Welcome new hunters! Whether you’re a veteran wanting to know what’s changed or new to the series, you’ll find these tips useful to help guide you through the first few hours of “Monster Hunter: World.” “Monster Hunter” is really very simple: go out, kill things, make better equipment, kill bigger things. The first thing you need to do is pick a weapon. There are 14 to choose from, and there are star ratings that show how easy they are for beginners to use.

Some good beginner weapons are the long sword, sword and shield, dual swords, and light bowgun. You can go to your room and access the training ground, where onscreen prompts will help you learn your weapon’s combos. After a bit of practice, you can learn some more out in the field. Once you start killing monsters, you’ll want to go to the workshop to make better gear out of their—remains. There are complicated upgrade trees for weapons. But at the beginning, all you need to know is that all upgrades will help.

Armor is simple—there are no upgrade trees. You just craft the best armor you can from the monster parts you have. There are lots of stats to get to know. But for earlier on, go for whatever has the biggest defense number, or more importantly, whatever looks most fashionable. “Monster Hunter” armor can get very silly— embrace it. Meals eaten at the canteen run by the one-eyed cat give you boosts to health, attack, defense, and lots more. The meals get better as the game goes on, too. Plus, the cooking animation is hilarious. You can also eat meals at the campfire at any campsite out in the field. You’ll collect lots of plants, bugs, mushrooms, and other stuff on your adventures.

This can all be used to make useful items that can give you an edge in a fight, like power-enhancing potions or antidotes that cure ailments. You can do this out in the field through the menus, or by standing next to your Item Box and using the Crafting List. There’s also an automatic crafting feature, which is helpfully turned on at the start. Whenever you pick up the ingredients for a potion or other common item, the game will autocraft it for you.

The map in “Monster Hunter: World” is your most useful tool. As you explore each new environment, it will fill up with icons that show you the locations of gathering points, monsters, camps, and anything else that you might need to know. Look at it if you need a nudge in the right direction. An hour or so into the game you will be allowed to go on expeditions. This is “Monster Hunter: World’s” free-roam mode. There are no objectives or time limits, and you can explore freely, avoiding or fighting creatures as you see fit.

It’s an invaluable way of getting to know the beautiful places that “Monster Hunter: World” sends you to, and they’re all full of secret nooks. Out in the field, monsters leave traces— tracks, mucus, and even shed scales. Examining these traces builds up a better understanding of the monster. Your useful scout flies will then blaze a green trail toward it, allowing you to keep track.

It’ll also be marked on your map. Select a monster you want to follow on the map, and the scout flies will do the rest. The slinger is a versatile tool that can be a crossbow or a grappling hook. You can pick up ammo for it from the ground—like rocks, seeds, and moss. You can also equip things in your inventory, like small knives. Generally, it doesn’t do much damage to monsters, but it’s a useful tool for exploring the environment. Look around to see hanging rocks that you can shoot and drop on a monster, or grappling points to help you swing across gaps.

“Monster Hunter” veterans will be delighted to know that you no longer need to fill up your inventory with breakable bug nets and pickaxes, fishing rods, or a BBQ spit. All of that stuff is always with you now, and doesn’t take up space in your inventory. Monster parts go straight back to base too, so you’ll never kill a creature and then be unable to collect your rewards without dumping a bunch of mushrooms on the ground. This means there’s much more space for traps, potions, and gadgets in your item pouch. You should take potions and cooked meat on every single hunt.

These restore your health and stamina. Leap from a high place and hit a monster with an attack, and there’s a chance you’ll mount it. Riding around on a monster while it tries to throw you off is one of “Monster Hunter’s” most exciting pleasures. And it gives you a shot at a powerful finishing move, if you can hold on long enough. Your Palico is the cat pal who accompanies you on every quest. You can equip the cat with weapons and armor, and they will also have a helpful gadget. Your cat starts off with Vigorwasp Spray, which summons healing insects during fights. You’ll unlock different Palico gadgets much later on, so don’t worry about them in the early game. We won’t spoil why, but get your net out whenever you see any wildlife. You’ll want to have a collection of them. This here is the Resource Center. You’ll go here often—it’s where you pick up bounties.

These are easy goals like hunt 1 large monster, do 2 quests in the Ancient Forest, or gather plants. You’ll passively complete these while getting on with the rest of the game. Every time you fulfill a bounty, you’ll get armor spheres, which then upgrade your armor. They’re really useful. Make sure you go back to the Resource Center every few quests, to make sure you have a full slate of bounties. Quests are time-limited missions with a fixed goal: hunt a monster, gather something, or kill a number of smaller creatures. They usually allow you 50 minutes and 3 deaths before you fail. There are assigned quests, which further the story and always involve hunting a big creature. Optional quests, which you pick up from characters back at base, unlock new ingredients for the canteen, new gadgets, and more. Expeditions are not time-limited. You just head out into one of the environments and explore.

You can do whatever you like: hunt whatever big monster is hanging around, find new base camps, or gather plants, fish, and ores for crafting. Investigations are optional goals for your expeditions that offer better rewards than just tooling around. You can pick these up from the Resource Center. So you’ve just conquered an Anjanath, and now you want a full set of Anjanath armor. You can’t repeat story quests in “Monster Hunter: World,” so what do you do? Have a look at your optional missions and see which ones send you out to hunt Anjanath. Browse through the available investigations at the Resource Center, and you’ll definitely find one involving Anjanath.

Or just go on an expedition and find one yourself. This is the worst option though, as you won’t get any bonus rewards. Finally, you can fight any monster in the Arena, which you can access from the Gathering Hall at the top of the base. Don’t worry too much about gadgets and mantles at first. These unlock as you work your way through the story and optional quests. One early-game ghillie mantle hides you from monsters, which is very useful. More advanced versions of these tools lurk further down the quest lines. You can get familiarized with these later. “Monster Hunter” is at its best when partying up with friends. Just post a quest on the board and anyone can join, unless you make it a private quest. Beware, though—monsters have way more HP when you’re hunting in a group. That extra HP will be the same whether you have 2 hunters or 4 in your party. This makes 2-person fights actually more challenging than hunting on your own, sometimes. An unfortunate scenario would be if 3 of your friends suddenly dropped out of a fight, and left you all alone to take on a monster with a huge amount of HP left.

A patch might address this and scale the monster’s health to the number of players. But for now, be advised. That should be enough to get you started. Look out for more tips once “Monster Hunter: World” has been out for a while. In the meantime, happy hunting!.

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