The Crossbow also appears in multiplayer, available at level 33. It has no attachments, and always fires explosive bolts. Unlike its Single-player counterpart, the multiplayer crossbow fires projectiles that do drop over a certain distance like the ballistic knife. It is one of the weapons used in the Sticks and Stones Wager Match playlist, along with the Ballistic Knife and Tomahawk. It is also the 19th weapon in Gun Game. When a player is hit by an Explosive Tipped bolt, the screen flashes red and an indicator comes up in the shape of an arrow with the word "Stuck" on it, indicating the player has been hit with an explosive bolt. At this point, there is nothing the player can do to save themselves, and will be killed along with any teammates within the blast radius by the explosion after 1.5 seconds, One of the few things a "Stuck" player can do in this situation is attempt to take his attacker out with him by rushing towards them in the hope the blast kills them as well, although this is less than reliable and is near impossible if the target has the Flak Jacket perk.

When using this weapon in conjunction with Scavenger Pro you gain a total five explosive bolts. As well, the crossbow is the one of the few non- pistol secondary weapons that refills from scavenger (the other being the ballistic knife). Pair it with Sleight of Hand Pro and the player would have a explosive weapon that can receive ammo more regularly from the Scavenger perk, and fire faster through Sleight of Hand, than the Launchers inBlack Ops. When using Sleight of Hand, a good way to get the Fast Hands Kills is to stick enemies with the Crossbow. The player damages the enemy when the bolt hits and reloads quickly before the bolt explodes, which counts for the challenge if the player does not cancel the reload (e.g. by sprinting).

The killfeed icon for a direct impact from a crossbow bolt is the same as that of any other grenade direct impact.

In Hardcore, being hit by a bolt is fatal. In Core and Barebones, a player can be killed by the bolt alone if the player's health is low enough, and a direct impact in any game mode to a player in Second Chance is sufficient enough for the kill. The Crossbow does not have a damage multiplier for the head, but a direct impact kill can still register as a headshot.

The bolts fired by an enemy will have a red tip, while friendly crossbow bolts will have a green tip, in the same way as a Semtex.