Monster Hunter: World Weapons Guide - Tips and strategies for all 14 weapon types

One of Monster Hunter: World’s strongest features is also one of its largest flaws for a lot of people: sheer depth and complexity. While World goes to greater lengths than any other game in the series to date to make sure new players have a grasp on the fundamentals, it still leaves out a lot of the detail and nuance.

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of any Monster Hunter is the combat. The weapon you equip will have a major impact on the type of character you control. Will you be fast and nimble, ducking in and out of combat with flurries of blows? Or will you take a slower, more methodical approach and deal sluggish but powerful hits?

Luckily weapon types in Monster Hunter: World are not strict “classes” like in other RPGs so you can freely swap and pick different weapons throughout the game without worrying about skills or abilities. Just head on over to your room in the main town area, talk to your housekeeper, and go to the training area to test out all of the weapon types.

Sword and Shield

This is often the first weapon set that most people will try in Monster Hunter: World. It’s simple to use and very fast so you don’t feel too slow or underpowered. If you’ve ever played a Souls or Zelda game then the combat style will feel immediately familiar.

I’d recommend starting with this weapon set if you’re new to Monster Hunter: World because it will ease you into everything without overwhelming you too much at first.

Charge Blade

After trying out all of the weapon types available in Monster Hunter: World, the Charge Blade is what I settled on. It has two forms: sword and shield and giant axe. You can switch between the two forms at any time and they vary both in the type of attacks they can perform and how powerful they are.

The trick with this weapon set isn’t just that you can swap styles, but that your one-handed sword is used primarily to charge up energy that can then be stored in your shield and axe to unleash later on. In this way, it’s all about planning. Communicating with others about when the monster will be stunned or knocked down helps plan ahead so that you can maximize the stored energy to its fullest potential. The shield is great and durable too!

When you land a perfect wind up as an enemy is attacking it’s the most satisfying thing ever.

Bow

The Bow in Monster Hunter: World is actually more of a mid-range weapon. You’ll be within striking distance of your target most of the time and will focus on firing off short, powerful volleys in between your dodges.

However, the great feature that the Bow has is that you can craft different coatings and types of arrows to augment your attacks, which opens up the ability for reliable elemental damage very early on.

Hammer

Now imagine if you took the giant sword from the Charge Blade, made it a blunt weapon that was even heavier, and you’ve got a good idea of what the Hammer is like in Monster Hunter: World.

By focusing on the head for most enemies, users of the Hammer can issue reliable stuns that do a great job of setting up big attack opportunities for teammates. It also dishes out heavy damage which makes it a solid solo weapon as well.

Switch Axe

The name makes the Switch Axe sound similar to the Charge Blade since it switches between different attack modes, but the reality is actually quite different. Both of its modes are large two-handed weapons in this case.

The smaller of the two grants close to normal movement speed with faster attacks, while the massive weapon is much slower but deals huge amounts of damage.

Longsword

For a weapon this sized, the longsword is actually surprisingly nimble. You’ll have to focus on moving around constantly to avoid enemy attacks and string together long, draining combos to leverage the Longsword’s power.

Using the Longbow in an actual hunt is a bit more nuanced than the other weapons so it takes a lot of practice to become proficient. It’s all about combos and timing -- not button mashing.

Dual Blades

Then on the flip-side of that spectrum is the Dual Blades, which are two small weapons players can equip to wail on an enemy relentlessly. Fans of God of War or even Devil May Cry will feel right at home.

After the Sword and Shield, this is probably the easiest weapon to use, but it’s very difficult to use well. Simply mashing buttons, while effective in the early game, won’t cut it once you get into a higher tier of play.

Insect Glaive

The insect glaive is probably the most difficult weapon to get the hang of in the entire game. Some of the slower choices are tough to handle from a timing perspective, but the fact of the matter is that there is just nothing quite like the Insect Glaive.

This weapon not only allows you to vault through the air, mounting the beasts, but also allows you to summon assistance from powerful “kinsect” creatures as well. Using this weapons requires both quick thinking and precision.

Heavy Bowgun

If you’re the type of player that intends to play a lot of multiplayer or have friends that use primarily close-range melee types that can tank monsters, the Heavy Bowgun is a great choice. It dishes out a ton of damage and can use a variety of ammo types.

However, it’s not the most mobile ranged weapon. You’ll want to pick a spot that won’t require you to move for a while so you can really pack a serious punch on the target.

Lance

The Lance may be the most purely defensive weapon loadout in the game. In addition to a massive shield that protects your entire body, your lance itself is large and powerful. This is the only weapon in the game that lets you block and attack at the same time.

Using the Lance is all about positioning and footwork. Subtle movements from side-to-side while you strafe an enemy are super important for this weapon, as is the powerful charging ability. At the very least it makes traveling much faster.

Gunlance

Think of the Lance, but then add a gun onto the end and swap out more power by sacrificing a bit of its stalwart defense. This weapon has very, very low mobility and can’t charge, but it can unload a big blast into the gut of an unsuspecting monster.

Since it does such powerful burst damage in concentrated locations this is actually one of the best weapons out there to break off monster parts in the middle of a fight, which can be extremely useful if they’re heavily armored creatures or have valuable tails.

Light Bowgun

As you likely could expect, the Light Bowgun is very similar to the Heavy Bowgun. However, you lose out on a bit of power and gain increased mobility as well as the option to lay traps.

This weapon is almost like a variation of the Bow, as it does require quite a bit more movement and awareness of the battlefield.

Hunting Horn

Perhaps the most bizarre weapon in Monster Hunter: World is the Hunting Horn. At first glance it just looks like a giant hammer, but it’s actually a horn that your character plays while swinging it around to fight.

This is almost like the Monster Hunter version of a Bard, as the songs a character plays can result in minor buffs and other bonuses for the party.

Great Sword

Finally, the Great Sword. This could very well be the most iconic and popular weapon in the entire series, but new players should stay far away. The windup for almost all attacks is very, very slow and some of them require upwards of three to five seconds to prepare. You’ve gotta know your enemies and time attacks carefully if you’re using this.

But once you get the clunky movement and rhythm down, the Great Sword has the potential to be one of the very best and most powerful weapons in all of the New World.