Although not as complex as the weapon systems of Monster Hunter World, the weapons in Dauntless have some interesting combos and unique traits. In our Dauntless weapons guide we will take a closer look at each of the six weapons.
Each weapon will be discussed in more detail in separate articles for those who wish to specialize in a particular one, but this guide should give you an understanding of each weapon’s strengths, weaknesses, traits, and overall value.
Before we get into it, let’s discuss some basic combat mechanics in the game.
What do all of the colors mean?
While attacking Dauntless behemoths you will notice a bunch of numbers appearing on the screen. Some of them are white, while others are blue or yellow. Here’s what they all mean:
- YELLOW: PART DAMAGE – Damage applied to certain parts (e.g. leg, lead) of a behemoth. Parts that take enough damage will fall off and provide extra materials, affects the beast’s moveset or leave it vulnerable.
- WHITE: BASIC DAMAGE – The only damage that is applied directly to the Behemoth’s HP.
- BLUE: STAGGER DAMAGE – This damage is applied to the legs or head. When enough of it accumulates the behemoth will be knocked down.
- RED: WOUND DAMAGE – Like part damage, wound damage is applied to the parts. Enough wound damage will cause a part to become fully wounded and take extra damage when the slayer strikes in the same spot.
- Blaze – good vs. frost behemoths
- Frost – good vs. blaze behemoths
- Shock – good vs. terra behemoths
- Terra – good vs shock behemoths
- Radiant – good vs. umbral behemoths
- Umbral – good vs. radiant behemoths
1. Hammer – Best Weapon for Staggering & Heavy Attacks
Damage Type: Blunt, extra stagger damage
- Weighted crown (Hammer Mastery 6) – Stagger damage penalty on legs is halved
- Impulse Crown (Hammer Mastery 10) – Aerial Strike grants Slayers extra damage for ten seconds. The bonus is double if the Slayer struck a behemoth’s head.
- Extended clip (Hammer Mastery 16) – two extra ammo slots (six in total).
- Concussive salvo – Slayers can load ammo into the hammer and release it to interrupt or boop behemoths.
- Mighty Landbreaker (HM8) – Slayers can load ammo into the hammer before releasing and create an aether vent to buff players.
- Molten Edict (exotic) – Explosive ammo transforms into fireball attacks.
I love smashing stuff, so the hammer is, unsurprisingly, my favorite weapon in Dauntless. There’s something incredibly satisfying about the impact created after a successful hit. This weapon has it all. It can break parts, boop behemoths, do crazy damage, and even give slayers enough mobility to get in and out of combat. If I were to write the article as a “best Dauntless weapons”, the hammer would undoubtedly be number one.
The only true drawback of the hammer is the high-skill-ceiling. The hamer takes some time to get used to it, mostly because it has incredibly slow recoveries. Another reason is because, as a hammer user, it’s your responsibility to dish out as much stagger damage as possible. To do this, you must time your attacks perfectly and land as many as you can on a behemoths head or legs.
Weighty attacks aside, the hammer becomes addictive once you find your rhythm. A successful combo almost always concludes with the epic Aetherslam and stagger or knockdown. Provided that you are using the right mods, a knockdown gives ample room for more combos, followed by more knockdowns. This weapon is incorrigible. With at least one other hammer user on your team, some behemoth encounters feel light outright abuse.
The concussive salvo is also worth mentioning. You can load up to four ammo slots into the hammer and a successful Aetherslam will automatically reload charged rounds. Timed right, these shots can be used to boop behemoths during key attacks.
Pro Tip: If you notice your constantly getting hit, I recommend a tanky build with lifesteal and extra attack speed at low HP to survive difficult encounters.
2. Sword – Best Weapon for Beginners or Solo Gameplay
Damage Type: Slashing, bonus part damage, bonus damage vs wounded parts
- Adhesive hilt (Sword Mastery 6) – The Slayer becomes unstaggerable while in special.
- Ardent Cyclone (Sword Mastery 8) – The Slayer will always land a critical strike after dodging an attack.
- Perpetual Bladecore (Sword Mastery 16) – The Slayer can recharge the special meter while dealing damage in the special.
- Valiant Overdrive – Slayers can activate this ability when the special meter is full. This sends them into an overdrive state that increases attack speed and creates aetheric waves that deal AOE damage.
- Aether Dash (can only be used during overdrive) – The slayer can dash a significant distance. This ability has a short cooldown.
