Crossbows in OSRS are incredibly popular members only Ranged weapons known for their damage output and attack speed. They are also one handed, allowing players to wield shields and other items in their off hand.
Additionally, crossbow bolts can be enchanted for a variety of additional effects, including defence penetration, lifesteal, and dealing twenty percent of a target’s current hitpoints in one hit.
There is just as large a variety of crossbows in the game itself, and, of course, some are better than others in terms of the Ranged bonus they provide and the ammunition they can take. I’ll highlight some of the best crossbows in this OSRS Crossbow Guide.
The first crossbow I will talk about in the OSRS Crossbow Guide is the Dorgeshuun Crossbow, also sometimes called the bone crossbow. It requires 28 Ranged to equip, and is often used over other accessible crossbows at these low and mid levels.
The Dorgeshuun crossbow has a slightly faster attack speed than most of the other crossbows in the game, and can fire bolts up to iron, as well as a special ammunition type called bone bolts.
To get the Dorgeshuun crossbow, you need to have started the quest “The Lost Tribe.” This quest requires you to have completed “Rune Mysteries” and “Goblin Diplomacy,” as well as have 13 Agility, 13 Thieving, and 17 Mining.
If you have started ‘Lost Tribe” but not completed it, you can buy the Dorgeshuun crossbow from the Grand Exchange and equip it. If you have completed the ‘Lost Tribe’, you can buy the crossbow for a cheaper price at Nardok’s Bone Weapons in the Dorgesh-Kaan mines.
The next crossbow detailed in the OSRS Crossbow Guide is the rune crossbow. The rune crossbow requires 61 Ranged to equip, and is often used by Ironman and mid-level players, since it can fire ammunition including runite bolts.
Many players consider ruby and diamond enchanted bolt effects to be the best, which is why so many elect to use the rune crossbow, since it’s the first one they have access to that can fire these bolts.
There are several ways to acquire a rune crossbow in OSRS. First, you can make one yourself from scratch, if you have 69 Fletching and 91 Smithing. Start by fletching yew logs into a yew stock. Then, smith a runite bar into runite limbs. Attach them to make an unstrung crossbow.
Simply attach a crossbow string to the unstrung crossbow, and you will have a rune crossbow. However, there are other, easier methods of obtaining one. For example, the Crazy Archaeologist in the Wilderness drops them at a rate of 1 in 25.6.
Kree’arra, the Armadyl God Wars Boss, drops rune crossbows at a rate of 1 in 15.87, and you can also get them from Elite clue scrolls at a rate of 1 in 32.3. There are also a few shops that can have them, but their stock is always set to zero, so you would be better off buying one from the Grand Exchange.
Another crossbow worth elaboration on in this OSRS Crossbow Guide is the Dragon Crossbow. It requires 64 Ranged to equip, and can fire bolts up to dragon. Dragon bolts are special in that, unlike their lower tier counterparts, they can be tipped with any gem.
The gems a bolt is tipped with determine the enchantment effects of the bolt. This way, you can take the strong effects from a weaker bolt, and combine them with a much stronger bolt. For example, regular enchanted ruby bolts provide a Ranged Strength bonus of 103, while ruby enchanted dragon bolts provide a Ranged Strength bonus of 122.
When combined with powerful enchantment effects, such as those from ruby or diamond bolts, dragon bolts provide some of the best Ranged ammunition in the game, if you can afford it.
Unlike many other crossbows, the Dragon Crossbow can only be obtained through creating one, or buying one on the Grand Exchange. To create one, you need 78 Fletching. Use this skill to cut magic logs into a magic stock.
Then, attach dragon limbs to the stock. Dragon limbs cannot be smithed, they must be obtained from the higher tier metal dragons. This locks the item (the limbs, not the whole Dragon Crossbow) behind the quest “Dragon Slayer II.”
The dragon limbs are dropped by Rune Dragons at a rate of 1 in 800, and also by Adamant Dragons at a rate of 1 in 1000. Or, you can buy the limbs on the Grand Exchange. Simply combine the magic stock and the dragon limbs, then string the crossbow for your very own Dragon Crossbow.
