It’s been almost two years since the launch of Monster Hunter World, the latest title in Capcom’s long-running action-RPG series. Following the classic series’ formula, Monster Hunter World has players take on increasingly dangerous beasts as they explore a strange foreign land.
Given that they’re often tangling with monsters the size of houses, no hunter is safe without a trusty weapon by their side. There are fourteen of these to choose from in Monster Hunter World, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. While some Monster Hunter weapons shine in co-op play and others are better solo, in this list we’re averaging out these modes to determine a base ranking for each weapon.
Great Sword: Combining the highest per-hit damage in the game with great range and frequent staggers secures Monster Hunter World‘s Greatsword a spot in S-Tier. These advantages, plus its very low Sharpness consumption, are more than enough to offset its poor mobility and slow attack speed.
Heavy Bowgun: The Heavy Bowgun is the artillery cannon of Monster Hunter World, dishing out high damage from long range. While this comes at the cost of heavily reduced mobility, the Heavy Bowgun’s selection of different ammunition-types gives it surprising versatility.
Bow: The Bow is one of the most reliable ranged weapons in Monster Hunter World, offering unlimited ammo, sustained DPS, and high mobility. Arrows fired from the Bow are at their most powerful when charged, and can use special coatings for a variety of different debuffs and damage boosts.
Dual Blades: The Dual-Blades have the potential to be the highest DPS in Monster Hunter World. Their Demon and Archdemon special modes allow them to chain lengthy combos without having to worry about counters. They also come with a special Dash Dodge with has more invincibility-frames than the regular dodge.
Hammer: While the Hammer can take a little practice to master, its combination of high raw attack power and crushing Charged attacks make it a deadly weapon in the right hands. The Hammer doubles down on aggressiveness, with the ability to knock out monsters and apply exhaust. However, this does come at the cost of no guarding or evasive moves.
Switch Axe: While certainly one of the most complicated weapons to use in Monster Hunter World, the Switch Axe can provide incredible versatility in skilled hands. The weapon switches between an Axe form for increased reach and mobility, and a Sword form for extra damage and precision. Each mode is capable of combo-ing into the other, though the most powerful attacks have long recovery times.
Long Sword: The Long Sword is well-rounded melee option, combining solid damage, attack speed, and mobility. One of the weapon’s biggest advantages is its long reach, which is unsurprising given the name. While players will have to be careful using its wide sweeps around teammates, the Long Sword is a great middle-ground between the Greatsword and faster, less-damaging weaponry.
Insect Glaive: One of the most unique weapons in Monster Hunter World, the Insect Glaive gives its user the ability to control a Kinsect pet. The Kinsect can be dispatched to extract buffing Essence from monsters, before returning to its master. The Insect Glaive is also the most mobile weapon in the game, allowing unprecedented movement and mounting opportunities. However, this all comes at the cost of a relatively low attack power.
Light Bowgun: As players might guess from the name, the Light Bowgun is a cousin of the Heavy Bowgun that trades reduced damage for increased mobility. Unfortunately for the Light Bowgun, the Heavy gets the better end of the bargain, with its additional ammo-types and much-higher damage being more than worth the reduced mobility. Nevertheless, the Light Bowgun remains a solid choice against many of Monster Hunter‘s faster monsters.
Charge Blade: Another weapon capable of switching between Axe and Sword forms is the Charge Blade. In this case however, the Sword Form comes with a shield, allowing for a greater level of defense. While this may seem to give it an advantage over the Switch Axe, the Charge Blade’s Axe form has extremely low mobility, and its moves are even more complicated to master.
Gunlance: While the Gunlance comes with penalties to dodging and mobility, it counters them with a great balance of reach, defense, and special damage. The Gunlance’s unique trick is its ability to fire various kinds of explosive shells. Its ultimate move is Monster Hunter World‘s new Wyrmstake Cannon, a single-shot that deals massive damage.
Sword and Shield: While Monster Hunter World‘s Sword and Shield brings a versatile combination of sever and blunt damage, it’s not without its down-sides. The reach of this weapon is one of the shortest in the game, requiring players to manage their spacing perfectly in order to get good hits in. On top of this, the Sword and Shield requires frequent Sharpening, particularly after a lot of Sword attacks.
Hunting Horn: While the Hunting Sword can be very effective in a larger team, its lackluster performance in duo and solo play condemns it to C-Tier in this case. The Horn allows the player to provide powerful buffs, but as a blunt weapon it attacks slowly and doesn’t hit hard.
Lance: The Lance is a defensive weapon with a long reach that suffers from its lack of attack power. While the shield and blocking abilities it provides are great for protection, they come with penalties to movement speed and evasion, as well as a high skill-cap.
Following balance improvements released with Monster Hunter World’s Iceborne expansion, there are no truly bad weapons in the game. Ultimately, each player will have a slightly different experience, and the most important thing is picking a weapon that feels right.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.