- Ardent Cyclone (SM8) – Activate this ability to spin and damage any nearby enemies. Reactivate the ability to slash in a direction.
- Feast (exotic) – A vampiric ability that grants slayers lifesteal and attack speed at the expense of their own life force. Slayers will take damage over time while in this form, but will also be granted aetheric waves with every slash.
After playing around with all the weapons in Dauntless, I found the sword to be the easiest one to master, especially as a beginner. The combos are super easy to memorize too. You have two combos for light attacks (quad cross and triple elements), two for heavy attacks (repeating elements and rising elements), and intuitive specials.
I guess the sword also comes with the hearty recommendation of the developers, since it’s the first weapon the slayer is supplied with when enlisting. That being said, the sword is in no way challenging or interesting. It’s a reliable companion with balanced abilities, but landing a combo doesn’t feel very satisfying, and I can’t think of a single thing that it excels at.
In Dauntless, breaking parts is a huge aspect of the game. The better you get at it, the more materials you will be able to bring back after a successful hunt. Be warned: the sword isn’t very good at breaking parts. It’s simply going to make it easier to take down a behemoth and get in and out of tight spots.
3. Chain Blades – Best for Mobility & Aerial Attacks
Damage Type: Slashing, extra part damage, extra damage vs wounded parts
- Lightweight Chain (Chain Blades Mastery 6) – Slayers can reduce the stamina cost of dashing towards a behemoth by 50%.
- Hurricane Blades (Chain Blades Mastery 10) – Blade spin grants stacking on-next hit damage. This damage is consumed when the combo breaks.
- Serrated Blades (Chain Blades Mastery 16) – Slayers get a chance to critical hit when swinging the blades.
- Reapers Dance – Push off a behemoth close range and deal damage or use from afar to pull closer to a behemoth.
- Cruel Rifstrike (Chain Blades Mastery 6) – Teleport forward and damage enemies in your path or teleport through behemoths.
The chain blades are incredibly satisfying weapons that will make you look like a total boss. They are the fastest weapon in Dauntless, my second favorite choice in the game, and a great change of pace from the hammer. The chain blades will make you master of the sky in no time, due mostly in part to the moveset that is easy to learn, and the special abilities that are designed to keep you in the air as much as possible. Particularly effective against flying or ad spawning behemoths, the chain blades can switch instantly between normal close-range attacks, chain throws, and blade spin combos.
You can dish out crazy damage with the blade spin combo as long as you aren’t interrupted. You can also get out of combat incredibly fast with the teleport ability. What’s more, after teleporting out of danger, slayers can immediately dive back in, while flying, with a critical attack. The only real downfall of the chain blades is that they aren’t as good as other weapons late game. Difficult behemoths like the Shrowd or Rezakiri warrant a big damage output that the chain blades simply cannot provide. That being said, with the right armor set and cells, experienced slayers can deal constant damage unscathed and look fabulous doing while doing it.
4. Ostian Repeaters – Best for Long Range Combat
Damage Type: Slashing, extra part damage, extra damage versus wounded parts
- Capacitative magazine (Repeaters Mastery 6) – Slayers that use an ability will have their magazine reloaded with 4 ammo.
- Scoped Sights (Repeaters Mastery 10) – Increased damage falloff range by 25%.
- Lucky Magazine (Repeaters Mastery 16) – Extra 2% critical strike chance for each round missing from the magazine.
- Lightweight Frame – 20% extra movespeed when ammo is six or less.
- Precision Sights – five increased damage on consecutive attacks on the same part. Can stack up to 8 times.
- Extraction Catalyst – Reduce ability cooldowns by two seconds when dodging attacks.
I’m gonna’ be honest here: I only used the repeaters a few times and didn’t like them. I never play games with range weapons, so the repeaters were a NO for me. The excuse is generally that I hate playing mid or long range, but you’d be surprise to find out that the repeaters perform best at close range. I’ve seen plenty of slayers master this type of weapon.
For some unknown reason, the Ostian repeaters are classed as a slashing weapon. There’s no slashing involved. Phoenix Labs, what were you thinking?!? Regardless, the repeaters are, by far, the most unusual weapon choice in Dauntless. The full power of these little monster reveals itself at close-quarters.
If you’re new to this type of weapon, keep your eyes on the reticule. White means that you are too far away and your damage is lower than it should be, while red means that your using the weapon at its maximum potential.
