After digging around trying to find a "meta" weapon, I've decided to show my findings in a relatively simply way, by putting my words into a guide. I'll do a basic explanation of all the weapons and tools available in Mordhau, and when each weapon should ideally be used, since each has it's own niche of play it seems.
Stats: What Do They Actually Mean?
This guide shows all of the weapons in Mordhau and their advanced stats. What i'm going to try and explain are the stats themselves and how they translate to gameplay.
Should be obvious. How much damage the weapon does irregardless of where in the swing the weapon is in it's specified mode and location hit.
There are three (four, if we count combos, which generally won't apply to some weapons) speeds that weapons have.
- Windup: This is how long it takes for your character to "prepare" the swing. This is the point where the weapon is drawn back, and if you are hit during this windup, the swing will be canceled.
- Combo: A combo swing is an attack immediately followed up by an earlier attack, done by pressing the attack button again during the first swing. You get a slightly faster windup time, since you're not going through the recovery animation, and then another windup.
- Release: This is how long the weapon will actually deal damage, and is more or less the effective speed of the weapon during it's swing. A faster release timing makes for a faster full animation, while a slower timing makes for a slower animation, which can be beneficial for dragging or accelerating strikes.
- Recovery: If you don't combo your strike, or parry after a hit, this is how long it takes for you to be able to take another action with the weapon.
Detailed stats for a variety of factors, such as weapon size and such.
- Length: How long the weapon is according to the game engine. Longer weapons generally get longer, or more distant tracer spacing giving more effective range.
- Block View Tolerance: How close do you have to aim at the closest tracer in order to block an enemy attack. Higher values offer more tolerance, and in some cases can allow for multiple simultaneous blocks.
- Turn Cap: How mush you're slowed down during the release of a swing, in terms of effective angle. A lower value means you can turn less during the swing, while a high value allows for near 360 swings (though hits at the end of the swing generally deal next to no damage, nor flinching).
- Miss Cost: How much stamina is drained on missing a swing. It's a misconception among newer players that swings always cost stamina. They don't. Swings only cost stamina if you miss.
- Feint Cost: A feint is where the player "cancels" their swing or strike, usually to bait out a defensive action. A feint has a cost in terms of stamina to use, though this appears to be 10 universally.
- Morph Cost: The cost of changing a swing to a stab, and vice versa. This also appears to be a universal value of 7.
- Stamina Drain: This is how much stamina the weapon will drain from the enemy if the hit is parried, before the resistance of the blocking weapon. Higher values will punish parries more.
- Stamina Drain Resistance: How much of the above stamina drain is negated by doing a parry. A Zweihander can deal 20 stamina damage, while also blocking 13. A zweihander versus another will cost the defender 7 stamina when the strike is blocked.
- Stop On Hit: Simple, does the weapon stop when you hit an enemy. Generally only true for blunt weapons. However, if you kill the target using a weapon where the strike is normally stopped, the strike will continue through.
- Can Combo: Can the weapon be used to combo strikes together? If so, then the weapon can combo, if not, the attacker must wait through recovery, and do another windup.
- Hit Knockback: How much the weapon pushes an enemy away on a successful hit. Select weapons with negative values can actually pull the enemy towards the user.
- Wood Damage: How much damage the weapon deals to player built defenses, which are not objectives.
- Stone Damage: How much damage the weapon will deal to actual map objectives, such as the barricades of the castle on the map Grad.
- Is Block Held: Only applies to shields, a held block does not need to match parry timing to block.
- Block Movement Restriction: Does the weapon require the player to slow down during their block?
- Can Flinch: Determines whether or not the weapon will interrupt the enemies action as a result of a hit.
