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There are fourteen total weapon types in Monster Hunter World, each with its own skill and upgrade trees. In this complete Monster Hunter World weapons guide, we'll be giving you an introduction to every weapon type in the game.
If you instead need anything else on the expansive game of Monster Hunter World that isn't to do with weapons, including how to use the Scout Flies to track monsters, as well as how to kit out your Palico with the best gear available, make sure to head over to our Monster Hunter World guides walkthrough hub.
There are fourteen weapons in total in Monster Hunter World, all of which have various different purposes and functions on the battlefield. You'll find extensive guides to each type of weapon just below, detailing how they are best put to use on the battlefield, and which monsters they are best suited for hunting. Don't forget that you can always upgrade these weapons at the Smithy in the hub area, and a vanilla weapon in Monster Hunter World will nearly always become useless after a while. Read on for details on all the Monster Hunter World weapons.
The Bow is your standard ranged attack weapon in Monster Hunter World, and although it might appear weak at first, it's actually one of the best ranged weapons on offer. You can either hold down the left trigger to aim at a specific part of a monster, or you can press Circle/B without aiming three times, to have your character unleash two volleys of arrows, followed by a third attack which rains down gravel from the sky in an area, constantly damaging any monster caught underneath it.
You can also press Triangle+Circle/Y+B while either aiming or not, to have your character charge up a powerful explosive arrow for a few seconds. Unleashing this at a monster is bound to cause damage, and potentially stun the monster if you land a clean shot to their head.
Best for hunting: Just about everything. There honestly isn't an enemy that we wouldn't recommend the Bow for use against. It's a quick, versatile weapon that can be used quickly from range while aiming, or up close by simply pressing Circle/B and attacking with volley after volley of arrows.
The powerful Charge Blade can take on one of two forms: either a one handed blade with a shield, or a two handed heavy blade. You can press the right trigger to switch between forms, and you can hold down the left trigger while equipping the shield to protect yourself with it.
The Charge Blade is useful in its weaker form with the shield as you can easily protect yourself from incoming monster attacks, but you can also use the larger, heavy weapon form to unleash massive amounts of damage on a monster. Hold down the right trigger, and then press either Triangle/Y, or Y/B to initiate large, sweeping attacks with the Charge Blade in its two handed form.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Radobaan. Generally speaking, you're going to want to save the Charge Blade for monsters that are less mobile, and definitely for ones that don't have the ability to leave the ground and fly. You'll want to aim for either the head or the tail of these larger monsters, as a powerful hit to the head can stun them, while slicing off their tail can grant you extra rewards.
The Dual Blades are the quickest weapon type in Monster Hunter World, allowing hunters to unleash a flurry of attacks in one go, while also allowing them to rapidly move around the battlefield, escaping the clutches of any monsters that you go up against.
The Dual Blades might not have any special transformation like other weapon types, but they can unleash special, charged attacks if you're able to build them up for long enough without being attacked.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath. The mobility of the Dual Blades are an excellent bonus, and as such, you definitely don't want to be in one place for too long when using them. Instead, land a quick few hits on the monsters legs or head, and then back off, allowing them to attack and you to move in for a few more hits.
The Great Sword might be the slowest weapon in Monster Hunter World, and you're going to want to use it with a certain amount of caution against monsters out in the wild. The weapon doesn't actually have a switch ability, unlike the Charge Blade, and so it doesn't have the ability to unleash a series of quick attacks when you find yourself with your back against the wall.
As such, you should really only be using the Great Sword either when you're in an open environment against a monster with slow attacks, or when you've got at least one other player in your squad, able to draw the attention of the monster away from you, so you can land some heavy charged attacks with the Great Sword.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Rathian. The Great Sword is best for hunting monsters that stay on the ground, and while the Rathian might appear to be an exception to this rule, it does spend a lot of time in combat with its feet on the ground, letting you lay into it with some powerful attacks from the Great Sword.
The first proper 'trick' weapon of Monster Hunter World, the Gunlance can be used either at close range to jab at a monster, or from a distance to barrage an enemy monster with multiple shells.
