There are 14 distinct classes, or types, of weapons to choose from in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. The weapon you choose to master depends on personal preference, as all weapons have their advantages and disadvantages.
This is because Capcom made sure that all weapons could be used effectively in both solo and team modes.
However, some weapons are more technical, more damaging, or more effective at supporting teammates than others; thus, it is helpful to know what you’re getting into before you go hunting.
We’ll be ranking all the weapons from weakest to strongest and explaining how they work so you can get ready.
Check out our comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Iceborne for a comprehensive overview of the game and all the fundamentals you need to know before venturing into the Hoarfrost Reach.
The much-anticipated Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is a substantial addition to The World of Monster Huntingh as sold over 53 million copies so far, making it Capcom’s best-selling game ever. This massive sequel features a brand-new icy world, narrative, monsters, and gameplay options that make them competitive with the original release’s sheer size. Monster Hunter: World 2’s brand-new story takes place after the events of the original game and transports players to a frozen wasteland that, once fully explored, will be World’s largest region. The new region is home to a variety of monsters, both new and old, that are ready to present hunters with challenges throughout their expeditions, and the stakes have been raised with the introduction of the Master Rank. You can expect to see World’s skill tree and robust crafting system carried over into Iceborne, with the addition of several new features that increase your combat options. All of this leads up to the ultimate challenge for any hunter: taking on Velkhana, the mysterious new flagship monster.
- Iceborne expands on every facet of World and introduces a plethora of new challenges and surprises, making for a massive amount of content.
- Hoarfrost Reach, a brand new setting, is introduced in this installment. Beginning where World left off, our band of hunters will journey to a snowy landscape that will grow to become the largest region in World by the end of the story’s progression.
- Monsters, both new and old, have been added to Monster Hunter: World to take advantage of the game’s new location and its arctic environment. The new story features a new flagship monster, Velkhana, an elder dragon with devastating ice attacks.
- A new quest difficulty level, Master Rank, exists above High Rank, making all enemies, both new and old, more difficult than ever before.
- Enhanced Gameplay with New Features Improve Combat – The Slinger now has additional abilities, such as the Clutch Claw grapple and the Flinch Shot that temporarily paralyzes monsters. It’s possible to use the Slinger alongside your primary weapon, opening up new options and strategies in combat.
- New Combos and Elements for All 14 Weapon Types Each of the 14 different weapon types will have more to learn and master than ever before.
- There’s New Equipment and Items to Make – With the introduction of these new monsters, hunters in Hoarfrost Reach will have access to a wider variety of raw materials with which to forge their equipment.
Monster Hunter World Iceborne starting requirements
There are primarily two things you need to do before you can start Iceborne in Monster Hunter World. The following are some of them:
- Defeating the game’s final boss, Xeno’Jiiva, and completing the game’s main quest line
- Getting to Position 16
Guardian Armor, a free powerful upgrade introduced with Iceborne that can help speed things up, is one example; we detail how it works down below.
By reaching the end of the main story, you will almost certainly achieve High Rank 16. If you still haven’t found it after completing these quests, keep looking; doing so could be a good excuse to check out the optional content and monsters like Behemoth and Bazelgeuse.
(And once you reach High Rank 16, you’ll unlock The Witcher crossover content as well.)
How to get Guardian Armour in Monster Hunter World Iceborne
The Guardian Armor set is a free bonus for all players, regardless of whether or not they have purchased Iceborne. This defensively-focused gear set will get you to the Master Rank content of the expansion as quickly as possible.
Capcom claims that in addition to its High Rank statistics and defenses, which can be equipped as early as Low Rank, it possesses the following abilities:
- At Level 3, the amount of healing effects is increased by 30%, making it the “Recovery Up” ability.
- Reduces the stamina cost of actions that drain stamina constantly (like dashing) by 50% at Marathon Runner Level 3.
- The third level of health enhancement grants a 50 point increase to the player’s maximum health.
- Third-level Divine Blessing: Chance to reduce damage taken by half.
