One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Monster Hunter franchise is its weapons system. Just like every other title in the series, the most recent Monster Hunter: World’s weapon system is very rewarding. Whether you’re playing the Hunting Horn or the Insect Glaive, each weapon is fun and unique in its own right, and unlike other fantasy RPGs, there is no such thing as an overpowered weapon class.
That’s right, as long as it’s played correctly, any weapon can be played effectively, which opens up a ton of doors for the players. Even with the recent release on the PC version seven month after the console launch, each weapon still plays the same as on console, so you have a wealth of options at your disposal when you go into the game for the first time.
That being said, choosing between all 14 weapon types in World can be a daunting task, so we’re here to help you choose what’s best for you depending on what your specific playstyle is.
Great Sword and Hammer
For: The “tank,” heavy-hitters, fans of Dark Souls
We’ve grouped the Great Sword (GS) and Hammer together only because they play very similarly. Both weapon types attack very slow and hit very hard. There are only a few differences between them. The GS has longer reach, can guard, and is good at slicing off monster parts, like tails. The Hammer, on the other hand, is a blunt instrument best used for smashing parts such as crowns, shells, and spikes. It can’t be used to block, but it has more repeatable combos, like turning into a whirling top that can smack your targets again, and again, and again.
If you’re usually the “tank” when you play RPGs, these weapons are for you. They’re slow, deliberate, and they hit like a truck. You can even choose to play both depending on which parts you need to farm from monsters. Need to cut off a tail? Run your GS. If you need to smash a skull, head to your equipment box and pull out the Hammer. Otherwise, there’s no shame in just playing one, because they’re just about equally powerful.
For: Weebs, samurais, c-c-c-combo fighters, heavy-hitters that want something a bit faster
The Long Sword (LS) in World is the weeb’s best friend. If you love action-packed anime, playing action RPGs, or you have a katana mounted on your wall, chances are the LS will catch your eye. It hits quite hard, but its raw power is lower than that of a GS, Hammer, or Switch Axe. It’s a little more lightweight, and therefore attacks more quickly and more often, and it lets you chain ridiculous combos using the Spirit Blade mechanic.
On top of all that, the LS just looks really killer, no matter which model you’re using. You can also force the sword to attack vertically or horizontally to hit specific monsters right where you need to—perfect for lopping off limbs.
For: Heavy-hitters, challenge seekers, combo lovers, flashy fighters
Much like the Hammer and the GS, the Switch Axe ie a slow, deliberate, heavy-hitter. It has a few differences, though. For starters, it looks way cooler, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. By weaving intricate combos and seamlessly swapping between its axe and sword forms mid-swing, you can put out absolutely insane damage, but the learning curve is high.
Once mastered, these kickass-looking combos can trump almost any weapon in the game, but you need to execute them perfectly, and you need time to actually pull them off. Because of that, you may need to stun the monster or knock them down to really get a great opportunity for a combo.
For: Beginners, quick-hitters, guarders
The Sword and Shield (SnS) is one of the few extremely lightweight weapon classes in the game, and as such, you’re afforded a ton of mobility and range in motion. Unfortunately, its attacks are much weaker than any of the bigger, heftier weapons, but that’s the trade-off to attack much more frequently.
The SnS also has some of the easiest, most straightforward combos in the game, making it perfect for beginners to the franchise. It’s also the only weapon type in the game that allows you to use items while the weapon is wielded; you simply hold down your guard button and then use the item. It also blocks, which is a big plus for any defensive-style players that like shielding big attacks rather than trying to dodge them.
For: DPS players, rogues, quick-hitters
Just like the SnS, the Dual Blades (DB) are one of the fast weapon classes of World. In fact, it’s the fastest class of them all. You can get higher damage with the DB than almost any other weapons thanks to the Archdemon Form, which turns you into a whirlwind of strikes and boosted attack damage.
When you play other RPGs, you probably avoid playing as the support or the tank. No, you always go for the damage, because you love the feeling of deleting enemies. The Dual Blades offer no defense, faster movements, and a ton of damage, so you’ll feel right at home.
