Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beginner's guide, tips, and tricks

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Glavenus
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Glavenus (Image credit: Capcom)

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is a massive expansion to Capcom's already impressively packed with content game Monster Hunter World. Getting started in this game, or even getting prepared for the expansion, can be very intimidating. So, we've put together a beginner's guide that'll take you through the process of going from a naive novice to an experienced hunter.

What is Monster Hunter World?

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Monster Hunter World is an action-role-playing game developed and published by Capcom. After creating your character and accompanying Palico companion, the story sees you join an expedition on the Fifth Fleet, which is sailing to the New World of Astera. Four fleets have gone before you, and the Research Commission is tracking the Elder Dragons, powerful beasts who shape the climate with their very existence.

Why is the Research Commission in charge of tracking and hunting monsters? As a part of the Hunter's Guild, they have to rebalance nature when certain species get out of control. Think of it as "high-stakes animal conservation." Due to how dangerous many of these predators are, their numbers need to be kept in check.

A fun fact that's worth noting: this game has been fantastically successful for Capcom. It's their bestselling game of all time, with over 13 million copies sold. So if you're feeling intimidated at the prospect of just now hopping into this series, don't worry, plenty of others are in the same boat!

Related: Monster Hunter World: How to get into this massive RPG

Choosing a weapon best for you

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Shortly into the tutorial, you're going to be asked to pick a weapon to start with. This isn't a permanent choice, so just pick one that sounds appealing to try out. If it becomes evident that your chosen weapon's playstyle isn't your style, it's okay, go pick another one. There are 14 different types of weapons in Monster Hunter World. Are you the type to dance around your opponent with the speed and grace of a dancer, jabbing weak points with a Lance? Maybe you prefer just to smash things with a Hammer? Or are you the one to cultivate a specific breed of insects that you control with a Glaive to order them around in battle? Regardless, there's something for everyone. Here's the full list of weapon types:

  • Bow
  • Light Bowgun
  • Heavy Bowgun
  • Charge Blade
  • Dual Blades
  • Great Sword
  • Gunlance
  • Hammer
  • Hunting Horn
  • Insect Glaive
  • Lance
  • Long Sword
  • Switch Axe
  • Sword and Shield

All of these weapons are getting different improvements and new moves in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, which you can read about here. These improvements, as well as the new Clutch Claw, are useable in the base game's content moving forward.

There's an almost innumerable number of variants for each weapon. A Great Sword crafted with Anjanath bones is going to perform differently than one made of steel but which one suits your needs better? It might depend solely on what you're going after. Remember, different monsters have different strengths and weaknesses, which means that the variants of weapons are more effective against various types of beasts. That doesn't mean you have to change gear per hunt, but it's something to keep in mind. To practice with a weapon, open your map and go to the Training Grounds. You can also go there by talking to your housekeeper in your room.

The best way to learn the nuances of each weapon is to check out the guides from Arekkz Gaming on YouTube, as he showcases each weapon in motion, as well as all of their unique combos.

Beyond that, the most important thing to do, however, is to make sure your gear is the best that it can be. This point can't be emphasized enough: always upgrade your equipment. Make sure you're improving your armor and weapons so that you can take on more challenging hunts. Register for bounties between quests, so you can receive multiple rewards and upgrade your gear faster. Be on the lookout for monster bones; take trophies from the corpses of everything you kill. Some of the upper echelons of weapons and armor take a lot of materials to create, so horde everything and anything you can get your hands on. Visits to the Smithy should be your favorite activity.

How multiplayer works in Monster Hunter World

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By far, one of the biggest challenges in Monster Hunter World is figuring out how the multiplayer works. If you want to journey on big hunts with your friends, there are a few steps to undertake. To start, make sure you've completed the tutorial missions, as multiplayer isn't available until you wrap those up. Next, when you load your saved game data, make sure to select Create an Online Session. When you've loaded in the game, scroll over to the Communication tab of the menu and select Invite a Friend.

From there, you can start hitting some quests together. Make sure to keep in mind your Hunter Rank though. A high ranked Hunter can join the quest of a lower-ranked hunter but not the other way around. So if you are Hunter Rank 12 and your friend is Hunter Rank 5, you can help them with one of their quests, but they can't help you.

You can help each other in expeditions as well, but it's a little cumbersome. To start, one player needs to undertake the expedition and fire off an SOS flare. If you don't want random players joining you, make sure to set a passcode. Then, have your friend go to the Quest Board and manually search for your quest.

How to prepare for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Banbaro

Source: Capcom (Image credit: Source: Capcom)

Technically, accessing Monster Hunter World: Iceborne isn't going to be difficult. You have to reach Hunter Rank 16 and beat the main story path in Monster Hunter World, which is pretty straightforward. If you haven't done that yet, that needs to be your priority. Being able to access the new content in the expansion and being prepared for it are two entirely different things though, so there's still work to be done.

There are two mantles that Capcom explicitly states will come in useful during this expansion: the Iceproof Mantle and the Temporal Mantle. The former reduces ice damage and negates the Iceblight effect, while the latter helps you take less damage in general. Given the ice-themed nature of many creatures being added in Iceborne, the helpful nature of these two mantles should be obvious.

Next up, challenge yourself by fighting Tempered Monsters. These are the biggest challenges in the base game, as they have more health, deal more damage, and sometimes have some special attacks. You'll get unique rewards for fighting these beasts, such as Streamstones and Streamstone Shards. They can be used to Augment your gear beyond the normal limits, providing a significant edge against the challenging monsters that Iceborne will have to offer.

Speaking of which, there's a ton of new monsters to hunt in this expansion. There's a list composed of both new creatures and beasts from past games. You can check the full list that has been revealed right here, as well as our other Iceborne guides below.

Iceborne's Steamworks minigame and Lynian Research

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne adds some nifty minigames for players to enjoy in the new base. For starters, there's the Steamworks facility. After reaching Master Rank 3, players have the ability use the Steamworks facility. It's a guessing game, one where you'll have to try and guess three button inputs at random. The closer you are to the hidden correct sequence, the better the rewards you get. You gain Steamworks fuel to power the facility with every hunt you perform and you can turn certain items into fuel. The rewards vary wildly, with items like Armor Sphere+, Max Potion and even Celestial Wyvern Print all being possible rewards.

The Lynian Research minigame is started by finding the Lynian Researcher in Seliana. He'll give you a camera and ask you to complete 20 photo challenges of different things out in the wild. Some are Grimalkynes, others are small wildlife and the photos will need to be taken all over the varying regions in the base game and the expansion.

Adventure is out there

Monster Hunter World offers plentiful content to pour through. And with the addition of the Iceborne expansion, it can be very easy to feel intimidated or daunted at the idea of embarking on this journey. Don't be discouraged! There's fun to be had, monsters to kill, and a vast world to explore. The more you fight and learn, the more you try different weapons and armor, the better you'll get. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is set to release on September 6, 2019.



Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.