Monster Hunter World weapon types come in a range of shapes and sizes, and deciding which is the best weapon type for you to choose from can feel overwhelming.
This page has a full list of every type, in order of the game's recommendation for beginners to more advanced players, and details of what makes them different from the next.
Elsewhere, our Monster Hunter World tips can help you decide when to farm, what to forage and what to do between hunts, and our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide can help with main quest and story progress.
Which weapon is best for you in Monster Hunter World?
Whichever weapon you decide to use out of this list, it's important to note that every single weapon is finely balanced and are all viable in taking you through the whole game.
Additionally, you're able to pick and choose what weapon you want to use at any time, meaning you're never locked into any particular weapon - useful if you're looking for some variety.
Some weapons dish out huge amounts of damage and require charging and phial management, others are more familiar hack-and-slash types. Ranged weapons also exist, with different ammo types enabling you to dish out different amounts of elemental damage.
Initially, you're able to forge an Iron or Metal version of each weapon. From there, the weapon tree expands dependent upon how far you've progressed in the story as well as your hunter rank. Later on it's possible to forge the base of other trees, however this is locked behind the mid-game.
The game gives you an Iron or Metal version of each one, allowing you to sample everything, and from there, you can step into an upgrade tree allowing you to increase and expand your arsenal's potential.
What we recommend is to follow the game's recommendations for beginner weapons - listed in order below - and try each type in an early game hunt each. The early missions are very forgiving, so even if you don't quite get on with a certain type, you should be able to finish it.
For those coming from other Monster Hunter games, it should be noted there are no new weapon types in Monster Hunter World, however some weapons have new mechanics or have been revamped - especially the game's ranged offering.
Monster Hunter World weapon types and their combos for beginners
The following are weapon types for beginners, as recommended by the game. For combo listings, see the respective image.
Sword and Shield
- Fast, fluid combos that allow you to dip in and out of the hunt.
- Ability to use the Slinger and other items while the weapon is drawn.
- Despite its short range, the charge slash allows you to perform a followup jumping slash, letting you mount monsters easier.
- Setting up the Charge Slash should be the way that you play the Sword and Shield, with the combo flurries serving as additional damage, should you need it.
- We'd say the Sword and Shield is the perfect entry point for beginners.
- Fast and stylish, the Dual Blades are perfect for getting Tail Cuts on Monsters.
- Demon Mode (activated with the right trigger after your gauge is full from dishing out combos) allows you attack faster, as well as getting hyperarmour from smaller enemies, but drains your stamina. Consuming Energy Drinks and Dash Juice allows you do dish out huge amounts of damage, mitigating the stamina loss.
- While Demon Mode is activated, you'll be able to fill up the Demon Gauge, which will then trigger Archdemon Mode, which gives you a slightly different moveset with powerful moves and incredible range, which you can use by pressing Circle or Triangle and Circle (or B and B and Y on Xbox).
- The weapon flows well, allowing you to wail on a monster while simply monitoring Demon and Archdemon modes.
- Great for aggressive players, who want a fast weapon with lots of options.
- Speed, Range and Evasion capabilities make for a well-rounded weapon and position yourself to inflict localised damage to a monster.
- Different ammo types allow for a huge range of Elemental and Abnormal status damage. Ammo is craftable from items such as Flowferns, Sleep Herbs and Fire Herbs, meaning that you'll never be on a short supply.
- Using Wyvernblast ammo on some Light bowguns allows you set up bombs in the ground to set off remotely.
- Easy to use, no huge combos to remember, just purely based on "Status Gunning" to inflict specialised damage to the Monster.
- It's an easy weapon to pick up for less action-focused players, who are perhaps more used to third-person shooters.
Monster Hunter World weapon types and their combos for intermediate players
The following are weapon types for beginners, as recommended by the game. For combo listings, see the respective image.
That said, new players, don't be disheartened! These weapons are equally as good to pick up once you've gained a better understanding of the game, so feel free to investigate once you have the essentials down.
- Deals out the most amount of damage from a single weapon in the game.
- Slow movement while unsheathed allows you to perfectly position yourself to hit the monster in weak areas.
- The new shoulder barge attack allows you to follow up with a quicker attack and also "absorbs" an attack from a monster.
