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Monster Hunter Rise beginner’s guide

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Tips and tricks to be the best hunter you can be

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The shrine maiden from Monster Hunter Rise celebrates Image: Capcom via Polygon

Monster Hunter Rise is one of the most accessible games in the franchise, but it may still be daunting for beginners.

In this Monster Hunter Rising beginner’s guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to start your first hunt with confidence. We’ll explain how to choose the best weapon right from the start, we’ll break down the types of missions you have access to, and we’ll share a handful of tips and tricks worth knowing for first-timers.


Table of contents


Learn the loop

The core gameplay of the Monster Hunter franchise has been consistent for decades, and the tradition continues in Monster Hunter Rise. Each game’s flow is straightforward:

  1. Choose a single monster to fight
  2. Travel to a large locale where the monster is
  3. Find your target
  4. Fight the creature alone or with a few friends
  5. Craft new armor and gear from your fallen prey
  6. Repeat

At the very beginning of the game, you’ll be led across your home base to meet the various citizens in town as they teach you about each of their functions. In the process of doing that, you’ll go on your first hunt. Throughout that initial execursion, you’ll get plenty of pop-up tutorials that touch on some of the game’s basics.

When you return to your village, you’ll be told how you can turn parts you’ve gained from defeated monsters into new gear. It won’t be long after that until you’re onto your next hunt.

You’ll continue this process as the game ramps up in difficulty. In time, as you get more familiar with the game, you’ll begin optimizing your gear for hunts and choosing specific gear to overcome ever-stronger monsters.


Do the training missions first

There are few basics worth understanding before you completely dive into Monster Hunter Rise. Training quests help acclimate new players and veterans into this game’s systems.

The training missions screen in Monster Hunter Rise
Do the training missions ASAP
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Before setting off on more challenging fights with monsters or playing online with friends, complete these short missions. While most of what you need to know will be displayed in pop-up messages, experience is the best teacher.

After meeting Master Utsushi in the Gathering Hub, he’ll add a few training missions to Hinoa the Quest Maiden’s list in the village. These quests will cover several important topics:

  • Back to Basics runs you through the main gameplay mechanics of Monster Hunter Rise.
  • Learning to Ride teaches you how to Wyvern Ride. This is an important skill to learn as it will drastically reduce your hunt times.
  • The Basics of Capturing Monsters teaches you how to end missions by trapping monsters instead of defeating them. Capturing creatures can complete hunts much quicker and will also give you access to unique monster parts you can’t get from carving. If you want to learn how to forge the best armor and weapons, you need to learn this skill.
  • The Rampage Approaches teaches you how to play Rampage Mode in Monster Hunter Rise.

While it may be easy to ignore or miss these quests, they’re worth doing. You can also go back in replay them if their lessons didn’t stick the first time.


Always eat before hunts

Visiting the canteen to eat dango should always be a priority before hunting.

As you progress through Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll unlock new treats that you can mix and match to create buffs for each hunt. Familiarize yourself with the elemental types of each monster, and order dango recipes that buff you against your target’s special attacks.

If you play enough of Monster Hunter Rise, the cost of ordering dango will be negligible, especially if you pay with the copious amount of points you gain by simply going on hunts. There’s no reason not to eat dango before each hunt. Their buffs can make or break certain excursions.


Interact with everything

As you adventure around the various locales in Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll see various colorful creatures called endemic life. These bugs and creatures will give you small stat boosts simply by interacting with them. Some will increase your health while others can give you a temporary buff in attack power or defense.

A rock lizard from Monster Hunter Rise
Keep an eye out for colorful endemic life
Image: Capcom via Polygon

You should always be on the lookout for where these creatures appear on each map. They always show up in the same spots, so try to plan routes where you’ll run across as many as you can on the way to your target.

At the same time, you should always be picking up crafting sources like herbs and honey to make support items. If you know how to autocraft items, then you’ll instantly create the items you need without lifting a finger.

Basically, every insect, small creature, and plant you see can likely be interacted with. Doing so will give you buffs or materials you can use to craft. You should always interact with these as they will help you in the long run, instead of rushing straight toward your target.


Use the best controller for Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise can be demanding to control. Between the various control styles for each weapon and the new Wirebug system, each button on your controller is going to get a workout.

If you’re playing the game docked and connected to a TV, then there’s no better option than the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (Amazon). The larger gamepad feels great and lets you easily control your hunter. There’s even a Monster Hunter Rise edition (Best Buy, Target).

Those looking to hunt on the go might find that the Joy-Cons are a bit too small to handle the intense action of Monster Hunter. If you want to upgrade your handheld experience, check out the Hori Split Pad Pro. While it’ll add bulk to your console, it’s one of our favorite controllers for the game and it even has it own Monster Hunter Rise edition (Amazon).


