If people are anything like me, they have a hard time picking class/weapon/hair color in new games trying out and want to look for the most up to date information. With Monster Hunter having 14 different weapons, I decided to whip up a quick overview of each weapon and why you may like/dislike a weapon in an effort to help. I’ve been playing Monster Hunter since Freedom on the PSP and have thousands of hours hunting, that said, I am no expert or pro. Other vets if you have suggestions, corrections, or anything you wish to add let me know! I want to make a guide that benefits the influx of new hunters World will bring. Each weapon is viable and awesome so chose the weapon that sounds cool to you! I will include links to Arekkz’s weapon showcases for each weapon as well if you want more information!
The greatsword (GS) is the classic Monster Hunter weapon. It’s a big ass sword larger than your entire body used to deal massive damage with single swings.The trademark move of the GS is charge attack. You’ll charge up to 3 charges to deal massive damage (you want to try and always land a charge 3). Also there are 3 different types of charge in World (used to only be 2). There are basic, upgraded, and True Charge, each stronger than the last and are chained off of another charge. Another new mechanic in World is you can skip the first two charge types with tackles to go straight to the crazy front flippin true charge! Now as GS is a massive weapon, you will move very slowly when it is drawn, so most GS users do a “hit and run” style of doing charge attacks when there is an opening and putting the sword away when there isn’t.
You should play GS if: You have an addiction to seeing massive damage numbers on screen, always wanted feel like a beast using an impossibly sized sword, and wished to be Guts ever in your life.
You should NOT play GS if: You want to be always attacking a monster, have a need for speed, or don’t want to look like you’re compensating with such a huge weapon.
The Sword and Shield (SnS) is another classic Monster Hunter weapon. Its… well a sword and shield? Its moveset encourages fast and agile attacks and always being on the monster and being allowed to block. Each hit doesn’t do a ton of damage on its own, but makes up for it with the number of attacks (like all fast attack weapons this makes it great for status and elemental damage). It’s got slashy-slashes, shield punches, even a lunge attack that goes into a aerial mounting attack if it connects! The trademark SnS ability is using items while your weapon is still drawn. Doesn’t sound that awesome? Oh you sweet summer child. This is a massive skill for the SnS. Having to put away your weapon to use all items (besides whetstones now) puts you into a vulnerable animation, sometimes for a large amount of time. A lot of bad things can happen during those few short seconds… But SnS? Oh gotta heal? Just pop a potion! Ally low on health? Sprinkle some lifepowder on em (life powder heals all allies). That Rathalos being a dick and won’t come down? Throw flash bombs whenever you want! Need a trap? Place a trap mid-combo! The new slinger in world can also be used with the SnS out, allowing for even more utility on the fly.
You should play SnS if: You want to be prepared for any situation, you always thought the coolest part of batman wasn’t the cape or edgy bat theme but his toolbelt, or you’ve always wanted to throw explosive fruit into monster’s faces.
You should NOT play SnS if: You want big damage numbers, the look of SnS is too boring for you (hey I understand), or the idea of having a bunch of utility instead of damage doesn’t appeal to you.
The Dual Blades (DB) is where there was some mixup at the blacksmith and two swords were made instead of a shield and sword. As the name suggests, its basically just two smallish swords. While it has less defense than SnS it is waaay more aggressive and fast. A good DB user can be a nonstop whirlwind of slashing when attacking a monster. The trademark DB skill is Demon Mode. Demon mode constantly uses your stamina, but in return you get stronger, faster, and new attacks open to you. Do enough damage while in Demon Mode, and you fill up your Demon Gauge. Once filled you get Archdemon mode, which is an improved Demon Mode that has the added bonus of no longer using stamina. DB is a fast frenzy of attacks, and just being a spinning ball of death.
You should play DB if: You always wanted to be a human beyblade, if your answer to life’s problems is “STAB STAB STAB”, or you watched Naruto and always wanted to run like a ninja.
You should NOT play DB if: You want to take a breath between attacks, you’d rather hit harder but slower instead of tons of tiny nibbles, or you absolutely cannot stand how Naruto runs.
