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Monster Hunter: World guide: How to upgrade your armor

Making something new or improving what you already have

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The New World in Monster Hunter: World is unforgiving and full of monsters that want to maim, eat or otherwise inconvenience you. Every new monster you meet will have a larger mountain of hit points and deadlier attacks. To survive, you’ll need to upgrade or craft new armor at the same time you’re building deadlier weapons.

Monster Hunter: World isn’t exactly forthcoming about what to look for in armor and what you need to do to improve it. Below, we’ll talk about understanding your armor and its stats and then how to decide on the best way to protect yourself.

Understanding your armor

Forging new armor at the smith list the required materials and the stats of you new gear.
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In the workshop in Astera, you can choose to forge new equipment or upgrade what you already have at the smithy. When you’re looking at your armor, you’ll see a block of stats labeled equipment info on the right side of your screen.

  • Level just tells you how many times you’ve upgraded the item already.
  • Rarity tells you how hard it is to collect the materials to make the armor.
  • Defense is the number you should care the most about. It’s your indication for how much damage your armor will protect you from. The math doesn’t really matter here — bigger is just better.
  • The next few numbers indicate the armor’s ability to defend against elemental attacks. Again, the math doesn’t matter — positive is good, negative is bad.
  • The slot indicates the skill conveyed by that piece of gear. You can press a button indicated on screen for more information on your skills.

For all of the stats, the numbers will turn red if the new or upgraded piece is worse and green if the armor is better. Sometimes, you’ll have to trade off benefits and skills for a better raw defense stat.

For the most part — especially early on in the game — you’re pretty safe choosing your armor solely based on the defense stat. Big numbers equals good armor.

Just make something better

The more monsters you kill, the more fashion choices you get. Including some really cool sunglasses.
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Any time (or almost any time) you carve materials off of a new monster, you’ll unlock a new set of armor in the workshop. Head back to the smithy often to see what you’ve unlocked lately.

As you encounter new monsters and figure out how to kill them, make sure to pick up as many of their footprints, skidmarks, mucus and other leavings as you can find. These will unlock investigations that will help you collect even more carved-off parts. Those, in turn, will let you make that shiny new armor you’ve got your eye on.

Don’t forget to use the wish list in the workshop. This will give you on-screen updates as you collect the things you need.

Upgrade what you’ve already got

Choosing gear to upgrade.
Capcom

It’s not always the best approach to throw yourself at difficult monster over and over in the hopes of getting the very best armor. Once you get some armor that’s good enough — something with good stats that’s made out of a monster you can consistently defeat — you have the option to upgrade what you already have. Increasing your armor’s level by upgrading it will improve it’s stats.

To upgrade your armor, you’ll need the armor spheres that you earn by completing bounties and investigations. Take those to the workshop where you can choose to upgrade your equipment.

Upgrading your armor using armor spheres.
Capcom

Upgrading is how you increase the level of your armor. Each level requires a certain number of points to attain and each armor sphere will add one point. You can track how many points you need on the upgrade screen.

Each piece of armor can only be upgraded a limited number of times (but as you progress through the game, you’ll unlock additional upgrades). You can see how many upgrade levels are left on the upgrade screen as well.