MH4U LBG Beginner’s Guide

MH4U LBG Beginner’s Guide by Gopherlad

If you’re a veteran of the weapon, you probably won’t find any new insight here. If you have any suggestions, corrections, or just want to talk about LBGs feel free to PM me. For you, I will eventually write a more detailed guide based on my old copypasta elsewhere on this wiki.

If you’re an HBG user wanting to try LBG or someone of middling skill level only really getting serious now, you can probably just make a gun from the Arming Thyself section and a set from the Armoring Thyself section, and be on your merry way.

If you’re completely new to Monster Hunter overall, I suggest you look up some other beginner resources before coming here.

If you’re new to LBG, but are generally familiar with the game itself you’re my customer. This guide aims to do 4 things for you:

  • Get you in the right mindset to use this weapon.
  • Get you armed, armored, and supplied for your first hunts.
  • Get you comfortable doing hunter’s due diligence (read: research)
  • Accomplish the above in under 20 minutes.

It does not aim to:

  • Teach you about the mechanics in any kind of appreciable depth, except through trial-by-fire
  • Be the only resource you pull from in the long-term
  • Teach you about Status Gunning or Raw Gunning. They’re special, and I’ll cover them in another document (to be read after you learn this form of bowgunning).
  • Be the be-all end-all source of LBG weapon recommendations. Yes, I call some guns amazing and other guns crappy. There are ways to play a lot of the crappy guns that don’t make them crappy. But for a newbie that doesn’t know enough to even think of those other ways, they’re pretty crappy.


Just so we’re all on the same page:

  • Bullet – Ammo items. The stuff you edit/indexcarry in your box, in your inventory, and load into your gun.
  • Shot – The physical projectile that leaves the gun when you press the “Shoot” button.
  • Volley – A chain of shots that are fired in succession due to the Rapid Fire mechanic.
  • Shot Type – Kinds of bullets (it’s a little confusing, but bear with it). Normal 1, 2, and 3 are distinct from each other. Fire S is distinct from Thunder S.
  • Raw Shot – A blanket term which refers to all Normal 1, 2, and 3; and Pierce 1, 2, and 3. Distinctly does not refer to Pellet 1, 2, and 3, since they are generally not recommended for use when fighting large monsters.
  • Elemental Shot – A blanket term which refers to all Water S, Fire S, Thunder S, Ice S. Distinctly does not refer to Dragon S, since that’s rather special.
  • Status Shot – A blanket term which refers to all Poison 1, 2; Sleep 1, 2; Para 1, 2; Exhaust 1, 2; Blast S.
  • Explosive Shot – A blanket term which refers to all Crag 1, 2, 3; Clust 1, 2, 3. Distinctly does not refer to Blast S, since that’s a status effect.
  • Buff Shot – A blanket term which refers to all Demon S, Armor S, and Recover 1, 2.
  • Special Shot – A blanket term which refers to all Status Shots, Explosive Shots, and Buff Shots all at once.
  • ClipHere. In the context of this guide, “clip” and “clip size” will refer to the amount of a bullets of a single shot-type you can load at once.

The Mindset

Approach the game as if it were turn-based. For every attack a monster does, they leave themselves open for a short amount of time. Your goal as a gunner is to avoid that initial attack and punish that opening. The general flow of combat will be dodge, punish, dodge, punish, dodge, punish.

If you fail to dodge and instead get hit, you forfeit that turn’s chance to punish, and you probably have to spend a future opening on healing.

Punishing properly is simple in theory, but there’s a lot of finesse to it. As an LBG-er, you can generally wedge in about 3 or 4 normal shots or a single volley per opening.

Some monsters will have moves that are not punishable, or that don’t leave windows large enough for a volley to fit. Part of the process of learning each monster is identifying which attacks are punishable and where to stand to optimize your avoidance-punish cycle.

Pre-prep – How to Research

LBGs are elemental weapons. As such, it is extremely important that you bring the right bowgun for the monster. Get familiar with Kiranico and do your research before taking them on. Match elemental weaknesses and make a note of high-damage hitzones. Where you hit the monster is super important for achieving good, and often superior kill times compared to our Blademaster brethren. Blademasters similarly benefit from this knowledge, but for us gunners it’s critical because we have a limited ammo supply.

