Alas, beginners to the Monster Hunter series still struggle, despite our best efforts. We still play the game(s) frequently, and we’re often finding a hunter that chooses to leave or disconnect when they fail, or when a hunt goes wrong. It happens sometimes, of course it does, these are not easy games.
Much as we love the series, we’ve always found information for beginners in short supply. You’ll find plenty of places that tell you the best and most optimised end game equipment, but what about just the basics? Well, below is the second of our attempts to plug that gap..
5. Don’t Neglect Defence
It’s a big mistake that beginners tend to make, and if we’re honest it’s something we, or rather hunters as a whole, take for granted, often taking a good beating before we even consider it: Defence rating.
It’s not something signposted very well at all in Monster Hunter games – there’s no percentage damage reduction or some such explained – but it’s deceptively important. The vast majority of attacks you’re likely to suffer from are physical, and we defy anybody to ever complete a ‘zero hit’ run of the entire catalogue, so get upgrading that damn armour set you’re wearing because it might just mean the difference between victory and defeat. Yes, it’s often expensive at the higher levels and sure, it’s not as fancy as spending your hard earned cash on a new shiny weapon, but take it from us; look after it, and it’ll look after you.
4. No Shame
There are a few things that just don’t get discussed often within the Monster Hunter community, one of which is those initial feelings of shame. Shame that we had to trap that monster, or shame that we had to use almost a full stack of flash bombs to get through it. To those, we have a message: Who cares?
Being the best hunter has it’s place: Arena hunts. Outside of this, it’s entirely fair game. Do you really think your fellow hunters think less of you for being prepared, using those dung bombs or burning through 3 lifepowders in quick succession? They don’t, in fact they’re likely to thank you and look forward to hunting with you again.
Use everything at your disposal, there is no such thing as shame for doing so, because at the end of the day these games are about grouping up, having some fun and collecting the loot to enable more.
3. Never Stop Gathering
Something that new players often overlook is gathering. Of course, everybody does it when the quest requires it, but what about when the monster has left the current area? Or perhaps it’s slain and you have those 60 seconds of waiting before you get to go home?
In Monster Hunter games, there’s almost always a way to lessen the load on the hunter. Perhaps its a farm that provides ingredients, quests to send your palico away or reward systems built in. However in almost all cases these are not immediately unlocked, and helpful though they are, they never get you everything you need.
So if there’s one tip that translates into every title in the series: Never stop gathering. Monster running away? Tap those mines en route. Monster starts on the other side of the map? Grab those bone piles while you’re getting there. Yes, there will always be cases where you run out of a particular ore, but these can be lessened by filling your bags whilst you’re out there anyway. Future you will thank you for it.
2. Attacking Movements
Early on in Monster Hunter titles, it’s all quite simple really; Monster attacks in this direction, so do your best to not be there, then attack until it tries again. This sequence continues, and tends to last for quite a while, until you hit the wall.
The wall is different, but tends to settle on different monsters depending on the title. An early example in our career was Yian Kut-Ku, in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: No matter what we did it just didn’t work, the monster would flap around in a seemingly random pattern and flatten us at every opportunity. The wall in itself is almost always because of one thing: You don’t have enough of a gap between their attacks any more, so how can you get damage done..?
It’s then that the lesson is learnt: The movements your hunter makes, when attacking, are just as important as the monsters moves. These range from very large movements, those rolling forward kinsect glaive attacks for example, to the very subtle movements, like the back and forth of a switch axe in sword mode. By using these movements you can create safety, like our recent bout with Brachydios, where we found that completing attacks that left our hunter beside the monster allowed us to arrive in a safe spot. Notice where those attack animations leave you and you’re one step closer to breaking through that wall.
1. Target Body Parts
Another sadly neglected piece of information for beginners – though admittedly World improved on this greatly – is in showing the importance of breaking certain parts of a Monster.
Yes, in almost all cases it’s not necessary to do so in order to slay the beast, but it’s benefits are numerous. Did you know, for example, that certain monsters will stop using certain attacks with a broken body part? Or perhaps that the removal of a tail will, of course, make that tail swipe attack easier to dodge. Not only this, but an injured monster will often act like one, stopping to lick it’s wounds, leaving ample opportunity for follow up attacks. Some even topple over completely.
Not only this, but certain pieces of loot are only available by breaking those body parts, and it’s often a requirement of sub quests – a gateway to even more loot – to break them. Most of the time you’ll find yourself attacking the monsters weakest spot in doing so, shortening the hunt and making life easier for yourself!
There is, of course, some innate danger that comes with say, attempting to hack the tusks off a Tetsucabra. But we’re two articles deep now, so you’re as ready as ever to stand in the danger zone, right?
Good luck out there!