[Sorry to disappoint the usual 7 people who read my stuff whenever I post here on Blue Screen of Life, but this isn't a regular post on this blog. There's also no french version of this post. With that out of the way, let's begin.]

Released on August 28th 2018 in Europe on the Nintendo Switch, Monster Hunter Generation Ultimate is the first entry in the mainline Monster Hunter series to let you play as a palico. This is known as Prowler Mode. Or well. MHGU is the second entry with Prowler Mode, as it was actually introduced in Monster Hunter Generations, on the Nintendo 3DS. MHGU is based on MH Gen, and adds G rank as well as more monsters, quests and a brand new final boss.

As far as I know, Prowler Mode should be available at the beginning of the game. You'll need an available palico to play as one. You can activate Prowler Mode on the Palico Board, and return to Hunter mode anytime that way.

Well, welcome

This "guide" will focus more on helping you BUILD the prowler of your dreams, and less about moment to moment gameplay. It is not meant to be read fully in one go, but I tried to order things in a logical way. I will not provide much complete builds, if at all, but instead try to help you reach the answers you seek about how you want to build your own cat. That is the purpose of this post : to help you figure things out. There are already resources out there about Prowler Mode, with builds and quick advice, but I didn't find 1 resource with all info, links and advice I was looking for. In my Prowler journey I also had to connect one and one to make my own answers on a bunch of things. This post aims to address that. Ultimately it will lack some info because I'm not omniscient and no one is, so feel free to double-check things elsewhere and use other resources as you see fit.

The Prowler Compendium on /r/MonsterHunter is good start if you haven't read it yet.

This post will assume you're far enough into the game and have unlocked level 99 on your palicos (scouting level = 60). If not, a lot of the following advice could prove difficult to apply. Gaijin Hunter made a great video showcasing a useful method to quickly level a cat from 60 to 99. I invite you to watch it, it is vastly faster than bringing cats into your hunts. Teaching the DLC skill Pro Experience will make this process a lot faster.

The vast majority of numerical data provided here comes from ISharingan's amazing Palico & Prowler Data and Build Calculator. You'll have to trust me on this ; a few resources about Palicos and Prowler still incorrectly display partly wrong or incomplete numbers. This is a problem especially for Motion Values, and you'll always want to double check any numerical value related to prowler with this great spreadsheets.

Lastly, this post will be continuously updated as I figure out mistakes to fix, or elements to add. Feel free to get in touch with me about anything to improve this guide.

Special thanks to Levobertus and Akaizul for proofreading, and for the additional content and advice suggested to be added in this guide. It is greatly appreciated.

Last updated on April 21st 2024

Table of contents

The nuances of "Prowler mode is easier"

Playing as a palico in Prowler mode makes a few things a lot easier. Here's a non exhaustive list of major aspects that are different when playing Prowler Mode :
  • your palico has a level, which increases its stats. It goes up by hunting, up to 99.
  • you naturally have infinite supplies of nets and pickaxes to get materials
  • you can always see where the monster is on the map (you still need a map to see the zones)
  • you never lose any sharpness
  • you don't have a stamina bar
  • you only have 2 armor pieces
  • you don't need cold or hot drinks in areas with extreme weather
  • you don't use items (but you can have them, don't forgat power/armor charms and talons), and you don't have Hunter Arts.
  • but you have a gauge that fills up when a big monster is in the area, when you get hit, and when you deal damage. This gauge lets you use "support actions" : moves that can either give you the effect of an item or act as a Hunter Arts of sorts. You can have up to 7 (8 as a Charisma cat or with the Support Move +1 skill, 9 if both).
  • you don't have "armor skills", but a skill system on which you spend up to 8 points to get "skills" (most have their equivalent as a hunter/prowler, but their effectiveness vary, and some are unique).
  • You can faint up to 3 times before expending a cart. This is one of the most important aspects of Prowler Mode. To lose a quest you'll need to faint 9 times (12 times if you ate for Felyne Insurance, 16 times if you ate for it and use a specific skill that make it so a cart = 4 death). Instead of expending a cart, when you faint you will eat one of your acorns (below your HP bar) and recover some health. You only cart when you faint while being out of acorns. Note that sleeping on the bed at camp lets you recover all acorns lost *by fainting*, which makes it easier for prowlers to not cart. This is important because the support action Far-Cat-Ster lets you immediately teleport to camp.
All palicos/prowlers also have some unique moves that no hunter weapon has any equivalent to :
  • you can burrow underground ; while down there you heal red health faster, and you are invincible. A monster roar will pop you out and make you vulnerable again as normal.
  • after pressing evade, you can run at almost the same speed as a normal run, but with your weapon still out, making you very mobile.
  • you can throw a boomerang, up to 3 times in a row. We'll come back to this extensively, as boomerang is an essential aspect of Prowler Mode.
These changes make some people perceive Prowler Mode as an "easier" way to play the game. There is some truth to that, and it is certainly not baseless. But this is far from being the full picture. In Prowler Mode, palicos have 2 glaring issues that needs to be properly adressed in your build to enjoy your prowler journey :
  1. Prowlers deal little damage. You may have seen old weapon tier lists displaying Prowler mode an entire tier below other weapons. This is exagerated, but far from being wrong. Prowlers are notoriously bad in speedruns, having almost always the worst times across all weapons. This is because their MVs are bad across the board, and little to nothing makes up for that. They simply have low DPS.
  2. Prowlers have trouble healing. Unlike hunters, prowlers need gauge to use support actions that replenish health. However, the same gauge is also used to maintain some crucial buffs or use utility/offensive support actions. You also need to fill the gauge by dealing damage, and if you take heavy damage before getting enough gauge, you can only use the heal horn. Which is *bad*.
In general, playing Prowler Mode means your ATK and DEF are a tad lower, so even if you need to die more to lose a quest, you also die more easily (due to lack of DEF) and time out more (due to lack of ATK).

In reality, for a competent player and on your average hunt, the pros far outweighs the cons, and the lack of stats becomes at worst a slight inconvenience if you don't like hunts taking 15+ mins. However, this is not the case in higher end challenges, like G rank event quests or in some multi monster G rank hunts. In these the risk of being killed in one blow/combo is greater than as a blade-master hunter (the tankiest prowlers usually have about as much or a bit more DEF than gunner hunters), and the risk of not making it in time becomes a real problem.

I will try to provide relevant information and clues to help you figure out how to alleviate these issues in your build, and take advantage of the strengths of Prowler Mode. Because, all in all, this is a really damn fun way to play Monster Hunter Generation Ultimate and a dramatic change of pace from all other weapons. Prowler Mode is the one reason why I come back to this game so much. Sadly, building Prowler can be obscure and un-intuitive, leading to a bad experience with this mode. Many people end up disliking it before playing it properly because of this. Of course, Prowler Mode is not for everyone. But if that's your thing, I hope I can help you figure out what type of build you want to make, and how to achieve it.

Prowler Mode in action

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For starters, let's look at what you can do as a Prowler in a hunt.
To keep it simple, as a prowler you have a A-button combo and a X-button combo. The A combo lets you throw boomerangs that you can charge (2 for most cats, 3 for "boomerang cats" (see Bias section)). The X combo is more melee focused. Both "combos" end with a "finisher" with either A or X, and you can use either the X or A finisher in both combos. The A finisher is a spinning dash forward (Boomersuh), and the X finisher is spinning jump (Furris Wheel).

Pressing X after throwing one or more boomerang will let you perform a lunging attack (Furrward Thrust) that deals good mounting damage, and will lead into either finishers. However, for the X finisher you'll perform 2 jumping attacks first.

While grounded you can press R to guard. The guard for prowler is fairly weak, except for Protect cats, but pressing X while guarding immediately leads into the jumping attack. Or, you can press A while guarding to drop your guard and start charging a boomerang. An important aspect of this is you can draw your weapon into a guard, by pressing R+x+A while unsheathed, and then proceed. This lets you "draw into a boomerang", or draw into the jumping attack, for a quick finisher.

At any point, you can use a support action with Y if you have enough gauge, or with R+Y  if your weapon is drawn. A few support actions will immediately lead into the X finisher, but not the A finisher. You can use a support action to cancel the endlag of a finisher.

You can press B to dodge forward, then B again to dodge forward on the either side, and B again to do it a last time. You cannot dodge backwards. After an evade, even if your weapon is out, you'll enter a run that is almost as fast as an actual run (pressing R). Evading cancels the endlag of many moves and support actions.

After receiving a lot of damage your cat may enter rage mode. The animation takes a while, but you're invincible throughout and can cancel it with an evade. While in rage mode you get a +30% affinity boost, as well as earplugs (resist roars) and an increase in gauge buildup. Most importantly you unlock the X+A rage combo. You initiate it by pressing X+A, and can mash A or X to peform more attacks. It is however usually a good idea to end the combo early by pressing X+A again.

Choosing your source(s) of damage

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It is important to acknowledge the following : Prowler Mode isn't exactly well balanced, and the X melee combo is a lesser source of damage compared to throwing boomerangs with A. However, boomerangs by themselves also don't deal much damage, and you'll need 2 crucial buffs to get damage out of them : Pierce Boomerang (2 bars) and Big Boomerang (1 bar).

Simply put, if we remove both X and A finishers :
  • the entirety of the X melee combo is a total of 60 Motion Value
  • both charged boomerangs without buffs is a total of 18 Motion Value
  • throwing charged triple boomerang (and landing all the hits) without buffs is a total of 36 Motion Value
  • throwing both charged boomerangs with both buffs is a total of 40 Motion Value
  • throwing charged triple boomerang (and landing all the hits) with both buffs is a total of 80 Motion Value
This highlights the strength -on paper- of boomerang cats, who have access to triple boomerangs. And that's not taking into account how the melee combo consists of many slow hits that you have to perform close to the monster, while not having always good access to weak hitzones. Throwing 3 charged boomerangs is however fairly fast, and doable at a safer distance while being able to aim.

Now, for the finishers :
  • the Furris Wheel (X finisher) deals 5 MV per hit.
  • the Boomerush (A finisher) without boomerang buffs deals 28 MV.
  • the Boomerush (A finisher) with boomerang buffs deals 48 MV if all 4 hits land (30 then 3*6).
While the Furris Wheel can theoretically deal a lot of damage if many hits land, in actual gameplay it is extremely rare (and I cannot stress this enough) to get even 9 hits out of it. You can try it yourself and count the hits. Even on big or downed monsters you usually get 6 or maybe 7. Getting 9 is very rare, and 10 probably requires to jump from a ledge to begin with. If it's not down you'll often get 3 to 5 hits, if any. It is also slower than the A finisher and has significantly more lag. In other words, unless the monster is down and you don't have boomerang buffs active, the A finisher is better than the X finisher. Which further emphasize the importance of Big and Pierce boomerangs, and the supremacy of boomerangs for Prowler.

