Topics: Weapon TypesWeapon Mechanics

Weapon Types: Sword and ShieldDual BladesGreat SwordLong SwordHammer
Hunting HornLanceGunlanceSwitch AxeCharge BladeInsect GlaiveTonfa
Magnet SpikeAccel AxeLight BowgunMedium BowgunHeavy BowgunBow

Gunlance Weapon Trees:

Gunlance GL-Icon

Weapon Overview

MHP3rd Gunlance

Gunlances (ガンランス Ganransu), also known as GL, are long, piercing weapons with a mechanism inside which can fire an explosive round. This is called Shelling. Unlike Bowguns, the Gunlance cannot fire over distances. The Shelling ability can only be used from close range and reduces the weapon's sharpness with each use. The use of the weapon is largely similar to the original Lance. Unlike ranged weapons, Gunlances come with preset, unlimited ammo. They are able to charge up, indicated by the radiating energy at the tip of the lance, and dish out a strong explosive attack referred to as Wyvern's Fire.

Gunlances first appeared in Monster Hunter 2. Gunlances, along with other weapon types were removed in Monster Hunter 3, but returned in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and all proceeding main series games.

Weapon Features


The type of shelling used is shown here

  • Unlike the lance, the gunlance does not utilize "piercing" damage. Every attack involving the lance portion of the weapon strictly uses the cutting damage modifier.
  • The Gunlance provides the hunter with Shielding capability which is as good as a Lance user due to the size of the shields. Lances and Gunlances have the strongest Shielding capability and can block some attacks that other shielding weapons would otherwise find unblock-able.
  • The Gunlance has the Quick Draw feature, allowing the hunter to quick draw the weapon to shielding position just by pressing "R" button and then triangle while standing still, which can be very useful.

The amount and status of the shelling ammo

  • The Gunlance has the Shelling Ability. As the name implies, the lance has a gun embedded in it, which will activate with a press of a button. The best way to think about it is a regular lance with shaped charges strapped to the end. The shots are quite short ranged, but work well when linked with the stabs of the Lance. You can see the amount of shells you have remaining on the upper left side of the screen and you can reload by pressing circle while defending with the R button, or by pressing "O" after a back jump.

Each weapon has a different shelling type

  • The type of shells fired differ depending on the individual Gunlance. These usually range from Level 1 to Level 3 shelling (though some go as high as Level 5, Monster Hunter Frontier currently has Level 6 Gunlances), and come in three different types: Normal, Spread, and Long. As the names imply, each type works differently.
Gunlance Shot Type Diagram

Diagram of Shot Types

  • Compared to a [Normal] type Gunlance, a [Spread] type's Wyvern Fire will have a wider blast radius, while a [Long] type is granted greater range. Regardless of level, a [Normal] Gunlance has 5 shots, [Long] types have 3, and [Spread] types have 2. However, [Long] and [Spread] shots inflict more damage than [Normal] shots.

This will appear whenever you are out of shells


Reloading will take some time...

  • The shelling feature has a downside: it burns through the weapon's sharpness. Using it will quickly dull the weapon. Whetstones are strongly recommended when using this weapon.
  • Gunlances come with an incredible explosion attack known as Wyvern Fire. This attack can be done by pressing the circle and triangle buttons while defending with the R button. The delay is usually 3 seconds and you have to be close for the attack to land. The downside is that after using it you'll have to wait for your weapon to cool down before being able to use Wyvern Fire again. The cool down period is 110 seconds. Also the Gunlance's sharpness will dull after use (similar to Shelling) and leave you vulnerable to attack shortly after use. Wyvern's Fire is four times the length and four times the damage of its shell shot. It is one long blast that is divided into four sections, so if you hit a wyvern very close up you would do the full four times the damage, but if you hit it at half the length, you only do twice the damage of shell shot and so-on.
  • The Gunlances, just like the Lances, can chain attacks. An example would be an attack from 3 single forward stabs to a shelling shot and repeat, or mix up with an uppercut (circle plus triangle) to diagonal attacks. See the video below for a great tutorial on how to do these combos.
  • The Gunlance also has a new attack where if you hold down the shelling button you can charge up any single shell shot.

Armor Skill Benefits

This section shall list and explain skills that will benefit Gunlance users in every game.


  • Auto-Guard - Gunlance users can automatically guard incoming attacks with their shield without the need to press the PSP R button. It does not activate when attacking.
  • Gunnery King - Increases the damage of shells and Wyvern's Fire (see damage ratios).
  • Guard Inc - Increases the ability to block attacks that are generally unblockable (such as Gravios' Fire Beam).
  • Guard +2 - Decreases stamina usage and reduces health damage when a large attack is blocked.
  • Evade +2 - Increases invincibility frames while side stepping and back hopping.
  • Evade Distance Up - Increases the ground covered by all forms of dodging.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

  • Auto-Guard - Same with Monster Hunter Freedom 2.
  • Gunnery King - Damage ratios edited, similar effects.
  • Guard Inc - Same effects.
  • Guard +2 - Same effects.
  • Evade +2 - Same effects.
  • Evade Distance Up - Same effects.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd

  • Autoguard - if the user has the Auto-Guard ability, one may cancel incoming attacks at any time by shelling with the PS2 O button, and Auto-Guard activates even when shelling and Quick Reloading. It does not activate though when Wyvern's Fire is charging, during the slam attack, or after a Full Burst attack.

