Monster Hunter Rise’s weapons are often labeled easy to learn, hard to master, and it’s an accurate description. Each one is based around a straightforward concept: Long Sword has its Spirit Gauge, Insect Glaive lets you fly, and Switch Axe can change form. But every weapon also has depth—secret states you might not know unless you looked them up, or played around long enough in the training area.
It’d take thousands of words to describe what every Monster Hunter Rise weapon can do, so instead, I’ve chosen four favorites on which to give a brief introduction. Each has its own distinct playstyle and benefits, and lots of depth if you choose to use it as your main. For simplicity’s sake, I’ve also described combos with controller inputs.
Whatever you choose, it’s definitely worth experimenting with all weapons in the training area to find what’s fun. So, here are some great Monster Hunter Rise weapons to try, as well as details about affinity, buffing your weapon, and how to unlock more.
The best Monster Hunter Rise weapons to try first
- Stuns monsters with KO and Exhaust
- Fun wirebug attacks
- Great source of blunt damage
If you like the idea of bonking a monster on the head until it sees stars, you’ll like the hammer. Though not the most mobile weapon, its attacks can stun monsters and punish them while they’re down. The hammer, in-part, relies on its charged attacks, which you activate by holding and releasing RT. There are three charge levels, and the third activates the Spinning Bludgeon attack if you’re moving. You can cancel out of it after one or two spins using Y, letting you follow up with a basic combo.
If you press Y after three spins, it’ll conclude with a strong upswing. Smacking a monster in the head with any of the upswings deals strong KO. When you deal enough it’ll stun the monster, letting you follow up with powerful, stationary attacks like your B ‘Big Bang’ combo. When you reach charge level three, you can also press B to enable Strength Mode, increasing your damage, and altering some combos.
That’s hammer in a nutshell—stun monsters and punish them while they’re down. It also has wirebug attacks like Impact Crater and Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon that are as fun as they sound. Hold LT and press B or Y when the weapon is unsheathed to try them. If you’re charged up with RT and running down a slope, you can also slide and do a Mid Air Spinning Bludgeon—the most enjoyable downhill attack in the game, for my money.
- High damage potential
- Good mobility
- Can counter monsters
If you want a starter weapon with a high skill ceiling, the Long Sword might be for you. This blade is all about using attacks to fill your Spirit Gauge (the katana below your health) and once full, unleash the Spirit Blade combo with RT. When you successfully land the combo, your gauge will turn white, then yellow, then red. That incrementally boosts your damage.
However, if you combo Y, RT+A, Y, you’ll perform an Iai Slash that causes your Spirit Gauge to fill over time. Your Soaring Kick wirebug attack (LT+Y) also does this. Once your Spirit Gauge is red, you can perform the powerful Spirit Helmbreaker. Use Soaring Kick, then press RT while airborne to perform the attack. This reverts your gauge back to yellow.
You can also learn to counter monsters. An easy way to try a counter is to use the Serene Pose wirebug skill (LT+B) before a monster attacks, which instantly levels your Spirit Gauge if successful. For added mobility, combos like B, Y+B and a direction input, perform a Lateral Fade Slash that lets you reposition mid-attack.
- Safer than a melee weapon
- Good dodges
- Ammo for every occasion
If ranged weapons are more your style, the Light Bowgun is a decent introduction. This weapon has a number of ammo types you can switch between, inflicting a variety of statuses. Each ammo type has a critical distance where it deals the most damage, which you can tell by when the aiming reticle turns orange.
The Light Bowgun also offers evasion while aiming. If you tap A twice + a direction after firing with LT and RT, you’ll perform a speedy dodge. Your Silkbind Glide (R1+Y) also lets you slide towards a monster, upon which you can use RT to shoot it in the face with a powerful shot.
Light Bowgun’s Fanning Vault wirebug skill (R1+B) lets you jump over a monster, and this is the perfect opportunity to use Wyvernblast. Press B to fire this special ammo down at the monster as you jump over it. These charges stick to a surface, and then explode whenever they are hit, allowing you to stack damage, and support your teammates’ attacks. You can deploy three, and they recharge over time.
- Fight in the air
- Kinsect provides support
- Amazing mobility
If you want to spin through the air like a death-dealing helicopter, Glaive could be your weapon. The key to Insect Glaive is the Kinsect, an insect buddy who sits on your arm, but can be unleashed with RT, recalled with RT+B, and sent to gather extracts from monsters with RT+Y and the aiming reticle. There are three extracts to gather: red, orange, and whit. Each have different effects:
- Red: Increases attack and unlocks movesets
- Orange: Knockback protection
- White: Movement speed boost
- One of each: Provides Earplugs, Flinch-Free, and activates ‘Assist’ Kinsects
Each of these extracts comes from a different part of the monster. Red is your priority, since it unlocks your best attacks, and you can generally extract it from the head or tail. Once the Kinsect symbol below your stamina is red, you can recall it to add that extract to your slots. Now you’re ready to fight in the air properly.
Press RT+A to vault and begin your mid-air combo. Insect Glaive is about stitching together attacks and abilities mid-air to hit the monster, reposition, and often stay up for as long as you can. Red extract unlocks the Strong Jumping Advancing Slash which you perform with B—your go-to air attack. Once you perform three of these slashes or run out of stamina, you’ll drop to the ground, so the key to getting prolonged airtime is sandwiching them with vaults (A) and your Silkbind vault (LT+Y). As you descend you can also press Y to deal damage on the way down.
Being in the air can prevent you being hit, let you attack hard-to-reach monsters, and deal mounting and elemental damage with rapid strikes. Kinsects add a great deal of customization, too, with their own level, damage, type, and bonus. Powder Kinsects can support teammates with healing or deal elemental damage, Speed Kinsects can rapidly grab extracts, and Assist Kinsects fight alongside you when you have one of every extract type. It might sound complex, but it’s a lot of fun if you want a weapon that’s very different to the others.
What are affinity and switch skills?
Affinity is kind of complicated, but the best way to think of it is in terms of critical hits. You can view affinity as a percentage on every weapon. Positive affinity means you might deal bonus damage, while negative affinity means you could deal less on certain strikes. Skills such as Critical Eye and Maximum Might increase affinity, and you get these through decorations and armor.
Switch skills, on the other hand, are combos and wirebug attacks that unlock through Master Utsushi in the Gathering Hub as you progress and forge weapons. Each weapon has three skills that can change the way it’s played. The third, and often most powerful, is unlocked by completing a quest he’ll give you.
How to upgrade and unlock more Monster Hunter Rise weapons
Beyond upgrades, there are a couple of ways to improve your weapon. The first is through the decorations that you unlock once you reach high-rank. These jewels can be forged at the smithy, and depending on your weapon slots, inserted to provide buffs and skills. The second is Ramping-Up. After you complete your first Rampage quest, you can infuse your weapon with a Ramp-Up skill at the smithy, choosing to buff elemental power, attack, or lots of other things.
Progressing through the game and gaining hunter ranks increases the tier of weapons available to you. As with armor, you can unlock specific weapons by acquiring materials—most often by defeating new monsters. Completing Kamura Village requests can also earn you some fun weapon designs, such as a teddy bear hammer, or an insect glaive that looks like a paint brush. It’s worth noting that you can add weapons to your wishlist at the smithy, and you’ll be informed when you have enough materials to forge them.