Heavy Bowgun


A powerful, long range projectile weapon. The heavy weight makes mobility a chore, but firepower makes up for it. Use Crouching Fire to rapidly chain together shots.

Weapon Type Ranged
Damage Type Shot (Ammo) Damage
Upgrades ??

Heavy Bowgun (ヘビィボウガン hebi bougan, "heavy bowgun",重弩) is a weapon category in Monster Hunter World (MHW). Like all Weapons, it features a unique moveset and an upgrade path that branches out depending on the materials used. Please see Weapon Mechanics for details on the basics of your hunter tools.

The bowgun can be used to attack monsters from long range. There are two types of bowgun: the heavy bowgun, which can use powerful ammo, and the light bowgun, which allows for greater mobility and evasive capabilities, and faster shooting.


Heavy Bowgun Weapon Tree

For full details, please see Heavy Bowgun Weapon Tree



Heavy Bowgun Traits & Abilities

  • High damage
  • Long Range
  • Specializes in high damage, and explosive ammo


Heavy Bowgun Guide

 The Heavy Bowgun is the artillery of ranged weapons. It specializes in high damage rounds at a range. While it does not have the same special effects of the Light Bowgun, the Heavy Bowgun dishes out damage more reliably, breaks parts faster, and staggers monsters more easily. Like the Light Bowgun, Heavy Bowguns have a modding system available, allowing hunters to customize their weapon slightly, for example by reducing reload times, or providing a limited capacity to guard. Lastly, the Heavy Bowgun has an optimal range for firing. Being too far away from the target will cause shots to do less damage. The optimal range will vary based on ammo, and the crosshairs will glow orange when the monster is in the optimal range.

Using a variety of specialised ammo, the Heavy Bowgun user is also able to act as a proficient support character. Recover, Armor, and Demon rounds can heal and buff allies quickly and at a distance, while status inflicting rounds (especially Sleep and Paralysis rounds) can set a hunting party up for devastating co-ordinated attacks. Because being a dedicated Heavy Bowgun user requires a mastery of inventory management and the crafting system, these hunters are often the ones who bring full arsenals to tough hunts, including barrel bombs and traps.

Movement with the Heavy Bowgun drawn is extremely slow, and the roll, while covering a significant distance, is very unwieldy. This, combined with the frequent need to leave oneself completely vulnerable while reloading, means adept Heavy Bowgun users will need to know when to pick their range as well as their timing, as dodging, countering, and guarding are not nearly as effective as with other weapon classes.

Though primarily a ranged weapon, the Heavy Bowgun's melee attack, while extremely unwieldy, does do reasonable damage and applies stun damage when hitting the monster's head. This will also be used as a mounting attack when used while leaping.


 Heavy Bowgun Advantages

  • High damage per shot with high ammo capacity and lower recoil
  • Powerful standard ammunition (Normal, Pierce, Spread)
  • Long range
  • Veritable artillery with high damage potential
  • Can block if equipped with a shield
  • Access to unique, high-damage ammunition types (Wyvern, Cluster)

Heavy Bowgun Disadvantages

  • Cumbersome dodging
  • Slow movement
  • Must supply own ammo
  • Slow sheathing speed
  • Inflicting elemental damage and status effects require certain types of ammo
  • Lackluster performance with elemental ammo


Attachments are various mods that can be put onto a bowgun to alter its stats. Attachments are free, can be swapped out at any time at the smithy, and can stack. The number of mods that can be put onto a gun depends on its rarity rank. Ranks 1 and 2 have one mod slot. Ranks 3 and 4 have two. Ranks 5 and above have three.

Available mod types:

  • Recoil Suppressor: Lowers the recoil when firing. Note that lower recoil also means higher rate of fire, essentially improving damage output. Effectiveness varies with what ammo type is being used.
  • Reload Assist: Speeds up reload times. Effectiveness varies with what ammo type is being used.
  • Deviation Suppressor: Lowers deviation. Can only be used if the bowgun has deviation.
  • Close Range Up: Increases damage at close range.
  • Long Range Up: Increases damage at long range. 
  • Shield: Allows the user to guard incoming attacks.

Ammo Types

The Ammo a hunter can use varies with the Bowgun they have equipped. It is also important to note that ammo performance for one model of Bowgun (in terms of shots per magazine, recoil, rate of fire, and reload speed) may perform radically differently on another model of Bowgun. Always check the detailed description of a Bowgun model before investing resources into crafting it!

Higher levels of an Ammo type generally have higher recoil and reload times.

Each damaging Ammo type has its own hidden Combo Move multiplier (CM), which is used when calculating damage. Elemental attacks from Bowguns are subjected to both this and the Weapon type multiplier, and use the Raw Attack value as the starting Elemental value. See Damage Types for more information.

See Bowgun Ammo for a quick list of Ammo Types.

Note: These figures are estimations reached through community testing.

