Monster Hunter Rise | Best Bow Build Guide

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Monster Hunter Rise | Best Bow Build Guide

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a fantasy archer who takes down dragons with naught but a well-placed arrow, you’re in luck. The Bow has long been a staple of the Monster Hunter franchise, and has only gotten better since Rise. Creating the best bow build in Monster Hunter Rise is crucial. It may seem a bit plain compared to the flashy, explosive Bowguns, but don’t let its modest appearance fool you. Take this weapon on a hunt and you’ll be flipping through the air, landing sick aerial shots, and dealing powerful debuffs in no time.

This week, we’re covering the best Bows in Monster Hunter Rise, discussing the builds and strategies that’ll help you put Legolas himself to shame. Let’s get started, hunters!

Monster Hunter Rise | Best Bows

When it comes to choosing your Bow, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. The usual damage and affinity numbers are still important, but you also have to know which Charge Shots, Arc Shots, and compatible coatings you’ll be working with. While not as crucial, it’s also helpful to know how many Rampage Slots you have available for eventual Ramp-Ups.

Charge Shots are especially important, as they let you know which shot types you’ll be using through the majority of your hunt. Your damage numbers don’t matter if your positioning is off! If you’re using Pierce, for example, you’ll do more damage aiming down the length of the monster’s body than you would hitting it broadside.

Here are our recommendations for the best Bows in Monster Hunter Rise:

WeaponRaw DamageElement/StatusAffinityCharge ShotArc ShotRampage Slots
Rampage Bow S210n/a0%RapidAffinity6
Night Flight210n/a40%PierceAffinity1
Demon’s Guidance230n/a0%SpreadRecovery1

You’ll notice that we don’t have any element/status Bows listed here. Tragically, the Bow isn’t the hardcore element weapon it used to be. It can still deal substantial damage, but like we’ve said before, raw is the name of the game in Rise. We’ve included a customizable element build later on in this guide if you’re interested in going down that route, but a raw build is simply better for pure DPS.

Best Rapid Bow — Rampage Bow S

The Rampage Bow is perfect for any Rapid build. It’s admittedly not the strongest weapon in its base form, but the six available Rampage Slots allow you to boost your stats in a wide variety of ways. You can boost your damage, affinity, and defense, add elemental damage, add and upgrade compatible coatings, and more. You can even change your Charge Shots, though it is a Rapid Bow by default.

This customizability is really what makes this Bow (and other Rampage weapons) so great. Much like the Fatalis equipment from Iceborne, the sheer number of slots allows you to tinker with your build as much as you want. If you want an element Bow that still has decent stats across the board, this is a good way to get it!

Compatible Coatings:

  • Close-range

Best Pierce Bow — Night Flight

If you’re going for a Pierce build, you can’t go wrong with the fully-upgraded Nargacuga Bow. It’s by far the best Pierce option in the game, with some pretty hefty raw damage and high-level Charge Shots. It goes up to Pierce Level 4 without upgrades, but can reach Pierce Level 5 with Bow Charge Plus equipped.

Available Ramp-Ups include Attack Boost III, Affinity Boost II, and Lasting Arc Shot. This last Rampage Skill increases the duration of any buffs provided by your Arc Shot (in this case, Affinity).

Compatible Coatings:

  • Close-range
  • Power
  • Para
  • Exhaust

Best Spread Bow — Demon’s Guidance

Finally, we have the Chameleos Bow as our recommended Spread Option. Demon’s Guidance is my personal Bow of choice thanks to its high raw damage and healing Arc Shot. It also boasts decent Charge Shots, going up to Spread Level 4 (which increases to Level 5 with Bow Charge Plus).

As far as Rampage Skills are concerned, you can equip Attack Boost III, Defense Boost III, or Chameleos Soul. Landing a hit with Chameleos Soul equipped offers a small chance of boosting one of your stats (Health, Stamina, Attack, or Defense).

With all of this in mind, it is worth noting that Spread is hardly the meta in Monster Hunter Rise. For the most part, you’ll get better DPS on endgame monsters with one of the other two shot types — Pierce for long monsters or ones with hefty wingspans, and Rapid for everything else. Still, who am I to yuck your yum, especially as a self-professed Spread user? Its DPS doesn’t lag behind enough to be noticeable unless you’re really concerned about your completion times, just keep in mind that your numbers don’t represent the Bow’s full potential.

