Weapon Mechanics Guide for Monster Hunter World (MHW) helps players understand how to best utilize the game's arsenal. In the world of Monster Hunter there is a lot more that goes into hunting than bashing and slashing your way to victory. Many different factors play a part in the damage you deal and receive.

  • Please see Elderseal as well for endgame hunting!
  • Please see Free Elem/Ammo Up for weapons with greyed-out elemental and status damage

Monster Hunter World: Sharpness / Raw / Affinity / Elements / Status Effects

Monster Hunter World: Raw Attack Power

Attack Power is the Raw Damage done without taking into account Elemental Damage or secondary Status Effects. The higher the attack power on your weapon the more damage you will deal to a monster. Attack power should be favored over elemental damage as some monster will have resistances to some elemental attacks, and the base math for attack calculations favors attack power.


Monster Hunter World: Affinity

Affinity is the weapon's chance to deal 25% more or less damage on attacks. Affinity is determined by the weapon and skills that are being used. This works on a percentage so for example at -100% you will always deal less damage. At 100% you will always do more damage. Some skills will increase your weapon affinity OR with the Crit Draw skill you will always Crit on a draw attack.


Monster Hunter World: Sharpness

Sharpness is what determines the cutting power of your weapon and the damage output. The sharpness level of a weapon will degrade as you fight. There are 7 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 level.  Despite being blunt weapons, the hammer and hunting horn weapons still use sharpness.


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. 


Purple - NOT PRESENT IN MHW SO FAR. The seventh and final level of sharpness. All attacks will be successful and there are a very limited amount of monsters that have parts that can deflect this level of sharpness. Purple sharpness is incredibly rare, and often require certain armor skills in order to get it.


Sharpness Raw Damage Multiplier


Red Orange Yellow Green Blue White Purple
0.30 0.40 0.55 1.00 1.13 1.25 n/a

Sharpness Elemental Damage Multiplier


Red Orange Yellow Green Blue White Purple
0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.0625 1.125 n/a


Elemental Damage in Monster Hunter World


Elemental Damage or Elements in Monster Hunter World (MHW) refers to the secondary damage done by Weapons and monsters - checking against specific resistances on both players and AI enemies. Please see Status Effects to understand Abnormal Statuses, that have a buildup before they deal damage.

Element Damage in MHW

Each monster has weaknesses that will cause it to take more damage. For example a fire monster will take more elemental damage from weapons that deal water damage but less or zero damage from weapons that deal fire elemental damage. Monsters can also deal elemental damage to the hunter. Armor with high resistances to certain elements will cause you to take less damage and reduce the chances of getting elemental blights. 

  • Elemental weakness is not always a given. Just because a monster uses fire does not mean it is weak to water. Furthermore, monsters that don't use elemental attacks still have elemental resistances and weaknesses. You can push the Start or Options button from there find Hunters Notes then open up the Monster Field Guide and from there go to the monsters Physiology to look up their elemental weaknesses, some monsters have semipermanent opposite resistances on them because of what type of breakable defense they have on them, like mud that can be removed to reveal thunder and/or fire resistance weaknesses, while water resistance will be ignored afterwards, until they cover themselves with mud again.
  • Some monsters will have multiple resistances or have multiple elemental attacks. Some weapons might have mixed elemental damage as well.
  • Poison, Sleep, Paralysis, Blast and Stun are Abnormal Status Effects. They do not deal damage each hit, but rather imagine a gauge that fills up and once full creates a status, and that status is the one that has an effect.

Note: Some weapons have elemental damage that is grayed out and in parentheses. These weapons require a skill called Free Elem/Ammo Up in order for you to use it.


Types of Elemental Damage



Fire Element - The Fire element is usually strong against Ice but weak to Water. Taking fire damage can cause Fireblight, which lowers the red part of the health bar before reducing the green health bar. This can be removed by rolling repeatedly. Rolling through water will remove it instantly. 


Water Element - The Water element is usually strong against Fire but weak to Thunder. Taking water damage can cause Waterblight, which lowers how much stamina you recover.


Thunder Element - The Thunder element is usually strong against Water and Dragon, but weak to Ice. Taking thunder damage can cause Thunderblight, which causes you to become stunned more easily.




Dragon Element - The Dragon element is quite a bit different from other elements. Its the only element in the game that is usually weak to itself.  Frequently, it is also weak to Thunder and Ice. Taking Dragon damage can cause Dragonblight which can lower weapon affinity, competely remove a weapon's elemental damage, and even lower the special attack ratings on poison, paralysis, sleep, and slime/blast.


Ice Element - The ice element is usually strong against Thunder and Dragon, but weak to Fire. Taking Ice damage can cause Iceblight which will cause the hunters stamina bar to deplete quicker than normal.




Status Effects in Monster Hunter World

Status Effects are special buffs or ailments in Monster Hunter World (MHW). Both hunters and monsters can receive buffs and ailments from skills, the environment and attacks. Players should take note of Elemental Damage, and understand that Abnormal Statuses are somewhat different. Abnormal Statuses (Poison, Stun, Blast, Paralysis, Sleep) have a buildup until they kick in and affect the target, whereas Elemental Damage adds immediate damage to the target, occasionally building up to a "Blight"

All Status Effects in MHW

Character Status Effects

These are effects that appear on your character. You can identify them by these symbols shown on your UI.



