How to Prepare Yourself for Monster Hunter: World if You're a Newcomer

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Set for an international release on January 26, 2018, Monster Hunter: World promises to deliver the best possible hunting experience to date with its hunts, graphics, revamped mechanics, and other new additions.

Coming out for the PS4 and Xbox One -- as well as PC at some point -- the franchise has shifted from Nintendo consoles (particularly the WiiU and the 3DS), meaning that the game (as well as the possibility of future titles) will run on more powerful systems, as well as attract a wider variety of audiences since it will be accessible to more people. 

When the game was revealed during Sony's 2017 E3 conference, a lot of people were intrigued, particularly those who never played a Monster Hunter title before. Whether they never heard of the franchise or did not have a console to play the games on, the announcement sparked curiosity, intrigue, and excitement.

Monster Hunter isn't a complex game: kill or capture monsters, get their carves and items, use the carves to craft weapons and armor, and repeat all the way until the end of the game. However, there are more things to this game than you might imagine. As an experienced veteran player who played every single western Monster Hunter title, as well as a few Eastern ones, this guide offers insight that also hopes to inform and educate newcomers about the franchise, and what they need to know and prepare for when the Monster Hunter: World hits shelves in January of next year. 

Weapons

Monster Hunter offers many ways for you to take down beasts of various sizes. Fourteen different weapons exist, each catering to almost any particular playstyle, whether you are a defensive player, a player who likes to support team members, or even a player who wants to get in as many hits as possible and defeat the adversary in a timely fashion. Here are some examples of the weapons and which playstyles they mostly cater to:

Defensive/Tanky Playstyle

Your ideal weapons choice could be the Lance, Charge Blade, Gunlance, and even the Greatsword. All four have defensive capabilities with the first three choices having enormous shields to withstand attacks, and the Greatsword being an enormous blade that can also be used as a shield. Playing cautiously is sometimes a good thing, and if you're that type of player, you are certain to find a fitting weapon.

Action Playstyle

If you live and breath action and like to stay on top of the enemy like white on rice, your ideal weapons could be the Longsword, Dual Blades, or Hammer. Those weapons sacrifice defense for offense, and pay off with their power and DPS.

For instance, the Dual Blades are the fastest hitting weapons in the franchise, but are small in size, meaning you must stay close to the monster to hit it. The same can be said of the Hammer: though powerful, it has a small reach due to its size (PRO TIP: If you decide to ever pick up the Hammer, *always* attack the monster's head. You'll be dealing KO damage all the time, meaning that you'll be able to knock out the monster, immobilizing it, thus giving you and your teammates free hits without any sort of retaliation!)

Healer/Support Playstyle

Nothing screams "support" like the Hunting Horn. Depending on which Hunting Horn you use, you can play various melodies that will give you and your allies boosts like attack up, defense up, earplugs (protects from monster roars), heal, and many more buffs. Adding to all that, the Hunting Horn itself is also a blunt weapon, which means that it can also deal KO damage like the Hammer! So, not only are you buffing your allies, but you are also contributing to the hunt by fighting the monster.

Ultimately, whichever weapon you decide to use is primarily up to you. With 14 different weapons to choose from, you are guaranteed to find your ideal choice and stick with it. Test out all of the weapons, and whichever ones you find most comfortable, use them and see how well you do! But don't just stick with one weapon since some monsters will probably require you to switch your playstyle.

If you wish to know a bit more about every weapon in detail, check out this guide

Monsters and Their Parts

In Monster Hunter, it's possible to break a monster's body parts. If you keep attacking a certain body part for a period of time, you are going to either sever or break it, which in return, will give you various advantages later on.

For instance, the majority of the wyverns in Monster Hunter flail their tails trying to hit you. If you manage to slice the tail off, you will gain an advantage since the range of the tail's attack will be greatly reduced. Plus, you will also be able to carve the tail for an additional/bonus reward. 

Breaking a body part also increases your chances of getting a reward associated with that part. If you are in need of a horn in order to craft a weapon that pertains to that monster, be sure to break the actual horn during the hunt. If you are unable to, there is a chance that you'll still get the part as a reward, but it will not be as high as the probability of you getting it if you break it. 

