The Hunter Axe is a starting weapon. It is a hand axe in its normal state and a halberd (polearm) in its transformed state.
It is often considered one of the best weapons in the game for Strength/"Quality" builds. But even at the beginning of the game, with low stat investment, it is a good weapon even if players are going for a Skill build.
The reason for its popularity is how it has a varied and useful moveset, its great damage at the start of the game, the fact some attacks can stagger larger opponents, it's transformed state has decent range and it is also the weapon with the second highest Rally potential in the game, thus allowing players to be more aggressive and save on Blood Vials.
While in its untransformed form, the Hunter Axe has three heavy swings followed by a powerful smash in its R1 combo, which allows players to attack isolated targets much more quickly, and the charged attack is a devastating downward strike that strikes foes into the floor.
Upon transforming it, the player stretches the axe into its halberd mode and holds it with both hands. It now has more range, as well as more damage, but comes at the cost of less speed, as such, players can no longer mindlessly spam, especially when dealing with groups of enemies.
The weak attack combo is a slice, followed by a smash, then a thrust attack and a final slice. The L2 now becomes a powerful combo that has more range than the weak attacks, with high stagger, two wide slices followed by a powerful head smash. Meanwhile, the strong attack is a powerful smash, but when fully charged, it becomes a double spin attack that deals a lot of damage and sends enemies flying.
A lot of its attacks are possible to combo in many interesting and powerful ways, thus making it an excellent weapon for PVP as well.
- The smash attacks of this weapon all deal Blunt damage.
- Has the highest Rally in the game.
- The Hunter Axe has the highest Rally Potential of the starting weapons in the game. At most stages in the game, two swings of the unextended axe will recover most of the damage taken. Upon being hit, you have time to use all four hits of the R1 combo; this will be enough to regain nearly all lost health.
- The Hunter Axe is one of Father Gascoigne's weapons of choice, the other being a special version of the Hunter Pistol, which has a reload animation and the spread of a Hunter Blunderbuss.
- Father Gascoigne also has access to a special move with this weapon during his first phase: he will dash forward while running his axe across the ground, creating sparks, and executes an uppercut.
- This attack is not available to the player while using the weapon.
- The charged attack of the Hunter Axe when two-handing it greatly resembles the spin attack of the Halberds in the Dark Souls series, except that it is much more powerful and faster.
- Early footage of Bloodborne shows the Hunter Axe as doing 98 physical damage and having a durability of 440. Courtesy of IGN.