Monster Hunter Rise players have almost exactly one month to decide what to do in-game before Sunbreak. If past trends hold, this major expansion will be the definitive version of the game going forward. It follows in the footsteps of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, as the series shifts from a “definitive edition” release schedule to simple DLC for the base game. That means you can catch up in Monster Hunter Rise right now — especially if you intend to make the leap to PC.
The base game saw a significant delay between its launch of Nintendo Switch and personal computers. Yet the Sunbreak release date (June 30, 2022) is the same for both versions. Since there’s no cross-save (or crossplay for that matter) between the PC and Switch editions, anyone looking to get the better frame rate and textures on PC needs to get ready now. That’s why we’ve put together this little refresher on what to do in Monster Hunter Rise before the release of Sunbreak! Just in case you need a reminder on how to catch up.
The Serpent Goddess of Thunder – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Here’s some good news: You only need to beat “The Serpent Goddess of Thunder” to enter the new story content in Sunbreak. This is the final quest of the game’s 1.0 release. Though it’s not actually the final hunt of the main story. It’s… kinda confusing. The gist, however, is that this is the bare minimum requirement when going into Sunbreak. We still recommend a lot more activities than this, of course. Most of which is listed below. But if you do nothing else while readying up for Sunbreak, make sure it’s this.
“The Serpent Goddess of Thunder” is also a 7-star Gathering Hub quest. This is completely separate from the “Village” quests given by Hinoa in the town square at Kamura. As it stands, you can almost completely ignore these Village quests in Monster Hunter Rise if you so choose. While they are fun from a story perspective, and unlock certain dango types, they don’t provide much in the way of necessary progress. Especially not now that “Defender” weapons and other catch-up gear exist to take you into High Rank quests.
Get That Hunter Rank Up – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Speaking of ranks: Monster Hunter Rise continues the long tradition of “unlocking” your Hunter Rank in fits and starts. In this case, the process begins after beating Thunder Serpent Narwa in the aforementioned quest. This replaces the previous system of simply beating Key Quests to unlock higher ranks with XP-based progression. Starting at the initial cap of HR 7, after beating Narwa, your new cap will be HR 20. You will need to complete mission after mission (it doesn’t matter which) until your rank rises to that level.
After enough hunts, you will hit the new soft cap of HR 20 and unlock the mission “Ancient Illusion.” This pits you against the Elder Dragon Chameleos. After that, you need to grind to HR 30 to fight Kushala Daora in “The Steely Storm.” After that, continue hunting until reaching HR 40: which brings us to “The Emperor of Flame” and a fight against Teostra.
From this point on, your Hunter Rank is permanently unlocked. Any missions you complete will contribute to its level until you reach the final cap of HR 999. The most efficient ways to raise that rank are currently running Rampage missions (which have low stakes and great rewards but get awfully tedious) and hunting Elder Dragons or Apex Monsters in normal missions (which are more difficult but award a lot of rank progress).
None of this is strictly necessary to play Sunbreak. However, some “secret” side quests and other useful things are traditionally tied to grinding out Hunter Rank. One of the most important is Layered Armor crafting through Outfit Vouchers. Though this unlocks as early as HR 8. Things like new monsters don’t typically show up until later. Speaking of which…
Reach and Beat Crimson Glow Valstrax – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Prior to the release of Sunbreak, the most powerful creature in Monster Hunter Rise is Crimson Glow Valstrax. This hidden Elder Dragon only appears after you reach HR 100 — having beaten the previous three Elder Dragons listed above. It doesn’t factor into the story very much (at least not right now). Yet the jetpack-lizard produces some of the very best armor in the game.
Its unique power, Dragonheart, provides a huge Elemental Resistance bonus and a 10% attack bonus at max level. It also features several levels of Weakness Exploit: another very powerful attack skill. If you want to make quick progress through Sunbreak, this is going to be the armor set to get you there on release day.
It’s Talisman Time – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Elder Dragons, Apex Monsters, Rampage quests: they’re all great sources of melding materials. That is to say Talisman melding. This feature unlocks pretty early on in your Monster Hunter Rise career. You even get a cutscene to notify you when the Melding Pot is unlocked at the Kamura shop. As you continue to progress, higher levels of melding become available, but the basic idea remains the same. You transform crafting materials (monster parts and Defender Tickets) into semi-random equipment that provides your character with valuable skills.
Since the melding process is so random — not to mention fickle — now is a great time to start stocking up. There’s a good chance that Sunbreak will include newer, better ways to create Talismans. Probably a higher tier or two of melding rituals. Even if that’s the case (and there’s no guarantee) there’s a good chance it will take a while to unlock. Not to mention it might also be random.
Put another way: You are stuck with whatever Talismans you have right now until you get something better in Sunbreak. You might as well stack the odds in your favor by melding extra now.
Rampage Blues – What to Do Before Sunbreak
You’re probably sick of running Rampage quests by now. We certainly are. There’s simply no denying that they’re the most efficient way of garnering certain materials. Especially if you play in multiplayer, which makes the whole process a lot more bearable. That’s a whole tip on its own, actually. Make sure to use multiplayer if you can! Catching up with the story is much faster that way, in Rampages and otherwise.
