Best Weapons in Monster Hunter Rise Ranked

Which weapons in Monster Hunter Rise are truly "the best"?

by Marc Magrini

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Monster Hunter Rise has 14 different weapon classes for players to choose from. 11 melee weapons allow players to refine their skills in fighting monsters up close and personal while 3 ranged weapons let players tear their foes apart from afar. Every weapon is viable in its own way, but there’s more to how good a weapon is outside of its overall damage. Versatility, ease-of-use, and variations in playstyle are all points to consider when comparing each method of attack. Players should consider these facts when looking at the best weapons in Monster Hunter Rise.

Many players rank ranged weapons alongside melee weapons, usually resulting in ranged weapons topping most tier lists. However, ranged weapons rely more on finite resources such as ammo or coatings, and they even follow different control schemes from melee weapons. As such, for the purposes of this list, ranged weapons will be placed separately from melee weapons. Balance changes and new additions from Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak will also be put into consideration, including the new Switch Skills added in the expansion. Players might also want to consider previous entries in the franchise to see how everything stacks up today.

Best Melee Weapons in Monster Hunter Rise

11. Hammer

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The Hammer is a simple weapon, but that simplicity has taken its toll over time. Its once-unique ability to KO monsters can now be found on numerous other weapon types, from the Sword & Shield to the Hunting Horn. Its attacks are also very slow and require a lot of careful positioning and commitment. It’s not a difficult weapon to use, but its reliance on charge attacks and alterations to its attacks while moving can trip up new players worse than similar weapons.

However, there are benefits to the Hammer that other weapons cannot boast. Its alternate charging modes allow players to quickly change their method of attack without needing to rely on Switch Skills. It also doesn’t rely on as many skills as most other weapons, allowing players to slot in more defensive skills such as Free Meal or Divine Blessing. As a slow weapon, it’s also extremely powerful, making it one of the best weapons to rely on for waking up monsters with strong blows. Hammers might have lost their supremacy of stunning monsters, but they’re still highly valuable weapons to have on your side during hunts.

10. Lance

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The Lance is another simplistic weapon type that had its niche filled by other weapons as time went on. These days, the Gunlance is able to outclass it in speed while matching it in defensive ability. Its moveset is also quite underwhelming, consisting mainly of concentrated pokes and the occasional slap. It will still deal great damage, but its limited abilities will lead to very few Lance players being able to vary their playstyle effectively.

There are still quite a few good reasons to pick up the Lance for yourself. It relies on many skills to boost its effectiveness, but not as many as other weapons with the ability to guard. The added Wirebug attacks and Switch Skills in both Rise and Sunbreak also give this weapon some much-needed speed. To top it all off, the Lance is perhaps the simplest weapon to learn in Monster Hunter Rise. Simply guard and poke and – with the right skills – newcomers can take down monsters as effectively as veterans!

9. Insect Glaive

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The placement of the Insect Glaive on this list might be a surprise to many. Indeed, it has some of the greatest playstyle variations available to anyone using melee weapons. Between the new Kinsect types added in Rise and the buffs to its aerial abilities, this weapon has never been stronger. It also doesn’t need nearly as many skills as other melee weapons, allowing for versatility and comfort during combat.

Insect Glaives are fantastic weapons in Rise. They just happen to be lost amid a sea of numerous buffs and abilities boasted by other weapons. The Insect Glaive still has quite heavy reliance on the Kinsect for self-applied buffs, and its niche of easily mounting monsters in previous games is now covered by everything else thanks to Wirebug attacks. This weapon’s placement is simply the result of balancing. The additions Rise and Sunbreak gave the Glaive just aren’t as massive or impressive as the additions given elsewhere.

8. Gunlance

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For a time, many players considered the Gunlance to be the worst weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. This was partially thanks to its damage being nerfed, forcing Gunlance players to use specific Switch Skills to regain even a fraction of its strength from earlier games. It also needs some of the most skills of any weapon to reach its full potential, leaving very little room for anything else. While this didn’t change the versatility of the Gunlance itself, it certainly harmed its potential when compared to most other melee weapons.

Many of these issues were no longer relevant as of Sunbreak’s release. Between new skills and better armor, the Gunlance is able to truly shine in this expansion. It’s almost as simple to use as the Lance while boasting unique shelling abilities that can be used for movement and extra damage. With the right setup, Gunlance players can completely ignore their sharpness gauge as they blast monsters to pieces, making for a weapon with incredible versatility. One can only hope the Gunlance does not lose its position of power in future games as easily as it did when Rise first released.

