The crossbow makes a return in Black Ops 3…well, sort of. It’s not the traditional crossbow we’ve seen in the first two installments of Treyarch’s popular CoD franchise. The NX ShadowClaw is a more compact and silently deadly weapon than its predecessors. This is a special secondary weapon that can only be received through supply drops.
The ShadowClaw deals high damage, allows the player to remain off the radar, and works fairly well in mid-range encounters. With the right attachments equipped and perks selected it becomes an incredibly lethal weapon that many believe is extremely overpowered.
NX ShadowClaw Stats
Damage: 200 (one-shot kill, always)
Clip Size: 6 bolts
Firing Rate: 200 RPM (400 with Akimbo)
Available Attachments: Tri-Bolt, Bayonet, Dual Wield, LRX3, ELO, Reflex Sight
This one-handed crossbow packs a lot of punch in a very small package. Every single bolt is capable of a one-hit kill. The ShadowClaw fires fairly quick, is completely silent, and bolts are retrievable after firing. It’s a secondary weapon that is mostly intended for use in medium range engagements.
It works well on smaller maps or any map where there are corridors and plenty of cover objects. The weapon isn’t great for close quarters combat and it’s a bit difficult to use at longer ranges. The bolts have an arc so the further your opponent is from you, the higher you have to fire (aiming above them at at times) to strike them.
One of the biggest advantages of the NX ShadowClaw is that it essentially has a built-in silencer. Whenever you fire the weapon, you will not appear on enemy radar as you would with other non-silenced weapons. This is great for flanking enemies or just being stealthy.
While you don’t appear on radar, you will get noticed. This is because the crossbow actually has a very distinct and audible sound that it makes when firing bolts. It almost sounds like a laser or just something whipping by you very quickly. So, if you miss shots, your opponent may be alerted to your presence by this sound.
Most weapons in Black Ops 3 have the same set of attachments available (grip, extended mag, etc). The NX ShadowClaw, on the other hand, has a very unique set of attachments that can be equipped to it.
The most notable of these are the Tri-Bolt, Bayonet, and Dual Wield.
With Tri-Bolt your crossbow will actually fire 3 bolts with each shot. One shoots out directly forward while the other two go left and right (spans out horizontally). This is a great attachment for taking out multiple enemies at once, but it can also cause you to waste a lot of ammo. If you take on a single opponent with it you’ll waste 2 bolts.
The Bayonet attachment is quite interesting, too. It literally sticks a sharp bayonet-style knife on the front end of the ShadowClaw. This is excellent for killing enemies at close range. Not only is it fast, but it’s also a one-hit melee kill.
Finally, there’s Dual Wield (also known to many Call of Duty fans as Akimbo). This is probably the most brutal attachment of all and is why most players think the NX ShadowClaw is OP. With this attachment your player will wield not one, but two ShadowClaws. You can fire them individually and both have full ammo (6 rounds per clip, 24 bolts total). With this you can double your firing rate by staggering your shots and take out opponents insanely quickly.
In reality the biggest cons with this weapon are that the bolts have an arc that you’ll have to figure out to determine how to hit opponents at different ranges and the ammo capacity is fairly low (only 12 bolts, 24 is you’re running Akimbo). Other than that.. this thing is a beast.
Recommended Class Setup
Want to be able to dominate with this weapon? Here’s what we recommend using in terms of attachments and perks. You can decide if you want to take on a primary gun, lethals, tacticals, and which of the specialists to use.
Recommended Attachments: Dual Wield
There’s no doubt that Akimbo ShadowClaws are an absolute powerhouse. You lose the ability to aim down sights, but, honestly, you don’t have to. Its actually easier and faster to pop off enemies without going ADS with this weapon. That’s why Dual Wield is awesome. Double the speed, double the power.
Recommended Perks: Fast Hands, Scavenger, Tracker
This is a very deadly trio to use. Fast Hands will allow you to swap to your secondary (the NX) faster. Obviously if you don’t have a primary equipped you won’t need this one, though. Scavenger is great because even though you can pick up your fired bolts, it may be dangerous to at times. It’s easier to collect ammo from fallen foes. Finally, Tracker is an essential tool that basically turns you into a badass hunter. You’ll see where your opponents are, be able to catch them off guard, and silently end their life with ease.