Monster Hunter: World (2018) is Capcom’s latest push into bringing their somewhat niche Japanese Role-Playing games (JRPG) to a wider, more western audience. With that said, the new game is absolutely excellent. Especially if you enjoy JRPG games. Given the popularity of the game, I figured I would try and help new players who are about to begin their Monster Hunter journey. As such, here is a very handy Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide.

After a few missions, you are told to try and test one of fourteen (14) weapons. This can be a daunting task. While the game lets you try every weapon, and even gives you a copy of each so you can get to grips with them all at your leisure, it can be difficult to suss out the differences between them all. Therefore, I will go over every weapon available to you right off the bat and explain the kinds of combat scenarios that they are best suited for.

Sword & Shield

This is likely the “most boring” weapon set in this Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide. It is a basic set that has all the bells and whistles you would expect. However, it can be potent for any starting player. When you master it, you can do some serious damage.

The sword & shield is a fast weapon set that dishes out slicing damage with every touch of the button. It has plenty of combinations to learn, however button-mashing will deliver the same results with much less effort. As you learn how to deliver advanced combos, you will be able to evade while dealing damage, do jump attacks, and even elaborate shield bashes.

The sword & shield also allows you to use some of the items from your item pouch, without putting the weapon away! This is a nice weapon for any beginner and can be learned quickly. Mastering it, however, can take some time. Since it delivers slicing damage, soft monster parts, such as tails, can be removed very easily. It also looks pretty cool. Perhaps the only downside is its very short reach, which means that you will constantly be right on top (or below) a monster during fights.

Great Sword

Obviously, Monster Hunter: World features the overly huge great sword that so many Japanese titles are fond of.

At close range, the great sword deals massive blows. It features incredibly slow attacks that dish out incredible amounts of damage. Imagine the shock on my face when I saw a three-digit damage number pop up!

While targets are very easy to miss (since, you know, monsters move a lot), the damage it deals will often stagger a monster or knock it down completely. Although you initially move very slowly, with the right set of armour you will eventually be able to sheath and unsheath much quicker. You will also begin to deal even more damage with attacks that follow a draw.

The great sword has a few combinations and, like some of the other weapons in this Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide, does not play well with button mashing players. As such, you have to take some time to learn the three or four combos it has. With that knowledge, you must then learn how to manoeuvre a fight, rather than how to dish out advanced combos. This makes it easy to learn by itself, but challenging to master in the field.

Long Sword

While equally as long as the great sword, it is by no means as large. The starting long sword looks a lot like a ōdachi, and wields and moves similarly.

It is a close-range weapon that puts fluid combos and evasion at the forefront, while also dealing big damage. While it is still a little slow, it is faster than the great sword. Since it reaches far out, it features incredible range. That, coupled with its ability to let the player move out of the way fast, makes this a truly powerful weapon… if it can be mastered.

The long sword features a bunch of four stage combos, each of which branch into advanced moves: like slashing quickly, crazy air attacks and evasive slashes. It also has a backwards dash that can be combined into a forward lunging attack; allowing you to get out of the monster’s attack path in a cinch.

Moving around in the field is easy with the long sword, which makes it easier to learn during fights. It also makes you look like a samurai badass.

Dual Blades

The dual blades are nothing but a set of daggers (or knives, as many would say). It is a weapon set that focuses on rapid blows at the cost of stamina depletion. It has no block, and very little manoeuvrability, but features incredible one-to-two digit damage numbers in very quick succession.

The weapon comes with “alternate” fighting styles called the Demon, and the Archangel modes and gauges. Learning how to enter these modes and using them to their best abilities requires a lot of focus mixed with trial and error. Both modes will have you dish out incredible amounts of damage at super speeds. The only downside with these modes is that you will have to get out of the way fast when the gauges run out.

As good as they look, the dual blades takes a lot of time to master. If you do manage to get the correct set of armour, you will be able to dish out the rapid blows even longer, considering you can stay alive.

Hunting Horn

This is one of the weirdest weapons in the Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide. The hunting horn is a special weapon made specifically for users who like to party up with others. It is a support weapon that hunters use to gain or provide buffs to party members and themselves.

