MHW Gear Progression Guide (Low Rank, High Rank, Endgame) (2024)

Hello, Hunters! This is a short and simple guide about your weapon, armor, and gear progression at various stages in Monster Hunter World. Let’s get right to it.

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MHW Low Rank Armor: What to craft?

First off – two important notes:

  • This set can bring anyone all the way to High Rank.

Why is low rank armor useless?

Low rank armor is useless because they have high-rank counterparts that are DIRECTLY SUPERIOR to them. There is almost no point collecting these.

If you think you’re “having a hard time” and need “other skills” to get past low rank, you really don’t. Simply spend a little more upgrade stones on the recommended set below.

I’d rather save low rank materials when you eventually experiment with other weapons.

TypeItemSkill#Skills TOTAL#
WeaponAnyHealth Boost1
HeadBoneHealth Boost1Affinity Sliding1
HandsKestodonAffinity Sliding1Attack Boost3
ChestBoneAttack Boost2Fortify1
LegsJagrasFortify1Speed Sharpening1
BootsAlloySpeed Sharpening1
CharmAttackAttack Boost1

Each and every person I KNOW who did has massively regretted it.

The only other low-rank armor I crafted were the Kulu Gloves
For the skill “Pro Transporter” to help delivery quests.

What's so good about this set?

Why this set? It’s very very easy to obtain and has some extremely powerful early game effects:

  • Attack Boost 3 is titanic in the very early game.
  • Speed Sharpening helps with piss poor early Sharpness.
  • Fortify carries you during the learning process, and helps salvage otherwise failed hunts.
  • Affinity Sliding is GODLIKE when you can abuse it.

The above set is all you need.

Low Rank Weapon Tree?

I won’t tell you how to play, but if you’re looking for advice
– IMO AVOID Elemental Weapons during story mode.

You want a weapon that’s great “ALWAYS”, look for any Elementless viable weapon. Blast or Paralysis is OK too.It’s better to focus on and own one (max two) weapons that are great against EVERY MONSTER.

MHW High Rank Armor Progression v1

When you first step into HR, right into about 7* quests.

IMO, the most efficient way to progress through high-rank is a “multi step process”. Here is the FIRST STEP INTO HIGH RANK Armor set.

TypeItemSkill#Skill#SlotsSkills TOTAL#
WeaponAnyAttack Boost4
HeadKulu aFire Resistance1Weakness Exploit1Speed Sharpening3
HandsAlloy aDefense Boost1Speed Sharpening1Weakness Exploit1
ChestBone aAttack Boost2Fortify1
LegsJagras BFortify1sDefense Boost1
BootsAlloy aSpeed Sharpening2Fire Resistance1
CharmAttackAttack Boost1

Customize MHW “BASIC High Rank Armor build” v1 in MHWCalc.

This build has a lot going for it. First of all – ALL THE MATERIALS COME from GARBAGE TIER MONSTERS, wildlife, and resource nodes. If you can’t craft one of these, simply use any of the low rank options above to fill up your slots.

Remember you get a free Attack Boost jewel.

What's so good about this set?

Why this set? It’s very, very easy to obtain, and has some extremely powerful early game effects:

  • Attack Boost 4 gives +5% affinity, and AB is one of the better skills while you’re still relatively weak.
  • Weakness Exploit is the best skill in the game, and you can get 1 point off of a Kulu helmet!
  • Fortify is still good while learning. Amazing at salvaging otherwise failed hunts. Replace it if you want, or dedicate a small decoration slot to it if you ever get the gem.
  • Speed Sharpening 3 helps with terrible sharpness early on, as well as preserve any sliver of Blue Sharpness you may have.
  • Other skills like Defense Boost and Fire Resistance are welcome little boosts along the way.

High Rank Weapon Tree?

Again my advice stands.

  • Avoid Elemental Weapons for now. As exciting as they are, I would rather build up weapons that are ALWAYS EFFECTIVE.
  • Go for any weapon that fits the Elementless setup. I suppose I can make a list of the best weapons for the elementless setup. You want something great against ANY MONSTER.
  • Status weapons are “fine” I suppose. I lean towards Paralysis and Blast for general purpose weaponry.

MHW High Rank Armor Progression v2

7*+ Quests, up to beating Xeno’Jiiva.

As I said, it’s multi-step process. It’s around this time curiosity and ideas set in, and you want to craft ALL THE THINGS! While I don’t blame you – I don’t think it’s the best use of time YET, as you want to amass USEFUL pieces of gear for ANY WEAPON TYPE OR HUNT.

Safe and Useful Pieces to mix and match:

  • No “Niche Skills” (resistances, elemental attack, gathering related)
  • Have “a good skill” + slot.
  • Look for Weakness Exploit and Handicraft (Great skills)
Lots of customization and personalization go into a build.
If you need inspiration or a starting point,
here are two sample build paths:

Do you need Handicraft 5 for white Sharpness?

TypeItemSkill#Skill#SlotsSkills TOTAL#
WeaponAnyWeakness Exploit3
HeadDragonking aWeakness Exploit2Handicraft5
HandsKushala BHandicraft2Speed Sharpening2
ChestTeostra BWeakness Exploit1
LegsRath Heart BHandicraft1
BootsAlloy ASpeed Sharpening2

Customize “Basic HR Build Handicraft 5 WE 3” in MHWCalc

What's so good about this set?

