Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is out this month for Nintendo Switch and PC, and delivers a massive amount of new content for fans. Whether it’s new monsters to hunt (and suffer at the hands of), new weapons and armor to craft, or a new region to explore, there’s a lot to dive into when it launches on June 30th. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before picking it up.
Following a request from Fiorayne, a Knight of the Royal Order, the player embarks overseas to a new kingdom besieged by the Three Lords. These are powerful monsters that have been causing a ruckus and, as you may guess, need to be hunted. One of the new areas is The Citadel, which offers more of a Western vibe and ominous purple haze compared to the regions neighboring Kamura Village.
Along with snow-covered mountains, you’ll also come across the mysterious ruins of a castle. As producer Ryozo Tsujimoto told Polygon, “With Rise, it was more focused on the Japanese folklore motif. But with the addition of new Master Rank quests on the Sunbreak side, once [players] start taking part in those, they will be more fully immersed in the Western motif.”
Elgado Outpost will be your new home in Sunbreak with new NPCs to meet and quests to complete. Admiral Galleus is the Commanding Officer; Bahari leads the Research Team; Chichae handles the quests; Minayle is the Smithy; Oboro is the Merchant; Master Arlow is the Arena Master; and Sir Jay is, well, there. You’ll meet other colorful characters like Doctor Tadori and Dame Luchika but there will still be interactions with Kamura Village’s cast.
That’s because Sunbreak introduces something brand new to the series – Followers. Some single-player quests in Sunbreak allow for major NPCs to fight beside you. Along with using items like healing and traps, they can also ride monsters. Each has their own unique weapon – like Galleus’s Great Sword, Sir Jay’s Charge Blade, Fiorayne’s Sword and Shield, and more. Upon progressing, more Follower Quests become available along with other NPCs like Hinoa and Minoto from Kamura. Completing their quests also nets “exclusive rewards” of some sort.
New (and Returning) Monsters
The Three Lords are inspired by horror movie monsters – Malzeno is the new Elder Dragon and has a Dracula-like elegance. It can drain health from a Hunter and also undergo a transformation when doing so. Lunagaron is your werewolf, capable of walking on its hind-legs and relentlessly attacking with its front claws. Garangolm resembles Frankenstein’s monster, wielding Fire and Water attacks in each arm to inflict Fireblight and Waterblight respectively. Monsters like Seregios (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate), Shogun Ceanataur (Monster Hunter 2) and Astalos (Monster Hunter Generations) are also making a comeback.
New monsters also means new subspecies because your punishment must be more severe. Magma Almudron is a fiery version of Almudron; Arora Somnacanth unleashes blasts and breaths of ice; and Blood Orange Bishaten keeps pinecones in its pouch while igniting and throwing them at Hunters. If Iceborne is any indication, expect several other subspecies to be revealed over the course of the campaign.
Master Rank Quests
Master Rank officially debuts in Rise with Sunbreak, bringing higher difficulty quests for players to complete. On top of the newer monsters falling into the Master Rank category, some of the older monsters also get new attacks, thus keeping veteran players on their toes. Of course, it also introduces its own progression path that will likely require higher rarity materials.
Master Rank Armor and Weapons
Armor and weapons are the lifeblood of any Monster Hunter experience and Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak introduces a lot of them. In addition to higher Attack and Defense values, we know that Master Rank weapons will have higher degrees of sharpness (as they do) and it should be possible to slot in even higher levels of skills than before thanks to Master Rank armor. What Master Rank Charms, Petalaces and so on bring to the table remains to be seen though.
New Silkbind Attacks and Switch Skills
The 14 weapon archetypes are getting better (well, except if you use Lance) with each receiving a new Silkbind Attack and Switch Skill. The Long Sword has Harvest Moon as a new Silkbind Attack which increases the hits landed from counters. There’s also the new Sacred Sheath Switch Skill which sheathes your sword but at a slower rate, dealing more damage based on Spirit Gauge level.
The Bow, meanwhile, gets Butcher’s Bind which fires an Ironsilk Arrow. When shooting the same spot as the arrow, Severing damage is dealt. Stake Thrust also works like a mini-Wyrmstake Cannon, dealing additional hits when shot at. These are just a few examples – there’s a good amount of experiment with, whether you’re looking for mobility or utility.
Switch Skill Swap
But it gets even better. The new Switch Skill Swap allows for changing your Silkbind Attack and Switch Skills on the fly (which can be followed up with an evade for more mobility). This is done by setting two kinds of skill loadouts – Red and Blue – with the skills you want and then switching between them in combat. Want to open with a Soaring Kick into a Helmbreaker, then swap to a Silkbind Sakura Slash to down a monster and deal massive damage with the Long Sword’s Sacred Sheathe? Go right ahead.
It wouldn’t be an expansion without quality-of-life changes and improvements. No, there’s no Clutch Claw here, thankfully. Instead, wall-running no longer requires wirebugs. Also, when a monster is prepped for Wyvern Riding, you can choose to keep attacking it instead of riding. New Morphed Wirebugs have also been added and while they both make for easier Wyvern Riding initiation and faster Wirebug Gauge recovery speed, the Ruby Wirebug deals more damage with Mounted Punishers. The Gold Wirebug increases the chance of monsters to drop materials when hit by Wyvern Riding Attacks.
Bleed damage is returning with Sunbreak but there are some changes. Instead of dealing damage with every action when you’re afflicted with bleed, you’ll now fill a Bleeding Buildup Gauge. This will build up to a single instance of additional damage when you’re next hit with an attack. Crouching removes the debuff though a consumable that does the same is likely to be included. Before you think it’s just like Elden Ring, recent gameplay with Seregios indicates that the additional damage dealt by bleed is minimal.
A new feature in the Canteen is Hopping Skewers, which levels up two Dango Skills at the cost of weakening the third. The trade-off is that the activation chances for the stronger skills are slightly lowered. A Dango Ticket may be capable of counteracting this though. There’s apparently “lots to experiment with” in terms of skill combinations but we’ll have to wait and see just how impactful this is. Fortunately, Hopping Skewers is completely optional.
Simultaneous Launch on Switch and PC
To say that PC players were shafted with Monster Hunter World and its expansion Iceborne is an understatement. Not only did both launch several months later on PC but their content updates would also arrive later (the less said about optimization, the better). Despite Rise coming nearly a full year later on PC after the Switch version, Capcom did a good job ensuring all of its title updates were available from launch. Sunbreak will be available simultaneously for PC and Nintendo Switch players at launch, thus ensuring parity from day one itself.
Free Post-Launch Content
Much like the base game and previous Monster Hunter titles before, Sunbreak will receive free post-launch title updates that add new content. More details are coming in June but expect new monsters, armor, weapons and quality-of-life features. And thanks to version parity, PC players will get this new content on the same day as Nintendo Switch.
If you’re looking to get into Sunbreak on PC, then good news – the system requirements are pretty much the same as Monster Hunter Rise. You’ll need an Intel Core i3-4130, a Core i5-3470 or an AMD FX-6100, 8 GB of RAM and either a GeForce GT 1030 (DDR4) or a Radeon RX 550. This will be enough to run the game 1080p/30 FPS at “Low” settings. Recommended requirements include a Core i5-4460 or AMD FX-8300, 8 GB of RAM, and a GTX 1060 3 GB or a Radeon RX 570 with 4 GB VRAM.
This allows for running the game at 1080p/30 FPS on “Average” settings. 36 GB of installation space is needed in both cases. Capcom notes these system requirements are subject to change during development, but if you can handle the free Monster Hunt Rise demo on Steam, then Sunbreak shouldn’t pose any trouble.