Compatible Coatings:

  • Close-range
  • Power
  • Poison
  • Para

Monster Hunter Rise | Best Bow Switch Skills

The Bow is a heavily stamina-based weapon that deals powerful and precise hits, and its Switch Skills are designed to enhance these qualities. One option typically focuses on stamina consumption and regeneration, while the other revolves around boosting attack power. Swapping these out as you improve your skill with your weapon means your build can grow along with you.

The stamina skills are great for beginner Bow players who are still learning to manage their stamina bar, while the damage skills work better for experienced hunters looking to increase their DPS. We’ve listed all the options below to help you fine-tune your setup:

Switch 1A — Power Shot

mhs bow build powershot GIF
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Description: A regular shot followed by a particularly powerful shot. Fires shots with a higher level of charge than usual. (Does not exceed maximum level.)

Controls: After loosing an arrow, press A.

How to Unlock: Available by default.

This skill lets you fire a shot at the next charge level up from your last arrow (even if it was from a special move like Charging Sidestep or Dodgebolt). You can fire off two Power Shots in a row, so try to fire them at the highest possible charge level to deal maximum damage.

Players tend to prefer the Power Shot to its Switch Skill upgrade, the Absolute Power Shot. You can typically only stun monsters once or twice during a hunt, so the increased stun chance on APS isn’t really worth the added stamina cost. Even during Rampage quests (when you occasionally get a subtask to stun monsters), it’s better to simply install Ballistae and use their Crag Shots to your advantage.

Switch 1B — Absolute Power Shot

absolutpowershot monster hunter rise gif
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Description: A regular shot followed by a particularly powerful shot. Fires shots with a higher level of charge than usual. (Does not exceed maximum level.) Standard power shots will cost more stamina, but potentially stun the target.

Controls: After loosing an arrow, press A.

How to Unlock: Complete the ★6 Hub Quest “Be One with the Bow.”

Absolute Power Shot does everything the normal Power Shot does, it just costs more stamina in exchange for an increased chance of stunning the monster. Otherwise, the form and function remain exactly the same.

Like we mentioned before, it’s probably better to stick with the Power Shot during most hunts. You might consider equipping APS if you’re having trouble keeping up during Rampage Quests and want to increase your stun chances while the Counter Signal is active.

Switch 2A — Charging Sidestep

charging sidestep bow build
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Description: An evasive skill that covers a lot of ground. You can raise your charge level while dodging, and you can control the direction you dodge in by tilting L3 forward, backwards, left, or right.

Controls: Press L3 + B while aiming camera. Press B during a combo.

How to Unlock: Available by default.

Charging Sidestep is an excellent evasion skill that’s guaranteed to empower your next arrow by one additional charge level. It costs a bit more stamina than its counterpart, Dodgebolt, but relies less on timing and precise positioning. Because of this, players are pretty divided on which skill is a better addition to the Bow’s move set.

Personally, I think it comes down to your level of comfort with the weapon. If you’re not confident with your reaction times, it may be better to rely on Charging Sidestep’s more traditional evade and eat the slightly higher stamina loss.

Switch 2B — Dodgebolt

Dodgebolt MHR Best Bow Build Guide GIF
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Description: A spinning evade that doubles as an attack. Baiting the attack and making it a near-miss can fill up the charge level considerably. Also allows you to move forward, backwards, left, or right.

Controls: Press L3 + B while aiming camera. Press B during a combo.

How to Unlock: Unlock ★3 Village Quests or ★2 Hub Quests.

Dodgebolt replaces the Charging Sidestep with a short-range evade. You maintain your Bow’s current charge level while dodging, but timing the move correctly can also increase your charge level by one. The evade is also combined with a spinning melee attack, meaning you can get a swift hit on the monster if they’re within range when you use the skill.

This melee attack is the biggest difference between Dodgebolt and Charging Sidestep. Dodgebolt has a much tighter performance and that handy melee attack, but it isn’t as beginner-friendly. Again, it ultimately comes down to your familiarity with the Bow. If you’re a bit more practiced, try taking advantage of Dodgebolt’s added damage!