Most weapons with empty space on the sharpness bar can be improved to white with Handicraft 5.

There are many ways to get Handicraft 5. The problem is you will not have a Handicraft decoration, and you’re FAR from a Handicraft L3 charm. So for now here are your options.

  • Handicraft Charm (1), Kushala Body (2), Death’s Stench Boot (2).
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Kushala Body (2), Rath Heart Legs (1)
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Kushala Body (2), Damascus Hands (1)
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Death’s Stench Boot (2), Rath Heart Legs (1)
  • Handicraft Charm II (2), Death’s Stench Boot (2), Damascus Hands (1)

Crafting all of these pieces will help you mix and match in the future.

No need Handicraft 5 (Using Nergigante Weapon or similar)

Weapons with excellent Blue Sharpness levels, but cannot upgrade to white (Nergi, most Barroth, most Jagras… or weapons with natural full white) do not need Handicraft 5 at all. So we look for DPS elsewhere.

Stamina is fullStamina NOT full

TypeItemSkill#Skill#SlotsSkills TOTAL#
WeaponAnyMaximum Might3
HeadNergigante aMaximum Might2Attack Boost1sWeakness Exploit3
HandsRathalos BWeakness Exploit2sAttack Boost4
ChestTeostra BWeakness Exploit1bPartbreaker1
LegsUragaan BPartbreaker1mAgitator1
BootsNergigante aMaximum Might1Agitator1s
CharmAttackAttack Boost2

Customize “Basic HR Build MM3 WE3” in MHWCalc

If your stamina is full often (mostly depends on weapon type) – you can use the awesome Maximum Might! It’s an amazing skill which you should always TRY to fit in.

TypeItemSkill#Skill#SlotsSkills TOTAL#
WeaponAnyWeakness Exploit3
HeadDragonking aWeakness Exploit2bAttack Boost7
HandsDober BAttack Boost2bHealth Boost3
ChestTeostra BWeakness Exploit1b
LegsNergigante BAttack Boost2mSlots OPEN
BootsDober BAttack Boost2sbbbm
CharmHealth (Any)Health Boost3

Customize “Basic HR Build WE3 + General DPS” in MHWCalc

If your build cannot utilize Maximum Might due to your weapon using high stamina – you can use something like this. Pure stats!

For any armor set – I follow this 99% of the time (unless making a razor specific “niche” hard counter type of build):


While I can give you ideas – I cannot possibly outline every possible viable build PATH for every weapon type out there.
I hope this jump starts your exploration of builds.

Endgame Armor (Transition)

As you amass more decorations (which are the cornerstone of fully fleshing out a build) and have the capability to farm all weapons and armor, you will inevitably zero in to many different “build templates” that you can edit for more offense or more defense. These finely tuned builds are what I would consider end-game.

As for what these are, I can’t cram them in here – ENDGAME BUILDS WILL BE IN A SEPARATE PAGE EACH!

Good luck and check out our otherMHW Guides!

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Given the comprehensive guide about weapon, armor, and gear progression in Monster Hunter World, I've got a trove of insights to share. Here's a breakdown of concepts and key points touched upon in the article:

Low Rank Armor:

  • Relevance: Low rank gear becomes irrelevant as high-rank counterparts offer superior benefits.
  • Recommended Low Rank Set:
    • Skills: Health Boost, Affinity Sliding, Attack Boost, Fortify, Speed Sharpening
    • Notable for its ease of obtainment and early-game potency.

High Rank Armor Progression v1:

  • Transition to High Rank: Advises on crafting an entry-level high-rank armor set.
  • Recommended High Rank Set:
    • Skills: Attack Boost, Weakness Exploit, Defense Boost, Fire Resistance, Speed Sharpening
    • Emphasizes accessibility and effectiveness in early high-rank quests.

High Rank Armor Progression v2:

  • Expanding in High Rank: Offers guidance on advancing further into high-rank armor acquisition.
  • Mix-and-Match Approach: Suggests avoiding niche skills, focusing on good skills with available slots for customization.

Handicraft and Sharpness Management:

  • Importance of Handicraft: Detailed guidance on achieving Handicraft 5 for white Sharpness and the various combinations to attain it.
  • Considerations for Sharpness: Highlighting the necessity of Handicraft 5 for weapons that benefit from white Sharpness, advising alternatives for weapons with excellent blue Sharpness levels.

Stamina-Dependent Builds:

  • Maximum Might Utilization: Recommends Maximum Might for builds with frequently full stamina.
  • Alternatives for High Stamina Builds: Provides an alternative build focusing on Attack Boost, Weakness Exploit, and Health Boost for stamina-heavy setups.

Building Armor Sets:

  • Basic Principles: Emphasizes incorporating core DPS and utility skills within armor sets while using decorations for niche defenses and resistances.
  • Customization: Encourages personal exploration of build paths based on weapon types and preferences.

Endgame Armor:

  • Transitioning to Endgame: Hints at the transition from early high-rank sets to finely tuned, decoration-heavy endgame builds.
  • Building Flexibility: Suggests that these refined builds are tailored to individual preferences and will be explored in separate guides.

The guide covers a spectrum of progression phases, from early game to transitioning into more complex, personalized endgame builds. It emphasizes efficiency, adaptability, and maximizing the utility of armor sets and skills.

MHW Gear Progression Guide (Low Rank, High Rank, Endgame) (2024)
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