Monster Hunter Rise is already around the corner — heading to the Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021. Though that feels like ages away with Monster Hunter World winding down its free Title Updates after the launch of Fatalis. While I wrap up event quests and unlock the final endgame armor, it’s been tough not to soak up every available bit of information on the upcoming game. Rather than keep it all to myself, I’ve collected it here in this list of everything we know about Monster Hunter Rise so far! Give it a look if you’re curious. I’ll be sure to update it with more details as we get closer to March. In the meantime, please enjoy the big list of big info!
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There is Amiibo Support
Layered armor is back! We know because Monster Hunter Rise is getting a set of three themed Amiibo for the Nintendo Switch. Each Monster Hunter Rise figure will, in turn, unlock a layered armor set for use in the game. That’s not all, either. Amiibo from other games will also provide some kind of daily bonus to hunters. It’s not clear what that might entail, but popular theories suggest it will fall in line with other games, so expect everyday items and perhaps some in-game currency. This may even be a solid stand-in for the Steamworks bonus available in MHW. The major difference being, of course, that you need to spend real money on Amiibo if you want the bonus.
No New Weapons This Time
There are 14 incredibly different weapon types in the main Monster Hunter series so far. At least in base Monster Hunter Rise, that’s going to be it. The developer says it will not introduce brand-new weapons at this time. Perhaps it’s just being cagey, and weapons from spinoff games, like the Tonfas and Medium Bowgun will appear, but… that seems unlikely. Every weapon is already practically a different game unto itself. Adding another seems like a big deal that I could see Capcom saving for Monster Hunter World 2 (or whatever the all-console follow-up to MHW is called).
Capcom is Cagey About the Continent
MHW gave players a whole new continent to explore — and introduced a ton of creatures specific to that area. Older monsters began to trickle into the landmass in updates and the Iceborne expansion, but many creatures still feel “exclusive” to the series’ New World. That includes the zippy, zappy Tobi-Kadachi. Yet we see that same flying squirrel appear in Monster Hunter Rise, alongside beasts that never appeared in the console game. Capcom has gone out of its way not to explain this connection.
The studio instead says the era and locale of Rise are left intentionally vague, so players can create their own conclusions about where the story takes places in the greater Monster Hunter narrative. Not that there is much of a greater narrative, mind you, but it’s open to interpretation if you care. This also probably means we won’t see returning characters from MHW. At least not at first.
Monster Hunter has almost always featured friendly Felynes called Palicoes to aid you in battle. These anthropomorphic cats wield weapons and support gadgets to make playing solo a little easier. Now we’ve got Palamutes: big friendly dogs you can ride into combat. Besides acting as mounts, Palamutes are classified as “attack types,” wielding weapons in their mouths to damage monsters. Meanwhile, Palicoes are no referred to as “support types,” bringing those old gadgets back to battle (e.g. monster traps). In both instances, you can mess around with your pals, petting them or playing with toys for zero combat benefit.
Buddies Are Always Available
With the addition of Palamutes, your NPC allies are no collectively called “buddies.” You can bring two buddies into battle with you in any combination (two dogs, two cats, or one of each) by default. But even if you play multiplayer, you won’t go alone. Monster Hunter Rise allows players to take one buddy into missions no matter how many human players you accompany. By contrast, previous games only allowed you to bring a Palico in one- and two-player missions. You won’t be able to bring both buddies at the same time, but even with a full stack of four hunters, your companion plays a role.
The Lobby System is Reverting
One of the worst elements of MHW to this day is the multiplayer. Once you’re playing with people, it’s a joy! The game really is much better with friends. But getting those friends together is a huge pain that requires a lot of explanation. It’s unclear if Monster Hunter Rise will improve on that. Although we do know one thing is changing: the lobby sizes. Whereas MHW allowed up to 16 players at a time in one multiplayer room, Rise will only allow four, like the previous Monster Hunter games.
Honestly? This sounds like a good thing. Smaller lobbies make it easier for all players to do the same thing, and to guarantee you have an even number of participants. The one downside is this probably means no more Sieges: like Safi’Jiva and Kulve Taroth. At the very least, those special hunts will need to work differently.
No Native Voice Chat
This is no big surprise, but still a little disappointing. Monster Hunter Rise appears to be a Switch exclusive. The Switch doesn’t really have voice chat support — at least not without bizarre workarounds. This probably isn’t an issue if you don’t regularly play with friends, though. And if you play with friends, odds are you know about Discord and other chat services. Monster Hunter also allows for quick text features and communication stickers. It’s better than nothing, I guess?
Skippable Cutscenes (Thank God)
Capcom confirmed Monster Hunter Rise cutscenes will be skippable. That’s the long and short of it! Older Monster Hunter games didn’t really have cutscenes. Whereas MHW players will know that long cutscenes in the story campaign were a huge problem. Not only did they slow down your progress, if you weren’t interested in the paper thin plot, but they also gated friends from joining missions until the movie played. Now it doesn’t seem like that will be an issue. I personally like watching the cutscenes, but I have a number of friends who just want to play multiplayer without getting gated.
