Monster Hunter 4 Swordmaster Weapons Guide - Prima Games

Monster Hunter 4 Swordmaster Weapons Guide

by Prima Games Staff

The choice is literally yours when it comes to selecting weapons in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Here, we breakdown the close-range weapons that fall under the Swordmaster class. Although we listed the special moves of each weapon, practicing with your weapon is key to mastering it. Remember you can always commence in weapon training through one-star quests from the Guildmarm. Lastly, be sure upgrade and purchase new weapons as you progress.

Great Sword

Extremely heavy and hard-hitting, Great Swords are meant for experienced monster hunters. Though you can block with your blade, keep in mind this takes a toll on its sharpness. It takes practice to land precise attacks, and your Hunter moves extremely slowly in battle. Try mixing different attacks to deliver significant and deadly combos. Charged Slashes can be charged up to three levels of damage – the third being the strongest. Forewarning: overcharging the blade cancels out its effect. Bottom line, one of the strongest, most powerful weapons available.

  • X – Overhead Slash
  • A – Wide Slash
  • X + A – Rising Slash
  • R – Block
  • X (Hold) – Charge Slash

Long Sword

A bit faster than Great Swords, yet not as powerful. That said, Long Swords have a unique ability that can charge energy while attacking your enemies, building up the Spirit Blade for additional damage. You aren’t capable of blocking with these weapons, but using the Fade Slash can help you avoid attacks. Consistently attack your target to build the spirit gauge, and when the gauge is full, activate the Spirit Blade for special and rapid attacks. Frequently switching from basic attacks to the Spirit Blade will help keep your spirit gauge active. As you upgrade Long Swords, more levels of energy can be charged with the Spirit Gauge.  A top choice for those new to the series.

  • X – Step Slash
  • A – Thrust
  • X + A – Fade Slash
  • R – Spirit Blade

Sword and Shield

Although the Sword and Shield class is one of the weakest weapons, it’s designed for fast movement and defense. You can obviously block with your shield, and even use items while your weapon is drawn. Your Hunter’s mobility is far quicker than holding heavy weapons, and you can score additional hits on your target. Use the Circle Pad and combos (tap X after executing Forward Slash), then follow up with a Charge Slash, the weapon’s most powerful attack. Overall, not the strongest weapon, but perhaps one of the safest.

  • X – Basic Attack
  • A – Special Attack
  • X + A – Forward Slash
  • A + Down (During combo) – Charge Slash
  • R – Block
  • R + Y – Use Item
  • A + Circle Pad – Shield Attack

Dual Blades

The twin blades are certainly the quickest weapons your Hunter can yield.   Unfortunately the blades have weak power, relatively close to the Sword and Shield’s strength. Demon Mode makes up for this. In this state, your attack power increases, but at a cost of your stamina, so it would be wise to bring Rations or Energy Drinks when using this weapon. Once you fill the demon gauge in Demon Mode, you’ll trigger Archdemon Mode, where your Hunter receives a tremendous speed boost.  Now for the downside: you’ll repair these blades more often than not, as their sharpness is extremely fragile – especially during Demon Mode.

  • X – Basic Attack
  • A – Roundslash, etc.
  • R – Demon Mode
  • X + A – Blade Dance (Demon Mode)


Similar to the Great Sword, the Hammer is another heavy-wielding weapon that packs quite a punch, with an amazing range of attack. It relies on three levels of charging attacks, the third being the hardest hitting. Charging drains your stamina, yet you still have the ability to maneuver in the process. The Hammer’s other unique ability is to stun monsters when inflicting damage to your target’s head. On the downside you cannot block with these weapons, so you’ll need to dodge often in battle. Because of its slow rate of attack speed, Hunters find themselves defenseless after executing a strike.

  • X – Ground Smash
  • A – Side Smash
  • R (Hold) – Charge
  • R (Release) – Charged Attack

Hunting Horn

The Hunting Horn is perhaps the most unique weapon of them all. On one hand, it acts as a musical instrument, where you can perform musical notes by swinging the weapon that buffs your Hunter and allies’ stats temporarily, such as raising your defense. Try combining all three attacks noted below, then use the Perform ability to generate the effect; effects vary with each weapon. Orchestrating an Encore after performing notes will give your bonuses an extra kick.

The Hunting Horn has a decent range when used as a weapon, though it’s not as strong as the Hammer or Great Sword. On the flip side, performing notes has a tendency to draw monsters, which can both be good and bad depending on whether you’re after a specific creature.  Additionally, make sure to play some tunes from the distance, as enemies can assault you while performing.

