Beginners Weapon Guide
Sword and Shield is nice for its speed, flexibility, and shield in case you mess up positioning (though dodging should be your main method of damage avoidance).
Lance is nice for its ability to block and counter practically everything, and very simple attack pattern.
Dual blades is fast and simple, though you need to manage your stamina as you try to stay in demon mode as much as possible.
As you get more comfortable with the combat and monster movesets, you can move on to trying other weapons with more complex movesets and mechanics to manage.
When making armor, you should focus on the skills they offer. Defense doesn’t matter much because you can upgrade that at the smithy, and resistances don’t matter much because most attacks are mainly raw damage. Keep checking what skills are available on new sets of armor to find the best combination.
And avoid using the guardian armor and defender weapons. They’re OP gear designed to fast-track players to the expansion, and ruin the game’s balance.
How to Use and More
Generally, any weapon can technically work as a beginner’s weapon (aside from the ranged weapons, which do somewhat expect more in-depth knowledge of game mechanics), but some are definitely easier to pick up than others.
Melee weapons can be roughly separated into 4 quadrants. Easy to pick up vs tricky to pick up on one scale, and generalists vs specialists on the other. The first one is obviously how straightforward the onboarding is for that weapon. Do you have to remember specific combos? Are there resources you must to manage to use the weapon to its desired effect?
On the other side you have generalists which are good in most play styles, making them much more straightforward to play, or specialists who excel in certain roles but also expect you to adjust to them with your play style.
This would be how I’d personally group them.
Easy to pick up generalists:
- Sword and Shield
These two weapons are quite universal in how they can be used and are very straightforward to play. Sword and Shield gains a lot of nuances as you build mastery, greatsword is just stupidly fun and powerful.
Easy to pick up specialists:
- Dual Blades
Each of those weapons, while still quite straightforward to use, encourages certain play styles to pull out their full strengths. Longsword encourages you to expose yourself to monster attacks to counter and build up your sword meter, DBs reward relentless aggression, hammer will give you delicious stuns for hitting the monster’s head, and lance can parry attacks to exceptional effect while maintaining a stalwart defense against all but the strongest attacks.
Tricky to pick up generalists:
- Charge Blade
- Insect Glaive
Both of these weapons have a fairly involved onboarding process for their respective resource management, charging and consuming phials for CB and how the different colored buffs affect your gameplay with the glaive, but both weapons are beyond that surprisingly straightforward and linear.
Tricky to pick up specialists:
- Hunting Horn
- Switch Axe
Similar to the generalists, each of these weapons features a fairly intricate resource management system, but also require distinct an unique play styles to draw out their power. Hunting Horn requires you to not just understand how every horn has different notes and how to play each of their songs, but to also select the right one for any given hunt. Gunlance features higher offensive potential than its pointed cousin, but has to expose itself to much more risks and can’t raise its shield nearly as quickly in a pinch. Switch Axe may seem more simple on the surface compared to the charge blade, but its deceptively simple nature also requires a lot more finesse to survive the more dangerous hunts.