From Sword to Bowgun. Recommendations On Which Weapon Is Best For You In Monster Hunter World

There are a lot of weapons to choose from in Monster Hunter. Each one plays differently and determining which one you will like the most takes time and practice. Luckily, there are a ton of guides out there to help you become proficient with your weapon of choice. Today, I would like to list each weapon out and give out my suggestions on each one. I have played with most of weapons on this list, but there are some that I have not spent a lot of time with. To help me show off these weapons, welcome my apprentice June! She mostly focuses on bowgun skills and reports what she learns to me.

Sword and Shield

Overview:

The classic weapon for beginners and those who like to slash and protect. The Sword and Shield is one of the most balanced weapons in the game. What they lack in raw power, it makes up with high elemental damage and status effects. The weapon is light to provide fast attacks to compensate for the low damage output. Monster Hunter Generations introduced Oils that can be applied to the sword and shield to improve its performance. This combined with the shield make any challenge a fair fight.

Recommend for:

I recommend this weapon for people who are new to the series that want to use a slashing weapon. It is perfectly balanced with an offense and defense play style that help players get an understanding of the game mechanics. I also recommend this for anyone who is left handed since the sword is always in the left hand.

Dual Blades

Overview

If you want to be fast and aggressive, the dual blades are you weapons. Probably the fastest weapons in the game, Dual Blades sacrifices defense for all out attacks. What makes dual blades special is the Demonization ability. When this ability is activated, you gain a boost in attack power and can perform deadly combos and increase evasion time. The ability will drain your stamina gauge, so it is best to use this ability wisely. If you manage to fill the demon gauge before time runs out, you can then go into Archdemon mode and continue your assault.

Recommend for:

If you want to be a demon on the field and Naruto run, then Dual Blades are the way to go. They are a tricky weapon to use since you are always vulnerable if you get stuck in a combo or can’t evade in time. The sharpness of the weapon also decreases fast due to all of the constant attacks. When you get comfortable with fighting certain monsters, I would recommend going in with dual blades just to have some chaotic fun.

Great Sword

Overview:

My personal weapon of choice! The Great Sword trades speed for massive damage. While you do become one of the slowest members on your team, each hit from the great sword will do a considerable amount of damage to any enemy. You are limited to vertical and horizontal slashes, but proper wielders while find ways to chain these together. The vertical slashes can be charged to deliver a more powerful blow, but leave you open and has a great chance of missing your opponent. The sword is also big enough to be used as a shield when things get dicey. This however will make your sword lose some of its sharpness.

Recommend for:

If you like big swords and dream of being Cloud from Final Fantasy, then this is the weapon for you. The great sword takes a lot of practice to get used to, but once you become good at it you will feel appreciate the power it holds. If you fancy dealing a lot of damage then go with this weapon.

Long Sword

Overview:

Despite being one of the most popular weapons in the series, I have not used the Long Sword as much. Take the length and power of the Great Sword with the swift attacks of the Sword and Shield and you have the Long Sword. The Long Sword provides no defense like the Great Sword, but users are able to perform hops and side steps with each attack. Like the Dual Blades, the Long Sword comes with its own ability called Spirit Attacks, Once activated, the user will need to fill the Spirit Bar by attacking an opponent. Once filled, the user will need to activate the Spirit Attack and land the final hit to increase the user’s attack power. There are three levels to this bar which encourages users to continue their assault or risk losing their power up.

Recommend for:

I wouldn’t recommend starting off with the Long Sword if this is your first time playing. Like the Great Sword, it can take some time to learn the flow of the sword’s movements and how to evade properly. Like the Dual Blades, it is rewarding once you can build up your attack gauge and go on an all out assault on your opponent. If you favor a more technical weapon, then you can’t go wrong with this.

Hammer

Overview:

Another classic weapon. Unlike the swords that can cut their opponents, hammers are meant for bashing. This bashing can leave monsters stunned and open the door for more pounding. The Hammer can be charged up to swing the player and deal consecutive damage. While it is a slow weapon, it is faster than a Great Sword and can deal more damage than the other. There is no option to block incoming attacks, so knowing how to evade is key; or strike at the right moment to knock them out. The Hammer is also good at destroying parts off a monster; which is super helpful when grinding for materials.

