Even if you’ve never played any other game in the series, Monster Hunter: World wants to bring you into the fold with a variety of awesome changes that turn this grind-happy, cooperative RPG into something much more palatable for western audiences. The world has expanded considerably, and you’re free to jump in and explore all you want — but there’s still a whole lot you probably won’t know going in.
Monster Hunter: World sends players on a journey to the “New World” to investigate the migration of colossal Elder Dragons. The player, a member of the Guild, is tasked to explore the new world, hunt giant beasts, and cut your own path with a huge array of special weapons and skills to unlock. And you won’t go at it alone either. Join up with friends or random allies to take down especially tough monsters, and join squads to always keep track of your mates. The open-world areas can be freely explored, and there’s so much happening early on, the game can get overwhelming. Let us help point you in the right direction.
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#1: Astera Is Your Hub
Astera is where your adventure begins. This Cliffside outpost is where you’ll craft weapons, get a house, accept quests, and much more. No matter which of the open-world zones you explore, you’ll always return to Astera. It’s the hub, and you’ll want to get very familiar with the many NPCs here.
If it looks a little under-staffed, that’s because Astera will slowly upgrade as you progress. You’ll be able to form Squads, or move up to higher houses. Get to know this environment! Think of it as the Tower in Destiny, a social hub where you can hang out between big quests.
#2: Choose Your Weapon Carefully
From the simple Sword and Shield to the Insect Glaive, there are a lot of weapons you can unlock in Monster Hunter: World. The choices are staggering, and each weapon essentially gives you a completely different playstyle. Depending on your armor and weapon, you can either be a heavy-duty, slow melee fighter that can tank giant monsters, or a ranged DPS with a Light Bowgun.
Take it slow, and decide what weapons suits you best as you play. If you want to test a weapon’s moveset, check out the Training Room in your house. This is the best and safest way to test out any weapon you want. Don’t forget to try out attacks from different environment effects — swing on vines or drop from cliffs and attack to see what happens.
#3: The Blacksmith and the Wishlist
Crafting is a vital part of Monster Hunter: World. That’s where the Blacksmith comes into play. This helpful NPC allows you to craft blueprints and upgrade armor or weapons. Even early in the game, you’ll see a huge variety of items you can craft — you can test weapons or even try on armor to see how it looks on your character before purchasing, which is a plus for fashion forward hunters.
Best of all is the new Wishlist feature. If you see something you like, add it to the Wishlist. That way, you’ll keep track of what items you need to craft it, and get updates whenever you collect more. Killing monsters is how you’ll find crafting materials, so using the Wishlist makes life much, much easier out on the field.
#4: Quests Are Timed, So Use Every Advantage You Can
Quests in Monster Hunter: World are split into different general types — the quests we’re talking about here are your basic hunter quests. You’ll only have 40 minutes to complete each hunt, and some of them require some serious prep-work. Whether you’re with a team, or alone, there are a few tricks you can use to make life easier and reach your targets faster.
- Use Fast Travel! Open the map and select a location to instantly jump to the spot.
- Use Scout Flies often. They’ll show you where to find your monster target.
- Base Camps can be used to re-equip weapons on a quest. If you picked the wrong weapons for a target, return to the Base Camp and swap gear!
And, as always, you can get help from your friends. You can call on allies to join you on any type of quest. Every quest is cooperative in Monster Hunter: World.
#5: Use Flora & Fauna To Make Life Easier
Another new feature in Monster Hunter: World — you can use the environment to help you out. Some wasp-like bugs will help you recover health, or you can collect powerful toxins from toads that can paralyze opponents. Not only that, but you can collect living specimens in the environment with your new Capture Net. Take your captured critters back home to sell or drop into your house.
Monsters will also use the world to help them out — huge monsters can literally change the environment. They can break through barriers and change the arena, making things easier or trickier for you. They also tend to rule over a large area in the open-world, so beware of multiple tough monsters wandering into the same spot! Special areas can help your hunters hide and escape from a tough battle.
#6: Search For Unique Weaknesses In Every Beast
Bringing down the massive creatures in Monster Hunter: World is your primary goal, and sometimes stabbing them with your sword just isn’t enough. Even with allies, you’ll want to exploit everything you can, and each monster has a unique weakness. You can equip weapons or armor sets that specifically harm certain monsters, or you can get creative.
- NOTE: Up to 3 allies can join you at any time. Send an SOS flair to summon help, even in the middle of a quest.
Using lures, you can trick other monsters to enter your target’s hunting ground, pitting them against each other. When the battles get up-close-and-personal, you can mantle monsters like in Dragon’s Dogma and dish out locational damage on specific weak points.
#7: Prepare For Battle With Boosts & Mantles
Like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, preparing meals is vitally important in Monster Hunter: World. When you arrive at a Base Camp, you can purchase food from NPCs and start cooking. Depending on what you create, you can give yourself a whole bunch of boosts — increase your attack power, defense, or stamina. Whatever the case, it’s always a good idea to stop and get a bite to eat at the Base Camp.
Later on, you’ll find more awesome items you can equip called Mantles. These cloaks provide four different effects depending on your playstyle, and activating them give you a timed bonus.
- Mantle Types:
- Ghillie: Turns you invisible, allowing you to ambush targets from the shadows.
- Glider: Lets you glide in the sky, or ride wind currents up. It also improves your monster mantling skills.
- Rocksteady: Provides a range of resistance bonuses, and eliminates damage reactions completely.
- Challenger: Lures monsters to attack you more often.
Depending on your team, some of these mantles work best when everyone is working together.
#8: Level Up The Scout Flies!
Scout Flies aren’t just a simple waypoint system. If you use your Scout Flies often, they can level up and unlock bonus research on monster targets. The more you level them, the more benefits they give you — they’ll show you want items you can earn from monsters, show you monster weaknesses, or simply mark a monster’s territory on your map so you won’t have to search.
#9: Learn More Languages With Your Palico
At the start of the game, when you’re creating your custom character, you’ll also gain a Palico. These friendly creatures are helpers you’ll have at your side throughout the adventure. You can choose to bring them on quests or leave them behind, and they provide a whole bunch of benefits — but there are some things Palicoes can do you might not realize.
Your Palico can have special interactions with wild clans of Felynes –interacting with them will help your Palico learn the language of other small creatures. Once you’ve made friends with these creatures, they’ll help you in battle.
#10: Join (Or Create!) A Squad
Squads are a new type of guild you can create and manage in Monster Hunter: World. With Squads, you can keep track of your allies, easily communicate, and set open-world zones to private, squad-only affairs. Squads get special bonuses, too! Here are some of the basics.
- Squads can have up to 50 members.
- You can join up to 8 squads.
- You can switch your “Primary” Squad at any time.
While Monster Hunter: World is perfectly fine played solo, you can summon up to three allies at any time. If you’re stuck, it helps to have some squadmates. You don’t even need voice chat to be successful — Monster Hunter: World is designed to make teaming as easy and painless as possible.