Some traditional body parts that are breakable are: tails, horns, faces, claws/talons on the front legs, any sort of spikes, and wings. Keep that in mind during your hunts if you wish to either make the hunt a bit easier for yourself, or if you need a specific body part for a weapon or armor upgrade. 

Eat Before the Hunt

Before you depart on a quest, remember to always eat a meal. Depending on which ingredients you select, you will receive permanent buffs to your character (until you faint from an attack), as well as unlock special abilities that will aid you during the hunt. For example, by selecting meat with vegetables, you'll receive a small health and attack boost, but if you select fish with vegetables, you'll get a large stamina boost. With numerous ingredients to choose from, the combinations are limitless!

Depending on the quest, certain meal combos will be better than others. If you're embarking on a gathering quest, you'll probably want to go for a meal that gives you extra stamina or anything else in relation. But if it's a hunting quest, it's better to go for a meal that gives you an attack and defense buff.

A new addition to the game is the ability to eat at the start of the quest, at the campsite. If you forgot to eat back at the town, you won't have to worry since you can do just that at the start! You can also change your weapons and gear at the campsite too, something you couldn't do in previous titles.

Be Mindful of Time

One thing that really makes Monster Hunter unique is that the game incorporates a timer in all of its quests. The traditional time for you to complete a quest has always been 50 minutes, with some being 35 minutes (real life time).

According to Monster Hunter lore, being a monster hunter is a competitive career, and the Guild (which is basically the quest giver) tests its hunters to see if they are the right fit for the job. This also explains why quests become more and more difficult while the time limit remains the same.

Now, that doesn't mean that you should panic right away and say to yourself, "I'll never complete tougher quests if I'm rushing against the clock..." If you come prepared, know what you're doing, and have the experience (which you eventually will from playing the game), you'll definitely be able to complete those quests. 

Besides, as you get closer and closer to the time limit, the feeling of adrenaline takes over your body as you try to deliver the final blow, and then brag to your friends how you took down a very tough monster all by yourself! Nothing can beat that feeling. 

Prepare to Grind

Veteran players will know what I'm talking about when I say things like, "rubies," "mantles," and "plates." There is an urban legend in Monster Hunter that states that the game knows when you are trying to obtain very rare materials and will do everything it can to make sure you don't get those materials. Of course, that is all false simply because the aspect of RNG is present. 

From mid to late game, you *will* come across weapons and armor that you'll either have to craft or upgrade in order to obtain, and that they will require extremely rare monster parts. The drop rate of those items is about 1-2%, so... get ready and prepare to fight the same monster over and over again.

Those rare items can come in various forms such as carves, shiny drops, or as rewards at the end of the quest. It's very important that you don't feel discouraged if you aren't able to get the monster part at first. Keep going because eventually, you are guaranteed to obtain it one way or another! Not giving up and keeping your head up high is important, because the last thing you want to do is give up and have all that time go to complete waste.  

Experience the Hunt for Yourself

There's a reason why the quote "Experience is the best teacher" carries so much value and meaning. The only way for you to really prepare for Monster Hunter: World is to expose yourself to the franchise, and play any of the older games to experience hunting ferocious beasts firsthand. 

If you happen to have older consoles like a PSP, 3DS, or WiiU, pick any of the Monster Hunter games and give them a try. If you don't have any, watch gameplay videos on YouTube to better understand the game concepts and mechanics. Watch weapon tutorials, explanations on various things, the hunts, and so much more to enrich your understanding of this franchise. 

Also, a playable demo is coming out on December 9, exclusively on the PS4. So if you are a proud owner of the Sony console, be sure to try out the demo to not only experience Monster Hunter itself, but the game that you'll most likely be playing in January. 

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If you are a veteran player, what other advice and tips would you give to newcomers? Be sure to share your advice and stories down in the comment section. 

Published Dec. 5th 2017

Featured Contributor

Long time gamer (15 years+). Most favorite title is either Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask. Prefer single player games to multiplayer games. But occasionally play multiplayer games (though very rarely). Proud owner of N64 and Nintendo SNES.


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