Master the art of switching with this Monster Hunter Generations Switch Axe guide!

Monster Hunter Generations Guide: Switch Axe Tips

Master the art of switching with this Monster Hunter Generations Switch Axe guide!
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The Switch Axe in Monster Hunter Generations lets you switch between an axe and sword in combat. The axe has slow powerful strikes and the sword has faster strikes that can discharge the weapon’s element. You can combo from the axe into the sword and switch between the 2 nearly any time.

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There is more to learn about the Switch Axe, and the styles can change how the weapon works. Still, this is easier in my opinion than the Charge Blade. Both weapons involve switching forms, but the Charge Blade works very differently. I suggest getting an understanding of Switch Axe before trying that out.

I’m going to go over the basics and give some tips for getting better with the Switch Axe. Please visit my Monster Hunter Generations Beginner Tips and Tricks for general help.

This guide will go over using the Switch Axe in Monster Hunter Generations including:

  • Basic Controls – The different things you can do with the Switch Axe.
  • Axe and Sword Modes – What they are and why they are important.
  • Hunter Styles and Arts – The different styles and arts and which I use.
  • Extra Tips – Tips to help you get better at using the Switch Axe.

Basic Controls

  • X performs an Overhead Slash in both Axe and Sword mode
  • A performs a Side Slash in both Axe and Sword mode
  • X+A performs Rising Slash in Axe Mode
    • Sword Mode performs an Element Discharge

Monster Hunter Generations Switch Axe discharge

  • R morphs into the opposite form (Axe to Sword or Sword to Axe)
    • When your Phial needs to be reloaded, R will manually reload in Axe mode.

Axe and Sword Modes

When you draw your weapon, you will start in Axe Mode and this is the form you will be in most of the time.

You will notice a gauge at the top left of your screen, this is your Switch Gauge, or Phial.

  • Attacks in Sword Mode will consume this Switch Gauge.
  • When the Switch Gauge is Orange, or on the right of the small tick mark, you can switch to Sword Mode and deal attacks.
  • When the Switch Gauge is Purple, or on the left side, you will need to reload and the word “Reload” will appear.
  • The gauge will automatically fill while you are in Axe Mode, or you can manually reload by pressing R in Axe Mode.

While in Sword Mode, you can preform an Element Discharge, which uses your weapon’s element on the target. After using this, you can repeatedly press X for a combo that deals a huge discharge at the end and switches back to Axe Mode.

Hunter Styles and Arts

I won’t go over the general info on the 4 Styles — if you want you can check out my Beginner Tips and Tricks for more details — but I will let you know how they affect the Switch Axe.

Guild and Striker are nearly identical. I actually could find a difference and nothing seems to change when I tried both of these styles out.

Striker lets you equip 3 Hunter Arts instead of the standard 2 from guild, so Striker is the clear choice between those 2. Normally, Striker is easier to use, but you lose something in exchange.

Aerial is fantastic for mounting monsters. You can only use Element Discharge while in the air in this form.

Adept is great for countering because it gives access to insta-moves when you dodge at the last second.

I usually go with Striker, so I can have extra Arts and it doesn’t take away from Guild style. I choose Aerial is I really need to mount monsters.

Monster Hunter Generations Striker style


There are 3 specific Switch Axe Hunter Arts:

  • Trance Slash – Switches repeatedly from axe to sword in a combo that ends with an Element Discharge.
    • You can reorient yourself mid-combo and keep the effects of Demon riot if active.
  • Demon Riot – Takes the elemental energy within the Switch Axe and seals it instead of unleashing it.
    • This makes Sword attacks stronger, but the Switch Gauge will deplete over time.
  • Energy Charge – Quickly reloads the Switch Gauge, no matter what mode you are in, and finishes with a horizontal swipe in Sword Mode.

You can use Energy Charge to reload your Phial even if you have Demon Riot active. This is important because Demon Riot lasts until the Phial depletes completely. 

Energy Charge has a very fast buildup so as long as you are fighting, you can keep using it to stay in Demon riot permanently

If you are using a form that only has 1 art, I usually use Trance Slash, but any of them are good candidates. 

Extra Tips

  • Pay Attention to your weapon’s Phial type when choosing an Axe, which is shown on the right when selecting a weapon.
    • You can have Power, Para, Exhaust, or Element Phial
    • The Element Phials display the element type next to the weapon’s attack.
  • Get used to dodging and sheathing
    • You move slowly when you have your weapon out, so you will have to dodge, or sheathe your weapon to get away.
  • Make sure the monster is stunned, or won’t move for a bit when using the Sword Element Discharge combo
    • It takes some time to get the full combo off, so don’t use it unless you know you’re safe.

That wraps up my Monster Hunter Generations Switch Axe guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

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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 (