You won’t get anywhere without a proper weapon! Weapons are broken down into two broad categories: Blademaster and Gunner.
Blademaster weapons are all melee weapons that get you up close and personal, while Gunner weapons are ranged weapons and allow you to strike from afar! While the majority of weapons are Blademaster weapons,
Gunner weapons are no less potent or complex, so pick what you like! You can main one weapon the entire way through, or pick up everything, or any range in between.
Bear in mind that Blademasters and Gunners also have their own entirely separate armor and armor skills, so if you choose to use weapons from both classes, you must have sets of armor for each. The game will not allow you to run around with a Gunner weapon in Blademaster armor.
Blademaster weapons will further subdivide into two subclasses: Cutting and Impact. Cutting damage is capable of severing tails if the monster’s tail can be severed. Impact weapons, if they deal enough damage to a monster’s head, will cause the status KO .
This leaves the monster dizzy and tipped over, and as a result it will be open to attack for a prolonged period of time. Cutting weapons cannot cause KO (few exceptions include Charge Blade’s Burst). Impact weapons cannot cut tails (the only exception is the Hunting Horn’s hilt poke).
Every weapon has raw power , elemental power (except Bowguns), sharpness (Blademaster only) , and affinity. So pick carefully when forging and upgrading. Raw power is the power of the weapon before any items, skills, or other kinds of buffs are applied.
Elemental power is added on to that raw power based on the target monster’s weaknesses or resistances. There are five elements: fire, water, ice, thunder, and dragon .
Some weapons have status power instead of elemental power, and instead of targeting a monster’s weaknesses, lower their tolerance to the status.
Once enough damage is done and the tolerance is zero, the status is inflicted. Tolerance rises each time a status is successfully inflicted, making it harder to cause it again. Statuses include poison, paralyze, sleep, and blast.
Affinity refers to a weapon’s chance of landing a critical hit. A critical hit will boost damage by 25%, and is noted visually by a red streak as the weapon attacks. Negative affinity drops damage by 25% and is noted by a dull blackish streak as the weapon attacks.
A weapon with a 15% boost to affinity may not seem like much, but when you consider how many hits it takes to bring a monster down, it does make a difference. It is not, however, the gamebreaking end-all-be-all reason you make a weapon.
Most weapons have a standard affinity of 0%. Aside from weapons have specific affinity boosts or nerfs, many armor skills, such as Latent Power , can also boost affinity.
Sharpness, however, is one of the more important parts of a weapon that will affect what weapons you choose to make. As a weapon rises in rarity and power, its sharpness will also increase. Sharpness levels are indicated by color, and in ascending order go: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, White, Purple.
Purple, the max level of sharpness, is often only obtainable through the armor skill Sharpness+1 .
The following table shows how sharpness will multiply raw power and elemental power. As the largest modifier of a weapon’s final damage output, you should always 1) pick weapons with more sharpness and b) keep your weapons sharp when in battle
It might not seem like much, but when you are hitting a monster multiple times over the course of 20 – 50 minutes, it adds up very quickly.
When in Low Rank, shoot for green sharpness . Blue sharpness is your target sharpness for High Rank. And in G Rank, white is the minimum , and if you have Sharpness+1, always aim for purple.
For your weapons, bring Whetstones to sharpen (Blademaster), or bring Ammo and the supplies to make more (Gunner).
All weapons also come equipped with a special function, ability, or attack, through use of the R shoulder button when the weapon is unsheathed. Weapons with shields can block, Hunting Horns will perform melodies, Dual Blades will enter Demon Mode, etc.
On your touch screen, you have an icon that is the kicking icon . When your weapon is unsheathed, it changes to the special attack icon. Use this for additional attacks. For example, the Hunting Horn can do its cutting-damage hilt poke through use of that icon.
Throughout this guide, this icon will be referred to as “SA” for “special attack” (not Switch Axe!).
Every weapon has pros and cons over all other thirteen weapon classes, and all are equally capable of defeating any monster.
Although some will have advantages, such as mobile weapons being better for monsters that move around a lot, and Gunner weapons being better for monsters that spend time up in the air or are extremely tall.