Crossbow number four highlighted by the OSRS Crossbow Guide is the Armadyl Crossbow, which requires 70 Ranged to wield and uses ammunition up to dragon bolts. The Armadyl Crossbow provides a Ranged bonus of 100, compared to the Dragon crossbow’s 94.
Additionally, the Armadyl crossbow is one of only two in the game that also provide a Prayer bonus. Prayer bonus is an incredibly valuable stat to have on any item at these high levels, since they make your Prayer points last longer, and Prayer is a necessity for most content at these levels.
The only way to obtain an Armadyl Crossbow is to buy one from the Grand Exchange, or from the Saradomin God Wars Boss, Commander Zilyana. She drops the Armadyl Crossbow at a rate of 1 in 508.
The final crossbow detailed in our OSRS Crossbow Guide is an upgrade to the Armadyl Crossbow, the Zaryte Crossbow. It requires 80 Ranged to equip, and also fires bolts up to and including dragon.
The Zaryte Crossbow is special in that it provides the best Ranged bonus out of every crossbow in the game, as well as defensive bonuses, including the same Prayer bonus as the Armadyl Crossbow.
It also has a passive effect that strengthens the effects (not the proc chances) of the enchanted bolts you fire from it. This allows you to somewhat conserve your valuable enchanted dragon bolts, since each one has the potential to do more.
You can get the Zaryte Crossbow by combining the Nihil Horn, and 250 Nihil Shards, with the Armadyl Crossbow. The nihil horn is a rare drop from Nex, the Ancient God Wars Boss. She drops the horn at a rate of 1 in 258.
The nihil shards can be acquired by killing the enemies in Nex’s domain, the ancient prison. Access to the ancient prison, and Nex herself, is locked behind the miniquest “The Frozen Door.” This mini quest requires you to fight all the other God Wars Bosses.
In addition to the crossbows talked about here, I’d like to highlight some honorable mentions to our OSRS Crossbow Guide. The first is Karil’s Crossbow, which only fires a special type of ammunition called bolt racks.
It requires 70 Ranged to equip, and uses both hands, unlike other crossbows. This makes Karil’s Crossbow unique in that it is more comparable to a shortbow than its crossbow counterparts. It’s also degradable gear, so you should learn how to repair Barrows gear.
To get Karil’s Crossbow, you need to fight the Barrows Brothers in Morytania, and loot the chest in the middle of their crypt at the end. This chest has a 7 in 2448 chance to drop the Crossbow, since the loot pool is so diluted with the other brothers’ equipment as well.
Dragon Hunter Crossbow
Another honorable mention to our OSRS Crossbow Guide is the Dragon Hunter Crossbow. It requires 70 Ranged to equip and fires bolts up to and including dragon. The Dragon Hunter Crossbow is special and sought after for its passive effect.
The crossbow gains thirty percent more accuracy and twenty five percent more damage when it is used against the various dragons found throughout Old School RuneScape. This includes bosses such as the King Black Dragon and Vorkath, as well as anything with dragon in its name.
Monsters such as wyrms, wyverns, hydras, and drakes are also considered dragons for these purposes. Additionally, this damage bonus stacks with several others, such as those from a Slayer Helm or imbued Salve Amulet. For this reason, check out how to get to Slayer Helm.
The Dragon Hunter Crossbow can either be bought from the Grand Exchange, or dropped from the first OSRS raid, the Chambers of Xeric. At the end of each Chambers of Xeric raid, you have a 1 in 17.25 chance of receiving a Dragon Hunter Crossbow, depending on your performance.
There are many different crossbows in Old School RuneScape, and they each have differing properties. When just starting out, the Dorgeshuun and Rune Crossbows will serve you well. The game starts to change when getting to use dragon bolts, however.
With dragon bolts, your damage output will skyrocket when using the Dragon, Armadyl, or Zaryte Crossbows. Additionally, Karil’s Crossbow provides a gameplay style unique to the weapon class, and the Dragon Hunter Crossbow grants a massive bonus against dragons.