Controls when out on a quest are a bit more complicated. But never fear, this table is here to guide you! These controls are universal to all weapon types. Weapon-specific controls have (and very well deserve) their own section farther into this guide for you to learn from.
|Buttons||Actions (Weapon Sheathed)|
|Left C-Stick + R (ZR)||Walk or run|
|D-pad (right C-Stick/Nub)||Free-rotate the camera|
|L (ZL)||Focus camera forward or lock-on monster|
|Hold L + A or Y||Scroll through items list|
|START||Pull up the main menu|
|A||Perform actions (ex. gather), select options|
|B||Evasive roll, cancel out of menus|
|Y||Use item selected (weapon sheathed only)|
|R + B||If monster has spotted you, perform a panic dive|
|Buttons||Action (Weapon Unsheathed)|
|A||Attack with weapon (secondary combo)|
|X||Attack with weapon (primary combo) or reload your Gunner weapon|
|Y||Sheathe your weapon|
|X + A||Attack with weapon|
|R (ZR)||Use your special ability (weapon dependent)|
|R (ZR) + A / X||Other weapon dependent special attacks|
You can still do an evasive roll when your weapon is unsheathed, however you cannot jog/sprint by pressing R, as that will activate your weapon's special ability instead. Different weapons also have different standard walking speeds depending on their size and weight.
For example, if you use Sword and Shield, you can still run (albeit slower than if the weapon were sheathed and you used R to run), meaning it's reasonable to keep the weapon unsheathed as you fight the boss. However, a weapon like the Great Sword causes you to slog around as if you were caught in quicksand. Definitely a weapon you'll want to sheathe and unsheathe as is necessary!
Additionally, the Sword and Shield is the only weapon that can use items when still unsheathed. All other weapons must first sheathe before using an item, so be careful.