Monster Hunter: World – Weapon Beginner’s Guide | Everything You Need To Know

There are 14 different weapons to choose from in Monster Hunter: World. Picking the weapon that’s best for you is a pretty daunting task. Weapons are much more than they first seem in Monster Hunter: World — each weapon has its own unique moveset that’s actually pretty complex.

Throw in special meters, customized ammo, and all the other little factors that go into certain tools of the trade, and Monster Hunter: World can seem really overwhelming.

To help ease you into the game, we’re going to provide a quick overview and explain what you need to know about weapons. Not all weapons are created equal, and experimentation is key to victory. Get a glimpse into the early arsenal and see why you might want to pick multiple weapons to main.

More Monster Hunter: World guides on Gameranx:

Which Weapon Is Best For You? | Weapon Beginner’s Guide

When you arrive in your Private Quarters, you’ll be forced to pick your first weapon. Don’t worry — your first weapon selection won’t lock you in. Shockingly, all of the starter weapons are available to you at any time, so you’re free to train or experiment whenever you want.

These early weapons are all available in the Item Box, but they won’t be useful for very long. Eventually, you’re going to have to settle on a specific weapon (or two) as you unlock upgrades. Choosing which weapon to use in combat will completely change your playstyle — think of weapons as your class.

  • Weapon have their own skills, special attacks, meters, and preparations. 
    • To see a weapon’s complete Moveset, return to the Private Quarters and talk to your Housekeeper to access the Training Room.
  • Many weapons have a Sharpness stat. This is a green meter that slowly depletes as you attack monsters. When the meter isn’t green, you’ll do less damage. The weapon will continue to deplete until it is severely weakened.
    • To refresh Sharpness, use the Whetstone. The Whetstone is an infinite-use item that you can use at any time. It takes a few seconds to use, so wait until you’re out of combat.
  • Weapons cause a certain class of damage. Often, weapons can cause more than one type of damage. There are three damage types; cutting, impact, and shot.
    • Slicing damage is useful for cutting parts off monsters, or harvesting materials off monsters during battle.
    • Impact damage can stun and exhaust monsters, knocking them off-balance and giving you time to attack.
    • Shot damage has a variety of special effect depending on the ammo you use. Often, you can use elemental ammo to deal bonus damage to enemies.


There are 14 types of weapons when you start the game. You’ll upgrade weapons or gain new weapons of the 14 major types as you progress. Generally, you’ll have the same moveset — but weapons can also gain custom mods and other useful upgrades. You’ll learn more about those as you climb the hunter ranks.

Let’s go over a quick weapon overview of each weapon.

  •  Hunter’s Knife [Sword and Shield]
    • Ease of Use: Easy
    • A short sword / shield combo that lets you stay mobile in combat. A good mix of offensive and defensive, you can attack and guard well with this simple, straightforward weapon. Perfect for beginners.
      • Special: None. Shield Bash / Item use while equipped.
  • Buster Sword [Great Sword]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • Slow but powerful. If you’re ready to stand your ground and hammer monsters with your oversized sword at close range, you’ll have to learn when to use opening. Low mobility and low defense, so be prepared to learn monster attack patterns.
      • Special: Great Swords can be charged. The longer the charge, the more powerful the attack.
  • Iron Katana [Long Sword]
    • Ease of Use: Easy
    • An easier-to-use Great Sword, the Long Sword allows more mobility with very fluid combos you can dodge out of quickly.
      • Special: Attack to charge the Spirit Gauge. When fully-charged, you can expend meter to dish out even more damage.
  • Matched Slicers [Dual Blades]
    • Ease of Use: Easy
    • Like a faster Long Sword, these extremely close-range weapons can attack with quick combos while still allowing your hunter to stay mobile.
      • Special: Press [R2 / RT] to activate Demon Mode, allowing the hunter to string a never-ending combo and gain armor so they combo isn’t interrupted by attacks.
  • Iron Hammer [Hammer]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • Similar to the Great Sword, the Hammer is a very slow weapon that deals Impact damage instead of cutting.
      • Special: None. Impact damage can stun enemies with repeated strikes to the head.
  • Metal Bagpipe [Hunting Horn]
    • Ease of Use: Difficult
    • The Hunting Horn is a very unique weapon in that it isn’t really designed for combat at all. While you can use it to attack monsters, it’s primarily a weapon that buffs allies in a variety of ways at long-range. Never use this weapon when you’re solo.
      • Special: Buff allies with special note combinations. Can also be used to attack for low damage.
  • Iron Lance [Lance]
    • Ease of Use: Difficult
    • Another difficult weapon due to extreme low mobility. The lance is designed to attack at close-range behind a shield. Lots of defense and offense, but the low mobility and Counter special ability are designed for experienced players.
      • Special: Counter ability can be charged and unleashed effectively only right as an enemy monster’s attack lands, allowing you to hit with a devastating combo.
  • Iron Gunlance [Gunlance]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • Despite the name, Gunlances aren’t ranged weapons. Instead, they’re lances that can discharge special shot damage at close-range. You can deal unique elemental / shot special effects with the charge, but you lose the shield and don’t gain much mobility.
      • Special: Gunlances can be loaded with shot charges, just like Bowguns, but is only effective at close-range.
  • Proto Iron Axe [Switch Axe]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • A very unique weapon that can deal cutting and impact damage. The weapon transforms — it can be an overpowering heavy axe, or a sword depending on the configuration.
      • Special: Swap between sword mode and axe mode for two different movesets.
  • Proto Commission Axe [Charge Blade]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • Another unique weapon that can transform. While in sword mode, you’ll have a shield / sword combo that’s quick, or swamp to axe mode for slower, more powerful strikes.
      • Special: Unique to the Charge Blade, your attacks will charge a gauge that, when full, allows you to discharge a powerful finishing attack.
  • Iron Blade [Insect Glaive]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • A weird double-edged spear that gives you control of insects. Very fast and mobile, with the ability to vault at any time.
      • Special: The Hunter can summon a Kinsect that fights alongside like a pet.
  • Chain Blitz [Light Bowgun]
    • Ease of Use: Easy
    • A simple long-range weapon that’s easy to use for beginners. Give you plenty of mobility and various types of shot for different effects. Run and shoot at the same time.
      • Special: Allows you to customize ammo for different shot damage effects.
  • Iron Assault [Heavy Bowgun]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • A much slower but more powerful version of the Light Bowgun. You won’t be able to run and fire with this weapon equipped.
      • Special: Go immobile and stay crouched to fire more shots, faster.
  • Iron Bow [Bow]
    • Ease of Use: Moderate
    • A simple middle-of-the-round option between the Light and Heavy Bowguns. Deal good damage at range while still retaining mobility.
      • Special: Charge the bow to deal more damage.