Monster Hunter Stories 2 may be a spin-off adventure of Monster Hunter, but it gets one thing right; weapons and armor. Collecting this stuff works almost exactly like Monster Hunter, and that means that each weapon can change your playstyle. Thankfully, this game simplifies the number of options to choose from to six, where the modern games have 14. That doesn’t mean you don’t have any choices to make, though! Find out some of the best weapons you should have by your side in Monster Hunter Stories 2.
What Are the Best Weapons in Monster Hunter Stories 2?
Before we get in-depth, there is no correct answer to the question of what is the best weapon in Monster Hunter Stories 2. All builds can become viable for every weapon; there are specific skills, armors, and monsties that benefit each of them. In addition, while you are playing through the game, you can’t always get upgrades to every single weapon type. You’ll be switching up what you play a lot if you choose the strongest weapon of each damage type!
You can carry three weapons into battle with you, and swap between them freely. This guide will consider the weapon swapping mechanic since it is crucial to the gameplay of Stories 2.
There are six weapons in Monster Hunter Stories 2. These weapons are divided up by damage type and the amount of dedication that you have to put into them. Damage type is simple enough; there are three (Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning) and monsters are weak to 1-2 of them. Because of that, while you explore the world, you may want to bring one of each damage type; you have three slots for them, after all!
“Dedication” is a weird category, but essentially, some weapons require more time and effort to “charge” their skills. These weapons are hard to switch between, since they take some time to reach their strongest form. You are heavily rewarded for charging them up, but you need to make sure you really want to use that weapon for that fight! For this guide, weapons are either “Easy Swap” or “Charge” weapons.
- Sword & Shield – Easy Swap Slashing: The Sword & Shield is a basic damage dealer. It gains a few counter mechanics, as well as some ability to deal Bludgeoning damage as you progress in the story. The skills that the weapon gets cost a small amount of kinship, and reward you with a reasonable amount of damage.
- Greatsword – Charge Slashing: The Greatsword uses skills to charge up levels, that can then be expended with stronger skills. This is a high-cost weapon since you must use a good amount of Kinship to get to higher damage levels. That being said, if you spend that Kinship, your damage will get insane. Greatsword stays true to the main series, dealing a ton of damage but with a high risk if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Hunting Horn – Easy Swap Bludgeoning: The Hunting Horn is a basic bludgeoning weapon with a heavy focus on buffing the party. Each Hunting Horn has specific songs that they can play. The songs range from buffing the damage or defense of your team, healing them, and even dealing damage to the monster. The Hunting Horn allows you to do specialist abilities as well, such as knocking monsters out of the ground with the Blast ability. Knowing what songs a Hunting Horn has can get you out of some jams, but you’ll be lacking on the damage front.
- Hammer – Charge Bludgeoning: The Hammer gets levels when you win Head-to-Heads by choosing the correct type. This might sound difficult, but you can also gain levels with Double Attacks. So, you can get levels by pairing your attacks with monsties as well as with yourself. These levels can be spent to deal massive damage, either with elemental-targeting spins or high part-break smashes. You need to know what a Monster is attacking with, but the reward is well worth it.
- Bow – Easy Swap Piercing: The Bow deals damage to enemies with arrows. The type of arrow it shoots depends on the bow; rapid is single-target damage, spread can hit the entire field, and piercing deals high part-break damage. The Bow’s primary mechanic is Charge, which buffs the abnormal status damage of your next turn’s attacks, as well as firing a strong arrow after the end of the next turn. The bow is great for applying statuses, like Paralysis and Poison, without relying on low percentage chances or knives.
- Gunlance – Charge Piercing: The Gunlance deals damage while generating ammo. The ammo can be spent instead of Kinship for attacks with Shelling or the Wyvernstake. These attacks take a long time to charge; normal attacks gain one ammo, while Head-to-Head victories grant two. Reaching two or five ammo counts can deal really high damage to monsters without spending resources, making Gunlance good for getting consistent Riding states with your Monstie while dealing damage. The Gunlance feels awful to switch off of as a result.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Best Weapons
All weapons are reasonable; the game’s not too hard! However, our personal tier list for the best weapons in Monster Hunter Stories 2 are:
- Hunting Horn
- Sword & Shield
Gunlance and Greatsword have similar, but very different problems. Gunlance requires the Reload skill to get to your very powerful skills, meaning you kind of have to dedicate armor or trinkets to it. Greatsword is extremely expensive for your Kinship, meaning you can’t ride as much. Riding and using Kinship Skills is critical for canceling a monster’s turns, so the Greatsword needs to be handled with care.
Hunting Horn, Bow, and Sword & Shield are all extremely easy to use. Use skills when you want to either deal damage or support the team, and deal good damage otherwise. The Bow’s Charge mechanic is weird, but you can use it whenever you don’t want to Double Attack and be just fine.
Hammer is the best weapon because it teaches you to Double Attack, learn monster patterns, and get massively rewarded! It has the Greatsword’s charge mechanic and rewards, but it doesn’t cost 25 Kinship to get a max power Hammer skill.
Should I Make Specific Weapons in Monster Hunter Stories 2?
You should make some different elemental weapons for hunts. Monsters take a ton of extra damage from their weakness; a Fire Greatsword and an Ice Greatsword are extremely useful in two very different fights! Learn what your targets are weak to and build weapons to complement that.
Does that mean you need five of each weapon to compensate for the elements? Not really! But if you want to be fully optimal, having weapon options for each type will be nice. Elemental Weaknesses will change the best weapon in the game, after all!
Ride on! We have more guides to Monster Hunter Stories 2 if you’re looking for more advice on this RPG!
Jason Toro-McCue has committed his schooling to the study of the connection between game design and narrative. When he's not working on this bond through writing articles or guides, he's playing Dungeons & Dragons, or just playing games themselves and looking at the story there.