Monster Hunter World

The 14 Best Early Weapons | Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Grabbing yourself the right weapon early is critical in any Monster Hunter title. First impressions mean a lot in games such as these, and the last thing a budding hunter needs is to be put off a weapon by swinging a dud around. We’ve written in detail about every single weapon in the early portion of the game previously, but what if you’re just looking for a quick guide to the absolute best of the best? Look no further then, as we detail our absolute favourite early model of every single weapon type that Monster Hunter World has to offer…


Long Sword: Kadachi Fang

Early Weapon, Kadachi Fang, Monster Hunter World

The Long Sword is by far the most popular weapon in the entire Monster Hunter series. It’s simple and forgiving use belies a tremendously powerful weapon, and thanks to it’s similarity to other action game weapons new players often gravitate towards it. That being the case, new players will want to make sure they’re packing something that will scale with them as they learn, and this is where the Kadachi Fang steps in. This thing does great damage, comes with the super useful Thunder element and even packs 15% Affinity – everything the prospective samurai needs to get started.

Early Highlights

  • Good amount of raw damage.
  • Thunder element is very useful in the early to mid game – some of the stronger monsters are weak to this!
  • Comes with 15% Affinity for some extra powerful critical strikes.

Check out our detailed early Long Sword article here!


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Great Sword: Jagras Blade

Early Weapon, Jagras Blade, Monster Hunter World

Even the newest of players to the Monster Hunter series will know what this weapon is all about: Slamming your slow, lumbering beast of a sword into your target, causing massive damage in the process. Beginners and experts alike are welcome here, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a simple weapon, far from it. Give it enough time and you’ll be tackling your way to level three charged attacks, but to do so you’re going to need a Great Sword that’ll stick by you through thick and thing – enter the Jagras Blade. This particular weapon has no element or status, meaning it’s allocated all of it’s ‘points’ into raw damage, and that’s just fine for the Great Sword.

Early Highlights

  • Great raw damage through Low and High Rank.
  • Good amount of sharpness.
  • Some tremendous late game upgrades start with this weapon.

Check out our detailed early Great Sword article here!


Dual Blades: Monarch

Early Weapon, Monarch, Monster Hunter World

No doubt there will be a few hunters that recognise these Dual Blades – Monarch – and a small selection of those may even wince at their name. Yes, these are the dual blades that require you to defeat Kirin, the thunder pony. This may sound like an intimidating requirement, a statement we would certainly agree with during the early portion of World, but Monster Hunter has deigned to reward you with this fantastic weapon should you manage to topple the beast. The Monarch Dual Blades have a huge amount of thunder damage attached, come with a good amount of raw damage and have fantastic sharpness levels – what’s not to love?

Early Highlights

  • Large amount of Thunder element, the weakness of many tough monsters.
  • Good raw damage.
  • Fantastic sharpness.

Find our full early Dual Blades article here!


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Sword and Shield: Girros Knife

Early Weapon, Girros Knife, Monster Hunter World

We’ve already established that the Sword and Shield is the absolute king of multiplayer weapons, and as such we tend to recommend versions of this weapon that benefit not only the hunter, but also their team. That being the case, if you’re looking for a weapon that makes the hunt as easy as possible for all involved, then look no further than the Girros Knife. This thing comes primed with the Paralysis status which, thanks to the quick hitting nature of the weapon, can be applied to your target in super quick time. Surely your Charge Blade toting team mates can hit a super amped elemental discharge on a stationary target, right?

Early Highlights

  • Fantastic Paralysis status.
  • Great early sharpness levels.
  • Raw damage is middling, to balance the powerful status.
  • Comes with a bonus 10% Affinity!

More on early Sword and Shields here!


Lance: Defender Lance

Early Weapon, Defender Lance, Monster Hunter World

Critical to the title of our article is that we’re recommending early weapons within the Iceborne updated Monster Hunter World. During the course of updating and adding content with the expansion, Capcom added a line of weaponry that is designed to supercharge hunters in the early portions of the game: The Defender line. These tend to come with the Blast element and good raw damage, but little else. They also do not tend to come with our recommendation, because we’d rather young hunters learn to ply their trade than simply blast away early challenges with ease.

That being said, we do choose to recommend a couple of these, mainly because the weapon type in question still requires the hunter to learn to be successful. The Lance is a tricky enough weapon to master, so such a powerhouse model will have less influence. This Defender Lance in particular is very powerful, in fact it’s probably the most powerful Lance you’ll find in either Low or High Rank, so go hog wild!

