Monster Hunter Wiki
Monster Hunter Wiki
Topics: Weapon TypesWeapon Mechanics

Weapon Types: Sword and ShieldDual BladesGreat SwordLong SwordHammer
Hunting HornLanceGunlanceSwitch AxeCharge BladeInsect GlaiveTonfa
Magnet SpikeAccel AxeLight BowgunMedium BowgunHeavy BowgunBow

Great Sword Weapon Trees:

Weapon Overview

A GS user preparing a charged attack with the Red Stripe GS

The Great Sword (大剣 Daiken), a classic weapon first introduced in Monster Hunter, is a weapon capable of dealing massive damage. Its way of use has changed since Monster Hunter 2, when it was given a charged attack. The weapon tree for the Great Sword is divided between 2 main branches: the Buster Sword branch and Bone Blade branch. The Buster Sword branch has slightly less overall sharpness than the Bone Blade in exchange for a wider amount of elemental damage up its sleeve, but both sides have generally lower sharpness bars than other weapons, so it's wise to have sharpening tools around.
As a weapon which has its own depth of usage and requires a certain amount of training to be able to master and fully use, the Great Sword is not just any big pointy stick. It can also block with the R button, serving as a shield with slightly better protection than the Sword and Shield, as well as a fast-draw shielding ability activated by holding down the R button and then pressing triangle and circle. This shielding ability comes with a downfall, however, as each time you shield an attack the sword will lose sharpness.

Weapon Traits

Great Swords require a certain amount of experience to wield properly and master. To a novice, they may seem very slow and unwieldy. However, in the hands of an experienced hunter, they can prove very useful with a very nice damage output. See the Videos section ahead, as there are tutorials on becoming a Great Sword master.

  • Great Swords provide hunters with shielding capabilities by pressing the 'R' button. The downside of this involves losing sharpness with each shielded attack; the amount of sharpness lost is thought to be the equivalent of a bounced attack. Carrying extra Whetstones is strongly advised.
  • The Vertical Slash can be 'quickdrawn'. This means that if you are walking or running and press Triangle, you will quickly attack with the vertical slash. This is the Great Sword's fastest attack.
  • The Vertical Slash can also be charged. Pressing and holding Triangle will begin this charge, which takes approximately 3-4 seconds to reach full power. The charge has three levels of increasing power, with the third having a high damage output capable of knocking down a monster in flight.
  • Due to the breadth of the Great Sword, its horizontal slash is useful for clearing small monsters. This can, however, be a hindrance in multiplayer quests as it can very easily hit fellow hunters.
  • The Upward Slash can literally send fellow hunters flying. Used properly, this can save a teammate from monsters' attacks. (They will not receive damage from this, and they will be invulnerable while in flight.)
  • The Great Sword has its own damage system based on the part of the blade that makes contact. The bottom and tip of the blade are weakest, while the center has the highest damage output.
  • All three slashing attacks can be chained together, but no two same slashes consecutively. For example, after slashing vertically (Triangle), either the horizontal (Circle) or the upward slash (Triangle+Circle) can be performed, but not the vertical slash. However, chaining an upward slash and a vertical slash causes a lengthy delay between each attack.
  • Hunters can roll forward or to the side after each attack, offering the option for hit and run tactics. This can be done to avoid the delays following each attack.
  • As with many other weapon types, watching the Great Sword's attacks will indicate a monster's weak points. If the slash flows cleanly through a monster, it is not a weak point. Conversely, if the slash seems to lag briefly upon contact, the point is weak.
  • With the Great Sword unsheathed, pressing SELECT will perform a quick frontal kick. This kick is much faster than its sheathed counterpart and is particularly useful for keeping pesky mobs at bay, such as the ‘Preys’.
  • In MH3, the Great Sword gained a new attack where in the hunter slaps the monster with the side of the blade, causing impact damage.
  • In MH4 the Great Sword gained a new attack where after a curved level 3 Slash or a ledge attack the hunter will do a powerful horizontal attack. The drawback, however, is that when the hunter does this move, you can NOT roll out of it.
  • The Great Sword also gained the ability to go from a side swipe to a curved level 3 slash.


  • Extremely powerful
  • Can guard against attacks
  • Can perform charged attacks, which can rival the Hammer's charging attacks.
  • Can destroy certain hard-to-reach parts on flying wyverns
  • Long range
  • Sharpness is lost very slowly while attacking, so even a small bar of a level of sharpness can take a Great Sword a long time and lots of hits to drop to a lower level - thus higher damage can be dealt with the same amount of Sharpness compared to other weapon classes.
  • Can be drawn instantly to block monsters' attacks - this is referred to as Instant Guard in the game - and this can save the hunter's life.
  • Performing charge attacks will cause monsters to flinch more than any other weapon.
  • ESP is gained on a level 3 strike when you release it
  • Anti-wind can counter flight-capable enemies.


  • Extremely slow movement and evasion.
  • It is impossible to KO monsters, much like a hammer can.
  • Users must always sheath and unsheath the weapon due to its sluggish speed
  • Requires tremendous skill and practice to use and master its striking ranges.
  • Blocking reduces not only stamina but also sharpness - a bit more than a bounced-off attack.
  • Takes great timing to unleash its powerful attacks.
  • Striking an enemy with different areas of the sword blade will produce varying damage quantities.
  • Users can be affected by flying wyverns when they use a wind effect


The Monster Hunter Wikia does not take credit for these videos.

Title MHP3rd GS Movements Controls
by MHP3rdFrance
Title GS Charge Guide - Tigrex ティグレクス
by naijiao
Title Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - Great Sword Tutorial
by billybobjho
Title MH4G/MH4U Great Sword Tutorial
by gaijin hunter
Title MH4U Great Sword Tutorial
by Arekkz Gaming

PSP Controls


(While stationary) PSTRI.png = Unsheathe

(While moving) PSTRI.png =  Unsheathing Downward Slash.

(Hold) PSTRI.png = Charged Unsheathing Downward Slash
Note: It has four charge levels: Uncharged, Level 1 Charge (Yellow flash), 
Level 2 Charge (flashes red) and Level 3 Charge(flashes red brightly and

(While holding down R) PSTRI.png + PSO.png = Instant Guard (Hunter unsheathes the Great
Sword and prepares it to guard instantaneously) Players can exit guarding mode
just by releasing the R button.


PSTRI.png =  Downward Slash

(Hold) PSTRI.png = Charged Downward Slash - Same as the one above, just 
this one is performed from the unsheathed state.

PSO.png = Horizontal Slash

(PSTRI.png + PSO.png) = Backward Slash

PSX.png = Roll

Select = Kick

R  = Guard


Horizontal Slash + Backward Slash

PSO.png + (PSTRI.png + PSO.png)

(PSO.png, (PSTRI.png + PSO.png), PSO.png, ... )

MHP3 New Combos

Downward Slash + Horizontal Tab

PSTRI.png + PSTRI.png or  (Hold) PSTRI.png + PSTRI.png
( PSTRI.png, PSTRI.png, PSTRI.png, ... )
Downward Slash + Horizontal Tab + Crouching Heavy Smash

PSTRI.png + PSTRI.png +  (Up)PadPSTRI.png or
(Hold) PSTRI.png + PSTRI.png + (Up)Pad (Hold) PSTRI.png 
Note: Like Downward Slash, Crouching Heavy Smash has four charge levels as
stated above.