A key part of Monster Hunter Rise — and all Monster Hunter games, really — is turning the monsters you hunt into fabulous weapons and armor. The idea is that you hunt one monster, build something powerful from it that then allows for you to take on the next monster. And you continue that cycle through dozens of monsters throughout Rise.
Forging and upgrading is pretty simple in Monster Hunter Rise. it’s one of the main things you’ll be doing over the next few years of Rise’s lifecycle. In this guide, we’ll get into how to forge new weapons and armor, upgrade existing items, and further customize your gear to make you the ultimate hunter.
Forging new weapons
Forging a new weapon is simple. Once you collect some monster parts — or parts from smaller monsters in the environment, bones, or ore — take them to the Steelworks in Kamura Village. Talk to the Smithy and select Forge/Upgrade weapon. Now you’ll need to pick the type of weapon you want to either upgrade or forge. Select your choice, and the Smithy will show you a big tree.
There’s a lot of information on this page, but you don’t need to fear it. On the left, you’ll see monster names, as well as a little node with your weapon’s icon on it. The farther left the node is, the cheaper and weaker the weapon. The farther right, the more expensive and powerful the weapon.
More often than not, you’ll need to start with a weapon on the left and upgrade your way up to a powerful weapon. You can only craft new weapons if it’s a branch off of your current weapon — connected by the lines between icons — or if it has a T-shaped icon next to it. You can forge weapons with the T symbol even if you haven’t crafted the previous ones. These weapons usually start a new branch mid-way through the tree — so your weapon may start at Rarity 3 (a better weapon) rather than Rarity 1.
Upgrading existing weapons
In Monster Hunter Rise, upgrading and forging are all in the same menu. As we mentioned above, you can only forge certain weapons. To get better versions of what you have, you’ll need to upgrade them. Instead of looking for the T-shaped icon like when you’re forging, you want the box icon for upgrades. The box denotes that you own this weapon already.
From a weapon you already have, you can push forward in the tree with new upgrades. Sometimes this means jumping from one branch to another. You may start with a ore-based weapon and then upgrade by hopping branches to a Rathalos weapon.
You can’t upgrade from a weapon in a different tree. For example, you couldn’t take that same ore-based weapon and upgrade it into a Rajang weapon. Rajang is a late-game monster with its own forging and upgrade tree.
To upgrade, you’ll need some parts from the monster that your weapon is based on — albeit less than it takes to forge a new one. But some upgrades require you to sacrifice monster parts to meet a point threshold. Select this upgrade, and Monster Hunter Rise will show you a list of parts that you have. Each part has a point value, and you’ll need to feed parts of your choosing to the Smithy until you reach around 10 points. We tend to sacrifice the item we own the most of, or spread out out which parts we’re sacrificing so that we don’t completely run out of one part while having a pile of another.
This “choose your own parts” upgrade system only seems to be for meaningful upgrades, and you’ll usually just need a handful of specific parts for the next tier of weapon. You’ll know you need to sacrifice parts if, under the part counter on the upgrade screen, it says “Upgrade Material Types” and then lists a monster and a point value (which you can see with the Despot’s Thunderclap above).
Finally, you can rollback most weapons. If you look backward in a tree, you can rollback any weapon that has a yellow arrow on it. You’ll get the parts back and a decent amount of Monster Scrap for any parts that you sacrificed. This is useful for going down a different branch of the same tree without having to start over from scratch.
Forging and upgrade armor
Forging armor works like forging weapons. Select the option to forge armor from the Smithy, and you’ll get a large list. The armor sets are in order, organized by monster and their Rarity value — the lower down on the list you go, the better the armor.
Depending on how far you are in the game, you may also have to choose between Low Rank and High Rank armor (and High Rank armor will always be better). There are five pieces to any set: helmet, chest, arms, waist, and boots.
You’ll need monster parts to build these armor pieces, just like with weapons. Unlike weapons, each armor piece comes with a set of perks. For most perks, multiple armor pieces that have the same perk increase its effectiveness. In the early parts of Monster Hunter Rise, your defense value is far more important than your perks, so focus on that. But as you progress, consider the type of player you are and look at the perks before you craft your armor.
Upgrading armor is simple. You’ll need Armor Spheres, which you can earn by completing quests and special requests — the pre-mission bounties like pick up 10 bones or slay two large monsters. Like with the part upgrading system, you must feed your armor pieces different armor spheres, each with their own point values, to reach a point threshold and level up. The higher level your armor, the better protection you’ll get.
Customizing your gear
There are two major kinds of gear customization in Monster Hunter Rise:
- Rampage Skills are for weapons only.
- Decorations are for weapons and armor.
You’ll unlock Rampage Skills shortly after you play your first Rampage mission in Monster Hunter Rise. You’ll get a variety of Defender Tickets from these Rampage missions, and you can use these to further increase one aspect of your weapon. When you select the Ramp-Up menu, the Smithy will show you your weapon and ask you to pick. Maybe you can increase your weapon’s attack, or Affinity (critical chance), or elemental damage. But you can only pick one at a time, so choose wisely.
“Decorations” is the word that Monster Hunter Rise uses for gems. Decorations are essentially just items that house perks — the same kinds of perks you find on your armor. You can create them and then install them in your armor or weapons.
As you fight harder monsters, you’ll get a variety of gems and rare parts. You can then transform these gems and parts into Decorations at the Smithy.
Different armor and weapons have different decorations slots, so you’ll need to think carefully before you craft. For example, if you want the Fortified skill to help increase your damage if you die, but you don’t have it on your armor, you’ll need to forge a Fortified Decoration. But the Fortified Decoration is a level 2 gem, so it won’t fit in a level 1 socket. You’ll need a level 2 or level 3 socket to fit that gem.
You can also create Decorations for perks you already have on your armor, like Fire Resistance, and insert it to level it up and increase its effects. Fire Resistance, for example, goes up to level 3. If you only have two Fire Resistance perks on my armor, you can insert that Decoration to get level 3 and further increase your resistance to fire.
Both of these systems gradually make their way into the game as you progress, so you shouldn’t need to worry about them too much when you first start. But play around and experiment with them in the early levels of High Rank, as you’ll need everything in your power to hunt some of the later game monsters.