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Monster Hunter: World (2018) is a Japanese Role-playing Game fan’s dream, with just the right amount of grinding coupled with almost perfect gameplay mechanics. Five years later, Capcom has finally moved on from World to release the sixth mainline entry in the franchise: Monster Hunter Rise (2021). While it features gameplay that is still largely the same, chances are many new players might need a Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide to carry them through the opening hours.

Unlike the previous game, Monster Hunter Rise immediately throws players into a scenario with a longsword. This might be good for veterans who prefer long swords over the others (long sword main), but not so much anyone else. Fortunately switching out to any other weapon is easy as pie: simply walk over to the Stash, where the other basic weapons lie in wait. Whether you are new to the franchise, or just need a quick refresher, our definitive Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide will see you through your time with the game.


Long Sword

The Long Sword is, well, long. Physically, the traditional long sword resembles an ōdachi and features many moves that are sweeping in nature.

As expected, the long sword is a close-range weapon that demands fluid combos and manoeuvrability. It puts an emphasis on evasion while also cutting through enemies in swingle swoops. The long sword is one of the slower weapons in the range, but it is still much faster than the likes of a great sword. It features incredible range, which, coupled with the movement it encourages, can be a deadly force.

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The long sword features a moveset with a lot of four-stage combos, most of which branch off into advanced moves. All of these look almost like dancing as the hunter zips through the air, moves from side to side, and even jumps backwards, sometimes in one fell swoop.


Great Sword

Long, two-handed samurai sword? Check. Big anime, mega chungus of a sword? Double-check… because why the heck not?

At close range, the great sword (GS) is one of the deadliest weapons. While incredibly slow, it dishes out the biggest damage in the game, with numbers going into the triple-digits from the very start of the game.

The GS is another weapon that might be challenging to master, but like the Sword & Shield (more about this below) it can be a proper force to be reckoned with even when amateur hunters are rocking it. The trade-off is that monsters are very easy to miss and it will even slow the hunter wielding the GS down a lot. Eventually, however, with the right attitude, players who do learn the combos for the GS will have a great time tanking monster blows and dishing out huge damage. The key with this one is perseverance. Button-mashing will let you deal big damage, but when you manage to do so efficiently, no hunting party will be able to go without you.


Sword & Shield

The Sword & Shield (SS) is the most basic weapon set in the Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide, but it can also be the most rewarding. Running around with a sword and a shield plays out as expected, but in reality it does have a few bells and whistles that make it extremely potent for a masterful player.

The SS is a fast weapon set that dishes out slicing, piercing, and blunt damage with pretty much every button press. There are a lot of combinations to learn for the set, even though it works perfectly fine for players who could not be bothered – i.e. it works incredibly well for button-mashing players.

Playing with the SS, and learning more about it and getting better with it, will net players bountiful rewards. The SS features evading attacks as well as attacks that will see players move around the monsters like some kind of fly. It has attacks that zip up into the air with either a heavy downwards slice or a thunderous shield bash, and it can even be combined with the wire bug in cool ways that even veteran players have never seen before. The SS has a very short reach, however, but mastering this “boring” weapon set may come with a lot of good surprises.


Dual Blades

The dual blades are a set of twin daggers (or knives or even axes if hunters go down the correct upgrade path). It is a set that focuses heavily on rapid blows at the cost of stamina depletion; has little to no defence, and a whole lot of manoeuvrability [if players take the time to learn how to use it properly]. The damage is also not great at first glance with one or two-digit numbers popping up, but if done right these numbers stack up.

The dual blades are also nothing short of challenging to learn. The set comes with alternate fighting modes and gauges that need to be understood to be effective. As such, this is very much a trial and error weapon. Hunters who are amazed at the speeds at which a sword & shield can dish out damage will be flabbergasted by the dual blades!

The dual blades will take a lot of hunting to master, and will be useless if players do not try and get the correct sets of armour and skill gems right from the beginning. It is not the easiest weapon to master, but it is one of the more fun sets to play with.


Hunting Horn

The Hunting Horn is a musical instrument that can also be used to bash monsters over the head. Repeatedly. It might be one of the weirdest weapons in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide, but it is also one of the most useful. The hunting horn is a support weapon a hunter can use to gain or provide buffs to party members and themselves.

While it mostly resembles the hammer, it is not nearly as easy to master. In practice, the hunting horn is one of the most difficult weapons to use, and even more so when playing solo. The weapon’s main use is to play notes. When notes are played in the correct order, the user will gain buffs according to whichever song has been prepared. These buffs can include health boosts, defence boosts, and even giving players extra affinity (crit chance). The stamina boost song is especially useful for the bow or insect glaive users in the team.

