Monster Hunter: World is barreling towards its final release date of January 26, so its about time us eager wannabe hunters readied ourselves for another creature-slaying adventure. For many gamers, though, Monster Hunter: World will be their first venture into the cult classic franchise, and because of that, I thought we’d take a look at a few things that will make the first experience in Monster Hunter a less imposing one and get you ready for one of the biggest RPGs of the year.
Weapon choice and combat details
Monster Hunter: World is saturated with extremely deep RPG elements, and of course one of these elements is its weapons and combat systems. The title has a huge variety of weapon choices straight off the bat, and each weapon possesses its own unique style and attack combinations. Since the pacing of Monster Hunter: World‘s combat may throw some people off, here are some weapons I recommend for those who want a faster combat experience.
For beginners, I recommend dual blades, the Longsword, or even the Switch Axe. The dual blades are the the fastest weapon type in the game, and enable you to enter a “demon mode,” which is a scary way of saying you hit things really fast. The Longsword and Switch Axe also have their own unique properties: The Longsword possesses its own metre located beneath the player’s health bar that builds up when attacking below stamina; this eventually allows the player to use a spirit slash ability. As for the Switch Axe, I can best describe it as a Bloodborne-styled weapon that has two modes: an axe mode and a blade mode. Using the axe mode builds up metre so that you can eventually activate — you guessed it — the blade mode, which reduces your attack speed but dramatically increases your damage.
Monster Hunter: World also has a target lock on system that you may have seen in other third-person action adventure games before, but I recommend not relying totally on that in fights with large monsters. Instead, it’s all about timing, position, and knowing when to go full-force in a combination on a vulnerable area of the monster whilst avoiding being eaten. To capitalise and maximise damage with your weapon type, I suggest you practice different combinations with the weapons, as differing inputs result in various moves you’ll execute with your weapon, some obviously dealing more damaging than others.
Use everything at your disposal
Hunting monsters is a tricky business, but luckily, you have more than just brute strength and cool weapons at your disposal. First of all, you have the basic health pots and whetstones. ALWAYS have these on you, as potions will be needed when you are low on health, and whetstones are priceless when your weapons become blunt. Blunted weapons are still usable but they deal less damage, which, of course, is not what you want.
Beyond these basic items, you also have useful trinkets like shock-traps, explosive barrels, paralysing knives, and flashpods, which are excellent for halting and bringing a flying monster to the ground. Using these items will briefly lock your character in a spot, and some of them need to be previously equipped, so choose the right moment to deploy them, or you’ll find yourself not only wasting items, but re-spawning back at base camp as well. Oh, and while I mention base camps, try to remember to eat when you’re at them. This simple task will grant you a boost to your stats, so it’s something you’ll want to do in between every hunt — or at least aim to do.
Speaking of boosting damage, some monsters you stumble upon you will find are asleep. To deal maximum damage in this situation, always place a heavy explosive barrel on the head of the creature and shoot it from afar.
How online and solo play works
Monster Hunter: World can be completed in a single-player experience without and internet connection. This is a great bonus for many players who don’t always have access to the internet; however, I should say you won’t get the true Monster Hunter effect without partying up with friends to take out beasts.
If you’re hunting in a group, Monster Hunter: World‘s creatures will also scale in difficulty, meaning the more people there are, the harder the fights become. Additionally, quests in solo play are fused, so you don’t have to complete the same quests online with pals that you did in single-player mode. If you do find yourself playing alone and need a hand with a tricky monster, the game also has a SOS feature, which has you shoot up a flare, alerting your friends (or anyone else online) to join your game and help you out.
Traversing the huge world
Monster Hunter: World has a monstrously large open world, so learning the map and traveling around is something you’ll have to wrap your head around. Luckily, there are several features to help you out not only for travel, but also for the hunt.
New to Monster Hunter is the Slinger, a wrist-mounted device that your hunter uses to shoot projectiles and grapple around areas with — meaning you can swing around like Tarzan, which is as much fun as it sounds. Another new feature is the fireflies mechanic, which enables you to follow a monster through the wild.
Once you’ve examined enough evidence like footprints and monster poo, fireflies will gather in a swarm and fly in the direction of the monster you’re after. Monsters wont always stay in one spot, though; most shift position and some even flyaway, so be sure to be ready to use that slinger to grapple vines or even another flying critter to pursue the fleeing creature you’ve got your eye on.
When out of combat, however, you can travel around even more quickly by opening the mini map in game and selecting a base camp you’ve been to previously. This is a simple tip, but it’s one people forget about, and allows you to always make sure you can swiftly clear out your bags and resupply between hunts in a timely fashion.
If you’re anything like me, you spend WAY too long in the character creator section of games, and that will definitely be the situation you find yourself in with Monster Hunter: World. Not only do you create your hunter, you get to fully customise your companion, a small cat creature called a Palico. Yes, it’s as cute as it sounds.