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Monster Hunter: World guide: Three ways to manipulate the system and gain health

Be smart about meals, gear and items

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Monster Hunter: World is unconventional. In a standard role-playing game, you level up, increase your stats and eventually go back and best a big bad that’s been troubling you. But in the realm of Monster Hunter, everything is built around an economy of crafting — including basic stats like health. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to manipulate the system and gain health with with meals, gear and items.

Eat the best meals

The easiest way to increase your health is to head to the canteen on the middle level of Astera, the main hub. It’s a temporary boost, but you can eat an unlimited number of times throughout the game.

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Meals provide bonuses that last until you faint (this is a running theme with bonuses) or you complete a mission. If you scan through every option when choosing among meals, you’ll see the stat increases. Just choose the one you want.

The Chef’s Choice, Meat, and Unpredictable Platters generally provide the biggest health bonuses. Don’t take all of the meals at face value though, as you can influence those values through upgrades. Make a point to complete the chef’s quests, denoted by an exclamation mark over the main canteen NPC’s head, to enhance your meals.

Go back to Astera constantly, always eat before you embark on a mission, and fulfill the chef’s requests to maximize your health. It only takes a few minutes to complete this errand.

Forge and equip the best gear

Gear can provide nominal stat increases, but specific bonuses are really hard to come by. Most of the time, aim for defense (or elemental resistances) instead of a small health boost.

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If you’re looking for health early, bone armor is a boon. It’s accessible near the start of the game. As you start to square off against new monsters, other stats might trump health. Take the anjanath for example, the T. rex-like creature that will serve as the first hurdle for many players. Grinding for flame resistant armor is a better play here, as the anjanath’s fire breath can melt hunters in one hit, even if they have a large health pool.

Once you progress to the Coral Highlands, you’ll unlock charms. They’re essentially extra items you can equip for stat boosts, and the health charm increases hit points. This bonus item doesn’t have to be melded into anything. It’s merely equipped like a necklace.

Weigh the pros and cons of other charms before you commit to just a health increase. Dodging, blocking and mitigating damage are the keys to survival in Monster Hunter: World. They can outweigh stat increases.

Collect and craft the best items

Several items, most notably nutrients and max potions, can boost your health beyond what’s possible from meals and equipment.

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Nutrients slightly increase your maximum health temporarily. To craft a nutrient, you’ll need a bitterbug and a blue mushroom, which you can find throughout the first area, the Ancient Forest. You can also opt to craft an upgraded version, mega nutrients, with a nutrient sample and honey, which you can also find in the Ancient Forest.

You can upgrade your concoction even further. To make a max potion, you’ll need one mega nutrient and one mandragora, which you can find in the northeast Ancient Forest.

Don’t use these stat-boosting items until you’re sure you can tackle the task at hand. If you faint — even if you have a continue left — and hop back into the fray, the bonuses are gone, and it’s back to grinding to craft them again. Try to go a few rounds with a boss to get its pattern down and ensure that you’re not going to be immediately taken out even with the above stat-boosts.