Monster Hunter Generations, the latest entry in Capcom’s long running action RPG series, just launched on the Nintendo 3DS, and it continues the franchise’s steady evolution towards greatness. While Monster Hunter Generations is undoubtedly the most accessible game in the franchise yet, it also has multiple new mechanics, all layered on top of the existing framework of mechanics that Monster Hunter already had- this means there’s an almost staggering amount of depth in this title, and there can be almost too much to keep track of.
To the newcomer, trying to figure out the systems of Monster Hunter can be the most daunting thing at the beginning- how do they figure out what weapon classes are, how do they understand the intricacies of combat, what is crafting and how does it work, and how are they supposed to know when the monster they are hunting is about to be taken down? This guide covers all of that, and more. Whether you’re a newcomer, or a Monster Hunter veteran, this guide will be your one stop guide to everything Monster Hunter Generations.
BEGINNER TIPS AND BASIC INFORMATION
There’s a lot going on in Monster Hunter, so much so that it is easy to get lost, and completely lose your bearings. That’s where this section of the guide comes in handy. For any newcomer to the franchise, these basic tips and suggestions will help you get a firm base to start from, so you don’t feel completely at sea as you start your career as a monster hunter.
Quests are divided by difficulty level, starting at 1 star, and going up from there. Generally speaking, start from the lower difficulty ones before you attempt the tougher ones.
The canteen is where you can eat a meal before you embark on a quest, after you have accepted it. Mixing together different ingredients results in different meals, which give you different buffs and bonuses. Be sure to always check in at the canteen before you set out on a quest, and be sure to keep track of what recipes work best for you.
Weapons are the closest thing Monster Hunter has to character classes- your play style is completely determined by the weapon you choose. That said, the decision is not binding- if you don’t feel as though the weapon you are using is working for you, you can always switch to a different one. In fact, you are best advised to experiment as much as you can with the full range of weapons the game has to offer.
Your quest map is divided into multiple zones, usually ten. These zones are different segments of the map, with one of them always being your base camp. Always make sure to familiarize yourself with all the zones of the map on your quest- the last thing you want is to be running from a very angry monster later on, stumbling into a zone you hadn’t gone to before, and then finding yourself confronted by some very angry smaller monsters, that only add to your worries.
Collect everything you see. There are a lot of collectibles in Monster Hunter– ore, bugs, herbs, honey, and more. In general, if something stands out on the map, it can be collected. Walk up to it and collect it. On that note…
Always be stocked up. Items in Monster Hunter are limited use- this applies to consumables, such as potions and rations, but also to other items like bug catching nets, fishing rods, and pickaxes, which you use to collect the items found around the map. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re being attacked, but can’t recover health right away, or where there’s a shiny node, but you can’t mine it, because you didn’t have enough of the items on hand.
Shinier is better. This is fairly basic- the nodes you mine in Monster Hunter come in varying degrees of luster. The shinier it is, the better loot it will yield.
The starting area of your quest is your base camp. Familiarize yourself with it. This has a bed for you to rest on and recover HP and stamina, a red delivery box for you to deposit any quest items in, and a blue supplies box, which has some basic supplies and rations to help you on your quest. There is also a transpurrter, which is a new box that you can drop off consumables in- for items that have a maximum number that you can carry, such as Honey, this box comes in handy, because any excess loot you come upon can be deposited into it, then delivered to your storage at your home.
Paintballs are essential. Use them! Once you find the monster you are supposed to be hunting, the first thing you should do is mark it with paintball. This is because once you attack the monster a lot, the monster will attempt to flee from you, and run to other zones of the map. A paintball marks the monster, so that it will always show up on your minimap, making it easy for you to tell which zone of the map it is fleeing to.
Pay attention to the monster. Monster Hunter has no HP bars for enemies- instead, it relies on your observation skills. You must pay attention to the monster you are hunting for certain tells- for instance, when it starts limping, or when it starts getting exhausted, or when it flees the zone you are in, you know you’ve weakened it, and you’re close to killing it. Keep at it. Conversely, you must also keep track of devastating special attacks the monster may launch- it has specific attack patterns that you should always be mindful of, so you know when to run, dodge, or step aside. Also keep track of the environment, and how the monster uses it.
Prepare! Each monster is different, each quest is different, and make sure you prepare accordingly. Eat the appropriate meal at the canteen, get the necessary supplies, equip the necessary gear, and make sure you are prepared to take on the monster you will be facing, along with all of its tells.