Step by step:

First – Look up the monster you want to kill. We’re going to use Tetsucabra.
Second – Look at the Damage Chart. Note which element column has the biggest numbers. In this case it’s water. Tetsucabra is weak to water.
Third – Write down or memorize which three regions have the biggest numbers in the weak element (water, in this case) column. These are the parts you will be aiming for with your elemental shots. In this case, it’s:

Tail (inflated)30

Fourth – Similarly, write down or memorize which three regions have the biggest numbers in the Shot column. These are the parts you will be aiming for with your raw shots. In this case, it’s

Tail (inflated)85
Tusk / Front Legs / Back Legs40


Arming Thyself

General Philosophy

  • A gun must Rapid Fire an element. There are ways to play LBG that focus on raw power, but they require some pretty advanced armor setups. Elemental LBG is straightforward to spec for at all ranks and is the traditional way to play the weapon.
  • The Rapid Fire wait time on your primary shot type must be Low. Medium or higher leaves you vulnerable for a length of time such that the turn-based thing is impossible. The monster will act before you can recover from your attack phase.
  • Deviation should be mono-directional [e.g. L high] or None, and a lower value is always better. It’s possible to manually compensate for mono-directional deviation. Bi-directional deviation [e.g. L/R low] causes shots to deviate randomly in a cone shape, and the only way to compensate is to reduce distance to the monster.
  • Backup ammo is moderately important. A gun that can load a decently-sized (i.e. 4+) clip of several types of raw ammo is desirable. That raw ammo can be Normal 2 and 3 and/or Pierce 1, 2, and 3.
  • Recoil should be Average or less. Reload should be Avg or faster. The hierarchy is listed below and values of note are bolded and explained.
MinFastestCan fire lvl 2 status shots with lowest recoil.
V. LowV. FastCan reload all lvl 2 status shots as quickly as possible.
LowFastCan fire lvl 1 status shots with lowest recoil. Can reload all Pierce clips as quickly as possible.
SomeAbv. AvgCan fire Pierce shots with lowest recoil.
AverageAvgCan fire lvl 1 status shots with medium recoil. Can reload all Elemental and Normal clips as fast as possible.
HighBel Avg
V. HighSlow
MaxV. SlowYou have to actively try to get your stats this bad.
N/AExt. Slow


ElementUse and Upgrade This GunMonster/line Derived FromCompetitorsReasoning
Element of the gunFirst iteration of the gun obtainable at this rank. Obviously, upgrade it as far as you can.The primary monster whose parts you need to obtain to make this gunOther guns of the same element that you probably thought were interesting, but actually aren’t.I explain why the “Use This Gun” is amazing and why the competitors are crappy.

Weapons – Low Rank

ElementUse and Upgrade This GunMonster/line Derived FromCompetitorsReasoning
WaterRoyal LauncherRoyal LudrothSawgunSuperior to Sawgun in everything to start, and builds into a gun with much better status potential than the Sawgun’s later upgrades. What the Sawgun later gains in elemental flexibility (which is mostly useless), the Royal Launcher trades for status focus.
FireRathling GunRathalos (builds from Cross Bowgun ->Grenade Launcher)Kut Ku AngerSuperior raw to Kut Ku Anger at the “cost” of one slot, which won’t really earn you much at this rank anyway. Also builds into a much better line than Kut Ku Anger.
ThunderKhezu Syringe orUsurpur’s CrimeKhezu or Zinogre (builds from Cross Bowgun -> Jaggid Fire (G. Jaggi) ->Bandit Fire (G.Jaggi))Blitz BowgunKhezu Syringe is the earliest to obtain and upgrades well up until the end of High Rank. Usurpur’s Crime upgrades solidly into the end game. Pick either one depending on availability and how far ahead you like to plan. Blitz Bowgun is just inferior.
IceKhezu SyringeKhezuNoneThere are no guns that fit the criteria above. Khezu Syringe happens to be able to fire Ice S non-Rapid and has a decent Normal 2 clip size, which is the best we can get at this point.

