Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is an expansion for last year’s Monster Hunter Rise, and adds a host of new content to keep players busy. Beyond what you might expect — like a new story campaign — Sunbreak offers a bunch of new monsters to the original game’s roster, new arenas to fight in, new gameplay mechanics, a new kind of quest, and more.
Below, we’ve broken down six of the new additions to know about before jumping into Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak.
New and returning monsters
Sunbreak adds 17 monsters to Rise’s roster. Most of these are creatures Monster Hunter veterans have tackled before in other games. However, there are four brand new monsters to the franchise in Sunbreak, including the flagship Elder Dragon, Malzeno.
With several subspecies variants of Rise monsters and the original Rise roster now available in the Master Rank difficulty, Sunbreak has a wide variety of creatures to battle.
There are two new areas where you can hunt monsters in Sunbreak.
The first is the Jungle, which is a returning area from the franchise. Like the name suggests, it’s a lush jungle island that features beaches, caves, and vine-laden forests. The thing to know about the Jungle is that it’s teeming with endemic life, and features a few unique ways to pile damage onto monsters (which we’ll talk about more in a second).
The Citadel is the second new area, and it seems to take inspiration from Castlevania. It features a dilapidated castle, a snowy summit, a swamp, and some grim-looking wooded areas. It’s a moody arena, and it’s where you’ll fight most of the story-critical monsters in Sunbreak.
A new capital
A new expansion means a new capital city to call home. Elgado Outpost has almost all of the stuff you can find in Kamura Village, but spread over far less space. This is a great feature, actually, as it reduces the time you’ll need to spend running between NPCs before you can get back to the hunt.
However, if you’re ever feeling homesick for Kamura Village, you can travel between the two hubs almost instantly — at least after you reach a certain point in the Sunbreak story.
New endemic life
Some new creatures have come to both new and old areas in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, and no, we’re not just talking about hunt-able monsters.
There are several new endemic life tools you can use to help you hunt monsters. There’s the Marionette Spider, which can pull your monster into walls. There are squids that can stab your monster if you lure it into the water, or crabs that act as turrets if there’s a KO’d monster in close proximity. There are even critters that attach themselves to walls and explode if you ride a monster into them.
In addition to these environmental beasts, there are new kinds of Wire Bugs as well, which augment you next Wyvern Ride. With Gold Wire Bugs, your attacks will shear more parts and pieces from your target monster. The Red Wire Bugs increase the damage of your most powerful Wyvern Riding attacks, which can be really helpful if you’re struggling to kill a difficult monster.
NPC friends will occasionally join you in hunts during Sunbreak (usually for big story missions). But outside of the campaign, you can recruit Followers to go hunting with you in special Follower quests and expeditions.
These Followers act like other human players, but are controlled by the computer instead of your friends. During hunts they’ll slice or bash the monster, use items, and even run off to a different zone, only to return riding a monster.
New switch skills and quick swap
The Switch Skill Swap is one of the biggest mechanical changes in Sunbreak, although its usefulness will vary drastically depending on how much you like to change up your playstyle.
This swap allows you to have multiple skill loadouts during a single hunt. All you need to do is customize your weapon’s Red Switch Skill Swap Scroll and Blue Switch Skill Swap Scroll sets with different behaviors and Silkbind attacks. Then, in mid-combat, you can swap between the move-sets with a press of two buttons.
If you enjoy using familiar moves all the time with your weapons, this addition won’t do much for you. But if you love customizing the behaviors of your hunting tools, this one mechanic will be a major gamechanger.