Monster Hunter Frontier

  • Auto-Guard - Same with Monster Hunter Freedom 2.
  • Artillery God - Damage ratios edited, similar effects.
  • Guard +2 - Same effects and include Guard Inc.
  • Evade +2 - Same effects.
  • Evade Distance Up - Same effects.
  • Recoil Down +2 - Can evade after Shelling and Recoil from Wyvern Fire is reduced by 30 frames.
  • Gunlance Tech (Cannon Emperor) - Cooldown-time is halved and Gunlance ammo clip is  increased
  • Reflection +3 - Blocking an attack will reflect damage back towards the monster.
  • Obscurity - Grants an attack boost every time a hunter successfully guards an attack (Max of 10 times).
  • Fortification +2 - Guard +2, Peerless (Stamina droprate decreases) and Weapon Handling.

Game Changes

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd

The Gunlance received a large boost to its moveset in MHP3, making it a more aggressive weapon in the game.

  • Gunlances in MHP3 can now do a Quick Reload, which reloads a single shell at high speed with the opportunity to fire a slightly delayed shot afterwards; this shot in turn can be chained into another Quick Reload for an easy infinite combo. This can be done by pressing PS2 O after every shot.
  • The Full Burst is a new attack for the Gunlance. This occurs in certain combos, most commonly by pressing the PS2 TR button three times. The weapon slams downward to the ground after the third press of the PS2 TR button and fires all the current number of shells the Gunlance holds, creating a massive explosion that greatly damages all foes within its radius.
  • In addition, the forward stab can be linked into a downward smashing attack; the smash can then be chained into a Wyvern's Fire attack or to a Full Burst.
  • Charged Shelling is also a new attack for the Gunlance, where it charges its shells first before firing at the intended target. This can be done in a number of ways; one of them is by holding the PSP R button and pressing the PS2 O at the same time.

Please refer to the controls list for other Full Burst and Charged Shelling combos.

Monster Hunter 3 G

  • Removal of the auto-guard glitch present in Portable 3rd.

Monster Hunter Frontier


Monster Hunter 4

  • The Gunlance can now do a slam attack after jumping off a ledge and do a Full burst or Wyvern's Fire after jumping.
  • The Gunlance gains a new attack pressing R+A when moving forward. The hunter makes a small Dash forward and fires a shell. If the hunter makes this move near a ledge, it will shoot a shell in mid-air.
  • The Gunlance can do the Wyvern's Fire while jumping.

Monster Hunter X

  • The Gunlance now features a "Heat" gauge. Whenever the weapon's user fires a shell, the gauge fills up a little. When the gauge hits a new level (yellow, orange, red), the damage of the Gunlance's physical attacks (not shells) increases. However, when the gauge exceeds its limit the Gunlance becomes "overheated" as if you had used Wyvern's fire and locks the heat gauge at minimum for two minutes. The heat gauge's level is reduced by using lance attacks, evading, being knocked over or by not shelling for a while.
  • When Wyvern's fire is used the heat gauge slightly depletes and locks in place until the Gunlance cools down.
  • Normal, Long and Wide shot Gunlances have differently proportioned heat gauges.
  • Artillery skills, such as Artillery Novice and Artillery Expert, affect the rate the heat gauge decreases and reduces the heat loss when executing Wyvern's fire. Artillery God does not return in this Monster Hunter entry.
  • Gunlance users can now perform a backstep/sidestep after executing a Full Burst, significantly reducing the recoil animation.
  • Due to the changes in weapon damage and monster health, Gunlance shell levels now reach the reduced maximum of Level 4 rather than Level 5.

Monster Hunter: World

  • Now features Wyrmstake Shot usable at the end of some combo. The attack release a spike: if a monster is hit by it, the Wyrmstake will attach to the monster, dealing multiple damage, then exploding. Wyrmstake Shot consume sharpness when used. Wyrmstake Shot isn't reloaded by Quick Load.
  • Wyvern's Fire intake of sharpness has been reduced, but cooling time is increased to 120 seconds.


  • Consistent and reliable shelling damage with its fixed and unblockable damage.
  • Capable of executing a variety of relatively fluid combos by mixing up stabs and shelling.
  • Versatile range and attack direction, able to attack at 45 degree and 90 degree angles (overhead). Coupled with Long shell types, the Gunlance becomes one of the longest-reaching Blademaster weapons.
    • This also makes very easy to knock flying monsters in the air.
  • Due to their unique explosive mechanics, Gunlance shells excel at breaking otherwise tough-to-damage monster parts such as an Uragaan's chin or a Nargacuga's wing blades.


  • Shelling, and its associated special attacks, chew through sharpness relatively quickly.
  • Gunlances cannot fire shells when sharpness is at red level.
  • Heavy settle animations on most actions (Reloading, lance slam, Full Burst, Wyvern Fire etc.) that leave the user open to attacks.
  • Only method of dodge is a single backhop/sidestep with very short invincibility frames, giving Gunlance users limited evasive options.
  • The Gunlance's wide spread shelling attacks (Wide shells, Full Blast and Wyvern Fire) pose the large risk of disrupting nearby hunters with friendly fire.

Damage Output




You have just as many consecutive shots you have ammo


The Uppercut attack has a wide range


Whatever the angle might be, you can use a shellshot there

Weapon Trees

Photo/Video Gallery

The Monster Hunter Wikia does not take credit for these videos

<youtube width="460" height="300">watch?v=HTjNHRuhJN0</youtube>
Title MHP3rd Gunlance Tutorial (MHWikia Edition)
by DivineArtema
MH4G MH4U Gunlance Tutorial

MH4G MH4U Gunlance Tutorial

Title MH4G/MH4U Gunlance Tutorial
by gaijin hunter
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Gunlance Tutorial MH4U Basics

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Gunlance Tutorial MH4U Basics

Title MH4U Gunlance Tutorial
by Arekkz Gaming

See Also

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