You've finally gotten to your quest. The monster is confronting you. What do you do? Well, lucky for you, we've put together many tips that will help you in your hunting endeavors.
These tips can only get you so far. Ultimately the biggest factor in your skill is how much you choose to practice! Practice makes perfect!
1. Be Patient!
Take the time to patiently assess the nature of the monster you're up against. Do some research even. Don't charge in attacking, that's a surefire way to get yourself in a pinch. Stay defensive and get a feel for the monster's movements before diving into the fray. Especially in the beginnings of the village solo campaign, the monsters have low health, meaning you can take your time.
Oh, and be patient with your research too. It helps to do some research before you hunt a monster you've never hunted before (that's what this guide's bestiary is for!).
Throughout the fight, monsters may stop and become exhausted, drool dribbling from their mouths. Monsters with fins might lay their fins flat, too tired to hold them up. Monsters who can spit fire might try to spit fire and get nothing but smoke. Alternatively, monsters might begin to act distinctly agitated and respond to your attacks with a deafening roar! This is a sure sign they're about to go into Rage Mode . When enraged, monsters move much quicker and will have a marked increase in attack.
On a smaller scale, as monsters attack, they will have certain signs they broadcast before they attack. It could be as obvious as rearing up their head before blasting you with fire...or it could be as subtle as a small movement in foot positioning before they suddenly are on top of you ripping your face to pieces. Be as aware as you can for these signs, and link them to what happens next!
3. Be Liberal With Item Use.
Unless we're talking about monster materials, there are no super-rare incredibly valuable, can-never-have-again items. The items you brought aren't trophies. They're there to be used. Having issues with a monster in rage mode moving so fast you can't land a hit? Set down a trap and immobilize it for a while. Have a monster that won't stop flying? Bring it down with a well-timed Flash Bomb. Can't seem to keep your stamina up? Drink a Mega Dash Juice! Be liberal with item usage because you can always make/gather more. This is especially important in multiplayer when Lifepowder exists.
This applies to your equipment as well. Be versatile. As you gain the ability to, make multiple sets of equipment and all sorts of different weapons. Be flexible. Whether that means having one weapon of every element and flavor in one specific class, or being an all-out jack/master-of-all-trades is totally up to you. But don't lock yourself into only one option.
4. Use the Terrain.
With all these ledges and walls to explore, make use of them during the fight! If a monster is near a ledge, jump attack and mount the monster! By successfully mounting and toppling a monster, you can land a ton of free hits that will make your life easier. Once you have mounted the monster, press X repeatedly to fill up the gauge. If the monster roars or starts flailing, however, press and hold the R shoulder button to hold on during the wild ride.
Some types of terrain will have rocks and stumps that you can hide behind. The monster isn't going to lose sight of you, but it will have to come all the way around, giving you ample time to heal and catch your breath. Note that the monster can destroy parts and pieces of the terrain, so once the "safety rock" is gone, it's gone. Use it while it's there!
5. Double Check Your Palicos
The Palico system is basically its own game (which we do have coverage on). So make sure you master it. Bring the Palicos with the skills, fortes, and aggro AI that best suit your hunting style. Do you want to get things over with quickly? Bring some fighter Palicos to help dish damage and boost your attack. Do you need some support? Bring healer or support Palicos to help you, the hunter, be as offensive as possible. If you're going to be playing in Prowler Mode, then having the right Palico is that much more important!
Palicos also have their very own armor and weapon sets! Make sure you are regularly obtaining Scraps to keep your Palico gear in shape and up to date. A Palico who is properly stacked can exceed the attack and defense of a hunter, so don't underestimate their prowess.
6. Hunter Arts and Skills Exist. Use Them.
Generations offers unparalleled levels of customizations to you, the hunter. Guild, Striker, Aerial, and Adept, plus countless hunting arts to pick from mean you are likely to be different from any other hunter you encounter. So make sure you take advantage of this system. The "Weapons" section of this guide covers the hunting styles in detail for you.
You can customize and change your hunting style and equipped hunter arts at any point in the game by vising the Item Box in your house or in the hunter prep area. Got a quick monster with precise strikes? Bring Adept for vicious counterattacks and spectacular dodging! Have to defeat a monster who flies around a lot? Use Aerial and give them a taste of their own medicine.
Once your hunting arts are charged up, use them! Some are purely supportive; for example, one hunting art gives you extended invulnerability for a few seconds. But others give you a chance to deal a massive amount of damage when a monster is down and out. Don't leave them collecting dust!
7. Upgrade Your Kitchen!
This should be obvious by now, but eat before you leave! And, even more importantly, if a village request pops up that promises to upgrade your kitchen in return for completion, do it! This gets you more valuable ingredients and better dishes that will improve your health and stamina more, and give you better Felyne skills.
If you're particularly wary of a quest, eat for Felyne Foodie to preserve food effects even if you cart (faint). Or, especially if you're with a party of hunters, eat for Felyne Insurance to make the first cart not even count towards the total defeat count! Only one hunter in a party needs to eat for Insurance, then the first cart of the group will not count.
Other skills like Felyne Black Belt allow you to use less stamina as you dodge, which is amazing for Aerial style, for example. Or perhaps if you like to mount, get the skill Felyne Rider . If you're using status weapons, Felyne Specialist helps you status the monster more often. And so on.