Monster Hunter: World – Heavy Bowgun Build

Monster Hunter: World – Heavy Bowgun Build 1 -
Monster Hunter: World – Heavy Bowgun Build 1 -

I made a quick guide to show you how to optimize your Normal, Pierce, and Spread Heavy Bowgun sets. Also, how to find the right balance between safety and damage in a build.


I created this guide to help you optimize your set. Hunting can be improved by finding what works for you.

DISCLAIMER Heavy Bowguns are highly hunt-specific weapons. For maximum impact, they rely on ammo management and reload timing. This guide is not meant to be a complete guide for all hunts or situations. It is a guide that will help you find the right balance between safety and damage in your builds.

Oats (DragonGoat) has been my mentor for many years. He was the one who inspired me to become an HBG main and taught me everything that I know.


Let’s start with the basics of an HBG build.

This is the order in which DAMAGE should be prioritized in your builds.

From top to bottom, “Most Essential to “Cherry on Top“.

  • Critical Eye + Weakness Exploit + Critical Supplement
  • Pierce/Spread/Normal up 2 + free Elem/Ammo up 3
  • Mind’s Eye/Ballistics – (This is only for normal and Pierce ammo types)
  • Agitator 7, Peak Performance 3, Coalescence 1 & 3
  • Evade Window 3-5
  • Guard 3-5 (depending on how many shield mods were used) + Guard up 1 + Offensive guard 2-3
  • Attack Boost 2-7

Resentment 1-5 can also be used to Maximize your builds’ DPS, but just like Heroics, I won’t be including that skill in this list. It’s a situation-specific skill. Personally, I use it to tank with Rocksteady Mantle.

You can take what you see in feel or want.

Build Example:

Monster Hunter: World - Heavy Bowgun Build - Basics - E33289F


Agitator 7 is a must in Iceborne DPS sets. It activates when a monster becomes angry, which is the majority of the hunt. It is very easy to enrage monsters.

Levels of Agitator:

  • Level 1 = +4 Raw, +5% Affinity
  • Level 2 = +8 Raw, +5% Affinity
  • Level 3 = +12 Raw, +7% Affinity
  • Level 4 = +16 Raw; +7% Infinity
  • Level 5 = +20 Raw, +10% Affinity
  • Level 6 = +24 Raw; +5 Affinity
  • Level 7 = +28 Raw, +20% Affinity

You can hunt the entire thing without losing it, unless you are very passive.

Agitator 7 + Peak Performance3 + Coalescence1 – this combination of Raw skills is the most affordable and powerful. These skills can be obtained through temperate monster hunts.

Build Example:

Monster Hunter: World - Heavy Bowgun Build - Agitator - 8DCE685


Attack Boost can increase raw damage. You also need it to increase your affinity. Unless you are using a high affinity weapon,), you will need a minimum of Attack Boost 4(for a DPS build.

Levels of attack boost:

  • Level 1 = +3 Raw
  • Level 2 = +6 Raw
  • Level 3 = +9 Raw
  • Level 4 = +12 Raw, +5 Affinity
  • Level 5 = +15 Raw, +5 Affinity
  • Level 6 = +18 Raw, +5 Affinity
  • Level 7 = +21 Raw, +5 Affinity

Coalescence grants you an increase in raw and elemental damage as well as a status boost after recovering from a disease. The boost lasts for 2 minutes.

Levels of Coalescence:

  • Level 1 = +12 Raw; +30 Element; +5% Status
  • Level 2 = +15 Raw; +60 Element; +10% Status
  • Level 3 = +18 Raw; +90 Element; +15% Status

As you can see, Level 4 Attack Boost is almost equivalent to Level 1 Coalescence. If you have the ability to fit it, it is very handy to have at minimum one level of Coalescence in your building.

Peak Performance is last but not least. It is active as long as your health remains at 100%. This makes it extremely useful when you are part of a team that includes Supports or Healers. It works well with the Health Augment on (, but it shines best with Pierce and Normal ammo).

Peak Performance Levels

  • Level 1 = +5 Raw
  • Level 2 = +10 Raw
  • Level 3 = +20 Raw

It is a great idea to have Level 3 Peak Performance when you have the right build.


Although I love seeing large damage numbers, there comes an age when it is necessary to consider SAFETY!

If you need to leave combat to heal or if your cart is broken and you have to run back to camp, this can be a time-consuming situation. You want to maximize your hunt impact.

These skills can help you stay safe while hunting.

Evade Window:

Evade Window increases your “invulnerability” to dodging attacks and similar. Many veteran hunters wouldn’t recommend it as it is difficult to learn and can make you less effective. This is a personal preference. However, I recommend it due to limited mobility.

Evade Extender:

Evade extender increases the evasion distance. Personal preference is to have at least two levels of Evade Extender on my builds. It feels the best. This perk is entirely up to you.

Guard and Shields

These are fairly self-explanatory. Shields can be used to protect yourself from attacks, while Guard can increase your shield’s defense power. If you prefer a more systematic gameplay, shields can be very useful for HBG builds. If you’re looking for a more general build, they are quite viable.

Remember that HBG guard depends on how many shield mods are used.

  • 1 Shield mod = 3/5 guard limit. Guard cannot be used with only one shield mod.
  • 3-4 Shield mods = 5/5 guard limit. Have fun being a tank that makes Lance mains look very sad XD

Keep in mind that your Guard level can also impact how much knockback stun you receive from monster attacks on your shield.


It is also important to have good food skills!

Food skill Attack Boost L) gives you an extra +10% damage boost. Food can also increase your effectiveness with certain ammo types. This is an example: If you eat for Sharpshooter this will give you an additional 10% bonus damage to Normal Ammo. These effects can also stack!

There are other food skills you can use that will not increase damage but will increase safety.

Moxie – If you are hit for more than your remaining strength, it will stop you from carting. It will not prevent you from carting, but it will keep you on the battlefield with zero health. This means that heat and any other elements will instantly kill you if you get up.

Moxie is especially useful when Spreading and Pierce are used, especially for building builds that do not have shields.

Slugger – This one is also a good one as it makes it easier to stun a beast. Spread ammo is very useful!

Monster Hunter: World - Heavy Bowgun Build - Foods - AB9CBCF

Monster Hunter: World - Heavy Bowgun Build - Foods - F5A3285

Monster Hunter: World - Heavy Bowgun Build - Foods - F16907B


Conclusion: HBG is a complex weapon that can be used in many hunts if you have the right build. It takes knowledge about mechanics and monster attacks. Find a build that suits your play style, and most importantly, get it right!

I hope you find this guide helpful! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

We appreciate your time!

Monster Hunter: World - Heavy Bowgun Build - Conclusion - C630BA5


Written by Caitlyssa. ♥

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