But what are the most important things you can get from Rampage quests right now? Defender Tickets and Outfit Vouchers. Defender Tickets are far and away the best material for melding. Which means you’re going to need some if you plan on preparing a stockpile of Talismans. More than that: if Sunbreak does introduce new tiers of melding (which seems likely since that was the case in Iceborne) then we want some leftover Defender Tickets to start making even more new Talismans right away.
The same Rampage quests (especially against Apex Monsters) will net you Outfit Vouchers. These are used to craft Layered Armor. There’s no guarantee that the same crafting material will be used in Master Rank layered armor once Sunbreak hits, but it can’t hurt to be careful. Especially not when so much Layered Armor requires 2-3 Outfit Vouchers. That’s for one piece of gear, mind you! Not the whole set.
There are also probably some of those existing Layered Armor sets you don’t have yet. You can start making those now for better fashion options later!
Layered Armor Event Quests – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Speaking of Layered Armor (again), some sets in Monster Hunter Rise are limited to Event Quests. These are special missions you can complete at any time. You just need to speak with Senri the Mailman in Kamura. He will give you “Add-On Content,” including Event Quests, which are then permanently added to your list of available missions. No more time-limited events from Monster Hunter World!
From then on it’s just a matter of beating each Event Quest in whatever order you like. Here’s a list of the relevant Event Quests pulled from our Monster Hunter Rise Layered Armor guide:
- “Memories of That Day” – Blossom Layered Armor
- “Zin and Yang” – Gala Layered Armor
- “A Good Old-Fashioned Rampage” – Origin Layered Armor
- “USJ – Shrine Showdown” – Azure Age Layered Armor
- “Frost Bites” – Orion Layered Armor
- “Troubled Waters” – Diver Layered Armor
- “Super Shady Look-alike” – Sonic Wear Layered Armor
- “Knight in Shattered Armor” – Arthur Layered Armor
- “SF: Ultimate Promotion Exam” – Akuma Layered Armor
- “An Icy Blade So Bright” – Shadow Shades Layered Armor
- “Almudron: Fashion Victim” – Black Leather Legs Layered Armor
- “Haste Makes Waste” – Cunning Specs Layered Armor
Those are for your hunter. Here are the relevant quests for your buddy Layered Armor:
- “Bird Wyverns of Ruin?” – Tsukino Costume Layered Armor (Palico)
- “Rising Sun!?” – Ammy Costume Layered Armor (Palamute)
- “The Blue Bomber’s Best Bud” – Rush Costume Layered Armor (Palamute)
- “Gotta Hoard Fast!” – Sonic Costume Layered Armor (Palico) & Canyne Tails Layered Armor (Palamute)
- “USJ – Arzuros Onslaught” – F Azure Era Equipment Layered Armor (Palico)
With Sunbreak still a few weeks away, now is a great time to complete these missions and give yourself some extra fashion options on the expansion’s release date.
Unlock All Switch Skills – What to Do Before Sunbreak
More optional quests worth doing include any that award extra Switch Skills. Sunbreak is introducing a new mechanic called “Switch Skill Swap,” which does exactly what it sounds like. It lets you swap between different Switch Skills mid-hunt. That means having a wide variety of options available is more important than ever. If you want to completely customize your combat style, you should go for everything. You can always, well, swap things around later.
The missions in question are all pretty easy to find. You get them from Utsushi in the Gathering Hub as you rise from Hunter Ranks 4-6. The quests also follow a repeating naming pattern: always ending with the name of the weapon for which you will get a new Switch Skill. For example, “Grasp the Gunlance” unlocks a new Gunlance Switch Skill.
For the sake of posterity, however, let’s list them all here for you to look at:
- HR 4: “Learning the Light Bowgun”
- HR 4: “Study the Switch Axe”
- HR 4: “Honing Your Hunting Horn”
- HR 4: “Study the Sword & Shield”
- HR 5: “Hone Your Heavy Bowgun”
- HR 5: “Charge Blade Coalescing”
- HR 5: “Learn the Lance”
- HR 5: “Honing Your Hammer”
- HR 5: “Grasp the Great Sword”
- HR 6: “Be One with the Bow”
- HR 6: “Invoke the Insect Glaive”
- HR 6: “Grasp the Gunlance”
- HR 6: “Dissect the Dual Blades”
- HR 6: “Learn the Long Sword”
Place Your Great Wirebugs – What to Do Before Sunbreak
You earn Great Wirebugs by speaking to Senior Hunter Hanenaga in Kamura Village. He stands on the path between the Smithy and the Buddy Plaza. He also gives you a few bugs to start and extra when you discover enough Endemic Life (i.e. little bugs and critters like Hunting Helpers) out in the world. This will almost certainly happen naturally as you progress through Monster Hunter Rise. If you explore even a little bit, that is. And now is a great time to start placing your Great Wirebugs if you’ve been putting it off up to this point.
