The numbers are in, and a lot of people are playing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. But judging from my StreetPass inbox, and what I've heard people saying online, a lot of them are playing it badly. Fortunately Midnight Resistance is here to give you some pointers on how to get the most out of your Monster Hunter experience.
If you're looking for advice on the real basics, you should really go and check out one of the countless beginner's guides people have written, and Gaijin Hunter's excellent series of videos. This isn't an introductory guide, but something that might elevate your game to the next level; tips and tricks that aren't immediately obvious, and guides to some of the in-game systems that few people seem to engage with.
(Mostly I'm just sick of StreetPassing people and not getting any good Guild Quests)
1) Download some DLC! It's free, and some of the stuff you get is great, although (predictably) the process is a bit convoluted. Go to the main manu, select "DLC", then pop in and out of the different DLC categories while marking all the items you want (which is probably all of them) and then selecting Download. Some items, like Guild Card content, are available immediately, but most in-game items need to be earned through hunting - which means you'll need to talk to one of the Questatrices in the Gathering Hall (which one depends on the quest, of course), select Event Quest, find and complete the right quest, and then use whatever unique item you earn from it to forge your DLC armour or weapon... and of course, you'll probably have to beat the quest multiple times in order to save up enough items to forge with.
2) Wave at the Dragonseer. Eagle-eyed hunters may have noticed a hot air balloon drifting along in the distance in some areas. If you face towards the balloon and perform the Wave gesture, they'll flash a little signal light back at you and highlight the location of any large monsters on your mini-map for a few seconds - similar to the effect of drinking Psychoserum.
3) Roll into a climb, and sheath your weapon instantly. If you roll up to a climbable wall and press A, you can climb without having to sheath your weapon first (well, technically your weapon will still become sheathed, but you'll skip the sheathing animation). No doubt this is a glitch, but it's a good one to exploit - good for quickly scuttling away to higher ground, but also for getting a quick jump-slash in and going for a mount.
4) Get cool stuff from Expeditions: There's a tutorial for Expeditions in the game, but it goes quite quickly and it might seem a bit pointless compared to doing normal quests, so I think a lot of people probably ignore them. Do not ignore them. There's a post on Gaijin Hunter which covers them in-depth, but to put it briefly: You can encounter up to five large monsters during an Expedition (although only one or two are shown on the world map), and the more you kill, the more Guild Quests you might get. Also, the quality of monsters you kill affects the quality of the Guild Quests you earn - to win the more advanced Guild Quests, you need to go on 'Rare' Expeditions and kill the biggest monsters you can find.
Also, you might find new Poogie costumes and some good materials, weapons and armour! You don't even have to kill anything - you can just run through, harvest a bunch of stuff, and reach the cart at the end to bank it all. I've started doing this just to chill out between serious hunts.
5) Forge unusual gear with Guild Quests: Guild Quests are a right faff, but they're worth taking a look at. Here's a quick guide to setting them up:
- When you first get a new Guild Quest (as an Expedition reward, or via StreetPass) it goes in your Quest Pool
- While in town, open the menu and select the Guild Quests submenu, then select Manage List
- Look through the Quest Pool tab, select whichever quests you want, then Register them
- They should now appear in your Registered Quests tab, which is the important one
With that done, you can launch your registered Guild Quests by talking to the Questatrices in the Gathering Hall. The key thing about Guild Quests is that they level up a bit every time you complete them - this means the monster(s) get tougher each time you repeat the quest, and at certain levels they advance to High Rank (level 31+) and G-Rank (level 76+) states, which improves the quality of their item drops, but may make the quest inaccessible if you haven't unlocked High Rank or G-Rank quests yet.
Why should you care? Well, you can use Guild Quests to hunt monsters outside of the normal quest chain. For example, I think Velociprey armour is the best set for new players, but (in Low Rank, at least) you can only encounter Velociprey in Guild Quests. Stuff like that continues throughout the game - the extreme top-level Armor Spheres are only available in very high level Guild Quests.
6) Update your StreetPass data. I've StreetPassed a lot of hunters over the last couple of months, and most of them don't seem to use their StreetPass tools at all - not too surprising, since it's a needlessly complicated system. There are three main things to think about: Your Guild Card, your shared Guild Quest, and your shared Palico.
- Guild Card: While in town, press Start to open the menu, select the Guild Card submenu, and then Edit. You can then customise your title, write a short greeting, and select a background and a cool pose for your hunter and Palicos. Also, don't forget to press the Register button to register your current equipment! You can re-register your equipment whenever you want, and it won't affect anything in-game - it just determines how your hunter and Palicos will appear to other players when they look at your Guild Card.
- Guild Quest: Somewhere in every town there's a Feylene with a fancy red hat and a postbag. Talk to him, select StreetPass, then select Quests to choose which of your registered Guild Quests you want to share via StreetPass. This will not remove the quest from your list! It's an opportunity to help your fellow hunters out - for example, I'm currently sharing a level 1 Kirin quest, so new players can try to forge some powerful Kirin equipment much earlier than usual.
- Shared Palico: Similar to Guild Quests: Talk to the courier Feylene, select StreetPass, then select Palicos. A copy of your chosen Palico will be sent out via StreetPass (note: a copy - the Palico will not be removed from your roster). You can also set a personalised greeting for your Palicos if you noodle around with the Palico board in the back of your house, but be aware that you'll have to do that before you choose which Palico to send out.
Oh, and obviously you need to talk to the courier Feylene and select Inbox to collect your incoming StreetPass stuff, once you've met some people.
7) Press 'Skip' to skip long death animations: In the top-right corner of the lower screen, there's a little button marked 'Skip' that shows up during cutscenes. You can use this to skip monsters' death animations, which saves bags of time if you want to get into position for carves, or squeeze in a bit of mining during the victory fanfare. It's particularly useful against large dragons like Dah'ren Mohran, who have really long death animations and offer up to twelve carves if you're quick enough.
8) Carve/gather while crouching: Following on from that, be aware that your carving and gathering animations are ever so slightly shorter if you crouch down first (by pressing B while standing still). It's not worth doing it all the time, but can give you time for a couple of extra carves from an Elder Dragon.
9) Play with your Poogie: If you pick up your Poogie, carry it out of the house, then put it down, talk to it, and select 'Rodeo', your Palicos will ride it around town like a couple of heroes. There are a few other little benefits to interacting with Poogie, but I'll leave that for you to discover!
10) Use Dungbombs: This isn't much of a secret, but I think it's a good bit of advice for players moving up into High Rank: If you hit a large monster with a dungbomb, it will (after a short delay) move to a different area of the map; if you have the Dungmaster skill, or the Feylene Dungmaster food skill, they will take effect immediately. This might not sound like a big deal, but once you reach High Rank and start getting wandering Deviljhos and Seregios interrupting your hunts, you'll be glad to be able to dismiss them with a flung turd.