7. Charge Blade

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A common complaint of the Charge Blade is how much needs to be learned about it to use it effectively. This allows for more variations in playstyle than any other weapon, but it also makes it very difficult for the Charge Blade to reach its true potential. Axe Mode relies on Sword Mode to acquire phials, while Sword Mode relies on the buffs acquired through Axe Mode by using those phials. A skilled Charge Blade user will need to make extensive use of both forms alongside skills like Rapid Morph and Artillery to reach full effectiveness.

As stated, the greatest criticism to be made about Charge Blade is also one of its greatest strengths. Sword Mode allows players to guard while Axe Mode provides powerful attacks without sacrificing mobility. The weapon can also take advantage of unique guard points and Switch Skills, allowing players to attack monsters relentlessly. The only reason it isn’t ranked higher is because of its difficulty to use and reliance on armor skills. In the hands of a player with enough resources and ability, the Charge Blade can very well outclass the other best weapons in Rise.

6. Hunting Horn

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For many reasons, the changes to the Hunting Horn in Rise have been controversial. Compared to older games, a Hunting Horn cannot play as many melodies and is a lot more focused on attacking monsters than it used to be. While this keeps it from being immediately written off as a “support weapon”, it also makes the Hunting Horn less able to fill that role if players want it to. Top this off with numerous nerfs and alterations from Rise’s demo to the full release, and many veterans can find this classic weapon to be somewhat underwhelming.

Despite these changes, the Hunting Horn is a lot more useful than players might think. The new focus on attacking allows this weapon to truly shine alongside others with its great damage and powerful KO ability. The new melodies added in both Rise and Sunbreak also make it even more impressive; certain melodies can even eliminate the need for certain items altogether. Ironically, the Hunting Horn is an incredible weapon for new players while possibly being more difficult for veterans to get used to.

5. Sword & Shield

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The Sword & Shield might not be very versatile in terms of playstyle. However, this weapon covers numerous mechanics found all throughout Monster Hunter Rise. It can cut tails, stun monsters, block attacks, and even take extra advantage of statuses and elements. Top that off with new Wirebug attacks and Switch Skills, and it’s no wonder why the Sword & Shield can stand alongside the best weapons in Rise.

Unfortunately, while the Sword & Shield is a jack of all trades, it’s also a master of none. Players will need to rely on armor skills to match its guard ability or attack power with more specialized weapons. It also requires a lot of commitment and good timing for its strongest attacks while still only reaching comparatively low damage numbers. This is the price that must be paid for such a fast and varied weapon, but the maintained effectiveness of the Sword & Shield makes these sacrifices worthwhile in the long run.

4. Dual Blades

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The Dual Blades are arguably the fastest weapons in Monster Hunter Rise – and in more ways than one. Their attacks don’t require much commitment and can deal massive damage over time despite the seemingly low numbers. The new Wirebug attacks and Switch Skills allow for more varied and aggressive playstyles than ever before while still staying relatively safe. Combine that with the ability to freely use the Heavenly Blade Dance introduced in World, and you have a weapon that can shred even the toughest monsters in mere moments.

Like the Gunlance, Dual Blades rely heavily on numerous different armor skills to maximize effectiveness. However, it doesn’t rely on them nearly as much; the skills simply save a bit of headache when facing off against stronger foes. Their fast attack speed means Dual Blades are also the best weapons for dealing elemental damage outside of ranged weapons, though that might mean you’ll have to craft more of them to cover every monster you encounter. Even so, that just means Dual Blades are really good at what they do. If you want weapons that can outspeed the fastest monsters in Rise, Dual Blades will be your greatest ally.

3. Long Sword

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It’s difficult to make an argument against the Long Sword being one of the best weapons in Rise, if not simply the best. Indeed, Monster Hunter Rise has given a lot of love to this weapon – moreso than any other. Its enhanced counters and numerous buffs allow it to tear some monsters down faster than any other melee weapon, and its size simply allows its reach to match its speed. Even after Sunbreak’s nerfs, the Long Sword is still one of the strongest weapons a hunter can use.

