Monster Hunter World armor skills explained

Monster Hunter World armor skills

Everyone knows Monster Hunter World is a good game. It’s not simple though and one of the most complex systems are the Monster Hunter Worlds armour skills. Well, good news, that’s what this entire guide is for, helping you understand the Monster Hunter World armour skills and what it all means. Aren’t you lucky? 

It’s not a simple game, though, and there’s plenty to learn as you go along. But rather than having to figure out the still-rather-obtuse systems within the game, it’s much easier to just come to us for explainers on things like, say, armor skills. Like this one here. This explainer on armor skills. Right here. Ahem.

Enough with the words, on with the explanations (which also happen to include more words):

What are armor skills?

Armor has stats – how much protection a piece offers, how much resistance it has to different elements – but it also has extra skills listed on its info pane. These armor skills – activated automatically on equipping a piece of armor – are something you might not pay attention to much at first, but as you get into the swing of things you’ll realise they’re very important to the Monster Hunter World experience.

Each skill offers a boost to a different thing – it could be making you stronger, it could be making you faster or maintain stamina longer, it could be something completely different. Armor skills also come in a different levels, from one up to seven, though not all skills have seven levels (more on that below). Whatever the skill is, it’s something you have to both pay attention to and take into consideration when kitting yourself out. It’s also a system much simplified compared to previous Monster Hunter titles, thankfully.

What do the armour skills mean?

Rather than list the armor skills and what they achieve – as well as their level cap – right here, they’re going to be shunted down to the bottom of the article – don’t want them getting in the way of any other info you might be looking for. But if you are after a list of what each armour skill is and what it does, scroll down.

Some, like Defense Boost, are self-explanatory. Others like Bombadier you will probably figure out quickly enough. But then there’s some that are just confusing or vague, like Wide Range, so it’s nice to have the list of armour skills and what they do to hand.

How do they affect my game?

This can go one of a few ways, really. You can ignore armor skills, but that would be daft. You can pay attention to them but not actually take them into consideration when equipping your hunter, which is also daft.

Less daft-ly, you should end up either building your armor sets around specific armour skills and boosts – opting out of grand defensive upgrades in favour of a higher-level effect, for example – or you should build the best armor for your specific loadout/play style while also factoring in armour skills. Neither way is wrong, really. Or daft.

How do I level up armour skills?

You cannot level up armour skills in Monster Hunter World just by visiting the workshop and spending an armor sphere – that will upgrade its base defensive stats, but you’ll need a different approach to improve the levels of your armour skills. Basically: you need to stack.

What this means is you’ll want to gather – and wear – multiple pieces of armour with the same skill on them. Each separate piece of armour being worn with the same skill will add together to increase its efficiency – an early-ish example being combining Anja Coil and Bone Mail, which will bump your Attack Boost skill to level two.

Decorations also feature armour skills so can be factored in with high rank armour kits, and later on in the game you will unlock armour with more than one armour skill per piece, so there’s more scope to mix and match as you progress.

Finally, charms – these little trinkets include armour skills to add to your bonuses, but differ in that they can be upgraded by improving them at the smithy. Another thing to bear in mind if you’re looking to max out a skill.

Are there any other skills?

Yes! Unique skills come with full high rank armour sets of certain types – unsurprisingly available after defeating Monster Hunter World’s most difficult quarries. This is high level stuff you won’t be touching for a long while, but keep an eye out when you do face the likes of the Vaal Hazak, Pink Rathian and – of course – Nergigante.

Hopefully that all puts you on the way to conquering any wee beastie that stands in your way. After all, a good, thick helmet is often more useful than a hunting horn, because the hunting horn is… too hard to use. Hmm. And now the list of armour skills!