Recommend for:

If you want something outside of swords to do damage, then the Hammer is the best option. I can recommend new players to the Hammer since it has the highest damage output out of all the weapons and it is easy to use. With some practice, the Hammer can carry the weakest hunter to feel confident in taking on some of the larger, scarier monsters at close range.

Hunting Horn

Overview:

I feel that a lot of people overlook the Hunting Horn. No one wants to use this weapon, but are happy to have people in their group who knows how to use one. The Hunting Horn functions like a Hammer, but since it is an instrument, you can play melodies for various effects. The Hunting Horn has basic attacks, but each attack input adds a note to a music staff that you have. Once you have specific notes on your staff in the correct order, you can play your horn to buff you and your teammates. These buff includes earphones, health recovers, defense boost, etc. The hard part comes from remembering the attack patterns you need to do in order to create the recital that triggers the effects.

Recommend for:

If you want to play with friends but want to take on more of a support role, please use the Hunting Horn. While the horn is perfectly fine as a weapon on its own, the true benefit of it comes from buffing and helping others. This is a perfect weapon for beginners who want to join in on hunts and learn monster mechanics without the fear of dying quickly. Practice with the Hunting Horn can also help with the transition to using the Hammer later on.

Lance

Overview:

The main attraction to the Lance is the humongous shield that in included. Lance users can be granted a defense boost thanks to that shield. While the shield is impressive, the Lance has a few tricks of its own. While defending with the shield, the user can still attack with the Lance; granting safe attacks while defending yourself from attacks. The Lance can do forward thrust as well as an upward slash. When the moment is right, you can charge at your opponent and deal massive damage from the attack. Just watch your stamina meter as the charge will drain your stamina.

Recommend for:

While the idea of being able to attack while defending sounds neat, it does limit your mobility to move around. The Lance is a heavy weapon, so new players might find it difficult to pack up and move when needed. If you desire to be a tank in a group, the Lance sets you up perfectly to draw the monster’s attention while the rest of your team can go crazy.

Gunlance

Overview:

Another personal favorite of mine, the Gunlance takes a page from RWBY and puts a gun in a lance. Functioning almost like the lance (with shield and everything), the key feature is the firing mechanic in the lance. Gunlances come with shellings that can be fired and reloaded multiple time during a fight. The drawback is that the shellings cannot be shot at a long distance, so you need to get up close to deal the damage. Another thing to look out for is the heat gauge. The gauge fills up whenever you fire a shell, but will decrease anytime you attack with the lance normally, evading, get hit, or not fire at all. The benefit of increasing the gauge is to increase the attack power of your normal lance hits. This basically leads to a strategy game of maintaining heat while not overheating or cooling off. For a special attack, Gunlance users can use an attack known as the Wyvern’s Fire. It is a charged attack that fires a blast from the top of the lance. This is the Gunlance’s powerful attack and can destroy the heaviest of armors that monsters have. Using the Wyvern’s Fire will cause your Gunlance to overheat, which you will have to wait for it to cool off before you can use the attack again.

Recommend for:

If you feel confident in keeping up with the Gunlance’s mechanics, it is a fun weapon to use. If it sounds too complicated, I recommend using the regular Lance since it is just as powerful. If you are already familiar with Monster Hunter, I would recommend this weapon to you if you want to switch things up and use a fun weapon that is tough to master.

Switch Axe

Overview:

The Switch Axe is my second favorite weapon; mostly because it carried me throughout G Rank in 4 Ultimate. This fun weapon can switch between two different weapons. In its normal form, it represents an axe that has fast swinging actions for quick powerful hits. It’s second form represents a Great Sword, but is less powerful and faster to swing. The fun in using the Switch Axe comes from building up the energy meter in axe mode, and then using that stored energy in sword mode to unleash deadly attacks. Each switch axe has a different phial attached to it with different effects with most of them being status effects. Pair this with the rapid attack rate with each swing, this weapon has great usage for most fights.

Recommend for:

The mechanics of the Switch Axe makes it easy for anyone to understand. If the Great Sword is too slow for your taste and the Long Sword is a bit too plain, then I recommend trying the Switch Axe out. If it is not to your liking, the the next weapon on the list might suit you better.

