Monster Hunter: World launches today on Xbox One and PS4 and as you may be able to tell from our near perfect 9/10 review, we're quite fond of it! We've had tons of fun over the last week slaying its many imposing beasts and exploring every inch of the beautiful setting of the New World. Whilst World aims to be the most accessible entry to date, we imagine for some starting this late into the Monster Hunter series may be daunting, so we've assembled a handy guide of tips and tricks to help transform any newcomers into seasoned hunters.
Sure, becoming proficient with your favourite weapon is important, but there are plenty of incidents where that same pair of dual hatchets just won't cut it.
World has 14 weapon classes available and surprisingly, these all are available to you from the get-go, so you'd be foolish not to experiment! We'd recommend first visiting the training grounds in Astera (the main hub) to get a feel for each and then you'll have an idea which may fare better in different situations. For example, for flying beasts, you might decide a ranged weapon like a crossbow or heavy bow gun may suit, and for fast moving foes an insect glaive for rapid combos would possibly do the trick.
Remember that you can change your weapons mid-quest at any campsite without the need to return back to Astera (we wish we knew that during our first few hours!)
This one might sound a little depraved, we realise, but as crafting is such a pivotal part of World, you'll want to max out your inventory, so you're never too far away from that next weapon upgrade or super potion that you're in desperate need of.
We'd recommend bounty quests from the resource centre, as they are centred around collecting materials and come with handsome rewards for completion. Another tip is to be careful when fighting larger monsters, as often their tail and other parts will snap off and can easily become lost during the heat of battle. Don't be afraid to retreat to gather these parts as they're key for new armour sets and may even prevent you from having to repeat the fight again.
Also, do note that your item pouch will begin to fill quickly, but don't fear, these can be sent to your item box to be accessed in future.
Because nobody got anything done on an empty stomach, right?
Before setting out on a hunt be sure to stop off at either the canteen at Astera or your campsite and grab yourself a tasty meal prepared by a team of feline chefs (seriously, the devs at Capcom have an obsession with cats).
Each of these meals will provide you with a temporary boost in stats such as attack, elemental resistance, and defence; with different recipes being unlocked for completing specific side-quests. You can even step into the role of head chef yourself and create your own custom dishes by selecting a mishmash of materials you've gathered across your journey, expanding the menu tenfold. Not only are these meals served up with a hilarious cutscene, but damn, we can't be the only ones who think that food looks good!?
Bolstering your stats can mean the difference between life and death, so it's well worth preparing in advance what meals may best help in your upcoming encounter.
Remember your furry friend that you helped customise at the start of the game? Well, he may not look tough, but he can prove to be a worthy ally during battle; snagging you vigorwasps to replenish your health and acting as a distraction when you're using consumables. For these reasons (especially if you're battling alone) you're going to want to keep him protected and well equipped at all times.
By visiting the blacksmiths, you can craft your Palico tougher armour and weapons from the materials that you've gathered. Be aware of the different elemental weaknesses and advantages each armour piece has and, while their attacks are usually no more threatening then a bee sting, stronger weapons are still a worthwhile investment.
Among some, this may be classed as cheating or perhaps even morally questionable, but it's a simple trick to dish out tons of damage should you need it.
You'll want to buy yourself a few large barrels from the merchant in Astera and ensure that its equipped in your item pouch. Go grab yourself either a bow or a heavy bow gun and then you're good to go! When fighting a monster, weaken it until it retreats to its nest for a quick nap and then line it with explosives before retreating to a safe distance and taking fire. As monsters take more damage whilst they're sleeping this can prove devastating, especially if they're clinging onto that last sliver of health.
It's important to be aware of your levels of health, stamina, and weapon sharpness as they will begin to deplete during battle, leaving you in a position of vulnerability.
Make sure that you are stocked up with rations and potions before you head out, as you'll have to resort to the time sink that is scavenging and crafting. A whetstone is a permanent fixture in your weapon pouch though, so you'll always have the opportunity to sharpen your blade, but just be aware that when you hear the clinking sound during battle it means your blade is beginning to dull.
You should also be aware that when sharpening a weapon or taking consumables, you stop completely, so it may be best to retreat if you're in really bad shape.
To keep ahead of the ramping difficulty curve, you'll want to ensure that you're suited in the finest gear that you can get your hands on.
Your armour can be levelled up by using armour spheres obtained by completing quests and bounties from the resource centre. As you can equip five bounties of your choosing at a time, it's well worth doing these alongside the main quest to ensure you level up your armour at a faster rate. Upgrading weapons, on the other hand, is much like crafting gear in that you'll need specific materials to level up; be sure to follow the second rule in our guide and you should be fine with this!
Don't forget to keep elemental resistances in consideration and don't be afraid to switch up different suits of armour for different monster encounters. For instance, Anjanath attacks by breathing fire, so for that battle fire-resistant armour may fare better and prevent you from being burnt to a crisp.
Slaying monsters together with a group of strangers was arguably some of the most fun we had in World, but there are a few things you should be wary of.
Remember how you fail a quest if you faint three times? Well, when playing in co-op that applies for three times per team and not per player, so you better make sure nobody is holding you back. Also, your rewards are now split which is fair as it's a joint effort, but it means that you'll be taking less goodies back to base with you. Lastly and perhaps a little obvious is that the difficulty of monsters is scaled to the team so, in theory, it's just as hard as taking one down on your own although it does take off much of the pressure and allows for teamwork and coordination.
This is not to bash the game's excellent multiplayer, (in fact we'd strongly recommended it) but it's to simply highlight a few things that you should be aware of as a newcomer.
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