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Rise is the latest in an impressive list of Monster Hunter titles dating back as early as 2004. That was on the PlayStation 2! The series had niche success for the longest time, and it never found mainstream popularity in the West until Monster Hunter World landed on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Monster Hunter World streamlined a lot of the busy work the series was known for. Monster Hunter Rise expanded on this, making combat feel more fluid than ever and cutting back on unneeded filler.
With that said, Monster Hunter Rise is still a tough nut to crack, and many are put off by how the game bombards players with information at every turn.
Until you’re familiar with Monster Hunter’s unique brand of combat, many weapons feel slow, complex, and quite the opposite of what you see in the adverts!
I can’t help with the constant information dumps, but with over 10,000 hours across the Monster Hunter games, I can definitely help you pick a weapon. Put that Charge Blade down Hunter, and let’s find something you’ll enjoy from day one!
Bottom Line Up Front
The best beginner weapons are the Sword and Shield or the Bow. These weapons teach strong fundamentals whilst having a simple game plan so the user can focus on their targets.
Simplifying the combat can make the game less insurmountable, and whilst some of Monster Hunter’s mechanics can make your head spin, a decent, straightforward weapon will ensure it’s not the combat.
I’ve ordered each weapon in Monster Hunter Rise on how good they are for a newcomer to the franchise. I’ve based this choice on their ease of use and if they teach bad habits.
If you invest time, you can do incredible things with any weapon, but first impressions are everything. A weapon that ‘feels’ good may just make you fall in love with Monster Hunter, and if it does, kiss goodbye to all of your free time.
The Monster Hunter Rise Weapon Tier List
Weapons in this Tier are perfect for beginners and teach solid fundamentals. S-Tier weapons are light on unique mechanics, so the user can focus on fighting the Monster instead of their weapon.
If you’re a Hunter who likes to keep your distance, the Bow is perfect and offers a great introduction to ranged combat.
The optimal distance for the Bow is within some monster’s striking distance, so beware of that! Fortunately, the weapon has superb mobility with the Charging Sidestep, which you can use to create space.
The Bow is capable of dishing out exceptional damage. Each shot may be weak, but you can apply consistent pressure, whereas your teammates always have to reposition. When you see an opening, you can let loose with Dragon Piercer, which does tremendous damage and sounds awesome to boot!
If that wasn’t enough, some Bows can apply Status Effects with the coating system. You won’t be able to apply these effects as fast as a Light Bowgun can, but it’s another tool at your disposal. The Bow has everything you could want in a ranged weapon. It’s easy to use and is utterly deadly in the hands of a master.
One mechanic Rise needs to do a better job explaining is how fast you can fire the Bow. Carefully charging each shot is the most ineffective way to use the weapon. You’ll do so much more damage if you attack quickly!
A simple beginner combo whilst aiming is ‘ZR, ZR, ZR, A, A’. After that, you can follow up with a Dragon Piercer if you have an opening.
Sword and Shield
I always see Sword and Shield (S&S) recommended to new players on community forums, and I couldn’t agree more. S&S teaches strong fundamentals that will make you a formidable hunter. You have powerful short-range attacks with your sword and can inflict blunt damage and defend with your shield.
S&S boasts outstanding movement with several handy ‘hops’ for repositioning. You can also use items without sheathing your sword, which no other weapon can do.
Once upon a time, Sword and Shield was a jack of all trades but master of none. In Monster Hunter Rise, the weapons feel more like a toolbox that can bring value to the fight no matter what.
The biggest problem with S&S is how they are perceived. Many view S&S as a beginner weapon you should cast away once you’re more experienced, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Weapons in A-Tier are excellent for newcomers but are a little more complex than those in S-Tier or have quirks in their game plan to consider. These issues are easy to work around and still provide a solid experience for a beginner.
The Hunting Horn (or Doot Flute, to give its proper community name) has gone through many iterations in Monster Hunter. Gone are the days when you needed to memorize songs and awkwardly input them mid-battle. Now, you can be the Bard you always dreamt of being with ease!
