400
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Craft it with a Fletching level of 54 or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
6. Adamant Crossbow
Now we’re starting to get to the powerful crossbows, with the Adamant variant providing a huge 78 bonus to your ranged skill. There it’ll act as a powerful and reliable weapon, firing up to Adamant bolts.
Ranged Requirement: 46
Ranged Bonus: 78
Grand Exchange price: 3273
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Craft it with a Fletching level of 61 or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
5. Karil’s Crossbow
Karil’s Crossbow is the only weapon on this list to require both hands to wield. It also fires bolt racks instead of individual bolts, which break after being shot. Due to this, it actually performs similar to a bow, while retaining the appearance of a crossbow.
Although it seems almost impossible to achieve due to the rarity of the items, Karil’s Crossbow gains special bonuses if you’re wearing the remainder of Karil the Tainted’s set of equipment.
Ranged Requirement: 70
Ranged Bonus: 84
Grand Exchange price: 150,370
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Possible reward from the Barrows mini-game. Or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
4. Rune Crossbow
The Rune Crossbow will likely be your go-to weapon until you can obtain any of the others further up this list. As its the last easily obtainable crossbow you’ll see on this list, players enjoy the damage it offers for its price. If you’re rich though, you won’t be using it for too long!
Ranged Requirement: 61
Ranged Bonus: 90
Grand Exchange price: 10,762
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Craft it with a Fletching level of 69, defeat the Crazy archaeologist or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
3. Dragon Crossbow
Capable of firing Dragon Bolts, the Dragon Crossbow is the 3rd strongest crossbow available. In addition to its high ranged bonus, this weapon has a special attack too. 60% of your special attack energy is consumed to hit all enemies in a small 3×3 radius. The first target struck will also take 20% more damage, while any others take 20% less.
Ranged Requirement: 64
Ranged Bonus: 94
Grand Exchange price: 8,311,861
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Craft it with a Fletching level of 78 or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
2. Dragon Hunter Crossbow
If you’re having trouble with some pesky dragons, look no further than the incredibly rare Dragon Hunter Crossbow. Providing you with a +30% boost to your accuracy and damage against dragons. So for fighting dragons, no other crossbow will serve you better!
Such usefulness has not been ignored by the RuneScape community, hiking the price up massively!
Ranged Requirement: 65
Ranged Bonus: 95
Grand Exchange price: 148,353,692
(SPOILER) How to obtain: Possible loot drop from the Chambers of Xeric or buy it from the Grand Exchange.
1. Armadyl Crossbow
Providing the highest ranged bonus with the highest ranged requirement is the Armadyl Crossbow, undoubtedly the best crossbow in OldSchool RuneScape.
As well as these high stats, you can consume 40% of your special attack energy to double your character’s accuracy, very potent indeed!
Ranged Requirement: 70
Ranged Bonus: 100
Grand Exchange price: 31,027,017
(SPOILER) How to obtain: There’s a 1 in 508 price of Commander Zilyana dropping this crossbow or buy it from the Grand Exchange.