- Charge Attacks should be used as often as possible, in order to use the weapon to its full potential.
- While powerful, the Greatsword requires you to master perfect positioning and evasion to get the most out of it.
- The Long Sword has a huge reach, allowing you to land hits, even if you are not in the perfect position.
- Fast attacks allow you to fill up your spirit gauge and execute your spirit combo, which in turn allow you to charge up the gauge up to 3 times, buffing your weapon in the process.
- Long range and high amounts of slash damage make the Longsword a perfect option for getting tail cuts on flying wyverns or monsters.
- Fast rolling evasion and the fade slash allow you to reposition yourself, with the roll even allowing yourself to roll out of some combos.
- Spirit Helmbreaker is flashy, and does hefty damage, automatically refilling your spirit gauge upon hitting it.
- In summary, the Long Sword is easy to pick up, due to its versatility and all-round capabilities - just keep an eye on your spirit gauge to maximise its potential (and not hit your teammates in multiplayer!)
- Despite being a slow weapon, the Hammer allows you to charge up and knock out monsters with ease.
- Blunt Damage is excellent for breaking off Monster Armour, especially with a fully charged attack.
- Following up a charge attack will allow you to follow up with additional Hits from the Hammer, which is essential when trying to KO a monster or topple it.
- Evasion windows are small, but essential when respositioning yourself to do damage in critical areas.
- The Hammer is a great choice for those of you who are patient over everything else. It's satisfying to use and the payoffs are huge when fighting certain monsters.
- The Gunlance has huge defensive capabilities, helping you to keep monsters at bay.
- Slow movement and guarding makes positioning and evasion key to using this weapon.
- Different Shell types allow for a huge spread of close-range options, dependent upon what kind of weapon you have equipped. Normal Shell types offer the most ammo, Long has the longest range and Wide has the biggest 'scatter' spread damage, however is limited in Ammo.
- Different Shell types allow for a huge spread of close-range options.
- Wyrmstake cannon follows up shelling attacks, which hits multiple times and explodes, which is great for breaking off monster parts.
- While different from all other weapons, the Gunlance is excellent for use in a team, with no lengthy combos to remember, and is great for getting up close and personal.
The Switch Axe has two modes that allow you to transition from one to the other. Even though it's slow, the Switch Axe is well rounded and the two modes allow for a huge range of options and elemental damage.
Building up the meter in Axe mode is tantamount to Switch Axe Play, you will be wanting to charge up Sword Mode as soon as possible to deal the most amount of damage.
- Axe Mode combos allow for wide reach, whether you're dealing with multiple small monsters or looking to hit a flying monster.
- Your basic infinite combo is great for building up meter to get to Sword Mode.
- It should primarily be used for building up the meter into Sword Mode, or evading while sheathed.
- Sword Mode allows you to use the weapon's innate Phials which can range from Power, Exhaust and Elemental, dependent on what you have equipped, which can deal huge damage when fully discharged using Triangle and Circle (or Y and B on Xbox).
- Slow movement is made up for with the sidestep, which is excellent for repositioning mid-battle.
- Using your Sword Combos allows you to enter 'Amped State' - Where your Sword will glow and deal additional Phial Damage.
The Charge Blade is the most complex weapon in Monster Hunter World. Like the Switch Axe, it can shift between Sword and Shield mode, and Axe Mode.
However, to utilise Axe Mode, you will be needing to charge the Phials in the top right using Sword and Shield Mode.
Complex and difficult to master, the Charge Blade does the biggest damage of any weapon in the game. There's a chance it's likely to be nerfed, so beware of this if you are interested!
- Charging up Element Phials allows you to enter Axe Mode, which you can discharge for huge amounts of damage.
- You are able to charge up your attacks with a huge amount of options in Sword and Shield mode, which should be the primary mode for this weapon, then utilising Axe Mode in order to discharge all of your innate Phials.
- Phial Types (Elemental or Abnormal Damage) are dependent upon what kind of Charge Blade you have equipped.
- A wide and varied combat style means that the Charge Blade can be used with great evasion skills.
- Sword Mode should be used for building up Phials, with the shield also having a move to build up your phials using a complex guard-point system.
- Guard Points are using your weapon to guard at the right time, thus charging the Axe Mode pretty heftily, allowing you to do a full discharge in Axe Mode to follow up.
