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Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin beginner’s guide

Combat, exploration, and team building tips

A Rider and Navirou look confident in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Image: Capcom via Polygon

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the latest in the franchise’s RPG adventure. As a young Rider, you’ll be battling alongside a monster companion as you defeat hordes of creatures throughout the story. While the combat in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is straightforward, there’s still plenty of advice to share for new and returning players to the series.

In this Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin beginner’s guide, we’ll share tips and tricks that will make the start of your journey much easier. We’ll explain some mechanics you might miss out on that are essential to making your adventure more rewarding. This guide also has tips on some of the best ways to boost your performance in combat and how to make your Monsties the best they can be.

Table of contents

Try to win Head-to-Head battles

The main combat mechanic in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the attack type system. As explained in our combat guide, this ruleset relies on using three different forms of attacks to beat opponents or cancel their assault altogether. Whenever you choose an attack or Equipment Skill, you must designate which attack type you want to perform: Power, Speed, or Technical.

In most cases, you can choose whatever attack you like to damage your enemy. However, when you and an enemy are targeting one another, then the attack type you chose matters. You’ll know when an enemy is targeting you when you see a colored line connecting the both of you.

The three attack types in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Mastering this system is key to winning fights
Image: Capcom via Polygon

When you and a monster target each other during the same turn, your attacks will initiate a Head-to-Head battle. Learning how to win these is essential to mastering combat. The winner of a Head-to-Head battle is chosen based on the wheel above. When you win a Head-to-Head attack, you will deal far more damage to your opponent and they will barely hurt you.

When you or your Monstie are targeted by an enemy during the same turn and you both choose attacks that would win a Head-to-Head battle, you’ll instead perform a Double Attack. A Double Attack deals even more damage and cancels your enemy’s attack.

Use your Monstie’s riding actions

A screen explaining Lead Monstie riding actions in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Your Lead Monstie’s riding action can help you find items
Image: Capcom via Polygon

As you explore the world of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, you’ll run across several monsters to fight, resources you can collect for combining items or forging armor and gear, as well as hidden areas like dens and Everdens. However, unless you keep an eye out for all of these objects, they may be easy to miss. Thankfully, your Monsties can help you find them all.

Each Monstie has a unique Riding Action you can use to navigate the open world or find resources and destinations. To find out what abilities your companions have, go to your Camp Menu then select Lead Monstie. In this menu, you’ll be able to see what Riding Actions each of your pals have.

Early in the game, you’ll use a Monstie called Ranmar to jump across designated gaps. However, other Monsties, like Kulu Ya-Ku, have an ability that lets them search for objects. That creature’s Nest Search ability allows you to pinpoint the location of dens and eggs with the press of a button. Once you use this skill, it will tag dens and eggs anywhere in your vicinity on your map.

Each Monstie has a unique skill, so once you’ve found the right egg and hatched a creature, check out what abilities they have.

Diversify your Monstie squad

Winning Head-To-Head battles and using the correct Riding Actions are key to survival in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. To have a successful team, you need quite a bit of diversity.

You want to have a balance of each fighting type on your roster. Each Monstie prefers a specific kind of attack, so pay attention to the little icons in your menu denoting whether they prefer Power, Technical, or Speed. Bring two of each with you and you’ll be able to take on any monster in battle, even when it enrages and swaps tactics.

Similarly, Wings of Ruin only has a handful of riding skills, and you’ll run into a lot of duplicates early in the game. Certain areas in the world are inaccessible without a specific Riding Action, so you want to make sure you have a good collection in your roster. If every monster you have can jump gaps like Ranmar, you’re missing out on other Riding Actions like Swim.

Keep Riding Actions and combat preferences in your mind before you leave the Stable for a new mission. You don’t want to see a treasure chest behind a rock and realize you need to hoof it back to town to pick up a Rock Breaker Monstie if you want to nab it.

Pick the Monstie you like

Monsties all serve different purposes depending on their Riding Action or combat preferences. But there are tons of Monsties to choose from, and some of them aren’t nearly as fun or exciting as the others.

Just have fun” isn’t always the most worthwhile tip, but we haven’t run into any truly punishing combat situations in our time with Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. It’s a great idea to diversify your squad for max efficiency, but picking Monsties that you think look cool or are some of your favorite hunts in the mainline Monster Hunter series might help you enjoy the experience more.

There’s a lot of grinding content in Wings of Ruin, and the story quests all follow a similar mold. But riding on the back of your favorite Monstie — rather than just your best Monstie — never gets old.

Use bottle caps to get special gear and items early

An info card on Melnyx Inc. in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
The Melnyx Inc. merchants sell high tier gear early
Image: Capcom via Polygon

You can pick up most of what you need by forging armor and weapons at the smithy and visiting the item vendor in each town. If you’re farming for zenny early in the game, you shouldn’t have an issue getting what you need from those two shops. However, to get some of the game’s rarer items, you’ll need bottle caps.

This unique currency is the only kind of cash that the secretive Melynx vendors will accept. You can find each of these vendors hidden in each town. You can get bottle caps from subquest from the quest board but you can also find this currency in Everdens. This special currency allows you to buy powerful gear before you can craft it on your own. You can also find unique items like ones that unlock new hairstyles or improve your stable size.

If you encounter an Everden or a subquest that offers bottle caps, be sure to stock up. If you have enough, you can get some strong armor and weapons early in the game that will help you move through the story easier.

Collect eggs early

Early on in Wings of Ruin, you’ll learn how to find and hatch eggs, turning them into mini-Monsties that take up a lot of room in your Stable. Both your stable and Egg Carton offer limited space, but you can use both to effectively hoard a lot of Monsties (both born and unborn).

Your Monsties start out as units for you to use in battle or ride around the world, but you’ll eventually be using them as currency for the Rite of Channeling system. If you want to improve your Monsties and make them the best they can be, you’re going to need a lot of Monsties in your care — it’ll be even better if you pick good eggs.

The cruel reality of Wings of Ruin is that you’ll eventually turn these unwanted eggs and Monsties into currency, so having a lot in stock once you get to the game’s second chapter should be beneficial. Which brings us to the Rite of Channeling itself ...

Improve your Monstie’s Genes

The Rite of Channeling is a complex system where you can sacrifice Monsties in your Stable, giving one of their Genes to another Monstie. There’s a lot going on in the Rite of Channeling — and you can check out our Rite of Channeling guide for more in-depth help — but the idea is relatively simple.

Each Monstie has Genes organized like a tic-tac-toe board. But through the Rite of Channeling you can transfer one Monstie’s Genes to another. The Monstie that lost a Gene will disappear forever and the Monstie that gained a gene will be even more powerful.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Rite of Channeling
The Rite of Channeling can be complex, but is worthwhile to learn
Image: Capcom via Polygon

There’s more to this system, like organizing Genes on the Monstie’s tic-tac-toe board to better improve their combat stats, and the game will teach it all to you once you get into the second chapter. Once you unlock it, you can use the Rite of Channeling anytime you want by visiting your Stable.

It’s important to perform the Rite of Channeling often if you want to improve your Monstie or give them a new move. Be sure to pick up eggs whenever you’re out, and clear out your Stable often by powering up your roster through the Rite of Channeling!

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