Monster Hunter: World: Everything you need to know

Japan's biggest sensation returns this year with a new-gen Monster Hunter: World for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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Monster Hunter: World fast facts

  • Genre: Action/RPG
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • Release date: 26/1/2018
  • Players: Four-player online co-op
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom

The Monster Hunter series has had a long and successful run in Japan, and to a lesser degree in the West. It's been over ten years since we've seen a Monster Hunter game on anything other than a Nintendo console, thanks to Ninty's immense popularity in Japan.

While the Nintendo Switch has been selling like hotcakes since its launch in Japan, the PS4 has performed admirably in the four years since its release.

So Capcom finally decided to bring the creature-culling phenomenon back to competing consoles and PC for a modernised take on the franchise with Monster Hunter: World.

The latest entry tasks a new generation of hunters with pursuing, finding, and cataloguing new monsters in a continent known only as the "the New World".

Monster Hunter World releases 26 January 2018 in Australia. Until then, here's everything you know to know about the monster-slaying multiplayer game.

Monster Hunter Review

Check out our working review of Monster Hunter: World.

Read our review

Gameplay: What's new in Monster Hunter: World?

Monster Hunter: World features all the action-RPG elements the series is known for, like inventory management, crafting and upgrading weapon and armour by taking down larger and larger monsters as the game progresses. Your furry Palico pals also return to assist you in the hunt.

Instead of the typical grind-based levelling found in most RPGs, the Monster Hunter series tasks the player with upgrading each weapon type and armour set using resources gathered on hunts to progress and Monster Hunter World doesn't break tradition. With that said, there's a slew of new and exciting features in the New World.

The Slinger: Buffs, debuffs and traversal

This new piece of kit resembles a wrist-worn crossbow and is standard issue for the New World Research Commission (the party the protagonist joins at the start of the game). The Slinger is a handy utility and hunter's best friend.

The Slinger can be loaded with a variety of ammo, like stones for distraction, knives for a surprise attack, ropes for traversal, capture nets for obvious reasons and more. The Slinger can also fire off ammo that buffs allies, and ammo that debuffs or stuns enemies.

As a grappling hook, the Slinger can be used to climb hard to reach places and swing across caverns and ravines. In some instances, the Slinger can also be used to interact with the environment in unique ways, like collapsing precarious rock formations.

Mantles: Find a suitable cowl for the prowl

Monster Hunter: World also brings with it a new set of "mantles". These cloak-style armour pieces offer various buffs and give the player new never-seen-before abilities. Here are a few examples of mantles and their effects:

  • Health mantle: Absorbs a fixed amount of damage the player receives from monsters (close to one full health bar).
  • Challenger mantle: Aggros (attracts) enemy monsters causing them to attack you.
  • Glider mantle: Allows the player to glide from elevated platforms and ride winds. Perfect for mounting monsters from above.
  • Rocksteady mantle: Total resistance to damage pushback from attacks, tremors and other environmental actions
  • Ghillie mantle: Blends the player with the environment, hiding them from nearby monsters

Map and zone changes: Open borders for zones

Throughout Monster Hunter's history, the map has been split into "zones", or segments of the map where particular monsters and resources can be found. In previous games, zones were walled off with a loading screen which was both a blessing and a curse – a blessing because running to another zone made for an easy escape in a sticky situation, and a curse because staring at a loading screen over and over again is nobody's idea of fun.

Monster Hunter: World still features zones, but this time around they are totally seamless, allowing the player to roam an entire area without hitting a loading screen. This freedom presented a new problem for the developers who removed sectioned-off zones, taking away the player's chance to recoup some health and manage their resources. Capcom made some gameplay tweaks, like allowing players to consume potions on the move to make up for open zones.

Areas also feature dynamic weather systems that can affect monster behaviour and interactive parts of the environments that both players and creatures can use to create obstacles, new pathways and more.

Monster Hunter: World weapons

Monster Hunter: World features all 14 weapon types from previous entries:

  • Sword and Shield: The beginner's choice is light on damage but offers rapid attacks and a defence option.
  • Great Sword: This heavy blade hampers movement but packs a punch, doling out heavy damage to any enemy type.
  • Bow: This standard-ranged weapon can be charged for a powerful shot, or fire-coated arrows for effect-dealing attacks.
  • Charge Blade: This hybrid weapon transforms between a sword and shield combo or a heavy axe.
  • Dual Blades: Another good choice for beginners, the dual blades are lightning-fast allowing the hunter to harangue monsters with furious chained attacks.
  • Gunlance: Another hybrid, the Gunlance acts as a close-range sword that also fires off devastating shotgun blasts at the end of a combo.
  • Hammer: The Hammer has the power of the Great Sword with a close range and can stun monsters with a charged shot.
  • Heavy Bowgun: The Heavy Bowgun fires off shells with a greater reach than the Gunlance and can take different types of ammo.
  • Hunting Horn: This support instrument makes the Hunter an invaluable asset in multiplayer, buffing teammates and hitting enemies from a decent range.
  • Insect Glaive: The Insect Glaive is best suited to those who prefer an aerial attack and can be used to extract buffs and boosts from enemies.
  • Lance: This nicely-balanced mainstay has range, speed and allows the Hunter to hold a shield. A good all-rounder choice.
  • Light Bowgun: The more agile Bowgun trades power for speed and manoeuvrability, making it Monster Hunter's version of an Assault Rifle.
  • Long Sword: This blade and speed and reach, allowing for long combo strings. Its Spirit Blade ability gives the Hunter an attack buff.
  • Switch Axe: The Switch Axe transforms between a close-range axe and a powerful long sword, and can be charged for an explosive finisher.

