Monster Hunter World has 131 armor skills. All of those armor skills are useful in one way or another, but we narrowed down the top 15 best armor skills in the game.
First of all, what are armor skills? Armor skills are passive bonuses granted to players. These armor skills are found on certain armor pieces as well as charms and decorations one can slot in their gear. Wearing these pieces of gear automatically grant the bonuses. If multiple armor pieces, charms, and decorations contain the same armor skill, then that skill levels up and becomes more powerful.
Now this list is by no means definitive. You’ll come to value certain armor skills over others, especially as you start to specialize in certain weapons. For instance, I main the hammer and always slot in armor and decorations that increase my stun power. When making this list, we considered the armor skills that were the most effective and the most versatile for most builds in the game. Feel free to let us know your favorite armor skills in the comment section below.
While Focus only benefits seven out of the 14 different weapons in Monster Hunter World, those weapons are some of the most popular and effective ones in the game.
The skill boosts the charge attack rate of the Great Sword, Sword & Shield, Hammer, and Charge Blade, allowing you to use their most powerful attacks faster. It also boosts the gauge fill rate of the Dual Blades, Long Sword, and Switch Axe, allowing you to switch into their most powerful forms faster.
While Focus doesn’t effect all weapons and isn’t nearly as useful as some of the other skills on this list, it’s still quite important to consider for builds involving the above weapons.
Partbreaker increases the damage done to monster parts up to 30 percent. That means it’s easier to sever monster tails, break horns, and more. This is fantastic when fighting against certain monsters, such as severing the tail of a Rathalos or Rathian to prevent them from poisoning you. It also helps hack off the golden coat of Kulve Taroth so you can get to its final phase faster.
But what makes this skill great is how it can drastically cut down on farming for certain monster parts. Some parts like the Diablos’ horns can only be obtained by breaking certain parts. You also have a greater chance of obtaining a valuable and rare monster Gem if you not only defeat the monster but carve the tail and/or break the head. It can be a chore to farm for those materials, and when every percentage counts Partbreaker certainly gets the job done.
13. Attack Boost
Attack Boost increases your attack power. This skills is great simply because more attack you have, the faster monsters fall. It can be applied to any weapon and you’d be surprised by how many armor pieces use the skill.
Best of all, when you level up the skill to four and above, it also adds five percent to affinity. So not only will you increase your attack power but also your critical hit rate.
The only downside to this skill is that you need to level it up to four and above to get any real use out of it, which may take up slots that can be used for better skills. Never the less it’s a quick and easy way to get an upgrade.
12. Hasten Recovery
Hasten Recovery is the set bonus for the Nergigante armor set. It regenerates your health as you continuously attack a monster with the rate of recovery varying by weapon.
This skill is great on its own, allowing you to attack a monster without having to stop to take a potion to top off your health. But it’s the synergy that really makes this weapon shine. You can pair this with the Recover Speed skill to boost the speed at witch you heal recoverable damage on top of the health gained from Hasten Recovery. You can also pair this with Peak Performance. Since Peak Performance only works when at full HP, you can use Hasten Recovery to keep yourself topped up.
11. Peak Performance
Speaking of Peak Performance, it’s a great skill in its own right. Leveling it up all the way to level three grants a whopping +20 attack when at full HP. Since most hunters want to be at full HP anyways, it’s nice to have a little bonus to go along with it.
And it doesn’t just synergize with just Hasten Recovery either. It also works really well with Super Recovery, the set bonus for the Vaal Hazak armor, which can make you recover HP past the red gauge in your health meter letting you get up to full HP.
10. Maximum Might
Maximum Might is very similar to Peak Performance. Maximum Might increases affinity up to 30 percent when stamina is full.
Not only is it much easier to stay at full stamina than full HP, but gaining extra affinity is arguably a lot more useful than an attack boost. It also works wonderfully with Stamina Surge, which boosts stamina recovery rate, as well as any skill that decreases stamina use for certain actions.
The only downside to this skill is that it doesn’t work as well with weapons that constantly drain stamina such as the hammer or Insect Glaive. But those looking for a substantial critical hit rate boost for almost free don’t need to look far.
Agitator increases attack by up to 20 points and affinity by up to 15 percent whenever large monsters become enraged.
Since monsters become enraged often, you get a sizeable boost to attack and critical hit rate for free. The only real caveat is that monsters aren’t enraged all of the time. But when monsters are at their most ferocious, you’ll need every advantage you can get.
8. Critical Element/Status
Critical Element is the basic set bonus of the Rathalos and Azure Rathalos armor and increases elemental damage when landing critical hits. Critical Status is the set bonus for Zorah Magdaros armor and increases status effect damage when landing critical hits.