Lastly, Furrward Thrust (X after throwing a boomerang) is also 24 MV, deals good mounting damage, has a bit of armor and is only accessible after using a boomerang. Again, Prowler Mode heavily emphasizes the use of boomerang.

On top of melee and ranged attacks, another source of damage you can kinda rely on are bombs. Bomb focused builds are a bit specific and not used a whole lot, but it is easy to build a hybrid build that includes bombs in the mix. When playing as a hunter, bombs will deal a fixed and predetermined amount of damage, but this is not the case in Prowler Mode. Cat bombs damage includes some MV, which means you want a weapon with higher raw (regardless of sharpness/affinity/element) for bomb builds.  Prowler bombs also actually deal good damage, especially those that requires gauge (Big, Mega and Giga Barrel Bombay), with more expensive bombs being more gauge efficient (the Giga bomb deals more damage per bar used than Mega and so on). Prowlers can also use Barrel Bombays at the cost of 0 bar (completely free) for damage and gauge build-up.
Bombs are not nearly as good DPS wise as boomerangs, but a good option nonetheless to consider if you have remaining slots in your build, as it is a fine way to make use of some extra gauge you might have while hunting. The Mega and Giga barrel bombay are notoriously good at flinching/tripping monsters.

Gearing up

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There's a reason why highlighting the importance of boomerang early matters : palico weapons have 2 raw stats instead of 1. You'll have a raw stat for melee attacks, and a raw stat for ranged attacks (boomerang). Many weapons are "balanced" and have the same raw for both, but most of them do not. Some weapons are better for melee and some other are better for ranged. You will have to keep that in mind when choosing a weapon, and not accidentally pick a melee favorable weapon for boomerang gameplay (and vice versa).

On top of this choice, palico weapons can be either cutting or blunt. You cannot get both at the same time, and you'll need to take this parameter into account to pick a weapon. I will however advise against using blunt weapons, unless you also run the support action Chestnut Cannon. Reason for this is simple : palicos only inflict little blunt damage. It is very difficult to get 2 stuns per hunt without Chestnu Cannon, and sometimes you may not even get 1 unless your aiming is immaculate. The Chestnut Cannon support action deals a lot of stun damage and will net you 2+ KOs per hunts frequently. So being able to deal additional stun damage on top of Chestnut Cannon does justify running a blunt weapon. Else you might as well pick a cutting one instead, as cutting tails is often at least somewhat beneficial (and rather easy as a cat), and lots of monsters have slightly better hitzones across the board (except the head) for cutting weapons.

However, Prowlers benefit a lot from using elemental weapons, as many of their attacks (especially boomerangs, again) are multi-hits. It is highly recommended to always use an adequate elemental weapon against whatever monster you hunt. Status weapons are fine too, for the same reasons.
A quick note about bomb builds : unlike hunters, all bomb damage dealth by palico/prowlers includes some Motion Value in the formula. It is therefore important to have a weapon with high raw (regardless of sharpness/affinity/element) to benefit from it. This is the main exception to the "elemental weapon = good" rule.

When you will have reasonable access to it, it might be a good idea to look at deviant weapons for your prowler. By design deviant weapons increase the "gauge" build-up when attacking with them. For hunters it's the Hunter Art gauge, and for prowlers it's the support gauge. The increase is rather significant and can be felt very strongly in battle. Not all deviant weapons are good (don't forget you have to factor in ranged vs melee, blunt vs cutting, and element), but when a deviant weapon is a good option versus a non deviant one, I highly recommend picking the deviant weapon for the gauge build-up boost. Especially if you run one of the few skills that reduce gauge build-up.

Palicos only have 2 pieces of armor, and no armor skills. You pick armor for their defense and elemental resistance, and that's it. We will address the equivalent of "Armor skills" for palicos/prowlers shortly.

Lastly, on the topic of equipment : palicos don't use items, but can still have them. Do not forget to bring the armor/power talons and charms.

Skills, and how to change them

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Prowler Mode's equivalent of armor skills are simply called skills. They are as close as it can get to armor skills in the way they work, providing a passive boost to some aspect of your hunt when equipped. But you acquire them differently. Many palico skills have a close equivalent in armor skills, and vice versa, but not all do.

All palicos/prowlers have 8 slots which they can use to "equip" skills. You equip a skill on the palico board by simply selecting a skill in the list of available skills for a given cat. Each skill has a cost of 1 to 4 slots, and you can equip them as you wish, up to the limit of 8 slots.
This is important, as some skills may provide interesting effects while also being very expensive. For example, Handicraft is commonly used by hunters for the extra sharpness but as a prowler it takes 4 slots, which is very expensive considering the "little" effect it has and the limitation to 8 slots. For that reason it is almost never a good pick.

You can equip and unequip a skill at any moment between hunts by going to the palico board and swapping them among the list of available skills. This list is generated randomly when you scout a palico, and always include 2 fixed skills that are tied to its bias (we'll come back to bias later). For example, a cat with Fight bias will always come with Handicraft and Attack Up (S) in the list of available skills when recruited.

When recruiting a palico its skill list will have at least 5 skills, and up to 10 : 2 of them will be tied to its bias, and 3 to 8 will be random skills. You can add 2 more by teaching them to your cat. To do so, talk to your room retainer to access the dojo, or go directly to the palico ranch in Bherna.

You can change the list of non-bias and non-taught skills. But first we must understand the concept of "skill patterns" for palicos. Most of this also applies to support actions, so if you read that part first this will be very familiar and I recommend you skip it.

All palico skills are either
  • tied to a bias
  • tied to a DLC cat (we'll come back to this in next part)
  • tied to a group, A B or C.
In fact, most palico skill belongs to A B or C group. This is hard coded in the game, and you cannot change this. For example, Support Move +1 is a A-group skill, and so are Element Attack Up and Status Attack Up. These 3 skills are A-group skills. Among B-group skills we can find Artful Dodger or Earplugs. And C-group skills include Boomerang Pro or Critical Up (S). I will not display the entire list of skills and their groups, as they can be found on ISharingan's data sheet. Just keep in mind that most skills belongs to a group.

When you recruit a palico (for Prowler or not), the game will randomly choose a "skill pattern" for you, and pick skills according to this skill pattern. A skill pattern is a combination of the A-B-C letters that essentially says "the skill in this spot of the skill list is a X-group skill", with X being one of the A-B-C letters.

For example, if you recruit a palico with the skill pattern ABBC, it means the list will have :
  • 1 skill from group A
  • 2 skills from group B
  • 1 skill from group C
Which exact skills it has is random within each group. The A-group skill can be any of the A-group skills, the 2 B-group skills can be any combination of 2 B-group skills, etc.
There are 7 skill patterns (actually, 9, but 2 of them seem extremely rare, and I have never seen them myself) and all cats that you recruit will have skills following one of the 7 patterns. Not all the skill patterns have all three of A, B and C-group skills : BBBB is a valid pattern, so are BBBCC and CCCCCCCC. On top of whatever skill pattern your cat has, it will always have the 2 or 3 skills linked to its bias. You cannot change them.
On top of whatever skill pattern your cat has, it will always have the 2 or 3 skills linked to its bias. You cannot change them.

Quick note : AAB and AACC skill patterns should also be valid, but seem to be incredibly rare, or may not be recruited in a normal way. I have yet to figure that out, as I have never seen them myself. Until their unusual scarcity is "solved" I highly advise against scouting for them, and treat skills pattern as if there were only 7.

Knowing and identifying the skill pattern is important, because even if the skill list sucks, if you identify the skill pattern and notice that the combination of skills you want is compatible with the pattern you need, you can change the individual skills. Whatever you decide to choose cannot be outside of the pattern. You cannot exchange a A skill for a B skill, and vice versa.

Let's look at an example. If you build a boomerang cat, you WILL want the skill Boomerang Pro, a C-group skill that takes 1 slot. So you'll want to recruit a cat with at least one C in its pattern. Boomerang cats usually like Earplugs (B-group // 2 slots) to resist roars, and Element Attack Up (A-group // 3 slots) is good as a whole. That's 6 slots, so you can have 1 more 2-slots skills or 2 more 1-slots skills. Critical Up (L) (B-group // 2 slots) is a decent choice, so that's 8 slots.

Now let's look at the patterns. We have one 1 A-group skill, 2 B-group skills, and 1 C-group skill. There's only 1 skill pattern that satisfy this : ABBC, as shown previously.

If we replace Element Attack Up (A-group) with Nine Lives (Defense) (C-group // 3 slots), then we have 2 B-group skills and 2 C-group skills. BBCC then. There are 2 skill patterns that work with this : BBCCCC and BBBCC. So you can recruit a cat which has a skill list that matches either of these 2 patterns.
ISharingan's data sheet includes a skill pattern pattern calculator ; it lets you enter whatever skills you want for your cat, and will output any matching skill pattern for you to look for.

Once you have the right pattern you can go to the dojo and select Special Training → Change Support/Skill. This will let you change the skill (or support action) of your choice for another in the same group. For example, if you recruited a cat with a good pattern, but it has Counter Boost (B-group) and you don't want it, you can reroll this skill in this menu. The result will be a random skill from B-group, unless you have a Felyne Codex. These will let you CHOOSE what skill of this group you will get. Here are the quests where you can farm Felyne Codexes to your heart's content.

Repeat for whatever skill you want to change and that is part of the skill pattern. Just keep in mind your cat also comes with 2 more skills tied to its bias, and you can teach them 2 additional skills in the dojo, so you might not need to reroll all your skills to achieve the ideal build.

If that pattern thing wasn't too clear for you, Gaijin Hunter made a video to explain all that. Maybe it will be better for you.

Notable skills

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For a complete list of skills, I highly recommend checking ISharingan's Data Sheet as they are all listed, with their groups and some recommended use (I disagree with some, but I think their opinion's matter more than mine). But I'll go over and highlight some essential skills that play an important role in some builds.

