Monster Hunter World Weapons: tier list, weapon classes and how to pick the best weapon explained

Monster Hunter World features many of the same weapon types as in the rest of the series, but they've been rebalanced and tweaked to better for this new more open and action-packed experience. As always, this leads to intense fan debate - just what is the best weapon, and what does a weapon tier list look like for the game?

Well... listen, it's complicated. There are a whopping 14 different types of weapon in Monster Hunter World, and each has its own unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Some weapons are easier to use than others, with some requiring a real mastery of Monster Hunter World's mechanics and the wepaon's combos and unique abilities to become truly useful. In true RPG form other weapons are easy to pick up and use early on, though that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be easily outclassed later on, either.  

This is naturally a fairly complicated  weapon system with each weapon having its own little pitfalls and advantages - and so in this Weapons Guide we're going to get in-depth on each of the weapon classes in the game and how they work, plus take a look at some fan-voted weapon tier lists. This should help you find the best weapon in Monster Hunter World for you. First, here's a video from Arekkz demonstrating each weapon:

Got your weapon of choice? Master the rest of Monster Hunter World with our guides:

What's the best weapon in Monster Hunter World?

Monster Hunter World doesn't feature any all-new types of weapon, but many of its weapons have been tweaked and changed in significant ways when compared to the previous games in the series. There are 14 types of weapon in the game total, and while you'll encounter different versions of each weapon type with various stats and elemental affinities their core features, combos and controls will be shared with other weapons of the same type.

Keep in mind that there's not as much use in simply sticking with one weapon all the time. You might want to switch between some of the 14 classes of weapon depending on not just your personal preference but the nature of the monster you're currently hunting or your team make-up when heading into a co-op online hunt - and online co-op is vital for later quests. 

Initially, Monster Hunter World will allow you to forge iron or metal versions of every single one of the weapon types, but as you slay monsters and pick up more useful loot you'll be able to turn those drops, rewards and carves into more useful new types of weapon and armor, or upgrade your existing kit. The best thing you can do in the early stages of Monster Hunter World is experiment. In your room in Astera you'll be able to access the weapon training room by speaking to your housekeeper Palico - give each weapon a try and see what feels right. Some will be more about dealing out raw damage while others will be more technical, with the weapons that have a higher barrier to entry on their use naturally being ultimately more rewarding - but we'll get into that a little more later on in this page.

As a starting point we'd recommend picking one of the weapons we've flagged as being safe for beginners below - and then once you're more confident, you can graduate to something more impressive. The Sword and Shield will prep you well for becoming a Lance or Gunlance user, for instance. 

Keep in mind that your choice of weapon in Monster Hunter World will impact a lot. Weapons can have elemental damage affiliations that'll make them better against some monsters and worse against others. Also, Monster Hunter World features a stat called Affinity on every weapon that has a strong influence on how much damage you can do. Basically, you need to choose carefully and make an informed decision, both in terms of your weapon class of choice adn then what weapon within that class.

Now, let's get in to the weapon tier list and a full explanation of what each weapon class is like...


Monster Hunter World Weapon Tier Lists: weapon type ranking lists

One thing to keep in mind about any Monster Hunter World weapon tier list is that Capcom do like to adjust the game every now and then. Patches have changed everything from simple stat tweaks to deeper adjustments to how the basic mechanics of weapons work, but with that said we have some thoughts on what the best weapons are.

Here's an important thing to note, however: Monster Hunter World is quite well balanced, and so whatever the tier list says pretty much every type of weapon is viable. So pick one you like. With that said, here are our thoughts... and the thoughts of Japanese fans, voted on Japanese site around patch 1.05.

RPG Site's MHW Weapon Tier List Picks:

  • SSS Tier: Bow
  • S Tier: Heavy Bowgun, Charge Blade
  • A Tier: Great Sword, Long Sword, Hammer, Dual Blades
  • B Tier: Gunlance, Lance 
  • C Tier: Light Bowgun, Insect Glaive, Hunting Horn, Switch Axe, Sword & Shield

Japanese Fan's Voted Tier List (via

  • Solo Tier List:
    • SSS Tier: Dual Blades, Light Bowgun, Long Sword
    • SS Tier: Charge Blade, GReat Sword, Heavy Bowgun, Switch Axe
    • S Tier: Lance, Gunlance, Bow
    • A Tier: Hammer, Insect Glaive, Sword & Shield
    • B Tier: Hunting Horn
  • Co-op Multiplayer Tier List:
    • SSS Tier: Long Sword, Bow, Dual Blades
    • SS Tier: Charge Blade, Light Bowgun, Heavy Bowgun, Insect Glaive
    • S Tier: Gunlance, Hammer, Greatsword, Switch Axe
    • A Tier: Hunting Horn, Lance
    • B Tier: Sword & Shield

Before you go letting these tier lists influence your thinking or weapon pick, however, you'd better fully familiarize yourself with all of the weapons in Monster Hunter World. Below, we're going to explain every class in a nice simple, easy-to-digest way - so keep reading...!


