Monster Hunter Rise has a dizzying array of weapon types that come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be overwhelming to decide which weapon type is best for you if you're just getting started.
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 how wirebugs incorporate into each weapon including Silkbind attacks and Switch Skills.
Monster Hunter Rise weapon types list: Which weapon is best for you in Monster Hunter Rise?
There's 14 weapon types in total, but it's important to note that every single weapon is finely balanced and 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. As weapons also require less materials to upgrade than in previous entries, it's even easier to switch up to another weapon and playstyle if you're looking for 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. Gyro aiming is also supported on Switch.
The Monster Hunter Rise weapons list is as follows:
As for the best Monster Hunter Rise weapons, for beginners, we recommend the Sword and Shield, Dual Blades and Light Bowgun - and try each type in the training area before embarking on an early game hunt each.
From there, everything from there apart from Charge Blade and Lance are 'intermediate', with those latter two as 'advanced' - don't attempt to take these on until you know Monster Hunter better!
Ultimately, whatever you choose, the village quests that constitute the solo campaign are also considerably easier than past games, so you shouldn't have too much trouble even if you don't upgrade your weapons very far and want to try something else.
How do Monster Hunter Rise weapons work?
As well as the blow-by-blow for each weapon type, you should know the following extra details about how weapons work and how best to approach them.
For one, weapons stats also have Affinity, which is usually related to the extra power given to elemental-based weapons. You'll tend to notice that weapons with high raw damage has minus affinity, which acts as a balance since less powerful weapons can still prove powerful if a monster is weak to a specific elemental attack.
Weapons are also grouped into sharp, blunt and piercing types. Sharp weapons like swords are best for cutting up fleshy unarmoured monsters and particularly great if you're trying to cut off the monster's tail. Blunt weapons like hammers are best for high-impact damage that can both stun monsters and break off armour plates. Meanwhile, piercing weapons like bows can get deep into monsters to inflict multiple damage.
You'll start out being able with the basic version of every weapon type, and with the new Training Area available in Kamura Village, it's worth taking a trip there so you can get a feel for each weapon before you head out to a real hunt.
The Training Area will list all your command inputs and there's also a mechanical monster you can test your weapons on to see how much damage you deal in each area. Better still, you can also go into the menu and tweak its settings so that it turns around or attacks, great for practising parries.
From your basic starting weapons, the weapon tree expands for every weapon type as you progress in the story and hunt more monsters. Be aware that some weapon trees may not unlock until you've fought the monster at High Rank. But provided you've progressed far enough in the story and have the materials, there's nothing stopping you from forging and upgrading for say just the Long Sword but then deciding to forge a higher rarity Switch Axe, though you may still need to forge the base weapon first before you can upgrade it.
Monster Hunter Rise weapon differences, including Switch Skills, explained
For those coming from other Monster Hunter games, it should be noted there are no new weapon types in Monster Hunter Rise. However every weapon has new mechanics thanks to the wirebugs and switch skills system, while some weapons have been revamped to become more accessible.
Switch skills unlock as you progress in the story and essentially allow you to switch out some of your weapon skills, including Silkbind Attacks, that best fit your playstyle, though some are more subtle than others. The more you use one weapon type, the more switch skills you can potentially unlock, while later hunts also reward you with additional switch skills.
A major game-changer in Monster Hunter Rise is the introduction of Wirebugs. These insects produce a special glowing silk thread hunters can use as a grapple, though you can just grapple thin air and wiredash, giving the game greater verticality than ever before, while expanding aerial combat previously limited to a select couple weapons.
That may seem a little less significant now that mounting monsters has been replaced by wyvern-riding, but it still diversifies your combat options.
Wirebugs also allow you to execute special Silkbind Attacks, which are unique to each weapon type. Most of these are actually based on the Hunter Arts introduced in Monster Hunter Generations but they're easier to use, while their relatively quick cooldown makes them more viable to use regularly in a hunt compared to the previous Arts.
