In exchange for decreased range at longer ranges compared to the Sniper Rifle, as well as a smaller ammo count, the Fortified Compound requires less time to achieve a fully-charged, maximun damage shot and allows the Sniper to move faster while charging; 45% compared to 27% from the Sniper Rifle. The Huntsman can be charged whilst the Sniper is jumping or falling, but cannot be fired until he is safely on the ground. Also, this weapon deals slightly less damage due to the faster charging, and cannot kill a fully-Overhealed Heavy with a single headshot arrow (360 damage), but can with another fire quickly after.
Since the Fortified Compound does not possess a scope the Sniper must get closer to his target to use it effectively. Pressing the primary fire button quickly will release the arrow rapidly, albeit with less power, making it easier to hit faster classes such as the Scout. However, if the arrow is drawn for longer than five seconds, the accuracy of the shot greatly decreases, deals minimal damage, and cannot headshot. This can be avoided by pressing the alternate fire button, which brings the arrow back to its idle position, allowing it to be drawn again.
The arrow can also be lit on fire by fire weapons (such as the Flamethrower or the Pomson 6000), allowing it to do more damage and light targets on fire, this only works for the current arrow, however, meaning that if you want a second arrow on fire, you will need to fire your current arrow and have a teamate re-light your newly drawn one.