Mordhau tier list: The best weapons to rule the melee

  

Nestled within the mayhem of Mordhau’s clashing metal is a beautiful ballet of blades, and we'll help you pick out your dancing shoes with this Mordhau tier list. Weapon stats matter, but they're only part of the story. There's no single best tool for the job: Combat in Mordhau is a physics puzzle where your creativity and feel for a weapon will determine how you land a hit. Use this guide to get a feel for what weapons excel in various scenarios, and as you play you’ll find your own preferences will develop alongside your skills.

Before you read:

In addition to showing you which weapons are the best and worst, each entry also comes with a handy stat sheet that helps you compare stats like damage and timing. Explanations for those stats are found in the section below the tier list, if you need them, along with some handy tips about how to build your own mercenary. Use the table of contents to skip to these sections. 

The best Mordhau weapons

These top-tier weapons each bring a special little something to combat.

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Spear

With the longest reach in the game, the Spear quite literally has a lot going for it. Thrusts are amazing, with body two-shots against all but the heaviest armor, and can even drag. In fact, spears are one of the only good weapons which rely so heavily on a single swing type. The alt-mode is also useful, trading some reach for more speed to help you vary your thrusts, and giving significantly more power to strikes. 

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Mace

The mace isn’t flashy and it doesn’t have a long reach. But for me, the Mace is, quite simply, Old Reliable. It kills with two swings into the body against every armor type, and gives plenty of time to drag or accel. Maces are an excellent choice as a backup or primary weapon for all situations. 

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Executioner’s Sword

Big range, big damage, and only seven points. Use the time strikes give you to drag or accel so you aren’t punished for avoiding thrusts. The first time you take a wide horizontal swing and decapitate two people with the same motion, you’ll fall in love. 

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Pole Axe

A very good all-around two-hander, the Pole Axe will let you duel better than a more focused weapon like the Executioner’s Sword, and unlike the Halberd leaves some more points for armor or perks. The alt mode helps against heavier armor, but still doesn’t guarantee a body two-shot so be prepared.   

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Crossbow

With almost no draw time, the highest projectile speed, and the ability to immediately swap to another weapon and save the reloading for later, the Crossbow is the most forgiving and useful ranged weapon. Just remember to pick a good backup weapon to use when you get rushed. 

B-tier Mordhau weapons

These weapons are still a great pick but sometimes are outmatched or have specific flaws.

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Arming Sword

Versatile and inexpensive, the Arming Sword is the best all-around backup weapon on a budget. It suffers against heavily armored opponents, but has great thrust and swing damage against the lightly armored risk-takers of the battlefield.  

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Falchion

For its extra point over the Arming Sword, we get a guaranteed body three-shot against heavy armor and a slightly bigger window for drags/accels.  

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Rapier

Excellent thrusts and very fast, the Rapier can be an annoying weapon to deal with when paired with a shield. However, experienced enemies will punish your predictable attack patterns if you rely solely on thrusts. 

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Maul

The only weapon with a guaranteed one-shot kill, the Maul has devastating swing damage and lots of time for drags/accels. It suffers from short range, so make sure to keep up the pressure and stay on the enemy so you’re not outdistanced. 

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Zweihander

Boasting a variety of strikes and thrusts all with similar timing and damage—not to mention its enormous range—the Zweihander stands tall as a good choice for any number of enemies. 

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Estoc

Between its primary and alt-mode grip, the Estoc is the most versatile weapon you can get for six points. An excellent choice if you’re wanting some reach but the ability to load out with armor or talents. 

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Short Spear

120cm of range for four points is hard to argue with. Strikes aren’t very good, and that’s what knocks it down here, but it can kill with three blows to the body in heavy armor. Throw damage is incredibly good, especially if you can bean people in the head consistently, except for the fact that you’re throwing your weapon away. 

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Greatsword

Less power than the Executioner’s Sword, but more versatile and a touch more range with a similar goal. It’s still likely to land a lot of two-shots, but you’ll feel the lower power in the long run with fewer kills on your initial hit. If you find yourself dueling more often than wading in, this will be a better fit for you. 