You Can’t Play a Palico
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate introduced a unique system called “Prowler Mode.” This allowed players to take control of their many Palico allies (which could be trained and min maxed at camp). Prowlers were sort of an early workaround for the many quality-of-life issues that plagued the series before MHW. Playing a Palico gave you unlimited pickaxes, for instance, which the series now includes by default. It still would have been cool to include Prowlers. Alas, it’s just not to be this time around.
Turf Wars Play a Big Role
The initial reveal for Monster Hunter Rise showed Turf Wars — the monster-on-monster interactions introduced in MHW — make a return. And Capcom says they will play a bigger role than ever. The studio has been pretty cagey about specifics. But even the Iceborne expansion for World added more nuance to monster interaction. Rathian and Rathalos no longer fight, for instance, and instead help each other out in combat. Even before that, Teostra and Lunastra had a cooperative “super-move” that created a massive explosion.
I’m Using Tilt Controls (At Least I Can)
Ranged weapons were kind of a mess before MHW. The lack of dual analog sticks led to some funny workaround control schemes. Now, on a game built totally for Switch, they should still work well! And you’ll have some options. Namely: tilt controls will be available for the Bow, Light Bowgun, and Heavy Bowgun. Some Switch players swear by these in games like Splatoon. Others ignore them completely. At least you have a choice!
Voice Acting is Optional
You also have a choice in voice acting. One of the most obvious changes to Monster Hunter Rise over past games is a speaking player character. This just seems to include gameplay callouts, like calling your Palamute a good boy, but it might be jarring for some. Capcom has said not to worry, however. The voices can be changed in the Options menu. That includes switching language types and limited your hunter to just the usual “ughs” and “ahs” of past games. The voices are apparently just there to add personality.
— Monster Hunter (@monsterhunter) October 8, 2020
It Looks Like Generations Ultimate…
Monster Hunter Rise runs on the modern Resident Evil engine. As such, it’s a bit more detailed and “realistic” than the 3DS and PSP games before it. However, it still uses less-than-powerful Switch hardware. So it finds a happy medium between MHW and MHGU. One pleasant side effect of this is more old school Monster Hunter art. In the menus and user interface, you can see the cleaner, more distinct color palette and 2D monster icons from the series’ past. The weapons and armor also appear to have more noticeable, wackier variety — another major complaint from MHW.
…But Plays Like World
Capcom confirmed that the basic move set for each weapon in Monster Hunter Rise mostly maps to MHW. That is to say your Charge Blade will mostly feel like your Charge Blade from World. Your Long Sword will feel like that Long Sword, your Dual Blades will feel like those Dual Blades, etc. That makes sense since the Switch control scheme isn’t all that different from a more standard controller on the Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. And the studio got damn close to perfecting the formula for each category by the end of Iceborne.
The Radial Menu is Back
Another returning feature from MHW: the radial item menu. This allows players to customize a wheel of items and actions for quick use in combat. In previous Monster Hunter games, you had to cycle between every item in your pouch to find the thing you needed, or dig through menus to perform certain deeds (e.g. crafting). That “line menu” is still here — just as it was in World. But both options make a return.
The Wirebug Has a Cooldown
One brand-new feature to Monster Hunter Rise is the Wirebug. This friendly, flying insect accompanies you into battle and chills with you inside your tent — just like your buddies. However, its role is more supplement. The creature can be used to fire off special moves with each weapon and to swing around the world like Spider-Man. You can’t just go spamming these skills, though. The Wirebug seems to have two charges by default — each on a cooldown that takes longer during combat than during regular traversal. And while you’re traversing each area, you can pick up extra Wirebugs to temporarily add more charges, or launch you into high areas.
There Are Multiple Wirebug Moves
All that being said, combat is probably where the insect will shine most. The Wirebug has been incorporated into t he move set for all 14 weapons in the game. And each weapon comes with multiple new moves. Many of these seem to include counters, dodges, and and jumps. We still don’t know the full extent of their abilities. However, we do know the moves are tied to the weapons themselves, as their will be no weapon or armor skills (i.e. those you get from Decorations) that change how the Wirebug functions. Each attack or maneuver is simply based on the weapon you use — without requiring you to equip something special.
— Monster Hunter (@monsterhunter) October 7, 2020
Mounting Changes Incoming
All this jumping around should make mounting easier, right? Well, that’s actually not super clear. Capcom has alluded to some kind of overhaul to monster mounting — which was already vastly different for MHW. That makes sense. Just spamming mounting attacks might make the game too easy. Not to mention it dilutes the role of the Insect Glaive: a jumpy weapon designed specifically to help teams mount monsters. We don’t know what changes are coming, but presumably they’ll stop players from just going hog wild.