Add the inclusion of a shield to the Gunlance, and this is quite possibly one of the most versatile weapons in the game. You can use the shield to protect yourself in close quarters, jabbing away at the monster whenever you get an opening, or you can simply keep your distance the pelt the monster with shells.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Rathian, Radobaan. Since the Gunlance is a versatile weapon, it can be used to hunt a variety of monsters. With the shield you can protect yourself from the scathing attacks of monsters like the Anjanath, and you can also use the shells to tear off parts of monsters like the Rathian and Radobaan.
This hefty weapon does exactly what it says on the tin, and you can use the Hammer to lay waste to even the most powerful of monsters, stunning them if you're able to land a direct hit on their head.
The Hammer can also be used for charged attacks, which is especially useful for stunning monsters if you're fighting alongside other players. Although you can still dodge about the battlefield fairly easily while using the Hammer, bear in mind that the weapon's most powerful attacks with take a while to properly execute.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Rathian. For the Hammer to be used properly, you need to fight monsters who are going to be staying in one place for a while, giving you the ability to build up attacks. Kit your Palico out with a decent weapon so it can occasionally draw the attention of the monster, and you can go to work with the Hammer.
While the Heavy Bowgun might at first appear similar to the Gunlance with the ability to shell monster from afar, it doesn't have a shield, or an affective close quarters attack. Therefore you're definitely going to want to keep your distance while fighting monsters with the Heavy Bowgun.
Keep in mind that you can equip some specialized ammo while fighting monsters with the Heavy Bowgun, including ammo that can paralyse and put the enemy monster to sleep temporarily.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Rathian, Radobaan, Paolumu. Since the Heavy Bowgun can be used from range to pelt monsters, it can be used to take on a variety of monsters, including those that can fly like the Paolumu and the Rathian.
Head to our Monster Hunter World Bow weapons guide for more detailed info.
The Hunting Horn is best used when you've got at least one other player with you, since it's primarily a support weapon. While it can reach monsters and land attacks from a fairly decent range, it can also be used to buff fellow party members with melodies.
Not only this, but the Hunting Horn can also be used to increase the abilities of Scout Flies to find nearby items. As such, the weapon is obviously best used when you're with another player, who's able to draw the attention of the monster, and allow you to play melodies from the Hunting Horn.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Rathian, Radobaan. If you're going to use the Hunting Horn while venturing out on your own, then you'll want to use it against slower moving monsters. Hunting Horns actually have some decent attack values on their own, which means you can go toe-to-toe with some of the weaker monsters in Monster Hunter World.
The Insect Glaive might be one of the harder weapons to use in Monster Hunter World, but it's also one of the more powerful available to hunters. You can use the Insect Glaive to propel yourself above monsters, raining down attacks on them from all different angles.
The weapon also comes with the added bonus of a Kinsect, that you can be used mid-fight to harvest extract from monsters, which imbues the Insect Glaive weapon with certain bonuses for a limited amount of time.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Radobaan, Tobi-Kadachi. Since the Insect Glaive is such a nimble weapon, you can confidently use it against nearly any monster in Monster Hunter World. It's an effective counter to a monster like the Tobi-Kadachi, which can move around the battlefield at rapid speeds.
For more info, head to our Monster Hunter World Insect Glaive weapon guide.
The Lance is one of the more conventional weapons in Monster Hunter World, able to prod monsters from a decent range, while also coming with a shield that can be used to guard hunters against most attacks from monsters.
The shield that the Lance comes with is particularly useful in close quarters, given that you can actually move around with the shield still raised, meaning you won't have to frequently dodge to move around the battlefield.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Rathian, Rathalos, Tobi-Kadachi. The Lance has be effectively used against most beasts in Monster Hunter World. While you can guard yourself from plenty of attacks with the shield, you can also take on monsters that have the ability to take to the skies, prodding them with a few quick attacks when they touch back down on the ground.
The cousin to the Heavy Bowgun, the Light Bowgun is obviously the lighter counterpart, allowing hunters to dodge out of the grasp of monsters, before unleashing a few quick volley attacks in their direction.
