Sons Of The Forest: How to Get and Use the Crossbow

Looking to locate the Crossbow in Sons Of The Forest?

The Sons Of The Forest Crossbow is a silent and deadly ranged weapon similar to a Compound Bow, but with a few major differences. It is the game’s most powerful non-firearm ranged weapon, capable of killing most unarmored cannibals in just one shot.

This Crossbow is a high-end hunting model based on a compound design. Unlike the Crossbow from the first game, this one features a crank for drawing back the bow and a rail for fitting attachments.

How to get the Crossbow in Sons Of The Forest

Players can find the Crossbow in the Food Bunker located on the island’s northwest side.

Once inside the Food Bunker, the Crossbow will be next to a corpse in between two rows of hydroponic shelves. The shelves you are looking for are in the second room after passing through the keycard door. If you see baby mutants, you are in the right place.

The door to the interior of the Food Bunker is locked and requires the Maintenance Keycard to open it.

Weapon attachments for the Crossbow

Like the Pistol, Revolver, and Shotgun, the Crossbow can equip a Weapon Flashlight and Laser Sight to its rail system.

Weapon Flashlight Attachment

The Weapon Flashlight functions similarly to the standard Flashlight but requires no Batteries, leaving both hands free. The Weapon Flashlight is located in the River Cave, sitting neatly in the palm of another dead operative. Traversing this cave and reaching the Weapon Flashlight will require you to have both the Rope Gun and the Rebreather.

Laser Sight Attachment

The Laser Sight displays a bright red dot wherever the weapon it is attached to is aiming. This dot is visible even in complete darkness.

The Laser Sight is located inside Maintenance Tunnel A and can be found sitting on the desk inside the apartment, next to the 3D Printer and a printed email.

The entrance to this bunker is buried and will require you to use the Shovel to dig it up.

What ammo does it use?

Sons Of The Forest — Crossbow Ammo Type

The Crossbow uses Crossbow bolts as ammunition, firing one each time the trigger is pulled. As with Stone Arrows and Crafted Spears, Crossbow Bolts can usually be retrieved after firing.

Crossbow Bolts cannot be crafted and must be found in the world. These bolts are a rare commodity that can occasionally be looted from military crates or reliably found stuck into walls or corpses inside bunkers.

Tips and tricks for using the Crossbow

The Crossbow is an extremely useful weapon both in ranged combat and for hunting game. You can aim by holding down the block button (default Mouse 2 button). There are no sights on it, so try to place the end of the attachment rail just above your target.

If you don’t like having your vision impaired, we don’t recommend slotting an attachment on the Crossbow, as doing so will block your view when aiming down the rail and prevent you from using it as a sight. Alternatively, if your monitor supports an on-screen crosshair in its settings, this can be a big help.

Unlike firearms, the Crossbow cannot be fired from the hip and must be aimed first. Remember that it must be manually reloaded after each shot by pressing the reload key (default R key.) Be cautious about getting too close to enemies when using it, as each reload takes around 3-4 seconds to perform.

Hitting an enemy in the head with a Crossbow Bolt will deal significantly more damage than hitting them in the body or limbs. A bolt to the head can put even giant cannibals and puffies down in a single hit.

How to equip the Crossbow

Sons Of The Forest — Equipping the Crossbow

Once you have acquired the Crossbow, you can equip it by:

  1. Opening your inventory
  2. Panning the mouse up and to the left of the crafting mat
  3. Selecting the Crossbow by left-clicking on it
  4. The inventory will close, and you will have the weapon in hand

How to add the Crossbow to the quick-select bag

Alternatively, if you’ve added it to your backpack, you can access it through the quick-select bag. Briefly hold down the inventory key to pull out the quick-select bag.

This is much faster than panning the inventory screen whenever you want to switch weapons. If you have a Crossbow on your quick-select bag, you can find it in short or long weapon slots.

The Crossbow is considered a long weapon but can also be added to the short weapon slot. The long and short weapon slots can be found on the left side of the backpack, holding weapons such as the Firefighter Axe, Tactical Axe, Stun Baton, Machete, Crafted Bow, and more.

To add the Crossbow to the quick-select bag:

  1. Open the inventory screen
  2. Add the backpack to the crafting mat by right-clicking on it
  3. If there is an item in both the long and short weapon slots, right-click on one to remove it
  4. Right-click on the Crossbow to add it to the quick-select bag

How to assign the Crossbow to a hotkey

If you’d like to have your Crossbow at the ready with a single keystroke, you can assign it to a hotkey by:

  1. Open the inventory
  2. Mouse over the Crossbow above and to the left of the crafting mat
  3. With your mouse over the weapon, press one of the ten available hotkeys (1-0) to assign it to that key
  4. Now when you press the assigned key, the Crossbow will automatically be equipped to your hands


How many Crossbow Bolts can you carry?

15 Crossbow Bolts can be carried at a time with one additional loaded in the weapon chamber.

Is the Crossbow better than the Compound Bow?

It depends on the scenario. While it deals more damage than a Compound Bow, it must be reloaded, and its ammunition is much more limited and rare.

Can Crossbow Bolts be crafted or 3D printed?

No. They can only be looted from military containers and points of interest.

Can the Crossbow be dropped or traded?

No. The Crossbow cannot be dropped or traded with other players.

Final thoughts on the Crossbow

After relying on the limited power of the ranged weapons you can craft in Sons Of The Forest, the Crossbow is a game changer. It offers enough stopping power to kill a moose while remaining completely silent. When it comes to stealth combat, nothing beats it. Just make sure you have time to reload.

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About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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