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Longsword

Simpler to use and less expensive than the Estoc, the Longsword loses some of the range, but brings consistent body three-shots with both strikes and thrusts. At only five points, it fulfills a similar role to the Estoc and is probably down to personal preference. 

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Bastard Sword

Another solid choice in the ‘versatile one-handed weapons’ lineup. The Bastard Sword shares a unique alt mode with the Messer that makes it a two-handed grip, but there’s not much of a difference between the two modes. 

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Messer

The slightly slower, slightly longer cousin of the Bastard Sword. It costs a point more and trades worse thrusts for better strikes, but it will still kill with two body shots on lighter armor and three shots on heavies. 

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Throwing Axe

The best of the backup ranged weapons, the throwing axe has punch, even against heavy armor, but only two ammo. There won’t often be room for a backup throwing weapon in many builds, but this is your best friend if you prefer them. 

C-tier Mordhau weapons

You may find a favorite here, but these fall short of the mark.

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Eveningstar

The Eveningstar has good body damage across the board, and an extra 30cm in length, but the Maul's one-hit-kills are so much more satisfying to pull off. 

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Halberd

At a massive points investment, the Halberd has the range, especially in alt-mode, and good damage with strikes and thrusts. However, it’s glacially slow, and can be hard to land a blow without being interrupted. 

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Recurve Bow

Shorter range, and faster than the Longbow. While it’s technically faster than the Crossbow, the lowered damage means you'll have to land more shots to fell an enemy, which is a bad trade. 

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Bardiche

The only real advantage over the Pole-Axe is that the alt-mode increases the Baridiche's range. It’s also more predictable since the damage significantly favors striking over thrusting, so knowledgeable enemies will know how to counter you. Just stick with the trusty hatchet on a stick. 

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Axe

The hatchet on a much shorter stick. Shorter range than the Arming Sword, less versatility, no real advantage in damage. Stick with the better options at two points. 

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Quarterstaff

The Quarterstaff is only saved from being firewood by being a one-point weapon that has 120cm range, quick attacks, and works just as well with strikes or thrusts. But the damage is so bad you might as well surrender now. 

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Cleaver

Fast, and the strike damage isn’t bad, but the thrust damage is pitiful. You’ve basically got to be wearing your enemy like a blanket to hit them, though, which makes the Cleaver a hard pass. 

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War Axe

The damage is good, but the range is so short it’s difficult to land hits against other two-handed weapons. The thrust damage is also roughly the same as a pool noodle. 

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Battle Axe

Losing the guaranteed body two-shot on heavy armor hurts, but the significant range boost is a help. However, even with the slightly faster alt-mode giving options, the lack of thrusting damage really limits your options in combat and makes you easier to predict. 

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Longbow

More expensive than the Crossbow by four points with less damage against heavier armors. The Longbow can perform in skilled hands, but it’s still not as reliable. There’s so much advantage in the Crossbow there just isn’t a huge reason to take the Longbow. 

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Billhook

The Billhook has the unique ability to pull people closer or knock them further away (depending on whether you strike or thrust), but it’s not an ability I’ve seen be very effective in practice. With decent thrust damage, comparable strike damage, and good range, it should be a winner, but it’s outclassed as a primary weapon and too expensive to be a backup. 

The worst weapons in Mordhau

Suitable only as door stops and paperweights.

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Rock

With five ammo, the Rock is a great way to annoy or taunt your enemies. It's useless otherwise. 

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Throwing Knife

The extra two ammo and 200ms less draw time doesn’t make up for the pitiful damage drop against heavier armors. 

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Warhammer

Short range and three-shots against all body armors for just two points, but you're better off spending the extra two points and taking a mace instead. 

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Blacksmith Hammer

The damage isn’t awful considering it’s not a real weapon, but you’ll wish rapidly you could just use it to make a sword instead of fighting with it. But it's great if you're playing a supportive role in battle. 

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Wooden Mallet

No amount of advice will prepare you for how helpless you’ll feel if you’re caught with only the wooden mallet. 

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Dagger

The speediest attacks with bad strike damage, mediocre thrust damage and no range. Just spend another point and get an Arming Sword unless you're trying to prove something. 

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Short Sword

A little bit of reach helps, but still makes this the worst one-point option alongside the Quarterstaff. 

