Sharpness in Monter Hunter World is what determines the cutting power of your weapon and the damage output. Unlike the hammer or hunting horn that does more damage to monsters heads it is more important to keep your trusty blade at its max sharpness with whetstones so you can cut parts off easier. The sharpness level of a weapon will degrade as you fight. There are 6 levels of sharpness. To be able to damage some monsters you will need to be at a certain level of sharpness. Damage will increase along with the chance of attacks being successful at each higher level.
Low Level Sharpness
Red - This is the first and lowest level of sharpness possible. Most if not all attacks made at this sharpness will cause your blade (or blunt weapon) to bounce off the hides of monsters.
Orange - The second level of sharpness that is not much better than red. You will still find most of your attacks bouncing.
Yellow - The third level of sharpness. At this level you will be able to land some hits on a monster in the early stages of the game.
Medium Level Sharpness
Green - The fourth level of sharpness. This is where most attacks will be successful.
Blue - The fifth level of sharpness. Attacks will be even more successful unless you are striking monsters hard parts.
High Level Sharpness
White - The sixth level of sharpness. All attacks will be successful unless striking some monsters hard parts.
Sharpness Raw Damage Multiplier
Sharpness Elemental Damage Multiplier
Sharpness Consumption by Weapon and Motion
Sharpness consumption rate is often -1 sharpness per hit. Some weapons or attacks for specific weapons may consume your sharpness at a faster rate.
Please note that guarding against roars, wind pressure and tremors does not cost any sharpness.
|Any weapon regular attacks (hit)||-1|
|Any weapon regular attacks (bounce)||-2|
|Guarding (Great Sword or Charge Blade), resulting in small knockback||-1|
|Guarding (Great Sword or Charge Blade), resulting in medium knockback||-2|
|Guarding (Great Sword or Charge Blade), resulting in large knockback||-10|
|Gunlance Normal Shells||-2|
|Gunlance Long Shells||-2|
|Gunlance Wide Shells||-3|
|Bow||Attacks using Close Range Coating||Significant Bonus|
|Great Sword||Level 3 charged attacks||Significant Bonus|
|Great Sword||Level 2 charged attacks||Medium Bonus|
|Melee attacks||Effect of Demon Ammo is active||Small Bonus|
|Great Sword||Level 1 charged attacks||Small Bonus|
|Long Sword||When at maxed spirit gauge||Small Bonus|
|Sword & Shield||All attacks||Very Small Bonus|
|Great Sword||Hitting monster with the middle portion of your sword||Very Small Bonus|
|Long Sword||Hitting monster with the middle portion of your sword||Very Small Bonus|
|Lance||Using Cut damage in a Blunt hitzone||Significant Penalty|
|Blademaster weapons||Hitting monster at end of a swing, during yellow sharpness||Significant Penalty|
|Blademaster weapons||Hitting monster at start of a swing, during yellow sharpness||Very Significant Penalty|