In Monster Hunter: World the most successful hunters are the ones that tailor their gear to the monster they wish to bring down. If a player is facing a flying monster, it makes much more sense to bring a ranged weapon than a melee weapon. It’s also important to bring weapons that have elemental advantages over opponents. While a fire-based sword might have better DPS than an ice-based weapon, it becomes useless if facing a monster resistant to fire.
For this reason, there are very few weapons that are used in a majority or even a plurality of battles. Instead, the best players train in a specific weapon type and make sure to have a variety of weapons in that type for each situation. Here are all the weapons of Monster Hunter: World and how well they stack up against each other.
Updated March 17, 2023, by Ritwik Mitra: Monster Hunter World is a great action game that put the franchise on the map. The release of this title on major home consoles was a great decision that brought a ton of attention towards a series many people considered exclusively portable. New players who get into Monster Hunter World will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of systems at play in this deep action RPG, including the many weapons that they can use in the game. Each weapon type in the game has its own unique moveset, along with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages that make the choice of using any one of them pretty complicated indeed.
14 Hunting Horn
The Hunting Horn is one of the oddest weapons in the game, but players shouldn't underestimate its efficiency. Players who know what they're doing can single-handedly fill in the support role of any party.
RELATED: Monster Hunter World: Ways The Game Is Different On PC
Not only does this weapon play music to buff the party or debilitate enemies, but it can also hit for quite some damage. A good wallop from this weapon can stun monsters, allowing other members of the team with more lethal weapons to swoop in for the kill.
Notable Hunting Horns
- Denden Doomsounder: The Hunting Horn that has the highest damage.
- Lightbreak Timbre: A great and effective horn that deals blast damage.
- The Rasping Ballad: Its paralysis effect can be a boon against tough and aggressive monsters.
Most people would expect a large hammer to be somewhat unwieldy in battle, but that is not the case. In fact, the Hammer in Monster Hunter World is incredibly fast and can stun monsters with successive hits.
Along with this, a Hammer's hits can be charged up to deal even more damage when the enemy is vulnerable. There's nothing more satisfying than smacking a monster that has been giving players a tough time and watching it fall.
- Juicy Well-done Hammer: A hilariously-named hammer that deals additional fire damage.
- Safi's Venomcrusher: True to its name, this powerful hammer dishes out some serious poison damage.
- Safi's Shattercrusher: The blast damage of this hammer is a force to be reckoned with.
Not only does the Lance have a long reach, but it also boasts a shield alongside that the player can use to great effect. This combination of a solid offense and great range makes the Lance a great weapon that Monster Hunter World players should get acquainted with sooner rather than later.
The Lance is the perfect weapon for players who want to land precise strikes, while also ensuring that they don't tank too much damage themselves. It's a tricky moveset to nail down, but a satisfying one once players understand the basics of the combat system.
- Great Demon Lance: The hardest-hitting Lance in the game.
- Lightbreak Lance: A powerful Lance that deals blast damage as well.
- Demonlord Rajang: The thunder damage inflicted by this Lance can shock even the toughest monsters.
11 Sword & Shield
At a glance, the Sword & Shield seems like a pretty boring option. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Masters of this weapon type can dish out a ton of DPS in record time.
RELATED: Monster Hunter: The Strongest Elder Dragons, Ranked According To Lore
It's one of the most versatile weapon types in the game that new players should use if they find the other movesets to be more complicated. The Sword & Shield is a jack of all trades, although players who want to master certain aspects of the combat system should check out other weapons instead.
Notable Swords & Shields
- Banned Rajang Club: The best "sword" in the game in terms of sheer damage.
- Lightbreak Sword: A powerful sword that deals immense blast damage.
- Demonlord Mace: A thunderous mace that is effective against enemies weak to this element.
A combination of a gun and a lance, the Gunlance is capable of some impressive damage and is great for defensive play. The lance is designed to keep the enemy at bay with good blocking ability, and deal damage at a range. The gun aspect of the lance is a powerful shotgun blast, which damages the enemy at close range.
