Monster Hunter World weapon types list, including all Iceborne weapon changes and how to decide on the best weapon type for you

A breakdown of all weapon types to help you decide which to choose in Monster Hunter World.

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.

We also explain every Monster Hunter World Iceborne weapon change, including how to use the Clutch Claw with each weapon.

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.

On this page:

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 when it comes to expansion Iceborne and the Clutch Claw.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne weapon changes with the Clutch Claw and how to use it

One of the most significant changes made in Monster Hunter World Iceborne is the addition of the Clutch Claw, an upgrade to your standard slinger. The Clutch Claw runs off of Slinger Ammo, which certain types can be brought with you into hunts or found in the field.

The Clutch Claw adds a new dimension to hunts, the ability to latch onto monsters. While it's not quite like a mount, firing the Claw can see you latch onto a monster, and do a weapon-specific attack.

Additionally, the Clutch Claw integrates itself well into weapons, so that you are also able to use your slinger with your weapon already drawn.

monster_hunter_world_iceborne_weapon_2

To use the Clutch Claw, you need to input L2 and Circle / LT and B - Fire the Clutch Claw to Grapple onto Monsters. Once grappled, you have several options, you can either press Circle / B to use the Claw Attack to alter the direction the monster is facing, or press Triangle / Y in order to do your weapon-specific attack.

Additionally, pressing R2 / RT instead of grappling will allow you to do a Slinger Burst, which can flinch monsters, or change the direction they're facing.

If you're using a light weapon, the Clutch Claw attack will drop Slinger Ammo, whereas if you have a heavier weapon, the Clutch Claw will create an additional weak spot on a monster, which can be especially useful when going for a specific part break.

Depending on the weapon, you also have other uses to the Clutch Claw. While it's a nice addition, it shouldn't affect weapon choices all too much, aside from being a nice bonus.

Throughout the following list of Monster Hunter World weapon types and combos, we'll outline the Iceborne specific changes and additions at a glance.

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.
2
Sword and Shield combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Sword and Shield has had some significant changes, including an uppercut, performed after an evade with L2 / LT.
  • In Iceborne, there are several slinger modes. A normal slinger mode, and a slinger burst mode. You can swap modes in between combos, and will reset when you sheath.
  • There is a new combo in Iceborne, where you're rewarded by performing a combo after a slinger burst. Press Triangle or Y and you'll do the perfect combo, or do it by performing a backstep and doing the same input. If you time the slashes right, you will glow red and deal more powerful damage while dealing more elemental damage with your weapon. As long as you do the time the inputs after glowing red, you will be able to perfectly perform the highest damage for this combo, otherwise you might end up with a weaker version.
  • The Clutch Claw attack drops slinger ammo from monsters.

Dual Blades

  • 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.
3
Dual Blades combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Dual Blades attain an evasive shot, which fires slinger ammo while evading after your Triangle / Y attack.
  • You are able to use the Clutch Claw while in Demon Mode, where you can latch onto the Monster, if you do this while grappling mid-combo, you will not do the normal Clutch Claw attack, but a triple slash in midair, taking you back down to the ground.
  • The Clutch Claw attack drops Slinger Ammo from the monster.

Light Bowgun

  • 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.
12
Light Bowgun combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Bowgun can now be modded even further, with additional mods that allow for different abilities, with different stackable mods, which can allow you to maximise damage per second.
  • The Light Bowgun drops slinger ammo after its Clutch Claw Attack.

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.

Great Sword

  • 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.
1
Great Sword combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, you can fire a Slinger pod, which then combos into True Charged Slash straight away.
  • In Iceborne, the Greatsword is able to power up its True Charged Slash. If you land the first hit in the True Charged Slash, you will power up the deadly second slash and gain a red aura.
  • The Clutch Claw attack will leave a weak spot on a monster and damage its skin.

Long Sword

  • 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!)
4
Long Sword combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Longsword gains a brand-new stance - Special Sheath. You can activate Special Sheath just by pressing R2 / RT and X / A. You can hold this stance for several seconds, with the option of doing two new attacks - Iai Slash and Spirit Iai Slash. The standard Iai Slash will allow you to build spirit meter, and doesn't cost anything to use. The other option is Spirit Iai Slash, which consumes spirit meter unless perfectly timed to deflect an attack, where it will then be like a parry, dealing a hefty amount of damage.
  • In Iceborne, you can incorporate Slinger Burst shots into your combos, where it will directly combo into an Iai Slash, allowing you to stagger monsters handily.
  • The Clutch Claw attack dives vertically down and dishes a fair amount of damage out, meaning it could be good for directly targeting a specific part of a monster.

Hammer

  • 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.
5
Hammer combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Hammer can be used in conjunction with the Slinger while charging at attack.
  • In Iceborne, you can perform a new move after the upswing by pressing L2 / LT, which will deal some serious KO damage, if you aimed perfectly at its head. This move allows you to combo an attack straight into a grapple. This can also be performed if you do a jumping attack and pressing L2 / LT while spinning.
  • The Clutch Claw attack creates a weak point on the monster.

Gunlance

  • 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.
8
Iron Gunlance

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Gunlance can now use a Wyrmstake Blast. This uses Slinger ammo that you pick up in the field. If you load it in with L2 / LT + Triangle and Circle / Y and B, you will attain a new blast, which will then allow you to gain a new gauge on the user interface.
  • The Wyrmstake Blast can impale monsters with these blasts, which can be detonated and cause different types of damage, dependent on the type of ammo consumed, and can also be detonated with shelling attacks.