Boomerang Pro (C-group // 1 slot)

Reduces the time it takes to charge a boomerang, make them fly faster and land all the hits faster. A surprisingly cheap skill for how staple it is in almost all builds. Essential for boomerang focused buids, and for almost any other build if you have 1 remaining slot with nothing to use it for.

Guard Boost (Protect bias // 2 slots)

Same as the hunter version : allows you to guard all attacks that are usually unblockable. On Protect cats this allows you to adept guard them as well, so it's very important for them. Unnecessary in most other cases as other cats mostly don't want to guard to begin with. You can avoid unblockables by burrowing.

Bombay Boost (Bomb bias // 3 slots)

Increase by 35% the bomb damage, and by 15% the blast build-up. Essential on any Bomb or Rath-Of-Meow build, and unnecessary in most other cases, as it is fairly expensive.

Support Move +1 (A-group // 2 slots)

Allows you to equip one more support action. This is rather niche, but sometimes 1 more support action lets you have that one comfort support action that makes your build so much better, like Farcaster or Go Fight Win!.

Artful Dodger (B-group // 2 slots)

Allows you to evade 4 times in row instead of 3, and increases your I-frames while evading. Very important as a Beast cat, as it increases your backflip I-frames as well. Useless on Bomb cats since they have adept evade, and frankly unnecessary most of the times.

Counter Boost (B-group // 2 slots)

Increases the gauge build-up when hit. A bit niche, but can be useful on Beast and other melee based builds, as you're likely to get hit more. Not recommended for Protect and Bomb cats, considering they have adept guard/evade to be safe and build gauge. Usually not great on boomerang cats either.

Extra Bomb Blasts (C-group // 2 slots)

Adds some Blast status to bombs. Only useful on Bomb builds, or Rath-of-Meow builds. Useless otherwise. Because your cat has bombs doesn't mean this is good for them. The blast build up isn't very high, so it's only useful when you use it a lot.

The following skills are JP only because they are slapped on special cats obtained from DLC quests that didn't make it outside of Japan. There is no normal way to get them if you don't play Monster Hunter XX (the JP version of MHGU). But you can still acquire these skills in another way : to do so you will have to ask someone else to give you the cats who have these skills. You will have to meet with them in a multiplayer lobby, and they'll send you the cat who has the skill you want. Then you can teach them to your other cats.

A reminder : no taught skills can be transferred when you send a cat to someone, which means that for DLC skills you need the actual DLC cats. Asking on the /r/MHGU subreddit for DLC cats is usually a very good way to get them fast.

DLC skills don't have a group. They are their own group. Here are the cool ones.

Weakness Exploit (DLC // 2 slots)

Same as the hunter version : increases by 50% the affinity on parts of the monster where your weapon is strong. Really good skill, especially in true solo, as being the only target of a monster usually makes them face you all the times, which lets you aim boomerangs at their head easilt. Not very good for Beast unless you really master the style and can maintain uptime on weak parts.

Ranged Attack Up (DLC // 2 slots)

Increases by 5% your ranged raw stat. Only for boomerang heavy builds with high raw. Boosting affinity or elemental damage is usually better otherwise.

Extend Beast (DLC // 2 slots)

Increases by 35secs the duration of Beast mode, from 2mins30 to 3mins05 (+20%). Fairly useful if you actually use Beast mode for damage, but don't pick this skill if you only use it to get the level 3 buffs. I like it, but I also don't play Beast optimally to begin with.

Pro Burrower (DLC // 1 slots)

Greatly increases the burrowing speed, and movement speed when underground. Useful in combination with the support action Burrowing Blow, as it doesn't have I-frames. Even better when under the effect of Go Fight Win!, to be able to spam Burrowing Blow more.

DUMMY - Diva (DLC // 2 slots)

There are 3 skills called "DUMMY" in non Japanese versions of the game. Diva is one of them. It increases by 50% the duration of Go Fight Win!.
I will elaborate on Go Fight Win! later, but if your build uses it either for healing or for damage, Diva is great. Both the boosts from 20 seconds to 30 (canceled version) and from 40 seconds to 1 min (full version) are *very noticeable* and make an actual difference in combat, especially if you not only use GFW for combat but also to renew boomerang buffs (which I recommend) and use other utility support actions.

Pro Experience (DLC // 4 slots)

Increases by 50% the experience gain.
Teach this skill to cats you want to raise to level 99 to greatly shorten the process. There is no reason to keep this skill after level 99, so don't forget to remove it. The best known way to level your cats fast is to use the "disposable cat" method, which Gaijin Hunter made a dedicated video on.

Support actions, and how to change them.

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Prowler Mode's equivalent of items and hunter arts are called support actions. They are special moves that consumes a given amount of gauge upon use (it can be 0), to perform either an offensive move, get the equivalent of an item or provide personal/team buffs. Many prowler support actions have a somewhat close equivalent in items or hunter arts (usually much weaker), and vice versa, but not all do.

All palicos/prowlers have 7 slots (except Charisma cats, who have 8) which they can use to "equip" support actions. You equip a support action on the palico board simply by selecting one in the list of available support action for a given cat. Unlike skills all support actions take 1 slot, but they'll consume different amounts of gauge. You can swap them as you wish, up to the limit of 7 slots. However, one of these slots is always fixed and tied to your cat's bias. You cannot change nor remove it. So only 6 of the 7 slots can be adjusted.

Using a support action consumes a given amount of entire units of gauge (SP mode slightly reduces the gauge use, but not the cost), and won't be usable if you don't have enough. This is important, as some support actions may provide interesting effects while also being very expensive. For example, Poison Purr-ison is a pitfall trap that inflicts a big amount of poison to the monster. But it is very expensive : 5 bars will rarely be worth a single trap, even for the poison.

You can equip and unequip a support action at any moment between hunts by going to the palico board and swapping them among the list of available support actions. This list is generated randomly when you scout a palico, and always includes 2 fixed skills that are tied to its bias (we'll come back to bias later), with one of them fixed and non-removable (except for Charisma cats who only have 1, the fixed one). For example, a cat with Fight bias will always come with Furr-ious (fixed), and either of Pierce Boomerang or Demon Horn.

The order of equipped support actions matters. While hunting, the order of support actions in the wheel (hold Y) will be the same as the list of equipped support actions. For example, if your last support action in the list is Furbidden Acorn, it will be the first support action on the left of the wheel. I recommend paying attention to this to make "combos" easier to perform (less scrolling through the support action wheel). Typically, Go Fight Win is a good way to spam invincible heals, so it's a good thing to put an invincible heal next to GFW, for easier use.

When recruiting a palico, its support action list will have at least 5 skills, and up to 10 : 2 of them will be tied to its bias (except Charisma → 1), and 4 to 8 will be random support actions. You can add 2 more by teaching them to your cat. To do so, talk to your room retainer to access the dojo, or go directly to the palico ranch in Bherna.

You can change the list of non-taught and non-bias support actions. But first we must understand the concept of "support action patterns" for palicos. Most of this also applies to skills, so if you read that part first this will be very familiar, and I recommend you skip it.

Each and every non-bias related support action belongs to a group : A B or C. This is hard coded in the game, and you cannot change this. For example, Giga Barrel Bombay is a A-group skill, and so are Health Horn and Shock Purr-ison. These 3 support actions are A-group. Among B-group support actions we can find some very desirable ones, like Mega Boomerang or Furbidden Acorn. And C-group support actions include Big Boomerangs or Felyne Comet for example. I will not display the entire list of support actions and their groups, as they can be found on ISharingan's data sheet. Just keep in mind that each support action belongs to a group.

When you recruit a palico (for Prowler or not), the game will randomly choose a "support action pattern" for you, and pick support actions according to it. A pattern is a combination of the A-B-C letters that essentially says "the support action in this spot of the support action list belongs to group X", with X being one of the A-B-C letters.

For example, if you recruit a palico with the skill pattern ABCCC, it means the list will have :
  • 1 support action from group A
  • 1 support action from group B
  • 3 support actions from group C
Which exact support actions it has is random within each group. The A-group support action can be any of the A-group support actions, the B-group support action can be any of the B-group support actions, and the 3 C-group support actions can be anything in C-group.
There are 7 support action patterns, and all cats that you recruit will have support actions following one of the 7 patterns. Not all the patterns have all three of A, B and C group support actions : ACCCCC is a valid pattern, BBBB is a valid pattern, so are BBBCC and CCCCCCCC.

On top of whatever support action pattern your cat has, it will always have the 2 support actions linked to its bias (except Charisma → 1). You cannot change them, and one of them is equipped by default and at all time. You cannot remove it.

Knowing and identifying the support action pattern is important, because even if the support action list sucks, if you identify the pattern and notice that the combination of support action you want is compatible with the pattern you need, you can change the individual support actions. Whatever you decide to choose cannot be outside of the pattern. You cannot exchange a A support action for a B support action, and vice versa.

Let's look at an example. If you build a boomerang cat, you WILL want the support action Big Boomerang, a C-group support action. So you'll want to recruit a cat with at least one C in its pattern. Boomerang cats usually like Mega Boomerang for damage (B-group) and Furbidden Acorn (B group) to get the boomerang buffs early. Soothing Roll (C-Group) is a good option for healing.
That's 4 support actions, let's not do 7 to keep things simple.

With that example we want 2 B-group support action and 2 from C-group. So we want BBCC support actions. This is doable with either the BBBCC pattern, or BBCCCC. Any other will lack either a B-group or C-group support action.

If we replace Soothing Roll (C-group) with Health Horn (A-Group), then we have 2 B-group skills, 1 from A-group and 1 in C -roup skills. That's the ABBC pattern. This is the only one that works for this combination. Knowing what patterns you want to use lets you recruit a cat which has a support action list that match a compatible pattern.
ISharingan's data sheet includes a support action pattern calculator ; it lets you enter whatever support actions you want for your cat, and will output any matching pattern for you to look for.

Once you have the right pattern you can go to the dojo and select Special Training → Change Support/Skill. This will let you change the support action (or skill) of your choice for another one in the same group. For example, if you recruited a cat with a good pattern, but it has Detox Horn (B-group) and you don't want it, you can reroll this support action in this menu. The result will be random, unless you have a Felyne Codex. These will let you CHOOSE what support action of this group you will get. Here are the quests where you can farm Felyne Codexes to your heart's content.

Repeat for whatever skill you want to change and that is part of the support action pattern. Just keep in mind your cat also comes with 2 more support actions tied to its bias (charisma → 1), with one of them completely fixed and unchangeable. But you can teach them 2 additional support actions in the dojo, so you might not need to reroll all your support actions to achieve the ideal build.

