Monster Hunter World kindly gifts players all 14 weapon types from the start, which can definitely be intimidating. From a heavy Lance to a technical Switch-Axe, there’s a lot to dig through. If you’ve chosen at random and still feel underwhelmed, definitely check out one of these three best weapons for first-time players in Monster Hunter World.
There is one clear choice above all that stands out as a fantastic beginner weapon, and that’s the Sword and Shield, the original starter weapon in the Monster Hunter series. This little sword and board has great mobility, easy to memorize combos that are difficult to botch, and fantastic versatility with the ability to dish out both slashing and blunt damage. Yes, the Sword and Shield can cut off tails with the sword and stun monsters with the shield. Plus, it’s the only weapon that lets you use items while you have it drawn.
While many weapons in Monster Hunter World are very punishing if you attack with abandon, the Sword and Shield lets you roll out of most combos with ease on the fly, or block in emergencies, making it one of the most forgiving weapons if a mistake is made. Its one downside is its short range, which can make it difficult to hit taller monsters where you want to, but this can be mitigated somewhat by well-timed jumping slashes.
These incredibly fast Dual Blades aren’t as forgiving as the Sword and Shield, but if you’re used to fast-paced action games, these could make you feel more at home. You can use near-infinite combos fluidly, and run and dodge quickly with their increased mobility. The Dual Blades also look pretty cool on their own and when attacking.
The catch with Dual Blades is that they require some gauge management. Pressing R2 puts you into Demon Mode, increasing attack power and mobility, but draining stamina. Once the red bar is full from landing attacks while in Demon Mode, you’ll attain the attack-speed boosting Archdemon mode, which drains the red bar instead of stamina.
They have a bit more technicality to them than the Sword and Shield, and they can’t block, but their speed and extra blade make up for this with a bit of extra DPS. With the Dual Blades, it’s simply more important to learn your opponent so you know when to initiate an unstoppable Blade Dance. No, really, once you start this particular special attack, you can’t move – so attack wisely.
If you prefer ranged weapons, check out the bowguns available in Monster Hunter World. They’ve been retooled to control a bit more like your average third-person shooters, plus, gunners can now wear the same armor as melee-weapon users.
First, check out the Light Bowgun. Though the Heavy Bowgun can dish out more raw power, the Light Bowgun offers more status attacks, and is more mobile, letting you run and gun and dodge much more easily. Let me clarify a bit: The controls for the Bow Guns are very straightforward – it’s really as simple as point, shoot, dodge, and reload, plus a trick here and there. For example, rolling off a ledge lets you perform a quick reload. However, learning the other ins-and-outs isn’t as easy.
You’ll have to craft or purchase every ammo type besides the basic, and remember to restock your ammo inventory. There’s also the best distance and angle to shoot from for each ammo type, which you’ll need to learn if you want to take down any monster efficiently. Monster Hunter World kindly notifies player of critical distance by the extra set of crosshairs that appear when shooting, but ammo type purposes are a little more nebulous. Basically, Bowguns are easy to control on the surface, and more difficult to master, but many weapons in Monster Hunter World share this trait.
Although we think these are the easiest weapons to pick up and play with, the best weapon to choose is the one that you have the most fun with. As I just mentioned, many weapons can be viable at first go – they don’t have to be in an expert’s hands to feel good to use. All weapons have best ways to efficiently use them, and they all have a level of technicality as well, from somewhat basic like the Sword and Shield to the downright complicated like the Charge Blade. It’s just up to you if you want to go the extra mile to maximize your efficiency. Regardless, learning a monster’s movements will make you better with any weapon!
And if you’re wondering, no, there is no universally agreed upon “best” weapon. So if you start with that technical Insect Glaive or heavy Great Sword and have fun while using it, keep at it! Until then, good luck, have fun, and happy hunting!
We know everyone has different experiences with Monster Hunter. Tell us what your first Monster Hunter weapon was in the comments! For more on Monster Hunter World, don’t miss our overwhelmingly positive Monster Hunter World review and 17 Things Monster Hunter World Doesn’t Tell You.
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Casey is an Associate Editor at IGN, and didn’t expect to like the Sword and Shield so much after having used primarily heavy weapons for the past decade. Catch her on Twitter @ShinyCaseyD.