Early Highlights

  • High Raw damage.
  • High levels of sharpness.
  • Blast fits the Lance poke style well.
  • Obviously very easy to craft and upgrade.

More early Lance recommendations here!


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Gunlance: Princess Panoply

Early Weapon, Princess Panoply, Monster Hunter World

To those of you starting your Gunlance journey, we salute you. Learning this powerful and complex weapon is difficult task, one that is likely to keep you going for hundreds of hours alone, such is the high ceiling. Being the offspring of Lance and explosion, it’s styles and choices are many, from pure raw damage to tactical status deployment. It’s the latter that our recommendation comes from today with the Princess Panoply Gunlance, which comes with the Poison status attached. There’s nothing quite like the attrition of damage that can be achieved with a Poison weapon, and we’ve found that it suits the slow, strategic nature of the Gunlance.

Early Highlights

  • Comes with the Poison status.
  • Powerful late game Gunlance, should you continue to upgrade it.
  • Good balance of raw damage and sharpness to pair with the status.

Find more early Gunlance recommendations here!


Switch Axe: Glacial Axe

Early Weapon, Glacial Axe, Monster Hunter World

Generally speaking, we tend to advise that early players pick up weapons that allow a hunter to adapt to a lot of situations. Our previous recommendation for example, the Poison Gunlance, can be useful against a significant portion of the World bestiary. By contract, our choice for a an early Switch Axe is very focused in it’s benefits. The Glacial Axe is, essentially, a massively powerful Ice weapon, one of the absolute best weapons in the game for that specific element. The weapon itself isn’t bad, far from it, but it’s this Ice power that we want, specifically against some of the High Rank monsters you’ll soon be coming up against.

Early Highlights

  • Massive Ice damage potential, very useful in High Rank.
  • Very good sharpness, especially as it upgrades.
  • Respectable raw damage.

More early Switch Axe choices here!


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Charge Blade: Diablos Wall

Early Weapon, Diablos Wall, Monster Hunter World

Another unusual recommendation here, though not for the same reasons as the Switch Axe. See, when people are learning the Charge Blade we tend to advise that they pick up something a little more tame, like a status or elemental model, which helps them learn the ropes whilst still being beneficial to their team mates. When you force us to choose just one early model though… There could be only one choice: Diablos Wall. This thing isn’t interested in helping your team, at least not outside of mashing your target monster into pulp. It achieves this by having a massive amount of raw damage, nothing more. It’s negative affinity is ignored by discharge attacks too, which gives you all the more reason to practice landing them..

Early Highlights

  • Massive raw damage, leading to insane discharge damage.
  • Negative affinity will not influence discharge attacks.
  • Holds onto its power until late Iceborne.

Learn about more early Charge Blades here!


Insect Glaive: Pulsar Rod

Early Weapon, Pulsar Rod, Monster Hunter World

If the Sword and Shield is the Swiss army knife of multiplayer play, then the Insect Glaive surely qualifies as the same when flying solo. We’ve always claimed that this weapon is capable of feeling like multiple others at once, like the Dual Blades with it’s infinite combo possibilities, for example. Either way it’s a very powerful weapon that deserves an equally powerful model for the early game, which is why we’re recommending the Pulsar Rod. We’ve written plenty about the Thunder element and it’s power throughout World, which this weapon comes equipped with, but this particular model has a host of additional benefits. It has good raw damage for the early game, comes with a good level of sharpness and even boasts 10% Affinity! It’s an all round performer and one that every Insect Glaive user should craft in the early game.

Early Highlights

  • Powerful Thunder element.
  • Good raw damage.
  • Great early sharpness.
  • 10% Affinity.

More early Insect Glaives here!


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Hammer: Defender Warhammer

Early Weapon, Defender Warhammer, Monster Hunter World

Well, we did warn you that there would be a few ‘Defender’ series weapons on this list, of which another is the Defender Warhammer. We’re still not huge fans of this series, mainly because blasting through the early portions of a Monster Hunter game is surely a recipe for a bad hunter, but there are a few that just cannot be ignored for one reason or another. In the case of the Defender Warhammer, that reason is the absolutely massive raw damage. This thing absolutely dwarfs any other option through Low and High Rank, and even pushes the Iceborne models to the limit on the way. In fact, it’s so powerful that the only reason we’re happy to pick it here is that the Hammer itself requires that hunters learn to live in front of the target’s face, and no amount of weapon power can prepare you for this.

