Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak: How to Craft Defender Weapons
Defender Weapons are the main catch-up mechanic in Monster Hunter Rise if you’re new to the game or want a quick way to finish the base game before the Sunbreak expansion. Players with experience in Monster Hunter World should be familiar with the concept.
Defender weapons are the best weapons available in the base game that don't need a ton of endgame farming to get. They’re not nearly as good as the Master Rank gear you’ll craft in the expansion proper, but they hold their own well into the vanilla endgame.
Crafting Defender Weapons in Sunbreak
When you start a fresh playthrough of Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll go through some quick tutorials. You'll then get access to Master Hamon, the Smithy in Kamura. Post Sunbreak launch, the top of every Weapon upgrade screen will have the Defender weapon tree.
You won’t be able to make them immediately, but all you need to do is head into the Shrine Ruins and collect from a single Bonepile. The easiest one to find is directly north of the Camp, beyond the stone arch and up the path at the left turn. Collect a few Monster Bone S items, then head back to the Smithy.
Choose the weapon type you want to use and select the first Defender node on the tree. You’ll need to spend one crafting point. Luckily, Monster Bone S is worth one point, so sacrifice one and 600 Zenny to craft your first Defender weapon.
Every Defender upgrade costs a single crafting point, and purchasing the upgrade is significantly cheaper than other items of equal rarity. The final Defender upgrade only costs 8,000 Zenny. For perspective, the Kamura Ninja weapons, the Rarity-5 weapons beneath Defender on the weapon menu, cost a whopping 20,000 Zenny.
The Kamura weapons were my go-to for early Sunbreak progression, but any new Rise player should choose Defender weapons every day of the week. They are always at least 50% better across the board than most of the other weapons you can craft before Master Rank.
Defender weapons have roughly equivalent power to even the most powerful meta weapons from vanilla, with 230 base attack at Rarity 5, higher than almost every other High-Rank option in the game.
Once you reach Sunbreak, even Defender weapons will quickly be outclassed. Keep tabs on our Monster Hunter Rise guides hub for coverage of how to find the materials you need to craft the new gear, like Monster Slogbone and Awegite, plus how to start Follower Quests and more.