You won’t be able to simply muscle your way through the game’s obstacles; in fact, our very own Martin Robinson says it’s pretty useless against the Elder Dragons in the late game. This means you won’t be free of the need to grind for resources. It may not be the most useful thing ever, but it could help you get through the beginning and middle of the game much more quickly.
(We found great success with the late-game High Rank armor described in this article by Arekkz.)
Follow these steps on September 6 after installing the Iceborne patch to receive the Guardian Armor:
- Visitors to Monster Hunter World: Select Guardian from the Default Armor menu on the “create your Hunter” screen. If you’re sure you have the newest version of the game installed, but it still isn’t there, something may be wrong with your installation.
- Existing Monster Hunter World players: The Armor set can be claimed from the “Claim Add-On and Bonuses” section of your room after you have completed the first Astera assignment.
After reaching High Rank 16 and defeating the game’s final boss, Xeno’Jiiva, you’ll be ready to embark on Iceborne.
How to start Monster Hunter World Iceborne
If you are entering Iceborne after reaching High Rank 16, or if you have already met those requirements, the rest is easy.
Make sure you have the most recent patch installed (you will be greeted with patch notes explaining the changes upon loading the game if you do) and then head to the Asteria hub.
To begin your adventure in the Ancient Forest, speak with the Feisty Fiver at the beginning of the departure gate.
Monster Hunter World Iceborne Best Weapons
Even though it’s a direct descendant of the smash hit Hammer, HH may not seem like much at first. But it still has a few neat tricks up its sleeve that can be useful in battle, especially if you have a large enough team.
The ability to play different notes and bestow bonuses on other players is the game’s main selling point. While HH’s slow attack speed can make dealing damage feel awkward, keeping your focus on the monster’s head will allow you to stagger them with surprising ease.
Sword & Shield
The S&S is the game’s “beginner-friendly” weapon because it allows you to block and dodge attacks easily and return blows when opportunities arise.
In addition to its already impressive mobility, Iceborne’s new Clutch Claw makes it easy to quickly grapple onto monsters and maintain pressure.
Given that S&S can’t deal as much damage as some other weapons, this is something you’ll want to do.
However, this is somewhat offset by the fact that you can access your inventory while your weapon is drawn. The lack of specialization in S&S means that it is less effective when you are hunting alone, but it is great for combining with other players.
Similar to the Lance’s focus on dealing burst damage via projectiles, GL’s primary method of attack is explosive shells.
The shield is included, but it is not as effective as the Lance when blocking. The bulk of its repertoire consists of maneuvers designed to maximize its limited mobility and minimize its resource consumption.
As a result, whether you play GL solo or in co-op relies heavily on the abilities you bring to the table. Furthermore, explosions can easily knock teammates around and interrupt their attacks, making GL’s attacks less than ideal for multiplayer.
The Lance is built to take hits while allowing the user to focus on the weak points of monsters, at the expense of damage output and mobility.
In some ways, MH’s focus on defense makes combat feel more like a game of chess than a game of hack ‘n’ slash.
The pitifully low damage it deals is the only real drawback. However, if you have a large shield, you can approach without worrying about being easily carted off. The Lance is useful in any situation, whether you’re fighting alone or with a group, as it allows you to take a lot of punishment so that your allies can get away and heal.
The Bow is one of the more flexible long-range options in the game, thanks to its impressive range and the fact that its shots can be charged up for increased damage and coated with status-inducing substances.
It also acquires a new move in Iceborne, wherein slinger ammunition is affixed to an arrow to create devastating explosions.
Bow users can safely and effectively stun and pierce monsters from a distance with a variety of tools, including pellet showers and the Dragon Piercer. For this reason, it is great for both single-player and multiplayer games, as there will always be an option to assist other players.
When it comes to dealing damage from the air, the IG is the only weapon that can hold its own while still being useful on the ground.
Insect buffs, which let you collect essences from a monster’s body to increase your speed, attack, and defense, further complement its already impressive mobility.
