The crossbow has been a weapon in over six CoD games but fails to get much attention, and that trend continues in MW3.
Community feedback contributed to Sledgehammer Games slowing down time-to-kill speeds in Modern Warfare 3. The devs increased base operator health to 150 from 100, making weapons take around one full shot longer to kill compared to MW2.
Additionally, the developers reworked operator hit-boxes by eliminating excessive headshot multipliers and making all limbs do relatively the same amount of damage. This change creates a more balanced, forgiving experience for players who often miss headshots thanks to poor aim.
As a result, weapons take longer to kill than in previous CoD installments, which has so far favored ARs and LMGs that deal more damage. Crossbow users should have also benefited from slow TTK speeds, but that’s far from the case.
MW3 Crossbow fans in shambles
Because of the base operator health increase, crossbows are no longer able to one-shot kill enemies in MW3 core multiplayer matches. Frustrated players on Reddit are complaining that the crossbow is “unusable.”
The OP backed up their claim with video evidence of the crossbow landing direct shots at three enemies, but failing to finish the job. That would still be ok if the crossbow was able to quickly fire a follow-up shot, but the animation of loading in another arrow after every shot makes it an impossible task to reliably rack up kills.
In an interview between content creator Repullze and Sledgehammer Games, the devs admitted that they still haven’t had the chance to balance every MW2 weapon that carried over to the new game, and community members argued that it shows. “This isn’t just the crossbow. Many of the marksman rifles in MW2 are borderline useless. You might as well use an airsoft gun,” one MW3 player responded.
Players blamed the operator health increase for the primary reason behind the crossbow falling behind the power curve, as a second user added: “They didn’t scale the damage to the new health, so it only does 100 damage instead of 150.”
Despite the crossbow not finding a place in multiplayer’s meta, Zombies fans love the undervalued primary weapon, with players noting the crossbow can be one of the best weapons in the game at crushing some undead monsters.
As part of the previous interview, Sledgehammer Games promised to balance MW2 weapons that have a recommended tab over them, so it may be worth putting the crossbow away until then.