14 Great Single-Player Weapons in Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World has a huge number of weapons, and finding a few you love can take a while. These are some of the best.

Monster Hunter: World is almost two games in one; the weapons you choose and the tactics you employ can vary significantly between solo play and cooperative mode.

With so many weapons to choose from, and in light of the fact that everyone will have different preferences, this guide is not meant to identify any end-game weapons as objectively superior (there really aren't any, most of them are exceptionally well balanced).

We're only trying to point out why our favorite weapons are well suited to playing alone.

Note: Because not all players may have access to limited-event weapons, they are not eligible for inclusion in this list.

Note #2: Weapon damage ratings (weak, low, average, high, outstanding) are assessed relative to typical damage values for that class of weapon, not against all weapons; the strongest dual blades are obviously going to have much lower base damage than the weakest hammers.

Be sure to head over to our best multiplayer weapons guide for even more great MH: World weapons. 

Charge Blade

Charge blades are slow, heavy, and often considered the hardest weapons to master—but they hit ridiculously hard and their shields can block most attacks too. In skilled hands, charge blades can fell even the beefiest monsters in short order.

Our pick: Xeno Ra'atz

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: White
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x2)

Why it's great for solo play: 
This is a great all-around charge blade. While it doesn't excel at anything (other than in having two level three slots), it's capable of taking down almost any monster. Spend a Hero's Streamstone to give it Health Regen and you'll have a fantastic weapon for survivability.

Hammer

Hammers have one main job: shutting down enraged or exceptionally dangerous monsters by hitting them in the head. All hammers deal stun damage and excel at breaking armor, but their range is deceptively short; you'll need to be right in the monster's face.

Our pick: Obliteration's Footfall

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for solo play: 
If you're using a hammer, it's probably because you like to shut down a monster's worst attacks, so it makes sense that you'd also want the high elderseal that this weapon comes with. It also just hits really, really hard. That's kind of all there is to it.

Dual Blades

Dual blades are among the weakest weapons on a per-hit basis, but their DPS can reach respectable levels, especially with their unique demon mode activated. Because they hit so fast, they're also the melee weapon of choice for inflicting status effects.

Our pick: Empress Daggers "Styx"

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: White
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x2)

Why it's great for solo play: 
These puppies are hard to make but worth it. Look in the bottom right corner of the screenshot above and you'll notice that the Empress Daggers "Styx" is one of the rare weapons that has an armor skill—Razor Sharp/Spare Shot in this case, meaning its impressive white sharpness will last twice as long.

Its 120 blast damage on top of that makes this a highly formidable offensive weapon.

Greatsword

If you want to be a heavy hitter, but charge blades aren't quite doing it for you, try a greatsword. They hit harder than charge blades, but they're slower, so your DPS will likely be a bit lower. However, you'll be a little more mobile when wielding a greatsword.

Our pick: Jagras Hacker III

Attack power: High
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x2)

Why it's great for solo play: 
I know what you're thinking, "Why are we recommending a weapon made from the very first monster you ever see?" Well, for one thing, it's non-elemental, so it'll deal consistent and respectable damage to every monster in the game.

It's also got room for two level 3 decorations and, as a rarity 6 weapon, it has three augmentation slots—you can add some seriously powerful upgrades of your own if you're willing to spend the streamstones.

Longsword

Longswords are the weapon of choice for generalists and the indecisive. They're neither amazing nor terrible in any respect, offering moderate speed, reach, and damage.

Our pick: Divine Slasher

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x1)

Why it's great for solo play: 
Like the Jagras Hacker III greatsword, the Divine Slasher is non-elemental and focused purely on raw attack power. Extending its sharpness gauge with Handicraft would give this weapon great staying power in extended combat, and if you're willing to invest in a few ranks of Hidden Element, you'll get high elderseal and 150 dragon damage too.

Gunlance

Have you ever found yourself thinking, "I wish this charge blade could launch artillery barrages?" Of course, you have.

Gunlances offer high damage in the form of both melee and ranged attacks, and they come with medium-high tier shields too. They take more practice to master than most other weapons, so hit the training room for a while.

Our pick: Royal Burst

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for solo play: 
While its single low-level decoration slot leaves much to be desired, the Royal Burst's solid 330 poison damage and two augmentation slots make up for it.

Consider using one of them to add Health Regeneration, which will give you extended survivability in solo play. Gunlance wielders who can stay cool when they're pulling 100% of the aggro and time their shots well will find this weapon to be dependable and capable in most situations.

Lance

Lances are ideal for tanks; most of the best shields in the game can be found paired with lances. Their melee strikes have longer reach than those of gunlances, and they're somewhat more maneuverable, but the tradeoff is missing out on those sweet ranged attacks.

Our pick: Empress Lance "Ruin"

Attack power: High
Sharpness: White
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 2 (x2)

Why it's great for solo play: 
This was a tough call; there are a lot of great end-game lances to choose from. There are lances with higher base damage, but this one's white sharpness increases its overall damage potential, and no other lances have the Health Recovery skill built right in, which allows you to leech health from your target with every hit.

It's also got 150 blast damage, so you're basically healing yourself with explosions.

Switch Axe

Switch axes are strange. They have a weird rhythm and it takes a while to get a feel for the wide variety in the range of their different attacks, but they can put out decent damage with practice. They're like a cross between a charge blade and a greatsword, without the strong advantages (or disadvantages) of either.

Our pick: Terror Tyrannos

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
None

Why it's great for solo play: 
This was another tough call. Ultimately, since switch axes are such a weird hybrid, a good one needs to excel in at least one area, so we went with base damage here.

