Monster Hunter World

How to play well with a hunting horn player

MonsterHunterWorld9 - How to play well with a hunting horn player

Is that a horn player? OMG I think they're coming this way, be cool.

Everyone loves a hunting horn player (according to everything I've ever read but not necessarily experienced) – so why not make full use of them? Do you know what Attack Up XL and green bubbles actually do? Do you know why the horn player is running away from you? Find out more!

Let's start with this: I heal you because I carry Dust of Life because I'm not a bad person and it's irritating when you cart. Horn players are not default support characters. You're thinking of SnS. Also if my horn has a heal it's going to be a nice-to-have small and occasional heal, not a clutch save like, say, dust can be.

Lesson One: I heal because I love, not because I have to. Get your dust out, you lazy bums. Except lances, don't sheathe that thing, we only have 50 minutes.

Here's how hunting horn works:

  1. Play notes to queue songs
  2. Play 1-3 songs in order to get the first level of buffery
  3. Encore the songs and play them all at once to get the second level of buffery

This is what you see when a horn player does a little dance, then swings the instrument, then does another little dance.

Buffs, when played for the second time (e.g. Encored) will extend their duration. Some increase their potency, including fan favourites like Attack Up L which becomes Attack Up XL. This means that horn players want to play important and potency songs without interruption, so that they don't have to queue the song twice. The faster we can squeeze out an extra 5% team damage the better.

Playing and encoring songs can be interrupted by monster roars and attacks, and then the dooter has to start all over again. If you want efficient doots please don't stand next to dooters while they are dooting because they don't need twice the monster aggro in their direction. When a horn player has downtime, e.g. Before a fight or when a monster is sleeping before death, they will re-up important buffs. Try not to time an initial attack so that the monster roars when the horn player is trying to give everyone AUXL. Not everyone notices when I apply defence and stamina buffs, but I see them notice when they suddenly run out.

Lesson Two: Don't come and stand next to me. If you're lonely wait until the fight is over for hugs. I just want to get the buffs out so I can do my spins and triple-echo damage combos.

It's also why you sometimes see horn players standing off in the corner playing with themselves – they are trying to re-up an important buff like Self Improvement (which we have to keep up all the time or we go into bullet time, our attacks bounce and our sheet music falls out). "Corner Hornering" is where a player never attacks, preferring to try to buff and heal the team from the sidelines, and is a completely legitimate way of playing on your own because you got kicked by the host for wasting a hunter slot – horn players should never corner horner. You know that long sword user that fits every negative stereotype and gives the weapon a bad name? They're better than corner hornering. Trying to re-up important buffs without damage interruptions, however, is just part of the deal. The quicker they can re-up, the quicker they can return to the chin music. Leave them alone to buff you and they should be back in as soon as they can.

Lesson Three: Don't judge me. Unless I never attack, then judge me harshly.

The songs have a maximum range. Try to be even vaguely near the horn player (the same numbered map area is a great start) when the fight initiates. Also you lose all buffs if you cart, so don't cart.

Lesson Four: Come out or be without. Keep your health above 0.

Hunting Horn deals great exhaust damage but also KO damage when hitting the head. If you don't have a KO-dealing weapon on the team other than hunting horn consider giving them the head to attack. Hammer is the king of KO, but HH, Impact CB, Lance Shield Bash and the SnS Shield Bash also deal KO. So does bow's arc shot, but if you trip me with arc shot I hate you.


Lesson Five: Give me head.

Sometimes horn players will drop a colourful circle on the floor. This is a bubble. Touch the bubble. Each time you touch the bubble you get (or reset) a buff, and the time the bubble has to exist is reduced; so only touch it once, where possible. Do, however, run through them. Bigger bubbles last longer and are good for more touches, they don't give you any more buffing.

Red: Element Effectiveness Up – increases elemental damage and elemental defence

Yellow: Stamina. Gives you 200 stamina and stamina surge. Max including canteen is 150.

White: Evade. Estimates are that this gives you 2-3 points of evade up.

Green: Gradually recover health. You don't need to stand it in, just touch it and walk away like an entertainer from the 70s.

Lesson Six: Touch my bubble. I don't put these things down just for my health. Except the green one.

Bonus One: In some cases I find that telling the team what buffs I'll be using is helpful, especially regarding All Ailments Negated ("you are immune to sleep, ignore the blue clouds"). You can totally work with any nice horn player for useful information, to request specific effects or even to match builds with buffs!

Bonus Two: This might just be me but I have a set for each monster. If you're in guiding lands don't be afraid to tell me what you're luring and perhaps where to before it's lured, then I can join you faster. I imagine this goes for other weapons too.

Bonus Three: Here are some non-obvious buffs you might see, and what they really mean

Attack Up S/L/XL10%/15%/20% true raw damage increase. Oh yeah.
Defence Up S/L/XL10%/15%/20% defence increase
Health BoostA 50 HP heal when first applied. Increases max health by 50 (or up to cap, so nothing if you got it from canteen already).
Stamina Cost Reduced S/LL reduces all stamina costs by 50%. Bows love it, don't tell me they don't.
Divine Protection25% chance to reduce 50% damage (= divine blessing L3)
All Ailments NegatedNegates bleeding, paralysis, poison, sleep, effluvial buildup, stun & dandruff. It stops you getting them, but it won't cure it if you have it already, so let me play it before you roll in Vaal's effluvia like a dog in mud.
Affinity Up S/L15%/20% affinity increase. Holy crit.
All Wind Pressure NegatedSome wind pressure negated. Works on most effects, but Kushala has some tricks that get past it like the middle of tornadoes.
Wind Pressure NegatedThe budget version of All Wind Pressure Negated, invented by Capcom to confuse people. I think this is to prevent you getting knocked back if a cobalt flutterfly gets too close to your head.

Thank you for your time. I hope to doot with you some day. If you'd like to comment with what you'd like to see from horn players I'd love to hear it – always trying to improve my service.

Information provided for entertainment purposes only.


  • Don't stand so close.
  • Don't die.
  • Run into coloured bubbles once and then run out again.
  • I just need to play a couple of songs twice and then I can do more damage, ok?
  • Head is appreciated.

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