Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Weapon Guide

Quick Links

  • The Gunlance
  • Gunlance – Skills And Abilities
  • Gunlance – Tips And Tricks

You're almost spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. You have flashy swords, brutal guns, and spears that let you flip through the air like a trained acrobat.

Take a look at the Lance, for example. It's a defensive weapon made for those who like to take things slow and steady. Take that Lance, and slap explosive shells onto it – this, my friend, is the Gunlance. The Gunlance is one of the game's flashiest weapons and it's a joy to work with.

The Gunlance

There are three elements that you should be aware of when it comes to picking up a Gunlance for the first time. The first is the lance part – you have a collection of thrusting and sweeping attacks that give you a surprising amount of range, which helps offset how slow you are when wielding such a huge weapon.

The second part is the gun part. It's not a long-range gun – you're looking for the Bowguns in that case – but it does let you fire off explosive shells that you can weave into your attack patterns.

Finally, you also have a shield. This is a very useful tool to have, as guarding is one of the most efficient and simplest ways to avoid taking damage.

As a basic primer, let's take a look at your basic moves:

  • X/Y is your basic Lateral Thrusting attack. This is functionally identical to the Lance's X/Y attack, and you can chain it up to three times.
  • X/Y + A/B lets you pull off some flashier moves. It's a Rising Slash attack that can be chained into a strong combo with up to two follow-up X/Y attacks. These will execute an Overhead Smash and a Wide Sweep, respectively.
    • The Overhead Smash part of this combo can be followed up with a strong Shelling attack called Burst Fire if you hit A/B instead of X/Y on the third attack.

    The rest of the Gunlance's moveset deals with the weapon's gimmick – 'also being a gun.'

    Shelling And The Wyrmstake Cannon

    The Gunlance has a few meters to keep track of. The first is an ammo bar – this tracks how many times you can use your Shelling attack before you have to reload.

    To use Shelling, all you need to do is hit the A/B button. While this will fire off a Shelling attack from a stationary position, you're best off slotting these attacks into your main attack rotation. They'll provide a heavy burst of damage that's great at breaking parts.

    It is possible to charge up your Shelling attack for more damage. While charging, you can tilt up and down on the analog stick to better aim your Shelling.

    There are three versions of the Shelling attack in the game – which Shelling attack you have depends on the Gunlance you have equipped.

    • Normal Shelling is the basic attack. It has the most ammo, meaning you won't have to reload as much.
    • Long Shelling actually adds quite a bit of range to the attack.
    • Wide Shelling will deal a lot of damage in quite a wide spread compared to the other two types, but it has low ammo. You'll have to reload a lot to get the most out of these Gunlances.

    We recommend trying out all three types of Shelling and picking the one that works for you. Once you get used to one type, it can be hard to undo the muscle memory when switching to another.

    The Gunlance you begin the game with, the Kamura Gunlance, has Normal Shelling. The earliest you can get Long Shelling is by forging a Bone Gunlance, and the earliest you can get Wide Shelling is by upgrading a Bone Gunlance into a Lagomberator (which requires Lagombi materials).

    Once you're out of ammo, there are two ways to reload:

    • Standard Reload (ZL/RT + B/A): When the buttons are pressed in a stationary position, you'll reload on the spot.
    • Fast Reload (ZL/RT + B/A): When you weave the button combination into an attack combo, you'll reload far quicker than usual. This is usually the optimal way to reload during combat.

    Wyrmstake Cannon is another ability that you have when using a Gunlance. It is a very powerful upwards thrust that must be recharged every time you use it. It lodges an explosive into any target it hits, dealing damage over time before exploding for massive damage.

    Every time you use Wyrmstake Cannon, it must be reloaded. The only way to do this is with a Standard Reload – Fast Reloads will not do the job. You can tell if a Wyrmstake Cannon is ready to use if the icon underneath the sharpness bar is blue. If it's red, you need to reload.

    There are multiple ways to execute a Wyrmstake Cannon attack:

    • Attempt to execute three Shelling (A/B) attacks in a row.
    • Attempt to attack after a Wide Sweep (X/Y) – which is performed after a Rising Slash (X/Y + A/B) / Overhead Smash (X/Y) combo.
    • Attempt to use Rising Slash (X/Y + A/B) twice in a row.
    • Pull back on the analog stick and attempt to use Shelling immediately after firing off a Charged Shelling attack.

