Getting started with a Monster Hunter can be a pretty daunting experience, even for the most hardened of gamers. You're just sort of plonked into this weird world of talking cats, dinosaurs, and oversized weapons and expected to get on with it. Often even the tutorials don't suffice to explain just what the heck is going on.
But there's a reason why the franchise has endured over the years, and soared to new heights just this year when Monster Hunter: World launched on PC and the other consoles. Switch isn't quite powerful enough to run that one, according to Capcom, so we've got an enhanced version of Monster Hunter Generations from the 3DS instead.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate simply doesn't hold your hand like World does, and pretty much treats you like you're a seasoned veteran. This can be off-putting to those that don't quite have the patience to stick with it and that's a shame because this is one of the most compelling and addictive video games you'll find on your Switch thus far.
We want to help you enjoy it, because we are well aware that the game doesn't do itself any favours. So whether this is your first Monster Hunter, you're a convert from World, or you just feel a bit rusty, read on to learn everything you need to know to get started with Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.
We'll break it down into a few different sections to help walk you through your first few hours with the game, so feel free to skip to the section you feel most comfortable at.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate - You've Just Booted It Up
So you've just popped the cartridge into your Switch or booted up the digital download, now what? Well, it's time to create a character.
Step One: Create Your Character
Hit 'New Game' and you'll be prompted to create your very own character. You can customise a bunch of different features like your gender, hairstyle, clothes, and voice. Once you're happy, pick a name and hit done to move on. Don't get too bogged down here though, as you can change all of these options at any time later on.
Step Two: Pick A Hunting Style
Next, you'll be prompted to pick a 'Hunting Style'. This basically dictates your attack pattern and the number of 'Hunter Arts' you can use. If you've played an RPG before, consider 'Hunter style' to basically be your class, and 'Hunter Arts' to be your skills.
If you have literally no clue what you're doing, pick the 'Guild' or 'Striker' Hunting Style. These two both allow you to pick a varied selection of Hunter Arts, and allow you to experiment with a bunch of different weapons without altering the gameplay too much.
Have a weapon type in mind already? You might be able to spot some synergy with a particular Hunting Style then. For example, the Great Sword works great with the 'Valor' style, while the Insect Glaive is a perfect match for Aerial.
Ultimately though, just don't panic! You can change your Hunting Style and Hunting Arts at any point, so this won't be a lasting decision. You'll really want to get a feel for a few different styles and weapons anyway, to find the one that you're comfortable with. The early game is all about experimentation.
Step Three: Pick Your Hunter Arts
After picking a Hunting Style you'll be able to pick up to three Hunter Arts depending on your style. It doesn't really matter what you pick at this point as you can change your Arts later, and you'll unlock more useful ones as well.
The three starting Arts are all focused on evasion anyway, so you can't really go wrong!
Step Four: Welcome To Bherna Village
Now, it's time to get started with the actual game! You'll arrive in Bherna Village and be greeted by the Bherna Chief who will wax lyrical about the Wycademy, Bherna, and other stuff that you don't really need to worry about right now.
He'll prompt you to check out your House and to speak to a few different residents of the village. Speak to each person in turn that has a red dialogue bubble above them until there are no more to talk to and you're finally at the good bit – getting started with quests.
Before you do so though, let's go and check out Your House.
Step Five: Go Home
Head inside of Your House, which is the building just to the right of the Bherna Gal. Inside you'll find a variety of different useful things:
|Bed||Lets you save your progress|
|Chamberlyne||Access DLC, claim bonus content, and view your gallery (more options open up later)|
|Item Box||Store and take items, create new items, change your appearance, manage equipment, and change your Hunting Style and Hunting Arts|
|Palico Board||Customise your Palico partners|
Basically, don't worry about anything other than your Item Box right now, as you can take care of the rest later. All you need to worry about now is picking the weapon you want to try first.
To do that, go to the Item Box, hit 'Manage Equipment' then 'Select Equip' to check out the weapons at your disposal. Here, you'll find one of every single weapon types in the game. Pick the one you want to try, and then leave Your House.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate - Your First Quest
So you've wandered around Bherna Village for a bit, trying to get the courage to get out and face a monster or two. The next few steps are for you!