Hunting Horn Status Effects in MHW

Movement Speed Up

No Quakes

No Paralysis

No Faint

No Heat

No Cold & Snow Res

Element Attack Up

Heavenly Protection

Health Inc [Lo] - [Hi]

Wind Reduce
Wind Cancel

Muck Res

Scoutfly Power up [+1]

Envir. Damage Negated

Hear Protect [Lo] - [Hi]

Fire Res Up [Lo] - [Hi]
Fire Res Increased

Water Res Up [Lo] - [Hi]
Water Res Increased

Thunder Res Up [Lo] - [Hi]
Thunder Res Increased

Ice Res Up [Lo] -[Hi]
Ice Res Increased

Dragon Res Up [Lo] - [Hi]
Dragon Res Increased

Tool Use Drain Reduced

Deflected Attack Prevention [Lo] - [Hi]
Deflected Attack Prevention Increased


Negating Blights and Abnormal Statuses

Blights and Abnormal Statuses will impart negative effects such as health loss. Remove them as quickly as possible using the appropriate items or actions.

Blights and Abnormal Statuses are indicated by marks next to your character's name.


Elemental Blights in MHW

Blights are contracted mostly from monster attacks. You can speed up your recovery from elemental blights by continuously performing dodges.



This blight gradually depletes your health without leaving recoverable damage.
You can remove it by rolling up to three times on the ground, roll immediately by dodging on a wet surface or by using a Nulberry.



This blight slows down your stamina recovery.
You can remove it immediately by using a Nulberry.



This blight makes it easier for monster attacks to stun you.
You can remove it by rolling up to seven times on the ground, or you can remove it immediately by using a Nulberry.



This blight increases your stamina consumption.

You can remove it immediately by using a nulberry.



This blight negates your weapon's elemental and abnormal status properties.

You can remove it immediately by using a nulberry.




Abnormal Status in MHW


Poison gradually depletes your health.

It will wear off after a certain amount of time, but it can also be cured with antidotes or similar items.


The stun status incapacitates you for a short time.

You can recover by being attacked or by waiting a short time for the status to expire. You can speed up recovery by continuously moving left stick.


Paralysis makes you unable to move for a short time.

Paralysis will wear off by being knocked airborne by an enemy or after waiting a short time for the status to expire. You can speed up recovery by continuously moving Left Stick.


Sleep causes you to become drowsy, quickly succumbing to sleep right where you stand.

You can fight off sleep by quickly using an energy drink before you fall asleep. Otherwise, after you fall asleep you will recover after being attacked or waiting a short time for the effect to wear off.


Blastblight will cause a damaging explosion after a certain amount of time has passed, or upon sustaining a heavy impact.

You can recover by performing repeated dodges.


Bleeding causes you to lose health whenever you move.

You can recover from bleeding by crouching in place for a short amount of time, or by eating a meat item, such as a well-done steak. After recovering from bleeding, your natural recovery will be enhanced for a short amount of time.

Effluvial Buildup

Effluvial buildup lowers your maximum health.

You can recover by leaving an area with effluvium and waiting a short time for the effect to wear off, or by using a nulberry.






    • Anonymous

      15 May 2018 16:41  

      Are abnormal status effects an element or not? Meaning elementless should work on a weapon that has poison, para, sleep and blast.

      • Anonymous

        15 Apr 2018 18:49  

        Can the player inflict elemental blights (or anything similar) to monsters, or a elements just straight damage?

        • Anonymous

          19 Mar 2018 22:01  

          There is a skill that boosts attack power for non-elemental weapons ( I forgot what the skill is called) but as I look at the weapon tree, Pretty much everything has some sort of elemental dmg. Can anyone help me understand the use of the skill?

          • Anonymous

            26 Feb 2018 18:49  

            So I just learned that matching up elemental weapons to a monsters weakness isn't always the best bet, and that it's probably better to use fast weapons if you want elemental damage and try to stick with base damage for slower ones. But what about something like longswords that have a medium speed? Is it better to focus on base dmg or elemental?

            • Anonymous

              21 Feb 2018 04:04  

              For the weapons that have "fire (180)" dimed out. could you explain how that works. E.G. Charge blade Odium (Odogaron tree) its element is grey and dimmed.

              • Anonymous

                13 Feb 2018 20:44  

                In case anyone was wondering, there is no purple sharpness. White is the max, and can be reached easier with the handicraft skill.

                • Anonymous

                  08 Feb 2018 13:47  

                  Example: Flame Blade I. If I attack an Anjanath is the fire damage affix all that's being negated? OR is the overall damage from the weapon being lessened due to it being a fire type weapon? What I'm trying to determine is if it's in my better interest to use a really high power weapon (even with a fire affix) versus using an equivalent GS with ice or water affix that has significantly LESS attack power.

                  • Anonymous

                    07 Feb 2018 19:07  

                    I don't understand I have a weapon with 363 atk power and one with 462 a big differrence but on the same monster (great jagras ) I aproximately do the same amount of damage is there something i did not understand ?

                    • Anonymous

                      06 Feb 2018 00:33  

                      Skills that increase elemental attack say there is a maximum limit to how much this can be increased to. I have heard it is different for each weapon type does anyone know what these limits are?

                      • Anonymous

                        31 Jan 2018 19:34  

                        Hello, I have a question about bow. when you land a shot, there is a diamond symbol and do more damage on the number. Is that a Crit ( affinity) ? I know the number colur turn yellow means it land on the weak spot. and when I play melee, there is red flashing light when you have affinity.

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