Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will have you engaging in a lot of battles, so in this guide we give a big focus on the rock-paper-scissors combat, along with details on how to team up with companions and Monsties for incredibly powerful attacks. We also provide some smaller hints and tips to help you through the campaign.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Battle Guide
Combat in Monster Hunter Stories 2 adopts a rock-paper-scissors approach, with each attack type being strong against one and vulnerable to another. When you engage in battles they're turn-based, so there's no need to panic - you can take your time. There are various factors to battles and we're focused on the basics here; first of all, when you attack you can choose Power, Technical or Speed, outlined below.
Power (RED) - effective against Technical, weak to Speed
Technical (GREEN) - effective against Speed, weak to Power
Speed (BLUE) - effective against Power, weak to Technical
When you engage a monster type for the first time pay attention to hints given, for example descriptions like 'powerful' or 'fast' for their moves, or if a monster is said to inflict status effects like 'poison' or 'sleep' they're likely using 'Technical' moves. With a focus on those details you can get off to a good start.
Boss Fights and Secondary Phases
As battles get tougher, bigger and 'boss' monsters may have secondary phases in the battles, shown by a brief animation and likely with hints from your buddies. When a monster is in this phase - often shown by different movements and a red aura around their head - they'll switch attack types. You can apply logic for initial guesses at what attacks they will use, but if you guess wrong you can monitor the top of the screen as they attack - it'll show the attack type so that you can counteract it in your next term. When a monster goes back to original movements or loses their red aura they should revert to their original attack patterns.
Once you figure out attack types and patterns you can either trust your memory so you can get ahead in future encounters with that breed, snap a screenshot with the Switch 'share' button or make notes. Either way, knowing what to expect will give you a major head start in tougher fights, especially those with secondary phases.
Identifying Weaknesses and Breaking Monster Parts
There are other wrinkles to be aware of in battles. One is that monsters are vulnerable to specific weapon types. We'll go into weapons below, but they fall into three categories, which we're naming logically by the icons used in game. Blades (for cutting, like great swords and sword & shield), Ranged weapons (Bows and Gun Lances) and Blunt weapons (Horns and Hammers). When you first encounter a monster you should monitor the status after an attack round, when you target in your next turn it'll show the weapon type either clear or crossed out; if crossed out that type is ineffective and will have no chance of extra buffs and impacts. It's trial and error initially, but next time you fight the same monster type all of the knowledge you learn will carry over, helping you improve strategy.
This carries over to breaking parts, too. Bigger monsters have different parts you can target, in some cases only in the secondary phase. If you successfully target and break a part it'll earn you an extra reward at the end of the battle, and also have the chance to stun / knock down the enemy.
Combos and Kinship Attacks
The other key strategy to remember is to utilise your monster and party effectively. For example, if you know an enemy specialises in power attacks, you'll want to use speed attacks and also select a monster (which you can change once every turn) that specialises in that kind of attack. Some monster buddies have special moves to use multiple attack types, but ultimately you want to ensure your party has at least one monster for each attack type.
If the enemy targets you and both you and your buddy counter efficiently, this triggers a powerful joint move that also cancels out the enemy attack. In addition it charges your monstie's available skill points as part of a 'Kinship Gauge'. When the gauge is full you can 'ride on' and execute a very powerful combined attack.
Small Tips and Tricks for Monster Hunter Stories 2
In this section we wrap up with some small tips and tricks that could help you go a long way in Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Find and Clear 'Everdens'
Each major area in the game has multiple 'Everdens', marked with little house icons on the map. These are larger areas / dungeons that are useful for two things, rare eggs and bottlecaps. At the end of each Everden you'll find a nest with decent odds of a good monster to be hatched. Bottlecaps are in special chests, and these are useful...
Spend your Bottlecaps
Each town / village will have a Felyne called 'Melynx Inc.' that trades bottle caps for special items and gear, which will often be a cut above the sort of gear you can forge at that point. However, early on we'd focus on the upgrades on offer, such as recipes for useful items and, most usefully, expansions so your stable can hold more monsters.
Check the Quest Board and Accept Everything
You may be like us early in the game, enthusiastic and diligently completing every sidequest, useful for earning experience points, money and items. Then after 40 hours you won't be, probably.
But still, in every village you visit and after each major story beat head to the quest board; you'll probably find you've cleared various quests through general activities, so redeem and enjoy the rewards. Likewise cycle through the list and accept every quest. You may end up killing a specific monster for a quest without realising it - easy money.
Use the Prayer Pot
Next to the quest board is the Prayer Pot; each time you should choose a prayer that gives you buffs, and also 'offer' a charm (they typically last around 30 minutes). Benefits include extra experience points, extra damage, extra defence and more.
Check your Stables Regularly
Regularly visit your stables to hatch eggs and assess your party of Monsties. Also, when you unlock Expeditions these play out in real time, so when they're finished 'complete' them for rewards and to see how many levels your monsters gained. Then set another expedition going right away, keep them working away!
Explore each Village / Town
Explore, run around, and you'll find some locals with special quests and requests. In addition some new features appear with little fanfare, such as Layered Armour (eventually), which allows you to have the benefits and stats of one set of armour while visually using different armour. Hey, you can't put a price on style.
Find the Catavaners
Marked with a paw-print on the map, Catavaners can be found in each town and at regular stops out in the rather large world. Be sure to activate these when you see them as they allow you to Save and also 'Ride Catavan', which is basically fast-travel. They are hugely useful.
Find the Felyne Burrow in Dungeons
There are some story-based dungeon areas in the game that can be relatively lengthy, but around half way through each you can find a Felyne Burrow (marked by a paw-print on the map), which is similar to a Catavaner. To go in you'll need to be on foot, not riding a monster, but it's hugely useful as it allows you to save and replenish your hearts by talking to a Felyne. You can also use a Catavaner in the burrow to save and fast travel, BUT it's a one way trip out of the dungeon, so we used them to save and nothing else.
Quick Finish Battles
Occasionally when you're levelled up well in a certain area you can save time and 'Quick Finish' battles by pressing ZL + ZR at the start, granting you maximum rewards. It'll show at the bottom left when this is available, so be sure to use it when possible! You can also speed up battle animations by toggling with the + button during battles.
That's it for this page, but you should also check out our hub page below for further Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin guides!