Longsword (LS) is the result of a hunter wanting a big weapon, while also not moving like he/she was wearing lead boots. LS is pretty much a giant Katana (actually based on the Nodachi which is the Japanese equivalent to the Western Greatsword IRL) that allows for faster, more fluid attacks than the GS. The LS has one of the longest reach of any weapon and flowing moveset can allow a skilled hunter to easily cut tails or other hard to reach parts of a monster. The trademark skill of LS is Spirit Blade combo. Each hit you land will fill up a spirit gauge, which the gauge can then be used to do a Spirit blade combo. Its a super flashy-slashy attack that if the final hit lands, your blade will be temporarily upgraded giving you a damage buff. This can be done 3 times, going from white -> yellow -> red, each stronger than the last. A charge blade can be used to do a spirit blade thrust that if hits launches you into the air to comedown for a very cool, very damaging attack called the “Headsplitter”. If this final attack lands, your spirit gauge will start automatically filling! If it misses… well you still lose the blade charge one level. Another cool and new ability is Fade and Foresight slash. Fade slash is a basic, but very handy ability to do a small doge hop and attack at the same time that allows you to combo right into Spirit Combo. Foresight slash however, is a large backhop evade mid combo BUT if you are hit during this animation, you avoid the damage, can go into a spirit slash that MAXES OUT YOUR SPIRIT GAUGE, that then can combo right into the final Spirit combo attack, leveling up your blade charge. This is a very high risk- high reward move allowing rapid blade charge.
You should play LS if: You want an in-between GS and other smaller weapons in terms of speed and damage, you want a weapon that flows smoothly, or if you like the term “Flashy-slashy”.
You should NOT play LS if: You rather have more straight-up damage or be more nimble, you hate sharpening weapons, or feel horribly guilty if you trip your party members….
Hammer is the big, in your face blunt weapon that still needs to be sharpened to a blunter edge! Hammer is the “HULK SMASH” of Monster Hunter. Its has some of the biggest damage in game and is actually faster than GS, but also has one of the shortest range. It deals massive blunt damage, so while it can’t cut tails, you can smash faces and knock monsters out, earning the name “KO King”! The trademark Hammer thing is charge attacks. Now you may think “Hey that’s the GS thing!” Well calm your massive triggered swords! While GS want to almost always do a level 3 charge, hammer users actually can chose, each level is a different moveset that changes if you’re moving or standing still. With the charge levels and move/standstill combos you have gap closer, massive slam attacks, even a spinning hammer attacks on the ground or through the air! Another bread and butter move is the triple slam, basically you slam, slam, GOLF SWING. This does insane levels of damage and very easy to KO if it lands. Now, for the first time in ages hammer has new toys. There is now a “Big Bang” combo, which is a stronger hitting but longer combo than triple pound and power charge. Basically, when you charge your weapon, instead of attacking, you put the charge into your hammer. This makes your attacks stronger (and changes some) and makes you immune to knockback and flinching. This will last until you put the hammer away or would flinch or knock back. Neither change deviates from hammer’s true goal :SMASHSMASHSMASH.
You should play Hammer if: The Incredible Hulk is your role model, you think all monster faces are ugly and need to be smashed, you think everything and every problem is a nail.
You should NOT play Hammer if: You hate not being able to reach the top shelf, you are utterly enraged that you have to sharpen a blunt weapon, or you want a bit of finesse in your life.
Hunting horn (HH) is what happens when a hammer user wants to play monsters the music of his or her people. Its a big blunt hammer that doubles as a doot dooter. If you haven’t guessed, the trademark HH ability is music. The HH has 3 basic attacks that each play a different note. These notes can be combined into different songs. The songs can then be played with special smash music move. If the song go all the way through, you and ALL allies get a buff. The buff and corresponding note combo depends on the HH used (each horn even sounds different!), but each horn has a basic movespeed buff (making horn one of the fastest weapons). The buffs can be increase to attack, defense, heal, or even make your party deaf so monster roars no longer stun them! If you play the same song twice, you’ll reset the duration and get a improved version! So if your song normally gives attack up small, it will instead give attack up medium! Now after you play a song, you can do an encore attack immediately after and play the song twice without needing to to re-queue the song! Now new to World is that each time you “setup” a song, its added to a list. You can have 3 songs on a list and if you go to play and let it run longer, all 3 songs will play at once! If you then encore the multisong, all 3 songs will be improved! Now, before you ask: HUNTING HORN IS NOT A SUPPORT WEAPON. Its just as smashy as a hammer, but has increased range and also buffs your allies! This weapon isn’t a play your songs away from the monster. MAKE YOUR SONGS FROM THE SCREAMS OF THE MONSTER AS YOU SMASH THEIR FACE IN! You’re not a bard, you’re a hunter that makes music.
You should play HH if: You want to smash face and buff allies with the power of music, you want to serenade the monster as you murder it, you wanted to be a refined hammer user that has class.