If that pattern thing wasn't too clear for you, Gaijin Hunter made a video to explain all that. Maybe it will be better for you.

Notable support actions

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For a complete list of support actions, I highly recommend checking ISharingan's Data Sheet as they are all listed, with their group and some recommended use (I disagree with some, but I think their opinion's matter more than mine). But I'll go over and highlight some essential support actions that play an important role in some builds.

Piercing Boomerangs (Fight & Gather bias // 2 bars)

Big Boomerangs (C-group // 1 bar)

The holy grail of Prowler Mode. I'm grouping these two as they often come as a pair.
Pierce Boomerang gives your boomerang a multi-hit property and allows them to hit 3 times. Big Boomerangs make them big and increase their damage. Both these buffs increase boomerang damage individually, and their effect is greater when combined. In combination with triple boomerangs, these 2 buffs are what make boomerang cats so dominant.
The boomerang buffs are CRUCIAL to *any* build that involves boomerangs in some way (so the vast majority of builds). More often than not, a major aspect of playing Prowler Mode is maintaining these 2 buffs active for as long as possible. You can see if they're active to the glowing light on your arm ; red is for Big, blue is for Pierce.
If you cannot fit both buffs in your build for whatever reason, Pierce Boomerangs is a stronger buff by itself than Big boomerangs. It also lasts slightly longer, so you should pick it instead of Big. Most of the times you want both.

Note that Pierce Boomerang is a bias support action, which means you will *need* to teach it to your cat if it's not a fighting or gathering cat. So keep at least 1 taught support action slot for this one when theory-crafting your cat.

Furbidden Acorn (B-group // 0 bar)

Immediately gives you 3 bars in exchange for removing one of your acorns (below your HP). This is an extremely useful skill, found in MANY builds. Most of the times a competent Prowler player don't need all 9 of its faints in a quest, so using one to instantly get 3 bars is totally fine. For the record, 3 bars is enough to activate Beast Mode, or both Pierce and Big Boomerang at the start of a quest. You can even use GFW beforehand to be able to spam whatever 1 bar skill you want for the duration of the buff. Considering the vast majority of builds involve boomerangs, it's easy to see how good Furbidden Acorn can be.
Keep in mind eating an acorn prevents you from ever recovering it (except after actually carting). Any acorn lost in combat can be recovered by sleeping at the bed in camp during a hunt, but if you eat it with Furbidden Acorn, sleeping won't give it back to you. You'll only get it back after an actual cart.

Rath-of-Meow (A-group // 4 bars)

Summons the Rath-of-Meow tank, on which you're invincible, you can throw spiky projectiles that deal stun damage or bombs, and use a flamethrower.
I only mention it because if you plan to use this support action it is recommended you actually build for it. I'm not familiar with it as it is very specific so you'll want to double check things elsewhere, but hopefully you'll still find useful info in this post. If you don't build *for it* I would advise against picking this support action, as it is rather expensive and not really good when not optimized it seems. Some people still pick regardless because it's fun. That's hella valid.
While riding the Rath-of-Meow, you can improve the damage output of the flamethrower by holding A and mashing X. Stonks.

Go Fight Win! (B-group // 2 bars)

While the effect is active, all hunters get unlimited stamina, and all prowlers support actions' cost is reduced by 1. Not everyone likes it, but I'm of the opinion that GFW is borderline broken (in prowler standards, ofc). Let me explain how it works.

Activating this support action will make your cat start dancing. The instant you start dancing, everyone (including you) is under the effect of GFW for 20 seconds, and you get some small armor while dancing. The dance itself lets you move slightly, but you can't do anything while performing it, except dodging, which cancel the dance. However, cancelling the dance doesn't remove the effect ; it'll disappear after the 20 seconds are elapsed.
If you perform the dance completely, the buff will activate *again* for everyone and you, but this time for 40 seconds. You are then free to do anything.

There are mostly 2 main ways to approach GFW use. You either
  • use it and *immediately dodge* if you don't have a big opening, to be able to get the buffs for 20 seconds.
  • or use it and perform the full dance to get the buff for the full 40 seconds.
If you try to perform the full dance but can't finish it (interrupted by a monster, or cancelled) the 20 seconds timer will reset, and you'll be able to benefit from it as normal.

The main reason why GFW is *so good* is simple : reducing by 1 the cost of your support actions means that any support action that needs 1 bar becomes FREE for the duration of the buff. That includes 2 excellent healing skills that make you invincible immediately upon use : Emergency Retreat and Soothing Roll. But it also lets you spam offensive moves that used to cost 1 bar, namely Felyne Comet and Burrowing Blow, which are decent attacks by themselves, but become really powerful when spammed for free.
Of course, being able to use 2-bars skill at the cost of only one is also a sweet luxury. Renewing boomerangs is very nice under the effect of GFW because Big is free, and Pierce is 1-bar. You can also do other things like using Claw Dance multiple times on a downed monster, or use consecutive Chestnut Cannons to try to go for a KO. All that after healing to full if need be. And that's not even accounting for whatever your team can do under its effect. It's very good for an archer, and insanely fun when other prowlers are in the team, because they don't even need to start dancing and can start spamming support actions immediately.

If you equipped the skill Diva (DUMMY), the base duration is boosted to 30 seconds instead of 20, and the full duration is boosted to 1 minute from 40 seconds. This boost is *very noticeable* and makes a real difference in hunts. Highly recommended if you use GFW for more than 1 thing (heal+damage, heal+boomerang buffs, or boomerang buffs+damage).

Emergency Retreat (Protect bias // 1 bar)

Soothing Roll (C-group // 1 bar)

Grouping them as they're very similar.
Emergency Retreat and Soothing Roll will *immediately* make you invincible, heal a small amount of health and cure all negative statuses (poison, burn, etc) except confuse. These skills are decent by themselves, but godly in combination with Go Fight Win!, as they become free and can then be used repeatedly to heal to full with only the 2 bars of GFW (like this), while being mostly invincible (you are vulnerable in between uses).
If you run GFW + one of these, you do not need another way of healing. If you don't use GFW you might want a better way of healing entirely. Up to you.
Note that Emergency Retreat combos into Burrowing Blow, but the later isn't immediately invincible (need to be underground). So if you're under GFW effect you can use ER the BB to use the attack with invincibility completely for free.
One notable difference between Emergency Retreat and Soothing Roll, is that the later can heal binds, but the former cannot. This is rather niche, but it can prove very useful to know against the few monsters for which binds matter.

Felyne Comet (C-group // 1 bar)

Felyne Comet is a forward dash attack that covers decent distance and deals 3 times 20 MV. It's good damage for non boomerang builds (triple boomerangs simply deal more damage), especially when spammed under GFW effect. It does behave weirdly and can be hard to aim, even on downed monsters. Can be good for repositioning and occasionally get out of the way.

Burrowing Blow (C-group // 1 bar)

Burrowing Blow lets you dig underground (you're vulnerable until you're actually burrowed) and come back with a high aerial attack that deal 3 times 15 MV and good mounting damage. Like Felyne Comet it's fine on its own, but really good when spammed under GFW effect, especially because you're burrowed for most of its duration.
The skill Pro Burrower makes you dig faster, which is good because unlike Emergency Retreat you're not invulnerable immediately and can still be hit while burrowing. You can however use Burrowing Blow after using Emergency Retreat to benefit from the invulnerability, but this will still cost 2 bars, unless you're under the effect of GFW.

Giga Barrel Bombay (A-group // 4 bars)

Pick up a giant barrel bombay that deals huge damage. This is the only barrel bombay you *cannot throw*, so you'll have to be close to the monster and evade to drop it. When your build supports bombs the damage is really absolutely massive, up to 350 HP (not MV, but HP !), vastly stronger than a hunter best Barrel Bombs. Best option for sleep bombing if that's your thing, and very likely to flinch/trip the monster.

Far-cat-ster (B-group // 3 bars)

Same as hunter Farcaster : immediately brings you back to camp. This is important for prowler mode, because sleeping at camp restores any acorn that you lost *in combat* (you cannot recover acorns used with Furbidden Acorn). In other words, Far-cat-ster technically makes you un-cartable, as long as you have these 3 bars to go back to camp.

Mega Boomerang (B-group // 2 bars)

Throws a big boomerang that hovers above ground on a good distance. MASSIVE damage if you land all the hits. It usually requires the monster to be down, as landing the windup hits leaves you completely open and in close range. It seems to be 56 MV for the windup, and up to 250 MV after being thrown. Absolutely staple in boomerang builds, as this move uses your ranged stat.

Claw Dance (B-group // 2 bars)

A fast combo of claw attacks. Up to 156 MV if you land all the hits. Last hit is 40 MV by itself. Only use on downed or distracted monsters. Note that the damage is *always* cutting, even with a blunt weapon, so you can cut tails with it. You can slightly adjust your aiming at the beginning of the move, but once your cat jumps it's stuck there.

Rousing Roar (Beast bias // 1 bar)

Provides stun immunity and spread your "icon buffs" to everyone in the same zone, for a duration of 1min 30secs.
Rousing Roar is innate to Beast cats, and secretly makes them excellent supports. But they need a bit of help for that. Reason for this is simple : if you're under the effect of an "icon buff", you can give it to everybody, and maintain it active for as long as you have gauge. An "icon buff" is any effect you are currently affected by, which is represented by a little symbol immediately next to your name. It is important to notice that there is not just 1 "slot" next to your name to tell you about effects you're affected by. The icon buff slot is the one immediately next to your name.

Any buff that is displayed there can be spread to your entire team and see their duration extended with Rousing Roar. Even if you were not the one to provide the buff to begin with. As long as you're affected by it, you can spread and extend it. Yes, it also applies to Hunting Horn buffs provided by hunters, SP mode, and the great Palico Rally support action.

However, regardless of the remaining time for any icon buff to wear out, its timer will be overwritten, and set to 1min 30secs. For example, Demon Horn lasts 3mins by default. Using Rousing Roar at *any* point while Demon Horn is active (even if it just got applied) will set its to 1min 30secs instead. Also, any buff boosted by Wide Whiskers will see its effect reverted to normal version.

By default, Rousing Roar grants stun immunity. Whatever additional icon buff you're currently affected by will be spread to everyone else and extended. As long as you have gauge you can extend their duration to your heart's content. If you can generate 1 bar of gauge in less than 1min30secs you can extended buffs forever, without anyone having to re-apply them. Beast cat are secretly great supports. They just can't reveal their potential by themselves. Keep in mind any non-icon buff will not be affected by Rousing Roar whatsoever. You cannot spread/extend Big and Pierce Boomerangs, Go Fight Win or Weapon Upgrade.

