You'll do a lot of monster battling in Monster Hunter, the clue should be in the name really, so it's surely understandable that this can sometimes be a bit tricky.
Although each monster brings its own set of considerations into the fold, this handful of helpful advice should give any greenhorn some comfortable foundations upon which to build a successful Monster Hunting career.
Go for the Flank
You might want to bosh a monster's noggin, but in most cases this is a bad idea. Sharp teeth and all that. Where you should attack a monster is massively dependent on the creature at hand.
Usually you'll find more success going for their soft bellies, legs and tails. It's up to you, therefore, to keep on your toes and move appropriately to stay around these squidgy parts.
Although, if you're a brave hunter with an Impact weapon (such as a Hammer or Hunting Horn), a few well-timed blows to the head can dizzy the monster, giving you ample time to dish out punishment carefree.
Fighting a monster is often about playing the waiting game. You need to learn when they're susceptible to attacks, when they're weak. It's often best to go for a poke or two after an attack.
You'll learn more specific timing and windows through successive hunts of particular monsters but a rule of thumb is two or three hits then roll away (the evade manoeuvre cancels most actions), watch and run in at the next window. It's better to do this and avoid damage than over extend and take a paw to the face.
Whenever you take damage in Monster Hunter you will be dealt a permanent chunk and a recoverable one. Avoid damage for long enough and the red part of your bar will regenerate, take damage again and it will be gone.
What's more a potion taken will ignore the red chunk, and heal a set amount from the tip of your green bar. As such it is often advised that upon taking a hard hit you holster your weapon and stay far away from the monster for a period of time to regain the red health before healing the remainder with a potion.
Do not leave this act until you only have an inch of health left, try and keep your health as full as possible for as long as possible; you never know when the huge desperation attack is going to wipe out half your health bar.
The Sharpness of your weapon is a key consideration when it comes to maximizing damage output, and it only becomes more valuable as damage amounts rise and sharpness goes into progressively more dangerous colors.
Monsters have armour, and certain parts of armour require a specific colour of sharpness to penetrate. If you don't have said colour or an active Minds Eye skill, then your weapon will simply bounce from a creature's shell, won't combo, and you'll deal minimal damage.
The way sharpness affects damage output is noted in the following table. 100% means that your weapon is working at the advertised capacity, anything above that is better and anything below starts to get significantly worse. Stay sharp to ensure your weapon is always outputting maximum damage.
|**Sharpness Colour**||**Damage**||**Elemental Damage**|
A weapon may deal extra elemental damage with its attacks. This damage stacks on top of standard weapon damage, and if a monster has a notable elemental weakness then your damage output can often be doubled as a result of paying attention and gearing up appropriately.
Likewise, some monsters deal elemental damage with their attacks and you can lower the damage you sustain by equipping armours strong against that element. No sense fighting a fire-blazing monster with armour that easily alights, right?
You can see a full breakdown of your equipment through the 'check equipment' option. The shortened terms mean the following:
- FI = Fire
- WA = Water
- IC = Ice
- LI = Thunder
- DR = Dragon
A weapon may be imbued with a status effect rather than an elemental one. Ailments don't have an instant affect, but if the attacker can sustain an offensive then the ailment may trigger and have an effect on the monster. This is often of great use to ranged attackers as they can deal uninterrupted damage.
The shortened terms and their affects are as follows:
- PO = Poison. Poison damages an enemy over an extended period of time.
- PA = Paralysis. Paralysis can render a monster incapacitated for a time, letting hunters damage it uninterrupted.
- SL = Sleep. Sleep renders a monster unconscious but only until it is hit. **However** the first hit that is landed on a sleeping monster deals enhanced damage, meaning this is the perfect time for a charged Great Sword, or for players to lay explosive barrels next to a monster's head (the latter is a favored tactic against the Deviljho).
Affinity is a peculiar little statistic that sits, unexplained, to the right of a weapon's stat page. Simply put, Affinity is your Critical Hit chance. A higher Affinity means more critical hits, while a minus Affinity results in less.
As Monster Hunter is quite candid with how much damage you're doing it's best to settle with a high Affinity and know that you'll be dealing more damage more often.