Switch Axe

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

  • 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

  • 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.
9
Switch Axe combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Switch Axe gets a new finisher for the Wild Axe Swing infinite combo, which allows you to do an overhead slash named Heavy Slam after three Wild Swings, this can get you a great overhead attack and deals a hefty amount of damage.
  • In Iceborne, firing a slinger burst during Wild Swing will make you do a backward evade.
  • In Iceborne, you get a new Fade Slash in Axe Mode, by pressing Triangle / Y.
  • After landing a Heavy Slam, you will also power up Axe Mode, denoted by a red glow on your Axe Meter.
  • In Iceborne, you can cancel out of your Element Discharge in sword mode by pressing L2 / LT to activate the Clutch Claw, which then can combo into a mounted Amped Element Discharge, if you have achieved Amped State during this. Otherwise, you will do your normal Clutch Claw bruiser attack to create a weak point.
monster_hunter_world_iceborne_weapon_1

Charge Blade

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.

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, while guarding you can fire your slinger during a guard for a Slinger Burst attack, which can lead into combos or Element Discharge 2, which is a great lede into a Super Amped Element Discharge.
  • In Iceborne, the Charge Blade has a new 'Power Axe' mode, which makes use of the Savage Axe Slash, which can be performed after pressing LT / L2 during an Amped Element Discharge. Power Axe mode will increase damage in Axe Mode, while draining your phials, and deal additional hits with your Axe.
  • If you set yourself up correctly, in Power Axe Mode you will be able to deal a hefty amount of damage with a charged shield, full element phials while doing an Amped Element Discharge is likely to be one of the most powerful single moves in the game.
  • Due to Charge Blade being a heavier weapon, you will be able to 'bruise' a monster after attacking it by clinging on with the Clutch Claw.
10
Evergreen Blade

Insect Glaive

  • 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.

11
Insect Glaive combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Insect Glaive can now consume slinger ammo to power up your Kinsect by pressing Triangle and Circle / Y and B. In addition to this, you can now also fill up two extracts at once.
  • In Iceborne, if you consume Slinger Ammo dropped by a monster, you will gain an additional buff that you'll see next to your collected Kinsect Extracts.
  • In Iceborne, you can now do a vertical thrust down whilst airborne by pressing R2 / RT, which can also be marked by your Kinsect.
  • With the Clutch Claw, you are able to latch on to the monster whilst in midair.

Heavy Bowgun

  • 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.
13
Steel Assault

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Heavy Bowgun can now be modded even further, with additional mods that allow for different abilities, with different stackable mods, which can allow you to maximise damage-per-second.
  • The Heavy Bowgun creates a weak spot with its Clutch Claw attack.

Bow

  • 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.
bow
Bow combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Bow gets a brand-new move, Thousand Dragons, which uses all of your held slinger ammo and fires it into the monster and can be combined with the specific bow show that you have. This can be done by aiming, then clicking in the right stick which makes you switch over to your slinger shots. Then, press on Triangle and Circle / Y and B to let the shot go. This is a great close-range shot and can stagger monsters handily. It also stacks with Bow Coatings, meaning that it can be a good way to inflict status on monsters.
  • The Clutch Claw attack swipes at the monster, and if you loose your bow, then you will also fire a shot in midair - if you get the timing right.

Before the arrival of the new expansion is a list of Monster Hunter World Iceborne beta dates and details on Monster Hunter World Iceborne weapon changes and types. Until then, it's worth scrubbing up on the base game. As well as our Monster Hunter World tips, our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide explains how Assigned missions, Expeditions and Investigations work, which will see you hunt Anjanath, Zorah Magdaros, Diablos, Odogaron, as well as Elder Dragons Kushala Daora, Teostra, Vaal Hazah, Xeno'Jiiva and Kirin, as well as the recently added Behemoth. If you are starting out, we recommend learning how to join friends and Squads in multiplayer, plus how to capture monsters and mount monsters. There's plenty of optional stuff, too - such as Grimalkynes and Doodles, helping unlock Plunderblade and Gajalaka quests.


Monster Hunter World weapon types and their combos for advanced players

Hunting Horn

  • 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.
6
Hunting Horn combos

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Hunting Horn can now leave a new note, activated by pressing L2 / LT after any move.
  • This additional note allows you to perform new songs, which allow you to get a new attack that can be played, and a buff that essentially leaves a 'bubble' that players can pass through and get buffed by, even if they were not in the immediate vicinity when you play the song.
  • The Hunting Horn leaves a weak spot after its Clutch Claw attack.

Lance

  • 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.
7
Lance combos
  • 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.

What's new in Iceborne?

  • In Iceborne, the Lance has access to a new guard stance by pressing L2. You're unable to move, but can perform a Slinger Burst, where you can now follow up with a Counter Claw by pressing Circle/B, or straight into a normal attack.
  • The Counter Claw allows you to grapple onto the monster, and can be accessed from a number of brand-new combos using the Lance, or via the new guard stance.
  • In Iceborne, the Lance has a new Power Guard ability where the guard is actually boosted after a few seconds within the stance, which has the potential to guard against more powerful monster attacks, and potentially even Elder Dragon moves.
  • The Clutch Claw attack creates a weak spot on the monster.

Additional reporting by Mat Hall.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (1)

About the author

Sayem Ahmed

Sayem Ahmed

Contributor

Related

You may also enjoy...

Comments (1)

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading