You’ve got 14 weapons and hundreds of weapon upgrades to choose from in Monster Hunter Rise. While this offers an expansive experience, it can take time to home-in on the best weapons for your combat style.
Even though you have your trusty Palico and Palamute by your side, taking on the monsters of the game can be a daunting task – increasingly so as higher star hunts unlock. So, having one of the best solo weapons can help a great deal.
Here, we’ve picked out the best weapon for solo play in Monster Hunter Rise for a range of combat styles, and delve into the best solo weapon upgrade trees to get to some powerful weapons quickly.
Long Sword (Speedy Slashing)
Basic Combo: X, X, X, X
Spirit Blade Combo: ZR, ZR, ZR, ZR
Fade Slash Combos: X+A, ZR, ZR, ZR
Special Sheathe Combo 1: X, ZR+B, X, ZR
Foresight Slash Combo 1: X, ZR+A, ZR
Special Sheathe Combo 2: X, ZR+A, ZR+B
While the Great Sword is used as the franchise’s poster weapon, the Long Sword is arguably the better choice for most occasions. It’s nice and straightforward to use and can deal devastating damage, with the method simply being to swing until the charge metre (Spirit Gauge) is full, and then perform massive hits in speedy combination. As easy as it is to use, there’s also a good amount of depth to using the Long Sword.
The Long Sword will cut plenty of pieces of monster materials during battles, with its attacks having a decent amount of range and speed to make it a viable choice against most beasts. Furthermore, as the first swings of the Overhead Slash (X) come over vertically, the Long Sword can even land hits on hovering monsters.
One of the few potential issues of the Long Sword is facing armoured monsters. As Long Sword move sequences often see it slash in all directions, you can end up bouncing back and cutting a combo short regularly. So, picking and choosing your attacks will be essential in some hunts, but what remains the same for each is the need to power up the Spirit Gauge and then unleash the Spirit Blade attacks (ZR).
There’s plenty of value to be found in each upgrade tree of the Long Sword, and your pick should depend on your hunt of choice, but the Bone Tree stands out as a top pick overall. While a bit low in attack value below the primary branch, the materials are fairly easy to acquire and grant quick access to status elements.
Sword and Shield (Strategic Bash-and-Slash)
Basic Combo: X, X, A, A
Powerful Combo: A, A, A, X+A
Monster-Stunning Combo: (L)+A, A, A
Jumping Slash Combo: X, (L)-down+A(hold), Hit, X
Falling Bash Combo: X, (L)-down+A(hold), Hit, A
Perhaps the main reason why the Sword and Shield makes it onto this selection of the best solo weapons for Monster Hunter Rise is that you can use items while the weapon is drawn. So, you don’t need to sheathe your gear, run around, and smash Y to quickly use a potion: you can just guard and use an item with ZR+Y.
There’s a lot that you can do with the Sword and Shield, including guarding, shield bashing, and slashing with the sword, giving you a few different combat styles to adjust to the monster at hand. Both arms can be used to remove monster materials in different ways, enabling you to farm as much as possible from each hunt effectively.
It’s certainly not a high-impact weapon, so solo runs against the more challenging monsters will take more time than when using the go-to melee weapons. That said, the versatility on offer, defensive capabilities, and ability to use items while holding a Sword and Shield makes it well-worth learning. Plus, if you can master the timing of the Perfect Rush technique (see ‘Info’ from the menu > ‘Hunter’s Notes’ > ‘Weapon Controls’ > page two of ‘Controls’ for ‘Sword & Shield’), you’ll have your go-to, high-damage attack.
Going down the branches of the Ore Tree is a solid choice for Sword and Shield enthusiasts. With good sharpness and quick access to useful elements like Sleep and Poison down column five, your solo weapon becomes even more potent against monsters to bolster its versatility.
Dual Blades (Hack-and-Slash)
Basic Combo: X, X, X
Demon Mode Combo: X, X, X, X+A
Stationary Combo: A, A, X, A
Archdemon Mode Combo: X+A, X+A, X+A
Some of the Monster Hunter Rise best weapon for solo styles take a fair bit of adjustment, but Dual Blades offer the same hack-and-slash, high-paced combat familiar to most gamers. They’re also very good at slicing off monster materials – particularly against those with tails that can be removed.
Even though the damage output per hit will remain quite low until you get into the second half of the upgrade trees, you’ll be laying down so many strikes in such a short amount of time that you can quickly melt away any monster’s health bar. Dual Blades also come with the benefit of granting you more manoeuvrability, which can make a huge amount of difference when fighting the more powerful monsters up close.