In Monster Hunter Rise, you can effortlessly dial in notes on the fly, and the weapon has never been easier to use. Songs provide powerful buffs for your team, and the only thing you need to keep an eye out for is the Horn Maestro skill, as it’s mandatory.
Newcomers rarely appreciate how good the Horn is as a melee weapon. It boasts the highest K.O. potential in the game outside the Hammer!
This means you have a straightforward game plan to execute; Doot for your team and aim for the head! Everyone loves to have a Hunting Horn user on their team, as the buffs they bestow can be game-changing.
The Horn narrowly misses out on S-Tier as it’s a little harder to learn than the Sword and Shield, and the early game horns lack potent songs. But make no mistake, it won’t take long for the Horn’s unique playstyle to become muscle memory. Teams rejoice when they see a Doot Flute user, so get out there and have some fun.
Dual Blades attract new Hunters as they have virtually no windup and feel wonderfully responsive. On top of the speed, Dual Blades can quickly dish out respectable damage and slice off tails like a knife through butter if they can reach it!
Demon Mode basically turns you into an angry Beyblade which is fitting, as these weapons are useless without aggressive play. The Dual Blades have simple combos and unrivalled mobility, but you’ll learn that getting into the fight isn’t the problem. Getting out is.
It’s easy to overextend with Dual Blades, which can put you in a rough spot. Against monsters you’re unfamiliar with, you can adopt a safe ‘pokey’ playstyle with longer weapons. Sadly, you don’t have that luxury with Dual Blades, as they sport the shortest range in the game.
The pros outweigh the cons, but these weapons can teach bad habits. You’ll sail through the main story with Dual Blades with no problem, but you may be in for a rude awakening against the bigger beasties.
The Hammer is a brilliant weapon that firmly cements itself as the king of K.Os. It has simple combos, and you’ll quickly get a feel for it, no matter your skill level.
The Hammers’ damage numbers are nothing to scoff at, easily keeping up with the most potent weapons in the game. With K.Os being all but guaranteed during battle, your team will love to have you around for the free damage phases.
You’ll aim for the head at every opportunity as a Hammer user, which is great as you have an easy to gameplan to follow. The drawback is that’s where the teeth are! Later, you’ll have things like fireballs and poison to contend with, so you’ll need to stay on your toes.
This might sound like a big drawback, but the Hammer lets you focus entirely on the Monster during a hunt. When you understand your opponents’ attacks, even the strongest Elder Dragons will hit the canvas.
The Light Bowgun is a formidable weapon capable of ridiculous damage, knocking the scariest Monsters around like rag dolls and applying powerful status effects. It’s a simple weapon to use, as you’re just aiming and shooting for the most part.
You have access to Wyvernblast, which are explosives you plant in the ground. These are great for a bit of extra damage against fallen monsters. You also have your fair share of mobility and can quickly evade powerful attacks.
Light Bowgun misses its spot in S-Tier because of one thing. Ammo management. You’ll need to learn what each ammo type does. You’ll also need to craft them. Each Light Bowgun uses different ammo, which will tie into your weapon choices throughout the game. Creating Item Loadouts makes this less arduous, but it’s a lot to take in.
If you want to become a Monster Hunter munitions expert, you’ll find a lot to love with the Light Bowgun. Some late-game builds are so broken it feels like you’re playing in easy mode. You’re capable of phenomenal damage and can do all of this from a distance!
In Monster Hunter Rise, it’s clear that someone at Capcom loves the Longsword. It can inflict dizzying amounts of damage and sports the flashiest moves in the game. If you want to live the anime life, the Longsword was made for you.
The Longsword is simple to use, and your entire game plan revolves around inflicting enough damage to use your Iai Spirit Slash. If that attack lands, you get a damage buff. Rinse and repeat.
You have access to countermoves which feel amazing when they go your way, and you’ve got a powerful repositioning tool in Fade Slash. The Longsword is magnificent at chopping off tails as well, severing even the toughest with ease.
The only drawback is you don’t have many defensive options to go along with this offensive playstyle. As you need to play aggressively for those tasty damage buffs, it’s easy to get carried away, overextend, and cost your hunting party dearly.