Monster Hunter: World images

Online and multiplayer: Will Monster Hunter: World be multiplayer?

Yes. Monster Hunter: World has a huge focus on playing with friends online. In fact, it's highly recommended you play with a team coming toe-to-talon with some of the New World's larger beasties. Teaming up with friends actually yields extra-special rewards when taking on the game's difficult Apex monsters.

When you begin a mission in Monster Hunter: World, you either "post a job", allowing up to three more players to join your hunt, or join an existing job. Pals can join in on the hunt even after you've begun. So long as they enter the mission within the first ten minutes, your party will still reap the same rewards. You can also call in support from another online player by launching an SOS flare if you're having a tricky time taking on a particular quest.

As is par for the course with modern MMORPGs, Monster Hunter World features Squads (similar to clans) and will allow players in different regions to go on quests together. Another commonplace MMORPG feature making its way to Monster Hunter World is greetings and commands. Players can access a wheel of greetings (hello, thank you etc) and commands (attack, defend, follow etc) to help communicate with the party. There's also a party chat function (with an on-screen keyboard accessible via the touchpad on PS4 and on Xbox One using a chatpad).

Monster Hunter: World install size on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Monster Hunter World has a very reasonable install size on consoles considering the breadth of the game.

  • Xbox One: 13.63GB
  • PlayStation 4: 16GB
  • PC: TBA

Monster Hunter: World trailers

The latest Monster Hunter World headlines

Games similar to Monster Hunter: World

Looking for something to play after Monster Hunter: World? Here are our top picks for similar games to move onto if you're into Monster Hunter's heavy crafting and RPG.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

For the first time in The Legend of Zelda series, Nintendo has significantly shaken up the formula by dropping players into an enormous open world they can explore without restraint, even charging straight to the game's final boss (guess who!) if they feel brave enough. Experimentation plays a greater focus in Breath of the Wild than in any Zelda game before it, leading to unique puzzle solutions and memorable moments that surpass any scripted sequence the game could through at you.

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Genre: Open-world action
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Read our review here

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

A remastered and upgraded version of the original Dragon's Dogma, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen packs all the DLC released for the monster-slaying action RPG plus a number of quality-of-life improvements that make the game more approachable and forgiving for less-experienced players.

Like the original game, Dark Arisen features a sprawling world with plenty of secrets to uncover, a unique online co-op mechanic involving sharing companions with your friends and the critically-acclaimed combat system where you can climb up larger enemies like ogres and griffins to hit them where they're most vulnerable.

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Genre: Role-playing
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
  • Read our review here

Final Fantasy XV

The first 3D open-world Final Fantasy game owes a lot to modern Western RPGs with a vast, seamless world to explore and the freedom to leave the beaten path behind in favour of venturing into areas you may or may not be supposed to go. Along with a real-time, action-heavy battle system, Final Fantasy XV might be the least traditional Final Fantasy game the series has seen and that is perhaps its greatest strength.

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Genre: Role-playing
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (2018)

Dark Souls III

This third-person action RPG series has cornered the market on crushingly difficult combat and hacked away at its tiny hitboxes, effectively creating a sub-genre of games where timing and strategy are essential. The Dark Souls games often feature a bare bones plot (with plenty of background lore to dig through), instead making combat and boss battles the focal point. Dark Souls III is in many ways the most accessible of the series, but that's not to say its a walk in the Consumed King's Garden – one slip-up can send you back to the bonfire.

  • Developer: From Software
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco
  • Genre: Role-playing
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Monster Hunter: World FAQs

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World be on PC?

A: Yes. Though, in January of 2018 Monster Hunter: World's PC release was pushed way back to late 2018 (Fall in the US).

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World be on Steam?

It's less a matter of "if" and more a matter of when. Capcom has never shied away from putting its games on Steam but the recent PC delay could have something to do with why Monster Hunter: World is still not available via the digital platform.

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World be cross-platform?

Don't count on it. Monster Hunter's community managers confirmed an interview with YouTuber Arrekz that Monster Hunter: World would not feature cross-play. While Xbox has long open to the idea of cross-platform play, its Sony competitors aren't so enthusiastic about the idea.

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World be online only?

No. Monster Hunter World's campaign is playable as an offline, single-player experience. However, a huge part of the fun in Monster Hunter: World is playing with up to three friends. If you have access to the Internet, hunt down a friend with a copy.

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World have offline multiplayer?

No. While Monster Hunter: World can be played as an offline single-player experience in its entirety, you're going to need an Internet connection to play with friends. There's also split-screen local co-op.

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World require PS Plus or Xbox Live to play online?

Yes. If you're planning on playing with friends, you're going to need a subscription to your respective online service.

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World have DLC?

A: Yes, and by all accounts, it will be totally free. The Monster Hunter series has a positive track record of adding support long after the game's release. In fact, a new post-release monster, the Deviljho, has already been announced.

Q: Will Monster Hunter: World have a story?

A: Yes. The story of Monster Hunter: World follows a new member (the protagonist) of the Research Commission's Fifth Fleet on an expedition to the New World in search of Elder Dragons (ancient beasts that shaped the land).

Q: Why is Monster Hunter: World not on Nintendo Switch?

A: While it's not totally out of the question, Capcom has stated that they're focused on bringing the best version of the game to its planned consoles. A lesser port could mar the game's reputation at launch. In an interview with Eurogamer, Capcom suggested that nothing was planned but that they would think about how to adapt Monster Hunter: World for the Switch in the future.

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