Wild Hearts – Bow Weapon Guide

wild hearts bow weapon guide

Taking down foes from a distance, the bow is a simple weapon that offers good damage and mobility while also being pretty easy to pick up, even for beginners. It’s one of the game’s two ranged weapons, and the only one you get to unlock at the start of the game. If you’re not a fan of getting up close and personal with the ferocious kemono, or you’re just a fan of archery in general, then the bow is for you. We’ll be covering how this weapon works in our Wild Hearts bow weapon guide.

Do note that as with every weapon, you unlock more moves as you progress through the story. As this can be a bit of a spoiler to some, we’ll only cover the karakuri moves that you can pull off via the crate and the spring, which you gain access to fairly early on in the game.

Wild Hearts Bow Weapon Guide


The bow is a ranged weapon that revolves around swapping stances to shoot different types of arrows. Your damage will come in bursts, as the bulk of it is tied to a particular arrow combo. The bow also boasts great mobility, allowing you to charge and shoot while on the move; you can even dash while shooting to dodge kemono attacks. The weapon is a lot simpler than some of the others you get to wield in Wild Hearts, but it’s fun nonetheless.

One thing worth noting for those who have played Monster Hunter games is that you don’t actually need to collect or craft ammo to use this weapon.

Weapon Range

Though the bow does offer the advantage of range versus other weapons, you can’t just shoot down kemono from a mile away. If you’re too far away from the kemono, all of your arrows will only do 1 damage, and haya arrows won’t stick to your target. There isn’t a clear visual indicator for this effective range, so you’ll want to pay close attention to the damage numbers that appear after landing an attack. If you see “1”s, then you should probably stick closer to the kemono.

Square Button – Stance Change

The bow has two stances, and you can freely change between the two by simply pressing the Square button. Holding the bow horizontally allows you to shoot “haya” arrows whereas holding it vertically allows you to shoot “otoya” arrows.

R2 – Shoot

While other weapons use multiple buttons to trigger attacks, the bow only uses one: R2. Pressing R2 shoots out an arrow type based on your current stance. Haya arrows from the horizontal stance do less damage but stick to their target, and otoya arrows fire at a slower rate but trigger any lodged haya arrows on the target. As such, your playstyle will essentially boil down to shooting multiple haya arrows at a kemono before “resonating” them with an otoya arrow.

When shooting haya arrows, pressing R2 multiple times will trigger a combo of sorts. You will fire one, then two, then three arrows in a horizontal spread. 

When shooting otoya arrows, you can either tap or hold R2. Tapping R2 will fire an uncharged arrow that does minimal damage and does not proc the haya arrows. As such, you generally want to avoid this.

On the other hand, holding R2 will charge the arrow up to two times. Each charge increases the damage of both the otoya arrow as well as the resonance damage from the lodged haya arrows. Ideally, you want to charge the otoya arrow twice for maximum damage.

Note that you can dash slightly by pressing the Circle button while firing haya arrows or charging your otoya arrow, so you can deal damage while still dodging kemono attacks. 

Triangle Button – Strengthen

You can deal even more damage with Triangle, which augments your next attack and causes it to deal increased damage. You can strengthen your bow twice, resulting in four unique moves depending on how many times you’ve charged and what stance you’re in when shooting the arrow.

When in the horizontal stance, one charge lets you shoot a barrage of haya arrows by holding down R2. The longer you hold down R2, the more arrows you shoot, but it also drains stamina with every shot, so keep that in mind. 

Two charges will instead fire a rain of arrows a distance away from your character. This has considerable range but can be hard to aim if you’re right on top of the kemono, though you can move where the arrows will land. You can also hold it to shoot even more arrows, just like the haya barrage with one Triangle charge.

Both charged versions also allow you to dash while shooting, but this can drain a lot of stamina very quickly, so be careful when using them.

When in the vertical stance, one charge will shoot out a strengthened otoya arrow. This doesn’t do as much damage as a regular, fully charged otoya arrow, but it does proc haya arrows.

Two charges will instead cause your character to kneel and fire a heavy-hitting otoya arrow that also triggers the highest resonance damage out of any other otoya arrow shot. 

Ideally, you want to trigger the haya arrows with this double-strengthened shot, but since the animation is incredibly long, this can leave you vulnerable to kemono attacks. Though you can’t cancel the animation with a dash, you can do so by jumping instead.

If you strengthened your bow in one stance but want to shoot in the other stance, don’t worry, as the bow stays strengthened even after switching stances.

Karakuri Moves

The bow’s karakuri attacks not only do decent damage but also strengthen your bow after landing the attack, making them great for setting up a heavy-hitting resonance combo. The crate-based attack, for example, fully strengthens your bow, which you can then use to proc haya arrows immediately after.

On the other hand, the spring-based attack fires three haya arrows (regardless of current stance) and strengthens your bow by one level. You can use this to burst fire haya arrows or strengthen it once more with Triangle.

Both of these karakuri moves are efficient as you don’t need to waste time strengthening the bow by pressing Triangle, so they should be used whenever possible.

In Action

Hunting with the bow is extremely straightforward. Upon reaching your target kemono, you’ll want to land as many haya arrows on it as possible. If you’ve got the stamina for it, strengthen the bow to fire lots of haya arrows. If you’d rather not deplete your stamina and you want to play safe, just spam R2 instead and dodge with Circle as necessary. Once your target has enough arrows on it and it’s prone or reeling from an attack, strengthen your bow twice before shooting a fully empowered otoya arrow and watch those damage numbers fly.

Though it isn’t necessarily the flashiest of weapons, the bow is fairly reliable and doesn’t require hours of practice to get used to. If you enjoyed reading this guide, consider checking out our other Wild Hearts guides here

Previous Post

Next Post

Top Games and Upcoming Releases