For: Weebs, aerial combatants, cool cats
Much like the LS, the Insect Glaive (IG) will make you feel like you’re in the middle of an action-packed anime in every fight. It’s also the only weapon in the game that enables you to vault into the air above monsters, dashing and whirling through the air. By staying above your target, you’re also able to mount them much more often than the other classes of the game.
The IG is one of the coolest-looking weapons in the game, too, albeit pretty difficult to master. If you’re able to charge up your IG with all three power-ups, you get a massive boost damage and combo speed. It even unlocks new attacks to try out. If you’re ready for a bit of a challenge to master one of the most entertaining weapons, the IG is your go-to.
Lance and Gunlance
For: Defenders, strategists, tanks
Lance and Gunlance players are the toughest, beefiest players in the game. Their massive shields allow them to stand steady through the strongest attacks, and they’re both extremely similar. Both can be used while guarding, and both work the best when their wielder has mastered counter-attacking and sidestepping.
The difference between the two is in the names. One is a lance, also-known-as a big pokey stick, and one is a lance that’s fused with a gun. The Gunlance doesn’t actually allow you to shoot from great distance, like the bow-themed weapons, but it does add a little bit of range, as well as explosive, shattering wombo combos. The regular Lance is slightly easier to use, and it’s a little more mobile to compensate.
For: Sword/Shield fans looking for a challenge, heavy-hitters
The Charge Blade (CB) is any player’s natural graduation from the SnS. It has two forms, one being a sword/shield combo, and another being a gigantic, unwieldy battleaxe. The sword-form combo is sort of similar to the standard SnS combo, but it deals more damage and hits less quickly. It also does not let you use items while guarding, something that makes the SnS so attractive.
In the axe-form, this weapon hits like a rocket-fueled bus. Swapping between the two forms and managing your Phial Energy makes this significantly harder to use than the SnS, but its attacks are much, much more powerful.
For: Supports, bards
The Hunting Horn (HH) is much more niche than the other weapon classes, mostly because it caters to a very specific audience. You can play tunes through the weapon to provide buffs to your allies, making it powerful in the hands of a premade group, but it’s much less effective in solo play. The reason it’s niche, however, is that you can just as easily have an elemental ranged player applying debuffs to the enemy that are much more effective than buffing allies. In other words, even though the song-based buffs are effective, they’re easily overshadowed by raw damage and ailments.
If you’re used to playing support-type classes in other games, however, and there’s a song in your heart, the horn may be for you.
For: Ranged lovers, FPS players, wizards
There are two types of bowguns, and the first, the Light Bowgun, is the obviously the lighter of the two. It allows you to strafe rather quickly while both shooting and reloading, and you can attack much faster. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hit nearly as hard as the Heavy Bowgun, but its fast attacks make great use of elemental ammo, making this the “wizard” class of the Monster Hunter franchise.
Both bowguns require management of an ammo system, though, adding a degree of difficulty that other weapon types do not have. If that doesn’t scare you, give one of them a try.
For: Cannoneers, explosion-lovers
The Heavy Bowgun may as well be the cannon of the game, because it hits much harder than any other ranged weapon, and each explosive, screen-shaking shot is extremely satisfying to land. This weapon type is more unwieldy than the lighter variation, crippled by slower movements, reload times, and shooting, but its raw damage is at the top of the charts.
Just like the Light Bowgun, you must manage numerous ammo types depending on your target, but if you’re okay with mastering that ammo system, you can put out insane levels of damage.
For: Archers, sharpshooters, snipers
The Bow is very similar to the Light Bowgun in that it fires quickly and provides much more mobility than the game’s heavy weapons. It also doesn’t use ammo, making it the easiest ranged weapon to learn. Unfortunately, it is weaker than the Heavy Bowgun, but you can always opt into using elemental effects to take advantage of its quick attacks. The Bow also has a special ability that is essentially a kneeling sniper shot that explodes on impact. If you want a ranged class, but you’re more of the ranger type, this weapon should catch your eye.