In MHW, Affinity is key. While Monster Hunter World is the most accessible Monster Hunter game for new players yet, some of the game’s mechanics remain overly complicated and opaque. One of these mechanics is the aforementioned Affinity: a stat on every weapon in the game, but not explicitly explained. We’ll help you out with what Affinity is in MHW and how to raise it!
What is MHW Affinity?
The short version? Affinity measures how likely you are to land a critical hit on a monster when attacking. Critical hits deal 25 percent more damage when they activate. So higher Affinity is highly recommended if you want to do as much damage as possible.
Zero Affinity won’t affect your hits at all. However, there is also negative Affinity. Negative Affinity presents a chance to deal weaker attacks. These weaker hits deal 25 percent less damage than normal. It’s difficult to avoid negative Affinity early in the game due to limited equipment, but Affinity is an important stats in the higher level hunts.
So how do you raise Affinity? There are quite a few different ways.
Weapon Affinity – MHW Affinity Guide
Weapons are your initial source of Affinity (or negative Affinity). The highest Affinity can get with your weapon alone is 30 percent. Although that’s very rare. That being said, you still want to use a weapon that has at least zero Affinity to start, if your build allows it. That way you’re not trying to dig yourself out of a hole.
You can see a given weapon’s Affinity just under its sharpness gauge when viewing items at the smithy. You’ll also probably notice a trade-off. Weapons with low or negative Affinity (like Deviljho or Rajang gear) tend to do higher base damage. So it’s often smart to use low Affinity gear against the right target. Just try to match your weapon’s damage type to your target’s weaknesses, as always.
Affinity Skills – MHW Affinity Guide
There are also multiple skills you can get from weapons, armor, and decorations that raise your Affinity. Here they are below:
Affinity Sliding: For this skill, slide for a few seconds to activate it. Once Affinity Sliding is activated, you gain 30 percent Affinity for 15 seconds. It’s a personal favorite of mine as a Dual Blade user, since one of the most damaging and combo heavy attacks starts by sliding. It does not work with the Charge Blade’s slide attack, because the animation isn’t long enough. And on most other weapon types, it’s generally considered pretty weak.
Agitator: This is an interesting one, and great for hunts with harder monsters. Whenever a monster becomes enraged (generally, when they roar to try and stun you), you’ll get a boost in both Attack and Affinity. At the normal max level, Level 5, you gain 20 extra Attack and 15 percent Affinity. Agitator is active until the monster calms down, too. So it’s a great chance to really lay the damage on.
Brachydios armor also offers the Agitator Secret set bonus in MHW. This lets you raise Agitator to Level 6 or Level 7. Maxed out this way, you get an extra 28 attacl and 20 percent Affinity. This is particularly potent in Iceborne, since you can now forcibly agitate any large monster in the game by launching it into a wall with your Clutch Claw!
Attack Boost: This skill is more for raising your attack, but Levels 4-7 of the skill also offer an extra five percent Affinity — which stacks nicely with the sizable Attack bonus.
Critical Eye: The basic skill that raises Affinity. At Level 7, the max level for this skill, you get an additional 40 percent Affinity. Impressive!
Critical Boost: This doesn’t technically affect your Affinity. Instead, it raise the amount of damage a given critical hit does by up to 30 percent at Level 3.
More MHW & Iceborne:
- Safi’Jiva MHW Siege Guide – Awakened Weapons & Transforming Armor
- MHW Grand Appreciation Fest Guide – Gratitude Ticket & Space Armor
- ‘Surprise’ MHW Monster, Safi’Jiva, Gets a Siege and ‘Awakened Weapons’
Latent Power: This is a very good skill, when it’s up, but can be difficult to activate. At Level 1 through Level 5, Latent Power triggers when you take a total of 180 damage from an enemy, or when five minutes elapse after the start of a fight. Then it continues to trigger over and over again once those same requirements are met once more. The skill increases Affinity while lowering stamina use for 90 seconds — with a 50 percent increase and decrease respectively at Level 5.
You can also get the Latent Power Secret skill from Zinogre or Stygian Zinogre gear. This raises the Latent Power cap to Level 7. This increases the effects of Latent Power, but more importantly reduces the requirements to activate it. With Level 6 or Level 7 Latent Power you only need to take 150 damage or wait 4.5 minutes. The effect then lasts for a total of two minutes each time.
Maximum Might: With the release of MHW: Iceborne, Maximum Might underwent a major overhaul. The skill triggers various levels of bonus Affinity whenever your stamina stays full for an unbroken four seconds. The timing and values shake out like this:
- Level 1: An extra 10 percent Affinity, lasting for two seconds after stamina is used
- Level 2: An extra 20 percent Affinity, lasting for three seconds after stamina is used
- Level 3: An extra 30 percent Affinity, lasting for three seconds after stamina is used
- Level 4: An extra 40 percent Affinity, lasting for four seconds after stamina is used (requires the Maximum Might Secret skill from Glavenus armor or an Awakened Weapon)
- Level 5: An extra 40 percent Affinity, triggering as soon as your stamina is full, but goes away as soon as you use stamina (requires the Maximum Might Secret skill from Glavenus armor or an Awakened Weapon)
Weakness Exploit: If you’re good at hitting weak spots (and particularly if you use a Bow or Bowgun), this skill is for you! At max Level 3, you get 50 percent more Affinity when hitting monsters’ weak spots, plus up to 20 percent bonus Affinity on parts wounded with the Clutch Claw. Combined with other skills, those with good aim can land critical hits almost constantly.
The Affinity Booster – MHW Affinity Guide
The Affinity Booster is a tool you can unlock. It creates a temporary red cloud, similar to the Health Booster, and anyone that walks through it gets 50 percent more Affinity for 20 seconds. It’s a great item that helps free up your weapon and armor sets for other skills while compensating for low Affinity.
It’s not the easiest tool to get in the game, however. You have to go through a series of quests to grab the item. The journey begins with the six-star quest “A Tingling Taste”, which requires Hunter Rank 11 to undertake. Then you have to complete the delivery quest “A Master’s Toast.” Next is another six-star quest, “Stuck in Their Ways”, and another delivery quest called “A Fire-Spewing Brew.”
You’re not done yet, however… Next, you’ll have to take on “A Sore Site”, a seven-star quest that needs Hunter Rank 13 to begin. Finally, after completing all of these, you’ll unlock “RRRRRumble in the Waste!,” the final seven-star quest needed to obtain the Affinity Booster. It’s a long road, but it’s worth going through for this helpful tool!
How Important is Affinity? – MHW Affinity Guide
Of course, depending on what weapon you’re using, Affinity may be less important than other stats. It’s important to decide if you want to raise your Affinity as high as possible, or just settle for whatever your weapon of choice gives you. Your decoration slots and gear skills might be put to better use defensively.
Weapon types that offer a lot of faster, but less damaging attacks (such as Dual Blades) benefit greatly from high Affinity. You don’t get as much mileage out of the 25 percent damage boost, but you’re much more likely to land lots of critical hits. Meanwhile, weapons that only do a couple big-damage hits (e.g. the Hammer) benefit from guaranteed damage (like targeting elemental weaknesses) more than Affinity.
All that being said, most Monster Hunter players agree that Affinity is the number one offensive statistic in the game. It outperforms Attack Boost by a wide margin, combines well with skills like Master’s Touch and Critical Element or Critical Status, and is generally flexible to build around.
More Affinity is never a bad thing, but it’s imperative to take the weapon you’re using and the monster you’re fighting into account when building your weapon and armor set.