Finally, it's good to note that Rousing Roar can in fact be taught, which is mostly not very useful, except for Charisma Cat and their excellent Palico Rally buff. Like all icon buffs, its duration would be reduced to 1min 30secs instead of the natural 2 minutes and it won't put you in SP mode. But in exchange you get the privilege of being able to renew Palico Rally with only 1 bar instead of 2. Most other bias have little to no use for it otherwise, but it can be fun to have nonetheless.

Chestnut Cannon (C-group // 2 bars)

Aim and throw a big chestnut in a arc trajectory. It deals A LOT of stun damage, and regular use of this support action will frequently net you 2 KOs per hunt, or 3 if you also use a blunt weapon. The projectile itself is slow which lets you fire it preemptively if you know the monster will rush at you. The recoil can let you dodge attacks sometimes.

Palico Rally (Charisma exclusive // 2 bars)

Increases by 10% every cat's raw ATK and DEF in the team. This is a really good buff, but only affects cats. Fantastic on prowler heavy teams.

Wide Whiskers Horn (C-group // 1 bar)

Put a horn on the ground that provides hunters with the Wide Range +2 armor skill, and increase by 50% the effect and duration of horn buffs. It stays active for 120 seconds on the ground, and grants its effect for 60 seconds. Touching the device resets this timer.
An inexpensive and underrated support actions to enhance the ability of everyone in the team to keep everyone safe and going strong. With Wide Whiskers Horn active :
  • Demon Horn provides +15 raw instead of +10
  • Armor Horn provides +15% defense (that is frankly a lot) instead of 10%
  • Healing and Cheer Horns are boosted (+50%)
  • SP horn lasts 50% longer
It also has a special effect on Detox Horn (B-group // 1 bar), another inexpensive skill frequently flying below everyone's radar (including mine). Detox Horn removes poison/stench from everyone and heals a bit, which may be underwhelming ; but with Wide Whiskers it cures all negative statuses for everyone (can also be spammed for heals under GFW).
Wide Whiskers can definitely be an interesting asset for support oriented builds. Maybe for your palico if it uses lots of horns.

Weapon Upgrade (B-group // 3 bars)

Increases melee affinity by 30% and melee raw by 15 for 1min 30secs.
Listing this support action here mostly to advise against using it. The boost itself is great, don't get me wrong. But 3 bars is expensive when the skill only lasts 90secs and doesn't affect boomerangs. Yes, this is a melee only support action. It doesn't fit well in most builds or strategies, even when playing and building melee focused.
One way you could make decent use of it would be when you know for a fact you have an upcoming big opening, and can afford using 3 bars. For example, a monster running towards a trap, or if someone is mounting the monster, you can preemptively use Weapon Upgrade to punish the monster. These are decent uses of Weapon Upgrade. But then again, it's an expensive B skill that doesn't last very long. You cannot extend its duration with Rousing Roar either.
If your build already has close to 100% affinity, dismiss Weapon Upgrade entirely. You cannot go beyond 100% affinity, so 3 bars for only +15 melee raw will never ever be worth it.

Palicos bias

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Each and every cat that you can ever play or scout has a bias that influences their stats, and allow them to have support actions or skills special to their bias. You could call them "types". The bias are as follow : Fight, Assist, Protect, Bomb, Gather, Heal, Charisma and Beast. All 8 of the palico biases share the vast majority of their move set, and have access to almost all skills and support actions in the game.

However, each cat of a given bias will always have :
  • 1 support action that no other bias can ever get, which puts everyone in SP mode upon activation. This support action cannot be unequipped or swapped.
  • 1 additional support action from a pool of 2 (specific to each bias) which can be equipped, unequipped or taught at will.
  • 2 bias-specific skills that can be equipped, removed or taught to other palicos at will.
  • a "special feature" that changes how they play in a notable way. For some bias this feature requires a given condition to be met.

We can sort each bias in "categories" :
  • the 3 boomerang cats, who can use the triple boomerang
  • the 2 safe cats, who can avoid taking damage
  • the 2 mounting cats, who can unlock the aerial vault when a condition is met
  • Beast :D
Let's go over each bias, their strengths and caveats. For each bias I'll give a quick overview, recommended use, their SP support action as well the other one it can have, and the 2 bias skills.


Fighting cats are on of the 2 mounting cats. They are all-rounders with no particular strentgh or weakness. They have the 2nd best melee ATK stats (tied with Protect cats). Their special feature requires them to be enraged to be taken advantage off : it allows them to dodge onto a monster to vault and perform the spinning jump attack (X melee finisher), and deal mounting damage. They can be scouted with Pierce Boomerang, which saves a slot for a support action to learn, but Fighting cats don't have the triple boomerang. Their ability to do the aerial vault when enraged makes them good for mounting, and especially on tall monsters or flying targets. You won't get good mounting damage with this attack on smaller monsters, or if they stay grounded.

Fixed SP support action : Furr-ious (4 bars).
Bias 2nd support action : Demon Horn or Pierce Boomerang.
Bias skills : Handicraft and Attack Up (S).
Recommended use : Melee focused mount spam exclusively. Other bias do better at everything else.


Assist cats are one of the 3 boomerang cats (special feature : triple boomerang), but the least popular of the 3. They have the 2nd highest ranged ATK stats, and gain non negligible amounts of gauge by gathering. They are not very notable in any way, outside of having natural and exclusive access to Poison Purr-ison. They do have good gauge build-up with boomerangs, which helps with using support actions.

Fixed SP support action : Poison Purr-ison (5 bars).
Bias 2nd support action : Cheer Horn or Emergency Retreat
Bias skills : Monsterdar and Pro Trapper
Recommended use : Boomerang cat, maybe with utility support actions.


Protect cats is one of the 2 safe cats. Protect cats have the highest defense (tied with Beast), the 2nd highest melee damage (tied with fighting cats) and the 2nd best bomb damage, but they build gauge the slowest with boomerangs (fastest by guarding, and 2nd fastest with Barrel Bombay). What makes them "safe" is their special feature : the adept guard. All protect cats can parry/adept guard incoming attacks by pressing guard right before getting hit, just like the hunter adept guard. With the skill Guard Boost you can also guard and parry normally unblockable attacks. Upon sucsessfully parrying you will take no damage from the attack, build a good amount of gauge, and you can follow-up in many ways :
  • guard again to parry multi-hit attacks
  • perform the X melee finisher (spinning jump attack)
  • perform the A melee finisher (spinning dash attack)
  • guard again and press A to start charging a boomerang
  • use any support action
  • evade
Learning monster attacks lets you parry a lot, which makes this cat safer than most others. Their SP support action -Taunt- is also fairly inexpensive at 2 bars, which helps maintaining SP mode in the team.

Fixed SP support action : Taunt (2 bars)
Bias 2nd support action : Emergency Retreat or Armor Horn
Bias skills : Guard Boost and Guard (S)
Recommended use : Anything. Boomerang, melee, bombs, utility. A good bias for building hybrids.


Bomber cats is the other safe cats. Bomber cats have the highest bomb damage, decent damage and defense all around. They also build gauge with Barrel Bombay the fastest, by far. What makes them "safe" is their special feature : the adept evade. All bomb cats can adept evade into any attacks (even unblockable) by pressing the dodge button right before getting hit, just like the hunter adept evade. Upon successfully adept evading you will take no damage from the attack, drop a mini barrel bombay that builds a good amount of gauge if it hits, and start rolling fast while being invincible. You can use this roll to get out of the way or stay close to the monster. You can wait for the roll to finish, or cancel it with an X attack or any support action.
The adept evade is fairly easy to use, which should make bomb cats the safest to play, and a great entry point for Prowler Mode. Their SP support action deals significant damage, unlike all other SP support action.

Fixed SP support action : Mega Barrel Bombay (3 bars)
Bias 2nd support action : Camouflage or Demon Horn
Bias skills : Heat/Bomb Res and Bombay Boost
Recommended use : Anything. Boomerang, melee, bombs, utility. A good bias for building hybrids.


Gathering cats are one of boomerang cats (special feature : triple boomerang), and the most common in speedruns. They have the highest boomerang damage, the highest gauge build-up from boomerang and the highest passive gauge build up while in combat (tied with Healer cats). They also have the worst defense, as well as bad melee and bomb damage, so they're pure 100% boomerang cats. You can scout them with Pierce Boomerang built in, which further emphasizes their specialty.

Fixed SP support action : Plunderang (4 bars)
Bias 2nd support action : Pierce Boomerang or Camouflage
Bias skills : Gathering Pro and Pilfer Boost
Recommended use : Boomerang exclusively.


Heal cats are the last type of boomerang cat (special feature : triple boomerang). They have the lowest gauge build-up for fighting (both melee and boomerang), but build the fastest passively or in combat (tied with Gathering cats). They have the 2nd highest defense, as well as equally decent melee and boomerang damage. Their special feature lets them blow another time with all horns to provide the equivalent of a "herb" heal (even non healing horns like the Demon horn), for no additional cost.
With the triple boomerang and the True Health Horn built in, this bias is the one that addresses Prowler Mode's issues the best : the triple boomerang is the best non-gauge source of damage, and the True Health Horn is the strongest healing horn (and they get an additional blow). Even if True Health Horn is unusable due to lack of gauge, they get a lot more heal from the herb horn, due to their ability to blow twice in one go. As such, they're a great entry point for Prowler Mode.

Fixed SP support action : True Health Horn
Bias 2nd support action : Cheer Horn or Armor Horn
Bias skills : Heat/Bomb Res and Bombay Boost
Recommended use : Boomerang, maybe with utility support actions.


Charisma cats are the other mounting cats. But they're a bit weird. Their special feature lets them equip 1 more support action, as well as doing an aerial vault to perform a normal aerial attack when under the Palico Rally buff. Their stats are well rounded, but the only thing they do better than Fighters (who are well rounded as well) is building gauge passively. For the record, though, Palico Rally is a really good buff. For palicos/prowlers only.

Fixed SP support action : Palico Rally (2 bars)
Bias 2nd support action : None
Bias skills : Last Stand and Slacker Slap
Recommended use : Boomerang with utility support actions and buffs. If you don't play "support", charisma isn't a great choice.