Don’t get too attached to your gear. You’ll be collecting a lot of loot from the monsters you slay- use it! Take it to the armory, and craft yourself better weapons and armor (or upgrade your current set). This can and will help you greatly as you attempt to slay more monsters. Crafting better weapons and armor with the material you get from hunting monsters is the core gameplay loop of Monster Hunter.
Craft better supplies. All the material you gather can be combined to craft some more useful material, such as potions. Experiment, and craft some supplies for yourself. Any recipe you discover is automatically saved.
Pay attention to the menus. Is there a certain game mechanic that eludes understanding? Are you lost in your quest, and you don’t know where you should be going, or what you should be doing? Open up your menu, and you’ll find answers. There are lots of tutorials, quests descriptions, and flavor text for you there- perusing it can help you find your footing as a measure of first resort.
The signature new mechanic that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate introduced, and which carries over into Monster Hunter Generations, is verticality, which specifically manifests itself in you being able to mount monsters. Mounting monsters has multiple benefits- you can hack away at them while you’re on them, dishing out damage, and if you successfully manage to knock them down, you stun them for long enough that you can dish out even more damage to them as they lie there defenseless.
There are three separate approaches to mount monsters:
Leap off a higher ledge (or similar environmental advantage) onto the monster;
Use the Aerial Style to chain jumps and mount the monster;
Use your Insect Glaive to vault into the air and land on top of the monster
In all three cases, once you get on top of the monster, you must press down R to stay on it. A meter shows up on the screen- if the skull is green, press X and A rapidly, and start filling out the meter. If the skull flashes yellow, hold off on attacking it, because the monster may try to buck you off. If you manage to fill the full meter before the skull catches up to it, you knock the monster down, rendering it defenseless for a precious few seconds, giving you the chance to land more blows on it and weakening it even more.
Hunting Styles are the new mechanical addition in Monster Hunter Generations, and they are the closest the game gets to giving you classes for your hunter. Different Hunting Styles reflect different playing styles, and which Hunting Style you have also determines how many Hunting Arts (special moves) you will be able to equip.
There are four Hunting Styles:
Guild Style: This is basically the standard Monster Hunter style of play- if you are a veteran of the franchise, and would rather stick with what you know, the Guild Style is what you want to stick with. The Guild Style is the most balanced Hunting Style, and it is recommended that everyone start by choosing this, until they can determine just what their playstyle emphasizes.
Striker Style: This is for offensive players. You get to equip three Hunting Arts, you get to chain together multiple combos, and you even get bonuses upon getting hit. For newcomers most used to other action games, the Striker Style may be what they feel most at home with.
Aerial Style: If you emphasize verticality and jumping and mounting in your play style, then the Aerial Style is what you want to go for. It lets you jump at will, and chain jumps at that- to balance that out, however, you only get to equip one Hunting Art. This is a Style recommended for those players who are already comfortable with the basics of Monster Hunter, and who are ready to try out some sophisticated techniques.
Adept Style: As the name suggests, this Style is aimed squarely at franchise veterans. Of all the Styles, this one emphasizes defensive play and patience the most. It is all about dodging, countering, and pushing in with an attack as soon as you get an opening. Players who are familiar with the flow of Monster Hunter will love the Adept Style. This Style also lets you equip only one Hunting Art.
As we already pointed out in the Basic Tips and Information section of the guide, finding better loot and crafting and upgrading your weapons and armor to hunt better monsters, to find better loot, is the core gameplay loop of Monster Hunter. If you’re not upgrading your gear, then you are simply not playing the game right.
The video below walks you through how to upgrade your weapons:
Upgrading your weapons is only half the story- the best offense is a good defense, and your defense is directly tied to your armor. Crafting better armor, and upgrading the armor you have, is essential to success in Monster Hunter Generations.
The video below walks you through how to upgrade your armor:
Crafting is flat out one of the most important and integral parts of Monster Hunter. All the material that you find on the field – spider-webs, honey, mushrooms – can be joined together to create more useful items and supplies for your inventory. Everything from bug catching nets to potions can be crafted with the stuff that you find.
Unfortunately, Monster Hunter doesn’t tell you how to craft any of this stuff, and you must stumble upon it through sheer trial and error. Once you do discover a recipe, it’s saved so you can look it up later- but finding it in the first place is the hard part.