Making the most out of the hunting horn can be quite difficult due to its extremely slow nature. Learning the correct attack combinations (notes) will be the biggest key to success for any prospective hunting horn maestro. Fortunately, many of the notes can be played without actually hitting a monster or being in combat altogether, meaning the hunting horn user can hit the ground and still play the song to buff their allies as soon as they enter the hunt. This weapon certainly carries a lot of responsibility!


Hammer

The hunting horn may play somewhat like a hammer, but the true hammer has no musical features. This heavy weapon is sure to impress with its almost anime-like appearance at times and its unapologetic raw bonking power. If you want to knock a monster out cold, this is the weapon in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide you need to use.

The hammer hunter of the group has a very simple job: know where the monster’s face is and bash it in. The hammer is designed to deliver huge blows to monster heads. Doing so will give the monsters concussions and make them all dizzy, with a possibility of knocking them out for a good ten seconds or so. It may be a slow weapon, but once those attacks land, the rest of the party will be thankful.

The hammer, like the great sword, comes with a massive penalty to speed and manoeuvrability. This means hunters with hammers will have a difficult time dodging monster attacks. Fortunately, a hammer user who manages to get their combinations right will be able to withstand most attacks while charging up for the combo breaker at the end. Getting so far usually means smaller monsters will be sent flying while bigger monsters will get a massive blow to their faces. On a side note, please also try to keep out of reach of your fellow hunters as the hammer will also send them flying.


Lance

If anything, the lance is one sexy weapon. From its big tower shield through to the lance itself, players who love being tanks will find a lot of enjoyment here. While primarily a poking weapon, the lance has traditionally been quite mobile for its size. In Monster Hunter Rise, however, this weapon’s manoeuvrability has been dialled up to eleven!

The shield can soak up seemingly endless amounts of damage while the user stands fast. It is designed to allow players to do single little pokes while hiding behind the shield, but more advanced moves like dashing forward and lunging into the air will always deal some heavy damage. Counter blows are the name of the game with this one.

While it deals less damage than the big swords, the lance offers incredible defence and a surprising amount of mobility. Hunters who choose the lance as their main weapon will quickly figure out how both the shield and the weapon’s exceptional melee range can change the game. The weapon does, however, not feature a lot of combos. Rather, it relies on player know-how of monster weak points to get the job done. As a tank, it is up to the lance user to grab the monster’s attention and keep it, while moving around and doing fancy air jump attacks to do as much critical damage as possible.


Gunlance

The lance may be touted for its superior defences and incredible mobility [as far as the heavy weapons in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapon Guide go], but it is quite plain. That is where the gunlance comes into play. Hunters who enjoy blowing things up, while still acting as tanks, may like this bombshell.

As the name suggests, the gunlance is a lance modified with shelling mechanisms. It uses ammunition (of which there are typically three types) to bombard monsters from melee range while hunters slash and swipe to their heart’s content. Normal ammo will be the most commonly used for many hunters, while long ammo allows for a little bit more range. Wide ammo, on the other hand, turns the shelling attacks into bullet-spewing monsters!

Unlike its pokey counterpart, most gunlance moves consist of swings, suggesting that the big round pole is better suited for damage dealing than the tip. Whether that is the case or not, hunters will find themselves doing all sorts of flashy moves once they manage to figure out the copious amounts of combos the weapon features. Furthermore, the tower shield accompanying the gunlance is much smaller than the one on the lance. While it may be much less tanky, it still allows hunters to step in for the tank if the position needs filling. Another bonus is that the weapon is easy to master, making this an ideal weapon for beginners.


Switch Axe

The switch axe is an enigma. It is an axe that switches to become a great sword. Think Devil May Cry, or Final Fantasy Advent Children. Compared to other option in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide, the switch axe is fancy, versatile, and incredibly easy to learn, yet frustratingly challenging to master.

The switch axe features a whole lot of combos for both its sword and its axe variants, and even moves that will cause players to flip flop between the two. The key is to manage the charge it continually builds up while in sword form, in order to unleash all hell on monsters in the axe form. While switching can be done at any time, the idea is to use the faster sword form to pull off all kinds of crazy combos, only to switch into axe form to do some kind of combo break, and then to continue with a huge string of combos in the axe form, before switching back.

Learning how to use the switch axe is easy: mash a few buttons, trigger the switch, and continue mashing; trigger the switch when the monster is down, switchback, continue mashing. Mastering it, and pulling off the many available combos, will see whatever [admittedly good] damage doubled without much effort. It is that good in capable hands!


Charge Blade

The switch axe is an axe and a sword. The charge blade (CB) is a sword, shield and an axe, in that order. It is also much faster, and one heck of a kicker whenever enough energy has been saved up and unleashed in its axe form.

Basic design aside, the biggest difference between the sword and shield form and the axe comes down to how well hunters use the weapon. The idea is to deal quick, hard-hitting slashes in the sword and shield form with every hit charging energy vials meant to be used in the axe form. Once enough energy is charged up and the sword is so hot (you can see it become warmer) that it refuses to hit anything, the time comes to trigger the switch turning the sword into the axe blade and the shield into the axe head. The new moves added in Monster Hunter Rise allow for much more aggressive plays as well, which is something CB users have long asked for.

