The Rank Up Report #13: Getting Your Crossbow Fit for Combat

Our Lead Writer provides some tips for unlocking, and using, the newest weapon in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare®.

The Rank Up Report #13: Getting Your Crossbow Fit for Combat

Our Lead Writer provides some tips for unlocking, and using, the newest weapon in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare®.

Operation: Rank Up Report #0013

Day 91 – 15:54:15 PST

Somewhere in California

AGB – Lead Writer

This past week, I wound up shipping out to Minnesota for the Call of Duty League™ Launch Weekend. There was plenty of incredible Call of Duty: Modern Warfare played by all 12 pro teams and hundreds of Call of Duty® Challengers squads, so much so that I wrote a whole column about it here

When I wasn’t appreciating some competitive Call of Duty and cheeseburgers in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I was on Modern Warfare unlocking its newest weapon: The Crossbow. 

Before you can experience the Crossbow, however, you must first complete a challenge: get five kills with a marksman rifle that has a Reflex Optic in 25 different matches. Here are my tips for breezing through this challenge:

• Remember to Equip a Reflex Optic. Those kills will not count unless you use an attachment slot on a Reflex Optic. Luckily, there are plenty of options - anything with the “Reflex” name counts - which offer different sight pictures and reticles for your viewing pleasure.

• Aim for the Head. No matter what marksman rifle you use, it will down an enemy with a single shot to the head. Although a headshot is harder to pull off than shots to any other area, being efficient with a marksman rifle will make those five kills a breeze… And they might just become a part of one massive Killstreak.

• Marksman Means Mobile. Marksman Rifles, for the most part, have better handling statistics compared to their sniper rifle peers. In other words, it’s easier to play aggressively - repositioning and generally being a mobile sharpshooter - so don’t be afraid to be on offense in as many engagements as possible.

• Make the Most of It. This challenge gives you the opportunity to experiment with the marksman rifles, an underrated primary weapon category. Use these 25 games to get some serious weapon levels into a new favorite gun. Alternatively, after you get those five takedowns in the bag, you can freely switch to another loadout and potentially catch your enemies by surprise through mixing up tactics.

Completing this challenge may take some time, but the reward for doing so is unparalleled. Considered a marksman rifle, the Crossbow is unlike any other weapon in the game; it has the same offensive potential as all other weapons in its category, but it can also add some serious utility thanks to its bolt attachments. 

Case in point, my advice for using this weapon:

• Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks. Using normal Crossbow bolts - AKA not using a Bolt attachment - allows you to resupply ammo without using Scavenger. Running over an enemy or object you hit will put that bolt back into your reserves, as indicated by a small icon near your crosshairs. Because this weapon’s ammo is limited, it’s in your best interest to recover your shots, especially ones you missed.

• Bolts that Go Boom. If you want your bolts to pack an explosive punch, look no further than the FTAC Fury 20" Bolts. These add some splash damage to your bolts, letting you hit multiple enemies with one shot… Even if it lands at their feet.

• Thermite: A Vehicle’s Worst Nightmare. The FTAC Backburn 20" Bolts add a Thermite explosive to the end of your bolts, allowing them to cut through metal like a hot knife through butter. Consider pairing this with a launcher and the Cold-Blooded perk for the ultimate Killstreak denial class.

• Disruption at the Junction. FTAC Venom 20" Bolts are a high risk, high reward bolt attachment. Its effects won’t activate unless you directly hit someone with this arrow, but when it makes its mark, the bolt explodes in a cloud of gas, hindering the actions of anyone within a few feet. This attachment is most effective for those who worry less about kills and more about causing as much disruption and distraction for your team as possible.

• Tame the Arctic Beast. This available blueprint fully kits the Crossbow with several attachments, including the FTAC Backburn 20" Bolts. If you need a great setup for this weapon right out of the box, or just a cooler look for the Crossbow, pick up this blueprint.

• Remember the bullet… er…. bolt drop. No matter what bolt attachment you use, be aware of the Crossbow’s bolts dropping due to physics. This drop is more dramatic than that of a bullet, so be sure to aim higher at distant targets and account for travel time when trying to hit someone on the move. Some Cable attachments mitigate this drop and travel time slightly, so consider using an attachment slot on one.

The Crossbow should find a place within one of your 10 - yes, 10 loadouts! Thanks Infinity Ward for that - Loadout slots, even if it is to fill a niche role or two in your rotation. No other weapon in the game can switch between a makeshift sniper, an anti-Killstreak powerhouse, and an area denial weapon with only one or two attachment changes. Regardless of how you use the Crossbow, this weapon completely alters how you experienceModern Warfare, so if you maxed out the Battle Pass and Officer Rank, learning the ins and outs of this weapon is a great challenge to tackle.

And with all that in mind, I’ll see you online. Stay frosty.

For more information and the latest intel on Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare®, check out:, follow @InfinityWard and @CallofDuty on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.

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