Monster Hunter Damage Mechanics Guide

Monster Hunter Damage Mechanics Guide by dorkish

Hello all, I’ve been seeing a lot of misunderstandings and downright misinformation on how damage in monster hunter works, particularly when it comes to elemental / status weapons. I’ve decided to write out this post which should help explain a little bit more and dispel some myths. Without further ado…

Your damage numbers shown on screen follow this formula:

(true raw) * (sharpness modifier) * (motion value) * (monster armor) * (quest / rage modifier)

Elemental damage has a similar but separate formula:

(elemental attack / 10) * (sharpness modifier) * (monster armor) * (quest / rage modifier)

I’ll discuss each of these values in their own sections.

And as a small aside,

affinity = critical chance

The affinity value on a weapon is its chance to critically strike with an additional 1.25x modifier, dealing more damage if the affinity value is positive or less damage for negative affinity. The overall damage modifier for a given affinity value is (affinity / 4) %, so a weapon with 40% affinity will result in an overall average 10% damage increase.

Important note: Affinity only applies to raw damage unless you get the skill ‘Critical Element’

True Raw

First up, let’s cover the attack values shown on your weapon. Every weapon has a hidden “true raw” value that’s then inflated for display on your weapon via a modifier specific to each weapon type. The modifiers are:

Switch Axe3.5
Great Sword4.8
Charge Blade3.6
Long Sword3.3
Insect Glaive3.1
Heavy Bowgun1.5
SnS/Dual Blades1.4
Light Bowgun1.3

What does this mean? If you have a Hammer that shows 520 attack, it has a “true raw” of 100. Elemental damage has a flat modifier of 10.

Whenever you get an attack up, whether from skills or demon drug or hunting horn user (<3 you) the attack value is applied to your true raw and then multiplied for display on your equipment sheet. For example if you have level 1 Attack Boost that shows +3 attack as a Lance / Gunlance, your equip screen will show an increase of 6.9 or about 7. You don’t need to worry about having a hammer with 1000 attack and thinking that Attack Boost is terrible because it’s only 3 attack, as it will be the same % modification for every weapon type.

Sharpness Modifier

You may have noticed by now that your weapon has various tiers of sharpness, represented by different colors. Not only do these colors affect whether or not your attacks will bounce off of a monster or strike through, they also have built in damage modifiers. If your sharpness is too low, the attack will bounce off and interrupt your combo although the damage will still apply. These modifiers are:

| Raw | Elemental

  • |—|——— White | 1.32 | 1.125 Blue | 1.20 | 1.0625 Green | 1.05 | 1.00 Yellow | 1.00 | 0.75 Orange | 0.75 | 0.50 Red | 0.50 | 0.25

The jump from green to blue is pretty massive, a 14% damage boost. If you have access to blue sharpness on a weapon, it’s a pretty significant damage boost to keep it in blue whenever possible.

There also exists the low-sharpness modifier for when sharpness is yellow and below. See /u/piratefinn ‘s post here for more information.

Edit: I have tested and confirmed these values in world for Raw. Testing elemental values will be more difficult…

Motion Value

Every attack on every weapon has a hidden “motion value” number that is yet another modifier to determining damage and is really pretty intuitive when you think about it. This motion value is what determines that the hammer triple charge pound does more damage than the first swing of the triangle combo. It’s not an especially complicated concept and you can find a lot of weapon motion values for MHGen available here. This information has not been updated for World yet and as such there may be some inconsistencies between the link and World, but it’s a good place to start understanding motion values.

I’ve compiled the list of MVs for every weapon into a post:

Monster Armor

Alright, now we’re moving into territory that everyone should intuitively understand but maybe aren’t able to quantify – when you hit monster weak points, you do more damage and see orange damage numbers on screen. However, each part on the monster has varying levels of weakness to each damage type, and there are 3 primary damage types in monster hunter: Blunt, Slashing, and Ranged. Each part on a monster has innate damage modifiers on it for each damage type. These modifiers haven’t been datamined / determined for the monsters yet, but they’re available for previous games so I’ll use an example from Generations on my favorite monster: The Deviljho.

