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Monster Hunter Rise guide: How to upgrade armor skills

How to boost your skills with armor and decorations

The Smithy from Monster Hunter Rise Image: Capcom via Polygon

In Monster Hunter Rise, you use various sets of armor and weapons to take down massive beasts. However, you won’t rely on the stats on your gear alone to give you the edge in combat. Each piece of armor comes with unique armor skills that boost your hunter’s talents in different ways. To become the strongest hunter you can be, you need to maximize these armor skills to take on the toughest creatures.

In this Monster Hunter Rise armor skills guide, we’ll explain how to upgrade your armor skills. We’ll show you where you’ll find armor skills and how to create decorations that boost their abilities. We’ll also explain the differences in level skills and how different armor requires different types of decorations.

What are armor skills?

Each piece of armor in Monster Hunter Rise has several qualities. There are the obvious stats like defense and elemental resistances, but every piece of armor also has armor skills. Every piece of gear in the game has abilities baked into them, which grant different talents when they’re equipped.

The Chainmail Headgear S info screen in Monster Hunter Rise
This armor gives you Lv. 1 Botanist and Defense Boost skills
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Armor skills come in two varieties. There are armor skills that automatically grant abilities you normally don’t have, such as the Carving Pro armor skill, which prevents you from getting knocked down when carving. Then there are armor skills that increase in effectiveness through multiple levels. For instance, the Geologist armor skill allows you to gain an additional piece of ore from a gathering spot for each level you upgrade for the ability. In fact, a maxed out Geologist armor skill is a big part of our recommended zenny farming technique.

While it’s easy to find a piece of armor that instantly grants a skill that only has one level, figuring out how to upgrade armor skills with multiple levels takes a few steps.

How to upgrade armor skills

There are two ways to upgrade armor skills: You can wear multiple pieces of armor with the desired armor skill, or you can create and set decorations.

Mixing and matching armor

A mixed armor set in Monster Hunter Rise
This hideous outfit maxes out the Evade Extender armor skill
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Mixing and matching armor is a viable way to max out an armor skill, if you don’t mind looking odd.

To identify armor with a specific ability, you can search for every piece of armor that has it at the Smithy. To search for an armor skill, press the Y Button to access the sub-menu while looking at the Smithy’s armor selection. Then select Search/Sort > Skills, and then choose the armor skill you’re looking for.

With the chosen skill selected, every piece of armor will get a yellow exclamation point next to it. You can then preview each piece of armor to see what the outfit looks like by pressing the X Button to Toggle Preview on each piece of armor with the skill. With all the armor previewed, press the L and R Buttons until you get to page 5 of your Equipment Info tab on the right. You will see a list of all the skills this armor set provides.

While you might max out skills this way, you may end up with a questionable looking outfit.

Monster Hunter Rise decorations

Another way to upgrade armor skills is to create and set decorations.

Creating decorations at the Smithy
At High Rank, the Smithy can create decorations
Image: Capcom via Polygon

Once you unlock High Rank gear, you can create and wear decorations in your armor and some weapons. Decorations are gems you can slot into your gear that will boost different armor skills.

Decorations and the decoration slots in armor come in three levels (1, 2, and 3). Decoration slots can only accept decorations at their level or any levels below them. For example, a Lv. 1 decoration slot in a piece of armor can only accept a Lv. 1 decoration. However, a Lv. 3 decoration slot can accept decorations at all levels.

To begin crafting decorations, go to the Smithy and choose Decorations > Create Decorations.

Each decoration has different skills associated with them, as well as crafting materials and a zenny cost. Decorations also require one of two materials: Bloodrun Jewels or Aquaflow Jewels, which you get as rewards from High Rank hunts.

As you fight more monsters, you’ll begin unlocking more decorations to boost your armor skills. You can craft multiple decorations to slot into a single piece of gear as long as it has enough slots to accommodate them.

Setting decorations in Monster Hunter Rise
This armor has a Lv. 3 and Lv. 1 decoration slot
Image: Capcom via Polygon

By creating multiple decorations and slotting them into your different pieces of gear, you can easily boost whatever armor skill you like. Decorations also allow you to gain armor skills that your armor doesn’t naturally grant you. As long as you can craft the decorations, you can give your hunters whatever skills you want.