The Long Sword’s strength has led to immense popularity, leading to it becoming the most-used weapon in Rise for a time. However, that popularity is also its downfall, as the Long Sword can be surprisingly tricky to use. It requires good timing and careful planning to make the most of its counters and strong attacks. New players might not be aware of this as they take the Long Sword out for their first few hunts; at worst, a player without good timing on their counters can end up failing the quest with only minimal damage dealt to the monster. The Long Sword isn’t immensely difficult to use, but fans of this weapon should still spend some extra time learning it.

2. Great Sword

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The Great Sword is the first weapon many fans think of when Monster Hunter comes to mind. As usual, it’s a slow weapon that requires a lot of commitment in exchange for some of the highest damage you’ll ever dish out. Thanks to Rise’s new mechanics, its downsides matter less than ever before, as it can use Wirebugs to quickly escape danger and new attacks to shrug off incoming blows.

Where the Great Sword truly shines is in Sunbreak. Its new counter raises its skill ceiling higher than ever before; players can use barrel bombs and good timing to rapidly disintegrate a monster’s health. Other changes such as the Surge Slash Combo allow Great Sword to adopt faster playstyles and act almost as aggressively as smaller weapons. It can be difficult to use and learn, but in the hands of a skilled player, the Great Sword is perhaps the greatest weapon of all.

1. Switch Axe

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The Switch Axe is a perfectly balanced weapon. It gives players a taste of quick attacks and great mobility in Axe Mode while giving them high-damage attacks and unique effects in Sword Mode. It synergizes well with numerous armor skills, but very few of them are truly needed to help this weapon reach its full potential. It’s easy to learn and not too difficult to master, making it a fantastic choice for any newcomer or veteran.

The biggest downside to the Switch Axe is how restrictive Sword Mode is, as it limits your movement and doesn’t last forever. Thankfully, there’s alternate methods of attacking you can focus on instead thanks to Rise’s Wirebug attacks and Switch Skills. Weapons like the Great Sword or the Hunting Horn can still cover plenty of ground where the Switch Axe can’t. But when considering its versatility, ease of access, and strength, the Switch Axe certainly deserves a spot alongside the best weapons in Rise.

Best Ranged Weapons in Monster Hunter Rise

3. Light Bowgun

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The Light Bowgun is the simplest ranged weapon to use. It has numerous different ammo types and can cover plenty of roles through the use of Wyvernblast and unique Wirebug moves. However, there also isn’t much to say about it in comparison to other ranged weapons. The Light Bowgun can dodge attacks somewhat easier than a Heavy Bowgun, but this is pretty much its greatest upside. It can still be useful to craft some Light Bowguns if your preferred Heavy Bowgun does not have access to certain ammo types, such as Piercing or Slicing Ammo.

2. Bow

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The Bow might not be the easiest ranged weapon to learn, but it’s still a good choice for newcomers to start with. The only thing players need to keep an eye on is their stock of coatings, and those are mostly used for applying statuses and slight increases in damage. Making use of the Bow’s unique dodge is where it truly shines, as it can rapidly fire off multiple arrows and deal thousands of points worth of damage in just one attack.

The Bow isn’t nearly as versatile as the bowguns, and it requires very good stamina management to use effectively. Still, the Bow is a highly effective weapon that can shred monsters in mere moments. It’s practically the ranged equivalent of the Long Sword; fast, powerful, and arguably the best weapon in the game when in the hands of a skilled player.

1. Heavy Bowgun

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The Heavy Bowgun is simple, powerful, and versatile all at once. It can be modified to increase its accuracy or defensive capabilities. It also has access to unique ammo that can turn the weapon into an explosive sniper rifle or a rapid-fire machine gun. The various ammo types available to the Light Bowgun are available here, along with a special type known as Wyvern Ammo that can only be used by certain Heavy Bowguns.

Both Light and Heavy Bowguns change how you play Monster Hunter, but the latter makes it feel like an entirely different genre. The exceedingly high damage and varied modifications allow Heavy Bowguns to turn Rise into a third-person shooter, and this genre shift leads to it being one of the most powerful weapons in the game.

Though some weapons might outclass others in more obvious ways, every weapon available in Monster Hunter Rise is still highly valuable in its own way. The gaps in power between each weapon are smaller than they might seem, so don’t feel discouraged if your favorite weapon ended up lower on the list than you’d prefer. With enough time and effort spent learning the game’s mechanics, every single weapon in Monster Hunter Rise really can be considered one of the best!

Monster Hunter Rise is available on the Nintendo Switch and PC.

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