Great Wirebugs must be placed inside glowing “Jewel Lillies” spotted throughout every in-game zone. These are patches of tall grass with blue-green fireflies floating above them. You’ll know you’ve found one when the game asks you to place a Great Wirebug there.
Once in position, the big fireflies stay there forever, even if you exit a mission and come back. From then on you can interact with the Great Wirebug you put down to catapult yourself into a new location at lightning speeds. This makes getting around Monster Hunter Rise a great deal faster — and should speed up any Sunbreak hunts that take place in pre-expansion zones.
More than that, Great Wirebugs allow you to be more flexible with your loadout. At least within reason. Most players like to prioritize Palamutes in Monster Hunter Rise because they allow you to mount up and zoom across every zone. With enough Great Wirebugs, however, you can more reliably take Palicos into multiplayer matches instead. All without reducing your movement speed too much. It just takes a bit more forethought and practice traversing the map.
Unlock Every Dango Flavor – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Dango replaces the more traditional food types from Monster Hunter World. Yet the basic premise is the same: every ingredient can provide a different bonus to your hunter before a mission. Some are even just flat upgrades to dango you get at the start of the game. This means you want every possible dango flavor. That way you can prepare properly for any situation in Monster Hunter Rise.
Thankfully, these ingredients are a whole lot less obtuse to acquire than in the previous game. No fishing, no worrying about in-game times of day, no rare gathering points: you just need to complete requests and side missions. That means another list of optional quests for you to peruse!
Here’s the list of all dango-related hunts and requests you unlock by playing through Village Quests:
- “Getting Back the Groceries” (Village Quest)
- “The Secret Ingredient” (Village Quest)
- “Supply Run” (Village Quest)
- “Comeuppance” (Village Quest)
- “Bunny Dango – with Eggs!” (Request Unlocked via Village Quests)
And these are the dango tied to Hub Quests and requests unlocked via Gathering Hub progression:
- “A Quartet of Horns” (Hub Quest)
- “Seared Situation” (Hub Quest)
- “Can’t Kill It with Fire” (Hub Quest)
- “Totally Not Cool, Kulu!” (Hub Quest)
- “Do It for the Dango!” (Hub Quest)
- “Only the Good Eggs” (Request Unlocked via Hub Quests)
- “A Dango a Day” (Request Unlocked via Hub Quests)
- “Thick, Gooey Dango” (Request Unlocked via Hub Quests)
In particular, we recommend at least finishing “Totally Not Cool, Kulu!” out of the available quests. This unlocks the Super Bestnut Dango — an upgraded flavor that provides Dango Defender (Hi) when it triggers. This is one of the best defensive dango types in Monster Hunter Rise. It functions very similar to Divine Protection, which has a high percentage chance of reducing any source of incoming damage. Except it obviously doesn’t require Decoration slots.
Build Up Your Submarine Fleet – What to Do Before Sunbreak
Here’s another, much simpler list of requests. Unlock all your Argosy submarines in the Buddy Plaza! These are equivalent to the Harvest Boxes from Monster Hunter World. Meaning they passively accrue chosen resources — like honey or bitterbugs — over time. Simply send a chosen Palico or Palamute on a mission to collect them by speaking to Rondine. After that, they will start stockpiling whatever you requested as you complete more missions.
You can currently acquire up to three submarines in Monster Hunter Rise. Each of which can run concurrently, providing up to three times the free materials as you play. The first sub unlocks automatically; just complete your first real hunt and check back at the plaza. The second two submarines are then tied to delivery requests.
The first request, “Cultural Exchange,” is pretty simple. You just need to gather three Wisplanterns and three Boatshells. The former can be found at Shimmering Red Berry gathering spots in the Shrine Ruins. The latter is found at Oyster Beds in the Frost Islands. Both types of harvest point are marked on your map as you discover them and both can be found during High Rank Expedition Tours.
“Economic Stimulation,” the second submarine request, is a bit more complicated. Though it also requires some basic gathering. Specifically, you need three Rock Roses from Desert Rose gathering points in the Sandy Plains. You also need three Bismuth Prisms: found at the Lava Caverns in Iridescent Ore gathering spots.
The final item is much more hidden. You need a King Rhino. You also need at least one Barrel Bomb, which you can craft using a Small Barrel and a Fire Herb if you don’t have one already. Use this to blast open the crumbling wall at the tip of the giant pyramid — on its western side facing Area 2 of the Flooded Forest zone — during a High Rank Expedition Tour. Inside, you will find a King Rhino (which is a beetle in case that wasn’t clear).
You can see both the map location and the crumbling wall in the screenshot above. Note that it takes quite a bit of climbing to reach the top of the pyramid! You can take the stairs until about halfway up, but you will need to do some wall-running and Wirebug antics to get all the way to the tip.
While there’s plenty more to do in Monster Hunter Rise before the release of Sunbreak, these are by far the biggest things we can recommend! Now is your chance to catch up and get ready for the expansion at the end of June. Make sure to take advantage of that time and try to get through at least a few of these objectives!