The Light Bowgun can confidently be used against even the most powerful of beasts in Monster Hunter World, especially when you're going up against an enemy with one hunter at your side.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Radobaan, Tobi-Kadachi. Since the Light Bowgun is so agile and rapid, it can be used by a hunter constantly on the move. It allows you so rapidly evade attacks, and then fire off a quick few rounds in the direction of the monster, all before reloading.
Head to our Monster Hunter World Bow weapons guide for more detailed info.
The Long Sword weapon is one of the more agile weapons in the arsenal of Monster Hunter World, allowing hunters to land a quick few attacks on any monster, with the added ability of extended reach, letting you stay out of the clutches of most monsters.
The Long Sword also has the added ability of the Spirit Blade, which effectively buffs the weapon for a short amount of time. Used at exactly the right time, the Long Sword can be used to unleash devastating attacks in fairly quick succession, all while not costing a substantial amount of stamina of the hunter wielding it.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Rathian, Tobi-Kadachi. Since the Long Sword is such a slick weapon, you can use it to hunt most monsters in Monster Hunter World. As such, you can also use it to take down monsters that can take to the skies, such as the Rathian.
The Switch Axe is the cousin of the Charge Blade, able to switch between a one handed weapon with a shield, and a single large axe. As with the Charge Blade, the Switch Axe has extended reach while in its bigger form, allowing you to reach in and take a swipe at monsters from safety.
The Switch Axe also has the ability to charge itself up, also like the Charge Blade. If you can successfully charge the weapon in its bigger form without being staggered, you can unleash a powerful attack that's guaranteed to stun any monster.
Best for hunting: Great Jagras, Anjanath, Ratholos, Tobi-Kadachi. The Switch Axe can confidently be used against all types of monsters in Monster Hunter World. You can use the one handed form to get up close and personal with a monster, and you can also back off and use the two handed form against a flying monster whenever it touches down.
It might be the most basic weapon in Monster Hunter World, but don't discount the Sword and Shield combination. It's a great weapon combination to start with, but it can also be used against basically any monster in the game, with the shield defending the hunter and the sword used for a few quick attacks whenever you get the opportunity.
Best for hunting: Just about everything. You can't go wrong against any monster with the Sword and Shield combination. If it's a slower monster, you can dodge around it and defend against attacks with the shield, whereas if it's a quicker monster, you can still use the shield to protect yourself.
Strictly speaking, there's no one "best weapon" in Monster Hunter World. It's hard to judge which one type of weapon rises above all thirteen others in the game, but there's no denying that there are a few which work no matter which situation you're in. For everything on why we believe the Dual Blades and Insect Glaive are the best weapons in the game, head over to our Monster Hunter World best weapons guide.
But which are the weapons you should be using if you're playing Monster Hunter World online with a few friends? Up to four people can take on a single monster at once in the game, and so we've outlined scenarios for teams of two, three, and four players just below:
At the very right of the weapon upgrade tree at the Smithy in Monster Hunter World, you'll see the end of the upgrade tree, and the best levels that you can upgrade your weapons to await you there. But you'll also notice that a lot of the required items to craft the most powerful weapons upgrades in the game are absent, being listed as '???' instead.
To unlock these upgrades, and find out what the required materials are for crafting them, you'll have to firstly take down the Pink Rathian, in the story quest that follows after you successfully turn Zorah Magdaros back out to sea. After this, you gain the option to undertake High Rank Expeditions and quests, defeating powerful monsters like the Pink Rathian and Bazelgeuse.
Only once you get into the 7 and 8 Star Assignments through defeating the Pink Rathian will you be able to make significant progress towards the best weapon upgrades in Monster Hunter World. It's unfortunately a fair journey to get their, but the powerful weapons like the Dual Blades pictured above are well worth the effort.
This brings to a close our Monster Hunter World weapons guide, but you might want to continue ahead to our extensive armor guide, where we detail how you can unlock and upgrade new armor sets, or our guide on how to capture a monster.
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