I initially thought of separating these pages, but I may as well lump them in together, ey? This guide is all about Affinity & Critical Eye in Monster Hunter: World. How does affinity/critical hit work? How “good” is the stat? Read on, hunters. Here’s what you’re going to expect…

  • How does Affinity and critical hits work?
  • In-game description
  • FAQ / Actual Mechanics
    • How good is Affinity? How bad is negative affinity?
    • How good is Critical Eye? Compared to other skills?
    • How does Critical Boost improve all of this?
  • Summary & Discussion

Affinity & Critical Hits: How does it work?

Affinity is simple, and can be compared to many similar mechanics across many different games. Affinity is a chance to add a percentile bonus to your attack. In the case of MHW – it’s 25% (modified by such things like Critical Boost).

Negative Affinity as found on some weapons gives you a chance to do a, what I call, “shitical hit” for (presumably) -25%. I also hear it’s -20%. Anyone got numbers on this?

With that out of the way, we can discuss how pure affinity affects our DPS. And when talking about pure affinity bonuses, the most basic example is the Critical Eye armor skill.

Critical Eye armor skill: In-game Description

Critical Eye
Increases affinity.
Skill Level Effects
1 Affinity +3%
2 Affinity +6%
3 Affinity +10%
4 Affinity +15%
5 Affinity +20%
6 Affinity +25%
7 Affinity +30%
Decoration? ???? ????

Come to think of it, we all have that one friend that’s obsessed with crit right? Heh. Anyway, to understand how good Critical Eye is – we must first understand how good Affinity is.


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Affinity & Critical Eye – FAQ & Mechanics

How good is Affinity? How bad is negative Affinity? First, a very basic info dump.

Affinity 1 to 100

The above table simply means “REGARDLESS of raw attack – Affinity gives a rough 0.25% DPS Boost with default critical severity”. This is simple enough to calculate without the fancy table above. It’s simple “1% of your 25% critical hit” which is, lo and behold – 0.25%.

So is it worth stacking over other stats? Well… while the percentile increase remains the same for all builds, the NUMERIC INCREASE will vary wildly. I’ll talk about it in the next section after negative affinity.

How bad is negative affinity?

Assuming a “shitical hit” is -25% (or -20%) the formula is simply reversed. Each point in negative affinity penalizes your average DPS by 0.25% (or 0.2%).

Given that most people love these weapons due to high base damage, the pentalty is “negligible” (-2.5%, -5%, and -7.5% respectively for -10%, -20%, and -30% affinity).

Wanna know more?

How good is Critical Eye? Compared to other skills?

Well not that we’ve determined the percentile value of affinity for ANY BUILD, we can get an (admittedly incomplete) idea of how good Critical Eye is (if we ignore for a second the varying numeric increases depending on setup).

Skill L Aff+ DPS% Gain
Critical Eye 1 3% 0.75
Critical Eye 2 3% 0.75
Critical Eye 3 4% 1.00
Critical Eye 4 5% 1.25
Critical Eye 5 5% 1.25
Critical Eye 6 5% 1.25
Critical Eye 7 5% 1.25
Invested 7
Avg DPS% Gain 1.071

Since the gains are uneven, the value of each node of Critical will also vary.

  • Critical Eye “Tier 1” (points 1 & 2) give 3% affinity, or 0.75% DPS.
  • Critical Eye “Tier 2” (point 3 only) gives 4% affinity, or 1% DPS.
  • Critical Eye “Tier 3” (points 4 to 7) give 5% affinity, or 1.25% DPS.
  • Investing all 7 points gives an average of 1.071%.

Now that we have these values, we can compare it to the percentile increase of one of the skills it’s commonly matched up against – Attack Boost. Here’s a quick sample.

Let’s put up Critical Eye versus the humble Attack Boost point 5 (flat attack only, which should be rather easy to beat.

HPW AB+ %^ LPW AB+ %^
600 11 1.83 150 4 2.67
700 11 1.57 200 4 2.00
800 11 1.38 250 4 1.60
900 11 1.22 300 4 1.33
1000 11 1.10 350 4 1.14
1100 11 1.00 400 4 1.00
1200 11 0.92 450 4 0.89
1300 11 0.85 500 4 0.80

HPW and LPW represent some “theoretical, but based on real numbers” High Power Weapon and Low Power Weapon. As their attack power grows, stacking more flat attack gets WORSE. Affinity however, never gets worse.

At low to medium levels of attack, Critical Eye sucks compared to even the lowly Attack Boost 5th point, which is a bit disheartening.

At extreme levels of attack, Critical Eye “comes close, or beats” Attack Boost 5th point, which is expected.

But these comparisons are using the best case scenario for Critical Eye.
Which is “All seven points invested for a higher average return“.

Where in heavens are you going to fit 7 points while taking everything else you want!? Even up against a rather “easy to beat” armor skill, it’s looking grim for Critical Eye (in many cases).


How does Critical Boost improve all of this?

As discussed in the link above, “CB improves for each point of affinity you have”. Not surprisingly the cross-scaling works both ways. “Affinity improves by 0.05% DPS increase per point of Critical Boost“.

Skill L Aff+ DPS% Gain CB1 CB2 CB3
Critical Eye 1 3 0.75 0.9 1.05 1.2
Critical Eye 2 3 0.75 0.9 1.05 1.2
Critical Eye 3 4 1.00 1.2 1.4 1.6
Critical Eye 4 5 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
Critical Eye 5 5 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
Critical Eye 6 5 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
Critical Eye 7 5 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
Invested 7 8 9 10
Avg DPS% Gain 1.071 1.125 1.167 1.200

That’s actually quite good. 1.2% DPS increase per point of Critical Eye (all 7) with Critical Boost 3 is quite good…

BUT WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO FIND 10 SOCKETS WORTH OF SKILLS?


Affinity & Critical Eye – Summary & Discussion

Affinity isn’t a bad stat. There exists a special breakpoint wherein it beats flat damage (heresy, I know). Reaching that breakpoint, however… really depends on your build. But it’s ALWAYS A WELCOME BOOST.

As for Critical Eye – it’s hard to justify taking it for most builds. Incidental affinity gains from Attack Boost 4 and Agitator are welcome. And well, incidentally, are simply better skill investments than Critical Eye a vast majority of the time.

ONLY USE IT IF YOU, FOR SOME REASON, WANT A SKY HIGH CRITICAL HIT RATE.

Furthermore, there are other “less stable” affinity skills that are just BETTER. Weakness Exploit (over 3.25%[?] expected increase per point), Maximum Might (2.5%) just straight up dumpster Critical Eye.

Think of it this way. “Basic build layering” is:

BUILD SPECIFIC ENABLERS >
WEAPON SPECIFIC MUST HAVES >
THE GOOD ‘OL SKILLS THAT I CAN USE WITH THIS BUILD >
MONSTER SPECIFIC DEFENSIVES FOR RELAXED RUNS >
GENERIC DEFENSIVES FOR RELAXED RUNS >
Scoutfly Bonus Up >
Critical Eye (and to an extent Critical Boost)

While Scoutfly Bonus Up is put there for humor, Critical Eye sits “very close to the bottom” of my thoughts for most build theorycrafting.

But, in the end, it’s one of the few sources of Affinity out there (while the others are amazing – technically, there really are only a few sources). So if your build is in the market for Affinity, and stacking it… “look” no further than Critical Eye.

Personally, I want to farm up and try out some builds wherein extremely heavy affinity investments pay off. I’ll let you know what happens.


Well that’s about it. I hope you learned a bit about Affinity in Monster Hunter: World, and in extension, Critical Eye and it’s relative power to other skills. In the end, there’s really much more to “killing monsters” than “math and spreadsheets”. However, math CAN save us from traps and bad decisions here and there.

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