Understanding Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Weapons, Best Weapons, Tips and Strategy

The Monster Hunter series has always been known well for its over-the-top, stylish, and sophisticated weapons. Monster Hunter 4 continues this trend, but adds to it a few additional weapons types for characters to explore.

The game doesn’t have a concrete leveling or development system, so in Monster Hunter 4, you are what you equip. This makes your weapon(s) of choice extremely important, and more often than not you’ll be looking at multiple weapons to aid you in even a single battle.

However, each weapon type is vastly different from the other, with unique move-sets, unique special attacks, and other special triggers and mechanics that can be daunting for any newbie to get a grasp of.

For this reason, we’ve compiled a guide for you to help you get familiarized with all the weapon types.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Weapons

There are hundreds of weapons in Monster Hunter 4, but they are primarily classified into types, and weapons within a specific type behave in the same manner, with the same basic move-sets and special attacks.


Greatsword is probably the most used weapons type in Monster Hunter, and it’s because they are relatively simpler to master because of the basic attacking move-sets. These massive swords are hefty in size and weight, and require some careful timing, but after a few slashes and hits you’ll quickly grasp on to the move-sets and method of use.

The obvious downside to the Greatswords is their heavy weight, which will greatly reduce your mobility when they are unsheathed.

For this reason, you’ll have to get used to equipping/unequipping the swords regularly in a fight, which can be a daunting task on its own. However, when they hit, they hit hard.


X – Downward Slashes / Charge (when held)

X + A – Upward Slash

A – Side/Spin Slashes

R – Block

Special Attack
The Special Attack for Greatswords is initiated by holding down the X button. This will put your character in a charge stance, with a flash indicating boost in offensive power. There are up to three flashes that you can charge to, but you should always charge according to the time a monster gives you.

Sword and Shield

The sword and shield combination is a commonly found weapon set in most classic action/adventure games, but in Monster Hunter 4 it is somewhat of a rarity. This is primarily because unlike most of the weapon types in the game, Sword and Shield offers a means of protection other than your armor.

Though the Sword doesn’t have the same reach or damage as a Longsword or a Greatsword, it does have added speed, which can allow you to chain together certain combos in quick succession with relatively less stamina consumption.


X – Basic Attack

A – Side Attack / Shield Bash

X + A – Forward Slash

R – Block / Defensive Stance

The forward slash is a great way to start up an attack combination with the Sword and Shield, followed by basic and side attacks. This is a pretty primitive method of damage, but it works surprisingly well.

Holding the directional keypad and then pressing A will make your character perform a shield bash in that direction. Hold down back + A while in the defensive stance (R) will create a backwards dodge, after which you can press A again to perform a powerful lunge.

Special Attack
Unfortunately, the Sword and Shield combo has no real special attack. However, this is fairly acceptable, since the weapon type allows you to block and stay in a defense stance.

While you can’t really move during the stance, you can actually consume items, which is an excellent way to stand your ground and heal without having to run away from a monster.


The Longsword is quite similar to the Greatsword, except that it is much faster and slightly weaker. Like the Greatsword, it will require precision and timing in execution of the moveset.

Additionally, Longswords have no guard like Greatswords, which means you’ll have to rely a bit more on your armor for sole protection.

The added advantage of possessing a Long sword is evident through the Spirit mechanism. This mechanism is closely tied to your special attack, which will allow you to unleash tons of damage on to your foe.


X – Basic Attack

A – Thrust

X + A – Fade Slash

R – Spirit Blade

The quick strikes of the Longsword allow you to pull off some simple yet very effective combos, especially when using the Fade Slash strike that can send your foe leaping backwards. A simple combo can be A, X, X, then X+A, which will allow you to deal great damage and give you enough room towards the end of the combo to recuperate.

Special Attacks
The main feature of Longswords is the Spirit Meter, located below your weapon quality icon. With each successful strike on an enemy, your Spirit Meter will charge up. Once this meter is filled, it will glow, and your character will emit an aura.

At this point, you can press R to unleash a powerful series of slash attacks. If your final attack connects with the enemy, your sword will change color, giving a boost in power. You can do this two additional times, changing your color from white to gold to red.

However, you have to make sure that your attacks connect properly. If they don’t, simply use the Fade Slash at the end of the Spirit Blade to cancel out and regain control.

Dual Blades

If you’re finding Monster Hunter’s combat a little slow and sluggish for your taste, then perhaps the Dual Blades will be your weapon of choice.

These speedy twin-blades are ideal for those who like a little flair and aggression, and though they don’t do as much isolated damage as some of the bigger weapon types, their speed, wide variety of attacks, and little use of stamina makes them great close-quarter weapons.


X – Basic Attack

A – Roundslash

R – Demon Mode

X + A – Thrust Attack / Demon Combo

All the attacks are pretty fast, so there’s plenty of room for experimentation, and you should quickly find your own preferred combo. A nice starter is X + A, X,A, A.

Special Attack
What makes the Dual Blades so good is the special attack. When pressing R, you will enter into Demon Mode. This will make your attacks faster and stronger, but will constantly drain your stamina while you are in this mode.

When you perform the X + A attack in this mode, you will unleash a powerful set of attacks in quick succession. However, the animation takes some time to play out, so you should only consider doing this as a finishing move or when you’re certain that you have enough time to land the hits.

Successful attacks in the Demon Mode fills up the Demon Gauge underneath the weapon quality icon. When you exit Demon Mode once the Gauge is filled, you will enter Archdemon mode, which will give you massive offensive and defensive buffs.


Sometimes sharp weapons simply won’t cut it, which is when you should look at the more blunt side of things. Hammers are big, brutal, clumsy, and pack quite a punch. If you love stunning your foes, then the conventional hammer would suit you well.

The weapons are extremely slow though – even slower than Greatswords, but the advantage you have here is that unlike the Greatswords, you can charge your Hammer while you’re moving about. These means that you won’t be relying too much on combos, and will only look to perform isolated attacks here and there to chip away you enemy’s health.


X – Ground Smash

A – Side Smash

R – Charge

Special Attack
Much like the Greatswords, Hammers have the charging ability, except you can perform it while moving about. Hold R to charge the Hammer, and then release to perform a strike. Again, like the Greatsword’s charge, it has 3 strikes, each with a different kind of attack-set.

Hunting Horn

Hunting Horns are weird weapons that would really fuel the fetishes of a hipster Monster Hunter. These are some of the more complex weapons in the game. Generally, Hunting Horns feel and act a lot like Hammers – they’re heavy, bulky, blunt, and can pack quite a punch.

Unlike Hammers though, these rely on a special ‘musical’ mechanism – every time you dish out an attack, a musical note appears on the screen. As you deal different kinds of attacks, you play different kinds of tunes.

So yeah, Hunting Horns are basically massive instruments.


X – Note 1 Attack

A – Note 2 Attack

X + A – Note 3 Attack

R – Perform (twice for encore)

Special Attack
Each of the above mentioned attacks will throw a musical note on an onscreen musical staff. Each attack is linked to a particular color. Now, with these three or so notes, you can choose to play certain ‘music’ with your attacks.

In order to know the various tunes for your specific Hunting Horn, head to Equipment Screen and check out the Melody Effects page of information. This will list out a handful of songs that your ‘instrument’ can play.

Once you complete this ‘song’ on the on-screen musical staff by performing the attacks, you can press R for the special attack. If your character manages to pull the song off uninterrupted, they’ll be granted a temporary boost or special effect.

After the song is played, you can even press R again to hold your Hunting Horn upright and perform an encore. All this can take a hell lot of time, so make sure that you’ve got your foe stunned nice to perform all these shenanigans.


The Lance is somewhat like the sword and shield, except that instead of a sword you have a long, fat stick that you poke enemies with, and instead of a shield you have a beefy greatshield.

This does greatly restrict your mobility, but it gives you a massive advantage as well: Lances have insane reach, and the defense from the greatshield can be a life-saver.

Lances are one of the most complex weapons in the game, with a steep learning curve, but once mastered, they are extremely reliable. Also, if you want to build an absolute tank of a hunter, then Lances really are a great option.


X – Mid Thrust

A – High Thrust

X + A – Sweep Attack

B – Backstep

R – Raise Shield

Special Attack
You could say that Lances like Sword & Shield don’t have a special attack, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. Once your massive greatshield is up, your character can perform some extremely powerful attacks that would otherwise be impossible.

Hitting X and A with your greatshield up will send you charging forward (which can be canceled anytime with B), and you can follow it up with normal attacks.

Furthermore, you can press X + forward to get into a parrying stance, and then press X at the right time during an enemy strike to parry and perform a counter-attack.

Gun Lance

What’s better than a Lance? How about a Lance with a powerful gun attached to its pointy end? That’s exactly what a Gun Lance is. It won’t feel much different from your standard Lance, until you actually press A, in which case your weapon will shoot stuff.

This further adds to the already-impressive range of a Lance, and while aiming can be extremely tricky, once mastered it gives you a great edge over slow-but-powerful monsters.


X – Thrust Attack

A – Fire Shell / Reload

X + A – Wyvern’s Fire (while guarding)

R – Raise Shield

B – Backstep

While your shield is down, pressing A will fire your weapon. However, you will need to keep an on your ammo, which is indicated below the life bar. Once you are out of ammo, you will need to press R to raise your greatshield, then press A, which will reload the weapon.

Special Attack
The Gun Lance has a very powerful special attack called Wyvern’s Fire.

To trigger this attack, you’ll need to raise your greatshield by pressing R, then press X + A. This move does have a very long cooldown, so you won’t be able to use it for quite a while then.

During the cooldown time, your Gun Lance will glow. Once it stops glowing and reverts back to its normal state, you will be able to perform the special attack again.

Switch Axe

Are you split between a heavy hitting weapon and the finesse of a huge sword? If that is the case, then perhaps the Switch Axe is the wisest choice for you. This versatile weapon is normally an axe, but when you press R, it transforms into a sword.

How cool is that!

In the sword mode you can make use of the weapon’s phial system, which provides a boost to your attacking power or adds some kind of elemental damage. The type of phial varies amongst different Switch Axes.


Axe Mode:

X – Overhead Slash

A – Side Slash

X + A – Upward Slash

R – Morph

Sword Mode:

X – Overhead Slash

A – Side Slash

R – Morph

X + A – Elemental Discharge (continuously tap X after triggering)

Special Attack
The special attack of the Switch Axe is the triggering of the Sword mode. In order to do so, you will need to fill up the Axe Gauge. Once you do, you can transform the weapon. You’ll move a little slower, but will have a completely new set of attacks.

Once you have used up all your sword power, you will need to wait until the purple ‘reload’ bar reaches 50%, after which you can reactivate your weapon. It takes a bit of time getting used to all this, but once you do, you can really flow in and out of the two modes and dominate foes.

While in the Sword Mode, you can perform a powerful elemental blast attack by pressing X + A. It will take a while to charge, but once it is, continue tapping X after the trigger to deliver a series of smaller blasts.

Charge Blade

The Charge blade is the almost exact opposite of the Switch Blade. It starts out as a Sword and Shield combo like any other, with familiar movesets. However, once you switch, it becomes a powerful single, large axe that can deal tons of damage.

If you enjoy the added defense of a shield, but would like to take use of heavy hits every now and then, then this weapon type is the ideal choice for you.

The Charge blade will allow you to pace your assault perfectly, going from smooth, technical methods of Sword and Shield to brutality with a massive axe.


Sword & Shield Mode:

X — Basic Attack

A – Upward Slash (hold for two–hit combo)

X + A — Forward Slash

R – Block

R + X – Morph

Axe Mode:

Forward + X – Slam

X – Upward Strike

A – Sideways Slash / Elemental Damage (when charged up)

R + A – Charge the Charge Blade

R – Morph

Special Attacks
The Charge Blade is a new addition in the Monster Hunter series, and it’s easily one of the most complicated weapons.