List of Monster Hunter World armour skills:

Adrenaline: Reduces stamina depletion when health is 40% or lower, temporarily

Affinity Sliding: Sliding boosts affinity for a short time

Airborne: Increased damage from jumping attacks

Aquatic Expert: Improves water-based mobility

Artillery: Strengthens explosive attacks – for items, see Bombardier (three levels)

Attack Boost: Increases attack power – at higher levels improves affinity (seven levels)

BBQ Master: Increases your skills cooking meat

Blast Resistance: Protection against blastblight

Blast Attack: Increases the rate of blast build-up

Bleeding Resistance: Protection against bleeding

Blindsider: Improved effectiveness of flash attacks and items

Blight Resistance: Grants protection from elemental blights

Bombardier: Increases damage from explosive items – for explosive attacks, see Artillery

Botanist: You gather more herbs, mushrooms and other consumables on your travels

Cliffhanger: Stamina depletion decreases when hanging from walls/vines

Constitution: Stamina depletion decreases when running, attacking and evading (five levels)

Critical Eye: Boosts affinity (seven levels)

Defense Boost: Increases defense power – at higher levels improves affinity (seven levels)

Earplugs: Monster roars have fewer negative effects (five levels)

Entomologist: Small insect monsters are less likely to be destroyed, allowing more carving

Evade Extender: Dodge further (three levels)

Evade Window: Increases how long you’re invulnerable for when dodging (five levels)

Fire Attack: Increases fire element attack power (three levels)

Fire Resistance: Increases fire resistance– at higher levels improves affinity (three levels)

Focus: Increases fill rate/charge rate for weapons with gauges/charge attacks

Fortify: Attack and defense increased when you fall in battle, up to two times

Guard: Stamina loss and knockbacks reduced when guarding

Health Boost: Increases health (three levels)

Heavy Artillery: Increased firepower of ballistae and cannons

Honey Hunter: Increased quantity of honey gathered in the wild

Horn Maestro: Increases effect duration of hunting horn melodies

Hunger Resistance: Stamina depletion from hunger reduced (five levels)

Ice Attack: Increases ice element attack power (three levels)

Ice Resistance: Increases ice resistance – at higher levels improves defense (three levels)

Intimidator: Reduced chance small monsters will attack on sight

Item Prolonger: Some item effects are… prolonged

Jump Master: You can’t be knocked back during a jump

Marathon Runner: Actions continuously depleting stamina – like running – do so slower

Master Gatherer: Gather quicker and immunity to knockbacks while gathering

Master Mounter: Makes it easier to mount monsters

Muck Resistance: Mobility impairment reduced when covered in muck

Palico Rally: Powers up palicos

Paralysis Resistance: Reduced duration of paralysis when being attacked with the status (three levels)

Paraylsis Attack: Increased duration of your paralysing attacks (three levels)

Poison Attack: Increased rate of poison build-up on your poison attacks (three levels)

Poison Resistance: Protection against the effects of poison rises (three levels)

Pro Transporter: Transport items, like eggs, quicker and have less chance of dropping them

Quick Sheath: Put your weapon away quicker

Recovery Speed: Temporary damage – the red line shown on your health gauge – recovers quicker

Recovery Up: Health restoration effects increased

Scenthound: Increases scoutfly gauge fill rate when tracking monsters

Scoutfly Range Up: Expands scoutfly detection range

Slinger Capacity: Slinger can hold more shots

Slugger: Dizzying/stunning monsters becomes easier

Special Ammo Boost: Increases power of bowgun special ammo and Dragon Piercer (two levels)

Speed Crawler: Increased movement speed while crouching

Speed Eating: Increased speed of consuming items and eating meat

Speed Sharpening: Whetstone sharpening becomes quicker

Sporepuff Expert: Recover health when using sporepuffs

Stamina Surge: Speeds up stamina recovery

Stamina Thief: Certain attacks will tire out monsters quicker

Stealth: Becomes easier to hide from monsters in the field (three levels)

Stun Restistance: Stun doesn’t last as long (three levels)

Thunder Attack: Increased thunder element attack power (three levels)

Thunder Resistance: Increases thunder resistance – at higher levels improves defense (three levels)

Water Attack: Increased water element attack power (three levels)

Water Resistance: Increases water resistance – at higher levels improves defense (three levels)

Wide Range: Effects of certain items spread to nearby hunting-mates (five levels)

Windproof: Grants protection against wind pressure (five levels)

Ian Dransfield is an experienced writer and editor, having contributed to a wide variety of Future Plc publications like 3D Artist, games™, PC Gamer, Retro Gamer, and more. With a career spanning more than a decade, Ian has done everything from work as a freelance consultant for the Guinness World Records to putting in the time as features editor of Raspberry Pi's Wireframe magazine. Ian Dransfield is currently the games editor for Media Foundry.