How to pick a weapon in Monster Hunter Rise

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when playing Monster Hunter Rise is choosing one of the 14 weapons to play with. Each is like picking a unique character in a fighting game, as they all offer a completely different play style.

Trying to figure out what to pick from the start is daunting because there’s no clear answer. What you choose depends on what style of fighting makes the most sense for you — and there’s no way to know that until you take each out for a spin.

Thankfully, you can try each weapon in the game’s Training Area. By heading to the item box and selecting Manage Equipment > Change Equipment, you can grab one of the starter weapons from each type to test out. You can also learn about each weapon’s unique qualities, Wirebug attacks, and combos by heading to your Options > Info > Hunter’s Notes > Weapon Controls.

The training dummy from Monster Hunter Rise
Practice new weapons on the training dummy
Image: Capcom via Polygon

To make the best decision for you, check our guide on how to pick a weapon in Monster Hunter Rise. For those who want some quick advice, here’s a breakdown of each weapon by category and what you need to know about each one.

As a beginner, the best weapon in Monster Hunter Rise is the one that lets you focus on the monsters.

The easiest way to get good at Monster Hunter learning to understand the monsters first. If you choose a starting weapon that requires you to think more about how to use it than paying attention to what the monster is doing, you won’t have a satisfying experience.

The joy of Monster Hunter is feeling like you are the one in control in a battle against a gargantuan beast. To get to that point, you must move confidently around your opponent first. Once you can read them, then you can focus on mastering your weapon.

Best starter weapons

If you have absolutely no idea what weapon to pick in Monster Hunter Rise, choose one of these:

Dual blades allow you to mash buttons and deal a ton of damage without too much thought. If you just want to hit buttons and feel like a living buzzsaw, then you’ll love this pair of knives. Dual blade users can activate an additional attack mode that lets them deal even more devastation while expending additional stamina.

The hammer is a powerful weapon that becomes more dangerous as you master it. This bludgeoning weapon teaches you the importance of charging up powerful attacks while allowing you to move around to get a better sense of positioning.

The lance has one of the simplest play styles in the game, but it’s also one of the strongest weapons. It trades mobility for a nearly impenetrable shield, the ability to counterattack, and powerful pokes. If you like the idea of holding your ground, shrugging off attacks, and taking a measured approach to victory, then this is your weapon.

The light bowgun is the easiest ranged weapon to use. It will allow you to keep your distance and move around with much more ease than its heavier counterpart. Using it will teach you about positioning and choosing ammo types to deal special damage.

The long sword is a great introduction to playing flashy weapons. Its basic strikes charge up a meter that allows you to pull off special attacks. Use those abilities smartly, and you can empower yourself to hit even harder. Just know that your sweeping strikes can knock over teammates.

The sword and shield from Monster Hunter Rise
The sword and shield is a versatile starter weapon
Image: Capcom via Polygon

The sword and shield is the most versatile weapon in the game. It mixes offense, defense, and utility with its ability to use items without sheathing your weapon. It’s not the most powerful weapon in the game, but if you like being able to do a little bit of everything, this is the piece of gear for you.

Advanced weapons

Once you get more comfortable with playing Monster Hunter Rise, consider graduating to more challenging weapons.

The gunlance merges some of the combat philosophies of the standard lance and a ranged weapon. While you’ll still approach monsters with a sturdy shield in hand and poking at it with your lance when the timing is right, you’ll also manage an ammo meter to take explosive shots at your targets. If you’ve mastered the tank-like gameplay of the lance and want something literally a bit more bombastic, try this weapon.

The heavy bowgun requires a bit more timing and management than other ranged weapons. Shots must be charged up before letting rounds loose, which may make you feel a bit like a lumbering tank. You can craft several types of ammo that make you more effective, and different bowguns even have different types of special ammo that charge over time, almost like a super move in a fighting game.

The hunting horn from Monster Hunter Rise
The hunting horn is one of the most unique weapons in the game
Image: Capcom via Polygon

The hunting horn is basically the bard/support class in Monster Hunter Rise. Make no mistake though: This unique weapon can still deal knockouts like the hammer. Unlike its bludgeoning counterpart, each swing of the hunting horn plays a note. When you play the same note twice mid-combo, you automatically cast a buff for you and your teammates.

The switch axe is a morphing weapon that switches from a sword to — you guessed it! — an axe. Both modes can combo in and out of one another, giving this weapon a unique flow. Once you figure out the combos and learn to charge up attacks effectively, you’ll find some rewarding and fun gameplay.

Complex weapons

Weapons in this category are for those who want to micromanage the damage they deal and love the idea of juggling different systems in their head while fighting.

