The Hammer just might be the most satisfying weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. When you glue a rock to the end of a big stick, you’re not looking for meters or shelling types or ammo trackers — you want to smash. You want to crush until all has been crushed, and then crush some more. The Hammer foregoes complexity to get straight to bonking out some big damage.

We’ve put together some of our top recommendations for the best Hammer builds in Monster Hunter Rise so you can join the ranks of the Hammerbro and get on the fun side of blunt-force trauma.

Let’s get started, hunters!

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Best Hammers in Monster Hunter Rise

Hammers are all about pumping out raw damage, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for sharpness, damage, and affinity. Specialized builds can take advantage of elemental damage, but those will rarely outdamage straight-up raw, so try to pick something that will hit hard. Here’s our recommendations for the best Hammers in Monster Hunter Rise.

WeaponRaw DamageElement/StatusAffinity
Night Eternal180None45%
Tigrex Hammer220None-20%
Rampage Hammer S210None0%

The Nargacuga Hammer, Night Eternal, gets our top recommendation. While the raw damage is low, the base 45% affinity is absurdly high, and the natural white sharpness is hard to give up. The Level 2 decoration slot is the cherry on top, and helps you add all the skills you’re looking for into your build.

The Tigrex Hammer comes in just below Night Eternal. This Hammer has the potential to pump out more damage, but the negative affinity and lack of slots means your build is going to have less room for customization.

Speaking of customization, Rampage Hammer S is on the list for that exact reason. You can pump up its damage and sharpness with the right Rampage skills to help it compete with the other two Hammers. Plus you can make it look just like any other Hammer!

Best Hammer Switch Skills in MHR

The simplicity of the Hammer’s moveset means there’s not a lot of variety between the Switch Skills — in other words, a lot of them feel redundant. We’ve broken down the available skills below, but don’t be surprised if you pick your favorites early on and never swap them out.

Switch Skill 1A: Side Smash

Gif of side smash skill being performed
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson
  • Description: A side swipe with the Hammer.
  • Controls: Press A
  • How to Unlock: Available by default.

Side Smash is one of those Switch Skills that pretty much does what it says on the tin. The range is poor, but it can combo into the second hit of the overhead smash combo. Once you’ve unlocked Water Strike, there’s a good chance you’ll never equip Side Smash again.

Switch Skill 1B: Water Strike

gif of Water Strike skill being performed
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson
  • Description:  An attack that allows you to absorb a monster’s hit.
  • Controls: Press A
  • How to Unlock: Complete the ★5 Hub Quest “Honing your Hammer.”

Water Strike gives Hammer the first defensive move in its moveset. If you time the button press to just before the monster’s attack lands, you’ll gain immunity to the attack. Successfully countering an attack like this lets you combo right into an upswing attack.

Timing the window for the counter can be tricky. I like to think of it as using the Hammer to smash aside the attack to get the timing right. Try practicing with the Toadversary if you’re having trouble with it in a hunt. 

Switch Skill 2A: Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon

Gif of Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon being performed
Sorry, little guy. (Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson)
  • Description: A spinning attack using a Wirebug.
  • Controls: Press X while holding ZL (requires 1 Wirebug)
  • How to Unlock: Available by default.

The mid-air spinning attack from Monster Hunter World is back, and the use of a Wirebug means you don’t even need a hill to slide down first. This move is a good way to hit out-of-reach parts or flying monsters.

You can charge this attack for more damage by holding ZR during the start up. If you’re already charging your Hammer when you initiate this attack, the charge level will automatically carry through.

Switch Skill 2B: Dash Breaker

Gif of Dash Breaker skill being performed
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson
  • Description: An attack performed by rushing forward with the help of a Wirebug.
  • Controls: Press X while holding ZL (requires 1 Wirebug)
  • How to Unlock: Unlock ★3 Village Quests or ★2 Hub Quests.

Dash Breaker gives up some of the damage and multi-hit potential of Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon, but provides knockback and damage resistance during the dash animation. This can be an easy way to deal with roars, especially if you decide not to use Water Strike.

Like Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon, you can charge your Hammer before initiating this move to increase its damage. If you press ZR again immediately after the attack finishes, you’ll immediately regain the same charge level you just spent, which can be helpful. 

Switch Skill 3A: Charge Switch: Strength

Gif of Charge Switch: Strength skill being performed
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson
  • Description: Adds extra damage and stun to your charge attacks.
  • Controls: Press A while charging with ZR
  • How to Unlock: Available by default.

Charge Switch: Strength makes the Hammer better at being a Hammer. It changes the animation for your swings to add extra hits or more range. You’ll probably leave it up for most of the fight, only dropping it to quickly get a free Level 3 charge on your weapon.