Yes, the Terror Tyrannos has negative affinity, which sucks, but even with that penalty, it has the potential to be the most damaging switch axe available. Its respectable 180 dragon damage (which most monsters don't resist), high elderseal and two augmentation slots help to set it apart from most comparable switch axes.

Your classic sword n' board is primarily a defensive weapon, but not in the same way that the heavier weapons are; the shield can't withstand many of the more powerful attacks you'll face. Instead, they leave you fast and flexible, able to quickly retreat or launch aerial attacks to mount a monster.

They're also the only weapon with which you can use items while blocking, which is amazingly helpful at times.

Our pick: Barroth Club III

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 2 (x1), Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for solo play: 
This weapon class tends to attract jack-of-all-trade types, and the Barroth Club III is surprisingly competent at almost everything. If you're willing to commit a few armor skill slots to Hidden Element, you'll be superb at inflicting paralysis.

But even without that, you've still got three augmentation slots, great base damage and sharpness, and enough decoration slots to make most medium-tier configurations viable.

Insect Glaive

Like most weapons, the glaive takes some getting used to, but it's worth mastering. You'll need a huge amount of stamina to use one effectively, as you'll be in the air most of the time, and aerial maneuvers chew up stamina.

It's hands-down the best weapon around for mounting monsters or for builds centered around maximizing critical hits.

Our pick: Empress Cane "Styx"

Attack power: High
Sharpness: White
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x1), Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for solo play: 
Another hard winner to pick. Glaives do two things exceedingly well: inflict statuses and critical hits, and this weapon is predisposed to be great at both. Its base affinity rating of 10% certainly isn't the best around, but if you're willing to boost it with skills like Weakness Exploit and Critical Eye, you can put together a devastating weapon.

In any case, Empress Cane "Styx" has double white sharpness thanks to Razor Sharp and a punchy 210 blast damage. Fast, aggressive players will be able to pump out ridiculous damage with this glaive—at that point, you can pretty much attune your kinsect however you please, it's all good.

Hunting Horn

You can use a hunting horn by yourself, but it's designed to be a co-op support weapon. To effectively fly solo with a hunting horn, you'll need to be very comfortable with its somewhat awkward combos and the timing of playing songs (i.e. buffing yourself) when you're the only target for the monster to wail on.

Our pick: Desolation's Overture

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for solo play: 
Hunting horns aren't primarily built for damage, so to get far on your own, you'll need to pick one of the few with great attack power. In addition to being the second strongest horn in that respect, Desolation's Overture has high elderseal and 150 dragon damage to help you put the hurt on some of the game's stronger enemies.

It can also play some highly useful songs, including Earplugs (L) (which frees up your decoration or charm slots), Affinity Up (S) and Health Recovery (S). Bring a Palico with a Shieldspire gadget to pull aggro and you just might be able to call yourself a successful solo hunter horn main.

Bow

Like the hunting horn, the bow is not really meant to be a solo weapon, but it can be done. It's much better at inflicting status effects and at briefly stunning enemies than at dealing significant damage to them, so fights with stronger monsters might take a while.

On the plus side, it's a great defensive weapon, as it allows for speedy dodging and permits most attacks to be canceled.

Our pick: Great Hunter's Bow

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: N/A
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x1)


Why it's great for solo play: 
Bows are limited by the types of coatings they can use (close range, power, paralysis, poison, sleep, or blast). Most bows can only use 2-3 coating types by default, but the Great Hunter's Bow can use everything except power coatings right out of the box. (Unfortunately, it will never be able to use power ammo, as there's a decoration-based coating skill available for every type except power.)

Nonetheless, with decent damage and a level 3 decoration slot, this can be a serviceable solo weapon capable of inundating monsters with any and all status effects, provided you carry an absolute truckload of crafting components to constantly replenish your coatings.

Light Bowgun

Light bowguns are the smallest of the three ranged weapons, offering brisk rates of fire at the cost of stopping power. They can also be expensive to use, as you'll need to constantly craft or buy many different kinds of ammo.

Nonetheless, they can be an effective solo weapon, especially with liberal use of special ammo types catered to your target's weaknesses.

Our pick: Karma

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: N/A
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 1 (x1)


Why it's great for solo play: 
Karma has the highest affinity of any light bowgun at 30%, making its normal shots highly effective despite its so-so base damage. Its three custom mod slots allow greater flexibility in choosing its bonus attributes (three Reload Assists would be a great choice for better DPS).

Finally, it has zero deviation, meaning every shot will land precisely where your cursor is; few other light bowguns can claim that distinction.

Heavy Bowgun

Heavy bowguns are among the most challenging weapons to use when you're by yourself. They need range and time to be effective—two things that are generally in short supply when you're alone in combat. To come out on top, you'll need to spend a lot of time getting to know how each ammo type works and how long they take to fire and reload.

Our pick: Magda Gemitus II

Attack power: High
Sharpness: N/A
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 2 (x1)


Why it's great for solo play: 
Heavy bowguns, in particular, seem to sacrifice a ton of affinity as their base attack power gets higher, so the -20% affinity on this model isn't an atypical price to pay.

The single level two decoration slot (better than most other high-end models) helps make up the difference, and it's got two augmentation slots for further customization. Consider stacking some shields in your mod slots to gain limited blocking ability, since it's pretty hard to dodge with these weapons.

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There you have it! Hopefully, you'll fall in love with at least a few weapons from this list, but even if you don't find your forever weapon, perhaps you've learned something useful about different ways to evaluate other options.

Keep an eye on our Monster Hunter: World hub page for more guides.

Featured Contributor

Gamer since 1989. Freelance writer, editor, writing coach, and English tutor since 2007. Writing about games is rad.

Published Dec. 10th 2018

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