The Best Crossbows in Final Fantasy XII (All Ranked)

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age turned the original game on its head by adding a new Job system in the form of unique license boards.

These boards allow only certain styles of play, basically forcing certain weapons and magic onto each character based on their jobs.

Time Battlemages, a practitioner of magic like Gravity, Stop, and Break, are the only job that can use crossbows.

And in all of Ivalice, there are only a handful of these weapons. Which ones are the best?

I mean, which are worth your… time? With my apologies, let’s find out.


8. Bowgun

Bowgun FF12 Render Preview

Surely reliable, the Bowgun will be the Time Battlemage’s first crossbow.

Costing only a meager sum, the Bowgun will be a dependable friend for the next few hours of hunts and adventure.

Not great, but still worthy of a mention.

How to Obtain: It’ll become available in the Rabanastre weapon shop after clearing Barheim Passage.


7. Crossbow

Crossbow Render from FF12

The aptly-named Crossbow is a decent weapon that’ll assist you in the skeletal grind that often happens during the Lhusu Mines period of the game.

It’s a decent enough upgrade from the Bowgun, but its usefulness will be somewhat limited to how soon you’ll get access to something better.

How to Obtain: Available for sale in the Bhujerban weapon shop after defeating Ba’Gamnan in the Lhusu Mines.


6. Paramina Crossbow

Paramina Crossbow Render from FF12

Named after the snowy Paramina Rifts, this crossbow arrives not too long after the Lhusu Mines.

The Paramina Crossbow will be the real workhorse for your Time Battlemage, sticking with you until you get to Eruyt Village a half-dozen hours later.

So you can really sink some hours into this thing.

How to Obtain: You can either obtain it in a chest while exploring King Raithwall’s Tomb, or purchase it from Rabanastre when you get back to the surface after the tomb.


5. Gastrophetes

Gastrophetes Render from FF12

As a true powerhouse, the Gastrophetes (or Gassy for short) is the second most powerful crossbow in the game.

However, the weapon’s biggest downfall is how strikingly annoying it is to obtain.

It’s a mighty weapon, for sure.

But other options are far more appealing when scarcity is taken into account.

If you do manage to get this thing, though… yay! Its power is a sight to behold.

How to Obtain: Hidden away on the Cerobi Steppe’s Old Elanise Road, the Gastrophetes’ chest only has a 50% chance of spawning upon zoning in, and another 50% on top of that of this weapon actually being in the chest.


4. Recurve Crossbow

Recurve Crossbow Render from FF12

So this is only a minor upgrade from the previous Paramina Crossbow, but the Recurve is a welcome addition nonetheless.

And it’ll help you slay many aggressive beasts, be them man or monster.

Listen: an upgrade is an upgrade, right?

Let’s not be looking into the mouths of gift chocobos.

How to Obtain: If you’re lucky, you’ll find the Recurve in a chest while traveling the Paramina Rift. If not, you can buy it soon after in Eruyt Village – and you should.


3. Hunting Crossbow

Hunting Crossbow FF12 Render

The Hunting Crossbow is the second to last crossbow you’ll ever purchase.

Or if you’re a real spendthrift, it will be the last one.

It’s entirely possible to use the Hunting Crossbow to advance enough to more powerful, and non-purchasable, ranged weapons.

This thing also offers a great balance of attack power, and reasonable availability.

How to Obtain: After clearing out the Stillshrine of Miriam, the Hunting Crossbow can be purchased from the weapon shop on Mt Bur-Omisace.


2. Penetrator Crossbow

Penetrator Crossbow FF12 Render

Nevermind how cool this crossbow’s name is, because that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The Penetrator bears the highest power of all crossbows you can purchase from shops.

Anything better than this, you’ll have to find out in the wild. Which can be taxing if you either don’t know where to look, or have bad luck.

The Penetrator is a very good friend who won’t, and shouldn’t, leave the side of any self-respecting Time Battlemage.

How to Obtain: Upon entering the city of Archades you’ll have access to a weapon shop. Inside this Empire-run armory you’ll find the Penetrator Crossbow for sale.


1. Tula Crossbow

Tula Crossbow FF12 Render (same as Gastrophetes)

As the strongest crossbow in The Zodiac Age, the Tula is a ranged weapon to be feared.

It boasts the highest attack out of them all, and would be a prize to any self-respecting Time Battlemage. Plus, yes it has the same model as the Gastrophetes, but it looks so cool!

That’s what’s really important.

Big damage, sure, but I want to look awesome too!

How to Obtain: Thankfully the Tula is easy to get, as long as you’ve got the guts to go get it. It sleeps in a 100%-always-there chest in the late-game dungeon, The Pharos at Ridorana. It’s a bit out of the way, but the extra effort is totally worth it.

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Brian Conley

Brian knows more about RPGs than he does world history. Combine with his love of writing and you get somebody who can, and will, go on forever about every nuance of every game he's played.