We present a comprehensive theoretical study of the cross-resonance gate operation covering estimates for gate parameters and gate error as well as analyzing spectator qubits and multiqubit frequency collisions. Starting from the Josephson nonlinearity and by accounting for the eigenstates renormalization, due to counterrotating terms, we derive a starting model for the cross-resonance gate with modified qubit-qubit interaction and drive matrix elements. Employing time-dependent Schrieffer-Wolff perturbation theory, we derive an effective Hamiltonian for the cross-resonance gate with estimates for the gate parameters calculated up to the fourth order in drive amplitude. The model with renormalized eigenstates lead to 10%-15% relative correction of the effective gate parameters compared to Kerr theory. We find that gate operation is strongly dependent on the ratio of qubit-qubit detuning and anharmonicity. In particular, we characterize five distinct regions of operation, and propose candidate parameter choices for achieving high gate speed and low coherent gate error when the cross-resonance tone is equipped with an echo pulse sequence. Furthermore, we generalize our method to include a third spectator qubit and characterize possible detrimental multiqubit frequency collisions.