Monster Hunter Rise has 14 weapons, and each comes with its own style, moves, and uses. The weapon you pick will drastically change how you play the game and engage with each monster.
Choosing weapons in Monster Hunter Rise is like picking your class in an other games — although it’s much more flexible, as you can always change weapons between hunts. You could love Monster Hunter Rise while using the hammer and hate it using the dual blades. Luckily, it’s something you can — and should — experiment with as you play.
In this Monster Hunter Rise weapons guide, we’ll help you choose a weapon and briefly dive into each one.
Table of contents
- Charge blade
- Dual blades
- Great sword
- Heavy bowgun
- Hunting horn
- Insect glaive
- Light bowgun
- Long sword
- Switch axe
- Sword and shield
Choosing a weapon
There’s no right or wrong way to play Monster Hunter. Some players use every weapon, while others fall in love and stick with one. When you’re getting started, pick two to four weapons that you think feel great. There are a few ways to test weapons.
Pick a weapon that sounds interesting, and use it against the dummy in the training area. Open the Hunter’s Notes > Weapon Controls menu and read about each weapon. Try out their combos, and then grab a new weapon from the box. This is a great, rapid-fire way to test weapons out.
Replay early hunts
Try the opening hunts using different weapons every time. These hunts are usually pretty quick and painless, so you won’t be stuck with a weapon you hate for long. It also gives you a more realistic use case. It’s easy to use the complex charge blade against a dummy, but it’s much harder to wield against a moving monster.
Pick a diverse offering of weapons. As someone who loves to use the hammer and the hunting horn — both blunt weapons that are great at breaking monster pieces but bad at cutting tails — I have two cutting weapons like the long sword and the switch axe that I use on good tail-cutting fights like Rathian.
Your skill level also affects your ability to swap weapons. If you’re a great player, you already know that you can hunt any monster with any weapon type. But if you’re brand new or struggling, you should stick with a weapon that you know and like. The monsters get harder the farther you get in the game, so you’re better off mastering something early and sticking with it than restarting with a new weapon every few hunts.
Monster Hunter Rise weapons, explained
Just like Monster Hunter: World, Monster Hunter Rise offers 14 weapons to choose from. Every weapon is viable on every hunt.
The bow isn’t a typical video game bow. It’s more like a shotgun. You can shoot a bunch of bolts up close or a group of bolts from a distance. But the bow is often a bit sluggish and punishing at the start of each Monster Hunter game. You’ll need more powerful perks and better armor before you can really get the most out of it. The bow also uses powerful arrow coatings to really be effective, but you won’t have many until you craft some later in Monster Hunter Rise.
Test the bow in the training area, and if you dig it, bank that feeling for later and try another ranged weapon in the meantime.
The charge blade is the most complex weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. It involves dealing damage to charge your weapon, storing those charges in your sword, shield, and in phial containers, and then dishing it all out in one large burst. It requires excellent positioning and understanding of each monster.
This is the worst weapon for newcomers. It’s difficult to use properly and there are a lot of combos to remember.
The dual blades in Monster Hunter Rise are fast and simple. You can slice monsters and move around them very quickly. You can activate Demon Mode, which makes your attacks cost stamina but also makes your hits more powerful. After enough damage in Demon Mode, you’ll charge your gauge and activate Archdemon Mode, which alters some of your attacks and remains active past disabling your Demon Mode buff.
The combos for the dual blades are really simple and it’s easy to understand. This is a great weapon to pick up for new players.
The great sword is probably Monster Hunter’s most famous weapon. It’s what you see on the boxes and in the movie. The huge sword hits extremely hard, but it’s unwieldy. It works on a charge-based system, letting you charge, attack, charge again, attack hard, and then charge one more time to attack the hardest. If you can nail the combo, the damage is incredible, but it requires a ton of patience and confidence.
Despite its simple controls, the great sword requires a lot of positioning and game knowledge. New players should stay away until they learn more about the monsters.
The gunlance is a combination lance and explosive device. You can stab at the monster and protect yourself with your heavy shield. But you can also detonate your gunlance, firing large shells at monsters and blowing parts of them away. The gunlance is a bit more complex than the lance, which may also make it more engaging if you’re having trouble digging into the more protective style.
The gunlance may be great for some players, but it’s probably best to start with the normal lance first. If you like the protective playstyle but find the limited move set a bit boring, try the lance that explodes instead.
The hammer is the best weapon for knocking a monster out and then whaling on it. It also excels at breaking parts of the monster, which can get you rarer items at the end of the hunt. The hammer has a high skill ceiling, but the floor is pretty low. You need to stick by the head, charge up damage, and then whale on the target when you get an opening. Well-timed hits can deal massive damage to monsters.
