So You're New To Monster Hunter World? Tips for Beginners
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Hello g33ks, it’s been a while since I’ve run an article outlining some gaming tips. For this article I decided to drop the “Pro-Tips” title of this section, I’m no pro but I’m pretty decent at games.
For this one, we are covering the newly released Monster Hunter World. Fans of the series will be well versed in the world on Monster Hunter, but if you are like much of the current gen gaming audience that has never touched a MonHun game, these tips could be useful for you my fellow hunters.
Be a master of some and don’t be obsessed with being a jack-of-all trades. Monster Hunter World features 14 different weapons in three specific categories: light weapons, heavy weapons, and technical weapons. I encourage you to try out every weapon from each class to find your sweet spot, but if you want to just jump right in and get to hunting I suggest picking a weapon from either light or heavy classes.
Switching weapons in Monster Hunter isn’t as simple as swapping between weapon types in other games. Using the Insect Glaive is vastly different from using the Greatsword, even ranged weapons vary greatly. Equipping a new weapon feels more like playing a different character rather than the same character with a different weapon.
For the newbies I suggest using the Sword & Shield if you prefer a lighter weapon and the Greatsword if you prefer a heavier weapon. New players may find these weapons more accessible since using them leans heavier on your proficiency as a gamer rather than your ability to attack and manage technical aspects of your weapon. Personally, I’ve always used the weapons in the technical category (Insect Glaive and Switch axe) but regardless of your weapon of choice, every weapon is viable here… there is no “weak” or “underpowered” weapon. It’s less important to find a “strong” weapon and more important to find a weapon or two that fits your personal play style. Make use of the training area (talk to your housekeeper in your room) to try out new weapon types before jumping into the wilds of MonHun’s exotic locales.
Understand your menu of missions and how to unlock quests. Monster Hunter World features several different mission types, I won't go super in depth to each one but here is a hot list of the mission types you'll be tackling from the get-go and how to unlock them:
- Assigned: These are assigned to you simply by progressing through the story. Early on these missions are the key missions to raise your HR (Hunter's Rank) to allow you to tackle more difficult missions. These story missions can only be completed by you once but you can hop into an assigned mission another hunter posts.
- Optional: These missions are unlocked as you play and are also given by NPCs in Astera, unlike assigned missions these don't progress you HR but rather offer additional chances to hunt a monster, find items, or unlock items from various vendors and NPCs. These missions can be played multiple times though the unlock is limited to the first time you complete them.
- Investigations: The Resource Center handles bounties and investigations, investigations are unlocked simply by playing the game and tracking/fighting monsters. You'll notice little notifications that tell you that an new investigation is unlocked. Investigations are unique in the sense that on top of the regular loot you earn after the mission, you have a chance to roll for rare drops in addition to what you'd normally find. Investigations can be completed multiple times but each mission has a limit denoted by the number next to it.
- Events: This is the "live service" side of Monster Hunter World; events are limited availability missions that offer unique gameplay elements and in the case of the Street Fighter or Horizon Zero Dawn missions, offer limited items to ram up the ridiculousness factor. Many of these also offer some great loot drops so make sure to check out events whenever you can.
Be prepared… seriously be prepared. When you find yourself tasked with hunting one of the many monsters in the world, preparation could mean the difference between taking down a big-ass fire-breathing T-Rex with wings… or getting your ass handed to you by a derpy Dodo bird looking Velociraptor. Preparation starts at camp or in the HUB world, make sure to eat a meal at the canteen before every excursion. These meals provide valuable buffs for you and your Palico and can make or break a hunting expedition.
Items and always making sure you have everything you need is crucial. You don’t want to be caught with your tail between your legs scrambling for herbs because you brought too few healing items into the field. While making use of the environment can be useful and many MonHun purists will simply say “you don’t need potions if you don’t get hit,” realistically if you are a newbie you are going to get hit… alot. Just make sure you can keep from getting carted in the field.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help! Seriously now, use your S.O.S. feature if you find yourself getting overwhelmed. While hunter’s that join don’t gain the full rewards after a mission has elapsed 10 minutes, many hunters out there (myself included) enjoy helping newbies in the field. I will sometimes search for low-rank S.O.S. flares to help out lower ranked hunters achieve their goals.