1 Point Weapons
A deceptively good weapon for a single gear point. Favors slashes to the head, and can two shot anyone not wearing third tier armor if hitting the head. The damage drops off quite a bit when striking the body, but it can still two shot people wearing light/no armor. Thrusts are pointless though, literally. The alt throwing mode can one shot unarmored heads, but is very underwhelming versus any form of armor. A slash warms up in just under half a second, and the release is half a second long. Weak on the defensive side, and repeated parries will cause you to drop the weapon.
The stereotype "backup weapon". Same reach as the cleaver, with faster attack speeds, at the cost of not being particularly good at slashing, instead favoring stabs slightly. This weapon is generally weaker overall compared to the cleaver as a result, though three stabs to the head can kill a 3 armored opponent, anything that isn't a strike to the head will do less overall damage. The dagger is a bit more forgiving of misses than the cleaver however, and can be thrown the same as a cleaver for the same results.
Basically, a rather big dagger. Slightly slower than one too, better head striking damage and worse when slashing at an unarmored body, strangely, while also being better at slashing and stabbing the armored body. This weapon is preferable for fighting opponents with armor, over unarmored enemies it seems, but only so marginally, that it generally won't matter. What you're getting here over a dagger is slightly more armor damage and range.
A throwing weapon which is generally used to obscure vision in a fight, and can be used to cancel out a pursuer's "chase bonus" if line of sight is blocked by the smoke. Deals 5 damage on a direct hit, unless it's a headshot, which is 10.
The wooden mallet is the first, weaker building tool, often found near the capture points of a frontline map, and can be carried intentionally. This is not really intended to be used as a legit weapon, but it does have a few interesting combat perks related to it. Swings will 4 shot anyone with consecutive headshots, but the warmup is slower than the other 1h weapons. Stabbing with the mallet is actually not much worse than swinging, and has the unusual perk that missing a stab costs next to no stamina. Throwing it at someone is usually useless, but it can finish off wounded enemies if they're really hurting already, and it will knock off half the HP of anyone not wearing head armor.
Bandages heal 50 HP per use, for yourself. You get two per slot. Pretty simple, although you must stop moving for a second to apply one.
The weapon of choice for those who are musically inclined. It seems to have similar stats to the wooden mallet, with slightly more reach, and can't be thrown, instead producing beautiful (or horrifying) music.
A big o'l stick. It's surprisingly fast for a weapon of it's size, and can catch a great many of people off guard. Stabs do the same damage as a swing, and can four shot people if the head is struck repeatedly. The alternative mode allows you to choke up on the staff, sacrificing a quarter of the range and a small amount of swing damage for slightly faster windup, and faster swing or stab, leaving the stab damage unaffected.
It takes considerable effort to kill someone with this weapon, as it only does at most, a tenth of someone's HP, even when striking an unarmored head, and will require on average 20 successful hits to anyone wearing body armor. It is, of course, a good training weapon if you can find another willing participant to duel you with this weapon.
2 Point Weapons
A surprisingly good all round weapon. This is the longest 2 point weapon available, and it's got very solid all round damage stats, until it starts to run up against second tier armor, where it's damage drops off significantly, and it becomes very difficult to kill anyone with third tier armor using this weapon. The alternative mode allows you to throw the sword, similar to a dagger, and this will one shot people wearing padded, or tier one head armor, regardless of HP, as well as knock off half the HP of people wearing higher tier head armor.
The common fighting axe is a rather good, all round slashing weapon, with terrible stabbing ability, as one would probably assume. One slash to the head will immediately decapitate anyone not wearing a hat, and will two shot people wearing light body armor, as well as three shot people wearing actual armor, assuming you don't strike at the legs. The axe is also a pretty good objective and defensive structure remover due to it's rather high wood damage for it's price.
The "good" version of the wooden mallet. The blacksmith hammer delivers consistent damage across all armor types, and will three shot everything if struck to the head, and four shot anything to the body. It will also significantly faster build defenses in frontline modes compared to the wooden mallet. The throw is equally useless though.