Weapons – High Rank

ElementUse and Upgrade This GunMonster/line Derived FromCompetitorsReasoning
WaterMaelstromPlesiothHornet’s NestHere is where the water line diverges sharply. Maelstrom is an upgrade of the Royal Ludroth line which is now based on Plesioth (who must be fished at Sunsnug for his parts), while Hornet’s Nest is a direct upgrade of the Seltas/Seltas Queen’s Shell Shooter.Maelstrom again has better status potential, but now it also has superior raw, recoil, deviation, and a slot over the Hornet’s Nest. A clear winner. However, both do build well later.
FireRathling PhoenixRathalosDios Blasterand Kut Ku BarrageWhile the other two guns are actually extremely competitive to the Rathling Phoenix at this rank, they build poorly later on. Stick with this gun for longevity’s sake.
ThunderDespot’s Wildfire orHypodermic MiracleZinogre or KhezuRajang BarrageDespot’s Wildfire is your long-term option, since it builds excellently into either the Zinogre or Stygian Zinogre lines. Hyperdermic Miracle should be treated as a stopgap if you plan to use it since its next upgrade renders it unusable in single-player; it later gains a 5-shot rapid with Medium recoil, which is a no-no. Rajang Barrage is ignored due to L/R Severe deviation.
IceTabula BlizzaraBarioth (trade for parts from Najarala)Frigid Bowgunand Aurora FlareAn excellent ice gun with similarly excellent raw-shot options. Slap a silencer on this baby and it can fire Pierce shots without recoil, and it loads all 3 levels (but avoid the Rapid Fire Pierce 1). Its competitors don’t hold a candle to it; Frigid Bowgun is inferior in every aspect except recoil (which isn’t a big deal) on top of being very late to obtain, while Aurora Flare is plagued by L/R Severe deviation.

Weapons – G Rank

ElementUse and Upgrade This GunMonster/line Derived FromCompetitorsReasoning
WaterMaelstrom+or Machine Strafer orAbsolute BowgunGreen Plesioth or Seltas/Seltas or Queen or White FatalisPrecision PunisherMaelstrom+ if you like Pierce as a fallback and rapid fire Sleep and Para, Machine Strafer if you like rapid Poison and think you can compensate for deviation, Absolute Bowgun when you can be arsed to farm White Fatalis. The Precision Punisher has the up on all of these in slots and matches Maelstrom+’s final form for raw, but I think the status potential ofMaelstrom+ is just too good to recommend Precision Punisher over it.
FireSearulean FiredanceAzure Rathalos or Black GraviosMile Blossomayhemand Ballista Demolisher + andAbsolute BowgunSearulean Firedance is extremely well-balanced in terms of what it can load and raw stopping power. It has excellent clips of Fire S and Normal 2 and can even be converted into a Pierce 2 gun if you slap on a silencer. The other guns have problems. Both Mile Blossomayhem and Ballista Demolisher have medium wait-times and avg. recoils on their 4-shot Fire S volleys. Absolute Bowgun has a shit clip (3 shots?!) for Fire S.
ThunderOppressor’s Rift orBrimstren Drakevow+Zinogre or Stygian ZinogreNeo Thundacrus andTen Million Voltsand Arm Cannon, and Absolute BowgunOppressor’s Rift has rapid Para and 2 slots. Brimstren Drakevow+ has rapid Dragon S and 1 slot, and can still shoot Para. Pick one based on preference. As for the competitors: Neo Thundacrus has a 5-shot medium wait-time/avg reload Thunder S volley. Ten Million Volts has L/R Severe deviation. Arm Cannon just sucks. Absolute Bowgun has a shit clip (3 shots?!) for Thunder S.
IceDaora’s Hornet andEldaora’s HornetKushala Daora and Rust Kushala DaoraNoneDaora’s Hornet is transitional, but is a very good upgrade over Diamond Crest (the upgrade of the HR Ice gun). Eldaora’s Hornet is your ultimate Ice gun. Nothing else comes close. -50% affinity does not affect the elemental portion of elemental shots, so your element is boosted to sky-high levels. Don’t even look at any other Ice gun. Obligatory Absolute Bowgunhas a shit clip (3 shots?!) for Ice S.

Gun Attachments

  • The Long Barrel adds +6% true raw to your weapon. By default, use this.
  • The Silencer reduces your recoil level by 1 and applies an effect similar to the Sneak skill, but its actual impact is heavily debated. Slap one on if your gun can load a good (4+) Pierce clip and has Average recoil. It’ll drop you to Some so you can shoot Pierce as a backup raw shot.
  • The Scope simply allows you to zoom in when you’re in scope mode.

