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Published September 22, 2018

The Crossbow Target sidequest is one of the hardest and longest sidequests to ever be done in Dragon Quest XI. Although finding 5 crossbow targets over an entire region is one of the biggest headaches in the entire game, it cannot be argued that you have your work cut out for you when you start your search for the targets.

I’ve read just about every strategy and tip on trying to find the crossbow targets; they were harder to find that it seemed.

That was until I was playing around in Dundrasil Region and found that 4 of the targets are in the region itself and the last is in the City Ruins. I got to thinking, “there’s got to be a better way of finding these targets”.

I got to a point where I did find that better way. I was in Champs Sauvage region and made an interesting discovery; the goal isn’t to look for the crossbow targets themselves but where they are on the map.

As I found each one, I drew the conclusion that they were not as hard to find as they once were; I was the one complicating it. I’ve drawn my own conclusions and strategy about how to find the crossbow targets with ease and if not with ease, you’ll be able find them by paying attention to obvious signs on the map. So without further ado, here’s my observation and strategy on finding the Dragon Quest XI Crossbow Targets.

The Complexity of finding the Crossbow Targets

It is without a doubt that finding the crossbow targets can very much be complicated and it doesn’t help that the targets are no bigger than your pinkie finger hence the complexity. Covering a valley from top to bottom or from left to right isn’t even enough to find the targets unless you know exactly what to find or where to look which isn’t always obvious either.

Do you think you would’ve found that if you didn’t know where to look?

You can walk right by a tree, stand under it and still not even notice that the target is either right above your head or hiding in the cleft of a distant mountainside. In certain games where looking for stuff like this, I always had a keen sixth sense of where it might be; this game took the concept of “hide-and-seek” to a whole new level when it came to finding the crossbow targets.

Use your map, staying on the inner rim is the thing

Now the secret to finding the crossbow targets, and your map have made this quite obvious; the inner rim of the map is where you’ll find ALL the crossbow targets.

Look at where I am on the map!

If you have done this already or have, by some miracle, beaten the game already, did you ever notice how the crossbow targets aren’t located anywhere on the map EXCEPT in the inner rim of the map; it’s like the game is practically telling you were to find them.

I made it my mission to spend some time trying to find the crossbow targets on my own without the help of the guide or any guide for that matter and besides discovering that the crossbow targets themselves are never in the body of the map.

The targets are inside the map but are found in the inner rim of the map along the bottom and upper parts of it, if that makes any sense.

So make it a note that when you’re looking for the Dragon Quest XI Crossbow Targets, don’t focus on the body of the map; focus on the inner rim of the map i.e. top and bottom parts of the map and that includes dead-ends as well.

Crossbow Target Appearance on Landmarks

While I got used to finding the Dragon Quest XI Crossbow Targets in different parts of the region, it wasn’t until I was in Zaawardsrust region that I discovered that Crossbow Targets are on landmarks such as on top of the haystack that lie a small distance to the south of the Warrior Inn and on the Windmill that’s a little way south of the Warrior Inn. Hell, I even found a crossbow target right behind a scarecrow.

The landmark, the map!

I say this to make it known that if you’re in an area where there are significant landmarks like scarecrows, haystacks or even a windmill, it could be a knight tent like in Gallopolis region; a target might be found there.

Pay very special attention while you’re looking for crossbow targets in regions where there are a lot of noticeable landmarks because you may find yourself searching said landmark to find that crossbow target.

The crossbow target you find on the windmill in Zaawardsrust Region is a special case; it is found in the body of the map but it is still obvious enough to the point where missing it is near impossible unless you’re blind or plain not interested. Unmoot point: Pay attention!

The pattern never changes

Another thing I discovered while trying to find the Dragon Quest XI Crossbow Targets was that there was another pattern I picked up on. This pattern is also what led me to discovering the overall ease in finding the crossbow targets and that pattern is that the crossbow targets, for most of them, are either dangling from a tree and hanging around on or in the cleft of a rock.

I didn’t pay this much mind at the time, but as I began to find and destroy more and more crossbow targets, I began to notice that they were nestled in the rock in some regions and all it took was a keen eye to spot them.

The ones that you find in the trees are a little more conspicuously hidden but thankfully, you can always count on that red arrow that points to it when you’re nearby.

For all of you gamers who are doing the Crossbow Target challenge for the first time and don’t want to look at the guide or any of the videos; just know that many of the crossbow targets you seek are mostly found in trees and in the cleft of rock so keep that in mind as you search.

Obvious, if you look at the map

When in doubt, see the Bodkin Archer

Finding the Dragon Quest XI Crossbow Targets can be a huge time-consuming headache and although the secret to finding them is not so secret, it cannot be argued that there is a tendency to forget how many you’ve destroyed as you’re finding them.

I ran into this same problem last night as I was playing and I remembered a useful little tidbit that I reminded myself of and that is “when in doubt, see the Bodkin Archer”.

Sometimes this will become necessary because you can get so caught up in finding the crossbow targets that you forget just how many you actually have left to find versus how many you have destroyed already.

I have to warn you though that unless you’re keeping up with this on your own, you’ll be consulting the archer a lot more often; while it is not necessarily a bad thing that you might have to do this, it can become a little distracting from where you are trying to find the targets or lose your place as it were.

But, if I do say so myself, consulting the archer is a necessary evil especially for those who are, like me, just wishing that I could find all 5 targets, report back to the archer about my findings, snag the reward and be on my way but I know it doesn’t work that way.


The Dragon Quest XI Crossbow Targets are indeed complex to find but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be especially if you pay attention to the obvious signs that the map is pointing you to. Stick to searching the inner rim of the map which will lead you to most of the targets unless they are on landmarks like haystacks or windmills etc.

Finding the crossbow targets in the trees and in the cleft of rock while searching in the regions will lead you to the targets as well; be on the lookout for the red arrow. If you have any questions regarding my post then please leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you immediately. Thank you and Happy gaming


R.J’s Last Minute Tip

Don’t shy away from the enemies in the regions as you’re searching for the crossbow targets, if you’re looking to get your hands on some awesome abilities and skills then this is the way to go about it and kill time while searching for the crossbow targets.




  1. HappyBHappyB

    I love games like this but there needs to be some logic or plan to the searches rather than just an aimless wondering round hoping to bump in to a crossbow target.
    Great help this, so I am off to find some more targets to shatter.
    I will never look at a scarecrow the same way again. I’ll be peering round the back and underneath.
    Some people will say this is cheating, reading a review that helps, but I think it makes dragon quest more interesting and challenging.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Right you are HappyB, I’ve been at the crossbow target sidequest for some time now and I’ll tell you that it is the single hardest thing to do in the game because you have to look for them in unconventional places but I can say that thanks to my “detective” work, it took the guess work out of trying to find them and to recognize a pattern which I clearly did. For the record, this isn’t cheating; I heard someone say once, “if there’s any reason to look at a guide, this is it” but now you don’t have to.

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