Hard counter to the toolbox, catapults, and decent area denial weapon against people not using the fireproof perk. People without the fireproof perk will take 24 damage per server tick, after their first second of being within the AoE. People with the fireproof perk will only take 5 damage per tick however.
More of an annoyance than a legit weapon, however five rocks can deal some pretty decent damage to unarmored foes if you can hit the head. They will three shot anyone without heavy armor to the head, but are generally useless otherwise.
A pair of throwing axes. Quite deadly against pretty much everything, and will one shot padded armor and lower to the head. Both axes will also kill anyone wearing tier two armor if the torso is hit. Heavily armored foes will be able to withstand both axes to the head however, if just barely.
Four throwing knives. These can't one shot anyone, even unarmored enemies with a strike to the head. However, they can be re-thrown relatively quickly, and can two shot lightly armored foes, at the cost of being useless versus armor.
The utility hand weapon. It's relatively small, and reasonably fast. It's a weapon intended to go for the head, as strikes in the normal mode to the head will two shot everything. The alternate mode, where the spike is used is considered to be an edged attack, and will cleave through enemies, as well as deal significantly more damage when hitting the head, at the cost of damage everywhere else against armored enemies. The alternate mode swing doesn't break any breakpoints however, and generally shouldn't be used when striking the body if possible.
Basically the medieval version of a landmine. Once set, and someone steps in it, they will either be killed if they are wearing light/no leg armor, or they will fall, and be helpless until they manage to stand again, on top of taking at least 50 damage.
A bag which heals people who interact with it. Interacting with a thrown medic bag heals players to 100% health, regardless of their prior state, though the interaction takes a full 1.5 seconds. Each bag has four full heals in it.
Technically not a weapon, since you can't hit people with it, but overall a good defensive tool to combine with other single handed weapons. Recently nerfed to have a lower parry angle forgiveness than many weapons, it's still quite useful to have as a held block is easier to use than parry timing, especially against multiple enemies.
A type of shield generally worn by crossbowmen to cover their back while they reload their weapon. It's very hard to hit someone wearing a pavise shield from behind using a throwing weapon, or a shot weapon like a bow. They can also be placed on the ground as deployable cover, but they can be knocked down immediately with a kick.
One of the two "parrying shields" the game has to offer. Instead of a held block, the targe works similar to your standard weapon parry. It's got slightly lower parrying tolerance than most weapons however, and generally should only be used as a buffer to not drop the weapon when you parry.
3 Point Weapons
The falchion is basically, the bigger, more effective brother of the cleaver. The key differences being that the falchion has an actually effective stab, which is decent, and the extra range it gets. It will three shot heavy armor to the body, unlike the cleaver which needs four hits. The windup is a bit slower at just over half a second, but longer release of also half a second allows the weapon to be more effectively dragged or accelerated.
Surprisingly, much better than the Targe, with a much more forgiving parrying angle, except for overhead incoming strikes. The parry drain negation is also relatively high.
The big o'l kite shield, enough to cover the entire front of your character. It's very effective at stopping arrows, and sweeping strikes to the feet, and pretty much everything in your forwards arc to be honest. Holding the block basically blinds you since the shield takes up so much space on the screen.
4 Point Weapons
The classic "♥♥♥ your armor" weapon. The mace is a brutally effective, except short, and slow weapon, which will two shot everyone with two strikes anywhere above the waist. It's stabs are a bit faster, but significantly less effective, especially if the head is not hit. It can be thrown, but it's nowhere near as effective as edged weapons hitting unarmored foes, though it will mess up armored foes quite a bit.
A lot of people hate fighting this weapon, though looking at the stats, it's hard to see why, especially if you wear armor. The weapon will instantly kill anyone with an unarmored poke to the head, and two shot people wearing light armor. Stabs will require three to four shots against an armored foe to take them down, but slashes can require five, or even six hits to kill someone wearing level two armor and up. What the weapon has going for it is a very fast windup speed, but a relatively quick release speed, making it harder to drag, and adjust onto target. If you're having trouble fighting this weapon, work on footwork, and repostes.
Another weapon people tend to hate, but probably shouldn't. The weapon is pretty long, at 120m, which is saying something, as it's going to have the same reach of a greatsword. However, it's got a relatively slow stabbing windup, and a very fast release period. Slashes generally won't kill people, but the stabs are brutal, even against armor, though three stabs are required to kill someone wearing full heavy armor. The weapon is also throwable, for significant damage, and will one shot everything but the toughest armor on a hit to the head, and is devastating if anywhere else is hit.
One of the bigger "one handed" swords that can be wielded with a shield. Overall, a good utility weapon, if a tad weaker compared to the falchion a tier before it. Where the difference is made up is the alternate (or primary, i'm not sure) mode of holding the weapon with both hands, which extends the release period of the weapon allowing for a longer drag to throw off an enemies parry timing, as well as the size of course. Swinging with one hand makes the release faster than the falchion, swinging with both makes it longer.
5 Point Weapons
The Messer is the slightly bigger brother of the bastard sword, and is the last weapon which can be held with one hand. The messer deals "breakpointing" damage at all levels of armor, except for leg strikes compared to it's brother. This weapon will decapitate an unarmored head, and two shot everything else that isn't a heavy chestpiece. This is at the cost of inferior stabs, by a wide margin. The alternate mode is different as well. Unlike a slower slash of the bastard sword, you get a faster slash and stab.
The first polearm on the list. The Billhook is unique for a variety of reasons. It'll one shot unarmored heads, and two shot most other armors, except for heavies. However, the unique parts are, if you hit someone with a slash in the "normal" mode, you will actually pull the enemy towards you, which is fantastic for people trying to abuse the reach of their weapon. In the standard mode a stab will push enemies. When you switch to the alternate mode, the stab will actually pull the enemy instead of push them, and the strike will beat them away. This does not change the damage the weapon does at all, nor the timing. The billhook is also the only weapon which can allow you to knock someone off a horse, which will ragdoll the enemy if you hit the horse anywhere.
The utility, good at everything sword of Mordhau, and one of the few weapons which actually let you use the Mordhau grip. The weapon is pretty devastating against lightly armored foes, and will two shot most, until tier two armor comes along, and the weapon struggles a bit. The mordhau grip trades the length of the weapon for armor penetrating power by using the guard of the handle as a mace. Unfortunately, the alternate mode generally isn't worth using, since the loss of reach, as well as longer windups make the mode less effective than fighting normally, unless you are good at hitting the head of the target, in which case, two hits is a kill.
A very powerful, if deceptively short ranged weapon. The war axe will kill everything in at most two hits, saving for a leg hit to heavy armor. It'll one shot unarmored people if hitting the chest or higher, and decapitate light armor users. Stabs are basically pointless, but they will cause a flinch if you need breathing room. Swings from this weapon will pretty much immediately take down any defensive structures in your path as well.
6 Point Weapons
A slightly more refined, and longer version of the war axe. It's still going to decapitate light armor wearers, but it's not going to kill unarmored people in a single strike, and it loses it's breakpoint over heavy armor. Alternate mode of choking down on the axe allows for a faster windup of the swing, and more control during release at the cost of range, obviously. A very destructive weapon for objective based maps as well.
Basically, the Rapier in the form factor of a greatsword. The weapon handles similarly to the longsword, but with more length, and greater emphasis on the stab, instead of the strike. The estoc break multiple two shot breakpoints across multiple armor grades for stabs, but is much worse when striking. The Mordhau grip is just about as effective as the longsword, but with slightly more range.
7 Point Weapons
The lazy man's bow. The crossbow is overall, a rather effective and easy to use weapon, which can literally be described as "point and kill" if the enemy isn't wearing decent armor. The major drawback it has though is the rather long reload speed.