  • Normal: Normal Ammo fires a standard single shot. Comes in Lv1, Lv2 and Lv3. CM:
    • Short Distance: 8 (Lv1), 16 (Lv2), 26 (Lv3)
    • Critical Distance: 10 (Lv1), 20 (Lv2), 32 (Lv3)
    • Long Distance: 1 (Lv1), 1 (Lv2), 3 (Lv3)
  • Pierce: Pierce Ammo fires a straight shot that pierces through monsters to hit them multiple times. Comes in Lv1, Lv2 and Lv3. Higher levels chain hits more rapidly. Picking the correct angle of attack is crucial. CM:
    • Short Distance: 5 * X (Lv1), 5 * X (Lv2), 6 * X (Lv3)
    • Critical Distance: 6 * X (Lv1), 7 * X (Lv2), 8 * X (Lv3)
    • Long Distance: 1 * X (Lv1-3)
  • Spread: Spread Ammo fires a short-ranged shotgun blast. Comes in Lv1, Lv2 and Lv3. Higher levels fire more pellets. Spread Ammo has a natural parts breaker bonus, making it easier to break parts of monsters for additional quest rewards. CM:
    • Short Distance: 6 * 3 (Lv1), 7 * 5 (Lv2), 8 * 6 (Lv3)
    • Critical Distance: 6 * 3 (Lv1), 7 * 5 (Lv2), 8 * 6 (Lv3)
    • Long Distance: 1 * 3 (Lv1-3)
  • Sticky: Sticky Ammo attaches a charge to the target which explodes. Comes in Lv1, Lv2 and Lv3. Explosions from Sticky Ammo ignore Monster Body Part multipliers. Sticky Ammo will also apply stun damage when attached to the head of a monster.
    • CM: 12 (Lv1), 16 (Lv2), 19 (Lv3)
  • Cluster: Cluster Bomb is lobbed at the target, and fragments into multiple explosive shells on impact. Comes in levels 1, 2 and 3. Note that the aiming reticle for this ammo works like a mortar, and it must be manually scrolled across the environment before firing.
    • CM: 19 (Lv1), 22 (Lv2), 28 (Lv3)
  • RecoverRecover Ammo heals the target. Ideally used on fellow hunters. Comes in levels 1 and 2.
  • PoisonPoison Ammo inflicts poison on the target. Comes in levels 1 and 2.
  • ParalysisParalysis Ammo inflicts Paralysis on the target. Comes in levels 1 and 2.
  • SleepSleep Ammo inflicts sleep on the target. Comes in levels 1 and 2.
  • ExhaustExhaust Ammo drains the target's stamina. Comes in levels 1 and 2.
  • Flaming: Does fire damage. Has piercing properties. CM:
    • Short Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Critical Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Long Distance: 3 * X (Raw) + 18 * X (Elemental)
  • Water: Does water damage. Has piercing properties. CM:
    • Short Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Critical Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Long Distance: 3 * X (Raw) + 18 * X (Elemental)
  • Freeze: Does ice damage. Has piercing properties. CM:
    • Short Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Critical Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Long Distance: 3 * X (Raw) + 18 * X (Elemental)
  • Thunder: Does thunder damage. Has piercing properties. CM:
    • Short Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Critical Distance: 5 * X (Raw) + 27 * X (Elemental)
    • Long Distance: 3 * X (Raw) + 18 * X (Elemental)
  • Dragon: Does dragon damage. Unlike other elemental ammo, Dragon is fired at extreme short range and produces a very slow arcing projectile with piering properties. Applies very high Elder Seal if allowed to tick as often as possible, but due to its low speed and range it's difficult to use.
    • CM: 2 * X (Raw) + 18 * X (Elemental)
  • Slicing: Slicing Ammo attaches a charge which explodes and causes 5 hits of Cut Damage in quick succession. Hits are unaffected by range modifiers, making this ammo especially useful at extreme ranges.
    • CM: 6 * 5 hits
  • Wyvern: Wyvern Ammo is a very short range but high damage shot with a long firing animation that ignores damage resistances. This shot ammo creates a large friendly fire zone, so use with care. Note that the low damage tick will hit first, making it less effective at waking up monsters due to the damage bonus only being applied to the very weak hit.
    • CM:  22 + 82
  • Demon: Demon Ammo temporarily increases the attack of a friendly target.
  • Armor: Armor Ammo temporarily increases the defense of a friendly target.
  • Recover: Heals the target. Ideally used on fellow hunters. Comes in levels 1 and 2.
  • Tranq: Used to capture monsters. Functions just like Tranq bombs.

Special Rounds

Special rounds recharge over time. Some can be used before they are fully recharged but to reduced effect. The special round a hunter has available is determined by the Bowgun they have equipped. Every Bowgun has only one special round.

  • Wyvernsnipe: Has one charge. The hunter lays on the ground and fires of a powerful shot at will. This shot pierces the target, hitting it multiple times and then exploding multiple times for massive damage and ignoring monster resistances. In many ways, this can be considered a more powerful version of Pierce Ammo, as it rewards picking the right angle to fire the round to get the most possible hits as the bullet passes through the monster's body. Explosions recieve a damage bonus on the first number of ticks before normalizing, the maximum damage spiking at around 5 to 6 ticks. The blue Special Round bar must recharge fully before the round can be fired again. Note that your range of motion and view is limited while lying down, so it is not advisable to aim at a fast-moving or very close monster. Wyvernsnipe has exceptionally high stagger power and explosions at the head will apply additional stun damage.
    • CM: 20+20+43+43?

