• Put Your Toys Away: Unfortunately, there is no way to increase your satchel size in Monster Hunter. You still have a great deal of room to carry things, but it will shrink quickly as you realize there are certain items you just can’t leave home without. The only solution is to stop by your house once in awhile and drop your spoils in the item box within. This sounds like a chore (honestly, it is), but on the bright side crafting NPCs will at least recognize you own an item no matter where you store it.
  • Do the Weapons Tutorials: There are literally hours worth of tutorials in every Monster Hunter. The beginner’s missions are practically mandatory, as they teach you how to move, play, and interact with the world. The weapon missions, on the other hand, are fairly optional. If you’re comfortable playing with just a standard sword all game, you can. That said, I strongly recommend going through them all. They’re tedious as all get-out, but every armament in Monster Hunter plays so differently you won’t know what you prefer until you’ve sampled them all.

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  • Stack Your Steaks: One trick to quickly making inventory space is by grilling raw meat – that is, if you already have well-done steaks in your inventory, which you should. Suddenly, your freshly harvested flesh is not only useful, but doesn’t take up an extra inventory slot.
  • Check the Bone: The timing on the cooking minigame – the one required to make that useless raw meat into stamina-boosting steak – is quite tricky, especially on smaller screens. You must time it so you pull it off the spit when the meat turns brown. Wait too long, and you’ll burn it. While the textures on the meat itself are a bit fuzzy, the bone sticking out of it is clear. Both sections turn brown, however. If you’re having trouble getting the timing just right try looking at the more highly contrasted bit of marrow.
  • Combine Everything: Among the many side activities in Monster Hunter is combining. This is where you take one item in your inventory, mix it with another, and make something new. It’s different from crafting in that you can do it whenever you want, and the results are usually one-time-use. Usually, the only way to tell what you’ll get by combining two items is by, well, trying it. After that you’ll always be able to tell what the pair makes ahead of time, and your chances of successfully making it.

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  • Dude, Just Maintain: Unlike most RPGs, Monster Hunter isn’t about leveling up; it’s about items. Whether it’s the ones you wear, or the ones you carry around in a bag. That means there’s no shame in using said items to maintain your ability to fight. Stamina running low? Eat a steak. Giapreys biting through your health bar? Use a potion. The items most necessary to survival are usually provided free of charge at the start of a quest anyway (located in the big, blue box) so you might as well use them.
  • You Will be Upgraded: Once you’ve unlocked more challenging quests and hunts, you’ll need the gear to match. Running into a four-star fight with the gear your starting gear is just a waste of time. You’ll need to craft more armor and weapons, and upgrade them while you’re at it. You must pay attention to what a particular upgrade needs by going to the blacksmith, then keep an eye out for it in the field while exploring on a different quest.
  • Paintballs are Important: I know I already said to use your items, but paintballs are getting a special mention as perhaps the most necessary. These little objects keep you informed of a key monster’s position when (not if) it decides to flee an engagement. When this happens, they will attempt to rest and heal the damage you’ve put against them, and you’ll have wasted your time and resources for nothing. If you know where they are, however, you can track them down and keep that from happening.

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  • Felynes are your Friends: “Felynes” are Monster Hunter’s name for AI companions. Some cook back at your house, but others will actually accompany you in battle. This is hugely important because modern Monster Hunter titles are really all about teamwork and cooperative play. If you can’t, or just don’t want to engage in the more social side of things Felynes can make up for it. They’re not nearly as effective as a cadre of human players, but they’ll help fill the gaps you would otherwise miss in a completely solo experience.
  • Seriously, Play Online: Felynes are great, but you should really just play online. The interplay of multiple character with different weapons and gear is what really makes Monster Hunter Monster Hunter. Stand at the back with a bow and pepper a dinosaur while your hammer-wielding buddy stuns it with choice blows to the head, and a bagpipe playing partner serenades you with a damage boosting buff. It’s an amazing feeling, and one that should not be missed if you’ve already invested the necessary time and effort to play the game.