Early Highlights

  • Insanely huge raw damage.
  • Will last until Iceborne, easily.
  • Chunk of Blast damage is a nice bonus.

Find more early Hammer choices here!


Hunting Horn: Great Bagpipe

Early Weapon, Great Bagpipe, Monster Hunter World

Much like the Sword and Shield, the Hunting Horn is another fantastic multiplayer weapon, and yet another that performs perfectly well in a solo environment. It’s ability to buff both the hunter and team mates can truly swing the tides of battle, making up that little extra bit of power that has the potential to make or break the hunt. The weapon and it’s songs come in a multitude of varieties, spanning from the ability to completely ignore monster roars all the way down to the most basic of healing options. Today’s recommendation, the Great Bagpipe, steers closer to the latter option, opting for the most basic-yet-valuable of buffs. It features Attack Up, Defence Up and Health Boost, and sure this might sound basic but remember these are always useful, no matter what. Once upgraded each of these songs grow into the Large (L) version too!

Early Highlights

  • Fantastic song selection, including Attack Up, Health Boost and Defence Up.
  • All songs will upgrade into their (L) form along with the Horn.
  • Eventually upgrades into the Nergigante Horn, fantastic in it’s own right.

More early Hunting Horn options here!


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Bow: Pulsar Bow

Early Weapon, Pulsar Bow, Monster Hunter World

We’ve played Dark Souls, Horizon and even LOTR games themselves – nothing compares to the Monster Hunter bow. To see the weapon played at it’s absolute peak is to watch artwork happening live, the combat filled with smooth lines, swift strikes and thunderous blows. Of course, this isn’t likely to immediately translate for a new player picking up the weapon, but it doesn’t hurt to have the appropriate weaponry available just in case, right? Hence the Pulsar Bow. If you’ve been paying attention to our choices so far, you’ll likely know that it’s a Thunder based, respectable raw damage weapon that comes with a little extra affinity and works well versus some of the harder High Rank monsters.

Early Highlights

  • 10% Affinity, which grows to 15% as it upgrades.
  • Raw damage is respectable.
  • As per, the Thunder element is tremendously useful.

More early Bows can be found here!


Light Bowgun: Garon Rifle

Early Weapon, Garon Rifle, Monster Hunter World

Before we get into the Light Bowgun recommendation, an admission: It took us a few games to really get into this little pocket cannon. In Tri we pretty much ignored it, and despite dabbling with it in MH3U we still considered it a tertiary piece of our arsenal. It wasn’t until MH4U and ‘Generations that it really grabbed our interest, but since then it really hasn’t let go. The World version is a true highlight, the weapon managing to feel powerful enough whilst retaining it’s nimble nature, even without the hunting arts of Gen and GU. It’s also the title that made us fall completely in love with the Normal Ammo rapid fire types, hence our recommendation of the Garon Rifle. It’s a fantastically powerful Normal LBG that’s capable of rapid firing Normal 2 Ammo, ensuring great damage thanks to it’s high Affinity. Plenty other options come and go, but we always return to our little critical machine, especially the upgraded Karma version in High Rank.

Early Highlights

  • Affinity based LBG tree, comes with 15% and grows to 35% by the end of Iceborne!
  • High Rank version, Karma, is an incredible mid-to-late game LBG.
  • Rapid Fire Normal 2 LBG.

Check out more early Light Bowgun options here!


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Heavy Bowgun: Shattercryst

Early Weapon, Shattercryst, Monster Hunter World

Much like it’s Lighter cousin, we came to the Heavy Bowgun game a little late, with our interest peaking in MHGU. There it was considered one of the most powerful weapons in the game thanks to it’s Valor style siege mode, and whilst the World version doesn’t quite reach those heights, it’s certainly powerful here too. We’re particular fans of the Pierce ammo type HBG, which do continuous damage as they pass through your target, and for such things there’s no need to look further than the Shattercryst weapon, or the Legiana HBG. Not only does this weapon specialise in the Pierce ammo, but it also comes with absolutely no deviation, and it’s upgrades keep it atop the list of the most powerful HBG throughout World.

Early Highlights

  • Fantastic HBG focused on Pierce bullets.
  • Upgrades ensure it remains one of the best HBG guns, even in Iceborne.
  • Good additional ammo options.
  • Zero deviation makes it a great starting point for learning to aim.

More early HBG options here!


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