Making the Dual Blades even easier to use and more potent is Demon Mode. By pressing ZR, your damage output, movement speed, and evasion speed will all be boosted at the expense of your stamina. As you land more hits, the Demon Gauge will fill, eventually granting Archdemon Mode and a further damage boost.
While matching the best solo weapons to a particularly challenging monster’s weakness is always a strong strategy, if you want to stick to one set of Dual Blades, it’s a good idea to go down the Bone Tree route. The upgrades available early are easily attained and have high attack ratings, with column five branching into some very potent monster-specific Dual Blades.
Hammer (Heavy Bashing)
Basic Combo: X, X, X
Charged Side Blow Combo: ZR, X, X
Monster-Stunning Combo: ZR, A, X, X
The epitome of brute force in Monster Hunter, the Hammer makes you a one-warrior army, easily placing it as one of the best solo weapons in the game. You can do plenty with its basic X and A attacks, breaking parts as you swing, but the Hammer becomes even better when you mix in its charging feature.
However, the Hammer does have some flaws. For a start, it makes for quite a slow-moving build, with the initial contact hits being cumbersome. It takes some getting used to the timing of the basic and charged attacks, but given the damage output and knockdown capability, the Hammer very quickly becomes one of the best solo weapons in Monster Hunter Rise.
Most appealing about the Hammer as a solo weapon is that you can take on even the most heavily-armed monsters without having come close to mastering the weapon. As you get to grips with the Hammer’s charging tiers, and attack variations used at each tier, you’ll become even more mighty – particularly when attacking a monster head-on.
For some heavy-hitting Hammers with equally-useful elemental effects, work across the Kamura Tree upgrade branches. It doesn’t take too long for you to reach the Paralysis line of Hammers, which can open opportunities for you to pile on high-damage hits at will.
Hunting Horn (Buffs and Bashing)
Stationary Combo: A, A, A, (L)+B
Forward-Moving Combo: (L)+X, X+A, A, X+A
Magnificent Trio Combo: A, X, X+A, ZR+X
Many see the Hunting Horn as a support weapon for teams hunts, but in Monster Hunter Rise, it’s easily one of the best weapons for solo play. The Hunting Horn doubles as a self-buff weapon and a heavy-hitting melee weapon, lending itself as a sort of enhanced Hammer if you can adjust to its novel application.
To play notes, you just need to perform attacks and moves. ZR will always play Self-Improvement to grant you more foot speed. You’ll then have three notes that grant specific buffs depending on your Hunting Horn of choice. Across them all, blue notes are activated with X, red notes with A, and green notes are triggered by pressing X+A. You only need to play the same note twice in a row to activate its buff.
Getting buffs for doing what you’d normally do – attack a monster – makes this weapon an excellent choice for a solo run, but what makes the Hunting Horn even better is the Magnificent Trio. Once you’ve played one blue, red, and green note in a row, you can press ZR and the indicated button (as shown next to the notes bar under your stamina) to activate the Magnificent Trio, deal tremendous damage, and get the buffs. In fact, any time that you’re prompted to press a ZR combo, you’ll do lots of damage.
While selecting Hunting Horns with your preferred buffs is the best way to go, the Hunting Horns of the Bnahabra Tree offer very useful early buffs. Notes that grant Health Recovery and Stamina Use Reduced are quickly found, as are useful additions like Earplugs (nullifies weak and strong monster roars) and Sonic Wave (deals extra damage at a short-range). You’ll also find single notes that grant Attack and Defence Up in one further along the branches.
Another worthy consideration to rank on this page of the best weapon for solo play in Monster Hunter Rise would be the Lance; it’s absurdly effective on the defensive side and straightforward in its use. Generally, the bowguns are more effective when there are others putting down damage and drawing attention. Still, if you really want to go with a ranged weapon as a solo hunter, the Light Bowgun offers lots of manoeuvrability and decent range.
Each of Monster Hunter Rises’ 14 weapon classes can be very potent in the right hands, but of them all, those discussed above stand as the best weapons for solo hunts through each phase of the game.
Looking for the best weapons in Monster Hunter Rise?
Monster Hunter Rise: Best Hunting Horn Upgrades to Target on the Tree
Monster Hunter Rise: Best Hammer Upgrades to Target on the Tree
Monster Hunter Rise: Best Long Sword Upgrades to Target on the Tree
Monster Hunter Rise: Best Dual Blades Upgrades to Target on the Tree
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