The one caveat about the charge blade is that it is nowhere near as easy to use as its variant. Not even button mashing will get hunters far since the blade will quickly become hot and blunt, turning it into a useless club until its vials are dispersed through the axe form. There is a heck of a lot of websites out there where CB veterans do the math on when the best times are to use the vials, which should more than prove how complicated this one is to use when compared to the options in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide. Once mastered, however, it is truly a force to be reckoned with.


Insect Glaive

Dragoons unite! The Insect Glaive is as close to a Final Fantasy dragoon as a player will get in a game about hunting monsters. Designated as a lightweight weapon, the insect glaive purposely hits a little softer than some of the other weapons, but the amount of airtime and mobility it offers in return is legendary. It also utilises huge insects that work in tandem with the blade as hunters fly through the air.

The insect glaive is essentially a staff weapon with extreme dexterity and a whole lot of critical affinity. It can also be extremely easy to use, which is a big plus for new players meaning to equip the first and coolest weapon they see. The unusual bit, however, comes in whenever hunters have to start learning how to effectively use the kinsects that come with every glaive.

Kinsects are huge bugs that attach themselves to the arms of their glaive users and come with a variety of boons to help with hunts. In order to use the weapon effectively, glaive users must learn how and when to send their kinsects out to the monster they are hunting. Once they hit the monster, they will harvest certain elements from the monster, which will turn into buffs and boons. This is especially important when hunters realise the main purpose of the glaive is not to deal damage, but rather to mount monsters and ride them until they tumble to the ground.


Light Bowgun

Not all weapons in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapon Guide are melee. The first of the three truly ranged weapons is none other than the bowgun, a literal crossbow and machine gun hybrid meant to instil fear in monsters.

Ascribed as the go-to gun, the light bowgun is traditionally one of the most used ranged weapons in the franchise. It is extremely versatile, featuring upwards of twenty (20!) ammo types, and a whole heck of a lot of mobility. This means hunters can poison monsters, put them to sleep, or even lob explosive ammo at them from a distance. There is even “slicing” ammo!

The light bowgun features a decent amount of moves as well, making it one of the weapons with the most gameplay mechanics. The idea here is for the user to know what kind of ammo to use and when, how to keep on shooting while dodging out of the incoming fire, and how to roll and duck and dive while reloading said ammo. It is a mega fast weapon and can help the party a lot in the right hands.


Heavy Bowgun

Canons are a reality in this universe. With the heavy bowgun, players look like they are lugging around one of them. The heavy bowgun is the opposite of the light bowgun. It essentially acts as a light machine gun or massive assault rifle versus its single-shot and lighter variant.

Like its counterpart, the heavy bowgun also makes use of all kinds of ammunition. The difference, however, is that the ammo is heavier and bigger. The heavy bowgun fires slower and, as a result of its size, also makes hunter movement slower. The payoff, however, is way worth it for players who manage to stay out of trouble while launching missiles at the monsters.

Like its counterpart, heavy bowguns also focus on quite a bit of combo. Just like the light bowgun, the focus here is not so much the combos, but rather the hunt know-how of the players. Discussing which ammo is best and where to hit the monsters will be common in conversations among fellow hunters at first. Whether clueless or not, however, one thing is certain: the heavy bowgun looks hella dope.


Bow

Deny it all you want, but sometimes the most traditional option might be the most suited to you! The last of the weapons in this Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide (and the third ranged weapon) is none other than the bow: a mid-range all-rounder with significant element and status damage.

Unlike their mechanical counterparts, bows allow for superior manoeuvrability. The bow may not have as long-range as the heavy bowgun or shoot as quickly as the light bowgun, but it will allow its users to dash, dodge, run, and even jump around the battlefield. Mix the great mobility with its stock of arrow coatings, and bow masters are some of the most powerful hunters in the game.

Bows do not have a whole lot of coatings for their arrows, but the few available will almost always work on all monsters. In addition to the various coatings, bows also feature far superior elemental bonuses. These are dependent on the upgrade path and the kinds of bows hunters have crafted, making them some of the stronger elemental weapons in the game. Combos are vital with this weapon as well, since dodging and keeping an arrow drawn will increase the level of charges (with a maximum of three or four, depending on skills and gear), which in turn will increase the raw damage output of the arrow. Using a bow is easy, making it one of the more common weapons. However, many hunting parties will often find their bow user subpar because mastering the weapon takes a lot of skill and patience.


That is it for this Monster Hunter Rise Weapons Guide. While I am primarily a Long sword 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 Rise.

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Junior Editor & Full Time Contributor at Vamers | View Author Profile

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.