Iceborne adds a new diving attack to IG, which is useful despite the fact that the weapon’s ability to leap and dash through the sky was already a strength. Given that IG’s mobility is at the expense of weaker attacks, this was somewhat required.
Nonetheless, it is a fantastic weapon for both solo and team play, as mounting monsters can open up opportunities for everyone.
The Hammer is the weapon of choice for causing instant death in monsters because it is both straightforward and effective. Lift your Hammer, place your target on your opponent’s noggin, and unleash a furious onslaught of blows.
In Iceborne, it’s even more useful than before, letting you snag monsters and smack their noggins with devastating force.
The Hammer loses much of its effectiveness against targets other than the skulls of monsters due to its strength. It can only deal blunt damage, making it difficult to cut off tails; however, this is easily remedied by joining players with severing damage.
GS is at its best when it’s unleashing fully charged attacks that can knock out monsters in a single or two blows. Because its attacks require so much time to build up, it can be challenging to use.
Thankfully, Iceborne fixed this by including slinger bursts between charges, making it possible to get to the game’s final, most devastating stage.
While GS’s high damage output makes it a safe pick in solo, its effectiveness decreases when used by itself. The most devastating single strike in MH is its savior, and it serves as the ideal alarm clock for unsuspecting monsters.
HB is a simple weapon that trades portability for devastating effect; all you have to do is pick it up and point it at your target.
For its high damage output, HB is a fantastic choice for speedrunners and is effective against many of Iceborne’s monsters.
While using HB in solo or co-op does have its limitations due to ammo, there are no other significant drawbacks. When it comes to blocking, it may not be as effective as the Lance or GL, but it can still take care of business against less powerful blows.
HB is one of the best firearms available because it can fire both artillery and status-increasing ammunition.
Although it is a powerful weapon, SA is frequently overlooked because of its complexity. The fact that it can be quickly and easily converted from a giant axe to a sword, however, makes it a formidable weapon.
Iceborne adds two new ways to use the axe, both of which improve upon the weapon’s performance in the original game: fade slash, a mobility-improving swipe attack, and power axe mode, which makes it simpler to flinch monsters.
As long as you’re careful not to flinch your allies, SA is fun whether you’re playing solo or with friends.
The CB metagame isn’t as dominant in Iceborne as it was in previous expansions, but the deck is still very much alive. The CB acts as the yin to SA’s yang, as you charge up your sword and then unleash its full fury in axe form.
In addition, those who use CB have access to a shield that can be useful in protecting themselves from harm.
Despite the technical challenges inherent in CB, the ability to block monster attacks and deal massive damage with super amplified elemental discharges makes it a fantastic choice for solo play after some training.
Axe mode isn’t ideal for co-op play due to the weapon’s tendency to distract allies.
In exchange for increased mobility, LB is a less powerful version of HB.
Iceborne introduces Wyvernblast mines, which can be shot at the ground or at monsters for short bursts of explosive damage to make up for the reduction in damage.
As a result of its incredible versatility, this ammunition works wonderfully in cooperative settings where players can pool their resources to maximize the benefits of higher ranks. Despite its lower damage output, a skilled LB user can take on just about any threat with ease, making it less ideal for solo use.
In DB, the goal is to fill your Demon Gauge as quickly as possible so you can unleash a devastating barrage of attacks.
At full capacity, the Demon Gauge doubles the damage of your weapons but significantly increases the stamina drain. Even though we don’t think it needs any, the weapon hasn’t gotten as many upgrades in Iceborne.
In spite of its limited range, DB is effective in both single-player and multiplayer situations due to its ability to consistently inflict devastating damage.
With Iceborne, LS has gained Iai Slash, a move that can either double-strike (passively increasing the player’s spirit meter) or counter-strike (recouping any spent meter if timed correctly), making it a more versatile and effective tool.
Since it consistently deals significant damage and has more defensive options than any other weapon in the game, it has topped this list. When used alone, it is unparalleled in effectiveness.
With allies on the field, however, it becomes more difficult to perform the necessary set-up combos for LS.