Longsword users have quite the reputation in multiplayer hunts thanks to the length of their weapons. It’s easy to trip your teammates up, and whereas you can argue they should have invested in the Flinch Free skill, they shouldn’t have to play around you.
Good Longsword users demonstrate care and finesse in group hunts, but naturally, it’ll take some time to get to that level.
In B-Tier, we’re creeping into territory where weapons are a little more complex or demand experience to truly shine. These weapons are still acceptable for newcomers, and I always recommend picking something that makes your jaw drop. Just know that they won’t feel as intuitive as those in the higher tiers, at least right away.
The Greatsword hits like a truck, has a simple gameplan, dead easy combos and can double as a shield if you end up out of position. So, why isn’t it enjoying the high life in S-tier? Let me explain.
That truck analogy is appropriate, as it feels like you’re swinging one around on a stick half the time. Movement feels awfully slow and heavy, and even though you can land the hardest hits in the entire game, it’s an uphill battle to do so.
The Greatsword favours experience, and more than any other weapon, its value comes when you already have solid positioning. Seeing those spicy damage numbers soar into the thousands feels incredible, but it takes an adept hand to land them consistently.
Multiplayer hunts bring their own goodie bag of complications to a Great Sword user, as many Monsters like to dart between every Hunter in play.
Unless you have a degree in Monster behaviour and Trigonometry, it’s tough to land your most potent attacks. If you’re spending half the fight just missing, a quicker, snappier weapon may be more suitable.
The Lance has always been a weapon you rarely see in Monster Hunter. Compared to its contemporaries, the Lance offers very few frills whilst you poke monsters to death.
Still, some find this ‘no gimmicks’ style of gameplay appealing and beating giant monsters into submission with nothing but a shield and a giant lollypop stick is incredibly satisfying.
Much like the Greatsword, the Lance earns its place in B-tier thanks to the fundamentals you’ll need to use the weapon. A good Lance user comfortably plays right next to the target, no matter how big and scary they are.
This playstyle is hard to execute without knowing what a monster is capable of, and you’re always playing a dangerous game balancing offence and defence.
The Lance offers a unique style of gameplay where you earn every bit of damage you inflict. You lack flashy attacks, but you’ll be applying damage constantly. Lance users also have access to the best shield in the game.
You’ll need to invest in skills like Guard Up to unlock the shield’s full potential, but with a good build, you can shrug off dangerous attacks like they are nothing.
Once upon a time, the Insect Glaive was the king of the skies and perfect for any would-be acrobats. In Monster Hunter Rise, even the chunky Greatsword has aerial options, making the Glaive a hard sell.
The tricky part of the weapon to grasp at first is the ‘Insect’ part. Each Glaive comes with a ‘Kinsect’. A cute bug that you fling at Monsters to gain buffs. The Kinsect has been simplified in Rise vs previous titles, but there’s still a bit to learn. Mastering accurate control of the Kinsect in the heat of battle takes a lot of patience.
If the above hasn’t put you off, the Insect Glaive is wonderfully mobile, and with some practice, you’ll be able to glide across the map. The Glaive allows you to strike Monsters from any angle, and Wirebug management is virtually non-existent as you don’t need them for movement.
The Insect Glaive is the most unusual weapon in Monster Hunter, and nowadays, it’s a rarity to see it used. If you like how it looks and want to change that, put a little time in, and enjoy your time in the skies.
Weapons in C-Tier are just as capable of incredible things as every other weapon. The big difference is they are much more demanding to learn or have elements that make them a hard sell for a beginner. If you’re willing to sink the time in, go right ahead! If you’re after something with a more direct game plan, there are better options
The Charge Blade is one of Monster Hunter Rise’s most unique and impressive weapons. For many veterans, the allure is its complexity, as unleashing its full potential demands skilled and calculated play.
In other words, all of the things you WON’T have as a beginner!
There’s a solid argument to be made for the Charge Blade being the hardest weapon to use in Monster Hunter Rise. It has different modes, each with a unique move list.
