Quick Start Guide: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, an expanded version of Monster Hunter Generations for the Nintendo 3DS, has brought the hunt to the Nintendo Switch. Monster Hunter World’s resounding success for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and most recently PC, introduced a whole new audience to Capcom’s long-standing action series, and chances are you might be one of them.

But while you may have been bitten by the monster hunting bug, there are some major differences between Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate that you should know before jumping in.

You Can Transfer Your Progress

If you are Monster Hunter veteran and played Monster Hunter Generations on 3DS, you can transfer your progress over to Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on the Switch (there is also a 3DS version in Japan, but it won’t be coming out elsewhere). This also means that if you enjoyed Monster Hunter World but are on the fence about picking up an older Monster Hunter game, you could grab Monster Hunter Generations for a discounted price for the 3DS, try it out, and transfer your progress to Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on the Switch if you decide to pick it up later on.

The Switch version is basically an expansion of the 3DS version with new late-game content in the form of a G rank, so you won’t miss out on a lot by playing the opening hours on the 3DS version. There’s also a free demo of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on the Switch that you can try out before committing to the purchase to see if old school-style Monster Hunter is for you.

No More Scoutflies

Scoutflies were a major addition to the Monster Hunter franchise in Monster Hunter World, but since Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate came out before Monster Hunter World in Japan, scoutflies are unfortunately absent. This means that not only will you need to keep an eye out for potential gathering spots on your own (look for things that stand out in an area), but you also will need to make use of an item called a paintball in order to keep track of large monsters when they move between areas.

When you come in contact with a monster you’re tracking, equip a paintball from your item pouch and chuck it at your target in order to mark them. If you were successful, a red dot will appear on your map. Be careful – it wears off eventually!

Don’t Forget Your Map

In Monster Hunter World, your map would fill in as you explore an area. This isn’t the case in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, so you’ll need to remember to grab a map from the item box at the beginning of every quest. Might as well take everything else in there while you’re at it, too!

Play Around with New Play Styles

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate introduces a few new modes of play, including Play Styles and Prowler mode, where you can play as a trusty Palico companion. There are six different styles: Guild, Striker, Aerial, Adept, Valor, and Alchemy. Each has its pros and cons, but if you want to start with the most basic of the bunch, it’s a good idea to stick to Guild Style. Guild Style is the default and allows you to equip two Hunter Arts, which are Monster Hunter Generation Ultimate’s form of special attacks that you can mix and match for different effects.

If you’re feeling comfortable with your weapon of choice and want to try out the other Play Styles, my personal favorite is Aerial. If you’ve ever been jealous of how Insect Glaive users get to jump around all over the place, this style is for you! Aerial Style allows you to jump at any time, even without a ledge. Use it at the right time to perform a jumping attack on monsters and you may even get the chance to mount them. You can only use one Hunter Art with this Style, but I think the trade-off is worth it!

The Truth About Gathering

I’m sorry to say, but gone are the days of running around willy nilly and gathering everything in sight. In Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, you need to have bug nets and pickaxes in your item pouch to gather insects and stones, respectively. Bug nets and pickaxes also break after a certain number of uses, so get ready to stock up! Oh, and it’s not a gathering item, but whetstones aren’t infinite this time around, so be sure keep them on hand so you’re not stuck with a blunt weapon in the heat of battle.  

Another important thing to remember about gathering: during gathering quests, the quest does not end once you have obtained everything you need in your item pouch. You’ll need to book it back to the camp site where you started and deliver the items by putting them in the blue item box. Only once you’ve put the items in the box will you get a quest clear notification! If you did an egg quest in Monster Hunter World, you probably know the struggle.

Palico Paradise!

One thing Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate that is unequivocally superior to Monster Hunter World is the abundance of Palicos. I hope you like cats, because now you can have up to two of them accompany you on solo fights, as well as play one yourself in the Prowler mode. Be sure to head over to the Palico Ranch (located to the right of every village) to get your first Palico and start recruiting more cats for your massive cat army.

Each Palico has different attributes, and there are seven different types to choose from. Healing is a great one to go with for the free health, and a Protection Palico will help keep monsters away from you so you’re not always being targeted.

If you’re ready to go full cat, go to the Palico Board in the Palico Ranch to select a Palico to play as a Prowler. This means you will be controlling the Palico yourself, and while you can think of it like a different weapon type, there are many differences between playing as a Prowler and as a human. Most importantly, a Prowler doesn’t need bug nets or pickaxes and its sharpness never degrades, so you don’t need to worry at all about the items mentioned in the last section. This makes them great for gathering! They also don’t have a stamina bar, so they can run forever and not get tired.

Prowlers also come with some downsides. They can’t use any items, and while their armor and weapons are much easier to make than human hunters, they also don’t have a huge range of different attack options. But can you use an ability to put down a trampoline for others to jump on as a human? I think not! It’s a lot of fun to try out all the different Prowler abilities, so don’t sleep on this mode, even if you don’t bring it to the hardest hunting quests.

Time to Slow Down

Another aspect of Monster Hunter that I especially enjoy is how it encourages a slow, methodical progression that culminates in an epic fight against a super cool monster. Monster Hunter World threw players straight into the action pretty much right off the bat, but you may not want to jump right into slaying quests in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. Take time to work through the gathering quests to get used to the lay of the land and test out some Play Styles and weapons in Training before moving on to the big leagues. The monsters will be there when you’re ready!

Online Made Easy

For all its improvements, Monster Hunter World made online multiplayer needlessly complicated. Though there isn’t seamless drop-in multiplayer by means of SOS flares in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, single player and multiplayer quests are clearly divided, so there’s no confusion about what quests you can join or having to wait until after a cutscene finishes to go help a friend.

Simply to go to the Hunter Hub to do local or online multiplayer. You can create a hub to gather up to three friends in a room at a time to play multiplayer quests together or search for existing hubs using a variety of parameters. Multiplayer quests don’t scale in difficulty based on the number of players present, and you can even try them solo for the ultimate challenge. Multiplayer is arguably where the most fun of a Monster Hunter game lies, and Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate introduces ultra-tough G rank quests, so expect to spend a lot of time in the Gathering Hub!

Happy Hunting!

Hopefully these tips have given you a better idea of what to expect in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series, new with Monster Hunter World, or picking up Monster Hunter for the first time, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is packed full of a staggering amount of content to scratch that monster hunting itch. Have fun!