Here’s which game you should play if you’re new to Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter is a long-running series centred around the hunting of giant monsters using fantastical weapons.

Its gameplay focuses on boss-battle-like encounters and offers a diverse experience thanks to the variety of weapons and tactics one can employ to bring down your target.

However, it’s a series with dozens of entries, and if you’re new and looking to get into the franchise, it can be pretty daunting to decide where to start.

So here are the best options for a newcomer based on our experiences.

Monster Hunter – the basics

The first thing that has to be considered is what each game offers regardless of its age or focus – the foundational features and mechanics.

Of course, the most notable, features are hunting monsters and crafting new armour and weaponry.

Although all Monster Hunter games have different casts of characters, plotlines and settings, they each consistently offer an extensive roster of monsters to hunt.

This includes established monsters as well as entirely new entries to the series.

The final other consistent feature is the crafting of new equipment. As you slay monsters, you’ll acquire components to create new weapons and armour to unlock passive skills and increase your capabilities.

Monster Hunter games don’t have a levelling system; your character has the same baseline capabilities at the start of the game as at the end.

However, as you get more powerful equipment, unlock skills that compliment your playstyle, and become more experienced, you’ll be able to take on harder and harder challenges.

All Monster Hunter games have this progression arc and system of crafting.

The best place to start

Given the vast array of games available, choosing one to start with and getting a feel for the series is no easy task.

This is mainly due to how the series has evolved since its first entries.

The first Monster Hunter games and many that followed were slower paced, with more deliberate positioning and skill required in combat.

Their learning curve was also steeper due to this skill requirement.

In contrast, the more recent games in the franchise are far more accessible to newer players as they are less punishing in terms of the prep required for hunts and during combat, thanks to a faster pace of gameplay.

So if you’re looking to play Monster Hunter and don’t want to beat your head against the sometimes clunky mechanics of the old games, you’d best be served to play one of the new entries.

Your choices are to play either Monster Hunter World or Monster Hunter Rise.

Both games were released within the last couple of years and are available on PC.

If you’re exclusively a PlayStation or Xbox player, then World is the only option, as Rise is only available on the Switch  console.

Both games are accessible thanks to faster-paced combat and have more manageable skill curves.

Therefore, if you’re a PC or Switch player, the choice then comes down to which one seems cooler to you.


Monster Hunter World is the better looking of the two games.

It holds the title for the most graphically advanced Monster Hunter game yet, and it’s easy to see why.

Its sprawling biomes are lush and detailed and feel alive as you hunt through them, and your hunter and the monsters themselves have never looked better.

That’s not to say Rise is poor looking but compared to World, it is very much the lesser of the two.

So if you prefer your games to look good first before you consider gameplay, then World is the best option.

Design and mechanics

The most significant divide between the two games is in their design philosophy.

World was designed as a newer, more modern take on the setting. Its areas and mechanics reflect this as they offer a more realistic design of  of what Monster Hunter would look like in the real world.

This is not to say it shies away from giant monsters, over-the-top hairstyles and inhuman feats of durability and gravity denial, but instead that it feels more modern.

Rise is in many ways the opposite and delivers a more conventional experience in line with older entries.

Its areas are simpler and neatly laid out, and its overall feel and the way it plays conjures up memories of the older games.

This is particularly clear in the design of each game’s unique mechanics.

World makes use of the clutch-claw and a sling, which allow you to fire projectiles at monsters and breakable fauna and use the battlefield to your advantage.

This further augments the monster mounting system where your hunter can jump up and onto a monster and attack it directly.

These features make World’s combat feel precise and exciting without becoming overly complex or intensive.

Rise’s unique features are the wyvern-riding mechanic and wire bugs.

Your hunter can use wire bugs to move through the air with spiderman-like movements that allow for an unheard-of degree of mobility and open up new combat opportunities.

Wyvern-riding is one of those new combat opportunities.

After staggering a monster, you have the chance to briefly take control of it, forcing it to attack other monsters or slam itself into the environment for damage.

It’s an exciting mechanic, and there is something rather satisfying about controlling one of the Monsters who delight in stomping and biting you to death.

So if you want a more measured experience that offers precise combat, World is the best option, while if you are looking for a faster-paced, almost hack and slash experience, then Rise is the ideal choice.


The final concern is content, and while each game has a lot to offer. World with its Iceborne expansion offers far more than Rise does.

However, in six weeks, Sunbreak will release for Rise, substantially increasing its offering and potentially bringing it in line with World.

Therefore, currently, World is the best bet, but if you wait, Rise will be just as good an option.


If you want to jump in right now, the Monster Hunter World is the best option given its content; however, Rise is a solid alternative if you’re willing to wait until Sunbreak releases.

It is all dependent on what sort of experience you are looking for, but regardless of choice, both games are an excellent place to start.

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Here’s which game you should play if you’re new to Monster Hunter

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