Happily enough, you have us. Below are some of the absolutely essential recipes that every hunter worth their salt should have at the tips of their fingers:
Hot Drink: Hot Pepper + Bitterbug
Cool Drink: Ice Crystal + Bitterbug
Pitfall Trap: Trap Tool + Net
Shock Trap: Trap Tool + Thunderbug
Potion: Herb + Blue Mushroom
Mega Potion: Potion + Honey
Mega Nutrients: Nutrients + Honey
Antidote: Blue Mushroom + Antidote Herb
Mega Pickaxe: Mystery Bone + Machalite Ore
Mega Bug Net: Ivy + Monster Bone M
Energy Drink: Nitroshroom + Honey
Palicoes are hunting companions that accompany you on your hunts in single player mode (and can be played as in Prowler Mode). You can scout Palicoes for yourself by going to the Palico Ranch in Bherna and talking to the Meowstress. She gives you your first Palico, which is a Charisma focused one, but then lets you scout and recruit up to two more.
In general, you should try to have a Healing focused Palico (to get you out of a pinch) and a Fighting Palico (to dish out some extra attacks on monsters you fight). Do not make the mistake of only recruiting Fighting Palicoes, not at first- that might sound tempting, but especially for new players, having all the defensive support that they can get is necessary. Over time, you will probably learn enough about your playstyle that you can decide just what kinds of Palicoes you want to accompany you.
Also remember, once you have recruited Palicoes, you manage them from the Palico Board.
The video below is a quick primer on how to get armor for your Palicoes:
THE BEST ARMOR
Monster Hunter is all about finding the best loot- and there are definitely sets that are better than other sets, but there are usually a lot of them that are evenly matched, and most armor is well balanced. For a newcomer, trying to figure out what armor they should try to aim for can be absolutely daunting- and the act of hunting down the monsters necessary to obtain the parts needed to craft that armor, even more so.
The videos below walk you through some of the notable armor sets you should maybe try to get early on. It is expected that you will experiment and end up crafting better, higher ranked armor as you play more and learn the ropes:
SHIELDS AND WEAPONS
If you’re playing with Shields and Swords, then the video below will show you some of the weapons you should aim at getting for yourself. Do remember, though, that there is a staggering variety of weapons in the game, even within any given weapon class- the list below is in no way definitive, and you should not be afraid to experiment with something not listed here:
If you decide to play with Longswords, the video below will serve as a good introduction to some of the ones you should look at getting for yourself. Remember, though, there are so many weapons in this game, and this list is in no way definitive. Don’t be afraid to experiment with something not included in this video:
Arguably the most versatile weapon in the game, Insect Glaives nonetheless require the player to have some level of familiarity with the game and its systems. They emphasize sophisticated combos, as well as techniques such as vaulting and mounting monsters, not to mention using your insects to collect ‘essences’ and gain temporary boosts. If you decide that you want to play with an Insect Glaive, then the video below can help you figure out which one is the best one for you- but as always, don’t be afraid to experiment:
One of the tougher weapons to get a hang of is the Gunlance, which comes with a whole range of special moves that the player can utilize to get an advantage, if they are good enough, but suffers in terms of regular, close up attacks. Veterans looking for a challenge will go with a Gunlance, but if you’re a relative newcomer who wants to try out the weapon class, the video below is your friend. But remember- don’t be afraid to experiment:
Hunting Horns net out devastating damage, especially if you can time your notes right- this is definitely not a weapon that newcomers want to try out with, because, and this cannot be stressed enough, it is highly unusual in how it plays, and assumes familiarity with the game’s systems on some level. As a result, they are some of the lesser used weapons, given how long it can take for a player to master them fully.
That said, if you’re going to be playing with a Hunting Horn, the below video will show you some of the best ones you might want to look at getting:
Great Sword users make trade offs- great damage, but at a hefty sacrifice of speed. For players favoring damage above all else, Great Swords are the way to go. Once you master their various techniques, these can be arguably the most devastating weapons in the game.
The video below shows some of the best Great Swords you can find:
Lances are among the least used weapons in the Monster Hunter community- but if you decide to play with them, the video below will serve as a good introduction to some of the ones you should look at getting for yourself. Remember, though, there are so many weapons in this game, and this list is in no way definitive. Don’t be afraid to experiment with something not included in this video: