In this guide we talk about the one, the only, the godlike Monster Hunter World skill – Weakness Exploit.  Here’s a summary of what we will be tackling here:

  • In-game description
  • FAQ / Actual Mechanics
    • How does Weakness Exploit work?
    • Just how good is Weakness Exploit?
    • Is Weakness Exploit worth it, compared to other skills?
  • Summary and Discussion

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Weakness Exploit skill: in-game description

Weakness Exploit
Increase the affinity of attacks that hit a monster weak spot.
Skill Level Effects
1 Attacks that his weak spots gain +15% affinity, with an extra 5% on wounded parts
2 Attacks that his weak spots gain +15% affinity, with an extra 10% on wounded parts
3 Attacks that his weak spots gain +20% affinity, with an extra 15% on wounded parts
Decoration? Tenderizer Jewel L2 medium

Aye, it’s as good as it sounds.

Weakness Exploit – FAQ & Mechanics

How does Weakness Exploit work? Surprisingly simple. Given the confusion surrounding a lot of the other skills, Weakness Exploit is refreshingly transparent. “You gain extra affinity on hits against weakpoints”.

A weakpoint is MOSTLY defined by what you see in the hunter notes. I imagine there are special cases like broken parts becoming weakpoints.

Naturally, hitting normal or hardened monster hitzones will yield no benefit from it.

Just how good is Weakness Exploit? The short answer: Really damn good.

The long answer? About as good as you make it out to be. Obviously, the more you hit weakpoints, the more you get the bonus. In any given hunt, a vast majority of your strikes SHOULD connect to weakpoints anyway!

Wounded parts only? Is this a nerf? Well, to expand on the first point, you SHOULD be hitting wounded weakpoints to improve your hunting efficiency anyway. While it is a much needed “nerf”, it simply reinforces you to play in a more efficient way. 7

Think of it this way – it gives a 50% affinity bonus on your attacks THAT MATTER. But to truly understand “how good” it is, we have to know the value of Affinity (or Critical Eye). As we determined in that guide, it’s roughly .25% damage increase per point of Affinity. This table reflects the correlation to DPS with theoretical 100% uptime.

Skill Level Affbonus DPS%
Weakness Exploit 1 15 3.75
Weakness Exploit 2 15 3.75
Weakness Exploit 3 20 5
 –  – Total: 12.5
 –  – Avg: 4.17

The first and second point give 3.75% each, the third gives 5%. The total investment of 3 points gives 12.5% with an average of 4.17%. That’s damn good.

Here’s a table comparing Weakness Exploit versus various percentages of uptime.

WE Uptime DPS% Avg
100% 12.5 4.17
90% 11.25 3.75
80% 10 3.33
70% 8.75 2.92
60% 7.5 2.50
50% 6.25 2.08
40% 5 1.67
30% 3.75 1.25
20% 2.5 0.83
10% 1.25 0.42

This table actually surprised me. How to read this? Let’s say at 50% Weakness Exploit uptime, we get a DPS% increase of 6.25%, with an average per point gain of 2.08%.

All calculations prove the one thing we all already know…

Weakness Exploit is beyond godlike.

Is Weakness Exploit worth it compared to other skills? Yes. In fact it’s the very first offensive skill on my list when thinking of builds (behind “build enabling” or “weapon must haves”).

Let’s directly compare it to the other skills quickly.

Critical Eye is in my opinion roughly equal to Weakness Exploit. These two skills are in the absolute top tier of DPS skills. 7 points for 40% Affinity “ALWAYS” is damn good.

Critical Boost, even with its best case scenario of 100% crit (4% boost) loses to WE at 100% uptime (4.17%). Interestingly, Weakness Exploit is one of the few ways to get to that magical 100% critical anyway.

Agitator is pretty easy to trigger in Iceborne, and gives a mixed bag of flat damage and affinity. Agitator is “way up there”, but not quite as good as Weakness Exploit.

Attack Boost is the basic of the basic. Attack Boost L4 is roughly as efficient as Weakness Exploit at 55% uptime. Even missing half your hits, it’s STILL equal to or better than AB4.

You’d need to have a very very good excuse NOT to use Weakness Exploit.

Weakness Exploit – Summary & Discussion

What’s more to be said? It’s one of, if not, the best DPS skills. It’s that simple. Most builds would find ways and means to cram this in their build. Here’s what your thought pattern should look like:

There are only very few niche builds that would NOT WANT Weakness Exploit 3!

Well, if you were on the fence about Weakness Exploit in Monster Hunter World – don’t. It’s so good its ALMOST MANDATORY. While I would like to call this a “guide”, you would TRULY have to be LOST to find validation for this god tier skill.

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  1. You should add, that “weak point” is defined as damage weakness of 45% or above for your weapon type. That hasn’t changed since the games before, it seems. Strangely it isn’t mentioned anywhere but a few reddit posts.

  2. What defines a weak spot though? In past games weakness exploit activated on parts with a weakness of 45 or higher, is this still the case?

    • 1% affinity is equal to an average DPS increase of 0.25% (1% of a 25% increased critical hit), .35 and .4 respectively with CB. So multiply WE’s 15/30/50 with that. I should add a table of WE+CB…


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