A classic and important little gameplay concept in Monster Hunter World is Affinity, a tiny little stat that can have a major effect on how much damage you can do and how effective your weapons will be. It can be a little obtuse - but we're here to help with that.
In Monster Hunter World your hunter improves their skills by getting better gear and through your natural skill. As you progress towards the best armor and the best weapons of high rank, you'll be able to dish out way more damage and take way more hits as a result. Affinity has a major impact on how much damage your weapons will do, and becomes particularly vital later on in the game.
Essentially, the Weapon Affinity Stat helps the game to decide how likely it is that a weapon will deal additional damage beyond its main base damage stat. Affinity is particularly important to Monster Hunter World's meta, and it helps to determine what the best gear for any given situation is. It can be the driving force behind an entire build if you want it to be. Let's dive a little deeper into how Affinity works...
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What is Affinity in Monster Hunter World? This vital Affinity Weapon Stat Explained
Every single weapon in Monster Hunter World has its own unique Affinity Stat. This is displayed as a percentage and ranges from -100% to +100%. In the middle, the norm, is 0%. Most early weapons you encounter will have an affinity of 0%, but quickly as the game introduces more systems you'll encounter more types. Some weapon types may trend towards certain affinity ranges, too, so keep an eye on that and make sure you've picked the best weapon class for you.
When a weapon has negative affinity, weak hits will become more common with it - impacts that ultimately deal lower damage than usual. Conversely, a weapon with positive affinity will be more likely to do critical hits, special hits that deal more damage - a classic RPG mechanic that you're all likely very familiar with.
This doesn't mean that a weapon with a negative affinity is a bad weapon, since other things about your character build can impact your affinity. It might seem that way if you just look at things at a glance, but you need to look at the bigger picture: a weapon with negative affinity might have an absolutely enormous base damage stat, meaning even with the lowering of the chance to do critical damage the overall damage of the weapon will still be higher.
This harks back to one of the most traditional RPG concepts, the idea of Damage Per Second, DPS. A weapon with lower affinity might still have a higher DPS than one with a towering affinity stat thanks to its speed - so compare weapons carefully.
There's a wrinkle to all this - Affinity on a given weapon isn't actuallty set in stone. In fact, the entire Affinity system is all about balance: an amazing weapon in every other stat with great elemental damage might have negative affinity, meaning if you can balance that negative affinity out with other things like Armor Skills you'll have a barnstorming, super-powerful weapon.
For the record, A Critical Hit will do 25% bonus damage on top of your basic weapon damage. While the exact math gets a little more complicated and varies greatly from weapon to weapon, increasing the chance of critical hits with affinity can thus increase your damage output significantly. Ultimately Affinity is all about balance, however - balancing out the damage output you need against how likely it is you'll do a crit.
If you want to calculate how much damage a weapon can potentially do with the Affinity Stat included, here's a formula from reader Nick Gale in the comments:
- A crit does 25% bonus damage. So multiply the affinity by .25 add 1 and multiply that by the base damage of the weapon to compare weapon to weapon.
- So for instance: ( 800 Raw Damage Weapon with 10% Affinity = .25 x .1 + 1 = 1.025 x 800 = 820 raw on average. ) Thanks Nick!
How to Raise your Affinity with Armor & Boosters to balance weapon choices out
As we just touched on Armor Skills can help to adjust your Weapon Affinity Stat. There are loads of Armor Skills in Monster Hunter World on its various armor pieces, and some of them have affinity-changing skills. By balancing your choice of weapon (and thus affinity) against your armor you can seriously change things up - and in past Monster Hunter games this was what led to the super high-damage meta in the endgame, with the all-time classic being a combination of a low-affinity greatsword and the Critical Draw skill, a combination that turns a hunter into a ridiculously powerful tank.
- Affinity Sliding: Increases your affinity for a short time after you perform a slide.
- In Low Rank, find this skill on the Kestodon Hands.
- In High Rank, find this on the Kestodon Hands, even in its alpha form.
- Attack Boost: Raises your affinity at higher levels; also increases your attack power.
- In Low Rank, grab this skill on the Bone Chest and Rathalos Helm armor pieces.
- In High Rank, you'll find this on the Bone Beta Chest, Rathalos Alpha Hands, Dober Alpha Legs and Nerigigante Alpha Helm and Hands. The better Attack Boost II is found on Bone Alpha Chest, Rathalos Alpha & Rathalos Beta Helm, Dober Alpha & Beta Chest & Boots, and Nerigante Alpha & Beta Legs.
- Critical Draw: Increases the likelihood that draw attacks will land a critical hit. With some weapons and builds, this can guarantee a crit. Also known colloquially as Crit Draw.
- In Low Rank, you'll only find this on the Diablos Helm.
- In High Rank, find this on the Legiana Alpha Boots and Diablos Alpha Boots. You can also find the more powerful Critical Draw II on the Diablos Alpha and Diablos Beta Helm.
- Critical Eye: Boosts your affinity significantly. Also known as Crit Eye.
- In Low Rank, find this on the Kulu Boots and Odogaron Legs armor.
- In High Rank, find this skill on the Kulu Alpha & Kulu Beta Boots and Strategist Alpha Helm.
- Affinity Booster: Finally, there's a special item in Monster Hunter World called the Affinity Booster. This unique item that raises your affinity, and we've got a page how to get an affinity booster.