To perform a Silkbind Attack, unsheathe your weapon and press either ZL and X or ZL and A. For ranged weapons, this will be mapped to R and X or R and A. Depending on the move, Silkbind Attacks cost either one or two wirebugs. Some weapon types will also have multiple Silkbind Attacks, which depend on the Switch Skills that are unlocked.
Sword and Shield weapon guide and tutorial
- Fast, fluid combos that allow you to dip in and out of the hunt.
- Ability to use items while guarding with shield.
- Despite its short range, the charge slash allows you to perform a followup jumping scaling slash, followed by another aerial attack.
- Instead of the charge slash, if you press X after a backstep, you can perform a leaping slash and then press X again to perform a perfect rush. Pressing X at just the right time will deal even more damage.
- 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.
- Press ZL and X to perform the Falling Shadow Silkbind Attack, which is basically a upwards wiredash followed by an aerial attack. If the attack connects, you automatically follow up with a scalin slash. This costs one wirebug.
- Press ZL and A to perform the Windmill Silkbind Attack, which swings your blade around with a combo flurry, the initial swing also nullifying any monster's attack. This costs two wirebugs.
- For Switch Skills, press X and A to perform an Advancing Slash that slashes downwards while stepping forward. Alternatively you can switch to Sliding Slash, where you'll slide on the ground before ending with a slash. If the first attack connects, you'll automatically follow with a scaling slash, although you can also press A while sliding to do a Jumping Rising Slash.
- With quick attacks and ability to guard, we'd say the Sword and Shield is the perfect entry point for beginners.
Dual Blades weapon guide and tutorial
- Fast and stylish, the Dual Blades are perfect for getting Tail Cuts on Monsters.
- Demon Mode can be activated with ZR, allowing you to attack faster and some new attacks like pressing A and X to perform Blade Dance, but drains your stamina.
- Keep getting in hits while in Demon Mode to built up your gauge. When the gauge is full, you'll unleash Archdemon Mode for even higher damage.
- The weapon flows well, allowing you to wail on a monster while simply monitoring Demon and Archdemon modes.
- While in Demon or Archdemon mode, jumping off a ledge or platform will have you automatically attacking with a Spinning Blade Dance. If you hit a monster with this, it will trigger Heavenly Blade Dance for a full flurry of slashes.
- In Demon mode, press A to deliver a Demon Flurry Rush. However, you can change this Switch Skill with Demon Flight, which propels you in the air as you attack, allowing you to follow-up with aerial attacks, great for reaching a monster's weak spot higher up.
- Press ZL and X to perform the Piercing Bind Silkbind Attack, where you throw a kunai at a target that detonates shortly after. If you can land a hit at whne the kunai is lodged, you'll deal even more damage. This costs one wirebug.
- Press ZL and A to perform a Shrouded Vault Silkbind Attack. It's essentially a forward wiredash except if you get hit while in motion you'll parry with a spinning attack, which makes it a good choice to face a threat head-on instead of evading. This also costs one wirebug.
- Great for aggressive players, who want a fast weapon with lots of options.
Light Bowgun weapon guide and tutorial
- 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 easily craftable from plentiful items.
- Using Wyvernblast ammo on some Light bowguns allows you to 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. As such, you can forge weapons based on raw attack power, although stats you'll want to be mindful of include Affiniy, as well its deviation, recoil and reload.
- Press R and X to perform a Silkbind Glide, which seems at first no different to a forward wiredash done while the weapon is drawn, except press ZR afterwards and you'll do a high-damage close-up attack. It however costs two wirebugs.
- Press R and A to activate a switch skill, each costing one wirebug. By default, the Fanning Vault is similar to an upwards wiredash though it takes you higher in the air allowing you to fire while airborne or dropping a Wyvernblast onto a monster's head.
- Alternatively, change the switch skill to Fanning Maneuver, which is purely evasive, using a wirebug to allow you to quick flank a monster to the left or to the right. Your attack gets a boost during this and you can fire while in motion.
- It's an easy weapon to pick up for less action-focused players, who are perhaps more used to third-person shooters.