Body PartSlashingBluntRangedFireWaterIceThunderDragonKOExhaust
Hind Legs43383555510100100

Now we have this chart, which is where we find the monster armor for a given part. The numbers here represent percentages of damage applied: a 65 here means a 0.65x modifier in the damage formula. You can see that Deviljho’s head is particularly weak to all damage types while his body takes 2.6x less damage per hit.

For elemental damage, the modifiers are much lower. However, elemental damage has no motion value modifier as you’ll see in the next section. What this means is ele damage is applied in full on every swing, whether it’s the finisher in your combo or one of the middle attacks in a dual blade Blade Dance attack. Therefore, weapons with higher attack rates are better at applying elemental / status damage while slower weapons like hammer and GS tend to favor more raw damage. However, these end up balancing out in terms of absolute damage output as the gs / hammer will put out considerably more raw damage per attack that lands, and all weapons are plenty viable running with raw + ele damage.

KO and Exhaust damage are special, they’re static values built into certain attacks for certain weapons that cannot be modified outside of armor skills. The hammer triple triangle finisher (“golf swing”) deals 50 KO damage whether it’s the starter hammer or the maxed out HR diablos 2 hammer. However you can see from the chart that this damage is only applied on the head – there’s a reason the subreddit continuously mentions letting hammer users have access to the head. Exhaust is the same way, but can be applied to any body part.

Quest / Rage Modifier

Adding in one last section just for accuracy / completion’s sake.

Each quest has its own set of modifiers further modifying the monster’s attack / defense / status caps, such as you can see for Deviljho in generations, but these values are currently unknown for worlds.

Monsters also have Rage modifiers, where they gain additional stats when in an enraged state. These modifiers are entirely dependent on the monster and you can see some example modifiers on the mh wiki page.

While these modifiers have not been confirmed to be in World yet (and assuming they are in worlds, we don’t have numbers), as ShadyFigure said: “They’ve existed in every game in the series so far, I’d be surprised if they were removed now … but it’s a common enough thing that I think it’s better to ask for proof of it being gone than proof of it existing”

And there you have it! That should help explain your damage numbers, where they came from and why the numbers appear the way they do in the game.

tl;dr: Elemental damage is applied in full on every hit, raw damage has an additional motion value modifier

Bonus Section: Status effects

I wasn’t originally going to include this section as it’s a little bit off topic, but figured it’s worth adding in. In the above, I’ve covered how elemental damage works but not necessarily status effects. Status is inflicted on approximately 1/3 of your hits. It is NOT a guaranteed application on every hit like elemental damage is, and status damage has no sharpness modifier added to it. Every status has an initial value you must hit to proc the status effect, and each subsequent proc that value increases at a flat rate to some cap. Going back to our Deviljho example, see the following table:

Poison1005060045sec10/10sec360 (8/1sec)

This table has a couple things to look at, and let’s start with Poison. Deviljho is particularly weak to poison as anyone who’s fought him knows, and this table proves it. To poison him initially, you have to do 100 poison damage. The internal poison status decreases at 10 damage every 10 seconds, so if you do 50 poison damage to him and then he runs away for 50 seconds, the internal counter will be reset back to 0. Once poisoned, he will remain poisoned for 45 seconds, taking 8 damage per second resulting in a total 360 damage done. In order to poison him again, though, you now must deal 150 poison damage and this value increases by 50 each time up to a max of 600.

Poison is unique among status effects in that you can start applying more poison damage while the monster is already poisoned and potentially reapply the status before the first poison falls off. Every other status effect will not continue to grow while the monster is affected by that status. Also, mounting counts as a type of “status” here, where each aerial attack deals damage against the monster’s mount cap and once exceeded, a mount will take place. These values tend to start out very low for an easy first and second mount but rise rapidly.

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