Monster Hunter isn’t really a series known for its friendly game design, and Monster Hunter Rise doesn’t stray too far from the pack. But being on the Switch, Rise does let you pause the hunt so you can get off the bus, get a snack, or whatever you need to do.
There are a few ways to pause in Monster Hunter Rise.
Pausing in single-player
You can navigate your menu over to System, flick three spaces down and hit “pause game.”
Or you could use the simplest method: hitting the Home button on your Switch. Putting your Switch to sleep takes you back to the Home menu, so it will also pause your game. When you open the game back up from the Home menu, your character will freeze and you’ll see a text box that says “paused.” You can hit A or B to unpause.
Hitting the Plus button, the traditional pause for most Switch games, will open one of Monster Hunter Rise’s many menus, but it won’t pause the action at all. But if something needs your attention immediately, you can hit the Home button and come back hours later to a completely paused hunt. You can do this when you’re just hanging out collecting honey or other items to stop the timer from ticking down, or you can use it mid-attack from a monster. Everything stops as soon as you hit Home.
Pausing in multiplayer
There are some restrictions to this. If you try this trick in a multiplayer lobby, you’ll keep moving and the game won’t pause, even while you’re out of control. If you stay out of the program too long, the game will actually terminate the session, and your lobby friends will find themselves in a new instance of the same quest without you. When you come back, you’ll be in an offline lobby, alone, and able to pause your game.
Keep in mind that, if you’re playing multiplayer, you won’t be able to pause at all. But as long as you’re hunting alone, you can order yourself a pizza, head out to hunt, pause mid-battle and finish the fight when you’re done with dinner.