All guns can equip…

  • EITHER a Long Barrel or a Silencer
  • EITHER a Scope or no Scope

Limiters and Limiter Removal

Don’t touch it.

Armoring Thyself

General Philosophy

Your armor will do 2 things, in order of priority.

  • **1) Help you avoid getting hit
  • B) Stack dat damage. Elementally, if possible.

However, in spite of ᐊᑕᐅHᐃᖅ, you also won’t grow if I just shove a bunch of evasive skills onto you. I found the best balance is choosing a set with one evasive skill and then focusing on offense. Seeing as that’s usually not possible with full sets, I’m recommending sets on a different criteria. I split recommendations into “Early” which are good starter sets for entering that rank and “Goal” which come later, have at least 1 evasive skill, and hopefully have a few utility or offensive skills and slots for more.


Armor TypeSetWhat to Socket OutWhat to Socket InReasoning
Early or GoalName of set (e.g. “Derring”, “Chainmail”)Skills to removeSkill to complete or addI explain why you might want to use this set.

Armor – Low Rank

Armor TypeSetWhat to Socket OutWhat to Socket InReasoning
EarlyVelocipreyNothingAttack Up Medium and/or PsychicExtremely easy set to acquire. Very clear suggestions of what to socket in based on incomplete skills.
GoalLagombinoneAttack UpEasy to acquire, will last you all the way through High Rank. Evade Dist should make life a lot easier.
GoalNargaShort SprinterAttack UpNarga has more evasive skills, but can only be acquired fairly late into low rank.

Armor – High Rank

Armor TypeSetWhat to Socket OutWhat to Socket InReasoning
EarlyVelociprey SNothingAttack Up Mediumand DetectBoth this and Jaggi S are early sets. They don’t have any evasive skills, but they’ll tide you over until you get a set that does.
EarlyJaggi SNothingNothing
GoalZinogre Unone orRec Level<Element> Atk +1, modify element based on gun.By this point you should have some elemental charms, or at least a slotted charm or two. The slots in the armor are enough for +6 in the relevant <Element> Atk skill. All the recommended guns have at least one slot, which makes +7. You just need 2 slots or 3 points of <Element> Atk in a talisman to get your +1.
GoalArtian SNoneEvade +1 or Evade ExtenderThis set is the earliest you can acquire Bonus Shot, which confers quite a massive boost to damage-per-bullet.

Armor – G-rank

Armor TypeSetWhat to Socket OutWhat to Socket InReasoning
EarlyShinobi Land (w/Blademaster helm)NothingBonus ShotIt’s a Rare 7 set, but it’s a nice starter set and, when upgraded with armor spheres, rivals any starting G-rank set anyway due to the Blademaster helmet. Lacks elemental focus, though.
EarlyNajarala ZNothingEvade +1 or Evade Extender or <Element> Atk + 1/2If you liked evasive skills, socket one in. If you can live without them, stack that damage. This will tide you over until you can build an actual, tailored G-rank mixed set. But this guide won’t tell you how to do that.
EarlyAce/SororalNothing<Element> Atk + 2/3Comes with Bonus Shot and Evade Extender native (in the form of Prudence) and has plenty of slots to fit in <Element> Atk + 2/3. There’s no need to socket out Double Bleeding unless you’re specifically fighting a Seregios, and even then you don’t need to do it.
GoalNopeThis guide doesn’t do that.A different guide will tell you how to build one later.Will edit this with a link.

Supplying Thyself


Gunners, unlike Blademasters, actually have to put thought into managing their inventory space. Here are the LBGunner-specific items you’ll need on every hunt, roughly sorted by category:

Combo books

  • Combo Book 1
  • Combo Book 2
  • Combo Book 3


  • Huskberry x 99
  • Needleberry x 99
  • <Elemental Combine> x max (optional)
  • Bone Husk x 99 (optional, needed for combining most Special Shots)
  • <Special Shot #1 Combine> x max (optional)
  • <Special Shot #2 Combine> x max (optional)


  • Elemental Shot x 60
  • Raw Shot #1 x max
  • Raw Shot #2 x max
  • Raw Shot #3 x max (optional)
  • Special Shot #1 x max (optional)
  • Special Shot #2 x max (optional)
  • Paint Shot x 99
  • Tranq Shot x 8

This is all, of course, in addition to the usual fare Potions, Charms/Talons, Antidotes, Hot/Cold Drinks, etc, but minus things like Whetstones and Paintballs that are really only useful for Blademasters. The mix you choose is very personal, but this is what I manage to shove in to all my LBG item sets.