You should NOT play HH if: you think its a support first weapon (I’ll smack you if you do), you don’t want different combos based on the horn you use, or you don’t believe in the power of music
Lance is a big pointy stick and a big heavy shield. With the weapon out its one of the slowest weapons, but has one of the longest reach and can stay on the monster like no-ones business. Lance attacks consist of low pokes, high pokes, guards, and evades. The lance’s trademark is accuracy and never leaving the monster alone. “What? That’s it?” Yup, but don’t let it fool you. Lance’s bread and butter combo is 3 pokes, dodge, 3 poke, dodge, so on and so forth. It sounds simple, but once you figure out lances reach you can stab your big pointy stick into the weakest points of the monster all while avoiding damage. This lets lance has one of, if not the best DPS in the game and can have some of the fastest hunts.You can upgrade your evades to make them longer and invulnerable for a longer portion of the animation. If you can’t dodge, you have a big shield for a reason and can even do a counter block for massive damage. There’s even a running charge attack that can jump into a mounting attack! Another cool thing about the lance it does both blunt and cutting damage, whichever does more damage at that part of the monster. Lance isn’t nearly as flashy as other weapons, but is a beast in the right hands.
You should play Lance if: You want a weapon that kills the monster with deadly pokes, you want to hit the monster right where it hurts most ALL THE TIME, or you want to name your hunter Lancelot.
You should NOT play Lance if: You want a flashy weapon with lots of “ooh ahh”, you don’t want to be annoying poking the monster, you’d rather move faster with weapon out.
Gunlance (GL) the Funlance is where some madman looked at lance and went “yeah pokes are nice, but you know what this needs? EXPLOSIONS!” GL is a big pointy stick that’s actually a giant ass cannon! It acts a lot like the lance with triple poke combos, the difference? anywhere you can fire a shell exploding all over the monster! Shells do flat damage, as they always do the set damage where ever you shoot it. Each shot, while explodey and awesome, does do a hurting on your sharpness but you have unlimited ammo. Now its not just poke boom, poke, boom, poke, boom. You do need to reload, but you also have different types of booms! After a basic boom, you can hold and charge a shell to do more damage! With your normal attacks, you can combo into a slam attack. Now slams are good and all, but if you fire right after this attack, you unload ALL the shells left in your GL for utterly destructive explosive damage! New to World is Wyvern Stake attack, where instead of shooting a shell into your enemy, you do a massive stab into the monster and shoot a giant heated blade right into the monster’s flesh. The blade will do tons of damage before exploding. You will need to do a full reload before you can use it again. You can also do a quick reload after any attack, reloading a
single all shells. My favorite thing to do with this is shoot, reload, shoot, reload, and just use all the explosions! Finally there is Wyvern fire. This is a big charged shot that does crazy amounts of damage! Unfortunately when you use Wyvern fire, you cannot use it again for a few minutes, so you want to make sure it lands. Now there are different GL types, (Normal, Long, and wide) that have different shell amounts and changes to attack stats. Normal has the most shells, and gets a buff to the full unload attack. Long has less shells than normal and gets a buff to wyvern fire damage and range of charged shots. Wide have the least shells but do the most damage per basic and charged shot (these are very good for the shoot-quick reload combo).
You should play GL if: You think explosions are the spice of life, you want one of the flashiest weapons in game, or you’re Micheal Bay.
You should NOT play GL if: Think explosions are too loud, would rather just use an actual gun instead of this hybrid, or are insulted someone would change the majesty of lances.
Insect Glaive (IG) is one of the oddest weapon designs in Monster Hunter, but is also one of the most fun. The premise is you have a Glaive (a staff with blade on end) that you can smack and slash and dance around the monster, and a kinsect that you can command to attack monsters. The Glaive has fast hitting and mobile attacks with the ability to vault. The vault will launch you into the air in exchange for some stamina allowing you to do aerial attacks whenever you want, making IG the King of Mounting monsters! The kinsect when it hits a monster gathers extract (red, white, orange, or green) and gives it to you. Each extract gives a buff. red increases attack, white increases speed, orange increases defense, and green is a small heal. Each extract is gathered from a different part of the monster and you can shoot a pellet that will make the kinsect attack that particular part. Now when you have all 3, your attacks change (more hits) and get faster and just do more damage! If you have at least Red and White extract you can dodge mid-air (even after you vault). If you attack after this aerial dodge, you’ll do a spinning attack and if this attack lands, you’ll launch into the air again and loose a little stamina SO YOU CAN ATTACK AGAIN! If you manage your stamina well or use dash juice, you can effectively never touch the ground and always be on top of the monster from the sky!