  • X – Attack (Note 1)
  • A – Attack (Note 2)
  • X + A – Attack (Note 3)
  • R – Perform/Encore


A defensive and counter weapon, the Lance is a difficult one to master. Your best offensive tactics can be performed while blocking. The Dash Attack acts as a multiple-hitting combo, though it drains your stamina. The Counter-thrust does exactly that – you can block an enemy strike and then follow up with a counter attack if timed properly. While equipped with the Lance, your Hunter moves slow, but back or side-stepping is the key to controlling your character. If you’re looking for a bit more powerful weapon than the Sword and Shield while maintaining defense, this is a good selection.

  • X – Mid Thrust
  • A – High Thrust
  • R – Block
  • B – Backstep
  • Left or Right + B – Sidestep
  • X + A – Sweep
  • R (Hold) + A – Counter-thrust
  • R (Hold) + X + A  – Dash Attack
  • R (Hold) + Up + X – Block-advance


The Gunlance acts much like the Lance weapon, equipping your character with a shield for respectable defense. The difference is the Gunlance itself, built as a firing weapon. The idea here is to approach your target head-on, guarding yourself with your shield and then following up by launching shells at your enemy. The Burst Fire unleashes all of your bullets and combines them into one shot, so remember to reload when distributing this attack. Wyvern’s Fire is a charged beam that can inflict serious hurt to your enemy, but be aware it temporarily overheats your weapon after its use.

Similar to the Lance, using your shield drains your stamina, as does your side or back-stepping maneuvers. Your Hunter moves slowly with this weapon, so sheathing your firearm is a habit you need to get used to when in need to reload.

  • X + X + X – Thrust/Overhead Smash
  • A – Fire Shell
  • R – Block     
  • B – Backstep
  • B + A – Reload after Backstep
  • R (Hold) + A – Reload
  • X + X + X + A – Burst Fire
  • R (Hold) + X + A – Wyvern’s Fire

Switch Axe

Another unique weapon that can morph between an axe and sword, the Switch Axe has the benefits of two distinctive blades that work hand-to-hand. The axe is the superior weapon for its strength and range, but its main purpose is to build the switch gauge. As you fill the switch gauge using the axe, try transitioning to the sword and perform the Element Discharge. The sword basically absorbs the energy gained from the axe that allows you to you unleash the effect into a devastating blast attack, and you can follow up with an additional blast (tap X) after using the Element Discharge. The effect and weapon types vary with each use. Bottom-line, a good contender if you don’t mind switching weapons often.  

  • X – Overhead Slash
  • A – Side Slash
  • R – Swap Weapons
  • X + A (Sword Mode) – Element Discharge  

Charge Blade

This is the second morph-changing weapon that allows you swap between a sword and shield, or an axe. The sword and shield consumes energy as you inflict damage, which can then be deployed with the axe as you switch. This works technically the same as the Switch Axe, with a slightly different catch. As you consume energy using the sword and shield (hinted by the sword glowing), you can either use that energy by switching to the axe immediately, or store it in a phial for later use. Be cautious, though – consuming too much energy through the sword blunts its effect.

Performing multiple Element Discharges (tap A) with an energy-charged axe allows you to execute a more buffed-up strike. This drains the phials and energy each time, but it’s well worth the risk. As usual, the shield will drain your stamina when blocking, so rely on the axe when charged for most damage. Good selection for power-hungry fighters with patience.

  • X – Normal Attack
  • A – Special Attack/Element Discharge
  • R – Block     
  • R + X – Switch to Axe/Sword
  • R + A –Store Phials

Insect Glaive

The Insect Glaive is fairly new to the series, consisting of an insect partner known as the Kinsect. The Glaive is your offensive weapon, but you can also use it to send your Kinsect to gather monsters’ body parts (mark them with R) that buff your characters with various abilities. Parts from monsters vary in color: green for health, white for speed boosts, red for offense buffs and orange for defense bonuses, and can be mixed and matched for various results. Note that these bonuses are only temporarily.   

The other best feature of the Insect Glaive is its Vaulting ability. This allows your Hunter to jump from anywhere, making it a breeze to execute mid-air attacks, and may give you an easier opportunity to mount monsters without searching for higher ground.

  • X – Basic Attack
  • A – Strong/Advancing Attack
  • R – Mark Monster
  • R + X – Deploy Kinsect
  • R + A – Return Kinsect
  • R + B – Vaulting

Expect new Monster Hunter 4 strategies soon.

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