People often ask “what is the best weapon?” This is a look at each biome, the enemies that live there, and what works best against their weaknesses and resistances, along with factoring in the overall costs associated with building or using each weapon. The goal here is to present the most versatile weapon, or the one most useful in the most situations, to conserve inventory space, encumbrance, and resources. You can alternately carry multiple weapons and switch out based on what you’re fighting, but that is very inconvenient in a game with such little inventory space and tight weight limits. This guide also assumes you build each new bow as you are able. There are no decisions when it comes to bows: you should always have the best one you can build.
TL;DR: just use maces.
Best: Flint Axe, Flint Arrows (or Fire Arrows)
Literally any weapon besides your fists is fine. The axe is good because you need it to chop down trees anyway. Be sure to make a bow and a shield. Fire arrows aren’t technically as damaging as flint if you fire them quickly and don’t let their fire effect burn all the way out, but they’re particularly good against greydwarves.
– Torches do surprising damage against greydwarves.
– Stagbreaker is a great weapon for knockback and AOE, but it is extremely slow and stamina-intensive to compensate. It also doesn’t allow you to use a shield, but its parrying ability is better than a wooden shield anyway.
Best: Bronze Mace, Fire Arrows
Trolls resist blunt but are weak to pierce; skeletons are the opposite. Everything else is weak to fire. Since you don’t want to melee trolls without iron armor, you’re going to be shooting them with arrows, which are already piercing. So the best weapon is the mace: blunt damage is the most useful overall.
– Bronze atgeir can poke enemies away from you and has a fun spin attack for AOE, but you’ll spend a good deal of time in tight quarters fighting enemies resistant to piercing.
Best: Iron Mace, Flint Arrows
You’re still fighting skeletons, and blobs and the boss are also weak to bludgeoning, but even worse, blobs resist slashing. (And wraiths resist all physical attacks equally.) Blunt damage is the clear winner for the swamp. When it comes to arrows, almost everything resists fire, and while bronze and iron arrows do far more damage, they are also very expensive, resource-wise. Spending 5 iron for a full stack of arrows is just too much – although you may find a decent amount in crypts – and you need your bronze for your base. Don’t forget that the boss resists piercing anyway. So build your banded shield and get your poison potions and get into melee.
– Iron Sledge is the two-handed version of the mace. It does the same damage and is much slower, but it has a nice AOE that can help against groups and damaging enemies around corners. However, you’ll need to find the merchant in order to build it, and it’s honestly just not worth it when you have so many other needs for iron.
Best: Iron Mace, Obsidian Arrows
Yup. The new silver sword looks cool but wolves and golems are immune to spirit, and it costs 160 silver to fully upgrade it – which is a lot. It’s technically higher damage against both types of wolf creatures, but you will appreciate the knockback of the mace more when you’re surrounded. Golems are only susceptible to blunt damage, and drakes need arrows, so in the end the iron mace is still the most versatile weapon against the creatures here. Most things are weak to fire, but at this point your fire arrows can’t compete with the new obsidian ones, which do twice as much damage and are instant (instead of damage-over-time). Poison arrows are great against wolves, drakes, and the boss, but everything else resists or is immune to poison, and your new bow will add a little poison to everything anyway.
– Do not use Frostner in the Mountain biome; it is equivalent to using a bronze mace against everything but wolf creatures.
Plains – all but Boss
Best: Porcupine, Needle Arrows
Welcome to the only biome where piercing is king! Lox resist frost and blunt and slashing, and nearly everything is immune to spirit, but nothing (other than the boss) resists piercing. You might think this would make the blackmetal atgeir worthwhile, but at this point in the game, blocking / parrying is so crucial that a shield is mandatory. Alternately, if you’re very good at dodge-rolling, the atgeir is a good alternative. But the knockback from the mace is still really good, and the cost cannot be beat: 32 iron to build AND fully upgrade it! You don’t even need a blast furnace (but you will for your shield). When it comes to arrows, poison are good but your bow overlaps a bit there and I don’t believe they stack. Frost are great for slowing down fulings, but Lox resist them. So needle arrows end up being the most versatile. The are also exceptionally good at killing no-star fulings at a distance with a max-upgraded bow. When you’re going to clear a fuling village, use needle arrows to snipe them down at range.
– Frostner typically does about 20 less damage compared to Porcupine since so many things are immune to spirit, but the slow effect from the frost damage is nice for repositioning and the knockback is huge. If you time your swings right, you can knock fulings away from you just as they swing, causing them to waste their attack and get muddled for a moment, allowing you to strike again. However, the knockback means you will never finish a combo against fulings.
– Frost Arrows technically do more damage and are great against fulings to slow them down so you can tackle a pack one at a time.
Plains – Boss
Best: Frostner, Frost Arrows
Every other biome has a boss that is similar enough to the monsters that it was included in the strategy already. But the plains boss is completely different: it strongly resists piercing so you’ll want to completely swap your kit. Frostner does three damage types but none are resisted, and it’s still good against any random monster patrols that decide to up the difficulty of your boss fight. The knockback is useless otherwise, though. Frost arrows are your best choice because frost isn’t resisted, but the piercing damage will be negligible.
– Blackmetal sword is also a great weapon here. It’s faster and uses less stamina. It only takes 80 blackmetal, which you’ll have gobs of, whereas Frostner takes 120 silver and a trip to the merchant to build, so if you can’t get a Frostner this is a great alternative. It can also do piercing damage on a secondary attack, so it’s still generally good in the plains. The only reason this isn’t the best weapon is because if you’ve been following this guide and using club-like weapons the whole game, your “club” skill is likely much higher than your “sword” skill, so without some quick power-leveling of your sword skill, Frostner is just going to do more damage by default. But if you’ve been sticking to swords through thick and thin, this is their time to shine.
But what about knives? Knives are super fun to sneak around and backstab with, but you can’t backstab bosses repeatedly and sneaking is extremely slow, especially in late-game armor, and doesn’t work well in the swamps anyway. Great for playing around, but not the best weapon. Piercing also isn’t a good damage type most of the (current) game.