Game Guides

Switch Axe Monster Hunter Rise – Move List, Combos, and How to Use

Use both of this weapon's modes to adapt in any situation.

by Victor Vellas


The Switch Axe in the Monster Hunter series solidified itself as one of the strongest weapons, and in Monster Hunter Rise this is no exception. There is a reason that speedrunners and participants in tournaments tend to choose this one, as it can dish out the most damage possible, in a very short time. That said, it does have a small learning curve, but when you are done with it and mastered the weapon, it can be the strongest companion in your adventures. Below in this Switch Axe guide, we will check its moveset, combos and why it is such a powerhouse.

Switch Axe Guide and Overview

Monster Hunter Rise didn’t add much to the Switch Axe, besides tweaking the axe form a bit and adding its new Silkbind attacks, but that’s because it didn’t really needed to. This axe/ sword hybrid is already powerful as it is, with drawbacks that don’t really affect its efficiency much.

The Switch Axe is two weapons in one, with its Axe form acting as the default, more heavy form. The Sword part is where the real damage comes from, with faster, more impactful attacks and the powerful Element Discharge. The main goal in Monster Hunter Rise when using this weapon is to gather enough gauge in axe form, then switch to sword and unleash hell to any monster in the way, finishing things up with Element Discharge. This is easier said than done though, as the weapon has a lot of resource management going on. Switch Gauge, Slash Gauge, Amped State, Power Axe State, Sharpness, Stamina, all these are what you need to pay attention to in order to be efficient when using the Switch Axe.

  • Switch Gauge
    • Charges with every sword attack.
    • Powerful attacks when full.
  • Slash Gauge
    • Consumed with every sword attack.
    • Recover by morphing to axe or using Switch Charger.
  • Amped State
    • Enter this state by filling the Switch Gauge.
    • Able to attack both with the axe and sword forms.
    • Lasts 45 seconds.
  • Power Axe State
    • Triggers when axe hits with slam.
    • Fills the Switch Gauge as long as it’s active.
    • Lasts for 1 minute.

As you see, there is a lot going on with the Switch Axe, even if it is actually a straightforward weapon in terms of gameplay. You just need to attack, a lot, but you need to manage your attacks correctly, with both the axe and the sword forms, in order to fill your gauges up and maintain the Amped State for as long as possible. I mentioned it above, the Switch Axe has quite a learning curve at first, until you practice a lot and be able to do all of this mechanically. Also, remember that the sword form is actually not deflected by any of the monster’s parts. While this is good damage-wise, it will eat your Sharpness in no time.

Monster Hunter Rise ensured to make the weapon simpler, while also buffed a bit the axe form, which can now dish out quite some damage, instead of just being a filler to gather gauge for the sword form. Don’t be afraid to use the axe as much as possible, since in this installment you won’t be losing as much damage output as in the previous entries of the series.

The Switch Axe is able to inflict massive  amounts of damage, very easily and very fast. Monster Hunter Rise makes it clear that it follows the path of ‘offence is the best defense’, and what it does, it does well. Lacking any defensive mechanisms though does hinder it quite a bit, especially if you are a new player, unfamiliar with the game’s mechanics and monsters. It does compensate with the damage it can cause to monsters, but if you decide picking this weapon up, make sure to stock up on healing items and dodge as much as possible. Don’t be eager to start slashing away, just because it is easy to do and make sure to use your Silkbind attacks when in a pinch.

Switch Axe Controls and Combos


  • X = Overhead Slash
  • A multiple times = Wild Swing
  • After 3 Wild Swings X = Heavy Axe Slam
  • X->Left Stick Downwards+A = Downward Slash
  • After Wild Swing ZR = Knee Split
  • X+A = Rising Slash
  • Left Stick+X = Forward Slash
  • ZR = Morph/ Reload
  • Left Stick->ZR
    Left Stick->X->ZR
    X->X->ZR                   = Morph Slash
    After Knee Split ZR
    Step-> ZR
  • X->ZR
    After Heavy Axe Slam ZR = 2 Overhead Slashes and Morph


  • X = Overhard Slash
  • X-> Hold Downwards Left Stick+ZR = Morph Downward Slash
  • A = Double Slash
  • X+A-> X multiple times = Element Discharge Thrust
    • When using Element Discharge Thrust Hold Downwards Left Stick+X = Finishing Discharge
  • (In Powered State) X+A-> X multiple times = Zero Sum Discharge
  • In Midair X = Jump Slash
  • In Midair ZR = Midair Morph Slash
  • X+A = Element Discharge
  • ZR = Morph Reload
  • Left Stick->ZR
    X->X->ZR                   = Morph Slash
    Step-> ZR
  • A->ZR = Sword Wild Swing and Morph Slash
    A->A->ZR = Sword Wild Swing and Morph Slash

Recommended Combos

  • Switch Gauge Combo
    • Sword Mode X->A->Repeat
  • Wild Swing to Morph
    • Sword Mode X->A->ZR->ZR
  • Heavy Slam Combo
    • Axe Mode A->A->A->X->ZR->A
  • Zero Sum Discharge Combo
    • Sword Mode X->A->X+A->Hold Downwards Left Stick+X

Switch Axe Silkbind Attacks

  • ZL+X = Invincible Gambit
    • A forward-moving spinning attack that fortifies the user, making them immune to flinching or being knocked back by even the fiercest of attacks.
  • ZL+A = Switch Charger
    • Uses a Wirebug to launch you forward while quickly regenerating your Switch Gauge. In addition, the Switch Gauge won’t decrease for a short period of time.


Pros and Cons

  • Pros
    • Powerful attacks and high damage output.
    • Easy to sever monster parts, especially tails.
    • Axe mode has a long reach.
    • Sword attacks are not deflected.
  • Cons
    • Low mobility.
    • No defensive mechanisms.
    • Learning curve.
    • Heavy resource management.

Monster Hunter Rise is set to release on March 26, for the Nintendo Switch. For more guides about the game, make sure to check our extensive list right here.


- This article was updated on:March 26th, 2021

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