There are 16 types of weapons in the Monster Hunter universe, with four of them (SA, MBG, CB, IG) exclusive to the main series, and one (Tonfa) exclusive to Monster Hunter Frontier G. Weapons are divided into two different classes: melee and ranged. The type of armor worn by hunters (with the exception of head gear) is dependent on these classes, with melee weapons requiring blademaster armor, and ranged weapons requiring gunner armor. Only a few "neutral" armor sets (e.g., Leather or Chainmail) allow for the use of either class.
Each weapon causes certain types of damage: cutting, impact and shot. The weak spots of a monster may vary depending on the type of damage dealt to it. Cutting damage is notably useful for slicing off the tails of certain monsters, while impact damage can both stun and exhaust most monsters over time with repeated strikes to the head. Shot damage can have a variety of damaging effects on a monster depending on the type of ammo used (e.g., pierce, crag, or slicing).
Most weapons are capable of delivering two or more types of damage, with varying efficiency. For example, the Sword and Shield and Great Sword primarily focus on dealing cutting damage, but are also capable of causing impact damage with certain attacks. A few weapons, such as the hammer and long sword, strictly focus on utilizing impact and cutting damage respectively.
The armor skills Punishing Draw and Sheath Control are notable for allowing cutting weapons like dual blades and long swords to deliver impact damage with sheathing attacks.
|Great Sword||Great Swords (大剣 Daiken), also known as GS are large, slow weapons that were first introduced in Monster Hunter. Originally they had three main attacks: the sideswipe, the upswing, and the downstrike. Hitting a monster with the middle of the blade, as opposed to the tip, or hilt, causes a damage bonus. Greatswords have a charge attack, first introduced in Monster Hunter 2. There are three levels of charge, and the Level 3 charge is one of the most damaging single attacks in any game. Whilst charging an attack, Hunters are hard to knock over with low-damage monster attacks. Great Swords are also able to block monster attacks, although doing so causes them to lose sharpness.
In Monster Hunter 4, the Great Sword got the ability to do a finishing slash after the curled charge attack. Great Sword combos are more fluid now.
|Long Sword||Long Swords (太刀 Tachi), often referred to simply as LS, are long, slender blades designed for elegant movements. They were first introduced in Monster Hunter 2 (there were Longsword-shaped weapons in the original Monster Hunter, but they were only cosmetically different to a normal Greatsword).Longsword users have a gauge that fills up with repeated attacks on monster (although it does drain quickly when not attacking). Once the gauge is full, all attacks become more powerful. The Spirit Combo attacks are also unlocked, and all attacks become less likely to bounce. However, the fragile nature of the blades means it is impossible to block with them.
In the third Generation games, completing a full Spirit Combo attack on a monster causes the gauge to change colour. It changes from white to yellow and finally to red; each colour causes attacks to become more powerful. However, when not attacking the colour will eventually revert to the previous one - only repeated Spirit Combo finishing attacks can keep the colour gauge full.
In Monster Hunter 4, the red gauge cannot be refilled with additional spirit slashes. Additionally, when the red bar runs out, the spirit gauge returns to it's default state.
|Sword and Shield||The Sword and Shield (片手剣 Katatetsurugi), also known as SnS, were first introduced in Monster Hunter. These weapons are small and accompanied by a shield that allows the Hunter to block most attacks. Although they deal relatively low damage in one strike, they are very quick, and it is possible to perform fairly long combos. In Monster Hunter 2 it became possible to use items while the Sword and Shield is drawn.|
Many Sword and Shields are infused with Status or Elemental effects (Poison, Stun, Sleep or Fire, Water, etc...) that help to compensate for their low attack.
In third Generation games, they gained the ability to K.O monsters with a shield bash.
|Dual Blades||Dual Blades (双剣 Futaken), also known as DB (formally known as Dual Swords and "DS"), are similar to Sword and Shields but with a stronger focus on offense (at the expense of defense). Like Sword and Shields, individual Dual Blade attacks cause a small amount of damage, but they are fast and flow easily into combos. Dual Blade users can enter Demonization mode by pressing the R button. When Demonization mode is activated, Hunters are able to resist being blown over by monster's wings, attacks can be linked into a never-ending combo and the Demon Dance can be used, a powerful combo that cannot bounce. To balance these bonuses, stamina is gradually drained while in Demonization Mode. As with Sword and Shields, lots of Dual Blades are infused with Status or Elemental effects to increase their efficiency. As of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Dual Blades are able to wield dual Elements and Statuses in one weapon, such as Fire and Ice.