The bow is a complex ranged weapon for a few reasons. For one, it requires you to constantly manage your stamina to ensure you deal the most damage possible and balancing that against keeping enough energy to evade when needed. It also requires late-game abilities, gear, and coatings to really be its most effective.

The charge blade from Monster Hunter Rise
The charge blade is the most complex weapon in the game
Image: Capcom via Polygon

The charge blade is the most complex weapon in the game. While it may look like the sword and shield, this weapon is actually a complex device that requires you to deal damage, store that energy into different containers, and then transform your weapon to deal a load of damage. It can be satisfying once mastered, but it requires a good understanding of monster attack patterns and managing how and when you deal damage.

The great sword is almost tailor-made for Monster Hunter experts. It’s slow, deals an enormous amount of damage, and requires near-perfect timing and positioning to be effective. Inexperienced players will find it hard to land a hit on their targets. Once you’ve mastered the great sword, you’ll become a living guillotine.

The insect glaive is the flashiest weapon in the game. It trades the stable, on-the-ground combat of every weapon in Monster Hunter Rise for the ability to jump and spin around monsters. Not only that, but it comes with a bug companion that lets you gain different buffs depending on where your insect pal hits a monster. To make the most of this weapon, you’ll must understand how to control your trajectory, as well as how and when to use your bug to extract power-ups mid-fight.


How to forge new armor and gear

After you defeat or capture a monster, you’ll receive crafting resources from them. Use these bits and pieces at the Steelworks to forge new armor and weapons.

The forgemaster in Monster Hunter Rise
The Steelworks is where you go to forge new armor and weapons
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Throughout Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll unlock new tiers of gear as you encounter different large monsters and raise your Hunter Rank. While browsing through the list of available gear on offer at the Steelworks, you’ll see what crafting resources are required to forge new items.

To craft armor and weapons from specific monsters, you’ll need to defeat and capture them more than once. Each piece of armor and its associated weapons require multiple crafting resources.

To find out how to get a piece of crafting material from a monster, open up your Options menu by pressing +, and then Info > Hunter’s Notes > Large Monsters. Next, choose the monster need parts from and navigate to their Materials tab.

A crafting materials sheet in Monster Hunter Rise
This list tells you how likely it is to get what you need
Image: Capcom via Polygon

There you’ll find percentages that show the likelihood of finding certain parts from capturing, breaking off parts, carving, and so on.

To get a better understanding on making new equipment, check out our guide on how to craft armor and weapons.


Understanding quest types

Throughout Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll be doing quests for the twin maidens Hinoa and Minoto.

Hinoa hangs outside near the Steelworks and will give you all of your single-player quests. Minoto is set up in the Gathering Hub, where you’ll do your harder quests that can also be done in multiplayer mode. Their two types of missions don’t intermingle, though Hinoa will offer you quests that will unlock harder quests at her sister’s station once you progress further into the story.

Hinoa from Monster Hunter Rise
Hinoa hands out single-player quests
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Hinoa hands out village quests that further the single-player story. At first, she’ll offer you level one missions. After completing a batch of them, she’ll reveal more challenging quests as you learn more about the world of Kamura and their monster troubles.

Once you get far enough into the story, Hinoa will offer Special License Tests. Complete one of these challenging missions, and you can instantly raise the rank of missions over at her sister’s quest board in the Gathering Hub.

Minoto from Monster Hunter Rise
Minoto gives you hub quests
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Minoto deals with hub quests, which you can do solo or through multiplayer. These missions are harder and the monsters you face will be more challenging if you take them on with more players.

At first, Minoto will offer Low Rank hub quests. This missions will be challenging but easy enough without a party. Eventually, you’ll get High Rank missions that only get more brutal as you climb in difficulty. She also offers Rampage quests in both Low and High Rank variety.

Both sisters also administer Optional Subquests. You can complete these smaller challenges in any of the sisters’ missions. The reward for these subquests are usually crafting items and Armor Spheres, which you can use to upgrade armor. You can have five of these at a time, and you should always have the max amount queued up.


Understanding progression and High Rank

Monster Hunter games are meant to be enjoyed for months and even years. That said, you shouldn’t worry too much about having the best armor and weapons until you reach Rise’s endgame — which as of the time we’ve written our review, isn’t even ready yet.

As you move through the single-player mode, you’ll eventually beat the game and even get a lovely end credits scroll. This is far from the end of the game. The true core of Monster Hunter Rise won’t show its face until you reach High Rank.

When you’ve unlocked High Rank missions, you’ll have new levels of armor and weapons to craft that make everything else you currently have look underpowered by comparison. So until you reach High Rank, don’t worry too much about gear. Craft mismatched outfits. Try new weapons. Experiment until you reach High Rank because that’s when your gear decisions really matter.