The repeaters have plenty of special abilities that we will discuss in a separate article, but even their base damage is nothing to joke about. What I truly liked about this weapon is the fact that you can customize skillshots, mines, and use empowered reloads to boost your damage. Oh, and also that it scales really well late game.
5. Axe – Best Weapon for Damage Output and Breaking Parts
Damage Type: slashing, extra part damage, extra damage versus wounded parts
- Volatile Axecore (Axe Mastery 6) – charged attacks deal AOE damage at each charge level.
- Lightweight Haft (Axe Mastery 10) – Charging horizontal attacks increases movespeed and costs 50% less stamina.
- Overcharged Cylinder (Axe Mastery 16) – Determination stacks up to four times.
- Flight of Ruin – Throw your axe a great distance, dealing damage to behemoths before returning. Movespeed is increased while the axe is thrown. Slayers can also recall the axe and perform a powerful overhead slam.
- Grim Onslaught (Axe Mastery 8) – Throw axe forward damaging everything in your path before landing a distance away. Behemoths hit by the axe can generate resolve and bounce the axe back to the slayer.
Another hard-hitting weapon is the axe. Its slashing damage output can only be rivaled by the sword, but its moveset is much more interesting than the latter, making it a favorite among slayers. The axe is one of the best weapons for breaking behemoth parts. It is also strangely reminiscent of Kratos’s axe, with its throwing ability. What makes the axe such a great weapon is its resolve and determination mechanic.
Charging vertical attacks three times will grant the slayer Resolve, which negates stagger damage for a short while. Any type of charged attacks (horizontal or vertical) will grant determination, which increases damage output and can be stacked three times. This makes the axe a fantastic weapon with decent defensive abilities.
I am a huge fan of the throw ability, particularly when dealing with high mobility behemoths. Timing this ability just right should culminate with a devastating overhead slam. Pro tip: you can even dodge right before the axe returns to your hands and line up your next attack perfectly. All in all, the axe is a great choice for heavy hitters who are also looking for some variety in their combo list.
6. War Pike – Best for Wound Damage
Damage Type: Piercing
- Munitions Amplifier (War Pike Mastery 6) – Stored ammo quality increase over time.
- Lightweight Shaft (War Pike Mastery 10) – Pike Charge stamina cost reduced to 0 and always results in critical strike.
- Balanced Spearhead (War Pike Mastery 16) – Increases damage dealt when alternating between Harvesting and Piercing attacks by 3% each time. Resets when the combo ends.
- Concussive Payload – Convert special meter into ammo. Hold to spend ammo and blast a missile that can boop and damage behemoths.
- Savage Wellspring (War Pike Mastery 8) – Slayers can convert meter into ammo. Hold to spend ammo and create an aura that buffs nearby allies. Also gives a critical strike chance.
- Godhand (exotic ability) – Convert special meter into ammo. Hold to spend and channel a beam that damages behemoths the more it is focused on them.
Last, and honestly least (in my opinion), we have the War Pike. This is the only weapon in Dauntless that features piercing damage. Although it has an interesting moveset, even after 20 hours of playing with it, the pike still didn’t grow on me. Objectively, the War Pike is a well-rounded weapon with a steep learning curve and tons of satisfying combos. I believe it shines when it is synchronized with weapons such as a sword or axe, because it can provide the maximum amount of materials in record time.
This weapon left a sour taste in my mouth because of its game-breaking bug from a few months back. Successful piercing and harvesting attacks will fill a charge meter that can be used to shoot pike blasts at enemies. Pike blasts can also boop a monster. The only problem is that slayers used to abuse this ability to shoot an infinite beam of damage at the behemoths, effectively cheesing the entire fight and ruining the experience for other players. The bug has been fixed in the meantime, but my desire to play with the weapon never returned.
What you need to remember with the War Pike is that the meter generated from successive attacks must be transformed into a projectile. Storing the projectile over time will increase its power, and loading it when the meter is almost full will ensure maximum damage output. If you get hit before charging the projectile, you will lose progress on the meter. Also worth mentioning is the fact that dodging while aiming the Pike Blast will allow you to reuse the projectile later.
This concludes our brief introduction and Dauntless weapons guide. Hopefully this will give you a better idea about the weapon that you want to invest in, before you actually use all of your hard earned materials.