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Topics: Weapon TypesWeapon Mechanics

Weapon Types: Sword and ShieldDual BladesGreat SwordLong SwordHammer
Hunting HornLanceGunlanceSwitch AxeCharge BladeInsect GlaiveTonfa
Light BowgunMedium BowgunHeavy BowgunBow

Bow Weapon Trees:

Weapon Overview

The Bow (弓 Yumi: also known as "Longbow") is one of the most tactical weapons in the Monster Hunter series. Although it is very versatile and has a wide range of options, it is not the weapon of choice for an amateur but rather a weapon of choice for a skilled hunter.

The Bow is a naturally fast weapon. When using a Bow, a common tactic is "hit and run." Also, using the bow requires the knowledge of the monsters' weak points and elemental weaknesses in order to ease the task of taking it down. This is, of course, not a problem; as there are a large number of elemental Bows at the hunter's disposal.

Last but not least, the use of charge levels and coatings allow a large set of options. A hunters choice of what charges and coatings he or she is going to use is very important.
2ndGen-Bow Equipment Render 001

Your armor skills are important as well. If you are using a bow, you do not want a bowgun skill, you want a bow skill. Some skills are an exception, like auto reload. You don't have to put on your bow coatings. Just have them in your inventory. Another good skill is hunger halved. It decreases the time it takes for your stamina to deplete. If you are charging your shots, you want time to aim and predict the monster's movement.

Another good skill for those who go on the elemental side is "Elemental Atk Up." Its effect is to boost fire, ice, dragon, water, and thunder elemental attacks. If you are in support and your buddies need the monster to stay still, you can get a bow with Paralysis Coating. You can get "Abn. Status Atk Up", which boosts Poison, Paralysis, and Sleep values.

Weapon Traits


Path arrows will take


Coating's add-on menu


1 sack of 10 and 9 shoots remaining


List of possible coatings on current weapon

Bows are very fast weapons, and as is likely in Monster Hunter, that means they would lack in damage; but that is not entirely true.  Take in mind that there are several factors that will affect the damage that results in using a ranged attack with a Bow.
The bow's attacks count as piercing damage. This is a great help when trying to break a monster's specific areas. However, the melee attack with an arrow, performed with circle button, counts as slashing type, which is ideal for cutting tails. It should be noted that a shot is stronger than a slash.

  • Unlike bowguns, Bows have unlimited ammo, meaning that you will not have to worry about running out of arrows at crucial moments.
  • Bow hunters can also perform a series of melee attacks by pressing the circle button while their weapon is out. The hunter will perform a slashing attack with an arrow at hand. This attack can be chained to a second attack.
  • Exclusive to Monster Hunter Frontier the Bow itself can be used to uppercut the monster with a far more damaging effect than simply slashing them with an arrow at hand.
  • Bow hunters can perform a 'quick draw' and have the weapon out and already preparing a charge.
  • Besides the elemental damage of the bow, most of them can use coatings. Coatings are special items prepared by the hunters that will cover the arrows in order to gain certain effects, in MHF2 the available coatings are Power coatings, Poison coatings, Paralysis coatings and Sleep coatings, each one providing the status effect mentioned from the name. As a side note, the power coating will give arrows an extra +50% damage, and is stack-able by charging the bow, ingesting Demondrugs, etc. Close range coatings are only available in MHFU, MHP3rd and MH3U.
  • While having Coatings, a small add-on menu will appear over the normal quick-item menu. While the normal item menu is horizontal and used with the circle and square buttons, this coating menu works vertically and using the triangle and "X" buttons. In order to activate one coating for use, it will have to be selected and then press circle+triangle.
  • If you press the X button while standing still with the bow drawn, the hunter will perform a small hop back. You can do this as many times as your stamina allows in order to get to a better shooting position. Pressing X while moving will perform a normal roll. Also notable is that you can cancel a drawn shot by pressing X. This is useful if your target leaves while you are charging and you do not want to waste a coating.
  • When the bow is drawn and the "Triangle" button (the 'X' button in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate)" is being held down, a small flash will happen which indicates the charge-attack has moved up one stage. Firing the bow without holding down the button will release a "Stage 1" Charge-attack as indicated by that bow's status. 'Charging' will consume stamina, so some hunters might find it more useful to carry a lot of power juices or mega juices. Most bows have 3 possible charges, and the capability for a 4th charge is possible with the Load Up/Capacity Up skill.
  • It is possible to move while charging unlike with Greatswords, giving you the opportunity to be preparing a heavy attack while waiting for the right moment to unleash it.
  • When the "R" Button is being pressed, the view will change to the aim mode. In this mode, you will see a line showing the trajectory that the arrows will follow. With the control pad, you are able to change the direction in which you are aiming.
  • Because of the bow's mobility combined with its high elemental power, many experienced hunters utilize the skills Adrenaline +2 and Felyne Heroics to solo the strongest monsters in the Monster Hunter universe. In MHF2/MHP2, you were able to combine the effect of Adrenaline +2 and Felyne Heroics to get an even more powerful effect.
  • Bows can now KO monsters in MHP3rd with their new Arrow Rain and Arrow Bomb attacks which are performed by pressing "O" after two charge levels.
  • Arrow Rain attacks fire a large amount of arrows into the air that eventually drop back down, dealing damage and KO within an area of effect indicated by a large red circle on the ground when in aiming mode with varying radii depending on the model of bow. This ranges from a very small radius (about the diameter of 3.5 feet) to a diameter of approximately 10 feet (about the size of a Gigginox). The larger the area of effect, the more the arrows will spread out as they fall, which can cause them to do less damage if some of the arrows miss their target.
  • Arrow Bomb attacks fire an arrow into the air that eventually drop back down, dealing damage and KO within an area of effect indicated by a small red circle on the ground when in aiming mode. It is the same as the Arrow Rain attack but instead of rocks it has a bomb that can cause KO.

