Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Guide: Switch Axe Tips

Become a skilled Switch Axe user with this Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate guide!

The Switch Axe is a cool weapon in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. You get two weapons in one and can switch between the two at almost any time. The transitions also look cool and each weapon is good on its own. You can go through a mission using only one, or both of them; it is pretty flexible.

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Switch weapon take some getting use to and are overwhelming at first. The Switch Axe, in my opinion, is the easier switch weapon to use. It is still good to know how to use it correctly and there are some tricks to make using it even easier.

I’ll go over the basics of using this weapon and some extra tips to help master it. Check out my Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Guide Directory for more weapon guides or anything else related to the game.

This guide will go over using the Switch Axe including:

  • Basic Controls – Basics on how the weapon works.
  • Axe Mode – Tips on attacking in Axe mode.
  • Sword Mode – Tips on attacking in Sword mode.
  • Extra Tips – Tips to master using the Switch Axe.

Basic Controls

  • Axe mode attacks are slower than in Sword mode.
  • The 3 X button combo ends with an upward strike.
    • You can press X + A to do the upward strike at any time.
  • Press A to do a side swipe. This does not combo.
  • Press R to switch to Sword Mode.
  • The sword attacks faster, but your movement speed slower.
  • The 3 X button combo ends with a double strike.
  • The 3 A button combo ends with an upward strike.

Before moving on, let me point out that Switch Axes use Phials

  • Power – Adds physical damage to the phial discharge.
  • Element – Adds elemental damage to the phial discharge.
  • Dragon – Adds dragon elemental damage to the phial discharge.
  • Ailment – Adds a status effect to the phial discharge.

When you press X + A in Sword Mode, you use the Phial Discharge. This unleashes whatever effect your weapon’s phial has in an attack.

Axe Mode

Axe Mode attacks are sluggish and awkward unless you use combos or evade.

  • The upward strike at the end of a combo, or when pressing X + A is very helpful. Especially for hitting enemies in the air.
    • It will always be the 3rd action when you press X. This mean you can attack, evade, then press X to go right into the upward strike.
  • You can also press A during an upward strike to do a swing attack. Keep hitting A and you’ll keep swinging the Axe.
    • This keeps you in place and uses heavy stamina for each swing.
    • You can also press R during this to do a combo finisher that pushes you forward and swings the axe around. Press R again after the finisher to quickly switch to Sword Mode with an attack.
    • All of these attacks will knock down teammates, so be careful when using this in a group.

Sword Mode

  • The main combo for sword is pressing X, then A. Keep alternating between X and A to do it nonstop.
    • This does great damage and keeps you in place. Perfect for taking out a head or other body part while the monster can’t move.
  • If you press X twice, you can press R right after to switch back to Axe with an attack.
  • During the Phial Discharge (X + A), keep hitting X to charge up and finish with a huge blast. This automatically switches back to Axe.

Extra Tips

  • The bar under your sharpness bar is how much phial you have left.
    • This is required to use Sword Mode and the Phial Discharge.
    • When the bar gets below the line during Sword Mode, you’ll automatically switch to Axe Mode.
    • Hold R during Axe Mode to reload your phial.
  • Master switching between the two to increase your skill with the Switch Axe, but you can focus on one at a time and still succeed.
    • Using the above combos that end with attacks in the opposite weapon mode are the best way to switch.
  • Evade Combos are the best in Axe Mode, you’ll be able to attack, dodge and finish with your big combo with ease.

That’s it for my Switch Axe tips. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know. Please visit my Guide Directory for more guides and content related to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

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After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel ( and Twitch (