You Can Climb All Over
Appropriately for a Switch game, Monster Hunter Rise seems somewhat influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can climb up and over almost any terrain at the cost of stamina. Although that stamina drains incredibly fast. It seems the game wants you to use Wirebugs as you traverse, since hanging and zipping from the little insect gives your endurance a moment to recharge. Riding a Palamute also seems to speed up the process.
There Are Crackdown Orbs?
Monster Hunter Rise is absolutely littered with strange orbs. The implication is that, using your new traversal powers, you want to run around the hunting grounds in search of these collectibles. Some of them provide one-mission buffs, like expanding your hit points and stamina bar, similar to Max Potions and Well-Done Steak. Others are a bit more mysterious… They provide some kind of points when you collect them. It’s unclear if this also acts like a power-up, as the other orbs do, or if it’s more akin to Research Points (one of the regular currencies from past games in the series).
It’s a Bloody Game
Before MHW, monsters showed the impact of your hits with quick, cartoonish spurts of blood. Perhaps the more realistic art style made this just a little too gruesome? Whatever the reason, the red fountains are back, even if that makes you feel worse about whacking the beasties to death.
Weirder Monsters Are Back
MHW infamously didn’t include much variety in monster types. While there was an absolute truckload of creatures by the end of its lifespan, nearly all of them reused the same “skeletons” as creatures from the base game. Banbaro, Glavenus, and Anjanath are all good examples of basically the same monster with different skins laid overtop, and different attributes when they attack.
That’s totally fine! Making monsters from the ground up is expensive in HD. But it’s good to know that a greater variety of creatures will grace Monster Hunter Rise. Capcom specifically confirmed more amphibious and insectoid beasts are on the way. The trailers we’ve seen so far confirm this. In one brief shot from the debut teaser, you can see a new, spider-like monster apparently Yatsukadaki. Though the name hasn’t been localized into English just yet. Its long neck has players comparing it to the real-life pelican spider, which perhaps hints at it preying on other spider-type monsters, like Nerscylla.
Japanese Theme with Kamura Village
Monster Hunter games typically have some sort of regional theme. Rise is no different! This time we’re getting a specifically Japanese flavor, with the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons as a major point of inspiration. This folklore tradition features a procession of Japanese demons appearing in one night. In Monster Hunter Rise, this seems to inspire the “Rampage” mentioned by one of the NPCs in the debut trailer. Beyond that, and the fact that the new village is based on traditional Japanese architecture, we know very little. Except…
The “Rampage” is a New Mode
This so-called Rampage is more than a story event. It’s apparently an entirely new mode that Capcom says it will describe more at a later date. Given the theming, though, my best guess is it involves fighting multiple monsters at once — or perhaps one after another. The free-to-play Monster Hunter-like, Dauntless, features a similar sort of mode called Escalation. This mission type pits you against five monsters with no chance to change your gear or resupply. Perhaps Capcom was taking notes. This is all speculation, of course!
You Can Flat-Out Control Monsters
The tactic called “Wyvern Riding” takes the elements like mounting and the Clutch Claw to new heights. This allows players to whittle down a monster until they can be ridden around like horses — horses that attack and build up punishing super attacks. You can only ride a monster for so long, of course, but the end result is big damage.
There Are, Of Course, New Monsters
It wouldn’t be a new Monster Hunter without new monsters to hunt. There are almost certainly even more creatures as yet unannounced, as well, particularly since we haven’t seen any Elder Dragons. Magnamalo may be the flagship monster for this game, but it’s just a “normal” Fanged Wyvern in the style of Zinogre, rather than a true endgame creature. For the time being, I’ve collected a list of all the monsters shown in the debut details of Monster Hunter Rise.
- Tetranadon – A water-based, froglike monster that inflates itself before steamrolling hunters.
- Aknosom – A fire-breathing Bird Wyvern.
- Izuchi – Seemingly a “small monster” in Monster Hunter jargon, this baby creature mostly supports the Great Izuchi in combat, somewhat like Girros and Jagras in MHW.
- Great Izuchi – Another Bird Wyvern. It fights in tandem with two smaller Izuchi that mimic its attacks. All three creatures can “vomit” chunks of meat as projectiles. Gross!
- Yatsukadaki – A spider-like creature covered in webs with a long neck. It bears quite a resemblance to Nerscylla from Monster Hunter 4.
- Bunbujina – A small monster with raccoon-like features. It just kinda seems lazy and harmless.
- Magnamalo – A Fanged Wyvern that fires dark, purple energy at its prey. Its description also mentions becoming invisible at night, possibly hinting at stealth powers like Chameleos.