You should play IG if: You want to knock Rathalos down as the king of the sky and take his place, you think bugs are super cool, you identify as an attack helicopter.
You should NOT play IG if: You think bugs are icky yucky, you don’t want to have to manage keeping a buff up to get the most out of the weapon, or you hate sharpening (IG is one of the fastest dulling weapon)
Switch Axe (SA) or the explosive GS! SA is a weapon about switching between axe mode and sword mode. The best way I can describe it is alternating between a LS like axe and a GS like sword. SA has very flowing moveset that can switch between axe and sword mode mid combo. Axe mode is slightly faster and has long reach and builds up charge (also able to reload some charge if real low). Once enough charge is built up, you can morph into Sword mode. In sword mode you move slower but do more damage. Each attack in sword mode will drain the gauge, and if its all used you are automatically put back into axe mode. Beside base sword attacks, you can do an elemental discharge attack. You stab your sword into the monster (or air if you miss) and charge up while doing damage, and eventually finishing with a large explosion putting you back into axe mode. The more you charge, the more damage the final explosion will do. New to World is this “phial awakening” . Each hit you land in sword more charges it up, once fully charged a discharge attack will instead make you hop on the monster and do an even bigger explosion! Now something to note: each SA has a phial type that changes some stats slightly. Power increases raw damage in sword mode, elemental increases element damage, and status phials that will do more status damage. In the end however the impact of the phial isn’t massive, and doesn’t change the combo-ing, mode-switching, explosion causing glory that is switch axe!
You should play SA if: You think transformers was one of the coolest things ever, you want both explosions and big swords, or the idea of switching between fast attacks and slow damaging attacks appeals to you!
You should NOT play SA if: Managing two modes of a weapon seems a bit much, You’d rather always stay in big sword mode, or you hate managing a gauge to build.
Charge blade (CB) is probably one of the most technical but most rewarding weapons in the game. Like the SA it consists of 2 modes, a SnS like mode and a big Axe like mode. Sword mode you can attack, block, and do cool slide dodges all the while charging your sword. The charges then can be injected into your shield to fill your phials. Yellow fills 3 phials and red fills all 5. These phials can do a couple of different things. One,while in axe mode (you do not need phials to go to axe mode) you can do elemental attacks that do bonus explosion damage on each hit. You can also go into an elemental discharge attack from axe, that after some charging you unleash all your phials in a big damage explosion! But the fun doesn’t stop there! If you go into the discharge attack, you can instead cancel it and put all the phials into your shield, giving it a buff! With the buff, whenever you block an attack with the shield, you will do damage to the monster in return! And we are STILL not done with what you can do with phials! If your shield is charged, you can actually do a different move that will instead charge up your sword, slam down with a mini elemental explosion, then buff your sword so it does more damage as elemental for a period of time! Now that we are done with phials, there is another nifty mechanic with CB called guard points. Basically in certain parts of an animation in some moves, you have guard points. These guard points give you a near perfect guard and if you are attacked during this part, you block all of it instead. And remember how I said you can charge the shield so blocking does damage to the monster? That happens with guard points too. Last thing about CB is that there are phial types, impact and elemental. Impact does KO damage on discharge attacks while elemental does elemental damage. Charge blade has a LOT of things to figure out, but once you understand it hunts no longer feel like a hunt, but a dance and explosions!
You should play CB if: You want options and options and options of things to do on a hunt, you want a weapon that is both aggressive and defensive, you want a weapon that is a technical beast.
You should NOT play CB if: A slightly complicated moveset is offputting, you don’t want to have to build up to do damage, or you’re not a fan of morphing constantly between modes.
Bow is just as the name sounds, its a ranged bow and arrows weapon! Except this bow is massive and the arrows are more like spears! You can aim and charge your shots (while using stamina) to do more damage. Each charge level will change how the arrow flies. It can be a piercing shot, hitting the monster more than once, a shotgun spray of arrows, or even multiple arrows show in a straight line. What type is shot on which charge depends on each bow and certain bows have a sweet spot of range for max damage. Now while charging you can instead do an arc shot, where you fire in the air and have an AoE attack depending on the bow. For instance in the demo this attack drops spiked balls from the sky in an area. Also after you fire a regular charged attack you can do what is called an power shot where you basically get a 1 tier higher charged shot for free immediately after the first. New to World is dodge shots where after a charged shot you can dodge and fire off another charged shot. This can chain a few times but does use a ton of stamina. Lastly is dragon piercer, a big windup shot that will pierce through the monster and cause lots of little mini explosions. While you have unlimited arrows, you can apply coatings to your shot that will inflict status attacks, raw damage, or change the effective range of shots. These are limited consumables and only certain coatings can be used on some bows.
