Hello, Hunters! This is a short and simple guide about your weapon, armor, and gear progression at various stages in Monster Hunter World. Let’s get right to it.

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MHW Low Rank Armor: What to craft?

First off – two important notes:

  • This set can bring anyone all the way to High Rank.
  • DO NOT TRY TO COLLECT or TRYHARD CRAFT LOW RANK GEAR. THEY ARE COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. Read more below.
Why is low rank armor useless?

Low rank armor is useless because they have high-rank counterparts that are DIRECTLY SUPERIOR to them. There is almost no point collecting these.

If you think you’re “having a hard time” and need “other skills” to get past low rank, you really don’t. Simply spend a little more upgrade stones on the recommended set below.

I’d rather save low rank materials when you eventually experiment with other weapons.

Type Item Skill # Skills TOTAL #
 Weapon  Any  Health Boost 1
 Head  Bone Health Boost 1  Affinity Sliding 1
 Hands  Kestodon Affinity Sliding 1  Attack Boost 3
 Chest  Bone Attack Boost 2  Fortify 1
 Legs  Jagras Fortify 1 Speed Sharpening 1
 Boots  Alloy Speed Sharpening 1
 Charm  Attack Attack Boost 1

Again, DO NOT AMASS LOW RANK ARMOR.
 Each and every person I KNOW who did has massively regretted it

The only other low-rank armor I crafted were the Kulu Gloves
For the skill “Pro Transporter” to help delivery quests.

What's so good about this set?

Why this set? It’s very very easy to obtain and has some extremely powerful early game effects:

  • Attack Boost 3 is titanic in the very early game.
  • Speed Sharpening helps with piss poor early Sharpness.
  • Fortify carries you during the learning process, and helps salvage otherwise failed hunts.
  • Affinity Sliding is GODLIKE when you can abuse it.

The above set is all you need.

Low Rank Weapon Tree?

I won’t tell you how to play, but if you’re looking for advice
– IMO AVOID Elemental Weapons during story mode.

You want a weapon that’s great “ALWAYS”, look for any Elementless viable weapon. Blast or Paralysis is OK too. It’s better to focus on and own one (max two) weapons that are great against EVERY MONSTER.


MHW High Rank Armor Progression v1

When you first step into HR, right into about 7* quests.

IMO, the most efficient way to progress through high-rank is a “multi step process”. Here is the FIRST STEP INTO HIGH RANK Armor set.

Type Item Skill # Skill # Slots Skills TOTAL #
Weapon Any Attack Boost 4
Head Kulu a Fire Resistance 1 Weakness Exploit 1 Speed Sharpening 3
Hands Alloy a Defense Boost 1 Speed Sharpening 1 Weakness Exploit 1
Chest Bone a Attack Boost 2 Fortify 1
Legs Jagras B Fortify 1 s Defense Boost 1
Boots Alloy a Speed Sharpening 2 Fire Resistance 1
Charm Attack Attack Boost 1

Customize MHW “BASIC High Rank Armor build” v1 in MHWCalc.

This build has a lot going for it. First of all – ALL THE MATERIALS COME from GARBAGE TIER MONSTERS, wildlife, and resource nodes. If you can’t craft one of these, simply use any of the low rank options above to fill up your slots.

Remember you get a free Attack Boost jewel.

What's so good about this set?

Why this set? It’s very, very easy to obtain, and has some extremely powerful early game effects:

  • Attack Boost 4 gives +5% affinity, and AB is one of the better skills while you’re still relatively weak.
  • Weakness Exploit is the best skill in the game, and you can get 1 point off of a Kulu helmet!
  • Fortify is still good while learning. Amazing at salvaging otherwise failed hunts. Replace it if you want, or dedicate a small decoration slot to it if you ever get the gem.
  • Speed Sharpening 3 helps with terrible sharpness early on, as well as preserve any sliver of Blue Sharpness you may have.
  • Other skills like Defense Boost and Fire Resistance are welcome little boosts along the way.

High Rank Weapon Tree?

Again my advice stands.

  • Avoid Elemental Weapons for now. As exciting as they are, I would rather build up weapons that are ALWAYS EFFECTIVE.
  • Go for any weapon that fits the Elementless setup. I suppose I can make a list of the best weapons for the elementless setup. You want something great against ANY MONSTER.
  • Status weapons are “fine” I suppose. I lean towards Paralysis and Blast for general purpose weaponry.


MHW High Rank Armor Progression v2

7*+ Quests, up to beating Xeno’Jiiva.

As I said, it’s multi-step process. It’s around this time curiosity and ideas set in, and you want to craft ALL THE THINGS! While I don’t blame you –  I don’t think it’s the best use of time YET, as you want to amass USEFUL pieces of gear for ANY WEAPON TYPE OR HUNT.

Safe and Useful Pieces to mix and match:

  • No “Niche Skills” (resistances, elemental attack, gathering related)
  • Have “a good skill” + slot.
  • Look for Weakness Exploit and Handicraft (Great skills)
Lots of customization and personalization go into a build.
If you need inspiration or a starting point,
here are two sample build paths:

Do you need Handicraft 5 for white Sharpness?

Type Item Skill # Skill # Slots Skills TOTAL #
Weapon Any Weakness Exploit 3
Head Dragonking a Weakness Exploit 2 Handicraft 5
Hands Kushala B Handicraft 2 Speed Sharpening 2
Chest Teostra B Weakness Exploit 1
Legs Rath Heart B Handicraft 1
Boots Alloy A Speed Sharpening 2
Charm Handicraft Handicraft 2

Customize “Basic HR Build Handicraft 5 WE 3” in MHWCalc

What's so good about this set?

Most weapons with empty space on the sharpness bar can be improved to white with Handicraft 5.

There are many ways to get Handicraft 5. The problem is you will not have a Handicraft decoration, and you’re FAR from a Handicraft L3 charm. So for now here are your options.

  • Handicraft Charm (1), Kushala Body (2), Death’s Stench Boot (2).
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Kushala Body (2), Rath Heart Legs (1)
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Kushala Body (2), Damascus Hands (1)
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Death’s Stench Boot (2), Rath Heart Legs (1)
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Death’s Stench Boot (2), Damascus Hands (1)

Crafting  all of these pieces will help you mix and match in the future.

No need Handicraft 5 (Using Nergigante Weapon or similar)

Weapons with excellent Blue Sharpness levels, but cannot upgrade to white (Nergi, most Barroth, most Jagras… or weapons with natural full white) do not need Handicraft 5 at all. So we look for DPS elsewhere.

Stamina is fullStamina NOT full
Type Item Skill # Skill # Slots Skills TOTAL #
Weapon Any Maximum Might 3
Head Nergigante a Maximum Might 2 Attack Boost 1 s Weakness Exploit 3
Hands Rathalos B Weakness Exploit 2 s Attack Boost 4
Chest Teostra B Weakness Exploit 1 b Partbreaker 1
Legs Uragaan B Partbreaker 1 m Agitator 1
Boots Nergigante a Maximum Might 1 Agitator 1 s
Charm Attack Attack Boost 2

Customize “Basic HR Build MM3 WE3” in MHWCalc

If your stamina is full often (mostly depends on weapon type) – you can use the awesome Maximum Might! It’s an amazing skill which you should always TRY to fit in.

Type Item Skill # Skill # Slots Skills TOTAL #
Weapon Any Weakness Exploit 3
Head Dragonking a Weakness Exploit 2 b Attack Boost 7
Hands Dober B Attack Boost 2 b Health Boost 3
Chest Teostra B Weakness Exploit 1 b
Legs Nergigante B Attack Boost 2 m Slots OPEN
Boots Dober B Attack Boost 2 s bbbm
Charm Health (Any) Health Boost 3

Customize “Basic HR Build WE3 + General DPS”  in MHWCalc

If your build cannot utilize Maximum Might due to your weapon using high stamina – you can use something like this. Pure stats!

For any armor set – I follow this 99% of the time (unless making a razor specific “niche” hard counter type of build):

ARMOR SKILLS CONTAIN YOUR BASIC DPS AND UTILITY SKILLS.
USE DECORATIONS TO STACK NICHE DEFENSE AND RESISTANCES.

While I can give you ideas – I cannot possibly outline every possible viable build PATH for every weapon type out there. 
I hope this jump starts your exploration of builds.

Endgame Armor (Transition)

As you amass more decorations (which are the cornerstone of fully fleshing out a build) and have the capability to farm all weapons and armor, you will inevitably zero in to many different “build templates” that you can edit for more offense or more defense. These finely tuned builds are what I would consider end-game.

As for what these are, I can’t cram them in here – ENDGAME BUILDS WILL BE IN A SEPARATE PAGE EACH!


Good luck  and check out our other MHW Guides!

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