A beginner’s guide to Monster Hunter: World

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Since Monster Hunter: World‘s release on PC was a few days ago, chances are good that you may be a complete newbie to the series. Like me, you may have been intrigued by the franchise since its debut in 2004 on the PlayStation 2, but just never got around to picking it up for a console or handheld. New players can quickly find themselves overwhelmed, because the Monster Hunter games do very little hand-holding. Monster Hunter: World is slightly better in that regard, but it can still be a steep learning curve. Luckily, there are dozens of great starter guides available to ease new players into the lore and gameplay. They’re written by hardcore folks that can tell you the best combat strategies, how you should prioritize your crafting, and secrets of endgame play. Here, we offer something different. This is a beginner’s guide to the game. A beginner’s guide.

After the jump, it’s our Monster Hunter: World guide written by a beginner.

1. It’s not really a world of monsters. It’s an island.

Okay, Capcom. You’re not off to a great start here. The game may take place in a world overrun by monsters, but this game obviously only covers one chunk of it. This is like when I went to Nutcracker World in Ohio. It was just a store. Sure, it had more nutcrackers in one place than I’ve ever seen, but it certainly wasn’t a world of dead-eyed walnut-crushing wooden soldiers.

2. Astera may be the worst designed town in a game.

Stairs. Stairs everywhere. No one in real life would sign off on this design. It’s like a bad movie set. It would be one thing if the village of Astera was this way to defend against monster incursions, but these stairs could easily accommodate a horde of beasts. It might tire them out, but they’d probably still be able to trot right up to where they want and wreak some havoc. The people of Astera obviously got tired of all the climbing because they made a fast-travel system out of a chain-and-pulley contraption which seems even more tiring and dangerous than the stairs. And where do all these people even sleep? Or go to the bathroom? I feel like I’m back in early World of Warcraft’s Orgrimmar.

3. I don’t think my Handler knows what she’s doing.

My Handler is supposed to be an “A-List” helper, but I get the feeling that designation may be some sort of sick joke on the part of the higher-ups in the Fifth Fleet. Look at me. I’m supposed to be an “A-List” Hunter and that’s a mistake. I don’t know what I’m doing! I didn’t even figure out how to cook my own meals until three hours into the game. My Handler is always cheery and enthusiastic, but I don’t think she’s actually ever helped me yet. She did point the way to camp after our shipwreck, but I’m pretty sure I would’ve figured it out on my own since the path was a linear affair. She can access a quest menu, but I can get to that quicker without her. Does she even have a name?

4. So many menus!

There’s a crafting menu, an upgrade menu, a forge menu, a consumable and item menu, a quest registration menu, an investigation menu, a research screen, a world map, a territory map, a weird dynamic firefly path, a minimap, and about a hundred other things to toggle, flip through, and read. And they’re all filled with teeny-tiny colored icons that look pretty similar. Yellow jumbled fist with smoke trails or blue cake thing with wings? Which do I want? I don’t know. Better hoard them all.

5. All the monsters must come from Australia.

There’s a bit of wisdom that says everything in Australia wants to kill you. If that’s true, Monster Hunter: World is filled with the beasts that were too ornery for Australia. Look at that goofy thing. It’s a Kulu-Ya Ku. You wouldn’t think something that goofy would smash faces, but it does. All the time. It carries a big rock in its clown-like claws just for that purpose. The newbie quest to hunt it is another sick joke from the Research Commission.

6. That is a rocket-propelled sword.

I don’t know if that’s a greatsword, or the the greatest sword, but I need it. It’s a jet-fueled giant screaming blade that sonic-booms into enemies. What’s a gunblade compared to that? I know I’ll probably be disappointed with its damage stats, or it will require timing skill to wield that’s well beyond my newbie reflexes, but it’s a sword with rockets. Kaboom! Man, that’s going to be so sweet!

7. Palicoes are… Awwwwww!

What kind of monster are you if you don’t love your palico buddy?