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Monster Hunter World guide: How to beat the Rathalos

A Fiery Throne Atop the Forest

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In Monster Hunter: World, the Rathalos is often referred to as the “King of the Skies” or simply “King.” He’s similar to the Rathian, the queen to his king. But this fire-breathing dragon is even more powerful than his green counterpart. You’ll need to prepare to beat the Rathalos. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to take down the king of the Ancient Forest.

When you’ll fight the Rathalos

Defeating a Rathalos will be one of your final assigned quests in part one of Monster Hunter: World. Once you encounter the First Wyverians, you’ll be sent on a mission to defeat a Diablos and a Rathalos. The Rathalos quest is called A Fiery Throne Atop the Forest. You’ll have 50 minutes to bring down the Rathalos. You’ll also be rewarded with 5,400 zenny if you’re victorious.

Where you’ll find the Rathalos


As king of the Ancient Forest, the Rathalos lives at one of the map’s highest points — his nest is in sector 16. Pulling yourself all the way up can be a real pain, but it has some excellent tactical advantages.

Behind the Rathalos nest is a great dam. If you can trick the Rathalos into attacking you by the dam (stand by it, basically), the rocks will explode and flood the nest. If the dragon gets caught in the waves, it’ll plummet all the way down the map and take extra damage. If you’re fighting the Rathalos, you need all the help you can get. From here, you should follow the dragon down the waterfall and chase it back up to its nest.

Rathalos weak points

The Rathalos has several weak points for you to focus on — his head, wings and tail, just like the Rathian.

However, unlike the queen, the Rathalos’ poison stems from its talons, not its tail. While you’ll likely get poisoned less when fighting the Rathalos, the ailment is still a concern. Instead of focusing on its tail, you should instead attempt to break his wings. Do that, and he’ll have a much harder time getting off the ground. This is an awesome way to get a loop of damage on the Rathalos, taking him down before he can ever get back up.

Preparing to fight the Rathalos

When you’re preparing food, eat a meal with plenty of health and elemental resistance abilities. The Rathalos will try and set you on fire every chance he gets. Reduce the incoming fire damage with resistance. Get defensive perks for your food if you can, and make damage your secondary goal.

Rathalos elements

Water and ice (⭐️) are weak against his hide. Thunder (⭐️⭐️) is decent. Dragon (⭐️⭐️⭐️) is very powerful. You should be able to build a dragon version of your weapon before you take on a Rathalos. Fire is ineffective.

Rathalos ailments

You can stun (⭐️⭐️) the Rathalos fairly effectively with big, beefy hits, and using a weapon like the hammer is great. Sleep and paralysis (⭐️⭐️) are equally as powerful as stun. Poison and blast (⭐️) are weak.

Useful items

For the Rathalos fight, bring all the potions and rations you can fit in your bag (10 of each, including mega potions). You can flash to knock him out of the air if you bring some flash pods (made with flashbugs). Finally, bring antidotes to keep his poison at bay.


How to beat the Rathalos

The Rathalos fight is very similar to the Rathian fight. The big difference here is how much more time the Rathalos spends in the air. This is why your main goal should be to break his wings, forcing the beast to the ground.

In terms of attacks, the Rathalos and Rathian share most things. However, the Rathalos has far more potent fire attacks and uses his tail less frequently. But the Rathalos is aggressive and will fly up and pressure you whenever he has a moment to spare. This can make taking potions very difficult. If you have a crew to call in to help with the Rathalos, do it.

The Rathalos will frequently try and use a swooping rake attack with his talons. This doesn’t deal very high damage but it’ll poison you. Don’t underestimate the damage of his poison. If you get poisoned by the talons, find a bush to hide in while you take an antidote.

Learning to kill the Rathalos is basically learning how to properly use the slinger. If you’re using a short-range melee weapon like the hammer or the duel blades, use your slinger instead. Pick up everything you can, trading out fruit for bombs as you find it on the ground. Aim for the dragon’s head and try and get him to tumble out of the air.

The easiest way to kill a Rathalos is to force him to land multiple times. Every time the Rathalos crashes, you’ll get an opportunity to beat his hide hard. After you’ve taken advantage of this tactic enough times, the Rathalos will drop for the final time.

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