Battlefield 3 Crossbow (XBow) Weapon Guide and Stats – Everything You Need to Know

The Crossbow makes its debut in Battlefield 3: Aftermath, a heavily modified assault rifle that can be equipped with up to four different bolt types. But, how does it work?

We dug up some interesting statistics regarding the Xbow which you may not have been aware of. Thanks to the help of YouTuber rivaLxfactor, we might learn how to become effective killing machines with this unique weapon yet.

In this video guide, rivalXfactor takes us through each of the four different bolt types: the Standard Bolt, the High Explosive Bolt, the Scan Bolt, and the Balanced Bolt, and outlines how you can effectively utilize each in the heat of battle.

Through the Symthic forums, we’ve also been able to gather exact damage stats against both infantry and vehicles. Check it out below.

XBow Damage Statistics

General information

  • The XBow has place for 10 arrows and can be resupplied by an ammo kit.
  • You can unlock it by winning 3 rounds of Scavenger, but you can also temporarily pick it up from the ground in the same game mode.
  • You can change your bolt type in game without having to access your spawn menu.
  • You can’t use it on your weapon with underslung rail, like the MASS or M320.
  • Player who picks up the xbow of a corpse can only use the bolts he unlocked himself.
  • The XBow doesn’t show up on the minimap.

Explosive bolt

  • Extreme drop at range
  • Reactive armor also deals with this, like with RPGs

Attack helicopters and Scout helicopters

  • Direct hit takes 91% damage at any spot
  • Scouts are easy to hit when hipfiring


  • Front -> 10%
  • Angled front-> 8%
  • Side -> 18%
  • Angled side -> 8%
  • Rear -> 28%
  • Angled rear -> 12%

Apparantly you hear a unique explosion sound when the arrow hits your tank.


  • 41% to all sides including ~25% damage to the people in it


  • Same damage as helicopters -> 91%
  • Super effective against F-35


  • Front, sides and rear -> 21%
  • Angled hits -> 12%


  • Front, sides and rear -> 25%
  • Angled hits -> 15%

Normal bolt

  • OHK at all ranges when headshot
  • OHK everywhere in CQC
  • Annoying drop, but not that hard to calculate (more than bolt actions)
  • At long range, a body shot does around ~60% damage

Balanced bolt

  • Point blank -> headshot 100% damage
  • Point blank -> bodyshot 80% damage
  • 70m range -> headshot 100% damage
  • 70m range -> bodyshot 56% damage

At 70m range, the ballanced bolt doesn’t have any bullet drop.


According to TheRussianBadger’s guide, you will OHK an enemy to the upper chest with the Balanced Bolt within 20 meters. Proving this further, you’ll even notice that, in rivaLxfactor’s guide, he deals 97% damage just outside of the 20 meter range when hitting to the upper chest with the Balanced Bolt.

Scanning bolt

  • Single scan
  • Radius: 12m
  • Headshot -> 24% damage at all ranges (as well as point blank as 70m)
  • Bodyshot -> 10% damage at all ranges (as well as point blank as 70m)

If you hit the target with an arrow, it also spots that person.

DISCLAIMER: All these damage values come from indepth ingame testing and wasn’t extracted from actual gamefiles.

So, learn anything new? Have you used the XBow all that much in Battlefield 3? Let us know in the comments!

Battlefield 3: Aftermath is now available for download to all Premium members including regular PlayStation 3 users. Regular Xbox and PC users will get their hands on Aftermath December 18.

  • Wizekraker

    David I belive you got balaced bow wrong is 1 shot kill upper chest.
    This video shows it:

    Skip to 3:00

  • Wizekraker

    David I belive you got the balaced bow wrong. It is 1 shot kill upper chest.
    This video shows it:…

    Skip to 3:00

    • Thanks, got it updated. Rival’s video showed the same actually, but what happens when you shoot just outside of the 20 meter mark. (97% damage, in this case.)

  • Hol_Up

    “Can’t be seen on radar”. Good to know!

  • Billy Ho

    “Have you used the Xbox all that much in Battlefield 3?” I think you meant Xbow? I play on Xbox so I use IT all the time. ha Common mistake though.

  • Headshot with scan doesn’t kill? And who actually took out a Jet with one of these rofl!

  • OhTHATguy

    Absolute bullshit in its extreme effectiveness againest air.

    • kyuubi_clone

      stop crying like a whiny little weiner, it is plastic explosives on an arrow. it is supposed to do heavy damage to any air vehicle since they are not armoured like ground vehicles. and it has insane bullet drop with the HE bolt! so basically that means pilots aren’t supposed to fly low enough for it to be an issue. good pilots will have no problems with this at all.

      • tludt888

        Neglecting to realize that the reason flying isn’t fun in BF3 is that -EVERYTHING- has some form of AA. Why did tanks need guided shell? They’re fucking tanks.

        I do very well in the air, but it really isn’t fun at all to be locked up 24/7 because everyone can have a super-effective Stinger, every vehicle has some sort of AA, and the AA vehicles they put in are (rightfully so) super effective.

        There is no reason for a Crossbow to be effective against aircraft, much less included in the game. Also, voicing an opinion against something isn’t whining… neither is apologizing for something idiotic, which is what you’re doing.

      • OhTHATguy

        Oh fly higher so helis are easy targets for jets and can’t break stinger locks you mean? Moron.

  • Good to know about the scan bolt. Thanks for the post.

  • Nick Loner

    It it possible to tag vehicles with scanning bolt and have the bolt stay on the vehicle?

  • jack frost

    The only thing left out of this was the colors of the different bolts and which is which.

  • zakrocz

    Slightly annoying that you have to complete assignments to unlock all the different attachments especially as I have to play and use equipment I have no interest in.

  • Good info, thanks!

  • Alkanida

    damn, i wished you guys would have chosen my xbow review here

    i released this 3 days after AM came out for ps3 premiums

  • TriguyRN

    Let’s go Rival!

  • Pingback: Review do Crossbow de Battlefield 3 Aftermath e nova competição de Dogtag()

  • GamerzX

    a full in-depth Crossbow Review here!

  • ninko

    Thanks for this post guys, it cleared up a lot of questions I had.. what initially lead me here (as a person who plays hardcore exclusively) was how the hell to alternate between the different kinds of bolts- i thought there would be an ammo category as it is with shotguns. Good to know that you can access a wide range of ammo types with one weapon. I don’t use it very often but I just might give it another go now that I know these options exist.

    But, as a hardcore player, I would also like a quick breakdown of the color coding for dart types, because the HUD gives you no clues when in hardcore gameplay. Thanks again!

  • Dylan2k110

    Do u have to be primuim to get it or buy the map pack ?

  • The scanning bolt is derived from the tracer in bad company which allowed rockets to lock on to the traced item.

  • Shit how do you get nuketown 2025 respond please