Monster Hunter World Weapons Guide: all 14 weapon classes explained

Okay, so - Monster Hunter World has 14 weapon types, each of them entirely unique. But which is best for you? Well, you've read the tier list and weapon ranking, but now it's time to consider which weapon is actually best for you. Below we're going to run down each weapon type in a basic, easy-to-understand manner - just listing off some pros and cons and skills of each weapon type. So... let's do just that. 

Sword & Shield

  • Very beginner friendly
  • You can block attacks, and even use items while blocking
  • Quick Attacks and good mobility for evasion
  • Low damage output
  • Guard is weaker than with heavier weapons that have it

Great Sword

  • A strong alternative starting point for newcomers, and an iconic Monster Hunter weapon
  • High damage for every hit you land, and when charged the highest damage output in the game
  • Large size of the sword allows you to block with it
  • Long range
  • Charge attacks can make monsters stumble and fall over
  • Very slow and difficult to dodge with
  • Charge attacks leave you vulnerable while charging or if they whiff

Dual Blades

  • Incredible speed that allows for rapid attacks and dodging enemy attacks with ease
  • Demon mode allows for very effective, high-damage combos - and even outside demon mode, combos are very powerful
  • Element and status effects are common on many of these blades
  • Without combos, low damage output
  • Short range
  • No blocking options

Long Sword

  • A good balance of damage, mobility and speed
  • Decent range on your attacks
  • Proper use of the Spirit Blade can make you much more powerful the longer a fight runs
  • No block ability - dodge only
  • Its attacks are inaccurate and sweeping in nature


  • One of the most balanced weapons in Monster Hunter World, a solid jack-of-all-trades
  • Joint strongest blocking ability in the game, and able to counter attack quickly
  • Good attack power and excellent range for melee
  • Slow moving, making dodging difficult - you'll need that shield


  • Similar to the lance, but trades some of that balance for a higher damage output
  • Excellent reach and mobility for such a powerful weapon
  • Shells are great for exploiting specific monster weak points, and shell damage is unblockable
  • Like the Lance, dodging so slow you'll need that shield
  • Sharpness deteriorates very quickly when using shell attacks

Switch Axe

  • Difficult to master thanks to micromanagement, but deeply rewarding once mastered
  • Easy-to-chain combos, but generally complex thanks to its transforming nature
  • Transforms between superior reach & mobility in axe form to damage dealing in sword form
  • Phials can add bonus buffs and effects to it
  • No Guarding
  • Low mobility in sword mode

Charge Blade

  • A great advanced option - an ideal graduation from the Sword and Shield once you're comfortable
  • Complicated to use but very versatile
  • Axe form has some incredible damage output opportunities
  • Phials can be used with both forms to add extra buffs
  • Performing combos wrong or forgetting the complex moveset could prove very costly very quickly


  • Hard hitting with a very high raw attack stat, and charged attacks are more powerful still
  • You can run even when this weapon is out
  • The hammer's blunt attacks have a chance to KO monsters more easily.
  • Sluggish to use thanks to its weight, so timing is always critical
  • Short range

Hunting Horn

  • Attacks make notes that can be turned into melodies that can buff your team, offering excellent support - perfect for multiplayer co-op assignments and expeditions
  • Decent damage output for a support weapon
  • Like the hammer, is blunt and so can stun more easily
  • Slow attacks due to weight
  • Not much in the way of offensive moves - it's about supporting

Insect Glaive

  • The king of aerial attacks with extremely good mobility - great for mounting monsters
  • Fast attacks, but in turn a low damage output
  • Good combo potential
  • Powerful buffs from the Kinsect
  • No block - dodging is your only way to escape damage
  • Mobile shenanigans have high stamina costs


  • Very versatile, able to do a lot of different things quite well with ease. One of the best weapons once mastered
  • Unlimited Ammunition and a strong mid-to-long range combat option
  • A great many coatings for arrows that can determine things like power, elemental effects, or status effects like Poison and Paralysis. The coatings you can use depends on your bow.
  • No blocking and no really viable melee options at all.

Light Bowgun

  • Fast fire rate with decent range - but low damage in return
  • Lots of ammo types for dishing out status effects
  • Strong mobility
  • No blocking

Heavy Bowgun

  • High damage, Long Range, and with high ammo capacity
  • Can be equipped with a shield for blocking
  • Many different weapon attachments and ammo types - one for every situation
  • Slow fire rate and slow movement
  • You have to keep supplying ammo