Monster Hunter Rise is host to 14 different weapon types for players to use against a horde of awesome monsters. Longtime fans of the Monster Hunter series will feel at home with all these returning weapon classes, but Monster Hunter Rise adds new combat features that revolutionize the way hunters will utilize their armaments. Most of the available weapons are close-ranged melee options, but there are a few long-ranged weapons that are particularly unique. This guide will focus on getting new and veteran players on their feet with the Heavy Bowgun.
Most players will quickly become familiar with the ins and outs of wielding melee weapons in Monster Hunter Rise. After all, the game immediately puts the Long Sword in the hands of new hunters. Those who wish to change weapons to a ranged option will have some new mechanics to get used to. Not the least of which is the way that Silkbind attacks work – when using a Bow or Bowgun, Silkbind attacks are performed with a combination of (R + X or A), unlike melee weapons where the input is (ZL + X or A). These techniques and more will be explained further below.
The basic commands for the Heavy Bowgun are as follows:
- ZL – Crosshairs
- ZR – Fire
- A – Load Special Ammo
- X – Reload
- (Hold L) + X or B – Select Ammo
- X+A – Melee Attack
The Heavy Bowgun can be fired “from the hip” or with more precise aiming by holding ZL. It’s also possible to hold the Fire button (ZR) to charge a shot. This is great for situations where the player may not have the reticle lined up, but they can begin holding up the button to release an enhanced attack when the opportunity strikes. It stands to reason that firing the Bowgun requires ammo. The hunter always has infinite amounts of Normal Ammo 1, so players will never be totally helpless. However, it’s important to come prepared with more powerful ammo varieties.
Whereas mastering a melee weapon depends upon learning and employing attack combos, mastering the Bowgun is all about knowing what kind of ammo to use. Each Bowgun has its own capacity for different ammo types. This can be seen in the Equipment Info menu, as shown in the screenshot above. This opens up many opportunities for different playstyles depending on the situation or individual taste.
It’s important to stock up on the right kind of ammo for the Bowgun that’s been chosen. The opposite can also be true – players should choose a Bowgun that can use the best kind of ammo for the quest at hand. For example, when fighting the ice-breathing Goss Harag, it would be wise to equip a Bowgun that can load many shots of Flaming Ammo.
In addition to the standard ammo shots that a Heavy Bowgun can load, each weapon comes with the ability to load a certain type of Special Ammo. There are two types, and the Equipment Info menu will let it be known which type a given Heavy Bowgun can carry. Wyvernsnipe Ammo allows for a single long-range shot that does good damage on hit and then detonates afterward for even more damage. Wyvernheart Ammo effectively converts the weapon into a minigun that deals more damage over time as consecutive hits connect.
Silkbind attacks are a fun new addition to Monster Hunter Rise. Hunters are equipped with a Wirebug, which is represented by a number of Wirebug symbols at the bottom of the screen. Silkbind attacks can be executed by pressing either R+X or R+A and consuming either one or two Wirebugs, depending on the attack. These Wirebugs will then become available again after a short period of time.
Hunters can go into a quest with two Silkbind attacks equipped. It’s possible to unlock different Silkbind attacks in the form of Switch Skills over the course of the game. Once multiple Silkbind attacks are available, the player can switch them in and out to best match their own strategy or playstyle. The following Silkbind attacks are the initial options for Heavy Bowgun users:
- Counter Shot – Enters a special stance during which an attack can be absorbed without taking damage. Can be followed up by pressing ZR to fire. Costs 2 Wirebug Gauges.
- Free Silkbind Glide – Traveseral ability that uses a Wirebug to hurl the hunter forward. Can be followed up with X+A for a melee attack, or Y for a quick sheathe. Costs 1 Wirebug Gauge.
The Heavy Bowgun is the best option for hunters who want to balance range and power. For those who care more about mobility than raw damage, the Light Bowgun might be a better option. In any case, being prepared for a variety of different monsters can be costly since each Bowgun has its own ammo capacity that is suited for certain situations. A hunter who can accept the cost will be ready for any quest.
Monster Hunter Rise is now available for the Nintendo Switch. A PC port will launch in early 2022.