The reason it ranks low is that the player’s mobility is seriously compromised with this weapon, and they must rely on armor and tanking. It also requires the player to get up close and personal to get the full effect of the gun blasts, which is dangerous in many cases.
- Safi’s Shatterbuster: A great normal shell Gunlance.
- Xeno Hemta +: An excellent long shell Gunlance.
- Lightbreak Gunlance: A brilliant wide shell Gunlance.
9 Insect Glaives
Insect Glaives are an interesting weapon type. They are used in fast and fluid fashion, and give the player lots of mobility in combat. At any point, the player can launch themselves into the air and then use an air dash to move around in midair.
Skilled players can use Insect Glaives to dodge sweeping attacks and land on monster’s backs to get in hits. They also have the ability to deploy Kinsects, which collect essences from monster for mid-fight boosts to either defense, attack, healing, or speed. It requires lots of practice and lots of strikes to take down a monster, but it can make for some fun gameplay.
Notable Insect Glaives
- Safi’s Shatterspear: A tried-and-tested Insect Glaive beloved by the fanbase.
- Lightbreak Press: An excellent Insect Glaive that truly shines with the right build.
- Datura Storm II: A highly poisonous Insect Glaive that's perfect for support characters.
8 Switch Axe
Switch Axes are adaptable weapons that can transform from an axe to a sword at any given time. The axes give players greater range and greater striking power, while the sword is faster with better finishers. This power to switch makes them popular with players who don’t like to trade out their weapons often.
Typically, players will fight in axe mode and only switch to sword mode when an opportunity arises for good damage or an elemental strike. The only reason it doesn’t rank higher is that it’s a complicated weapon to use, and many players often forget to switch modes in the heat of battle.
Notable Switch Axes
- Safi’s Shatteraxe: The Switch Axe with the highest raw damage in the game.
- Lightbreak Axe: A powerful Switch Axe that's highly accessible.
- Taroth Axe "Paralysis": A Switch Axe that is downright broken, with its massive 550 Paralysis.
7 Heavy Bowgun
Heavy Bowguns are beastly in combat boasting serious damage and long-range capabilities. It’s perfect for staggering enemies, knocking off parts, or putting chinks in a monster's armor. Another nice perk is the ability to lightly modify the weapons to suit the player's needs.
But with this immense power comes vulnerability, these heavy weapons significantly compromise the player’s mobility and put them at risk when the enemy attacks or closes the distance. They're extremely useful in co-op but really dangerous when hunting solo.
Notable Heavy Bowguns
- Safi Burstcannon: Best Heavy Bowgun for Spread Ammo.
- Safi Snipecannon: Best Heavy Bowgun for Pierce Ammo.
- Demonlord Beastbuster: Best Heavy Bowgun for both Normal and Sticky Ammo.
6 Great Sword
Great Swords are the heavy hitters in the game, capable of dishing out the most damage possible. With their long range and high damage, these weapons are good for knocking down big foes or obliterating little ones. It’s great for players that want to make their hits count.
The downside to Great Swords is that they’re heavy, thereby limiting their mobility. Considering they also have terrible blocking power, players end up relying on carefully timed dodges and a bit of tanking.
Notable Great Swords
- Black Fatalis Blade: The Great Sword with the highest base damage in the game, albeit at the cost of an affinity penalty.
- Lightbreak Blade: A powerful Great Sword with immense blast damage.
- Safi’s Splitter: A great all-rounder and arguably the third-best Great Sword in the game.
5 Charge Blade
Like the Switch Axe, Charge Blades are capable of transforming between a sword and shield mode to an axe mode. The sword and shield mode give the player greater mobility and lots of defense, while the axe mode delivers crushing blows with a long reach.
Charge Blades outrank Switch Axes because when the player fights with the sword and shield, they build up charges that are stored in the weapon. When the player switches to the axe, they unleash the charge for an explosive effect. For players who learn the combos and flow of combat, this weapon type can be beastly.
