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Monster Hunter World: What Weapons are Best for Beginners?

The first time you boot up Monster Hunter World can be quite intimidating. As any Monster Hunter alum knows, Capcom’s creature-slaying romp is robust with choices. From item, weapon and armor crafting to the loadout you choose to hunt with, everything requires careful consideration to pull off the perfect hunt.

One of the first things you’ll notice stepping into the New World is that each of the game’s 14 weapons are available for immediate use. While that may seem like a gift, what you’ll come to find is that every weapon type has a learning curve, some far more complex than others. If you’re just getting started in Monster Hunter World, it’s very easy to get turned off by picking the wrong weapon.

Though the game lets you test each weapon in a Training Room, it doesn’t quite match what it’s like using them against a living, breathing foe. Rather than go through a frustrating trial-and-error to find out which weapon works best for a beginner player, consider first entering the wilds with any of these easy-to-handle weapons.

Sword and Shield

Ease of Use: High

Initial Attack Power: 112

Initial Sharpness: Moderately High

Though you’ll need to be mindful of sharpening your blade with the Whetstone, the Sword and Shield pairing is the ideal starter weapon. Unlike many of Monster Hunter World’s weapon types, the Sword and Shield can be productive for button mashers, though it also has plenty of more advanced combos to learn. Take some time in the Training room to familiarize yourself with its range of combos for maximum effectiveness in the field.

The close range is balanced by fast movements and the ability to guard against attacks. When things get a little dicey, the Shield can be used to bash and stun your prey. Even with minimal distance between you and your target, the Sword and Shield favor evasive attacks, keeping you out of harm’s way.

The Sword and Shield also allow hunters to use items with their weapon drawn. In the thick of battle, this could mean the difference between life and death.


Ease of Use: High

Initial Attack Power: 96

Initial Sharpness: N/A

The Bow is a great support weapon during multiplayer as it lets players hang back and fire off arrows tipped with different buffs and status effects. Its attack power may be low, but being able to keep distance from your target is a huge perk.

Even flying solo, the Bow can be fierce if utilized correctly. Though it doesn’t have combos that can be strung together, the Bow does have two powerful special attacks—Dragon Piercer and Special Shot. Dragon Piercer is a charged shot that increases range and damage at the sacrifice of mobility. The Special Shot varies depending on the Bow type being used.

The Bow may not be the most versatile weapon and may not allow for blocking, but it does have power tiers when hunters charge shots, shoot in succession, or dodge an enemy immediately after firing off an arrow. Charging shots will deplete stamina, but arrows can still be fired normally with low or no stamina.

Coatings are the Bows greatest asset, imbuing arrows with Elemental damage and Status Effects like Paralysis and Poison. Unlike arrows themselves, Coatings come in limited quantity and need to be crafted. Additionally, specific Coatings only work with certain Bow types.


Ease of Use: High

Initial Attack Power: Light Bowgun: 130 / Heavy Bowgun: 150

Initial Sharpness: N/A

Available in a Light and Heavy variety, the Bowgun is similar to the Bow in that it’s a great mid-range damage dealer. Unlike the Bow, however, its effects can be quite explosive and can lower mobility.

Both the Light and Heavy Bowgun can be equipped with special Ammo that causes different Elemental Damage and Status Effects. Unfortunately, unlike the Bow, the Bowgun must be supplied with consumable Normal Ammo to be used.

Light Bowgun:

The Light Bowgun is quicker than the Heavy Bowgun, though its range of damage is slightly lower. Hunters that enjoy the mobility of the Bow but want a little more power behind each shot will want to try the Light Bowgun.

Heavy Bowgun:

The Heavy Bowgun sacrifices range of motion for impact damage, which can stagger targets when fired at the right range. The Heavy Bowgun can be modified for differing effects such as a Recoil Suppressor that lowers recoil, increased damage at long and close ranges, and a Shield that allows hunters to block incoming attacks.

Dual Blades

Ease of Use: High to Moderate

Initial Attack Power: 112

Initial Sharpness: Moderately Low

The key to mastering the Dual Blade is understanding that its sharpness won’t save you on the battlefield. Instead, you’ll need to focus on speed and agility to jump in and land a flurry of attacks. Like the sword and shield, Dual Blades require you to get up close, but its fast attack speed makes it easy to cause some severe damage before having to flee.

Managing and landing combos are only half the fun of the Dual Blades. Hunters can also enter two different modes: Demon and Archdemon. Demon Mode can be activated with the press of a button and imbues hunters with faster attack speed. Players also won’t bounce off enemies, ensuring every swing lands. From Demon Mode, hunters can enter Archdemon Mode, which increases attack power.

Being in either mode grants access to the devastating Blade Dance attack. Since it freezes hunters in place, careful timing is essential to mastering Blade Dance.


Ease of Use: High to Moderate

Initial Attack Power: 184

Initial Sharpness: Low to Moderate

Besides looking cool, the Lance is a moderately easy weapon to manage thanks to its broad attack range and mid-level attack power. Doubled with a shield, the Lance allows hunters to block a large range of attacks, except for a monster’s most potent attack. Even while blocking, unlike with the Sword and Shield, hunters can still attack.

The Lance lets hunters cover a lot of ground, meaning they won’t have to be right on top of monsters to deal damage. A Dash Attack and Power Guard stance provide hunters with the versatility to dominate the playing field, ensuring that the beast can’t get the upper hand too easily. The Dash Attack also gives hunters the opportunity to mount monsters, though pulling it off will require a little practice.

Blocking may be more efficient with the Lance, but its size does limit evading and movement speed.


Ease of Use: Moderate

Initial Attack Power: 468

Initial Sharpness: Low

You won’t get the added benefit of Sharpness with the Hammer, but its blunt damage more than makes up for it. The Hammer is a “meat and potatoes” kind of weapon, where what you see is what you get. With a very low possibility of Elemental Damage, the Hammer focuses solely on powerfully slow bludgeoning attacks.

Getting used to the Hammer means better reading enemy attack patterns and animations. A devastating charge attack can deal a lot of damage, but monsters can interrupt charges. Successfully charging the Hammer creates a buff that increases attack and stun damage while giving hunters a small armor boost.

There is no blocking with the Hammer, so players will need to perfect attack timing to allow for effective dodging and evading. Hunters that enjoy button mashing will find the Hammer to be more of a chore, though it does have a nice string of combos to learn in the Training Room.

Making the Hammer more difficult in multiplayer is that it will knock back fellow hunters. Time attacks accordingly with your team to avoid being a burden on everyone else.