Defense in Monster Hunter World (MHW) is a stat that equals the total protection the Player or Monster has against Raw (Physical) Damage.

For a more complete rundown on combat with Monsters, see Weapon Mechanics and Elemental Resistances.


Defense, Incoming Damage, and Effective Health

Incoming Raw Damage is subjected to a multiplier that depends on the Player's Defense value.1

The formula for reducing incoming Raw Damage is:

80 / (80 + Player Defense)



For example, having a Defense value of 300 will multiply a Monster's physical attack damage by:

Incoming Raw Multiplier = 80 / (80 + 300)
or approximately
Incoming Raw Multiplier = 0.21


This multiplier allows Defense to alternatively be considered as a multiplier to the Health bar; i.e. taking one fifth of incoming damage is the same as having five times as much "effective health."
In this vein, for every 80 points of Defense the effective multiplier to the health bar is raised by one. This means that the end result of Defense scales linearly.

Effective Health = 1 / Incoming Raw Multiplier



For example:

Incoming Raw Multiplier = 80 / (80 + 0) = 1; Effective Health = 1
Incoming Raw Multiplier = 80 / (80 + 80) = 0.5; Effective Health = 2
Incoming Raw Multiplier = 80 / (80 + 160) = 0.33; Effective Health = 3
Incoming Raw Multiplier = 80 / (80 + 240) = 0.25; Effective Health = 4

When considering Defense in terms of Effective Health, this multiplier should be applied to the current value for maximum health, which can be raised by Skills and Items.


Improving Defense in Monster Hunter World

  • Players can equip Armor that increases their Defense against Attack Power
  • Players can equip Charms that increase their defenses against Attack Power
  • Players can seek out Skills that increase their Defense against Attack Power
  • Certain Weapons provide protections against Attack Power


Armor, Weapons and Skills with Defense


1 Information taken from a Reddit post made by user ryz

    • Anonymous

      30 Mar 2020 00:21  

      Ok so if I have 630 defense, my incoming damage is multiplied by 80/(80+630) = 11.27%. So 100 incoming damage turns into about 11. Right? If I bump that up to 680 with a a Defense Up or whatever, that changes to 10.53%. That is a very small change. I think I see why people say don't worry about Defense in the end game.

      • Anonymous

        19 Nov 2019 07:18  

        I heard that ranged weapon has only half the defense but double the elemental resistance, is that true? or do they just have completely different ways of calculating defense.

        • Anonymous

          23 Aug 2019 10:37  

          And don't forget kids! All of this is meaningless for endgame, and If you didn't learn to dodge and got used to taking hits before fighting Arch temps, you're gonna have a bad time! Source: the staggering amount of people who get whipped at HR 150+

          • Anonymous

            13 May 2018 16:29  

            Little side note, elemental resistance might play a role in how much damage you take defense wise, after reducing my defense in favor of elemental resistance, I took pretty much the same amount of damage, so defense appears to be increased meekly and affected in some way by elemental resistance, so defense is important but is weakened if you don't have enough elemental resistance, it might not even play a role unless it's at 10 or 20 to boot, but that's just me and my experiments, anybody else have some other crazy idea about defense and elemental resistance?

            • Anonymous

              19 Feb 2018 04:23  

              What tf EXACTLY does defense do for me in this game, 400 def and I get one-shot or halved way too easily.

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