Beast cats are kinda their own thing. They have the highest melee damage, the highest defense (tied with Protect cats), the worst boomerang damage and the highest melee gauge build up. But most importantly they don't have a "special feature™". Instead they come bundled with exclusive support actions to this bias ; Release the Beast and Rousing Roar (and Cage the Beast). The former lets you activate Beast mode for a few minutes. In Beast mode your *entire moveset* is completely different ; you completely lose the boomerang and your melee attacks are fast and swift. You also lose the ability to guard, and instead you can perform an invincible backflip up to 3 times in a row to evade attacks and stay close to the monster. There's a combo which if successfully completed (last hit landed on a monster) increases your Beast level by 1 for the duration of Beast mode, which gives you some buffs (lvl 1 → some armor // lvl 2 → +15% affinity // lvl 3 → SP mode). Rousing Roar is a skill that lets you share these buffs with the rest of your team.
Unlike other biases, Beast doesn't get SP mode immediately upon using their unique support action. You activate it by going into beast level 3. You can then share it with others with Rousing Roar. As described earlier, Rousing Roar also lets you extend the duration of many buffs, even if you didn't provide them to begin with.
When enraged, Beast get access to an aerial multi-hit attack with X+A that deals good mounting damage.

Fixed SP support action : Release the Beast (2 bars), after getting to Beast level 3
Bias 2nd support action : Rousing Roar
Bias skills : Critical Boost and Recovery Speed Up
Recommended use : Melee focused. You can also build support since Beast has 3 buffs to share. It's a bit wonky, but I've heard some people do that.

"I want to play [X] playstyle, what cat is good for that ?"

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Knowing what bias does what is one thing, but it might not be enough to let you decide which one to play. Depending on what playstyle or build you will go for, you could end up with a tie between two bias that look promising. We'll explore that bit here, and hopefully help you pick the one most suited to you. Most of what follows is theory ; I may have played a bit of each bias, I didn't give equal attention to all of them.

Boomerang spam

This one is simple. If you want to build a boomerang focused build, you want one of the 3 triple boomerang cats. So the question is how do you decide which one. I think you'll want to pick either the Heal or Gather cat. Assist isn't bad per se, but doesn't really have much going for it, besides the poison purr-ison, which you usually don't really want to use a lot.
  • I think Gathering cats are better, in the right hands, due to their higher boomerang damage and gauge build-up. They are the most common cats in speedruns after all. They can also come bundled with Pierce Boomerangs, which makes it easier for you to achieve the ideal build, since you *will* want this support action. They do have the lowest defense however, which is why it may not be recommended if you're not exactly good at avoiding damage. But if you feel confident, it should be a no-brainer.
  • Heal cats on the other hand will deal less damage, but also take less thanks to their greater defense. With their natural improved ability to recover health it should be easier to take advantage of their strengths. No need to be a prowler pro to run them, as you should be able to heal fine, while still dealing good damage with the triple boomerang.
  • You can also play boomerang focused as a Bomb cat, since they have fine boomerang damage and an easy way to avoid damage thanks to the adept evade. Protect cats as well for the same reasons, but the adept guard requires a better understanding of monster behavior to take advantage of it. You won't benefit from the triple boomerangs, but this shouldn't matter unless you really want to make hunts shorter.
Other cats shouldn't be played as boomerang focused cats. But hybrids ? Maybe.

Mounting spam

This playstyle implies a focus on melee, as there is no way to deal mounting damage with ranged gameplay. It is encouraged to also use the support action Burrowing Blow as it deals good damage, and lets you follow up with the X finisher. Lastly the X attack after throwing a boomerang (Furrward Thrust) deals good mounting damage and can also be used here and there to reposition. With that out of the way, what cats are suited for this playstyle ?
There are 2 obvious choices for this purpose. And also Beast.
  • The most obvious choice is a Fighting cat, as they're pretty much only good at this, and likely the best for that purpose too. There is a little issue however ; you need to be in fury mode to get access to the aerial vault. You can enrage faster with the skill Anger Prone (A-group // 2 slots), and increase the duration with the skill Extend Fury (B-group // 2 slots). Keep in mind you still need to get *hit* or guard attacks to enter fury mode, even with these skills. Of course, you can always use the Furr-ious support action to activate fury, but 4 bars is rather expensive so you may not be able to use it all the times. Thankfully, the aerial vault of Fighting cats is the Furris Wheel (X finisher) and should build decent gauge while in fury, on top of the mounting damage. But still, 4 bars is a good amount.
  • Charisma cats become a valid option when we take this in consideration, because they only need to continuously generate 2 bars to maintain Palico Rally and get their aerial vault. If you can build 2 bars in 90 seconds you'll have permanent access to the aerial vault (on top of the normal +10% raw/def of the buff) to abuse mounts (if you play in a team with a Beast cat, you could ask them to use Rousing Roar every 80secs or so, for permanent access to the aerial vault ; it only cost them 1 bar).
  • You may be able to abuse mounting with Beast cats, but this requires a lot more effort to pull off and will work poorly on small monsters. Beast cats have 2 moves that deal natural mounting damage : the last part of the level 3 beast finisher and the ledge attack. Both need to be in Beast mode. The ledge attack is decent at best, and if you can bait the monster to stay in a favorable spot you may get some nice mounting build up from it. But this is very situational and unreliable. I will try to see if Trampoliner is interesting for that matter but I don't expect great results 🙃 Now, the lvl 3 beast finisher isn't exactly great to use, especially on smaller monsters, and you can get hit out of it easily. You don't want to do that on small monsters, as you won't get many hits. But if you can get a good sense for when to use it'll help with building mounting damage. This method would encourage staying in Beast Mode for as long as possible, and thus make the Extend Beast DLC skill (2 slots) desirable, albeit not mandatory.
Since all 3 of these cats need a condition tied to gauge to access their mounting move, it is a good thing to have Go Fight Win in your build, to be able to use the appropriate support action, and then proceed to spam Burrowing Blow while the buffs is active. Don't forget to pick Claw Dance to punish the monster whenever you successfully mount it. Lastly, eating for Felyne Rider will improve your mounting damage, and the DLC skill Aera (2 slots) will increase it further.
I would like to insist on the idea that heavy mount spam is the only thing that justifies running the Aera skill : its effect may be noticeable, but won't really matter if you don't actively continuously deal mounting damage. If you go really hard on spamming mounting moves it may let you get a 3rd or 4th mount that you would otherwise not get. But with more casual mounting you won't get more mounts ; you'll just get them earlier.

Support build

Just to be clear, by "support" build I mean a build that focus less on dealing damage, and more on helping the team deal damage. That includes handling the healing, but not only. Demon and Armor Horns, Palico Rally, Traps, Flash Bombay, etc,....  if you rely on doing whatever you can to boost your team's (ability to deal) damage, you're playing support.
There are 2 obvious choices for this purpose. And also Bea-... chotto a minute.
  • Heal cats are the #1 obvious choice for playing support. Simply put, if you don't have to put away your weapon to heal or remove a debuff, you're likely dealing more damage. So if you handle healing and maintain your team alive and well, you're helping them do their job. Simple. Heal cats can benefit a lot from running the supportive horns, as they can blow them twice for an additional small heal, which keeps everyone's HP in check better. Good for healing chip damage without committing to a dedicate healing horn. Running the Wide Whisker Horn (C group) for this is a great idea, as you'll be able to get more from your horns. And if you take Wide Whiskers, you might want to pick Detox Horn as well, to remove debuffs and abnormal statuses.
  • The other obvious choice is naturally Charisma cats, because they can have Palico Rally. But here's the thing. It's only ever good if you have other prowlers in your team : Palico Rally does nothing to hunters. Charisma cats would be a lot more popular otherwise. Outside of this, you can build your support Charisma prowler pretty much in the same way as Heal cats, with horns and maybe Wide Whiskers. Do keep in mind you'll have to commit to healing with a dedicated horn (if you want to heal, of course). And if you run a Charisma cat as a support, it means you play with other prowlers (else you may want to pick Heal or Beast), which means you should take Go Fight Win. It benefits prowlers a lot. Teaching Rousing Roar to your charisma cat can be very beneficial, as it will allow to renew Palico Rally (without SP mode) for 1 bar every 90secs (instead of 2mins).
  • Then for Beast, it's -again- a bit weirder but you can make it work at least a bit. The idea is to play support as a Beast cat by abusing Rousing Roar. As a reminder, Rousing Roar (1 bar) grants stun immunity and spreads to the team any icon buff you're currently affected by (even if you're not the source of the buff), and set their duration to 90secs. You would then pick Demon and Armor Horns, (maybe SP as well but you can also just go into Beast lvl3), then use both at once, and use Rousing Roar every 80secs or so. That way the buffs are permanently active at the cost of only 1 bar every 80-ish secs. Getting to beast mode lvl 3 also grants you buffs, and of course they'll be spread out as well as long as you keep the Rousing Roars going.
Keep in mind that playing support means using a lot of support actions. I highly encourage the use of Pierce Boomerang to keep your gauge filled (except for Beast). Big + Pierce is good too, but Pierce is definitely a much greater increase of gauge build-up by itself than Big, and you may need that support action slot for something else. The skill Support Priority (A group // 3 slots) could be a good way to keep the gauge up, but is also fairly expensive and will reduce your raw by 20, so only pick it if you really want to *play support* (for example, if you join random hubs to help players progress, yeah, by all means pick it). The Counter Boost skill will be helpful for that matter as well. Any support build can also include traps ! Don't feel the need to run an Assit cat for that purpose, but they do come with the triple boomerang which is good for gauge build up. Either way, if you plan on using lots of traps, the skill Pro Trapper (3 slots) will be worth it : it'll make using traps faster and reduce their gauge use by 1 bar.

Bomb spam (or Rath-of-Meow)

It's the Bomb cat. Really. Protect cat is fine too, but I don't know what justifies losing the bomb adept evade (which drops a mini barrel bombay) to get the adept guard (which doesn't drop a bombay). If your build is a hybrid which encourages playing Protect (melee hybrid for example), you can add bombs to your build no prob. But if you plan on playing bombs first and foremost, it's Bomb cat, no questions. Same for Rath-of-Meow.

Other hybrids

You may refer to the list of bias, and pick one with good "compatibility" with whatever source of damage you want to include in your hybrid. In general (but not always) Protect and Bomb are great for hybrids, so maybe start there. For example, for bomb hybrid that would be Bomb or Protect. For melee hybrid that would be Fight, Protect and Charisma maybe.