Especially if you are farming for materials to make your latest and greatest new suit of armor or piece of monster slaying armament, it doesn’t hurt to have a helping hand! Keep in mind that the difficulty will scale for how many join a session, and if you have three or four in a party then your Palico won’t be available to bail yourself out. This is a massively open game that I feel was made for co-op PvE combat. While I have a blast hunting by myself, some of the best moments I had in game were with my friends discovering interesting tactics to better take down our prey.
If you can dodge an Anjanath, you can dodge a ball. Learning how to dodge can be just as important as how to deal damage. Every big monster in Monster Hunter World has a specific pattern to their attacks, fortunately many of them telegraph their moves so it’s on you to know how to dodge. I won’t get into monster specific tactics here, but the best piece of advice I can give a newbie is to be aware of your surroundings and to develop a strong gamesense. First of all, knowing which direction an attack is coming from and where to dodge. If an Anjanath buries its head into the ground you know the next attack will be a straight rush in your direction, same goes for when a Rathalos or Rathian prepares to rain hellfire on your party. Learning a monster’s pattern can help to better manage your space during combat and serves the purpose of creating opportunities to counterattack.
It’s a little more advanced but understanding your positioning will be important. Ranged weapons have a “sweet spot” as well as when you use melee weapons. I won’t get too far into it here but one of the best additions to this entry in the series is the inclusion of damage numbers. You can see how much damage you’re doing, hop into the training ground to test your weapon to find out your weapon-of-choice’s sweet spot.
Manage your money, use points for meals. This is a tip I’ve used from the 3DS era of games, there are two types of currency in the game; Research Points and Zenny. Research Points are earned by finding account items in the world, tracking monsters, and fulfilling bounties. Zenny is your money and these are earned primarily by completing missions and selling trade-in items.
While upgrading or forging weapons and buying items uses Zenny and sending out a Tailraider Safaris and forging Palico gear uses points. When you eat a meal at the canteen you can pay with either Zenny or Research Points, to me Zenny is by far harder to come by than points… if you are playing the game right you should be overflowing with points. While you continue to use Zenny to pay for meals you may find yourself low on cash when you need that crucial new weapon or piece of armor, on top of that using Zenny will set you back 300 while using points is half that at 150. Speaking of earning money, I highly advise you against selling materials, it’s better to hoard all the materials you can get and only selling off items you KNOW you won’t be using.
Also, since Monster Hunter World has a strong online element to the game, you are given daily login bonuses. Each day you get vouchers for your missions, these vouchers will double the Zenny you earn on a mission as well as guarantee rare drops. You get one every day and these will be very useful once you get to high-rank. While in low-rank you are going to want to make sure you use these vouchers to stockpile your Zenny. You get a new one everyday but there is a limit to how many you can hold so make sure to use em before you run out of space.
Understand how online sessions work. This last bit isn’t really about playing the game as much as it is about setting it up. When you log in you have the option to join a session through matchmaking or create a session. When you create a session you have the ability to lock it and set it up so only those you invite can play in the same “world” as you are. If you create a session without anyone else in it, you can’t benefit from S.O.S. flares.
As a rule of thumb, I always select matchmaking to hop into a pre-existing lobby of hunters. This way I always have missions I can join, and more times than not I have backup in case shit hits the fan.
That’s all for my tips for beginners, I do plan to write another/more comprehensive guide later where I outline more advanced tips for late-game/end-game content. For now, if you are new to Monster Hunter and World is your first forray into the series, these tips should help you get far during the game’s early parts and hopefully help instill habits in your that continue to benefit you during end-game. Happy Hunting g33ks, may the sapphire star light your way.