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Training Sword

This spaghetti-sword is suitable only for bragging rights. 

How weapon stats work

Pro tips

Mordhau's combat is incredibly nuanced. Watch these guides to understand some advanced maneuvers. 

Drags and Accels manipulate the speed of your attacks.
Morphs are when you change your attack during windup.
Chambers are precise counter-attacks.
Feints are when you pretend to attack but don't.
Combos are a way to chain attacks.
Ripostes are a counterattack that follows a parry.

In Mordhau, weapon damage varies against different armor levels and body parts, and many weapons have alternate modes that change how they’re handled (or just let you chuck them at people and hope for the best). But there’s a lot more to the weapons, and I’m going to cover some of those stats here.

Damage & Armor is split up into head hits, body hits, and leg hits based on where your weapon connects. The level of armor is ranked from unarmored (0) to heavily armored (3) and will be based on what your target is wearing on that body part. You’ll learn quickly why going unarmored is incredibly dangerous in Mordhau. 

Length is quite simply how long the weapon is when swung. Since Mordhau uses weapon physics to determine hits, a long weapon means you don’t have to be as close to your opponent to hit him, which is obviously a good thing in many cases.

Windup is the amount of time it takes to begin the ‘damaging’ part of your swing, essentially the amount of time between when you click and when the magic happens. Release is how long the ‘damaging’ part of your swing lasts, which should match the animation you see for the swing. This is when you need to hit your opponent, and also when you want to do more advanced things like performing a drag or accel.

Recover is the largely static amount of time you need to wait after your Release finishes before you can start another attack. Combo is the amount of time before your next Release if you begin another attack during your previous one. This is a great way to keep the pressure up and avoid the Recover window.

Stop on Hit determines whether or not your weapon will stop when it delivers a hit, or if it will continue on and potentially hit another target. Weapons with blades generally pass through things they hit while blunt weapons do not. Block View Tolerances are measured in degrees of view from your cursor, and keeping your opponent’s attack inside this window will determine whether or not a parry will be successful. So far they’re fairly static.

Projectile Speed is a measure of how fast a thrown or fired weapon moves, with higher being quicker, whereas Gravity Scale shows how much a thrown or fired weapon will drop, with lower numbers going further with less drop. Draw is the amount of time it takes after you click and hold to be ready to release your shot, and Reload is the cool down period after you’ve done so before you can start a new shot. 

What makes a good build?

Further reading

Take your Mordhau mercenary skills to the next level with our builds guide. Or, if you really want to be a jerk, learn how to play Mordhau like a right bastard. You can also read our general tips if you need some help staying alive during the melee.

When you have a few games under your belt (and a small bag of gold to spend), your goal should be to create your own character. First, obviously, you have to spend some time getting fashion conscious with the many choices of clothes, emblems, colors, and accessories—just don’t spend all your gold on it right away.

As you begin to build up gold, it's well worth experimenting with different looks for your armor. With all the cosmetic options available, you can easily be deceptive with your armor. There’s value in being a 3 armor body who looks like a 1 armor body—it can mislead opponents into using alt-modes on a weapon that are less effective (or neglecting using one that would be more effective). All warfare relies on deception, even the kind that relies on selecting the right scarf to look like a peasant.

Once you’re done playing dress up with your fresh-faced recruit, there are a lot of excellent choices in the armory. Core to this is going to be your primary weapon, as its points cost is going to determine how much you have left for perks, armor, and backup weapons. I’d recommend picking up something that felt comfortable when you were playing the defaults. Things like the Maul, Executioner’s Sword, Spear, or Pole-Axe are a great if you felt comfortable with big heavy two handers, and something like a Short Spear, Mace, Arming Sword, or Rapier is a good choice if you want to use a shield, or have more points to play with.

I like to look at Perks next, while mentally assuming 5-8 points for armor. Things like Friendly (reducing friendly fire damage both ways), and Fireproof (reducing fire damage by 80%) can be amazing ways to spend your final point. You’ll have to plan more for Dodge (giving you a short hop to dodge attacks), or Bloodlust (refreshes you to full health after kills).

Usually the last few points (if you somehow have any left) are a great spot to put Throwing Axes, Fire Bombs, or even a Medic Bag or Bandage.