Bow's Damage Factors

Charge Attack

Charges are a very important part of Bow's game play and strategy. The charges on a bow will drastically affect the way a hunter will fare against a monster. They are also a main part of the damage formula with bows. The main reason is that each bow will have different charges on each level, not even necessarily the same. For example, the Hunter's Power Bow I will have Rapid Lvl 1 on the first charge, Rapid Lvl 2 on the second and Rapid Lvl 3 on the third, but once the 4th charge is activated, this comes up as Piercing Lvl 4. This will become important as each charge has a different behavior than the others. For instance, rapid fire will use a rapid strong arrow at first and each charge will add a new one behind the last one, the same goes for Piercing, but each piercing arrow can hit more than once a monster (if the size is good enough and aimed the right way it can hit up to 4 times). Spread will shoot 3 arrows on the first charge, but they will spread to the sides, this all will be explained more thoroughly ahead. Also, each arrow on each type of charge will use a certain numeric modifier (to add on the damage formula mentioned above). Further down is the numeric value for each arrow depending on the charge type, as well as an explanation of how this works.

Charge Raw damage Elemental Damage
1st Charge 40% 50%
2nd Charge 100% 75%
3rd Charge 150% 100%
4th Charge 150% 112.5%

A flash will show with each charge


Example of a Bow with 4th charge by Load Up/Capacity Up skill.

  • Each charge will change a damage modifier on the attack used: the first charge has a modifier of 40%, the second will do 100% the damage and 3rd and 4th will do 150% damage. It's the hunters choice whether to unleash fast yet weak attacks or use stronger ones that would take more time to use (This damage is stackable with demon drugs, flute effects, etc.).
  • Also each charge will affect the elemental damage on the weapon, the first charge will be of 50% the amount, the second charge of 75%, third charge will have the 100% of the elemental damage listed and the fourth will have 112.5% the elemental damage listed. Unlike raw damage the elemental damage is not affected by range. To find the "true" elemental value use the following: ELEMENT / 10 x Elem Mod. = "True" elemental value

Arrow Flight Types


It works by unleashing fast and powerful attacks. The first arrow will follow the path the aim would show, and with each charge a new arrow will follow but slightly lower than the last one, so with the second charge, 2 arrows will be unleashed, the First (shown in the next table) and a second one a bit lower (in the Table each extra arrow will be shown as an "A"). This is the 'fastest way to break a monster's part and slay a small monster.'

Type/Level Rapid Lv1 Rapid Lv2 Rapid Lv3 Rapid Lv4 Rapid Lv5
Arrow Form (Vertical) F F-A F-A-A F-A-A-A F-A-A-A


It works by shooting several arrows. Even from the first charge, each shot will have a central arrow following the normal path shown by the aim, shown as C's, and then extra arrows (depending on which charge is used), shown in the table as A's. The arrows will spread widely from the one at the center. This will handle a fast moving monster or a boss monster with its minions.

