Monster Hunter 4: 6 Essential Tips For Newcomers
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate appears to be doing surprisingly well and even though it’s a lot simpler and better explained than most games in the series have been, it’s still a lot more complex than most modern games. With thousands of hours poured into the series overall, our experts have these top tips to share with fledgling hunters. Hope they help!
TRY ALL THE WEAPONS
In the first set of village quests, there are a set of training missions designed to teach you the basics of each weapon. Given that each has its own control scheme, mechanics and purpose, it’s a good idea to try out a bunch to see which best suit your own style. It’s worth also bearing in mind that each fits into its own role when playing as a team – blunt weapon users tend to focus on the head to knock monsters out, slow bladed weapons focus their attention on tails and other high-value breakable parts, quick bladed weapons tend to focus on layering on elemental damage and status effects meaning coordination is key, while rangedr attackers need to be able to accurately snipe weak spots without hitting allies. Hunting Horn is an interesting one, as it can serve as a support class to offer team-wide buffs, if that’s more your thing.
ATTACK WITH CARE
The thrill of the hunt can get a bit much for some, but it’s important to stick to your role and avoid hitting fellow hunters amid the excitement of finally finding your quarry. Stray blows stagger allies and can knock them out of stances, charges and combos, meaning hunts will take that much longer. If you’re using a large weapon (Long Sword users, we’re looking at you), make sure there’s enough space between you and your allies when attacking – one missed stun in a high rank quest can get people killed. There’s a time and a place for friendly fire, mind – launcher attacks can pop allies into the air to either avoid danger or try to mount a large monster, while quick kicks can be useful to get sleeping or frozen buddies back up or to cancel other players’ long recovery animations.
KNOW YOUR ROLL
You wouldn’t necessarily think it but the dodge roll is the most important move in a hunter’s arsenal. As in Dark Souls, there’s a short period of invincibility during the roll that can be used to safely evade many attacks and even some shorter roars, so learning that timing is crucial. There are armour skills that up this invulnerability window but sadly, these don’t appear until fairly late in the low rank quests. In addition, get to grips with the emergency dive – performed while hitting B while running when a large monster is nearby – as it can be a life-saver. You’re invincible for a lot longer during it (pretty much the entire time you’re in the air, in fact) but the recovery time is that much longer to compensate, so use it wisely.
In many RPGs, armour values are the most important thing on a new piece of gear. Not so in Monster Hunter – generally speaking, skills are way more important. Each piece of gear adds stat points that activate useful skills when your total reaches a certain threshold (usually 10, although higher values can activate enhanced versions) and while you can mix and match, the best way to get skills early on is to wear complete sets from one monster. The Tetsucabra set is good for learners as it boosts both health and defense, while the Blademaster Velociprey set boosts attack, reduces stuns and can be enhanced to let you better track the monster. We meet a lot of new players online who have random mish-mash gear that offers no skills, and it makes us sad every time. Don’t make us sad.
Every large monster has weaknesses and resistances to the various elements and while these are sometimes obvious (Lagombi is clearly going to be strong against ice attacks), it’s good to know for sure. After beating a monster once, head to The Man and check out one of the armour pieces that you can craft using its parts – by checking out whether the five elemental resistance values are positive or negative, you can see at a glance which elements are going to do best when next you meet. The Zinogre Helm, for instance, has an Ice Res stat of -4, telling you his hide is weakest to ice-based attacks. As your arsenal grows (look to cover all five main elemental bases ASAP), bear in mind weakness before heading out.
EAT YOUR GREENS
Not even the best hunters can perform their best on an empty stomach, so be sure to grab a meal from the Felyne Chef before heading out. Every combination of ingredients offers different perks, so experiment to find one that fits your weapon class and intentions – meat and fish is perfect for melee attackers (particularly the stew, for Hammer users looking for easy knockouts), meat and butter is good for gunners, and fish and butter can help with gathering quests. Skills don’t always trigger, though using fresh ingredients (or a Voucher, which turns all ingredients fresh) significantly raises the chance that you’ll get lucky. Complete optional quests to level up your ingredients and in turn gain more pronounced effects.