Monster Hunter Wiki
Monster Hunter Wiki
Topics: Weapon TypesWeapon Mechanics

Weapon Types: Sword and ShieldDual BladesGreat SwordLong SwordHammerHunting HornLanceGunlanceSwitch AxeCharge BladeInsect GlaiveTonfaMagnet SpikeAccel AxeLight BowgunMedium BowgunHeavy BowgunBow

Sword and Shield Weapon Trees:

Weapon Overview

MH3U-Sword and Shield Equipment Render 001.png

Sword and Shield (片手剣 Katateken), focuses on using a wide variety of elements or statuses to cause considerable damage.

The sword and shield class is the first type of weapon that hunters use in the Monster Hunter series. Also known as the SnS, this type of weapon uses speed and agility to inflict long combinations of status-inflicting attacks quickly. A hunter is able to perform a rolling dodge, is able to run normally with the weapon drawn, and is able to suppress weak attacks with the shield while blocking. The hunter can also use an item while the sword is drawn. While they are the fastest and most agile kinds of weapons, Swords and Shields typically have very weak raw damage. To compensate for this, the SnS attacks quickly and many of the weapons in this category are imbued with powerful elemental properties or cause Poison, Sleep or Paralysis. This makes them one of the best melee weapon to induce Status Effects.

Weapon Traits

2ndGen-Sword and Shield Equipment Render 001.png

Sword and Shields have some of the lowest average damage levels, but are extremely capable in a variety of other aspects, such as inflicting status ailments.

  • The reason that SnS users are left-handed is due to the ability to use items with the weapon out. The hunter always takes items with his or her right hand, if a hunter had the sword in the right hand, the hunter would stab him or herself. That is why the shield is on the right hand, and it actually is on the arm and not in the hand.
  • Sword and Shields often seem sharper than other weapons with the same color level of Sharpness. For example, if attacking a Kirin with green sharpness, the weapon will generally bounce less than other type of weapons.
  • SnS weapons are among the most balanced weapons available in the series, providing decent raw (and usually elemental) power combined with amazing mobility and agility plus defensive capabilities.
  • Sword and Shield has the widest variety of elemental weapons. At the same time, most SnS-type weapons have elemental properties.
  • It has incredibly speedy attacks, capable of quick hit-and-runs and being able to perform a dodging roll anytime it is required.
  • While blocking incoming attacks is possible with the Sword and Shield, it is not as effective as blocking with other weapons such as the Lance. The user will likely be broken out of the blocking stance when attempting to block heavier attacks, and more chip damage is usually suffered.
  • SnS users can use items with the weapon out, just by holding the block button and then using the item, without having to sheath the weapon like all the other weapon types.
  • By standing still and pressing block and vertical attack, the SnS can be drawn into a defensive stance, instead of the normal unsheathing attack. This can be done while moving by holding block and pressing both attack buttons simultaneously.
  • The Sword and Shield's longest combo is either forward upward slash, jumping slash, or rolling slash followed by 4 hit combo, 2 side hits, and then the spinning slash for a 8-hit combo.


  • Speedy attacks
  • Guard ability
  • Great elemental potential
  • Able to use items while guarding
  • Often sharper than other weapon types that have the same level of sharpness.
  • Despite its poor attack power, it is a good weapon especially against agile, fast monsters, and it can eventually bring down a target (but this may require a long time)


  • Has overall unimpressive sharpness
  • Guard is the worst of all weapons that can deflect attacks
  • Poor damage done in a single hit (Although its speed makes up for it)
  • Small reach will force you to stay very close to monsters

Changes from MH1 to MH2 to MH3, MHP3rd, MH4, MHGen and MHFO

Back in the original Monster Hunter, the Sword and Shield weapon type was generally weak; it bounced more than any other weapon and the attack was so weak that every Wyvern would be a decent challenge.

However, in and after MH2, the SnS was changed: not only does the sharpness last longer but items can also be used while drawn. The SnS is largely regarded as the most balanced weapon in the game. It can cut through the sturdy Gravios skin with only green Sharpness and rarely ever bounces off any monsters' shell. It also gained a new attack: by pressing "R," the second strike from the leap combo can be performed.

In Monster Hunter 3, many changes took place, but most notably the hunter can bash the monster with his/her shield, to perform an impact damage attack that can KO a monster, although it is not a very strong attack and still causes sharpness loss. This shield bash does not inflict elemental damage, but has the unique ability to hit without bouncing. Also, a side slash attack was added, as an alternative to the spinning slash as a finisher.

Monster Hunter Frontier greatly entices the player to use the SnS by gifting it a range of new moves, ranging from a devastating explosive slash, to the all new uppercut leap slice capable of delivering full damage to a high up area, and if the SnS was not lightweight enough, between slashes the hunter may make a quick dash to correct him/herself if the monster has turned away.

In Monster Hunter Frontier, the jump attack can be used with a mouse scroll, standard slash combos with left-click, blocking with "Q", and round slash with right-click.

No great changes were made to the Sword and Shield between MH3 and MHP3rd, but it seems to be capable of inflicting slightly more damage than before.

In MH4, the Sword and Shield has two new moves: When attacking the hunter can hop back while attacking and do another combo on the monster or the hop back can lead to a stronger charge jump attack. Also the leaping attack is now replaced by a forward lunge. Like other weapons, SnS can now attack mid-air when jumping off a ledge, and also gain an aerial attack when climbing up a ledge as well.

In MHGen, SnS now can use items called Oils, with the following effects added to the weapon on use:

  • Affinity Oil: Adds 30% Affinity.
  • Stamina Oil: Attacks deal Exhaust/KO damage on hit.
  • Destroyer Oil: Acts like Partbreaker.
  • Mind's Eye Oil: Acts like Mind's Eye.

Only one can be effective at once, and the effects last for a limited time. However, they can be used with all hunting styles.


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

Title How To Shield and Sword
by PSPNorth
Title Monster Hunter 3rd Weapons (Sword Shield Espada y Escudo)
by chascoo
Title Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - Sword and Shield Tutorial
by billybobjho
Title MH4G/MH4U Sword and Shield Tutorial
by gaijin hunter
Title MH4U Sword and Shield Tutorial
by Arekkz Gaming

Movements on Detail

Weapon Sheathed

PSTRI.png = Draw Weapon

PSTRI.png + R = QuickDraw Weapon, Defense stance

Moving + PSTRI.png = Jumping Slash

Moving + PSTRI.png + PSO.png = Defensive Stance

PSX.png = Roll \ CC (Any combo but CF B and CF C)

Weapon Drawn

 PSTRI.png = Vertical attack (Can chain up to 5 hits)

PSO.png = Horizontal attack (Can be linked after a Vertical one)

PSTRI.png + PSO.png  = Jumping Slash (Can link Vertical or Horizontal attack after)

R = Defense

R + PSTRI.png = Vertical Upward attack from defense stance.

R + PSO.png  = Horizontal attack from defense stance.

PSX.png = Roll front

PSX.png + Direction = Roll to the desired direction (Can be done after a jumping slash or a chained combo)
                 longest combo= PSTRI.png + PSO.png, PSTRI.png, PSTRI.png, PSTRI.png, PSTRI.png, PSTRI.png, PSO.png

Hint: If you do a roll instead of pressing PSO.png during the long Combo above you can go right on with.
      pressing PSTRI.png 5 times and again PSX.png over and over again and make it an infinite chain.

See also