The hammer is a great starting weapon, as it really allows new players to grow into KO machines as their skill improves, without punishing a lack of knowledge the way more positional weapons do.
The heavy bowgun is one of Monster Hunter Rise’s three ranged weapons. It’s longer range than the light bowgun or the bow, and it deals heavy damage — for a price. Unlike the light bowgun, you need to charge your shots for the heavy bowgun. The longer you charge, the more damage you deal. Paired with some craftable ammo, the heavy bowgun can do some major damage to monsters if you have the patience to wield it.
The heavy bowgun is the middle step in ranged weapon complexity, and new players can have a good time with it.
The hunting horn got a major upgrade in Rise, and it’s one of the best weapons in the game — if you’re willing to learn how it works. You don’t have combos with the hunting horn. Instead, you play notes while dealing damage. Each note correlates to a song, which you can play to buff yourself and your allies. The biggest mistake you can make with the hunting horn is assuming that it’s a weapon only for support. A good horn player is more than capable of tackling a hunt on their own, and they do even better in groups.
The hunting horn isn’t terribly complex, but newer players may have a hard time keeping track of their songs and the monster simultaneously. Start with the hammer and check out the hunting horn if you like the slow, hard-hitting style.
The insect glaive is one of fanciest Monster Hunter weapons. It’s a double-bladed staff paired with a Kinsect — an insect buddy that helps you in combat. The insect glaive attacks very quickly, but to take full advantage, you need to command your Kinsect to attack various spots on the monster, and then recall the bug to give yourself periodic buffs.
The insect glaive has a lot going on, and it’s a difficult weapon to deal a lot of damage with. Newer players should steer clear of the insect glaive while they’re learning new monsters.
The lance is one of the simplest weapons in Monster Hunter Rise. With the lance, you become an immobile tank, able to move very slowly and jab the monster with your long, sharp stick. The lack of mobility affords you a giant shield, which lets you absorb pretty hefty hits from most monsters. It requires patience, but a good lance player rarely takes much damage in a fight.
The lance is not a particularly attractive weapon, as it can be very boring for new players that aren’t used to Monster Hunter’s combat style. But it’s also an extremely safe option, making it great for patient new players.
The light bowgun is the simplest of the three ranged weapons. You fight from a decent range using the light bowgun, and combine different ammo types to whale on a monster with relative safety. You also retain a lot of mobility with the light bowgun. It doesn’t deal a ton of damage, meaning you’ll need to spend a lot of time attacking the boss rather than dodging, but it’s a great way to watch a monster and anticipate its moves.
The light bowgun is a solid starting weapon for players who enjoy ranged combat. While the ammo system is a bit complex, the weapon is very simple, which should give light bowgun players a chance to focus more on the monster than themselves.
The long sword is one of Monster Hunter’s most popular weapons. The idea behind the long sword is pretty simple. You’ll need to attack the monster to charge your gauge, and then spend that gauge on a special combo that deals big damage. If the last hit of that special combo hits, your long sword will gain a big damage buff. You can repeat this process multiple times to increase your buff. It’s a simple idea, but it really captures what’s great about Monster Hunter’s combat. You have to use your special combo differently on each monster, which really helps you learn their patterns.
The long sword is a perfect starting weapon for new hunters. However, hunters in a group need to realize that their attacks can trip their allies. Stay by the monster’s tail and away from your friends if you’re learning this weapon.
The switch axe is a unique weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. You need to hit the monster with your switch axe to build up a charge. Once you’re charged up, you can swap your switch axe into sword mode, which deals high damage and expends your charge meter. The switch axe has an awesome flow, and you can do some cool stuff with it like attach yourself to a monster and make your blade explode inside their body.
The switch axe is an involved weapon, but it’s also relatively easy to pick up and deal decent damage with. It’s a good weapon for new players who might feel bored by the dual blades or the lance or some of the simpler starting weapons, but who also don’t want to dive into something difficult like the charge blade.
Sword and shield
The sword and shield is simple, but it allows for a lot of flexibility. This is one of Monster Hunter’s most versatile weapons — you can hit a monster with the shield to knock it out or use the blade to cut off tails and other bits.
You can use items with the weapon drawn, unlike any other weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. Being able to use items without putting your weapon away is a massive boon for new Monster Hunter players. It can be a bit difficult to deal optimal damage with the sword and shield for new players, so it’s best to run this weapon in a group. But if you’re looking for something fun, simple, and versatile, the sword and shield is a great starting point.