Great Sword weapon guide and tutorial
- Best sharp weapon for dealing the most amount of damage.
- Slow movement while unsheathed allows you to perfectly position yourself to hit the monster in weak areas.
- The shoulder tackle fortifies you, making you immune to flinching or being knocked back by any attack. This is now a Switch Skill which can be changed with a guard tackle that's a little more cumbersome but allows you to guard against attacks.
- Charge Attacks should be used as often as possible, in order to use the weapon to its full potential.
- Press ZL and X to perform the Hunting Edge Silkbind aerial attack. After landing the attack, you can quickly follow up with X or ZR in midair, which you can charge up by holding either button down. This costs two wirebugs.
- Press ZL and A to perform a Power Sheathe, which charges you forward as you sheathe your weapon. Doing this however boosts your attack power for a short time. It costs one wirebug.
- While powerful, the Greatsword requires you to master perfect positioning and evasion to get the most out of it.
Long Sword weapon guide and tutorial
- 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 with ZR, 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.
- You can perform a Special Sheath stance by pressing ZR and B, holding the stance for several seconds either to execute the Iai Slash or Spirit Iai Slash. The standard Iai Slash puts up your spirit meter when it connects, whereas the Spirit Iai Slash can deal heavy damage when you counter an attack. When timed perfectly, it can level up your Spirit Gauge, though if you miss the timing it also won't cost a level of your Spirit Gauge like it did previously.
- By default you'll have an overhead attack called a Step Slash, which you can perform when first drawing your weapon while moving forward. This Switch Skill can however be changed for the Drawn Double Slash, which deals a vertical and horizontal slash for double damage. Since you still have a Step Slash when the weapon is drawn, it makes sense to switch to the latter.
- Spirit Helmbreaker is activated by successfully performing a Soaring Kick Silkbind attack by pressing ZL and X, and deals huge damage when it connects, costing a one level of the spirit gauge.
- Soaring Kick is also a Switch Skill which can be later changed with the Silkbind Sakura Slash. This whirlwind attack is less risky than the Spirit Helmbreaker and actually raises the Spirit Gauge level when used.
- Press ZL and A to activate Serene Pose. This stance automatically counters any attack, which can be followed up with a combo. It also lasts a couple seconds so you don't have to be parry-perfect though you should anticipate a monster's attack for effective results. It costs two wirebugs to trigger.
- 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.
Hammer weapon guide and tutorial
- The Hammer is the best blunt weapon for dealing the highest amount of damage. Despite being slow, you can 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.
- If you press A while charging, it will cause a charge switch, which also changes the colour of your hammer icon next to your weapon sharpness gauge. This essentially varies your charge attacks.
- Evasion windows are small, but essential when repositioning yourself to do damage in critical areas.
- Press ZL and X to perform the Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon which sees you spinning in the air with your hammer. This costs one wirebug.
- Alternatively, change to switch skill Dash Breaker, which pulls you forward like a forward wiredash followed by a hammer swing. This also costs one wirebug.
- Press ZL and A to perform the Impact Crater, a Silkbind attack that deals a devastating rising attack that also deals multiple hits on the way down. Hold the buttons down to charge this up for even more damage. This costs two wirebugs to activate.
- 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.
Gunlance weapon guide and tutorial
- 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.
- Wyrmstake Cannon follows up shelling attacks, which hits multiple times and explodes, which is great for breaking off monster parts.
- The Gunlance also has a special Wyvern's Fire which overheats the weapon to deliver a huge explosion. It however has a significant cooldown time.
- Press ZL and X to perform the Hail Cutter Silkbind attack, which begins with a rising slash followed by an overhead smash. It costs two wirebugs to activate, though each use also reduces the cooldown for Wyvern's Fire.
- This switch skill can be changed for the Ground Splitter, which only costs one wirebug and has you wiredashing forward before delivering an upward slash. By scraping the gunlance on the ground doing this, it heats up the barrel, temporarily increasing your shell damage.