On top of the dizzying array of attacks, there’s also meter management to consider with the Phial mechanic. Poor Phial use doesn’t just mean a lower damage output; it can leave you stranded with a hungry Elder Dragon breathing down your neck.
Even for an experienced player, learning the Charge Blades nuances is a daunting task, but the weapon offers such a powerful blend of offence and defence it’s hard not to see its appeal.
Complexity doesn’t make a weapon bad, but I’d recommend just about anything else to newcomers if I wanted them to enjoy their first experience! If the difficulty is a draw for you, you’ll find much to love with the Charge Blade. I hope you know what you’re getting into!
I love the Heavy Bowgun, but it lands a place in C-Tier because it’s slow and clunky. So many monsters run about like they just swallowed a mountain of performance enhancers, and when all you want to do is keep your distance, it’s an uphill struggle.
Monster Hunter Rise’s other ranged offerings give you great mobility options. That mobility makes them feel more forgiving, and mistakes are easy to rectify. Naturally, there’s no such luck with the Heavy Bowgun. If you’re getting into Monster Hunter, this lack of movement options can feel unfair and frustrating.
The Heavy Bowgun can land devastating damage from the sidelines and has impressive abilities like Wyvern Snipe, which is exactly what you think it is!
It takes a special kind of Hunter to learn the Heavy Bowgun’s ins and outs, and I feel it’s more likely to scare a beginner away than attract them. Still, if you’re as patient as a sniper, you’ll be able to overcome the Heavy Bowguns’ weaknesses.
The Switch Axe feels and plays very differently from the Charge Blade, but it shares many similarities that land it in C-Tier. Any weapon with multiple forms or a meter to manage will take time to get used to, and this morphing monstrosity has both.
Fortunately, the Switch Axe does have some method to its madness. The Axe boasts decent range, and you can access some simple, looping combos. Once you’ve filled up your gauge, you can morph the weapon into a Sword. The Sword mode is finite but can throw out fantastic damage numbers.
The Switch Axe also has access to my favourite attack in the entire game. Finishing Discharge, where you grip onto the Monster whilst your sword goes into overdrive before exploding. Who wouldn’t like that?!
On top of the complexity, The Switch Axe works best with an all-out offensive playstyle which can spell trouble if you don’t know your limits.
The Gunlance has access to Blast Dash, which turns the weapon into a rocket-powered broomstick! Stellar mobility aside, this weapon has several meters and resources to manage.
So many aspects of the weapon are complex. Even picking one from the Blacksmith is tricky, as there are many different types! These features alone comfortably land the Gunlance in C-Tier.
If the Gunlances’ intricacies don’t put you off, the weapon is the undisputed king of explosions. When you’re not blowing monsters up, you’ve got a trusty shield to hide behind, which almost rivals the vanilla Lance.
In fact, the Lance and Gunlance share many similarities, so if you’ve tried the Lance already, you’ll find the weapon much less daunting. I find mobility skills like Evade Extender work wonders on the Gunlance, and I highly recommend that, along with Guard Up, if you want to try it out.
The Gunlance looks like a brutish weapon but requires a surprisingly delicate hand to master.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Are there any Good Videos Explaining the Basics of Each Weapon?
Answer: GameXplain has a great playlist of short, succinct guides for every weapon, which you can view here. These videos don’t explain the mechanics introduced later on (like SunBreak content), but they are great as a quick intro to each weapon.
Question: What’s the Best Weapon in Monster Hunter?
Answer: The Monster Hunter games are an absolute Master Class in weapon balancing. Even though there are 14 of them, there isn’t a Monster Hunter veteran out there that would say any of them are the ‘best’. Every weapon can solo the hardest content in the game so pick your weapon based on your interests.
Question: What’s the Best Way to Practice in Monster Hunter Rise?
Answer: Rise has a decent Training Arena where you can play with basic versions of every weapon. You can access it from the map or across the bridge in Kamura Village.
The training dummy here has several presets so you can experiment. It’s a valuable learning tool, and I highly recommend spending some time here before taking a new weapon on a hunt.