- This is a more advanced weapon, and usually recommended for players who are familiar with Monster Hunter, as there is a lot of Meter Management, timing and mechanics involved.
- With the defense of a Lance, speed of the Dual Blades and Attack Power within a hair's length of the Greatsword, the Charge Blade is one of the most versatile weapons in the game.
- This offers a huge range of mobility, which can allow for incredibly easy monster mounts.
- The Kinsect can be sent out to extract elements from the Monster, which can buff you mid-hunt, by combining different types of Kinsect Extracts.
- Red Extract gives you an Attack Buff, Orange a Defense Buff, White for Movement Speed and Green for greater healing. These can stack together and allow for a powerful range of buffed combinations.
- The Kinsect can be sent out to extract elements from the Monster, which can buff you mid-hunt.
- Airborne combos make this great for fighting flying monsters and Wyverns with an airborne vault attack.
- Air Dashes make for incredible mobility, and is great for reacting quickly to monsters. Combos can additionally be performed if an Air Dash is followed up for an attack. Combining this with Energy Drinks or Dash Juice helps to mitigate stamina usage.
- Surprisingly beginner friendly, and is great for getting out of the way of larger monsters quickly.
If you're interested, we have a dedicated Insect Glaive and best Insect Glaive build page that goes into more depth.
- Like the Light Bowgun, the Heavy Bowgun allows you to use different ammo, which can provide elemental or abnormal status effects.
- Slow movement is made up for with high damage output and raw power; this high damage output is great for breaking off Monster Parts.
- The special ammo types - which are dependant on what Heavy Bowgun you have - allow you to dish out unique moves specific to those Heavy Bowguns.
- Gatling Fire is incredibly satisfying, and is one of the highest damage moves in the game.
- Beginner friendly but slow, the Heavy Bowgun is excellent for localised damage on a certain area of the monster.
- Swift and fluid, the Bow allows for a huge amount of speed, damage and versatility, while also having a fair bit of range.
- Bows do not use ammo, but coatings, which allow you to add elemental or abnormal damage effects. Crafting these coatings should not be too hard, and items are supplied through gathering common items throughout the world.
- Charging your shots allow you to do higher damage, with charges decreasing your stamina.
- You're able to pull off a special shot - varying from bow to bow - so make sure to try out a few different bows to find one that fits your playstyle.
- With huge versatility and speed, the bow is an excellent weapon for newbies wanting to get stuck into the action and deal devastating status effects.
Looking for more Monster Hunter World tips? Our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide explains how story quests, Expeditions and Investigations work, as well as how to beat the likes of Anjanath, Pukei-Pukei, Zorah Magdaros, Diablos, Rathalos, Odogaron and Kirin, as well as Hornetaur locations. We can also explain how to join friends and Squads in multiplayer, how item crafting works, how to capture monsters and mount mosnters, find ??? Rathian tracks, Grimalkynes and explain Doodles including the Plunderblade and Gajalaka quests, Monster Bone locations and Ore locations, what you need to know about the Aloy and Horizon Zero Dawn event, and provide a weapon types list to decide the best weapon for you, such as the Insect Glaive.
Monster Hunter World weapon types and their combos for advanced players
- Although somewhat perceived as a support weapon, the Hunting Horn is easy to play with solo.
- Performing different songs and combos are easier than ever with the guide in the top right during hunts.
- Provide a huge amount of buffs, boosts and more to your character and party through performing songs on the horn.
- Similar to the Hammer, the limited speed and moveset of the horn allows for huge amounts of blunt damage.
- While it really comes out in multiplayer, this more advanced weapon can be an invaluable asset to any team.
- While slow, the Lance is all about positioning yourself in a monster's weak point and holding your ground with the shield while you hit it.
- With high and low thrusts, you can combo together attacks to swipe across a long range.
- Counterthrusts are used to essentially parry a monster's attack and attack back.
- With Power Guard after Counterthrust, you fortify your guard even more, so be sure to keep up with stamina management to get all up in a Monster's Business for even longer.
- While Slow, the Lance can be difficult to master, but Guard Lancing can be incredibly helpful in keeping a monster in place while in a team of Hunters.
Additional reporting by Mat Hall.