Other general advice

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Either things I couldn't really fit elsewhere, or a few important reminders :
  • Always eat for the Felyne Hurler food skill. It increases by 10% the damage of thrown objects, which includes boomerangs.
  • During a hunt you can go back to the camp and sleep at the bed to recover all your health and acorns lost *in combat*. The support action Far-Cat-Ster (B group // 3 bars) will conveniently immediately teleport you there. Being able to recover acorns makes it essentially impossible to cart in any quest with a bed ! But keep in mind you cannot recover an acorn consumed with Furbidden Acorn. These are gone until you actually cart (please don't cart just to get your acorns back).
  • SP mode in Prowler mode slightly reduces your gauge consumption when you use support actions. It doesn't reduces the cost of a support action, like Go Fight Win!, but makes it so a 2-bars skill won't use the entirety of the 2 bars, and will leave you with a bit of gauge after using it.
  • An annoying part of Prowler Mode is the camera : your cat is tiny, and the distance to the camera doesn't change. This causes the camera to be overall closer to the ground, and make it harder to see around you when you're in melee range. All monsters look big. There's no way around this, you'll need to get used to it.
  • While you cannot use them, bringing useful items as a prowler can be beneficial to your team, because you can give them. Any item of rarity of 3 or lower can be given to other hunters mid-hunt. This includes useful items such as traps, sonic and flash bombs, farcaster, lifecrystals (life powder is rarity 4), cold/hot drinks and more. This is obviously better in a coordinated team with friends you properly can communicate with, but a couple messages in game may be enough to convey that you have valuable spare items to give. Maybe

Also, while you're here figuring out how to build a prowler, maybe use this knowledge to build an appropriate companion palico as well. As a prowler you may not want exactly the same things from your palico as when playing as a hunter (it's mostly the same though). You may want to look into that.

For starters, you'll want to equip the skills Support Boost and Counter Boost on them, to make them use more support actions. You also want to keep in mind that palicos don't bother with maintaining boomerangs buffs, and thus, don't deal great damage. You should ignore boomerang buffs altogether. From there, there a bunch of things you can do.
  • Palico Rally being the very nice buff that it is, building one of your palicos as a Charisma cat would be a good idea.
  • The other nice option is of course a Heal cat for the superior heals. Since they get an additional blow of each horn for a small heal, equipping them with many horns might be a nice strategy. The Wide Whiskers Horn then becomes a decent option as well.
  • Bomb cats are a good option for damage if you don't play melee a lot. Else you'll get blasted away quite a bit. Bomb cats only use strong bombs when enraged, so you might want to equip them with the skill Anger Prone (they will get hit a lot anyways) and Extend Fury
  • Of course, Go Fight Win is obviously an absolute no brainer and should be on your palicos at all times. Even if it's random and not timed very well, the gauge consumption reduction is always good to have.
  • Depending on the remaining slots on your build you may add Cheer Horn (gauge boost) and SP Horn to the mix. Unlike hunters, prowlers do get mileage from getting more gauge, as you're rather unlikely to ever hit cap on the gauge, so Cheer Horn is a fine option.
  • If you still have slots for support actions and want to fill them, palicos seem to be pretty decent at using Felyne Comet and Burrowing Blow. They will not spam it, even under GFW. But that's a good source of damage for them.
  • Mega Boomerang also sounds decent. With how much damage it deals you could get an opportune flinch. If they land the move.
Keep in mind that the more support action you'll have on your palicos, the less likely to use each support action. Equipping them with many support action increases the RNG factor. So keep that in mind in your choices.

How to build your ideal cat

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Before starting, please note that most of the ways to build a prowler still apply to palicos. Some support actions and skills will have a different effect, but for the most part, palicos and prowlers build in the same way.

We have approached most of the aspects related to theory-crafting and building a cat in this post, but we did everything separately. So let's get to the part where everything comes together.

Building your ideal cat is a task of patience and planning.

Patience, because there's a bit of a RNG factor regarding patterns, as well as a few hours of repeatedly doing the same things to increase their level. And planning because one of the most important aspect of your build is fixed : the skills and support actions patterns. If you accidentally build a cat with the wrong pattern and only realize it when it's level 99 with all but the 1 last support action you need, you'll have to start over with another brand new fresh cat. So you want to plan properly, and especially on the pattern part.
Yes, this warning comes from experience. I had to do it over once before getting the actual result I wanted. Don't be me. That's 3+ hours wasted.

There are a few things to theory-craft to build your cat, and everything comes down to what skill and support action pattern you will look for. This is really the most important aspect, and you can figure it out in advance.

The first thing to figure out is what your main source(s) of damage will be. It is extremely difficult to play prowler without relaying at least partly on boomerangs because of how good of damage source they are (in prowler standard (don't compare cat DPS with other hunter weapons else you'll just not play cat :9)). For that reason, most builds that are not boomerane focused happen to be "hybrid". Most of the times hybrid is boomerang + something :
  •  boomerang + bombs, with boomerang buffs and Giga Barrel Bombay
  • boomerang + melee, with boomerang buffs and either Felyne Comet or Claw Dance (or both). Sometimes with Burrowing Blow. Beast is kinda its own thing, but can be build as a hybrid with boomerang + melee. Not always.
  • boomerang + support, with boomerang buffs for damage and build gauge, and more supportive stuff like horns, traps, flash, etc...
  • all rounder, with boomerang + a bit of everything (that works, that's my current build).
It is possible to go full melee if you wish so (typically with Beast) but it will deal less damage and be overall harder to play. Full bomb builds also exists, but I'm less familiar with them and play a bit differently. Lastly, similarly to Beast, Rath-of-Meow is kinda a playstyle in itself and you should build for it specifically.

Once you've decided what source(s) of damage you want, you can look at the palico bias.
  • The boomerang cats are usually good, period, because boomerangs are good. Assist isn't too great overall, but you can build it if you plan on trapping monsters a lot. Gatherers have low defense and a huge focus on boomerang and shouldn't really be used for hybrid builds (you do you). Healers can be built as hybrids fine, and are appreciated in teams thanks to True Health Horn. Also a good starting point thanks to their innate good ability to heal with horns, and good damage with triple boomerang
  • The safe cats are good in the right hands. Protect cats require a bit of learning the monsters to be really good, and if you don't want to put in the work, maybe try something else, unless you really want to build hybrid boomerang + melee specifically (they are the best for this thanks to their stats). They're also the 2nd best with bombs, which makes a fine option for bomb hybrids as well. 
  • Bomb on the other hand is very easy to pick thanks to the adept evade, and gets good damage going with bombs. They're only good at bomb focused, bomb hybrid or Rath-Of-Meow builds, but they're unmatched for these. You can also go full boomerang and take advantage of the adept evade to be safe.
  • Both the mounting cats can be a bit more melee focused to take advantage of their ability to mount. But also, honestly, they're a bit bad. Charisma is very rare to witness ; while Palico Rally is a very good buff, it hardly justifies running them. Fighting cats aren't a lot better. Melee cats tends to be difficult. They can be played full boomerang just fine, but won't have the triple boomerang so it will be worse than running a boomerang cat, even with the buff.
  • Beast is -again- its own thing, and mostly played at full melee. Some people play it as hybrids by getting the Beast buffs, then using Rousing Roar to maintain them active, then play as boomerang. An interesting strategy, but I don't think the Beast buffs justify playing boomerang with bias with the worse boomerang stats. Beast are also good mounters once they reach level 3, and their melee damage highly encourages going full melee.
With your bias picked, you then need to consider the following : does my bias comes bundled with a support action that is useful ? I'm not talking about support action groups, but support action tied to a bias. This is important because you can only teach 2 support actions, and as we'll see shortly it's usually best to keep these for bias or maybe A-group support actions.

This is typically important for any build that wants Pierce Boomerangs (= most build), which is a Fighting or Gathering support action. Any other bias will have to learn it. However, if you build boomerang focused, picking the Gathering bias instead of Healing will leave your 2 learning slots completely available. Similarly, if your build is hybrid and you rely on GFW + ER or SR to heal, it's interesting to notice that both Protect and Assist cats can have ER by default, which means you don't need to dedicate a C group slot for Soothing Roll. This is especially interesting if you figure out that your support action pattern of choice will be BBBB or ABBC, as every other pattern have sufficient amount of C support action.

(we discussed patterns earlier in this post, if you're confused about what they are feel to go back to skill patterns or support action patterns)

Once you know your source of damage and have decided on bias to pick, now comes the time to theory-craft skills and support actions, and figure out patterns. For this part I highly recommend you take a glance at ISharingan's data sheet, which includes a support action/skill calculator, to see what patterns are compatible with whatever build you want to make. A quick note however : depending on what you submit, the calculator may output "Impossible". This means your build doesn't match any pattern, but don't forget that you have slots to teach 2 support actions and 2 skills. So "impossible" may be possible if you teach the impossible parts.
Figuring out patterns can be a bit difficult but I think this tool will be very useful for that purpose.

The idea here is you want to list all the skills and support actions that you want. Just remember that you only have 8 slots for skills, and 6 for support actions (+1 that is irremovable). Let's go with an example.

If your ideal build is a boomerang focused cat :
  • you WILL want Pierce boomerangs (Fight/Gather)
  • you WILL want Big boomerangs (C group)
  • you WILL want Furbidden Acorn (B group)
  • you will likely want Mega boomerangs (B group)
  • you might want Health Horn (A group)
  • you might want Far-Cat-Ster (B group)
Remember, you can have 7 support action, but one of them is fixed and cannot be removed or changed, so these are your 6 support actions of choice. Now, let's assume you build a Gathering cat. It will have Pierce Boomerangs by default, which means it doesn't need to be taught.

You may notice we have a problem, because your skills are ABBBC, and no pattern is valid for such a combination of skills. But this build is not impossible because we can teach 2 support actions. Assuming Pierce Boomerang is there by default, we have 3 ways to address this issue :
  1. pick a pattern compatible with BBBC, and teach the remaining A support action
  2. pick a pattern compatible ABBC, and teach the remaining B support action
  3. pick a pattern compatible with BBC, and teach the remaining A and B support actions. This is usually not a great idea, but technically it works.
There is no ABBB pattern, for the record.
These requirements are matched by multiple support action patterns : BBBCC, ABBC and BBCCCC. Any other pattern do not work, because you'll lack either a B support action or a A one, even after teaching. So when you'll scout for a cat of the correct bias (here, Gathering), you'll want to look their support actions to see if they match one of these 3 patterns, AND check if they have Pierce Boomerangs by default, else this won't work.