You’ll know soon enough why. With your Charge Blade drawn, you can press R + X to get into Axe Mode, with a completely new set of moves as shown above.

You can get back into the Sword & Shield mode any time you want, but you’ll be missing out the more complex (and extremely satisfying) parts. While attacking monsters with the Charge Blade, you’ll notice that five phials on your HUD will begin to glow.

First they will be yellow, then eventually turn red. If you keep attacking once you hit red, your weapon will go into overcharge mode. Instead of continuing your attacks, hit R + A to charge the blade.

Now your attacks with A will unleash elemental damage, which will depend on the type of Charge Blade you have. You can further build up additional combos with further A attacks through this.

While you are hitting with your elemental strikes, if you press R at the correct time (when the strike hits the enemy), your shield will also become charged.

This will increase the damage of all of your Axe attacks by 20%, but will drain all of your phials while it is active. Now, you’ll seriously need some practice to get a hang of this complicated weapon.

Insect Glaive

The Insect Glaive is one of the stranger weapons in Monster Hunter. It acts as a regular, medium sized spear-like weapon with some pretty basic attacks, but it’s special attack will unleash a bug or ‘Kinsect’ towards your designated target.

While it’s not as complex as the Charge Blade, the Insect Glaive is a bit tough to use because of the requirement of aiming for the bug.


X — Basic Attack

A — Strong Attack / Advancing Attack

R + B — Rush attack

R – Aim

R + X – Release Kinsect

X + A – Retrieve Kinsect

Special Attacks
The Insect Glaive’s special attack is tied with its weird bug-summoning technique.

By pressing R, you can initiate the target reticule. Keep hold of the button till the reticule is over the monster you are targeting, and then release it immediately.

If done correctly, the monster will be have some sparkly Edward-nonsense happening to it. At this point, you can press R + X to release the Kinsect, which will go towards the monster.

Recalling the Kinsect correctly through X + A will fill up one of the empty spheres on your HUD. The color of the filling depends on the type of monster and which part of the monster you attacked.

The following are the bonuses, based on the colors:

  • White — Increases speed.
  • Red — Increases your attack power.
  • Orange — Increases your defense.
  • Green — Restores a small amount of health.
  • White + Orange — With this combo, you get the benefits of the White and Orange juices with the added bonus of the “Earplugs” skill.
  • White + Red — With this combo, you get the benefits of both the White and Red juices.
  • White + Red + Orange — All benefits from Red, Orange, and White juices, along with additional temporary skills.


The Bow is a pretty simple weapon to use in Monster Hunter 4. It has a basic bunch of moves which are intuitive. One unique thing though is the coating technique. Basically, you can add different kinds of coatings to the arrows you shoot.

In order to do so, you will need to hold down the L shoulder button and select your coating, then press X + A to apply it on your weapon.


R – Normal shot

Hold R – Charge

X – Aim

A – Power Shot

Generally, the longer you hold R, the more the charge will be, and the more powerful your should will end up being. Pressing A while charging your bow attack before the second charge level will release the arrow as a Power Shot.

Light Bowgun

The Light Bowgun is a more advanced version of the Bow. However, unlike the Bow, it will require ammunition, which can be bought from traders in your hub or by combining materials.

Much like the standard bow, the controls and move-set is fairly simple and intuitive.


X — Reload

A — Fire

R — Scope View

Heavy Bowgun

If you’ve managed to master the Light Bowgun, then it’s time to move on to the bigger, meaner brother. The Heavy Bowgun is the game’s take on a sniper rifle. It’s powerful, it has great range, and it also has a pretty sweet scope.

The real problem with the Heavy Bowgun is that it really expects you to be a proper sniper. You’ll move sluggishly, be extremely vulnerable most of the times, but you’ll greatly benefit from correct positioning and the sheer power of this rifle.


X — Reload

A — Fire

R — Scope View

X + A – Kneel and Shoot

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...