Step One: Pick A Quest
Now, it's time to get to the fun stuff. Head back to Bherna Gal and pick a quest. If you really want to learn the ins and outs of your weapon or Hunting Style, you can do so in training. There's no shame in that.
If you prefer to learn by doing though, just pick one of the 'Low' tier of quests and let's get started. Leave the village by going up the ramp on the left to start the quest.
Once you've loaded into the Jurassic Frontier, we'd recommend first visiting the blue Item Box (or Supply Box) and taking a few supplies. These are items that you're provided for free to help you completing the quest.
We'd recommend taking the Map, First-aid Med, and Ration for definite, and take the Whetstone if you're going melee, the two different ammo types if you chose a gun, or the Poison Coating if you opted for the bow.
Before you start, one last thing: hit + and scroll down to 'Quest Info' to familiarise yourself with your goal. You might notice that you have a Subquest to complete for an extra reward too. Keep both in mind and check back often if you forget.
Step Two: Check Your Map And Explore
Okay, now it's time to go and explore the Jurassic Frontier. Check your mini-map, which will appear on the right of the screen as soon as you collect the Map from the Supply Box.
Each location in the game is made up of different numbered interconnected areas. If there's a line between them, you can travel between the two numbered areas. The colours determine the climate of that area, which basically determines the types of monsters you'll face and items you can gather. Don't worry about that for now.
We'd recommend starting by methodically making your way from area one through to 11 and just get a feel for the place. You'll quickly draw a mental map of the type of monsters that favour certain climates and the items that you can gather from each area.
Step Three: Gather Items
As you wander about, you'll notice that certain objects stick out in the environment. Chances are, these are items you can gather. Head over to one and press A when the prompt appears to begin gathering. You'll get yourself your first item – congratulations!
You can press and hold A to gather in that area until you've drained it of resources. It's also worth paying attention to the types of items you gather so you can start building a mental image of the resources you can get from the area.
Generally, the items you can gather make sense. Gather at a mushroom and you'll get mushrooms, plants to get plants, and a skeleton to get bones. Sometimes it's not clear though, and that's when it's worth paying attention to get an idea of what you get. Nuts, for example, can be notoriously difficult to differentiate from plants.
Also, it's worth noting that you won't be able to gather at all points right now. You'll need a pickaxe to mine ore and a bug net to catch bugs. We'll get onto that later though, so don't worry about that for now.
Step Four: Hunt Monsters
At some point, you're going to want to get into the meat of the adventure – and that's to hunt monsters. Heck, it's in the title!
Now, each weapon has different controls, so we can't teach you the ins and outs of your weapon. Instead, we'll just teach you the basics. Pressing X both readies your weapon and generally pulls off your basic attack and Y sheathes your weapon. Depending on the weapon, you might want to sheathe it between attacks – particularly for weapons that slow down your movement.
You can also press B to roll and A is a secondary button with some weapons. Mess around with your weapon in a safe environment first to get a hang of it, or perform the training quest for that weapon to learn its ins and outs.
Combat in Monster Hunter is basically Dark Souls without the targeting system. Instead of locking onto a monster, you're going to have to aim and hit them manually. Timing is key, as you might want to wait for an opportunity to attack. Spend a bit of time learning a new monster's attack pattern.
Once a monster's beaten, press A over the body to carve it. It's much the same as gathering items, except you only have a small window of time after defeating a monster before its body vanishes.
Step Five: Turn In The Quest
Completed the quest? It's now time to turn it in for those sweet, sweet rewards. Turning in a quest differs between quest types. Quests that involve defeating monsters automatically complete once you've fulfilled the requirements. Delivery quests actually involve delivering the items though.
You achieve that by visiting the red Item Box at the camp, where a quest begins. Simply walk up to it, press A, and then press A again on the item you'd like to deliver. Deliver the amount required to complete the quest to, well, complete it.
It's always worth trying to complete subquests first though, as you can't get the rewards for them if you deliver the main quest items first. The quest then completes and returns you home.
There are occasionally different types of quests too, like material gathering quests that let you just go out and gather for as long as you'd like. To mark these as complete, grab the ticket from the Supply Box and deliver it at the red Item Box.