Notable Charge Blades
- Kjarr Strongarm "King"/"Water"/"Spark"/"Ice"/"Decay": A host of Kjarr Charge Blades that have been buffed heavily in Iceborne.
- Lightbreak Charge Blade: A powerful Charge Blade with immense blast damage.
- Safi’s Shattershield: Another powerful Safi'Jiva weapon that absolutely decimates monsters with ease.
The Bow is a mid-range weapon with a lot of versatility and unlimited ammo. Players who use Bows can charge arrows for powerful shots, or take potshots at the enemy while dodging attacks. The variety comes from the different coatings players can apply to each arrow to add elemental attacks or status effects. In fact, one can argue that bows have the highest DPS in longer fights.
The only reason it doesn’t rank higher is their limitation in close-quarters combat. The Bow is meant to be used at mid-range, so the player must constantly jockey for better positions, which can be difficult when hunting solo. It also lacks the punch of stronger weapons, so it struggles with armored foes and requires targeting weak spots.
- Kjarr Bow "Decay"/"Spark"/"Water"/"Blast"/"King"/"Stream": A set of Kjarr Bows that excel in their respective elements.
- Lightbreak Bow: A powerful and reliable Bow with excellent blast damage.
- Mist Glacia: An excellent Bow that specializes in dishing out major ice damage.
3 Light Bowgun
Light Bowguns might not have the range of bows, but boast a significantly increased fire rate. With a wide variety of ammo types, Light Bowguns can cause all sorts of chaos on the battlefield and are great both in co-op and solo situations.
RELATED: The Best Mods For Monster Hunter World
The downside to their rapid-fire is the potential for running out of ammo. This isn't necessarily an issue if players are careful with their shots or go into battle loaded with ammo, but it is a problem bow users don’t face. Yet it still ranks higher for its high rate of fire and ability to fight in close quarters.
Notable Light Bowguns
- Fatalis Depths: Best Light Bowgun for Pierce Ammo.
- Blizzard Gust: Best Light Bowgun for Spread Ammo.
- Safi's Aquashot: Best Light Bowgun for Sticky Ammo.
2 Long Sword
Long Swords are the most run-of-the-mill weapons in the game, and that’s what makes them some of the most powerful. They have good reach, damage, speed, and mobility, making them powerful in any situation.
Another benefit is that they can charge up for spirit attacks that do higher damage. For players who can keep their spirit levels up, this gives the weapon great power. However, it’s because of this that it doesn’t take the number one spot. Players must keep the spirit gauge maxed and raise the levels to get the full potential of this weapon type.
Notable Long Swords
- Lightbreak Edge: Arguably the best end-game Long Sword in the game when it comes to dishing out damage.
- Fatalis Zaggespanon: The Long Sword with the highest raw damage in the game, offset by an affinity penalty.
- Safi’s Shatterblade: A great Long Sword with excellent blast damage to boot.
1 Dual Blades
Dual Blades are arguably the most powerful weapon type in the game. Similar to Long Swords, Dual Blades charge up attacks to enter Demon Mode, which raises the attack damage through longer combo chains. Raising these levels lets the player enter Archdemon Mode, which boosts even higher.
Dual Blades ranks higher than Long Swords because they are good weapons even without Demon Mode. The player is a whirlwind that can dart away from attacks, and can avoid ever receiving damage if they remain light on their feet.
- Kjarr Daggers "Water"/"Spark"/"Dragon"/"Ice": A set of powerful daggers that capitalize on elemental weaknesses to deal massive damage.
- Taroth Daggers "Fire": A more powerful variant of the Kulve Taroth Dual Blades for players who want to specialize in fire damage.
- Fatalis Dual Skies: Dual Blades with high raw damage at the cost of an affinity penalty.
Monster Hunter World is available on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
MORE: Ranked: The Most Powerful Enemies In Monster Hunter World