Switch 3A — Focus Shot

Focus Shot Gif
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Description: A Wirebug-based evasion action. After landing, crouching will cause stamina to recover at a rapid pace. (Wirebug Gauge recovery speed: Fast)

Controls: While holding R, press X (Wirebug Gauge cost: 1). Can select a direction (left, right, or back) at activation.

How to Unlock: Available by default

Focus Shot is a jumping evade that you can execute in any direction (you’ll jump backward by default if you don’t specify a direction) to land in a crouched position. While crouched, you rapidly regain stamina, making this a great move if your stamina bar is low and you need to quickly dodge an attack and refill your gauge.

This skill is really only useful when you’re first learning the Bow. Careful stamina management basically renders Focus Shot obsolete in most hunts — even when you’re in the middle of a fight, there are better ways of regaining stamina that don’t consume one of your Wirebugs.

Switch 3B — Aerial Aim

aerial aim
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Description: An action for firing arrows by jumping straight up with a Wirebug. Particularly damaging shots can be fired from midair. A close-range attack using an arrow can also be aimed directly underneath you. (Wirebug Gauge recovery speed: Medium)

Controls: While holding R, press X (Wirebug Gauge cost: 1). Press A to continue loosing arrows midair. Press X to follow up with an Aerial Diving Melee Attack.

How to Unlock: Craft or upgrade 8 unique Bows.

Aerial Aim is a jump shot that launches you upward, letting you fire up to three shots while in the air. These shots deal increased damage, and you can even perform a close-range stabbing attack if you aim at a monster that’s directly beneath you. Since this is a Silkbind attack, your shots deal mount damage that fills the monster’s Wyvern Riding gauge, making it easier to pin down and ride.

Most players prefer Aerial Aim over Focus Shot for the sizable damage increase. The increased stamina loss is manageable — once you’re practiced enough to attack consistently without running your stamina bar into the ground, you’ll be fine.

Monster Hunter Rise | Best Bow Builds

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s jump into our recommended builds! We’ve put together four builds for you today — one to get you through early ranks, two based on endgame DPS, and one for a classic elemental playstyle.

Build 1 — Early Ranks

Early Ranks- Best Bow Build
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

If you’re just starting your hunting career with the Bow, it can be a little daunting to get your build squared away. This set can be crafted early on (between ★2 and ★3 Village Quests), giving you the skills you need to get the hang of your weapon before moving on to bigger and better things.

Weapon/Switch SkillsArmor
Steel BowIzuchi Helm
Power ShotLudroth Mail
Charging SidestepIzuchi Braces
Focus ShotLagombi Coil
Chainmail Pants

Since the goal of this build is to get you up and running, we’re not going to worry about decorations and talismans. On its own, this build gives you a couple points into both Constitution and Stamina Surge, which will help immensely with your stamina management until you’re more practiced.

Once you’re confident in your stamina usage, feel free to swap to full Izuchi armor. This gives you three points of Critical Eye (rather than just one), increasing your critical chance and letting you deal more damage. This is helped along by the Steel Bow’s Affinity Arc Shot, which you can use to further boost your critical chance.

Of course, there’s no shame in swapping to a Recovery Bow if you need a little help with healing. The Wroggi Revolver II sacrifices some damage for a Recovery Arc Shot, but has the added bonus of being a Rapid Bow instead of Pierce. If you go this route, consider swapping out your chest piece for the Tetranadon Mail for a point into Normal/Rapid Up.

For Switch Skills, we’re keeping things simple by going with all the skills available by default at this Hunter Rank. Feel free to upgrade as you go, but it’s up to you!

Build 2 — Endgame DPS (Rapid)

Endgame DPS (Rapid)
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

This is the first of our endgame DPS builds, and is centered around Rapid shots. We’re going for the ultimate raw Bow meta here, so check out our next build if you’re still working your way up to HR 100.

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
Rampage Bow SMighty Bow FeatherConstitution 4
Attack Boost IV, Non-elemental BoostVaik Mail SCritical Boost 3
Power ShotValstrax BracesWeakness Exploit 3
DodgeboltVaik Coil SNormal/Rapid Up 2
Aerial AimArzuros GreavesReload Speed 2

When using the Rampage Bow, you’ll want to use your Ramp-Ups to increase your attack power and raw damage as much as possible. Invest in Attack Boost IV and Non-elemental Boost, then add a few coatings of your choice (we recommend Power and Blast for maximum damage).