- Goss Harag – This Fanged Beast is the furry mix of a rhinoceros, grizzly bear, and the mythical namahage. It has a truly unique look, even within Monster Hunter, and an equally interesting attack. Goss Harag can create weapons, like blades, out of its ice breath and attack hunters with them.
Many Monsters Are Yokai Themed
Also keeping with the demon theme are the monsters themselves. Many of them are based on creatures from Japanese legend — such as Aknosom. This bird-like beast is actually inspired by Kasa-obake, a sort of living umbrella creature. Aknosom has a head crest that expands much like an umbrella itself. The developers were clear on one thing, though: these are not actually yokai. They’re just normal Monster Hunter monsters inspired by those creatures. Magic is a bit of a fuzzy concept in the series’ universe: canonically appearing in crossover missions with The Witcher, Final Fantasy, and so on. There are also seemingly supernatural elements in Monster Hunter Stories. However, the main game plots don’t really incorporate it.
“No Plans” for Master or G Rank
Okay, come on… Capcom has said there are currently “no plans” for a G Rank or Master Rank equivalent in Monster Hunter Rise, as the team is currently focused on the base game. But “no plans” just means it’s not being worked on yet. It would be very odd indeed if Rise was the first game not to have an expansion or “ultimate” version with higher-level monsters and gear. What’s mostly unclear is if this will be an add-on (as Iceborne was for MHW) or a wholly new game that carries over some save data (as with past titles).
Event Quests Are Playable Offline
We do know one other thing will be like past titles, though. Event quests — the special add-on missions that usually include flashy, fun new gear and those aforementioned crossovers — will be downloadable. That means you can play them offline, rather than sit staring at a calendar, waiting for the missions to rotate back into the game again. This was a major difference in MHW from past games. Monster Hunter Rise is a portable title, however. It makes sense to give players the option to take their special quests on the go again. It’s also a big help if you have trouble completing a quest in time otherwise.
There’s an Owl Friend, Too
Cats and dogs aren’t the only things living together. There’s an owl pal, too. You can see it briefly in the trailers — both inside and out of cutscenes. It seems like it plays a role in gameplay as well. Namely: the owl is your replacement for both Paintballs and Scoutflies in previous Monster Hunter games. You send the avian ally into the air at the start of each mission to track monsters for you. It’s not clear yet if this is all the owl can do, and it’s just a narrative excuse to do away with some of past games’ tedium. Either way, it’s a nice bit of QoL!
You Can Join Quests in Progress
More quality-of-life comes from joining quests in progress. This was added to MHW via the (somewhat cumbersome) SOS Flare system. That version came with limitations, too. You could only join someone after the watched a mission’s cutscenes for the first time, and received practically nil rewards if you entered after 10 minutes had passed. For some reason, you’re also not allowed to fill slots for players that abandoned or disconnected. Capcom hasn’t specified if the SOS Flare is returning — and if it will be a smoother experience if it does — but we do know that joining quests in progress will be possible somehow.
Throw Big Items Around
Maybe this is just for flair. Even so, throwing Mega Barrel Bombs at monsters from midair seems pretty cool! You can see a hunter doing just that in the initial trailer for Monster Hunter Rise. The studio later clarified that several items will be interactive in new ways like that. It didn’t provide a full list, but there’s much to speculate about in the meantime.
It Runs at 30 Frames Per Second
Once again, we’re running on the Switch hardware here. The game will run at “around” 30 frames per second this time around. That might be a disappointment for PC players (like myself) that have grown accustomed to short load times, high resolution textures, and buttery FPS. Of course we’re getting portable play back as a consolation prize.
Vigorwasps, at Least, Are Back
Palicoes have long sported gadgets to help their hunting partners do battle. And while we know said hunters won’t get new weapons this time around, it’s entirely likely that your buddies will (Palamutes alone probably require new items). One support item shown in the promotional material so far is Vigorwasps. These healing helpers appear naturally in the world, but can also be deployed by Palicoes at will.
Armor Skills Will Be a Hybrid
Monster Hunter World players might not be familiar with old armor skills. But they worked very differently before the Xbox and PlayStation flagship. MHW skills stacked granular levels of bonuses as you put more Decorations and armor pieces together. Attack Boost Level 3, for instance, adds +9 damage to most of your damage. Whereas Attack Boost Level 4 offers +12 damage and five percent Affinity. Nearly every skill in the game features multiple levels — and all those levels provide some benefit.
In older games, you needed to pump points into a skill to get any benefit, which was typically much less granular. In MHGU, for instance, you need 10 “points” in Attack to see any benefit at all. Meanwhile, some Decorations and armor can provide negative points, even producing debuffs on your character.
Capcom says the new skill system will be some sort of combination. It didn’t specify what that actually means, however. Are negative skills back, but you still get guaranteed benefits on positive ones? Or do you need to reach a minimum threshold, while no longer worrying about negatives? We’ll find out later!