Mastering this weapon is quite challenging. In fact, it might be the most difficult weapon to master — especially if you like playing solo. While it functions as a hammer, its main purpose is to be played in a certain way so as to emit key notes. String the correct order of notes together (by using the correct attacks) and you will buff your team. Buffs include health boosts, defence boosts, adding elemental damage to weapons, giving players elemental resistance and even stopping stamina depletion entirely (which is good if you have a bow-user on the team).

Mastering the weapon is, once again, very difficult to do. In order to get the best use out of it, you will have to learn specific attack combinations. With that knowledge, you will have to know which attacks to use and with which monsters. Doing so will make it easier for yourself and others to hunt. Breaking a string of attacks effectively means that you have broken the musical string you were playing. This will make you start over, with the last attack as the first note.


Where the hunting horn plays like a hammer, the actual hammer does not feature any notes or musical features. It is a heavy weapon used to hit monsters over the head and knock them out.

Your job as a hammer user is to be right up in the monster’s face, as much as possible. It is up to you to deliver huge blows squarely on their heads, to give them concussions and make them all dizzy. If you are good enough, you will even knock them out completely.

The hammer is a slow weapon. As such, your mobility tanks heavily. This makes it very difficult to dodge and get out of the way. If you do manage to keep your footing through one or two charges, however, you can combo into incredible hits that send small monsters flying. With that said, it is easy to learn both in the testing area and in the field. The weapon is also a fan-favourite, which makes it even more intriguing for the average new player.

When playing with others, make sure to take note of your teammates so as to not send them flying from your swings. If you can get behind that, the hammer is a formidable weapon that is easy to learn. It also looks quite menacing.


The lance is a good-looking weapon. It features a big shield that allows you to be a very defensive player while poking at the monster with various degrees of poke-ification.

The shield is big and hard, which allows you to soak up copious amounts of hits while charging up attacks with the lance itself. It then allows you to dash and lunge forward, or to parry monster attacks and deliver hard-hitting counter blows.

The lance deals less damage than the great and long swords, but offers defensive manoeuvrability. It does not have a lot of advanced combinations, which makes it very easy to learn. However, the lack of combos also goes directly against button-mashing. Instead, this weapon set is for players who like to take it slow and steady, dolling out damage only when they are certain that their hits will make an impact. In terms of this Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide, it is a decent beginner weapon set that will make any user look like a shielded dancer in the field.


Where the lance is a slow-moving and highly defensive weapon, the gunlance is all that but with even less speed. Where it lacks in speed, however, it features high-damaging shell attacks.

The gunlance, as its name suggests, is a modified lance that looks like a huge revolver. It uses three types of ammo to get the job done: normal ammo, which gives you a large number of shots before you need to reload; long ammo, which gives you a lot of range, effectively allowing you to stay out of the way of fast or flying monsters; and wide ammo, which basically serves as a huge shotgun.

Along with its shelling attacks, the gunlance also features a few combinations that allows users to dish out mega damage whilst staying protected with the accompanying shield. A personal favourite, Wyvern’s Fire (R2+Triangle+Circle) can deal huge amounts of damage, so long as you can perfectly time its slow charge.

The gunlance functions exactly like the lance, except there are fewer charges for hard-hitting attacks and a little less mobility. It is easy to learn and can be mastered while on an assignment because of its defensive nature.

It is like Squall’s gunblade, but on steroids.

Switch Axe

It is an axe. It is also a sword. It switches. From Axe to Sword and back. There is a song lyric in there somewhere.

The Switch Axe is a versatile weapon that is also very easy to learn. If you manage to master it, the advanced combos will have you dish out heavy damage whilst staying very mobile. The key here is to manage its charge so that you can dish out as much damage as possible while it is in axe form, and before it returns to sword form. You see, sword form is where you pull off combos that charge the blade up using standard combos. When you activate the axe form, it is all about dishing out elemental and hard-hitting attacks in a way that maximises the charge you have.