In third Generation games, Dual Blades have a gauge that can be filled by striking the monster whilst in Demonization mode. Once the gauge is filled, the hunter enters Archdemon Mode, which makes all attacks become more powerful. Additionally, rolling is replaced with the Demon Dash, a very quick dash. Archdemon mode remains active whether the hunter is in Demon Mode or not, however it will expire if the gauge is fully depleted.
Hammers (ハンマー Hanmā) are large, heavy weapons which are capable of dealing the vast amounts of damage in a single combo. They, along with the Hunting Horn, exclusively deal Impact-type damage. Their tremendous size only slightly hinders mobility, and Hunters are still able to run with them, unlike with the Great Sword and Lance. These fierce weapons have several moves: a simple pound and a related combo, a "golf" swing, a revolving spin, and a charge-up Superpound that crushes anything it connects with. On the downside, Hammers cannot block and cannot cut monster's tails off. Since Monster Hunter 2, Hammers have had the ability to K.O opponents after hitting a target on the head multiple times.
|Hunting Horn||Hunting Horns (狩猟笛 Shuryōbue), also known as HH are similar to the Hammer in that they do Impact damage and able to K.O a monster when they connect with the head. Generally they are weaker than the Hammer, and do less damage per-hit, even on those attacks which the two appear to share (such as the Superpound). What makes the Hunting Horn different from the Hammer, however, is its Recital Ability, which is triggered by pressing the "R" button. Each Horn has a different set of three colored notes. These notes can be combined in various ways to create various effects, such as Attack and Defense boosts, or to mimic items such as the Psychoserum.
In third Generation games, Hunting Horns deal more damage and don't have to enter a specific recital mode - each ordinary attack creates a colored note, and once a valid combination of notes is achieved, they can be activated by playing the Hunting Horn.
|Lance||Lances (ランス Ransu) are long weapons that can strike from a distance. The Lance is always accompanied by a large shield which grants a powerful defense against most attacks. Although slow and difficult to travel with, the weapon's damage output can be considerable. Originally, Lances had a rather limited set of moves; the upstab (which can be performed three times), the straightforward piercing stab (likewise) and running charge attack. Lances are unique in that they deal either Cutting or Impact damage depending on the weakness of the hitzone they are striking.
In third Generation games, Lances can now perform a 'Counter', by charging up and then releasing when struck by a monster attack. They can also K.O with a running shield bash.
In Monster Hunter 4, lances can now combo the charge into a jump stab.
Gunlances (ガンランス Ganransu), also known as GL, are long, piercing weapons with a mechanism inside which can fire an explosive round. Unlike Bowguns, the Gunlance cannot fire over distances; the Shelling ability can only be used from close range and reduces the weapon's sharpness with every use. Gunlances attack with a combination of simple stabs and explosive shots, which can link together in combos. Fortunately, Gunlances have an infinite amount of shells, although they have to be regularly reloaded. Gunlances are also able to charge up and unleash a strong explosive attack, known as Wyvern's Fire. This attack dramatically reduces Sharpness, however, and it takes a while to cool down before it can be used again.
|Switch Axe||Switch Axes (スラッシュアックス Surasshuakkusu), also known as SA, are weapons introduced in Monster Hunter 3. There are two modes: Axe and Sword. It is possible to transform between the two near-instantly. While the weapon is drawn, the running speed in Axe-mode is similar to that of a Long Sword; however, Sword-mode's running speed is similar to the Great Sword. Attack wise, Sword-mode is much faster than the Great Sword, and can link together in quick combos. While in Sword mode, the weapon will not bounce off a monster's hide. Sword-mode can only be sustained for a limited time, indicated by a gauge. Once the gauge had been depleted, it can be reloaded. Sword-mode can also use a powerful 'Burst' attack, although this drains the gauge considerably. Sword-mode has built-in Phials that are automatically activated and cause certain effects, such as Paralysis, or increased Attack power.|
Axe-mode is rather simpler - the Axe is swung slower than in Sword mode, but deals greater damage in a single hit.