Charge Blade

Overview

The Charge Blade functions similar to the Switch Axe. The weapon starts off like a Sword and Shield, and can morph into an axe. While in SnS mode, attacks will fill up a gauge that is used to fill phials. With phials, you can unleash powerful attacks while in axe mode. You have to pay attention to the gauge. If you do not “charge” you blade when the gauge is full, your attacks will start to bounce off your target until you do so. This can cause some frustration when you fail to realize your attacks aren’t connecting due to a filled gauge. The phials are the same as with the Switch Axe.

Recommend for:

If you like the idea of Sword and Shield but want a little more power, the Charge Blade can be fun. Having to focus on when to charge your blade and avoid the penalty can be a hassle for new players.

Insect Glave

Overview

One of the most interesting weapons that was introduced in Monster Hunter 4. The Insect Glave acts like a staff that the player can use to hop and fly around their opponent for fast, fluid attacks. The other interesting part of this weapon is your insect partner known as a Kinsect. The Kinsect functions as a secondary weapon to the Insect Glave that can level up and upgraded independently. The Kinsect can also attack certain parts of a monster and boost your stats. The boost do not last as long as a Hunting Horn’s boost, so you will have to constantly attack certain spots to reapply those boost.

Recommend for:

Do you wish to fly across the battlefield like an angelic Valkyrie and send a giant bug to do your bidding? Despite its looks, the Insect Glave is a powerful weapon and has enough accessories to carry you through to the endgame. With enough practice and learning how to use the Kinsect effectively, the Insect Glave is good for new players and seasoned veterans.

Bow

Overview:

The Bow is the easiest long range weapon to use. It has unlimited arrows that can be used and does not require reload time. The Bow comes with special coatings that certain bows can use to add status effects or attack boost to your arrows. Attacks can be charged to power up your attacks at the cost of stamina. Introduced in Monster Hunter World, Bow users can make it rain arrows to deal moderate damage in a wide area. The Bow does not provide any type of defense, so evasion and dodging is the only means of protection. The rate of firing may not be as fast as the Bowgun, but users do have more mobility available to them to evade and set up attack distance.

Recommend for:

If you like to play range but dislike the Bowgun, the regular Bow has you covered. The mechanics to the Bow is simple enough for new players to understand and requires less maintenance with ammunition. Being a ranged weapon does make you vulnerable to monsters that charge at you or fight in close range with hunting solo. This weapon is best used for newcomers within a group until they get a feel for it to hunt solo.

Light/Heavy Bowgun

Overview:

The last weapons we are going to look at are the light and heavy bowgun. Both versions have their similarities but also have some elements that make them different. They both require ammunition to use; which you have to stock up on before each hunt. Each Bowgun can use specific ammo with light bowguns specializing in elemental and status ammo, and heavy bowguns going for different attack ammo and a larger capacity. Light Bowguns are seen as a support type weapon since they have a wider range of support ammo and provide greater mobility. The Heavy Bowgun deals more damage than other range weapons, but has low mobility and requires constant setup. The advantage of the Heavy Bowgun is that a shield can be attached to it; along with other modifications that both bowguns can use.

Recommend for:

Both bowguns have their advantages, but share the same problems with mobility and ammo management. If you want to take a back seat and help support your friends, then the Light Bowgun is more helpful than the heavy one. If you want to bombard monsters with heavy firepower, than the Heavy Bowgun has no competition.



And that is all of the weapon types (whew). If you would like to know more about each weapon type, I recommend reading the monster hunter wiki on each type. I frequented it while working on this post. Say thanks to June for helping me with modeling (now if only she was more diligent with training…).

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

How To “Level Up” In Monster Hunter. Personal Growth over Artificial.

Most RPGs follow the tradition of giving attribute points to build a character’s stats. The points that are given to you, or randomly assigned, determines how strong you are, the equipment that you can use, if you can cast magic, your health, etc. This allows replayability so players can restart the game and build their character in a different way. Monster Hunter is a bit different and unique when it comes to handling how you grow and improve as a player. Rather than attributing points into your strength, dexterity, agility, and whatnot, Monster Hunter rewards players who take the time to practice and study (with a dash of grinding and luck).