The in-game description says that Charge Switch: Strength lengthens the charge time for increased power, but I tested charge times repeatedly with and without Strength active and found them to be identical. If there is any difference, it’s negligible.

Switch Skill 3B: Charge Switch: Courage

Gif of Charge Switch: Courage skill being performed
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson
  • Description: Decreases charging levels, but allows combos between charge attacks.
  • Controls: Press A while charging with ZR
  • How to Unlock: Craft or upgrade eight unique Hammers.

While Charge Switch: Strength makes the Hammer better at what it was already doing, Charge Switch: Courage mixes things up to make the Hammer into a combo weapon. You only get two charge levels while this skill is active, but each attack combos into the next with a stylish flow.

If you use a Level 2 charge, each charge attack will hit twice — the intent seems to be helping the Hammer deal elemental damage or build up status ailments.

Best Hammer Builds in MHR

We’ve listed our recommendations for the best Hammer builds for Monster Hunter Rise below so you can squeeze out as much damage as possible from your Hammer. 

Build 1 — Early Ranks

early ranks hammer build monster hunter rise
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson

Your skill choices are pretty limited in the early game, but as a Hammer main, you’re really only looking for damage anyway. This build focuses on getting as much Attack Boost as possible early on so you can easily mop up Low Rank messes.

WeaponArmor
Izuchi Hammer IIBarroth Helm
Side SmashBarroth Mail
Silkbind Spinning BludgeonJaggi Gauntlets
Charge Switch: StrengthSkalda Elytra
Baggi Greaves

At this stage, you don’t yet need to worry about things like Rampage skills or decorations. This build focuses on the simple things in life — building up as much attack as possible so you can smack the local fauna in the face.

Once you’ve done enough smacking, you’ll eventually get access to the Anjanath fight. His armor seems to have been designed with the Hammer in mind, so feel free to make the whole set. It should carry you decently far into High Rank!

Build 2 — Valstrax DPS

Valstrax hammer build monster hunter rise
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson

The 45% base affinity on the Night Eternal Hammer is just begging to be combined with Master’s Touch to make the most of the sharpness bar. This build combines Master’s Touch with the Valstrax’s Dragonheart skill to pump out heavy-hitting damage while staying at white sharpness through the whole fight.

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
Night EternalValstrax HelmCritical Eye 1
Attack Boost IIIValstrax MailCritical Boost 3
Water StrikeValstrax BracesMaster’s Touch 3
Silkbind Spinning BludgeonValstrax CoilSpeed Sharpening 3
Charge Switch: StrengthValstrax GreavesAttack Boost 7

With the innate Weakness Exploit from the Valstrax armor, you only need one point of Critical Eye to hit 100% affinity on weak points. This leaves you with plenty of decoration slots to add in three points each of Critical Boost and Master’s Touch, which will keep you at white sharpness while you land multiple, powerful critical hits.

Keep in mind using Valstrax armor means you’ll want to stay below 80% health while fighting. This will activate the Dragonheart skill and give you a 10% boost to your damage.

Build 3 — Impact Crater Creator

Impact Crater Creator hammer Build monster hunter rise
Had to get a side gig to afford all these armor sets. (Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson)

The Hammer’s Impact Crater Silkbind attack is super flashy and very satisfying to land. Fortunately, the flashiness is backed up by very large damage numbers, so you should use it in your Hammer play regardless of the build you’re using. This build focuses on using it as often as possible. You’ll become a walking, talking meteor.

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
Tigrex HammerKaiser CrownCritical Eye 7
Silkbind BoostKamura Garb SWeakness Exploit 3
Water StrikeValstrax BracesCritical Boost 3
Silkbind Spinning BludgeonAnjanath Coil SWirebug Whisperer 3
Charge Switch: StrengthIngot Greaves SAttack Boost 7

First off, let’s talk Hammer customization. The Silkbind Boost Rampage skill will increase the damage of your Impact Craters, but to add it to the Tigrex Hammer, you’ll need to ramp up the War Mace on the Ore Tree. This allows you to grandfather Silkbind Boost onto the Tigrex Hammer.

Since this build is all about using Impact Crater, you’ll want three points of Wirebug Whisperer to let you use the skill more often. When there’s a big opening, fire off an Impact Crater (charged, of course), then use the Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon once your first Wirebug is off cooldown. Both bugs should then come off cooldown at roughly the same time, giving you a chance to launch up for another Impact Crater. Of course, you could also just grab a third Wirebug on your way to the fight. Now you’re following up your Impact Crater with yet another Impact Crater.

