Monster Hunter: World – Bow Combos Guide

This guide is based on the assumption you know the basics of bow already.

Guide to Bow Combos

  • Quick shot = Circle/B/RMB, first shot only
  • Rapid shot = R2/RT/LMB
  • ​Power shot = Circle/B/RMB, after a shot or dash only
  • Arc shot = Circle/B/RMB, whilst holding a shot, or after a power shot only

These shot names aren’t consistent with the in-game names, but these are the names that have existed in the MH community since forever ago, and are generally what people refer to when they talk about the different type of shots that bow has, so I’ll also be using them.

It’s also important to note that no one is perfect in using the exact, correct combo in each different situation you find yourself in (unless the fight is 100% scripted already), so don’t be too disappointed if you use a combo less effective than another (but do try to be better next time).

I hope this will help to clear up some of the uncertain haze I’ve seen surrounding the “most effective bow playstyle” for newcomers to bow.

Before I get started, it should be noted that understanding when to dash is very important, and I can’t really describe in text when to do so.

The general rule is that you dash if:

  1. The monster is about to hit you, and/or
  2. The monster is out of critical distance.

However, do keep in mind that you can dash at any point in a combo!

Therefore, please take each of these descriptions with a pinch of salt, as they are subject to “dash replacements”, where a dash replaces a shot in the combo (and you proceed to the next shot in the sequence).

So instead of me trying to flail about in my explanation, please practice using dashes before, during and after bow combos (and watch speedrunners too!), as they are what make bow an extremely flexible weapon.

  • Quick shot > rapid shot > power shot > rapid shot > power shot

This is the base template combo, and is used when the monster is flailing around on the floor, or you have a decent opening. It’s generally what you should try stick to using. Try to learn to interrupt monster attacks using these power shots.

You should also try to learn to

  1. [At any point in a combo] Dash > rapid shot > power shot, or
  2. [At level 2 charge or higher] Dash > power shot to interrupt monster attacks.
  • Dash > rapid shot > power shot > rapid shot > power shot

This combo is used when you have to move closer to the monster, or dodge an attack before you start. It’s not very stamina friendly, and it’s more preferable to use the one above this, but it’s still fine to use as long as you don’t spam it.

  • Quick shot > rapid shot > rapid shot > rapid shot > power shot

This combo is used when you don’t want to dash to move, but still need to move due to a slight error in positioning.

  • Quick shot > rapid shot > rapid shot > power shot

A niche combo that rarely gets used if you play smart. It’s not too efficient, however it sometimes gets used if you have to move a little bit and interrupt the monster’s attack right after (usually as a result of a mistake, or just unfortunate luck).

I would also highly recommend never using rapid shot first, as it drains stamina.

To manage stamina better, be sure to use quick shot a lot (even if you’re out of range, this sounds crazy but it will level up your charge level to hit more important shots on weak spots), as you’re able to regenerate stamina during the quick shot.

But wait! When can you use arc shot!?

Generally, arc shot is only used after a power shot, since it transitions smoothly.

One arc shot at max charge is generally enough to KO anything for the first time, even elder dragons. Be sure to shoot it on the head only (duh).

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7137 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

8 Comments

  1. Have you been operating sets without a necessary component? Because the elements account for a large amount of Crit Ele’s damage, it is a MUST on bow. Because of the FAT 30% damage increase, you’re better off using evasion over rocksteady mantle and avoiding the need for an evade extender.

    • The rathalos set gives the crit element bonus. the only other way currently to get crit element is to equip kjarr weapons if you manage to get one.

      you’re free to use evasion mantle but i never could get that timing of evade to get that attack boost right. so i decided to stick with evade extender and not even be there when the attack i know is coming lands.

      • Okay, so I apologize for completely ignoring critical ele because most sets use helm and chest. Drachen, Kaiser Gamma, and other AT gear gives you a ton of benefits and can greatly boost your build’s damage output. The builds have a lot of unrealized potential; after crit ele, your top goal should be to achieve as close to 100% affinity on all of these builds as you can. Crit ele is great and all, but if you’re only using your weakness exploit to crit nearly half the time, there’s no use in dedicating two entire armor pieces to it.All of your bows should have as many affinity augments as possible (you suggested a slot augment, for some reason), and kulve gamma belt and drachen/kaiser Y armor are excellent choices for bows because of their ability to be used effectively in sets and to grant you crit boost and critical eye.

        In addition, this particular dragon bow is not as good as the dragonbone bow.

        • The Lunastra 2 set bonus isn’t worth the price either. Your DPS uptime should be sufficient if you’re playing well, so you won’t run out of stamina in the middle of a hunt. The extra stamina will only be used during your first combo. It’s not as good as just using gear, which increases damage and critical hits directly.

  2. First, a bow is a DPS weapon.
    I therefore use the DPS overlay mod as a benchmark.
    In my hundreds of observations, I have never seen a DP user break 10 dps, and “good” bow dps starts at 15 and caps at 25.

    Although I think using DP is fun and looks cool, it’s not as effective as spamming charged shots. One of my favorite moments was cutting a KD tail and killing it with DP.

  3. I also see a lot of weak bow play, where players could essentially triple their damage by merely standing still and repeatedly using LC.

    I began with bow, and Dash Dancing didn’t get enjoyable until my constitution reached a certain level. My style of gameplay completely changed. When I received MBG, it completely changed once more. It is highly unusual for a weapon meta to jump twice in response to gem drops and HR.

      • It takes less than 30 hours to reach end game if you start as a bow main. Yes, these are more relevant than LR builds and tactics, especially if you’re already there, where building should take less than 30 minutes.

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