While there are skills you can attach to your hunter, there are no fixed points that you can use to strengthen your hunter. Your strength, health, stamina, and abilities are all attached to the equipment and item effects. There are no permanent stat boost that you can apply to your character. Let me try to explain. Say you find an equipment set that boost your attack power by 15%. You will gain the benefit of that equipment, as long as you are wearing that equipment. The simple answer would be to always use that set of equipment; however as the challenges get tougher, your low rank armor will not be the best protection (unless you yourself become a better player).


The appeal to craft better armor also comes with new abilities to use and more free slots you have. Free slots can be used to equip charms. Charms can be set in any weapon or armor that allows it to fit. This can be used to counter any negative abilities or to create an equipment set that fits your play style perfectly. Just remember that un-equiping any of the armor will result in losing those skills.

So what is the best approach of improving your character? In my honest opinion, it is all about doing two things: finding a weapon that you enjoy fighting with, and studying each and every monster that you face. Both of these tips will help you in the long run, and will help you with all of the challenges you face in the game (seriously there are challenges you can do on the hardest difficulty while only wearing your underwear).

Let’s start with the first point, weapon proficiency. While there is no way for the game to tell you that you have mastered a weapon style, you will notice it as you play. There are a total of 14 weapon types to choose from, minus the four exclusive to Monster Hunter Frontier Z and Explore. I would like to go over the different types of weapons in a different post, but just know that no two weapons function the same. It is up to you to study each play style and figure out which weapon suits you better. This will come with practicing each weapon in low rank quest until you get a feel for the different mechanics.

As you fight each monster, you will soon realize that some weapons will work best for different types, or that you can’t hit the weak spots as easy. This does not mean that you cannot win a fight against these monsters with the weapon you choose. By the time you get to these challenging monsters, you will have spent a long time understanding and perfecting certain moves to help you turn the tide. I recommend becoming familiar with at least one weapon in each family: cutting, impact, and pierce/shot. Becoming proficient with different weapons makes you versatile, but mastering one weapon can make you unbeatable with that weapon.

The second point is probably the most important skill to learn, reading and understanding each monster that you face. Leaning each monsters weaknesses, behaviors, attack patterns, and movement will make trump any skill you obtain in the game. No monster is too powerful if you know how to evade its attacks and hit them where it hurts. This is also where a lot of patience comes into play as it can be frustrating to lose to a monster over and over again (while also sometimes fighting the controls). Every monster gives a visual clue as to what attack they are about to do next. Rathians and Rathalos will take a step back and spread their wings when they are about to attack with a forward tail attack. The Teostra will explode in 100 seconds after it is enraged. They will even start to drool and lose their elemental attack when exhausted.

We are now blessed to have an in-game monster weakness guide!


Learning all of the signs will give you all the information you need to know when to attack or defend. There are some people who view the game as a beat’em up with little strategy except when to attack. Hunts can be extremely long or short if you understand the right tools and tricks to take down your opponent. There are no tutorials that teach you these things, so it all comes down to how much time and effort you took to understand these things. In some way, you are increasing your intelligence stats by learning these things.

These are just my tips on how to become a better hunter in Monster Hunter. Like in real life hunting (I’m assuming since I have never hunted before), you have to watch your prey and learn their behaviors and interaction with their habitat. Obviously crafting better weapons and armor is the smart thing to and is a deciding factor when taking on G Rank nightmares, but understanding your weapon and the monster will give you the determining edge. To grow as a hunter is to grow yourself, and for me that is one of the most rewarding things that this series gives.

Thank you for reading,

DanamesX

The Appeal of Monster Hunter

My favorite weapon was recently brought back 🙂


So what else can you do in the game? If you want to be a pacifist, you can capture monster instead of killing them. Capturing yields more rewards than killing, but requires you to utilize the limited number of traps carefully. There are some monsters that cannot be captured, so I would suggest inviting friends to do the dirty work. There are a plethora of optional quest to do to keep players coming back; especially if you want to attempt to 100% complete each game. There is also an arena that no one really likes. You have to choose from five preset equipment sets and hunt a monster as fast as you can solo or with a friend. Think of this mode as a time attack mode that is only fun for a few hunts. There are also tons of armor and weapons to collect. Many people have devoted themselves to fashion hunting, so if you would like to create different armor and weapon combinations to hold a fashion show, then this game has it.