As I said before, learning how to use the switch axe is easy. This makes the weapon an easy go-to for starting players who wish to play on the front line. Mastering it while out on assignment is just as easy, but proves to be difficult in the late game where timing is absolute key.

Charge Blade

The charged blade is like a reversal of the switch axe. It dolls out quick, hard-hitting slashes in its sword form, which stores up energy that you must unleash in its axe form.

The big difference, is that the sword is much faster, shorter and offers a shield (which is actually the axe’s head). When transformed, the much slower axe deals mega elemental damage.

The charge blade has a wide array of combinations. Learning the weapon is easy, but mastering it can be challenging — dealing out damage and button mashing works well enough in the early game, but by the time you finish up act one, you need to know how to effectively combine attacks with both forms of the weapon.

While it certainly looks better than the switch axe, and offers good defence, it is far more challenging to master.

Insect Glaive

The last of the melee weapons in this Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide is also a very dexterous one. It is a lightweight weapon that lets players fly into the air to perform very fast attacks. It also lets you control “kinsects”, which are big bugs that work in tandem with the blade.

The weapon essentially acts as a staff weapon with blades at each end. It has very high mobility and is also easy to learn. What makes it unusual, however, is the kinsects that you also have to manage throughout your bout with the monsters.

In order to effectively use the weapon, the glaive user must send the beetles out to the monster, to “harvest“ the monster’s elements. Mastering the weapon is even more challenging when you consider the main use of the weapon is not to deal damage, but to mount the monster from above to send it tumbling to the ground.

The insect glaive features easy to learn combos in terms of damage. Utilising the kinsect as intended will net you with attack buffs, defence and mobility boosts, as well as certain resistances against the monsters you are fighting.

Light Bowgun

The first of the three ranged weapons is also the easiest to learn and master. This is the perfect weapon for anyone who wants to stay away from a monster’s immediate range.

The light bowgun is described as the go-to “gun” for the game. It is very versatile in terms of manoeuvrability and has a range of different ammunition. There are twenty (20) ammo types that the bowgun can use which includes poison, sleep, explosive, and even slicing ammo.

There are not a lot of combinations to learn for the light bowgun, which opens the weapon up for the user to focus on what kinds of ammo to use and when. It looks like a fast-firing crossbow, with a barrel.

Heavy Bowgun

Where the light bowgun is, you guessed it, light and mobile, the heavy bowgun effectively works as a canon. The heavy bowgun is the machine gun, to the lighter, more mobile assault rifle.

Like the light bowgun, the heavy bowgun makes use of a range of ammunition with all the same effects. The difference is that it fires slower, and makes you move slower, but the pay off is that it deals more damage and has better range.

Combos are, once again, not the main focus of this weapon. Instead, it relies more heavily on players knowing which type of ammo to use, and when to use it. The heavy bowgun also makes it harder to move out of the way of ranged attacks or fast monsters. It looks supercool as well.


Lastly, until more is added via downloadable content, you have the bow. It really cannot get more simple than that… or can it?

The bow is a very good medium-range weapon that allows you to deal significant damage, while also staying mobile. While its stock of arrows is virtually unlimited, it relies on coating those arrows correctly for the job.

While you cannot stay as far back with the bow, as with the bowguns, it does have much higher manoeuvrability. Combos are very basic and easy to learn, but knowing when to dash and when to draw is key to using the bow effectively. Every time you “dodge” while aiming and while an arrow is drawn, your bow will gain an extra charge. The basic bow starts with a maximum of three charges, each of which deals more damage than the previous one. Letting the arrow loose will reset your charge count, and so will getting knocked back, or misfiring.

As mentioned above, every bow has its own specific coatings. The bow can be hard to master when you have to consider what elements you need to use against what monsters, and which coatings you would like to use during the fight.

That is it for this Monster Hunter: World Weapon Guide

While I am primarily a Sword & Shield and Bow user, I have delved a bit into each weapon. As such, I implore all players to do the same. Upgrade them all at least once or twice, and take them out into low ranking areas for a bit of field practice.

No matter what weapon you are comfortable using, it has a place in Monster Hunter: World.

Junior Editor at Vamers. From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.