Monster Hunter Stories 2 Essential tips and tricks

The incredibly popular Monster Hunter franchise is coming once again to the Nintendo Switch and PC with Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. This offshoot combines the world of Monster Hunter with the creature-collecting and turn-based battling of Pokémon, in a story-driven RPG. Gamers play as a Monster Rider, adventuring across the world and finding new monster companions known as Monsties as they seek to unravel the reason why Rathalos the world over have begun to disappear.

We’ve hunted the monsters, forged the equipment, and ventured into the unknown to bring you the information you need to be a successful Monster Rider. Here are 10 essential tips and tricks in Monster Hunter Stories 2.

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Carry one of each weapon type

The player, using a gunlance in battle
Capcom

You can equip three different weapons to your character. The most versatile option is to equip one weapon from each type. Monsters and their parts will have weaknesses and resistances to different weapon types. During battle, you will see on-screen indicators telling you what is and isn’t working. Having one of each weapon type equipped means you can always use the most effective tool for the job.

Switch your Monstie to match the attack type you want

Your Monstie companion is largely autonomous, but that does not mean they attack at random. Pay attention to the attack style of your Monstie, and match that up to the monsters you are fighting. Bring out a speed type Monstie to fight a monster using power attacks, a technical type to fight a monster using technical attacks, and a power type to fight a monster using technical attacks. Not only will this allow them to win head-to-head battles, but it sets you up for double attacks. These attacks do significant damage, interrupt the enemy monsters mid-attack, and give a giant boost to your kinship gage. This can make or break tough battles.

Upgrade gear early and often

Your character levels up over time by accumulating experience points, but you can create much more immediate boosts by investing in your equipment. Monster parts accumulate very quickly in Monster Hunter Stories 2, much faster than in the classic Monster Hunter series. There is no need to hoard the parts. As the game progresses, the quality of gear you can make increases quickly, so upgrade frequently.

Egg color and pattern tell you more than you think

The player carrying a Palamute egg.
Capcom

Did you know you can tell exactly what Monstie you will get before the egg even hatches? Every monster type in Monster Hunter Stories 2 has a unique combination of colors and patterns on its shell. That means you have all the information you need about what type of monster will hatch the second you pick up the egg. When you raid a Monster nest, you can typically try pulling an egg multiple times. Want Velocidrome? Find a blue egg with orange spots. Fancy a Paolumu instead? Grab that white egg with pink zebra stripes. Once you hatch an egg, all the info goes in the Monstiepedia section of your Field Guide, so you can easily see what will hatch from an egg.

In a traditional turned-based RPG, lower health is a sign that you need to heal your character, or you risk game over. That is not necessarily the case in Monster Hunter Stories 2. Enemies are kind enough to telegraph their targets. Not only do you not need to heal when you aren’t the target, but you are often better off attacking when the opportunity presents itself. The damage dealt obviously helps, but the real reward is increasing your kinship gauge. Filling that allows you to ride your Monstie, which fully refills your health and sets you up for a devastating kinship attack. That’s a much better combination than spending potions and drawing out the fight.

Learn to be sneaky

Sure, you may be riding an enormous fire-breathing dragon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be sneaky. Watch the other monsters while you are out in the overworld. You can initiate battle by running into monsters, but if you do it while their backs are turned, you are rewarded with a Back Attack. This gives you an entire round of free attacks, with no risk of reprisal. Free damage and kinship gauge? Yes, please. 

Don’t immediately use your Kinship Attack when you are riding

Zinogre charging into battle.
Capcom

We know, you worked hard during the battle to fill up your kinship gauge, and now you want to reward yourself with a flashy super move. But there are good reasons to wait before activating your Kinship Attack. Standard attacks performed while riding hit hard and follow the same power-beats-speed-beats-technical-beats-power rules, with one important difference. Successfully winning head-to-heads while riding increases your kinship level, which powers up the inevitable super.

In addition, if you have a companion, waiting for them to ride their Monstie will activate a team attack. The damage is tremendous, and it will knock down the monster. All subsequent attacks will be critical hits, dealing bonus damage, until the monster stands back up. What more do you want from your most powerful move?

Visit Rare Dens, even if you aren’t looking for new Monsties

Monster dens are everywhere in Monster Hunter Stories 2. Many players will start skipping them after a while. That’s not necessarily a problem in areas that you’ve visited before.  The exception is in the Rare Monster Dens. Sure, you may have already captured every type of monster in the area, but new companions are not the only reason you need eggs. Rare Monster Dens are much more likely to contain monsters with rare or boosted traits. Collecting these genes is the key to taking advantage of the Rite of Channeling.

The Right of Channeling allows you to take the gene from one monster and transfer it to another. You give up the donor monster in the process, but this allows you to increase the strength and stats of the recipient. Each monster has a 3×3 genetic grid, and they receive bonuses for multiples of the same gene, and a “bingo” bonus for three in a row.

Plan your Monstie party with overworld abilities in mind

Riding different Monsties in the overworld gives you access to different abilities. Some allow you to jump, climb, or smash your way to different areas. Others can scare away smaller enemies, or detect certain types of crafting ingredients. All are useful in their own way, but particular favor should be given to the traversal abilities. These are often necessary in order to reach chests. That is useful everywhere, but doubly so in the Everdens. These areas contain red chests that hold bottle caps, a special currency that can be traded for powerful weapons, armor, and items.

Learn to make Monsties retreat
The player bonding with Ratha's egg.

You have the ability to try and force monsters to retreat to their dens at the end of battles. This is useful when you encounter a new type of monster and want to add one to your team. First, start a battle with the monster. Once you’ve gotten the creature to low health, use Paintball from your item menu. If you defeat the monster quickly after that, then there is a high likelihood (but no guarantee) that it will flee. Follow it back to the den, and all of the eggs will match the monster.

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