Take the humble Light Bowgun – it’s a small ranged weapon with a lot going for it – mobility and speed being the key points. It’s a perfectly viable weapon for Monster Hunter Rise.
But what if you want something with a bit more punch? Enter the Heavy Bowgun. What this weapon lacks in speed it more than makes up for in power. With a Heavy Bowgun by your side, monsters must beware your hunter, lest they get destroyed by its explosive powers.
The Heavy Bowgun
The Heavy Bowgun is one of those weapons that are easy to learn, but hard to master. When drawn, the weapon will weigh you down – your movement speed will drop and your dodge rolls will become sluggish. Thankfully, you have some Silkbind abilities to make up for this, and a whole lotta power to compensate.
Firing a Bowgun is a bit different to swinging a conventional weapon:
- Hold ZL/LT to enter aiming mode and hit ZR/RT to fire.
- If you hold down the fire button, you’ll charge up your shot – it is possible to charge up to three levels. This will deal far more damage.
- Some ammo types cannot be charged up.
- You have limited ammo – hit X/Y or ZR/RT (when out of ammo) to reload.
- Stash your Bowgun with Y/X – not RB/R. That button is now your Silkbind button.
It’s possible to perform a melee attack with X/Y + A/B, but this is a very situational move. You won’t have many opportunities to use it as your perfect range is long.
When you have a Heavy Bowgun equipped, you can swap ammo types on the fly. This is an important part of your strategy – you’ll want to adapt your ammo choices to the monsters you’re hunting, and even the part of the fight you’re on. For example, you have different ammos for slicing tails and stunning with headshots.
Every Heavy Bowgun uses a different set of ammo, so you’ll have to be picky when selecting one for a hunt. It’s good practice to forge multiple types of Heavy Bowgun, just to make sure you have the right tools for every job. Having full access to the elemental ammos and the status ailment ammos is a good start.
The table below details every ammo in the game that Heavy Bowgunners have access to.
|Ammo Type||Carry Capacity||Description|
|Normal Ammo 1/2/3||99||Deals non-elemental damage.|
|Pierce Ammo 1/2/3||60||Piercing ammo that deals more damage as it travels through a monster – try to get it to pass through as much of the monster as possible.|
|Spread Ammo 1/2/3||60||Close-range ammo that functions somewhat like a shotgun, with a wide spread.|
|Shrapnel Ammo 1/2/3||60||Wide-range attack that gets a larger radius and more bullets at higher levels.|
|Sticky Ammo 1/2/3||9||Fires an explosive round that sticks into the monster and then explodes after a while. This delivers stun damage, so aim for the head.|
|Cluster Bomb 1/2/3||3||Ammo that explodes into smaller bombs upon impact. Some Heavy Bowguns will launch this into the air towards a target that you place manually (Arc Shot), while others will fire it forwards normally (Level Shot).|
|Flaming Ammo||60||Ammo that deals fire damage.|
|Piercing Fire Ammo||60||Piercing ammo that deals fire damage. Will deal more hits if it travels through more of the monster’s body.|
|Water Ammo||60||Ammo that deals water damage.|
|Piercing Water Ammo||60||Piercing ammo that deals water damage. Will deal more hits if it travels through more of the monster’s body.|
|Thunder Ammo||60||Ammo that deals thunder damage.|
|Piercing Thunder Ammo||60||Piercing ammo that deals thunder damage. Will deal more hits if it travels through more of the monster’s body.|
|Freeze Ammo||60||Ammo that deals ice damage.|
|Piercing Ice Ammo||60||Piercing ammo that deals thunder damage. Will deal more hits if it travels through more of the monster’s body.|
|Dragon Ammo||3||Ammo that deals dragon damage.|
|Piercing Dragon Ammo||3||Piercing ammo that deals thunder damage. Will deal more hits if it travels through more of the monster’s body.|
|Wyvern Ammo||5||Extremely powerful ammo that must be charged up and has a ton of recoil. Getting close enough with this ammo will deal two hits.|
|Slicing Ammo||30||Fires an explosive round that sticks into the monster and then explodes after a while. This delivers slash damage, so it can be used to cut tails off.|
|Poison Ammo 1/2||12 / 8||Ammo that inflicts poison.|
|Paralysis Ammo 1/2||12 / 8||Ammo that inflicts paralysis.|
|Sleep Ammo 1/2||12 / 8||Ammo that puts enemies to sleep.|
|Exhaust Ammo 1/2||12 / 8||Ammo that severely drains a monster’s stamina.|
|Recover Ammo 1/2||12 / 8||You can fire this ammo at an ally – hunter, palico, or palamute – to heal them.|
|Demon Ammo||5||You can fire this ammo at an ally – hunter, palico, or palamute – to give them a short attack buff.|
|Armor Ammo||5||You can fire this ammo at an ally – hunter, palico, or palamute – to give them a short defense buff.|
|Tranq Ammo||8||Has the same effect as Tranq Bombs, used for capturing trapped monsters while on low health.|
Note that this collection of ammo is identical to that of Light Bowgun with one major exception – the addition of Wyvern Ammo.
Some Heavy Bowguns are better at using some ammo types than others – these are indicated with icons next to the ammo type on the Equipment Info menu and on the ammo selection section of the combat HUD.
