For an updated, complete guide to the Hunter, check out our Hunter Class Guide Overview and its associated pages.

The Way of the Bow

Hunter Guide for Lord of the
Rings Online

By Darkgolem

Hunters are one of the best classes in style="font-style: italic;">Lord of the Rings Online
(LOTRO).  Deadly, useful in a fellowship and soloing, hunter
characters always have something to do, and are always fun to play.
While very powerful, hunters can become even more effective when used
in such a way to maximize their effectiveness.  The right tactics
and understanding the best way to use your hunter abilities can make an
good hunter into an outstanding one.

There are two ways to maximize your hunter’s effectiveness.  One
is by increasing your damage as much as possible, the other way is to
choose your attacks and the order they go in properly.  In
general, your hunter defeats opponents by killing them before they get
into melee range. 

Doing Damage

Damage is one way to maximize the chance of you killing your opponent
quickly. You should first and foremost, always look for the best
missile weapon available.  There are a few good bows available in
the game, and you should keep an eye out for them.  For example,
you get a good bow from the quests in Thornley’s Farm, and you should
try for that at the appropriate level.  Crafted bows are good, not
the best available, but close, and are a viable choice if you cannot
find a bow in the right level range.

You should seriously consider making a lore master to gain access to
fire and other oils, or invest heavily in gathering money for oils for
your arrows.  The damage you gain from oils can make hard combat
easy, and moderate combats trivial.

href=""> alt="A Hunter on a Quest"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;" align="right">Always
use your focus ability.  The difference in damage you do with
focus driven attacks is key to your defeating opponents quickly.
Considering that you can easily regain focus using the skill of the
same name, you should use your more focus driven abilities right off
the bat.  Penetrating shot and rain of arrows both use focus, but
have no concentration bar to build up, so you can deliver a lot of
damage in the beginning of combat.

Agility is the primary ability of a hunter.  I will not consider
switching to an item which provides less agility than one I already
have, even if it provides multiple other qualities, such as increased
armor.  After all, why would I need more armor, considering my
goal is to defeat attackers before they ever get to in melee range.

Attack Choices

You need to choose well when you attack.  The temptation is to
start with your most powerful attack, such as swift bow.  However,
remember that swift bow will not often succeed in killing your
opponent.  A better idea is to use whatever ability is most likely
to keep your opponent from reaching you first.

A good combo of starting combat attacks is quick shot, which reduces an
opponents movement, then penetrating shot and rain of arrows, and then
swift bow.  Your opponent will be slowed down, take some quick
damage (penetrating shot and rain of arrows do not need a concentration
bar to be used) and then swift bow will finish the deal
(hopefully).  Your opponent will likely reach you before your
swift bow is activated completely, but most of your concentration will
be done when your opponent arrives.  Another great starter is
barbed arrow, since you have unlimited time before starting an
engagement, and it does damage over time during the combat.

Don’t forget your melee attacks in combat.  You should use melee
attacks as a way to run or do quick damage.  In some
circumstances, where I know an opponent is too powerful to be killed
before reaching me, I will use href="">barbed
arrow on an opponent before they get to me, then quickly use
scourging blow and low cut before running away to max range and going
back into ranged damage.

Don’t forget the use of your trap and cry of the predator
ability.  I will use a trap before my opponents approach, then
attack from behind the trap.  When they charge and hit the trap, I
back off maximum range and attack again from a distance.  If you
are fighting multiple opponents, I will use the same strategy, but
attack the farther opponent.  The nearer opponents gets caught in
the trap, while the farther is taken down.  You wish to avoid
attacking opponents in traps until you are ready to fight them… doing
damage breaks them out of you snare faster.

href=""> alt="Posing dramatically is important as a hunter"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;" align="right">Cry
of the predator should be used to distract opponents.  Cause an
opponent to flee, then run to max range.. attacking will bring them out
of the fear of Cry of the predator.  If you use cry of the
predator and then immediately attack your feared opponent they will
simply attack you from the same distance that they were before you use

One simple way to keep opponents away is to attack from maximum
range.  It amazes me how often I see hunters attack from a place
too close to an opponent.  Taking the time to move a little
farther away will add an opportunity for an extra attack that can make
a difference in a combat.

Fighting in a fellowship

Fighting in a fellowship calls for complete different tactics. 
Basically, hunters do too much damage in combat, and as such they will
pull attacks from other members of a fellowship.

First and foremost, you should switch to Stance: Precision from Stance:
Strength in combat, because you draw more aggression with the later
stance than the former.  Even better, switch to Stance: Endurance,
which reduces some of your aggression too.

Secondly, remind fellowship members to give you a second to gather
focus.  Not everyone knows what gaining focus does, and it
increases your effectiveness a lot.

Third, make sure to target your fellowship tank’s target, since your
tanker will (we assume) be able to draw aggression.  If you have
no target, instead, focus on the same target as your fellowships other
damage dealers, hoping to take down opponents very quickly.  Make
sure not to attack targets that are being controlled by your
fellowships loremaster.

Fourth, don’t start combats unless you are the designated
“puller”.  Even if you draw a lot of aggression, remember that
aggression isn’t checked every second.  If you have an enemy who
attacks a comrade, you have a critical few seconds to tear into your
opponent with ranged attacks before they will check aggression and
divert their attention.

Fifth, take a bit out of everyone.  You don’t automatically draw
aggression the second you do damage, instead, you do it by causing more
damage than anyone else since the last check of aggression by the
game.  Instead of taking down one opponent, consider taking an
attack at an opponent, then another opponent, then another opponent,
and so on, without focusing upon a single opponent.

Sixth, avoid area attacks except against weak opponents.  A bunch
of opponents can really lay into you unless they are unlikely to hurt
you, or are weak in some other way, but when your opponents are not
tough, your rain of arrows ability can really lay into your opponents
quickly.  However, if you note that your healers and similar are
taking a lot of attacks while your fellowships guardian is otherwise
busy, rain of arrows can be a way of pulling those attacks toward you,
"biting the bullet" so your non combatant fellowship members can do
their job.

The Final Word

Hunters are very powerful characters, and can be an enormously
effective force soloing or in a fellowship. Make sure to learn the best
way to maximize your damage, number of attacks before your opponent
reaches you, and learn best how to fight in a fellowship, and you will
never regret making a hunter character.

Don't forget the tools you can acquire in LOTRO.  I personally
carry around food, href="">fire
oil, href="">mechanical
traps, scrolls of defense and offense, hunter chants and healing
potions just for the use.  You can solo like crazy using this
equipment, though only to a point.  Hunters are so good at
soloing, with this equipment, you can extend how many quests you can
solo quite a bit.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016