Whether it’s giant hammers or 6 ft swords, Monster Hunter World knows how to make a good weapon. And while you might think all monster bashers are created equal, each piece of equipment in the New World has its own nuances. Here’s our Longsword tutorial, packed with info on how to get the best out of your builds and combos.
If you’d prefer to watch or listen along, we’ve embedded a video from Arekkz’s weapon workshop series below.
We also have a full rundown of every weapon in Monster Hunter World, as well as the playstyles they suit.
What is the Longsword Spirit Meter and Spirit Blade Combo?
What really sets the Longsword apart from other weapons in Monster Hunter World, is the Spirit Meter mechanic. This allows hunters to build up a meter of energy, which can then be transferred into the weapon by unleashing a specific combo.
There are three levels of charge that can be transferred to a Longsword, white, yellow and red. Each level grants greater and greater damage buffs to the weapon, so it really pays to build up power.
You build up energy by landing regular attacks, then transfer that stored energy by completing a Spirit Blade combo - which is performed by pressing the right trigger (R2) four times. For it to successfully build up your gauge, the fourth hit in the combo - the Spirit Roundhouse - must connect with your target. This will raise your Spirit Meter one level; it will go from nothing to white, white to yellow and yellow to red.
Once you’ve buffed your weapon damage with your Spirit Meter, the effect lasts for two and a half minutes.
Attacks in the Spirit Combo deplete your Meter, and it will naturally drain as well. If the Spirit Meter runs out, it will drop a level. Spirit Combo attacks also have the added benefit of never bouncing off of a monster’s hide.
Spirit Helm Breaker
The Longsword’s signature attack, the Spirit Helm Breaker also depletes your Meter. It is the weapon’s most powerful move, and uses a full level of Meter to pull off. To perform the maneuver, press the Right Trigger + Y, or R2 + Triangle. Your hunter will thrust their sword into the opposing monster, then jump in the air and bring a full-force strike downwards onto them.
This move is also affected by the Spirit Meter, and is much more powerful when performed with a red Meter. If for no other reason, this makes it important to effectively manage your Spirit Meter and keep it topped up.
To help you regain the Meter you’ve used up with a Spirit Helm Breaker, your Spirit Meter will start to automatically refill when you’ve let your attack loose. So once you’ve connected with a Spirit Helm Breaker, follow up soon with a Spirit Roundhouse and you’ll be back to full strength.
Best Longsword Combos
Pressing Y or Triangle four times performs your basic combo. This one of the best ways to raise your spirit meter, so you don’t have to worry about pulling off anything too flashy most of the time.
One way you can modify this is by replacing the first button input with a B or Circle. This changes the first attack in the combo from an overhead slash to a fast thrust. In situations where you need to be quicker off the mark, the thrust attack is a more flexible option to start off your combo.
Pressing Y + B or Triangle and Circle together performs a Fade Slash, this is an incredibly useful defensive move where your hunter whips their sword around their head then jumps backwards, giving you distance from a monster.
You can add a Fade Slash to any point in a combo, and if you input a direction at the same time, your hunter will jump that way rather than backwards.
Hunters can also start off the Spirit Blade combo with a Fade Slash, skipping the first Right Trigger input. This is a quicker way to get to the all-important Spirit Roundhouse at the end, so use this shortcut where you can.
The Foresight Slash is one of the Longsword’s most important moves because it offers incredible utility when fighting some of Monster Hunter World’s toughest enemies.
By pressing the Right Trigger + B or R2 + Circle after an attack, your hunter will slide backwards and slash. This attack is so good because it has a big invulnerability window, meaning that you can use it to dodge pretty much anything, a bit like a Guard Point with a Charge Blade.
If you’re hit during the Foresight Slash, you’ll see a blue particle effect. This not only means that you’ve not taken damage from the attack, but you can hit the Right Trigger afterwards to follow up with a Spirit Blade combo.
Because you can only use a Foresight Slash after another attack, this is where the quick thrust that’s performed using B or Circle comes in. That is by far the fastest attack that you can use to preceed a Foresight Slash.
Therefore your optimal Foresight Slash combo is:
B > Right Trigger + B > Right Trigger
Circle > R2 + Circle > R2
Since you want to take advantage of your red Spirit Meter as much as possible, it’s a good idea to get back to it as fast as possible once you’ve used a Spirit Helm Breaker. If you perform a Foresight Slash and a Fade Slash after you’ve completed the Spirit Helm Breaker, you can quickly launch into a Spirit Blade combo to restore your red Meter.
This makes your optimal Spirit Helm Breaker combo:
R2 + Triangle > R2 + Circle > Triangle + Circle > R2 > R2 > R2
Right Trigger + Y > Right Trigger + B > Y + B > Right Trigger > Right Trigger > Right Trigger
For more on every large monster in Monster Hunter World, check out our full list.