Type/Level Scatter Lv1 Scatter Lv2 Scatter Lv3 Scatter Lv4 Scatter Lv5
Arrow Form A-C-A A-C-A A-A-C-A-A A-A-C-A-A A-A-C-A-A


Piercing arrows are very different than the other 2 types. While there's only 1 arrow being shot with each charge, what changes is the number of hits a single arrow will be able to do. At level 1 this means 3 possible hits and at level 4 it can hit up to 6 times. The maximum number of hits is only possible if aimed right, and most hunters would take any chance to unleash a level 4 piercing attack aimed at the head to try to make the arrow go through from head to tail, or from wing to wing, because it needs that much space in order to hit several times and be more effective. This is the fastest way to slay a large monster. Only this type can pierce monster's webbing.

Type/Level Pierce Lv1 Pierce Lv2 Pierce Lv3 Pierce Lv4 Pierce Lv5
Number of Hits 3 hits 4 hits 5 hits 6 hits 6 hits


One important thing that a bow user must keep in mind is distance, because this will effect to your bow's attack power just like charging does. The bow's attack power will change exponentially according to distance. The best location from you to a monster's part is listed below...

Flight Type Range
Scatter 2 backhops
Rapid 3 backhops
Pierce 3-4 backhops

Your location is something in between, not too close and not too far. If your arrow has begun to descend when hit on any monster's part, that means your arrow does less than 50% of raw damage because you were standing too far from it.

Useful Skills

Skill Detail
Focus Charging attack will become faster with normal stamina consumption.
Runner Running/Charging will consume less stamina.
Constitution Rolling/Backhopping/Evading will consume less stamina.
Evade Evade +1 slightly increases invulnerability time during evasion, +2 increases that further. (Back hopping,side stepping,rolling, etc.)
Evade Dist Makes you roll further than normal.
Bullet Limit Mixing will always result a maximum shot/coating.
Capacity Up Adds one more level of bow's charge attack.

With HP < 60 points, you can survive any large attack with HP 1 point left.

Movements on Detail

Now we will see more details on the movements and even some combos.

MHP3rd Bow Movements Controls01:32

MHP3rd Bow Movements Controls

Title MHP3rd Bow Movements Controls
by MHP3rdFrance
MHP3rd Bow Tutorial (MHWikia Edition)03:32

MHP3rd Bow Tutorial (MHWikia Edition)

Title MHP3rd Bow Tutorial (MHWikia Edition)
by MHWikia
MH4G MH4U Bow Tutorial13:39

MH4G MH4U Bow Tutorial

Title MH4G/MH4U Bow Tutorial
by gaijin hunter
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Bow Tutorial MH4U Basics11:36

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Bow Tutorial MH4U Basics

Title MH4U Bow Tutorial
by Arekkz Gaming

Weapon Sheathed

PSTRI or X = Draw weapon
PSX or B = Roll
R + PSTRI + PSO or (R+X+A) = Quick Draw + Slash attack
R + PSTRI + PSO + PSO or (R+X+A, A) = Quick Draw + Slash attack 2 hit combo

Weapon Drawn

R(HOLD) = AIM will be shown (all following movements can be mixed with this one).
AIM + Control Pad or Right Stick = Will fix the aim according to the Control Pad or Right Stick.
PSTRI or X = Shoot Level 1 charged arrow
PSTRI or X(HOLD) = Charge
PSTRI or X(HOLD) + Direction = Charge while Moving
PSTRI or X(HOLD UNTIL CHARGED AT LEAST LEVEL 3) + PSO or A = Arc Shot (Varies based on bow equipped)
PSTRI or X + PSO or A = Load the selected arrow coating
(Ultimate only?) X(Hold) + Y or B = Charge, cancel into Backhop
(Ultimate only?) X(Hold) + Y or B while moving = Charge, cancel into Roll

PSX or B = Small Jump Backwards
PSX or B + Direction = Roll

PSO or A= Slashing attack
PSO or A twice = 2 Slashing attack Combo

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Bow

  • Mastering The Bow Weapons

    8 messages
    • My tactics for bows are weird. xD It involves using the bombardier and trap master armor skills with sneak added in there as well as a lot...
    • I would recomend getting an elemental bow, specific to the monster. It helps alot, though I am not that great at the bow, I would not fi...
  • The Bows in MH3U

    24 messages
    • I'll definatley have SnS and DS as my main weapons, but I am curious about the Bow. I may even make a half-decent Gunner armor to try it out.
    • I also started with Tri, and my main was SnS. Used bowguns every now and again, but found that the ammo limits were really a pain. I've b...

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