    Learning how and when to pull off a Wyrmstake Cannon attack separates the newbies from the pros when it comes to the Gunlance.


    To guard, simply hold down the ZR/RT button. You'll assume a defensive stance that reduces all damage, letting your stamina take the hits instead. There are a few things you can do while guarding:

    • Perform a Standard Reload (see above).
    • Guard Thrust attacks using X/Y. This can be chained up to three times.
    • Backsteps using B/A without pushing on the analog stick.

    If you invest in the Guard skill, you'll have a better time defending against the stronger attacks that the game throws at you. Likewise, investing in the Guard Up skill lets you block normally unblockable attacks – though you will take a fraction of the damage you'd normally take.

    Wyvern's Fire

    The Gunlance's ultimate attack is Wyvern's Fire, a brutal long-range attack that can only be used periodically.

    To use Wyvern's Fire, hold ZR/RT and press X/Y + A/B. You'll start charging up an attack which can then be aimed freely using the right analog stick for the duration of the charge up period.

    Once you've started this move, you cannot cancel out of it, so make sure your aim is true.

    After using Wyvern's Fire, a bar will appear underneath your Wyrmstake Cannon icon. This is a countdown to the next time you can use Wyvern's Fire.

    Gunlance – Skills And Abilities

    Silkbind Abilities

    Hail Cutter (ZL/LT + X/Y): This attack is a Rising Slash that sends you high up into the air before following up immediately with an Overhead Smash that brings you to the ground. This can be chained into a Wide Sweep by hitting X/Y or Burst Fire by hitting A/B. Burst Fire will consume all of your ammo at once. Using this Silkbind Ability will reduce the cooldown on your Wyvern's Fire meter.

    Ground Splitter (ZL/RT + X/Y): This attack will lunge you forwards into an Rising Slash. It can be chained into a regular combo, and has the bonus of granting you a damage buff to all of your gun-based attacks. These include Shelling, Wyrmstake Cannon, and Wyvern's Fire.

    Guard Edge (ZL/LT + A/B): This is a guard stance that can be followed up with various attacks if you get struck while using it. It has a short window, though, so get the timing down early. Successfully blocking with this ability will restore some of your weapon's sharpness.

    Switch Skills

    Charged Gunlance (Hold A/B)

    • Charged Shelling: This is an improved Shelling attack which can be easily chained into a Wyrmstake Cannon if you need it.
    • Blast Dash: This will point the Gunlance behind you and rocket you forwards. This can be used up to three times in quick succession and costs one ammo each time.

    Mid-Combo Reload (ZL/RT + B/A)

    • Fast Reload: This lets you reload very quickly in the middle of a combo.
    • Guard Reload: This reload animation is slower and reloads fewer shells than normal, but will replenish your Wyrmstake Cannon and has some guard frames.

    Gunlance – Tips And Tricks

    Take Care Of Your Sharpness

    It's important to keep an eye on your sharpness as a Gunlancer. Your cannon-based attacks will eat away at your weapon's sharpness bar pretty quickly.

    For this reason, it's not a bad idea to invest in the Razor Sharp and Speed Sharpening skills. In addition, try to get your Guard Edge timing perfected – successful blocks with this Silkbind ability will restore your sharpness a little!

    Aerial Blast Shelling

    With Monster Hunter Rise's various methods for getting up into the air, you'd better get used to the Gunlance's pretty great aerial moveset. You can use Shelling in mid-air to attack from above, and this is great when paired with Long Shelling.

    What's really great for opening fights and dealing a lot of damage at once, however, is hitting X/Y to perform an Overhead Smash and following it up with A/B. This triggers Burst Fire, consuming all of your ammo for great damage.

    Set Up Perfect Wyvern's Fire

    You really want your ultimate attack to do the best it can, after all. Try to set up the perfect conditions for Wyvern's Fire – you want it to be accurate, and you do not want to be disturbed during the attack. While the move does guard you from attacks, not all attacks can be guarded.

    • Consider using Sleep or Paralysis Gunlances to freeze your foe in place – they'll be ripe for a firing.
    • Try using traps for something other than capturing – when triggered, traps keep monsters in place long enough to get a good shot off.
    • Save Wyvern's Fire for when monsters are knocked down or tethered, ready for a mounting.

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