Finally, you can complete a quest via its subquest if you've completed that and don't fancy going back for more. This can be done from the Quest Info tab in the menu, or via the red Item Box. You'll receive the subquest rewards, but the quest won't be marked as complete until you finish the main element.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate - Preparation Is Key
If you've played a few hours of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate and completed a few quests but want to step it up a notch and prepare properly, this section is for you.
Step One: Combine Some Items
Upon returning from a quest, you'll want to head on over to your item box and store all of the materials you've gathered. Now, you'll want to actually do something with them, so hit 'Combine/Manage Items' then 'Combo List' to look at your options.
We'll go through the essential items you'll need during each quest later, but for now just create any item that appears as '??????' to discover what it is. Chances are you'll be able to craft a whole bunch of new items.
Make it a habit to do this after every quest. Not only will your inventory fill up really quickly, but you'll want to discover new items in case you find a few that are handy for the challenges ahead.
Step Two: Craft Some Gear
You probably won't be able to craft strong gear until after you've beaten your first large monster, but you might get a slightly better weapon or armour set from the scraps you've picked up over the course of your first few quests.
Head on over to the Smithy and try and forge a new weapon or piece of armour to see how you get on. This should become a habit each time you beat a new monster – particularly a large monster, as they often lead to the best gear.
This is the cycle that Monster Hunter thrives on. Beat a monster, carve it for resources, craft yourself a lovely new armour set.
Step Three: Get Yourself A Palico Or Two
You'll likely be prompted to do this at some point during your questing anyway, but you should definitely get yourself a Palico or two at some point. If you've played Monster Hunter: World before, you'll know just how handy these little felines can be.
Basically, they're companions that can help you in a variety of different ways while you're out hunting. This is dictated by the Support Bias, which basically provides them with a unique skill. Here's what each skill does:
|Support Bias||Art||What It Does|
|Charisma||Palico Rally||Temporarily empowers user and allied Felynes, and keeps Palicoes from slacking off.|
|Fighting||Furr-ious||Instantly enter Felyne Fury Mode.|
|Protection||Taunt||Diverts monster attention towards the user.|
|Assisting||Poison Purr-ison||Sets a trap that immobilizes large monsters and inflicts them with poison.|
|Healing||True Health Horn||Greatly recovers Palico and player health.|
|Bombing||Mega Barrel Bombay||Rush at a foe with a Barrel Bomb L+|
|Gathering||Plunderang||A boomerang attack that steals from monsters.|
Those skills are unchangeable, so you really have to pick the Palico Support Bias that's right for you. You can then equip a variety of Skills to further adapt the Palico to meet your needs. You generally unlock these as you play and complete a variety of actions.
You hire Palicoes by visiting the Meowstress at the Palico Ranch and either hiring a pre-made Palico or scouting a specific type you want. There are also Special Palicoes that you can grab via DLC.
You can bring up to two Palicoes with you on any given quest, and swap them, their equipment, and their skills in Your House by visiting the Palico Board.
Each time you craft yourself some new equipment, you'll have excess materials that you can use to craft Palico equipment, increasing their defence and attack. It's a pursuit well worth undertaking.
Step Four: Load Up On Carbs
You should always – we repeat, ALWAYS – eat a meal before questing. It's absolutely mad not to. These provide you with a boost to your health and/or stamina, alongside a variety of Food Skills that can give you a serious boost while questing.
These might increase your chances of encountering a large monster, gathering items, or boost your attack amongst many others. You can select from a bunch of different skills by choosing the sauce you stick on top of it.
This is a habit you're going to want to get into before every single quest, to help it go just that little bit smoother.
Step Five: Bring The Essentials
Last but not least, you need to visit your Item Box before leaving to go on a quest just in case. Here, you can double-check you've got all of the:
You'll want to bring at least the essentials on every single hunt, the situationals depending on the environment and the quest, and the optionals depending on the type of weapon you take with you.
There might be other items you deem necessary to bring, and that's absolutely fine. You want to make sure you've got what you absolutely need though, and ignore the rest. Your inventory space is limited, and you'll want to save as much space as possible for the items you gather while hunting.