"The mini-crossbow was specifically developed for espionage work, and accepts a range of dart types (normal, tranquilizer, or flare) that can be changed depending upon the mission requirements."
— description of Mini-Crossbow, Deus Ex

The mini-crossbow is a wrist-mounted weapon that utilizes the Pistol Skill.


The mini-crossbow fires three types of small darts: normal, tranquilizer, and flare. If a dart hits a wall or a floor, it can be picked up. Both the normal and flare darts will kill enemies if they inflict the final blow on a target.

This weapon is considered a silenced weapon.

Tranquilizer darts will inflict poison damage. Afterwards, they will continue to take poison damage eight times before the poison fades away. Each "tick" of poison damage is equivalent to the damage a single mini-crossbow shot would do. When the target's health reaches zero, they will fall unconscious. Commandos and robots are not affected by poison damage.

Flare darts will light up a nearby area when they strike something, but are otherwise the same as the normal darts. They will set an item box on fire if hit.


  • The mini-crossbow is very effective for non-lethal players. The mini-crossbow's tranquilizer darts are the only ranged attack that can knock out enemies, making it very useful for knocking out enemies from a distance.
  • Combining the gas grenade with a tranq-loaded mini-crossbow is a good idea. Enemies affected by the grenade will take four times the amount of damage than they would normally, so a single hit will be more than enough to knock them out.
  • Leveling up one's Pistol skill makes the tranquilizer darts even more powerful. At Master skill level, a single headshot will knock out an NSF terrorist before the continuous poison effect kicks in. Plus, the higher the player's Pistol skill level is, the more damage the poison does, allowing the player to knock out enemies faster.
  • Despite being known as a non-lethal gun, the mini-crossbow is quite effective as a lethal weapon as well. Each dart does more damage than a pistol shot does, the gun makes no noise when fired, and a headshot will be able to kill a common trooper at any Pistol skill level. However, a victim's death scream will alert any enemies near them.
  • Be careful when using the tranquilizer darts because enemies can still move around when under the effects of poison and can do things like activate alarms while the poison harms them. If an enemy is near an alarm panel, it might be better to use another weapon or to throw a gas grenade at them first.
  • Combining the scope mod, several accuracy mods, and Advanced or higher Pistol skill level makes the mini-crossbow great for long-range sniping. This is particularly useful for non-lethal players, as a modded mini-crossbow is the only long range weapon they can have.
  • Using Reload mods on the mini-crossbow is a good idea, as it takes a bit for it to be reloaded.
  • The crossbow can also be used for exploiting some AI behaviors. Hiding then shooting enemies from a distance will provoke them into attacking, at the same time not triggering friendly AI to attack if they didn't see the player shoot. As a result, the enemy runs into group of friendly AI and is (theoretically) killed. Shooting an enemy in the arm will usually do enough damage to the limb to make him drop the weapon. Shooting a dart at a wall will make a sound, which will cause all AI to investigate it, letting the player slip by them unnoticed or take them out. The dart can be retrieved later.
  • The mini-crossbow is the only ranged weapon which can be used underwater. This is useful when taking on Majestic 12 scuba divers at the Pasadena Ocean Lab.


The crossbow is one of the weapons Paul offers to the player at the start of the game. If it is not picked up there, an NSF troop outside the Statue of Liberty has it. Otherwise it can be found throughout the game on enemies, in crates and lockers, or simply lying on the ground.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The mini-crossbow has its own attack sound defined, but it is never used because of a quirk in how silenced weapons are handled. The stealth pistol's firing sound will always take priority over any other firing sounds if the weapon is silenced, no matter if it is silenced naturally (like the mini-crossbow) or through the Silencer mod.


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