In order to defeat monsters, you’re going to need weapons. To get weapons, you have to make them from monsters. Talk to the man at the forge to get started.
Any weapon upgrade or forge will need materials, such as scales, beaks, talons, gems , etc. Some can be much rarer than others, so make sure you farm sufficiently until you have everything you need! You’ll also need enough money!
Most weapons are only obtainable via upgrading , and many weapons have multiple upgrade paths, meaning it’s up to you to choose the one that suits you the best. If you want to make sure you get the right weapon, look up weapon trees to figure out where you’ll end up.
Some weapons can be upgraded and forged, but if you forge it, you will need to pay out more money and give up more, and sometimes rarer, materials. Consider carefully if it’s worth forging, or if it is better in the long run to upgrade.
When you reach a certain point in the storyline, and you have your first ever max upgraded weapon of Rare 8 or higher , you will unlock the ability to Hone your weapon using specific items and more zenny. You can Hone for three things: Defense, Attack , or Life. You cannot stack these options. If you choose to change which Honing you give your weapon, you must pay a small fee plus some more items.
Honing for Defense will give a flat numerical addition to your defense, usually 60, which is a noticeable increase. Attack will add a flat numerical addition to your attack that varies by weapon type. Life will add a small percentage that when you land a hit, you restore health without needing items. Slower weapons like Great Swords restore more health per hit than faster weapons like Dual Blades.
My personal recommendation is that you hone for Defense if you want more leeway for mistakes, or Attack if you are confident in your abilities to avoid hits. Life is gimmicky and unreliable, and less effective than just bringing healing items and using them.