Dragon Quest VIII

Weapon Type Tier List | Dragon Quest 8

Having previously determined the weapons that we deem to be best for each character, we’re now turning our hands to the entire roster available and considering them as a whole. Choices here can cause your characters to differ wildly, and with no way to change or refund your points, it’s best to make sure you get your hands on something useful. Well, technically they’re all workable at least, but there are a couple in our lowest tier that you really want to avoid.

Elite Tier

Angelo, Dragon Quest 8
  • Swords
  • Claws
  • Bows
  • Spears

We should first explain that our Elite Tier is designed to house weapons that offer more than just a few good skills. Every choice will have some select benefits, but those that we’ve chosen here are just stuffed full of great skills and passives. So good are these, in fact, that you really cannot go wrong in picking them. It’s worth noting however, that three of these are restricted to single characters, making them almost ‘individual’ weapons that have clearly been designed for their bearer. Anyway, onto the choices themselves.

Swords being excellent isn’t exactly a surprise here, at least for players of the Dragon Quest series that is. They feature a fantastic mix of utility and damage that’s truly hard to top, and investing in them with the Hero, along with his Courage tree, will grant the incredible Gigagash. Angelo too has access to these, and whilst they’re similarly powerful, you’ll want to pivot him towards his own weapon; the Bow, which is a fantastic mix of damage and MP management, perfectly suited to the philanderer himself.

Finally, the addition of Morrie to the 3DS version of DQ8 heralded the inclusion of a new weapon choice: Claws. These are analogous to the Sword and restricted to Morrie alone, but besides their excellent levelling skills and passives, they eventually access a massive, defence-ignoring single target attack, ideal for taking down bosses. Oh, and if you’re looking for an alternative to the Sword for the Hero, the Spear exchanges a tiny bit of damage and utility for the ability to kill higher level Metal Slimes, which is just as useful in the long run!


Good Tier

Yangus, Dragon Quest 8
  • Fisticuffs
  • Whips
  • Fans
  • Boomerangs
  • Staves

Likely the most controversial inclusion here, or rather demotion in a lot of players’ eyes, is Fisticuffs. We are well aware of just how useful Thin Air is, and we would absolutely advocate learning this skill with one of your party members, but there’s a little more to our decision than just this. Firstly, every single party member can use Fisticuffs, so you’re likely to pick it up regardless of this list, but more importantly the skills do not offer a great deal else. Knuckle Sandwich is good, and Defending Champion is accessed through here, but a great deal of other options will eventually outscale them. Plus, call us old fashioned, but we like hunting out and alchemising new weapons to use.

The remaining roster here are just plain solid weapons that absolutely perform well. Staves will provide some great MP benefits along with buffs and a heal, Boomerangs and Whips can deal huge group damage, single target utility and even Metal Slime killing assistance. Lastly, whilst they’re not exactly filled to the brim with excellent skills on the way, Fans have a fantastic latter third, and are by far the best choice for their chosen character, Red. In summary, these are a powerful group of weapons that feature some excellent skills, but you may note some dry patches whilst levelling them, unlike those in the Elite Tier.

Meh Tier

Red, Dragon Quest 8
  • Knives
  • Scythes
  • Clubs

Generally speaking, the weapons in Dragon Quest 8 are very well balanced, to the point where we’d even say that you can pick some from our final tier and manage to complete the game without too much of an issue. From a performance perspective however, when comparing them against each other, these three fall quite clearly to the bottom of the list, by dote of them at best having one redeeming skill or factor.

We’ll start with Knives, which have clearly fallen into the usual nomination of being the ‘ailment’ weapon, which is par for the course in RPG games. By itself this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but these ailments are just so unnecessary in Dragon Quest 8. Regular enemies can be blasted away with countless skills, spells and abilities, and almost all of the bosses will be immune to them. There’s the occasional good skill in there, like Red’s Blade Cascade, but getting there really isn’t worth the vendor junk of skills that you’ll acquire on the way.

The same is sadly true of the others. Clubs were always a poor option in the base game, trading extra gold with throwing Yangus down a worse route, and whilst their usage with Morrie is improved, they’re still worse than his alternatives. Scythes too, whilst relatively useful for stealing in the early game, and for eventually unlocking a huge group damage skill in Big Banga, are rendered almost entirely useless by the inclusion of Red in the latest version. These weapons, including the knives, have too many downsides to be considered alongside those in the higher tiers, leaving us little choice but to recommend you avoid them. 

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