Monster Hunter Rise’s weapons are often labeled as easy to learn but hard to master, which is an accurate description. Each is based on a simple concept: the longsword has its spirit gauge, the insect blade lets you fly, and the switch axe changes form. But every weapon also has depth—secret states you might not know unless you checked them out, or played in the training area long enough.
It would take thousands of words to describe what each Monster Hunter Rise weapon can do, so I’ve picked four of my favorites for a brief overview. Each has its own unique playstyle and benefits, and if you choose to use it as your main game, they also have a lot of depth. For simplicity, I also describe combinations with controller inputs.
Whatever you choose, it’s definitely worth trying out all the weapons in the training area to find something interesting. So, here are some great Monster Hunter Rise weapons to try, along with details on affinity, boosting weapons, and how to unlock more.
The best Monster Hunter Rise weapons to try first
- Stun monsters with KO and Exhaust
- funny nematode attack
- Important source of blunt trauma
If you like the idea of banging on a monster’s head until you see a star, you’ll love the hammer. While not the most nimble weapon, its attacks can stun monsters and punish them when they go down. The hammer relies in part on its charged attack, which you can activate by holding and releasing RT. There are three charge levels, the third activates the Spinning Bludgeon attack if you’re moving. You can cancel it after one or two rotations with Y, allowing you to follow up with a basic combination.
If you press Y after three spins, it will end with a strong rise. Hitting a monster’s head with any upper hand results in a powerful KO. When you deal with it enough, it stuns monsters, allowing you to follow up with powerful stationary attacks like your B ‘Big Bang’ combo. When you reach the third charge level, you can also press B to enable power mode, increase your damage, and change some combos.
In a nutshell, it’s the hammer – stun monsters and punish them when they go down. It also features nematode attacks like Impact Crater and Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon, which sound interesting. Hold LT and press B or Y while weapons are unsheathed to try them. If you use RT to sprint and run down the slope, you can also glide and use the mid-air spinner – the most enjoyable downhill attack in the game, for my money.
- high destructive potential
- good mobility
- Can fight back monsters
If you want an entry-level weapon with a high skill cap, the longsword might be for you. This knife is all about using attacks to fill up your spirit gauge (a katana sword below your health), and once full, you can use RT to unleash the Spirit Blade combo. When you successfully land the combo, your meter will turn white, then yellow, then red. This gradually increases your damage.
However, if you combine Y, RT+A, Y, you will perform an Iai Slash that fills your mental gauge over time. Your Soaring Kick Nematode Attack (LT+Y) can do the same. Once your spirit gauge turns red, you can use the powerful spirit helmet buster. Use the soaring kick, then hit RT in the air to attack. This will return your meter to yellow.
You can also learn to deal with monsters. An easy way to try to counterattack is to use the Tranquil Pose Nematode skill (LT+B) before the monster attacks, which will instantly upgrade your spirit gauge if successful. For added maneuverability, combinations like B, Y+B, and directional inputs perform a lateral fade slash that allows you to reposition in attack.
- Safer than melee weapons
- good dodge
- Ammo for every occasion
If ranged weapons are more your style, the Light Bowgun is a good introduction. This weapon has multiple ammo types, and you can switch between them, causing various states. Each ammo type has a critical distance at which it deals maximum damage, which you can tell by when the aiming reticle turns orange.
The Light Bowgun also provides dodge while aiming. After firing with LT and RT, if you press A twice + one direction, you will do a quick dodge. Your Silkbind Glide (R1+Y) also allows you to slide towards the monster, which you can then use RT to hit in the face with a powerful shot.
Light Bowgun’s Fanning Vault nematode ability (R1+B) allows you to jump over monsters, which is a great opportunity to use the Wyvernblast. When you jump over a monster, press B to fire this special ammo at the monster. These charges stick to surfaces and then explode when hit, allowing you to stack damage and support your teammates’ attacks. You can deploy three and they will charge over time.
- fight in the air
- Kinsect provides support
- amazing mobility
If you want to spin through the air like a deadly helicopter, the Glaive could be your weapon. The key to Insect Glaive is Kinsect, an insect companion that sits on your arm, but can be released with RT, recalled with RT+B, and collected extracts from monsters with RT+Y and a sight line. There are three extracts to collect: red, orange and white. Each has a different effect:
- Red: Increase attack and unlock mobile devices
- tangerinr: Knockback Protection
- white: Movement speed increased
- One per person: Provides earplugs, no flinching, and activates “auxiliary” Kinsects
Each of these extracts comes from a different part of the monster. Red is your priority as it unlocks your best attacks and you can usually extract it from the head or tail. Once the Kinsect symbol below your Stamina turns red, you can call it to add the extract to your slot. Now you are ready to fight in the air.
Press RT+A to vault and start your aerial combo. Insect Glaive is about stitching together attacks and abilities in the air to hit monsters, retarget, and often stay up for as long as possible. The red extract unlocks the powerful jump thrusting slash you perform with B – your preferred air attack. Once you perform three of these slashes or run out of stamina, you’ll fall to the ground, so the key to extending your talk time is to sandwich them with the vault (A) and the Silkbind vault (LT+Y). While you’re descending, you can also hit Y to deal damage on the way down.
Being in the air prevents you from being hit, lets you attack hard-to-reach monsters, and deals mount and elemental damage with quick strikes. Kinsects also add a ton of customization, including their own levels, damage, types, and bonuses. Powder Kinsects can support teammates to heal or deal elemental damage, Speed Kinsects can grab extracts quickly, and Assist Kinsects can fight alongside you whenever you have each extract type. It might sound complicated, but it’s interesting if you want a weapon that is very different from the rest.
What are Affinity and Conversion Skills?
Affinity is a bit complicated, but the best way to think about it is crit. You can think of affinity as a percentage for each weapon. Positive Affinity means you may deal extra damage, while Negative Affinity means you can deal less damage on certain strikes. Affinity increases with skills like Critical Eye and Maximum Might, which you can acquire through decorations and armor.
Switching skills, on the other hand, are Combo and Nematode Attack, which you can unlock with Master Utsushi in the Gathering Hub as you progress and forge weapons. Each weapon has three abilities that change the way it plays. The third, and usually the most powerful, is unlocked by completing the quests he will give you.
How to level up and unlock more Monster Hunter Rise weapons
In addition to upgrading, there are several ways to improve your weapons. The first is through decorations that you unlock when you reach high levels. These jewels can be forged at the smithy and inserted according to your weapon slot to provide buffs and skills. The second is to lift. After completing the first rampage mission, you can infuse your weapon with the Ramp-Up skill at the smithy, choosing to enhance elemental powers, attacks, or many other things.
Progressing through the game and earning hunter rank increases the level of weapons available to you. As with armor, you can acquire materials to unlock specific weapons – usually by defeating new monsters. Completing Kamura Village’s requests also gets you some interesting weapon designs, like a teddy bear hammer or an insect knife that looks like a paintbrush. It’s worth noting that you can add weapons to your wishlist at the smithy, and you’ll be notified when you have enough materials to forge them.