|Insect Glaive||Insect Glaives (操虫棍 Sōchūkon), also known as IG, are weapons introduced in Monster Hunter 4. This double-ended rod is capable of quick, fluid attacks (like the Long Sword) and allows the hunter to jump at any time in a pole-vaulting fashion. It also is capable of summoning a Kinsect and using it to attack monsters. After locking on to a target using the projectiles that the rod can shoot, the user can freely send their Kinsect to attack the target and drain energy from it, then call it back after in order to boost the Hunter (in terms of attack, health, speed or defense). The Kinsect is always found at the right arm of the user if it isn't currently being used to attack.|
|Charge Blade||Charge Blades (チャージアックス Chājiakkusu), also known as CB, are weapons introduced in Monster Hunter 4. It is similar to the Switch Axe with its ability to switch between two different weapon modes. While in Sword Mode, hunters will be able to perform fast combo attacks with a sword and guard with a shield, making it very similar to the Sword and Shield class. The Axe Mode boasts superior reach and power with its strikes. After scoring a number of hits, it is possible to perform a powerful charge attack with either mode. A phial on the hilt indicates when it is possible to unleash a charge attack by glowing with a yellow light. If the player continues accumulating hits, the phial will eventually begin glowing red, allowing the hunter to unleash an even stronger charge attack.|
|Tonfa||Tonfa (穿龍棍 Senryūkon) are a weapon class introduced in Monster Hunter Frontier G Genuine. These weapons are lightweight and offer decent mobility while drawn, as well the ability to launch the hunter into the air. Tonfas operate with two modes: normal mode and short mode. During normal mode, tonfas deal normal impact damage, and are capable of performing a charge attack on the ground, as well as a spinning drop attack while in midair. In short mode, impact damage is recersed, and the hunter can perform swift attacks on the ground, and a rolling kick attack midair. The latter allowing the hunter to remain airborne for an extended time.|
|Light Bowgun||Light Bowguns (ライトボウガン Raitobōgan), also known simply as LBG, are ranged weapons. As the name suggests, they are light enough to allow Hunters to run with the weapon drawn, and they can be sheathed and unsheathed very quickly. However, Light Bowguns are generally low in attack power, although this is partially compensated by different Light Bowguns being able to Rapid-Fire a specific Ammo (Rapid-Fire shoots multiple rounds in quick succession, using only one shell of ammo). Light Bowguns are original weapons first seen in Monster Hunter.|
|Medium Bowgun||Medium Bowguns (ミドルボウガン Midorubougan), also known as MBG, are weapons only found in Monster Hunter 3. They are categorized as Medium by their weight, and are less mobile than Light Bowguns, but more powerful.|
|Heavy Bowgun||Heavy Bowguns (ヘビィボウガン Hebyibōgan), also known as HBG, are ranged weapons that deal considerable damage, but due to their size and weight, do not allow Hunters to run when drawn. Heavy Bowguns are able to use a wide range of Ammo. Since Monster Hunter 2, Hunters are able to equip Heavy Bowguns with a Shield, for blocking monster attacks. Equipping a Power Barrel will obviously increase attack power. Heavy Bowguns are original weapons first seen in Monster Hunter.
In some third Generation games, Heavy Bowguns are able to enter Siege-Mode; the Hunter crouches, immobile, with the Bowgun drawn, and can fire vast amounts of Shells without needing to reload.
|Bow||The Bow (弓 Yumi) is a fast, unique ranged weapon. An infinite quiver of arrows is automatically provided, although each individual doesn't do a great deal of damage. Bows can fire three different kinds of Shot: Scatter, where the arrows spread horizontally outwards, Pierce, where one arrow travels in a straight line through a monster, hitting multiple times, and Rapid, where several arrows are fired and spread out vertically. Each Shot-type can be performed at different levels of power, depending on the individual Bow. To access the different Shots each Bow provides, the weapon must be charged. Bows can also use different Coatings to cause different effects (Paralysis, Sleep, increased Attack power) although each Bow can only use certain Coatings.
In third Generation games, Bows can fire a cluster of arrows near-vertically into the air to land on the monster; the cluster either covers a wide area, narrow area, or explodes, depending on the Bow. This attack can cause K.O if it strikes the monster's head.
In Monster Hunter 4, certain bows can now do a hard shot. This replaces the arc shot with the ability to fire two charge levels at once, at the cost of stamina.