Now, there is an additional thing to take in consideration for choosing a pattern. This is a bit "advanced theorycrafting", you may skip this part, as this is mostly subjective-ish optimization.

So. More often than not, support actions that have a stronger effect belong to a higher letter. For example, both traps belong to A-group, as well as the strongest Barrel Bombay and anti-monster mine. B group contains some other powerful skills like Furbidden Acorn, Go Fight Win!, Flash Bombay, Mega Boomerang or Far-Cat-Ster. As you can see, many desirable support actions come from B group.  And C-group usually (but not always) have lesser skills like Felyne Comet, Soothing Roll or Dung Bombay. Good but you usually don't want *many* of them.

You may think this makes A group skills more desirable, and there is some truth to it in some degree. But while you may want to have one or maybe two in your build, you may not want the A support actions to be in your *pattern*.

The 7 A group support actions are :
  • both traps
  • both the strongest monster mine and strongest Barrel Bombay
  • Rath-Of-Meow
  • Pilfer
  • Health Horn
Health Horn is the only support action that has a real general place in a lot of builds.
You may not need traps for your cat all the times. You may not need explosives. Pilfer sucks and should be avoided, and Rath-Of-Meow is a build in itself and usually doesn't really belong in a non dedicated build (you do you). It is unlikely that you'll need 2 support actions from A group (but unlikely doesn't mean impossible). If you need some it'll probably be only one (usually, a trap). So you should teach it, instead of scouting for it : when you don't need that trap anymore, the A slot is still wasted, because the other skills aren't necessary either (again, this doesn't apply if you use Health Horn for heals).

I bring this up because all 3 patterns that includes A group support actions have "flexibility" issues :
  • ABBC has the minimum amount of support actions, and only 2 from B group. Your C group support action is taken by Big Boomerangs if you run boomerangs. Whatever your build is, you'll likely need at least 1 more B group support action, so you'll have to teach them. If you don't use the A slot for a  given hunt (you don't use bombs/traps/heal horn), you can't replace it with anything and it's a sitting duck.
  • ABCCC has one more support action that can be swapped around, and it's a C one, which is nice since C group has a bunch of "comfort" support actions, like Dung Bombay, Burrowing Blow or Chestnut Cannon. But then the max amount of B group support actions you can have is 3, which may not be enough. There are many ways to take advantage of 4 B group support actions, and this pattern doesn't let you do that. On the other hand, 3 C group support actions may be a lot in many cases (2 is good though, 3 is more specific).
  • ACCCCC has no B group support actions and should be avoided more often than not for the same reasons. Your build will likely want more than 2 B group support actions, and they would be taught. These 2 slots would be taken by Furbidden Acorn and Mega Boomerang almost by default, which completely cuts you out of getting GFW or Far-Cat-Ster.
Many builds want more than 2 B group support actions, and all 3 patterns that include some from A group make it harder to achieve that, or make your cat less flexible in the process : to swap in and out a support action you'll need to re-teach them, or reroll them. All the times. This is the price for having a A group support action in your pattern (then again, none of this applies if you use Health Horn for healing), which you might not even use all the times because even traps aren't always needed.

However, among patterns that don't include A group support actions we can find sufficient amounts of B and C group support actions. B group support actions include many "often very desirable" support actions like Mega Boomerang, GFW, Far-Cat-Ster, Claw Dance or Furbidden Acorn. And this is where it becomes interesting to favor A-less patterns :
  • BBBB is obviously very practical *if* you build supports it. With Big Boomerang as a C group action, you have the choice to pick a A group action if you need it, or another C (soothing roll, for example, to be combined with GFW).
  • BBBCC is as flexible as it can be. 3 B support actions and 2 C are usually enough. If need be you can teach an additional B or/and C, and for when you need the occasional (?) A one you can teach it as well.
  • BBCCCC is very flexible as well, and let you swap in and out support actions no prob.
My point is : A group support actions aren't always needed (traps are situational, and there can be alternatives to Health Horn) and can restrict the flexibility of your prowler when you want to slightly tweak your build, so having a pattern with them may not be a good thing when you can just teach a A group support action upon needing it.

I believe the best support action pattern is BBBCC, for it's sheer flexibility. If your build supports it and you have the patience to find this one in particular, go for it. It'll be more practical on the long run. This is -again- an advice from experience. How much I wish I could change my pattern for this one :')

With that out of the way, you need now to figure patterns out for your skills as well. It works very similarly, but you need to factor in the cost in slots for each skill.
Let's keep going with our boomerang focused Gathering cat :
  • you WILL want Boomerang pro (C group - 1 slot)
  • you will likely want Weakness exploit (DLC - 2 slots)
  • you might want Diva (DUMMY), because we run GFW for heals/boomerangs (DLC - 2 slots)
  • you will likely want Earplugs (B group - 2 slots)
  • you might as well take Tremor Res for the last slot (C group - 1 slot)
As you can see, when choosing skills we also need to factor in slots. These 5 skills take all 8 slots, so let's call it a day. You may have noticed that 2 of these skills are DLC skills, which means they have to be taught. This makes things "easier" for us, as the remaining skills are BCC. The compatible skill patterns are BBCCCCC, BBBCC and ABCCC. The 2 remaining skills (Diva and Weakness Exploit) will have to be taught.

With that we're pretty much done with theorycrafting. We have :
  • our bias of choice = gathering
  • our support action patterns + default support action
  • our skill patterns
From there we can start scouting, and look up a Gathering palico with one of the 3 compatible skill patterns, AND one of the 3 compatible support action pattern AND Pierce boomerang available by default. Any pattern combination that matches our criteria is good, as long as it also has Pierce boomerang. You won't be able to achieve our desired build with any cat that doesn't match one of the skill patterns, or doesn't have Pierce Boomerang by default. Pay good attention when recruiting a cat to not pick a wrong pattern, else all your work to level it will be wasted. Then again, if your build supports the BBBCC support action pattern, I recommend it.

This is an example we did for a boomerang focused prowler. It's fairly simple. But for any other type of build you'll have to redo this theory-crafting :
  1. figure out what source(s) of damage you'll want
  2. figure out what support actions you want
  3. figure out what skills benefit them
  4. figure out what skill patterns are compatible, while taking into account the default support action it comes with, and what you can teach them.
Once you have your palico with the correct skill patterns, you'll need to level them to 99. The maximum level you can scout them is about 60, so you they need almost 40 more levels before reaching full potential. I won't write a paragraph about this, as Gaijin Hunter made an excellent video explaining how to do it in a fast way. Keep in mind it still takes a few hours, but you can multitask and watch something else at the time.
You can however shorten that time by quite a bit if you teach the skill Pro Experience to your cat of choice ; it's a DLC skill that increases by 50% the experience gain. Of course, it doesn't do anything after reaching level 99, so you'll want to remove it afterwards.

With your cat at max level, the last 3 things to do is pick a weapon, adjust your skills and adjust your support actions. I talked about all that extensively in each respective parts, so refer to these.

And once you're done with that,.... you're done. Congratulations !

My current build

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I will not be providing any popular build in this post, as I'm frankly not familiar enough with all the ways you can build. If you wish to see popular or specialized builds, here are places where you can find some :
I do however have a build to share, and that is mine. Maybe it'll be interesting. It's a hybrid build that does a bit of everything and that I made for the purpose of clearing the G rank event Valstrax quest "Forget Valstrax, Big Sis is scarier".

This is a Protect Prowler designed for true solo quests (no other team member, nor palico) against solo monsters, preferably in arenas, but it also works fine in normal quests. This build will probably do pretty badly in multi monster quests, or in multiplayer.

Support actions

  • Taunt (fixed SP mode support action)
  • Tactical Retreat (Protect bias)
  • Go, Fight, Win (B group)
  • Giga Barrel Bombay (A group)
  • Pierce boomerangs (gathering bias - taught)
  • Big Boomerang (C group)
  • Chestnut Canon (C group - taught)
  • Claw Dance (B group)


  • Guard Boost (Protect bias - 2 slots)
  • Weakness Exploit (DLC - 2 slots)
  • DUMMY Diva (DLC - 2 slots)
  • Support Move +1 (B group - 2 slots)


  • Grimclaw Whammr XX  (Blunt // 255 melee // 231 ranged // -35% affinity // white sharpness)
  • Armor is irrelevant. Just pick the most def, and optionally some dragon res
Thanks to the Diva skill (DUMMY) I can use Tactical Retreat in combination with Go Fight Win! to fully heal with only 2 bars. I usually wait for my boomerangs to wear off, and then I do GFW to heal to full and reset my big+pierce boomerang, for only 3 bars total. Sometimes I also weave in a couple chestnut cannons to build KO damage.
Giga Barrel Bombay is kinda mandatory for the event Valstrax quest, as it allows me to trip it when it does his  "recharge" animation. This is almost impossible without the bomb, but works all the times with the bomb thanks to its huge damage and my high raw. In other hunts I can replace Giga Barrel Bombay with a trap.
Chestnut Canon is for stuns. In combination with my blunt weapon I can reliably get 2 stuns with a few nuts and some heavy smacking on the head. I never got 3 stuns against event Valstrax, but I frequently do on non event quests.
Guard Boost is for blocking unblockable (Valstrax → mega dive bomb). Weakness Exploit is for damage, and most importantly to cancel out the negative affinity from Grimclaw Whammr XX. This is particularly good as a protect cat because parrying allows me to tank while facing the monster, and usually staying at range for boomerang, to use the full potential of WEx.
Claw Dance is for damage on downed monsters.

I picked Grimmclaw Whammr for its high raw and white sharpness. It is of course compensated by the negative affinity, which is canceled by Weakness Exploit. So I end up with a high raw weapon with high sharpness and almost no drawback. High raw is very important in with my strategy, because I use Giga Barrel Bombay and bomb damage depends on your raw.

This isn't your average hybrid build. I have a bit of everything ; boomerangs, melee, bombs and some utility with Chestnut Cannon. This build is enabled by Support Move +1, and illustrate how it can make or break a build. Removing any 1 of these support actions made the event Valstrax quest impossible with my build and strategy. It is not necessary for most other quests.

And there you have it ! With all that I hope you'll be able to figure things out, and decide how you want to build your prowler. Let me know if you want me to change some aspect of this post, I can review and improve the content with your input.