Now, there are two low points to this build I’d be remiss not to mention. Firstly, the Kamura Garb S has the Wirebug Whisperer you’re looking for (along with some Critical Eye to counter the Tigrex Hammer’s negative affinity), but the defense is very low even when fully upgraded. If you need the extra defense, you can swap it out for something like the Nargacuga chest piece. Just keep in mind that your build will run a little tighter in the skill department.

Secondly, even with Critical Eye and Weakness Exploit maxed out, your affinity will be 70% on weak spots. This build does best when supported by extra affinity from other sources, like a friendly Hunting Horn, Bow, or Palico.

Build 4 — Big Bludgeoner

Big Bludgeoner hammer build monster hunter rise
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson

We’ll finish off this guide with a couple of stranger builds from the weird side of Monster Hunter. Our first one is focused on using the skill Bludgeoner. I openly admit this won’t get you the best clear times, but c’mon, the skill is called Bludgeoner. I would ask the court, what should you do with a Hammer if not bludgeon?

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
Atlas HammerMizuha CapBludgeoner 3
Dulling StrikeVaik Mail SAttack Boost 7
Water StrikeTigrex Braces SWeakness Exploit 3
Dash BreakerAnjanath Coil SCritical Eye 7
Charge Switch: StrengthIngot Greaves SStun Resistance 3

Three points into Bludgeoner adds 10% attack when at green sharpness or below, so we need to select a Hammer that only gets to green sharpness. The Atlas Hammer is our choice here because of the decently high raw damage, non-negative affinity, and absolutely massive green sharpness.

The cherry on top is the addition of the Dulling Strike Rampage skill, which you’ll need to grandfather in from the Bone Bludgeon I before you upgrade to the Bone Tree 2. Dulling Strike has a small chance of increasing your attack power when at green sharpness or lower, which you’ll be at all the time.

Maxing out Bludgeoner is absolutely a must, so do that before investing three more points into Attack Boost. Your affinity won’t be stellar, but if you have enough space on your charm after all this, Weakness Exploit and Critical Eye are good skills to fill it out. Alternatively, slot in Agitator for even more attack.

The Mind’s Eye you get from the Chameleos head and Tigrex arms is for comfort more than anything else. At green sharpness, errant attacks that miss the monster’s weak spots will bounce and leave you open, so this covers you on any aiming mistakes. If you’re feeling confident in your bludgeoning skills, you can always swap out for the Bullfango Mask S and Rathalos Braces S. This will drop Mind’s Eye for two points into Attack Boost and give you an open slot for even more offense.

Build 5 — Courage Paralysis/KO 

Courage Paralysis/KO hammer build Monster Hunter Rise
Image: Capcom via HGG / Jacob Johnson

This build leans into another side of the Hammer — locking down the monster by getting KOs. Combine that with some Paralysis buildup, and you can keep the monster well CC’d while your team pours on the damage. Make sure to use this build with other hunters for the best results.

WeaponArmorSkill Priority
Rampage Hammer SAnjanath Helm SWeakness Exploit 3
Attack Boost IV, Paralysis III, Affinity SurgeAnjanath Mail SCritical Boost 3
Water StrikeAnjanath Vambraces SCritical Eye 6
Silkbind Spinning BludgeonAnjanath Coil SFlinch Free 1
Charge Switch: CourageIngot Greaves SSpeed Sharpening 3

Taking Charge Switch: Courage means each fully charged attack hits twice and combos directly into the next charge attack. We can combine that with three points of Focus (which will do wonders for our Paralysis buildup) and three points of Slugger (for additional stun damage when hitting the monster’s head). The Anjanath set gives us everything we want, and we can switch to the Ingot Greaves S to get some extra Attack Boost and Critical Eye.

Since Focus and Slugger are handled by the armor, you can focus on getting as much of the affinity skills to avoid losing too much damage. Get three points into Weakness Exploit and Critical Boost first, then fill in what you can with Critical Eye. Because this build is specifically designed for multiplayer hunts, at least one point into Flinch Free stops other hunters from interrupting your combos.

Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon is another special mention — because it hits so many times, it’s a great way to build up lots of status. Use it whenever you’ve got an opening and the head isn’t immediately available for smashing.

When eating before the hunt, go for Dango Specialist and Dango Slugger to double-down on your KOs and paralysis build-up.

Join the High Ground

That’s our take on some of the best ways to use the Hammer in Monster Hunter Rise. Feel free to share your favorite Hammer build in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to our email list for more Monster Hunter build guides.

Happy hunting!