The bow is one of the 14 weapon types in Monster Hunter Rise and is one of three gunner class weapons. It was first introduced in Monster Hunter Dos, but saw some significant changes in Monster Hunter World. A lot of those changes have carried over into Monster Hunter Rise, but there are a few elements of the old bow that made their way back into the series.
The bow excels at a mid range distance and has fall off as one might expect if fired from too far away. The game will helpfully inform players if they’re completely out of range though when they draw their bow. A stray shot or two may be able to hit even when this notice pops up, but it’s good indicator that players need to close the distance between them and the monster. The bow will do the most damage when it’s at its sweet spot, the “critical distance” from the monster.
One major thing to keep in mind when taking the bow into a hunt is that Rise seems to be using World‘s system which means the bow sacrifices defense for range. While the game will inform players that gunner weapons get increased elemental defense while blademaster weapons get increased melee defense, that isn’t entirely true.
Because of the way the game calculates damage, elemental damage is still also considered physical so gunners are just going to take more damage overall anyway. This is one of the reasons Fatalis in Iceborne could effectively one-shot gunners despite using mostly fire attacks. The damage numbers for Rise haven’t been run yet the way they were for World, but anecdotal evidence seems to confirm this is the case again.
Bows also benefit more from using elemental damage. Dual blades join them in this regard. Any fast attacking weapon benefits more from elemental damage than slower attacking ones as elemental damage is dealt with each hit, so the more hits the better.
The controls for the bow are as follows:
- ZL: Aim
- ZR: Shoot
- Hold ZR: Draw/Charge Shot
- A: Melee Attack
- X + A: Dragon Piercer
- Up/Down on D-Pad: Select Coating
- X: Apply Remove Coating
- ZR + A: Arc Shot
- ZL + B: Charging Sidestep
Keep in mind that arc shot has been changed from Monster Hunter World. In that game, using arc shot caused a bunch of spiky balls to rain down from the sky onto monsters which could deal KO damage. Now each bow has a different type of arc shot like in previous games. There are three varieties all of which are buffs and do not deal damage:
- Recovery: Standing under the arc shot mist restores health.
- Affinity: The mist temporarily increases affinity.
- Brace: The mist negates knockback temporarily.
Each bow can also apply different types of coatings. The different types of coatings are:
- Close-range coating: Damage is increased while range is decreased
- Power coating: Increases attack.
- Para coating: Causes paralysis status effect, locking the monster in place temporarily.
- Poison coating: Causes poison status effect, causing the monster to take damage over time.
- Sleep coating: Causes sleep status effect, causing the monster to fall asleep on the spot and take double the damage from the attack that wakes it up.
- Blast coating: Inflicts blast buildup which after reaching a certain threshold, detonates for significant damage.
- Exhaust coating: Drains the monster’s stamina and can inflict KO damage if aimed at the monster’s head.
All coatings besides the Close-range coating are in limited supply with all of them running out after 20 shots, except for the Power coating which has 50 shots.
Each bow also has different charge levels. Each charge has a different type of shot and a different strength. The shot types include:
- Rapid: Standard arrows that fly straight ahead
- Pierce: Arrows that hit multiple times as they fly through the monster
- Spread: Multiple arrows fired in a wide area with lower range.
Charging the bow can be done by sidestepping, continuously firing, or holding down ZR. All three of these options will drain stamina so having stamina boosting skills like Constitution will be integral to a good bow build.
The bow isn’t really a combo heavy weapon, but here are the combos that the game recommends/lists:
- Power Shot: Hold ZR, release, press A
- Charging Sidestep Combo: ZR, Left stick input + B, A, A
Both these combos are basically about getting various levels of Power Shot out which fires arrows quickly in a spread pattern. Notably, spamming power shot no longer works. In Monster Hunter World, if players just kept pressing the power shot button, the hunter would continually fire off the spread with an arc shot mixed into the combo. Because the slash attack of the bow, now mapped to the Power Shot button, has been brought back, pressing A more than twice (the second hit being referred to as as Power Volley) will now result in the slash attack coming out. The slash attack is a two hit combo, but it is much slower and does not come out as quickly as the Power Shot/Volley combo did in World.
The bow’s starting silkbind attacks, new moves that use the wirebugs introduced in Monster Hunter Rise are:
- Focus shot: Press R+X with the weapon unsheathed to evade and regenerate stamina at the end of the animation. This costs one wirebug to use.
- Herculean Draw: Press R+A with the weapon unsheathed to pull the hunter quickly in another direction and temporarily increase attack. This costs two wirebugs to use.
There are additional moves to be unlocked throughout the game, but these are the default skills. One slightly tricky thing with the bow’s silkbind attacks is that they’re attached to the R button, not the ZL button like most other weapons. Using traversal wirebug moves still use ZL with the bow, but with the weapon unsheathed, the input switches to R.
Monster Hunter Rise is now available for the Nintendo Switch. A PC release is slated for 2022.