Beginners have a tough time with Monster Hunter games. They’re tough to learn, the back catalogue is impenetrable, it’s filled with odd ball references and the combat feels like nothing else. It’s a veritable minefield for the new player, especially once they reach the Multiplayer experience, where they’re expected to pull their weight and slay some beasts.
So, with the impending advent of Iceborne on the horizon, and with our continued experiences of multiple Monster Hunter games forever ongoing, we figured it might be useful for some new players to pick up a few universal Monster Hunter tips. Here are 5 of our best pieces of advice for a new player joining the fold.
1. Take It Slow
Monster Hunter Beginners often make the same mistake: Sure, it’s always tempting to watch Gaijin Hunter, or any number of other highly skilled and experienced hunters, and believe that it’s just as easy as that. We can say from hours upon hours of experience that this is not the case.
Those flashy moves and quick kills are borne out of experiences forged in the fires of failure. Their relative comfort comes from having been in that particular arena, with that particular monster, countless times.
So learn to take it slow – there is nothing wrong with sitting in the arena with a monster for 10 minutes or so. See what they do, how they react, how much they spam their favourite move and how much damage they do. Save from a few set piece encounters, these are games in which you, the hunter, get better. Some hunters just chime with certain monsters and find them easy, others struggle and have to grind against them to clear them, .
2. Pick A Weapon
Starting out in Monster Hunter, you really should not expect to be able to pick up a weapon for 5 minutes and start to focus entirely on the monster – this is a recipe for disaster. Before you know it, you’re spamming buttons and your hunter decides to fling your weapon backwards, along with your hunter, in the clutches of spinning Glavenus tail. Often times after experiencing failures such as this, the prospective hunter will put the game down and return to something easier.
So we advocate picking a single weapon and sticking with it, at least until you’ve downed a few big monsters. In MHGU we chose the Greatsword – it hits hard just by virtue of the fact that it’s great in stature, and a single opening can do respectable damage. In World we fell in love with the Long Sword, in 4U the Charge Blade. Once a weapon has been learnt, you’re free to learn the monster, confident that you know the weapons limitations. Once you’ve learnt the limitations of the monster, return with new weapons.
3. Create A Basic Item Set
New players really must understand: Make yourself a set of consumables that you take with you to every hunt. Sure, to the seasoned hunter it sounds so simple – make a set of items that you know are likely to be required, but we’re often surprised by players not being aware of this feature.
To be fair, Monster Hunter games have never been wonderful at explaining the systems contained within. Despite Capcom getting better and better at this, we still regularly get requests for Hot or Cold drinks, or complaints at the lack of Dung Bombs to get rid of a certain Moose that likes to join in on every fight.
The lesson really is that preparation is always key in Monster Hunter games, and it doesn’t have to be too difficult, even for those just setting out. After a few hunts early on, money will be plentiful, and a short trip to the shop will have everything needed to start out. Get some potions, antidotes and more stacked up in your storage box and hunt preparation is no more than a few button presses away.
4. Explore Your Surroundings
So you’ve been to a map a few times and killed some big monsters, and everything is going well. You’re taking a step up to a new monster, so you fly off to the location, start hammering away, and all is well. That is, of course, until you fall off a ledge, or get backed into a corner whilst attempting to climb a vine that you swear was super quick to hop up before, honest.
Now we’re not advocating leisurely strolls around maps taking up your whole evening, but try to pay attention to the surroundings and make use of them. Scout potential pitfalls, sure, but look for opportunities too. That small raised ridge in the ground looks inexplicable enough, but in the right position that’s a prime jumping spot to get a mount off just when you need it.
Monster Hunter will forever be a game about being a better hunter, and anything is fair game against some of the biggest and baddest it has to offer. That inexplicable ridge is just one of the many tools available in your arsenal.
5. Enjoy The Strange
It may have a serious look on it’s face in World, but Monster Hunter has always revelled in quirky, silly fun. To some players this is the lifeblood of a game that enjoys being ridiculous, to others it can sometimes present as tiresome, strange and obscure.
It should be noted, however, that within these strange and obscure systems almost always belies something of use. Sure, arm wrestling and such are just there to add fun, but others are there to form some serious help for the hunters.
Farming is a mainstay of the series and really shouldn’t be ignored – it’s there to help and remove the laborious gathering aspects of the game and keep you out there hunting. Sending your Palicos out to map on their own will reward you with free loot and even some unusual items at times. Dressing up your Poogie is… Well ok that’s just strange, but who doesn’t want to come home to a micro pig dressed as a Behemoth?