Monster Hunter Rise brings back all the weapons that fans know and love. With the addition of new gameplay mechanics like Wirebugs and Switch Skills, each weapon is better than it ever has been before. With 14 different weapon types to choose from, getting started in Monster Hunter Rise presents a daunting decision. For new players and veterans who choose to pick up the Switch Axe and need a little guidance, the tips and tricks below should set some groundwork.
The Switch Axe is a highly unique weapon that was introduced to Monster Hunter with mixed reception. But in recent entries, the versatile weapon has become a popular tool for slaying monsters of all kinds. With a healthy mix of range, speed, and satisfyingly powerful attacks, the Switch Axe will feel good in the hands of hunters of all skill levels. Picking out an effective armor set can bring out even more capabilities of the weapon, but this guide will focus on getting players started with the need-to-know basics.
The basic commands for the Axe mode of the Switch Axe are as follows:
- X – Overhead Slash
- Rapidly press A – Wild Swing
- X+A – Rising Slash
- (Left Stick)+X – Forward Slash
- ZR – Morph/Reload
The basic commands for the Sword mode of the Switch Axe are as follows:
- X – Overhead Slash
- A – Double Slash
- X+A Element Discharge
- ZR – Morph
The main feature of the Switch Axe is its ability to morph between Axe mode and Sword mode. Each mode offers different capabilities that apply to different situations. To most efficiently decide which mode to be in, players should pay attention to the Switch Gauge under the stamina bar in the top left of the screen. This gauge fills as the hunter connects with Axe mode attacks, and it is expended by attacking with the Sword mode. Each Switch Axe has its own phial type, which will usually add an elemental effect, status effect, or just raw power to Sword mode attacks. The powerful Element Discharge attack can be used in Sword mode to expend a great amount of the Switch gauge at once and inflict huge damage in a large burst.
Some useful combos for the Switch Axe are as follows:
- Axe: Basic Combo
(Left Stick)+X > X > X > X
- Axe: Combo into Sword Mode
Rapidly press A > X > ZR > A
- Sword: Combo during an opening
X(x3) > X(x2) > X+A > Rapidly press X
The “Combo into Sword Mode” incorporates the Heavy Slam technique. During a Wild Swing in which A is being pressed rapidly, pressing X will go into the Heavy Slam that has the unique property of priming the weapon to reach Maximum Potency. This can be chained into a morph into Sword mode, as seen in the combo above. It’s a sequence of events that leads to a great amount of damage over time. Players might want to head over to the training area to try out these combos before a real quest.
Reaching an Amped State is a high priority for Switch Axe users. By connecting with attacks in Sword Mode, the weapon eventually becomes Amped. This means that every attack, including attacks used in Axe mode, will be enhanced with the power of the weapons phial. Additionally, every attack is followed by a slightly delayed extra hit. Making sure to always be Amped via Sword mode and Primed via the Axe mode Heavy Slam is the key to maximum damage output.
Silkbind attacks are a stylish new addition to the Monster Hunter Rise combat system. Hunters are equipped with a Wirebug, which is represented by a number of Wirebug symbols at the bottom of the screen. Silkbind attacks can be executed by pressing either ZL+X or ZL+A and consuming either one or two Wirebugs, depending on the attack. These Wirebugs will then become available again after a short period of time.
Hunters can go into a quest with two Silkbind attacks equipped. It’s possible to unlock different Silkbind attacks in the form of Switch Skills over the course of the game. Once multiple Silkbind attacks are available, the player can switch them in and out to best match their own strategy or playstyle. The following Silkbind attacks are the initial options for Switch Axe users:
- Invincible Gambit – A forward-moving spinning attack that fortifies the user, making them immune to flinching or being knocked back. Costs 1 Wirebug Gauge.
- Switch Charger – Hunter is launched forward while quickly regenerating the Switch Gauge, and the Switch Gauge won’t decrease for a short period of time afterward. Costs 1 Wirebug Gauge.
The Switch Axe is a great choice for hunting monsters, but players would be remiss if they didn’t give other weapons a shot. It might cost a lot of Zenny and other resources to maintain upgrades on several different weapons, but the amount of options that opens up is worth the investment.
Monster Hunter Rise is now available for the Nintendo Switch. A PC port will launch in early 2022.