- Press ZL and A to use one wirebug to perform a Guard Edge. It acts as a parry that regenerates your weapon's sharpness and you can quickly follow up with a combo.
- 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.
Switch Axe weapon guide and tutorial
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.
- The Wild Swing lets you combo ad infinitum, which is great for building up meter Your basic infinite combo is great for building up meter so that you can morph to Sword Mode.
- It should primarily be used for building up the meter into Sword Mode, or evading while sheathed.
- For Silkbind attacks, press ZL and X to perform an Invincible Gambit, a spinning charge attack that also makes you immune to flinching or knockback. This costs one wirebug to use.
- Press ZL and A to perform a Switch Charger. You'll perform a forward wiredash while quickly regenerating your Switch gauge, which also won't decrease for a short time.
- 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 pressing X and A.
- 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.
- You can also change Switch Skills so that pressing ZL and X lets you perform Soaring Wyvern Blade, press X while in midair to dive down with an Advancing Slash. If this connects, the weapon's activation gauge fills up and triggers a large explosion.
Hunting Horn weapon guide and tutorial
- Although somewhat perceived as a support weapon, the Hunting Horn is easy to play solo - and frankly quite OP in Rise!
- Performing songs only require you to play the same note twice in a row, making the weapon much more accessible than before.
- Alternatively you can change this to another Switch Skill where pressing ZR plays the chords and can trigger multiple melody effects at the same time.
- Line up three different notes and you can press ZR and X to trigger Magnificent Trio to unleash a swirling combo that also triggers all melody effects.
- Next to the music gauge is a circular gauge that fills up as you get in hits. When it's filled, you can unleash Infernal Melody at the end of Magnificent Trio, which unleashes a devastating follow-up combo while boosting attack for a period of time.
- Provide a huge amount of buffs, boosts and more to your character and party through performing songs on the horn.
- Press ZL and X to perform a Slide Beat that propels you forward with a spinning attack. Infernal Melody can also be triggered after this. This costs one wirebug.
- Press ZL and A to perform Earthshaker which winds up and throws a blade at your target. If it connects, silk connects to your weapon which emits a high-damage sonic attack. It costs two wirebugs to use.
- Alternatively, the above Silkbind is a Switch Skill that can be changed to a Bead of Resonance, which plants a wirebug cocoon on the ground. When you play another melody, the effect also appears around the cocoon, which means it can buff nearby hunters but also emits a sonic wave to damage monsters in range.
- While it really comes out in multiplayer, this weapon can be an invaluable asset to any team.
Insect Glaive weapon guide and tutorial
- This offers a huge range of mobility. Even though aerial attacks are possible for other weapon types now, the Insect Glaive's vault is still the easiest to perform, and without wasting a wirebug.
- 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. These can stack together and allow for a powerful range of buffed combinations.
- Airborne combos, thanks to a Vaulting Dance that keeps you in the air when a Jumping Advance Slash connects, make this great for fighting flying monsters and Wyverns with an airborne vault attack, provided you've got enough stamina.
- Air Dashes make for incredible mobility, and 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.
- The Switch Skills are harder to execute as they depend on you having Red Extract loaded but you can follow up a Leaping Slash with either a Tornado Slash or a Tetraseal Slash, the latter able to lure in Powder Kinsects.
- Press ZL and X to perform a Silkbind Vault which is similar to just an upwards wiredash and also costs one wirebug but allows you to follow up with the same aerial moves when vaulting normally.
- Press ZL and A for an emergency evade that also recalls your kinsect. The kinsect will also perform spinning attacks as it returns to you, leaving behind healing extracts. This costs one wirebug to use.
- 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.
Heavy Bowgun weapon guide and tutorial
- 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 dependent on what Heavy Bowgun you have - allow you to dish out unique moves specific to those Heavy Bowguns. There's either Wyvernsnipe, which fires one powerful piercing shot then explodes multiple times ignoring any resistances, or Wyvernheart that's basically turns your weapon into a gatling gun for very high damage.