You should play Bow if: You always wanted to be the Green Arrow, you remember those umbrella shooting asshole silver knights in Anor Londo and want to be just like them, or you want a ranged weapon that isn’t as much of a zenny (money) sink for ammo.
You should NOT play Bow if: You want to use a melee weapon (should be obvious), you have some difficulties managing stamina usage, or bullets are more your style.
Don’t let the name fool you, Light Bowgun (LBG) isn’t some transforming weapon. It’s basically a light rifle. It controls easy with aim, shoot, and reload all while running around at a good pace. BUT LBG (and bowguns in general) are actually quite deep weapons. The depth comes from the ammo utilization. Ammo has different levels (higher==more damage) and types. These can go from basic to elemental, to status, to explosive, to shots that will cause slicing damage. If the right type is shot into the right part of a monster you can deal massive damage or inflict statuses like crazy. Each LBG can shoot a number of shots of each level of each type before reloading (LBG can move while reload) . You can pre-load ammo and swap between types at will, and even reload all ammo if you have time. LBG also have a cool mechanic that certain types of ammo will instead fire in a burst volley at the cost of a single ammo. That’s right, 3 or more shots for the price of one. This makes it perfect for elemental or status shots, as LBG have been known as “lockdown” weapons. A good LBG user can keep a monster paralyzed, slept, poisoned, and damaged throughout a fight. New to World is special ammo. We only get one for the beta and there are most likely more. Special ammo is a regenerating powerful ammo. The one we get for the beta is Wyvernblast. These are basically little mines that you can have up to 3 on the ground. The explode whenever hit by anything, but are not consumed. They stay there for a period of time and explode as many times as they are hit! Lastly bowguns in general can be modded with different barrels, scopes, and more but that’s not in the scope of the demo.
You should play LBG if: You want to be the status and elemental damage king or queen of your party, you like the pewpewpews, or you want a fast and mobile ranged weapon that doesn’t rely heavily on stamina.
You should NOT play LBG if: You want more large heavy hitting shots, 3rd person shooters are not your style, or you like having zenny (money) early game (ammo can be pricey)
If the LBG is a rifle, the Heavy Bowgun (HBG) is a artillery cannon! This is the LBG big brother, you’re slower but have waaay more dakka. The HBG generally has less ammo types per gun, but generally deals significant damage. It is literally more cannon than rifle. Now just like LBG each HBG can shoot a certain number of shots of each type and level before reloading (but you move very slow or not at all depending on type). HBG’s typically use normal shots, pierce, artillery fire, and other explosive shots. Since it shoots slower its used more for raw damage and while it does not have the burst fire like LBG it each shot does so much damage it typically does more overall damage than LBG. HBG also excel using specialty ammo to break hard to reach or damage parts of a monster. Like the LBG, HBG can be modified for different barrels, scopes, even shields. Also just like the LBG, HBG now has access to new Wyvern shots, high damage shots that regenerate over time during a hunt. In the demo we will have access to two types, Wyvernsnipe and Wyvernheart! Snipe is a single shot that pierces the monster, then after a short time explodes at each section of the monster that was hit. This can do massive damage and can even pierce multiple monsters. Heart basically turns your HBG into a full on light machine gun, slowly firing faster for more damage. Both in my opinion are insanely fun and I hope we will have more at the full game launch.
You should play HBG if: Overwhelming firepower is your style, you identify as a mobile artillery piece, or DAKKADAKKADAKKA
You should NOT play HBG if: You don’t want to move very slow for a 3rd person shooter, you’d rather lock down the monster than just shoot for damage, or you like having zenny (money) early game (ammo can be pricey)
And that’s all the weapons! I hope this helped some new or returning players decide on some weapons to try out for the beta! This was not meant to be a in-depth guide on each weapon but more of how each weapon feels. If you have any questions feel free to drop them bellow and I (or another vet) will gladly answer! Lastly if you want a someone to show the ropes in the Beta or when the full game drops, PM me and we can start up a hunting party!
Good Hunting Everyone!