It would be wise to make use of item sets to make per-hunt resupply relatively painless, and even more so to have specific item sets for each gun. Keep a healthy stock of ammo and combines in your chest and, after the initial set-up, your resupply time is the same as before.

Food Skills


I want to do more damageFelyne SharpshooterMeat + DairyBoosts the effect of Normal S by 10%Only applies to Normal S, but the food itself gives AuL. Can’t go wrong with it.
I want to do even more damageFelyne TemperMeat + DairyBoosts all bullet damage by 5%, but increases deviationApplies to all shots as opposed to just Normal S, but beware the deviation.
I’m hunting something scary that kills me in 4 hitsFelyne Defender (Hi)Fish + GrainImbues a 1 in 4 chance of taking only 70% damage when attacked.Comes with food DuL, and the procs can sometimes earn you a 5th hit or save you a potion.
I’m hunting something scary that kills me in 2 hitsFelyne MoxieVegetable + DrinkPrevents your death by setting your HP to 1 if you’re hit by an attack that would’ve killed you when you had at least 40% healthNow you get a one-time opportunity to take a third hit.

Actually Hunting With an LBG – Points to Victory

Meta Stuff

  • Configure your controls. Your camera, reticle, etc. should be set to perfection, and controlling them should be second-nature. You have to aim now, so that stuff kind of matters.
  • Proper pre-prep and supply is key. Don’t bring a water gun to a Zamtrios fight. Don’t zone in and realize you took the wrong item set so you’re missing your elemental shots. Don’t just shoot the monster randomly because you don’t know where he’s weak.
  • Study the monster. Gunning is predictive more than reactive. Take a few minutes on a new hunt and just walk around the monster, making note of their blindspots, openings, and movement patterns.
  • Know your gun. Feel its reload and shot delay; now the the clip size of your shots by heart; know the range of your mounting attack so you can be that guy that says “Gunner mount!”. Just be familiar with the tool you’re using.
  • People love good gunners. People really hate bad gunners. It’s really easy to be a bad gunner. Don’t suck.

In a Hunt

  • Use all your elemental shots first. The monster should be at least 65% dead by the time you run through your supply.
  • When you fall back onto raw shots, you may notice your screen shaking sometimes when you hit the monster. This is a good thing. You are being rewarded with a 50% damage boost from being the proper distance from the monster. If your screen does not shake when you hit the monster, you are not getting that bonus, and your damage can be further dropped if you’re too far away. This concept is called “Critical Distance” and you’d do well to learn about it from another source. For now, screen shake = good.
  • Only combine for elemental shots if you want the hunt over quicker or you actually run out of raw shots. Saves you from taking up valuable Wycoon time restocking your combines.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with rapid fire (say, when the monster is enraged), swap to non-rapid raw shot until you can return to rapid volleys.
  • Walk as much as you can before you roll. You can walk around most attacks if you position correctly.
  • In multiplayer, you’re the item guy if there’s no SnS or GS. You can sheath quicker than most other weapons, which means easier access to lifepowder, flash bombs, etc.


The above should get you started exploring the wonderful world of LBGs. If you’re still somewhat lost about where to go after reading all of that, let me give you a direction:

  • Craft and upgrade the recommended water LBG one rank below your current rank (e.g. if you’re currently High Rank, make and upgrade the low rank Royal Launcher).
  • Craft a recommended goal armor from your current rank.
  • Hunt a Gravios 1 rank below you. Try to break everything.

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2 Responses

  1. Hunter Lees says:

    Gotta admit, there was few things here that I legitimately found useful here. BUT, there was one thing I strongly disagree with. Your comment on Limiter Removal. Yeah, I see the detriment to doing it, but with practice, I find it so much safer once you know what you’re doing. Being able to switch ammo on the fly to be immediately ready for a sudden shift in conditions has been incredibly valuable to me. Not something I’d recommend to a newbie user, but DEFINITELY not something to write off entirely

  2. Kai Chalmers says:

    You should make several armor sets tailored to the element you are using eg: najarala z for water ( water attack +1). Rathalos X for fire (fire attack +2) etc

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