Sounds interesting? There are other factors that make this series an interesting game. The improvements that World introduced made the series accessible for new players, but took away a little bit of the charm that the older games had. There is a lot of hidden lore about the world and trying to piece the history is another fun joy. I didn’t get a chance to talk about how your own personal growth affects how you improve as a hunter. There are no stat improvement that you can do for your character. You equipment is the only thing that increases your stats and abilities, and everything else comes from your experience. It is possible to hunt in nothing but your underwear and still be able to take down the hardest monsters in the game. These different playstyles and approaches is what makes this series standout and one of the most unique games I’ve ever played.

Also there are cats. Did I forget to mention the palicos? These trusty felines are your hunting partner and are very helpful in the field. You can customize them however you like and train them for what you need. They are extremely loyal to you and will assist you the best they can; even if that means taking one for the team sometimes. Since they are cats, they make the same cat sounds and some of them are master chefs. These furballs are everywhere and add some relief when you are being stomped to death.

Yup it is official. The palicos are the most appealing thing about these games.

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

Final Fantasy XIV: The Chosen MMOne

Massive Multiplayer Online games have never been my type of genre. As an introverted person, interacting with other people has always been a challenge for me; more so with one’s that I cannot physically interact with. Most people adapt an online persona to help with that uneasiness, but for me, I like to be who I am upfront and not convince others that I am this big social butterfly. So then why out of all of the current games that I am playing do I keep returning to this one most of the time?

If you have not had the chance to play Final Fantasy XIV, it may be off putting at first, but when you dive deeper into it, it becomes a giant homage to all of Final Fantasy. There are a ton of references to previous games in the series; these include boss fights, music, locations, apparel, and even some characters themselves. There are also references to some of the spin-off games like Final Fantasy Tactics and collaborations with other games like the recent one with Nier: Automata. All of these elements combined may be the reason why I enjoy playing this game. It is familiar to me and thus I feel comfortable “existing” in this world.

This is me, Xeikon Zeras, and my fabulous hat!

The familiarity of the game world is what comforts me. There is an original story with its own characters, locations, and lore, but some of the concepts like the Warrior of Light, primals as the summons from previous games, and the familiar classes you can choose from help make it feel like a true entry in the series. Another big difference that I see differently from most online games, is that a vast majority of people playing are nice and generous to help newer players get a hang of things. There is always someone who will run down mechanics of boss fights to new players and give advice on strategies to use. Even if we fail multiple times, no one is yelling or blaming someone else for messing up all the time. It is normally followed with friendly advice to watch out for certain moves and look for call outs that are made. This cooperative nature is something I don’t see much in other online games that I play.

That does not mean that there are no flaws to the game. I will criticize that the main game up to level 50 struggles to keep players engaged and has a lot of unnecessary content. Most of the beginning quest are all “go here and there” quest and the main story is sprinkled in among the fluff. I know the intention is to get players to explore the world, become familiar with it, and work your way up to level 50, but it becomes a snooze fest along the way. Once you get to the endgame of the first patch, the intensity of the game ramps up and the true appeal of the content is then shown. An easy fix would be to introduce these concepts during the beginning parts so not to throw players into learning their roles on the fly and decrease the amount of experience you need in order to reach level 50. There was a recent patch to cut some content from the post game (another 100 pointless quest before moving on to the first expansion), but it still feels like a long journey that burns you out quick.

The rain understands me

I am currently at the end of the Heavensward expansion and just finished the Dragonsong post arc. If you are interested in trying the game out, there is a free version that you can play that allows you to get to level 35 in any or all jobs. It also allows you to transfer your data to the full game if you are interested in continuing. I will continue to enjoy this game just because I am interested in finding all the little references from other games in the series and the community built around this game. Shout out to the Free Company that I am a part of, The Moogle Conspiracy, for being awesome people that I can hang out with even though I hardly talk (I am getting better at engaging). 

There are more stories that I would like to share about my time in Erozea and the adventures I go on. I am almost at the second expansion content, Stormblood, and I am excited to see where the story goes and the new content that will become available. I also promise to have more pictures as I have just recently discovered how to take them.

Still working on a signature sign off,

DanamesX