Having a playthrough where we collect all possible achievements is in itself quite a challenge, and some of the tasks we have to complete do not make it any easier. These include the Master Marksman achievement, which requires players in The Witcher 3 to get 50 headshots with a crossbow.
A crossbow? That can't be hard!
The thing is, it is quite a challenge. Let's check out the description of the achievement, which clearly defines who we have to kill.
Master Marksman - Kill 50 human and nonhuman opponents by striking them in the head with a crossbow bolt (via Steam).
In this case, all kinds of monsters, including aquatic ones, don't count. This clarification is necessary since the crossbow is incredibly powerful underwater. Killing Drowners with this weapon is a pleasure - just one or two shots are enough to get rid of the threat.
So why is a crossbow useless on land, but deadly underwater? Well, it's because CD Projekt RED had to somehow solve the issue of fighting in water.
Using a sword under water is rather out of the question, the witcher signs don't fit either, so the developers decided to give Geralt a crossbow.
Jakub Szamalka's opinions on the subject can be found in the following video from the panel about The Witcher 3 at PAX 2015 (roughly the 10th minute of the video).
How rare is this achievement?
On Steam, only 1.5% of The Witcher 3players got the achievement. On PlayStation, this value is slightly higher - 8.61% of players got it.
A crossbow can also be used on land... sometimes
The problem with the crossbow arises already with its mechanics. The damage that enemies receive is miniscule, and many players felt that this weapon should be seen more as a tool for knocking down flying enemies.
I'm not still using the starter crossbow either- I have a level 21 crossbow and it still only does 7-9 damage. I mean, what's the point when enemies I'm encountering have probably close to, if not more than, 1000hp? Maybe it's nerfed due to me playing on b&bb difficulty [Blood and Broken Bones - hard difficulty - ed.], but it just seems like a peashooter. Most of the time it only does 1 damage, even with exploding or precision bolts", wrote splinter_777 on GameFAQs.
Another requirement for this achievement is to aim manually which is not a pleasant experience when playing on a controller.
If for some reason you would like to get this achievement, check out the Devil's Pit location, where enemies get blocked in the gate, making them easier targets. Of course, on YouTube you will also find many other tutorials for this achievement.
Crossbows - many to choose from
While this weapon can generally be considered useless, you will still find several types of it in the game. The basic version of The Witcher 3 has a total of nine types of crossbows.
The Hearts of Stone expansion adds two more, while Blood and Wine DLC comes with extra four new crossbows (via Witcher Wiki). In total, The Witcher 3 has 16 types of crossbows. The same is with the bolts - 16 types.
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