If you want to boost your damage further, consider taking Attack Surge as well. This comes at the expense of -30% affinity, so make sure you keep your Affinity Arc Shot and use it often during hunts!

The armor set gives you Bow Charge Plus, a few points of Weakness Exploit, and Normal/Rapid Up. The Vaik chest and Arzuros legs are purely for the slots, so use them on a few points of Constitution as soon as you can. From there, increase your Critical Boost and Weakness Exploit for the added damage. Normal/Rapid Up and Reload Speed are great for convenience’s sake, but don’t worry about making space for them unless you end up with a really good talisman.

Finally, the current Bow meta uses Power Shot, Dodgebolt, and Aerial Aim. As we mentioned in the Switch Skills section above, the increased stun chance of Absolute Power Shot isn’t worth the stamina cost (especially in a build with no innate Constitution). The other two skills are just handy — Dodgebolt has a lower stamina cost and a built-in melee, and Aerial Aim is better than Focus Shot in pretty much every way.

Build 3 — Endgame DPS (Pierce)

 DPS (Pierce)
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Our second endgame set is focused on Pierce shots, and is a little less meta. After HR 100, the builds get a little same-y — we’d basically be showing you the same set as above, give or take a few minuscule tweaks. Instead, we’re going for a lesser endgame build (think post-campaign but pre-HR 100) that still deals solid DPS.

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
Night FlightMighty Bow FeatherConstitution 4
Attack Boost IIIVaik Mail SWeakness Exploit 3
Power ShotJuryatodus VambracesPierce Up 3
DodgeboltAnjanath Coil SReload Speed 2
Aerial AimRhenoplos Greaves SHunger Resistance 3

We’re recommending Night Flight in the event you don’t have the materials to fully upgrade your Rampage Bow. If you’ve already gotten to that point, feel free to swap your weapon out with the Rampage Bow S as described above, but replacing the optional Attack Surge Ramp-Up with Firing: Pierce to complement the build.

This armor set gives you some pretty great skills and a handful of helpful slots. You still get Bow Charge Plus from the head, plus a few points into Pierce Up and some bonus Tremor Resistance from the legs. If you’d like to swap out the Attack Boost on the waist (especially since we won’t be upgrading it with any decorations), feel free to use the Chrome Metal Coil for some added slots.

Once again, this build doesn’t have any Constitution or Weakness Exploit to speak of, so slot those in when you can. You should also max out your Pierce Up for the added damage. You’ll probably have a lot of leftover slots after this, so go ahead and add some Reload Speed and Hunger Resistance — they’re not crucial to the build, but they’ll give you a better quality of life.

We’re sticking with the meta Switch Skills for this build. Why mess with a good thing?

Build 4 — Element Bow

Element Bow
Image: Capcom via HGG / Ashley Taylor Clark

Our final build is centered around dealing elemental damage. The template works for pretty much any element — we’re using Fire for our example, but you can swap out your Bow and relevant decorations as you see fit.

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
AraknatorchMighty Bow FeatherFire Attack 5
Fire Boost IIZinogre Mail SConstitution 4
Power ShotRakna ArmguardsCritical Boost 3
DodgeboltAnjanath Coil SWeakness Exploit 3
Aerial AimGolden HakamaCritical Element 1

Like we said, you can swap out this Bow for any of the other element Bows. We’re recommending Araknatorch for a Fire build due to its high element damage and high-level Charge Shots. Your mileage will vary when it comes to Ramp-Ups — each Bow has different Rampage Skills available, so go with your personal preferences.

The armor set grants such necessary skills as Bow Charge Plus, Stamina Surge, and Weakness Exploit, along with a few points each into Constitution, Critical Boost, and Latent Power. You don’t have a lot of decoration slots to work with, so you’ll have to be discerning. Max out your elemental attack damage, then focus on raising your Constitution and maxing out Critical Boost and Weakness Exploit. If you have the spare Level 2 slot, add Critical Element for the extra boost.

We’re not venturing outside of the Switch Skill meta for this one, either. It really is the meta for a reason!

Join the High Ground

That’s it for our guide to the best ways to use the Bow in Monster Hunter Rise — thanks for reading! Feel free to share your favorite Bow build in the comments, and subscribe to our email list for more Monster Hunter build guides.

Happy hunting!

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