- Switch skills can affect your special ammo with a Healing Mech Wyvernsnipe or Healing Mech Wyvernheart lowering your damage output but restoring your health in return.
- Press R and X to perform a Counter Shot, which absorbs an attack and then follow up with ZR with a devastating counter. This costs two wirebugs.
- Press R and A to perform a Free Silkbind Guide, which is essentially a forward wiredash but which you can follow up with a melee attack.
- Beginner friendly but slow, the Heavy Bowgun is excellent for localised damage on a certain area of the monster.
Bow weapon guide and tutorial
- 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 come from pretty common items around the world so shouldn't be hard to gather. Unlike the bowguns however, bows can be forged with specific elemental affinities.
- Charging your shots allow you to do higher damage, with charges decreasing your stamina.
- Arrow damage also rises in tiers, providing new effects depending on the type of bow. This can be done by charging the bow, shooting in quick succession, or by dodging after a shot and immediately shooting again.
- You're able to pull off a special Arc shot, which fires a projectile in the air raining down support buffs for you and other hunters, which can vary based on the weapon you have. There's healing recovery, raising your affinity or negating knockback for a limited time.
- You also have a Switch Skill that allows you to sidestep while aiming. You can change this to a Dodgebolt that doubles as an evade and spinning attack.
- Press R and X to use a wirebug to backflip out of danger, which then puts you in a focused crouching position that rapidly regenerates your stamina.
- Press R and A to perform a Herculean Draw, which makes you surge forward then buffs your attack temporarily. That extra power does however cost two wirebugs.
- 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.
As well as our Monster Hunter Rise tips, learn about High Rank, ore locations, bone locations, weapon types, Insect Glaives and Kinsects, how to join friends in multiplayer, how to capture monsters and learn about wirebugs and great wirebugs. Meanwhile when it comes to individual quests, we have explainers of where to find a Well-done Steak and a Rock Lizard.
Charge Blade weapon guide and tutorial
The Charge Blade is the most complex weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. Similar to the Switch Axe, it has two modes, shifting 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.
While complex and difficult to master, the Charge Blade does the biggest damage of any weapon in the game.
- 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. Charging your sword is important as is timing. Hold down the charge for too long and certain attacks will not execute properly. Similarly, building up too much Sword Energy will also result in sword attacks bouncing off.
- You can enter Sword Boost Mode when you perform a Condensed Elemental Slash during an Elemental Boost, which will prevent your sword from deflecting while giving you extra attacks.
- In Axe Modem with at least one phial applied, you can perform an Elemental Roundslash your provides an elemental boost to your shield that improves power and guard capacity.
- 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.
- Some attacks have blocking frames where your shield is facing forward. Timed correctly, you'll automatically block an attack, which also charges up Axe Mode.
- For Switch Skills, you have a standard Condensed Element Slash that is charged up after putting your sword in the charging position. Changing this to the Condensed Spinning Slash which turns your weapon into a buzzsaw.
- Press ZL and X to perform Morphing Advance. This Silkbind attack costs one wirebug and launches you forward while switching your Charge Blade to axe mode and makes you invincible to any monster attacks while in motion.
- Press ZL and A to activate Counter Peak Performance, which automatically refills your phials to max if hit in this stance. This costs two wirebugs to use.
- 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 defence 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.
Lance weapon guide and tutorial
- 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, although your stamina will deplete while your shield is up. However stun time will be greatly reduced during this time so you can swiftlyl counter-attack.
- You have a Switch Skill where you can hold ZR with X and A to perform a dash attack as you charge the monster lance-first for multiple hits. Alternatively you can change it to Shield Charge where you will charge shield-first blocking oncoming attacks and causing blunt damage if your charge hits the monster.
- Press ZL and X to perform Twin Vine where you will throw a kunai at your target, which is tethered with silk. Pressing ZL and B after this lets you jump and close the gap with the monster faster. This costs two wirebugs.
- Press ZL and A to perform Anchor Rage which allows you to absorb an attack with your shield but also boost your own attack power temporarily. This costs one wirebug.
- 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.
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