- Footprints mean you can move around while aiming with this ammo.
- Green arrows mean you can reload this ammo while moving around.
- A downward arrow means you will automatically reload after using this ammo.
Deviation, Recoil, And Reload
Heavy Bowguns do not only differ in their ammo choice, but in how they behave as guns. They have three stats, Deviation, Recoil, and Reload, which all affect how useful they are in battle.
- Higher Deviation means a Heavy Bowgun will be less accurate, as the bullets will tend to fly further from the center of the targeting reticle than normal.
- Higher Recoil will mean you take longer to recover from shots, lowering your DPS.
- High Reload means it takes longer to reload. Simple enough.
Different ammo types will also influence these stats. For example, Cluster Bombs will always have a far higher Recoil than Normal Ammo. You can see the specifics by heading to your Equipment Info menu and hitting Y/X to open the Ammo Details screen.
Heavy Bowgun Mods
It is possible to customize your Heavy Bowgun with one of two mods.
- Attaching a Shield will make it possible to to execute an Auto-Guard. If you stand still and do nothing, you’ll be able to guard from attacks – though there is no visual indicator for this.
- Attaching a Power Barrel will increase your weapon’s Attack by over ten percent.
Hitting A/B will let you load up your Heavy Bowgun with some Special Ammo. The type of Special Ammo will depend on the Heavy Bowgun itself. Some Bowguns use Wyvernheart ammo, which is indicated by a row of bullets above your ammo menu, and others use Wyvernsnipe ammo, which is indicated by one very long bullet.
The bullets above your ammo menu are gauges. Using your Special Ammo will drain the gauge, at which point you’ll have to wait for them to refill before loading up another one.
- Wyvernheart ammo lets you turn the Heavy Bowgun into a machine gun, firing a high volume of bullets in a long stream. You do not have to use all of this ammo at once.
- Wyvernsnipe ammo, on the other hand, is single-use, but it is very powerful and can deal full damage at an incredibly long distance. The charging animation is very long, however, so be careful.
It is possible to load up Special Ammo before the gauge has been refilled. To eject Special Ammo, just hit A/B again.
Heavy Bowgun – Skills And Abilities
Counter Shot (RB/R + X/Y): This move puts you in a defensive position, anchored to the ground with Wirebug tethers. If you get struck by an attack, you’ll absorb it. You can follow up a block with a very powerful shot that will also send you flying backwards.
Counter Charger (RB/R + X/Y): This move is a parry that will entirely negate an enemy’s attack. It will also give you a buff that lets you charge up your shots quicker.
Free Silkbind Glide (RB/R + A/B): This move will pull you forward at high speed. It can be followed up by a melee attack (X/Y + A/B) or a faster sheathing animation than usual (Y/X). This is good for getting around a battlefield quicky without putting your weapon away, but does have a long cooldown animation if you don’t use it to attack or sheathe.
Melee Attack (X/Y + A/B)
- Melee Attack: A bludgeoning attack using the Bowgun that deals stun damage.
- Tackle: A shoulder tackle that reduces the chance of being flinched or knocked back whilst in use. This is good for staying close to an enemy likely to knock you away
Special Ammo (A/B)
- Mech-Wyvernsnipe: Your standard Special Ammo choices.
- Healing Mech-Wyvernsnipe: Your shells will now do less damage, but you’ll gain health back when they do hit.
Heavy Bowgun – Tips And Tricks
You can tell whether you’re in the correct range for max damage or not depending on the color of your targeting reticle.
If the reticle is yellow in color, you’ll do minimal damage with whatever ammo you’re using. Move closer and it’ll turn orange, showing that you’re in range. This is more noticeable with Spread Ammo, which needs a very close range to be effective.
This is not true with Wyvern Ammo – the game will tell you outright that you’re not close enough with this ammo.
Head To The Training Area
Utilizing the Training Area – which is accessible by interacting with the small boat in the Buddy Plaza – is more useful than usual when it comes to Heavy Bowguns.
The reason for this is that you can practice your ranged attacks against moving targets and you have infinite ammo to experiment with. You can use this to get your timing down for charged shots and Wyvern Ammo shots.
Improve Your Guard
The Guard mod is very powerful, and more universally useful than the Power Barrel if you take steps to augment it. Specifically, investing in the Guard or the Guard Up skills would be a huge help.
Guard will improve your blocking skills, meaning you take less stamina damage and are less likely to get knocked back. Guard Up will enable you to block normally unblockable moves – and while they’ll still do damage, the damage will be reduced.
Heavy Bowgun Vs. Light Bowgun
Both of these ranged weapons have a lot going for them, but there’s bound to be one that catches your imagination more than the other.
- Heavy Bowguns have a lot more firepower than Light Bowguns, which makes up for their lower rate of fire.
- While Heavy Bowguns have far less mobility, the Free Silkbind Glide ability is fantastic for getting around, as long as you keep a close eye on your Wirebugs.
- Heavy Bowguns’ Special Ammo is far easier to use than Light Bowguns’ Wyvernblast, which requires you to lure enemies to one spot.
- The Power Barrel mod adds more damage than the Long Barrel mod.