Elemental and status damage doesn’t normally scale with the damage boost of critical hits unless you have Critical Element. This makes these skills essential for anybody looking to create an elemental or status weapon build.
7. Critical Boost
Critical hits normally deal 25 percent more damage than regular hits. Critical Boost increases the damage dealt up to 40 percent. You can see how useful this is. Simply put, having critical hits deal more damage makes you deal more damage overall so long as you have a good affinity rate.
6. Critical Eye
Critical Eye provides up to 30 percent higher affinity rate. Any skill that boosts affinity is a good skill to have, and Critical Eye is notable due to the fact that you don’t have to activate any kind of special condition to activate the skill. You can just load up to seven levels of the skill and you’ll get that boost for the entire mission. It’s also on a surprising number of armor pieces and can be found on relatively common level one decorations.
5. Razor Sharp/Spare Shot
Razor Sharp/Spare Shot is the set bonus for Xeno’jiiva armor. When using melee weapons, Razor Sharp halves sharpness loss. When using ranged weapons, Spare Shot makes your shots have a chance to not expend coatings or ammo.
White sharpness boosts raw damage by 32 percent and elemental damage by 12.5 percent, according to the Monster Hunter World Fextralife wiki. Blue sharpness increases raw damage by 20 percent and elemental damage by 6.25 percent. So being able to make your sliver of white sharpness or chunk of blue sharpness last for twice as long with Razor Sharp is fantastic.
We can’t ignore how useful Spare Shot is for ranged weapons as well. Bowguns are useless without ammo and bows are severely hampered with a lack of coatings, so having the chance to not lose ammo or coatings is a blessing.
It’s great to have white sharpness for that fantastic damage boost, but most fully upgraded weapons only go to blue sharpness initially. That’s where Handicraft comes in. It simply raises your sharpness, albeit not over the maximum level. Skills like Razor Sharp and Master’s Touch are fantastic, but they’re nothing without the sharpness boost of Handicraft. While many weapons require three or four levels of Handicraft to get to white sharpness, it’s definitely worth it.
3. Master’s Touch
While Razor Sharp halves all sharpness loss, Master’s Touch, the set bonus for Teostra and Drachen armor, prevents it completely when performing critical hits. If you can use a combination of affinity-boosting skills, you can raise your affinity rate to 100 percent. That means you’ll not only make every hit a critical hit, but you’ll also never lose the damage bonus from high sharpness. It takes a lot of skills to make full use of this skill, but it can make for some of the most effective builds in the game.
2. Non-Elemental Boost
Most non-elemental weapons have the highest raw damage of their type, so why not boost that power even more?
Non-Elemental Boost increases the raw damage of non-elemental weapons by 10 percent. That includes weapons that have an unactivated hidden element.
This skill takes some of the strongest weapons in the game and makes them even stronger, and they only get stronger thanks to Critical Boost, Attack Boost, affinity-raising skills, and more. Plus you don’t need to be mindful of the elemental weaknesses of monsters. While this is the set bonus for the Diablos and Black Diablos, you can also acquire this skill as a level two decoration and just slide it into your armor.
1. Weakness Exploit
A fully leveled up Weakness Exploit grants you a whopping 50 percent affinity when hitting weak points on monsters. Since that’s the most essential part of fighting monsters, this skill pretty much gives you a free 50 percent to critical hit rate. Half of your attacks will result in critical hits thanks to this skill, so long as you attack heads, tails, and other soft spots.
In addition, the most popular armor pieces including the Rathalos Mail Beta, Dragonking Eyepatch Alpha, Kaiser Vambraces Alpha, and Dante’s Leather Boots Alpha have level two Weakness Exploit built in. All you have to do is just add another armor piece with the skill, the Exploiter Charm, and/or Tenderizer Jewel Two to get to the maximum of level three.
And don’t forget the skill synergy. You can use Critical Boost to boost the raw damage of critical hits. You can use Critical Element/Status to strengthen your elemental/status damage. You can even use other affinity-raising skills to get to 100 percent affinity and use Master’s Touch to ensure you never lose sharpness.
Weakness Exploit is so powerful and versatile that having the skill at level three is pretty much essential for every single build in the game.
Because there are just so many great skills in this game, here is a list of armor skills that are very useful but not useful enough to make it into the top 15:
Slugger – Increases stun damage
Guard – Reduces impact and stamina depletion when guarding
Latent Power – Increases affinity and reduces stamina depletion for 90 seconds after either taking 180 damage or fighting a monster for five minutes
Wide-Range – Allows the effect of certain items to also affect nearby allies
Evade Extender – Increase evade distance
Botanist – Increases the quantity of herbs and other items gathered (plants, mushrooms, bugs, etc.)
Geologist – Increases the number of times you can gather materials from a gathering point (bone piles, mining outcrops, etc.)