  • Wyvernheart: Has a charge meter. When active, the user can fire bullets continuously until the meter is empty. Wyvernheart has a wind-up mechanic, causing initial shots to do very little damage, around Normal Lvl 1, and building up additional damage over consecutive shots, up to around Normal Lvl 3, causing sustained fire to rack up massive damage, especially when targeting a weak point. Note that Wyvernheart takes considerably longer to fully recharge than Wyvernsnipe, but can be used before the meter is fully restored.
    • CM: 9 + 9 + 11 + 11 + 13 + 13 + 14 + 14 + 16 + 16 + 19 * 40 hits


Heavy Bowgun Controls


  • : Aim
  • : Fire (also reloads if magazine is empty)
  • : Load/Unload Special Round
  • : Reload
  • ↑/↓ or +  or : Select Ammo
  • + : Melee Attack
  • Hold key-btnl2 + r3-ps4-controls: Aim Switch (unsheathed), switch between aiming the bow and the slinger with your weapon drawn.


  • LT: Aim
  • RT: Fire (also reloads if magazine is empty)
  • B: Load/Unload Special Round
  • Y: Reload
  • ↑/↓ or RB + X or B: Select Ammo
  • Y + B: Melee Attack


Heavy Bowguns are a type of Weapon in Monster Hunter World (MHW). This page shows a visual gallery of all different styles for Heavy Bowguns. Weapons are often upgraded based on previous decisions, with different paths leading to different looks and necessitating different materials. You can find detailed upgrade path information in the Heavy Bowgun Weapon Tree or by clicking each individual weapon below.

Heavy Bowguns Gallery MHW


Heavy Bowgun Ore Weapons




Heavy Bowgun Bone Weapons







Kulve Taroth Heavy Bowguns












Bow  ♦  Charge Blade  ♦  Dual Blades  ♦  Great Sword  ♦  Gunlance  ♦  Hammer  ♦  Hunting Horn  ♦  Insect Glaive  ♦  Lance  ♦  Light Bowgun  ♦  Long Sword  ♦  Switch Axe  ♦  Sword & Shield



Heavy Bowgun
Alloy Bow  ♦  Aqua Assault  ♦  Arma Destroyer  ♦  Baan Roar  ♦  Blacksteel Cannon  ♦  Blazing Assault  ♦  Blooming Shooter  ♦  Bone Shooter  ♦  Chrome Assault  ♦  Datura Blaster  ♦  Diablos Shooter  ♦  Flammenkanone  ♦  Gama Cannon  ♦  Heavy Shooter  ♦  Iron Assault  ♦  Jagras Assault  ♦  Jagras Cannon  ♦  Kadachi Lion  ♦  Luminous Assault  ♦  Magda Gemitus  ♦  Power Shooter  ♦  Pulsar Shooter  ♦  Shattercryst  ♦  Spiked Shooter  ♦  Steel Assault  ♦  Water Cannon


    • Anonymous

      05 Aug 2019 13:20  

      the freaking delay for when shield activates after a shot is atrocious, alot of monsters can quickly swoop in an attack even after the shooting animation is pretty much done

      • Anonymous

        26 May 2018 11:52  

        For who are interested in piercing ammo damage, I've a posted on reddit an analysis of the damage dealt on various builds.

        • Anonymous

          17 Apr 2018 14:50  

          I need help knowing which Heavy Bowgun can fire the most types of ammo that gives buffs and heals (Recovery, Armor, Demon, etc.). I play as a support for friends.

          • Anonymous

            10 Apr 2018 20:47  

            Okay so looking through the upgrade trees for both heavy and light i cant see any real reason for upgrades other than damage and extra mods? Am i missing something coz it appears that the upgrades don't give any element boosts or any specific upgrades?

            • Anonymous

              06 Feb 2018 22:36  

              The Wyvernheart bullet damage appears to ramp up as you keep firing, up to double the starting damage. So it's most effective if you can unload the entire bar in one continuous volley.

              • Anonymous

                04 Feb 2018 20:26  

                It takes Wyrmheart HBG 250 seconds to recharge fully (4m 10s). Using lvl 1 focus, which is 5% cdr, it should in theory reduce wymheart recharge by 12.5 seconds making it 237.5 recharge or 3m 57.5 sconds. ~ After test I have concluded that Focus does indeed work with HBG Wyrmheart. I have consistently landed on 3 mins 57 seconds recharge with lvl 1 Focus.

                • Anonymous

                  29 Jan 2018 07:32  

                  I love what they added for the HBG. Its just so damn badass now. Its everything I've always wanted back when I played the Wii U MH. I love this game!

                  • Anonymous

                    26 Jan 2018 12:30  

                    I see special ammo will regenerate but do you have to pay for most ammo? Is their a similar money/time sink associated with melee weapons?

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