For when you need to compensate for something. The executioners sword has an extremely slow windup and swing, but connecting a hit usually has a massive payoff of either killing someone in one hit, especially in group fights, or ♥♥♥ them off greatly in one on one fights. This weapon will instantly kill anyone not wearing armor, regardless of where the hit lands. Since the weapon doesn't have a head, stabbing is generally ineffective, but a little faster than a full swing.
One of the largest swords in the game, short of the zweihander. The greatsword is a bit of a slower weapon, but one which can be devastating if used right, with it's long and relatively slow release periods. It will two shot enemies of all classes with a shot to the head, but the weapon starts to struggle to do effective damage against foes with tier 2 and up body armor. Stabs are more effective against tier two armor, and the alt mode of choking down on the blade makes stabs come out faster, and with more control than otherwise, though swinging in the alternate mode is punished heavily in terms of damage if done so,
Also known as the "headsploder" for it's ability to one shot everyone on a hit to the head. It's got the slowest windup of any weapon in the game however, and misses are usually punished severely in terms of stamina loss. The weapon cal also be thrown at people, but there's a significant gravity multiplier making the weapon very unweildy the throw, though this can also one shot people if thrown at the head.
The footmans utility weapon. Axe, spear, and hammer in one. The axe side is very effective at dealing with unarmored foes, and will often kill in two swings. Once armor comes into play this is less true however, though the difference in sides doesn't seem to matter unless you aim for the head. The hammer side warms up slightly slower, even while stabbing, and costs range, but it will two shot heavy head armor, instead of leaving a sliver of health. Stabs will two shot everything that isn't a tier three chestpiece.
Generally considered to be pretty terrible, mostly due to it's inaccuracy, and poor damage versus armor. However it can still one shot headshot unarmored heads. It's also pretty quick on the draw, and refiring it can let you plink away at enemy health bars.
8 Point Weapons
A potentially devastating weapon if used properly, capable of severing multiple heads in one swing. The primary mode is a slightly lower damage, and lower range swing, which comes out faster, and can deal damage longer. The alternate mode lets you hold the weapon further down, allowing for sweeping, even faster attacks at long range, on top of additional damage. This weapon only really slows down upon hitting heavy armor, in which case you need three strikes to kill if you hit the chest only. Stabs are rather weak however.
For those who want a bit more utility than the maul. The eveningstar is a two handed mace, with a spear point at the end of the head. A standard attack will kill pretty much everything if you hit twice, while choking down on the grip in alt mode sacrifices range for more powerful stabs with the point.
10 Point Weapons
The long spear is one of the more hated weapons in Mordhau, mostly because of it's long range, and ability to be effective when used by basically anyone, even new players, especially in frontline. Slashes in it's primary mode are borderline useless, though they have a long release period. Choking down on the grip costs range, but makes slashing very viable, on top of boosting the already high stab damage.
The "two hander" is the biggest sword in Mordhau, and it offers incredible damage, and reach, which is capable of devastating large groups of enemies in a single swing. The Zweihander is more than capable of killing most enemies in two swings. It's stab is also very powerful, but can be made even more so by choking down on the blade, and potentially one shotting even tier two armor to the head.
11 Point Weapons
The halberd is the only melee weapon that costs 11 points in this game to use. This is because of it's spectacular versatility. It's extremely long, it's got a very powerful slash with both heads, and it's effective at stabbing as well. The primary mode is intended to decapitate lightly armored enemies, the alternate mode is intended to punch through armor, and provides extra range though it's considered a blunt attack. The alternate mode doesn't change any breakpoints however. The weapon also has a pretty significant miss penalty.
The biggest, and slowest firing bow in the game. It's deadly versus unarmored enemies, and will often one shot them. It's slightly better against armored enemies as well, but overall still weak. The projectile speed is relatively quick however. It's a high skill weapon which rewards headshots above all else, and can two shot headshot, even the best of armor.