Entering High Rank is always a daunting prospect for the budding hunter. The prospect of new monsters, improvements to the flock already experienced and the knowledge that gear upgrades are required can cause a bit of anxiety in the new player. In reality, the start of HR tends to be filled with repeat visits to the roster of LR, albeit with a few new opponents mixed in. Still, the old dogs have learned a few new tricks, and their damage, health and movement will have improved by the time you get there, so in order to give yourself the best chance of success, we suggest the following pieces of advice.
Stock Up Your Inventory
This may seem like it goes without saying, but you absolutely must keep yourself stocked up on consumables. Your paltry stack of potions may seem like they’re lasting just fine through Low Rank, but the promotion is likely to reveal some nasty surprises, and these often necessitate burning through consumables whilst you learn. It’s not all about recovery either, because some battles will require that you garner every advantage possible, so stocking up on Might Seeds and such will surely be of benefit. In order to achieve this, we tend to stop using buffs and such when a target is ‘on farm’, meaning our confidence is high enough to remove the necessity for stacking advantages. This, combined with things like Meowcenaries and such, will keep your stockpile ticking over in the background.
Prioritise Your Favourite Weapons
By the time you reach the transition into High Rank, or indeed just a fair distance through Low, you’ll no doubt have found a few weapons that ‘feel’ just right. We, for example, found that Rise in particular made the Hunting Horn hit the sweet spot, and it swiftly became one of our favourites throughout the early portion of the game. The Insect Glaive did similar, and they both became frequent accompaniments on our journey towards the mid game.
Some readers out there may be aware however, that we took our time to craft 42 different weapons within Low Rank itself, and countless more along the way, to allow us to write about each in great detail and recommend you three of each model. Now, unless you’re absolutely obsessed with the game and/or planning to write about it, we really cannot recommend that you do this. Rather our advice would be to prioritise your absolute favourites, and focus on upgrading these. There’s a good chance that you’ll have to grab some of the later models in LR, simply to avoid doing next to no damage in HR, and you’ll be spared a great deal of time if you pick 2 or 3 of your favourites to focus on.
Every time a new iteration of the Monster Hunter franchise is released, we trumpet to the world as a whole the very same message: Defence really, really matters! Yes, the numbers might look low, especially near the start of the game, but every single point here will make a massive difference. Why else do you think that some pons come with a bonus of +10 Defence? Because that +10 can make a big difference!
Try it yourself, head out with next to no armour on and let even the most basic of targets hit you, then return and do it again whilst you wear a basic set of gear. The difference between the two is astonishing, and you can make this difference to your own sets simply by upgrading them at the Blacksmith! We’d offer the same bit of advice as above however, which is to focus on a few sets rather than an entire wardrobe, otherwise you’ll find your wallet empties itself in double quick time. Happily, the skills available on these pieces will retain their use into High Rank, and you’ll soon be able to gain access to pieces that house multiple skills at once, however you’ll struggle to gather the required materials if one tail swipe removes almost all of your HP!
Keep Helpers Rolling
We noted above that you should always keep your Meowcenaries going in the background, but it’s worth noting that these hold even more value than you might imagine. Not only will they grab you valuable monster materials and combination items, but they’re often the only way to get certain pieces of loot, each of which translate into gear. There are numerous ‘secret’ items gained through the Meowcenaries for example, sometimes earned by sending your pets towards ‘sparkling’ spots on the preparation screen. This remains true in High Rank, and you’ll need to ensure that your team is levelled up, so pushing through this at every opportunity in LR will keep you up to speed.
It’s remarkable just how many people we speak to that ignore this portion of Rise. We will admit that it’s not very well signposted, but the myriad of benefits that come from completing requests makes them nigh on essential for players of all types. As you progress through the higher stars of difficulty, more and more requests will open up, and whilst some are rather trite and boring with their rewards, they can also open up additional base camps on each map, which is absolutely essential for fast travel! Further than this, some of them are actually quite interesting, requiring you to pay attention to locations and features that you otherwise might ignore!
Do Some Reading!
Hmm, we feel like shouting this at our quest-ignoring, MMO playing younger selves here to be honest. Anyway, Rise has continued in the series’ development of providing as much as information as possible, and now provides you with a huge primer of information about each and every monster in the game. No matter how proud you are of your ability to slay a Bishaten in no time at all, this resource will always provide you with something you weren’t aware of. At the very least we’d recommend that you read it once you have downed a new opponent, to fill in any gaps that might exist in your knowledge – the results may actually surprise you, and assist you in downing the same opponent quicker during your next hunt.