Though an expansion, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne features the largest region in the game and several new mechanics for players to use during their hunts. The expansion doesn’t officially launch until September 6, but PS4 users can visit Hoarfrost Reach early thanks to a beta running for the next two weekends. We’ve played through the beta content multiple times now and wanted to share a handful of tips covering mechanics both old and new.
We’ll update our Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beginner’s guide with more tips and tricks once we get our hands on the full expansion. Our Monster Hunter World beginner’s guide also has tips that will help you in Iceborne.
One of the major changes to the hunting formula introduced in World were Scoutflies, glowing flies that help you track monsters. If you played World, you already have a firm grasp of this heading into Iceborne. For those who are just jumping in with the Iceborne beta, here’s what you need to know.
The Iceborne beta does help you get going by telling you which area to search for Scoutflies. That won’t be the case in the full game, though. Once you arrive to the marked region, look for glowing green flies, which circle above footprints and other marks left by large monsters. Examine the footprints with the Circle button and then follow the Scoutflies to the next marking. The Scoutflies will guide you to the tracked monster. An icon for the monster will be shown on the map for the duration of the hunt.
MASTER THE CLUTCH CLAW AND SLINGER
The Clutch Claw is a major new mechanic introduced in Iceborne. To use it, press and hold L2 to aim for a monster, then press Circle to fire the grappling hook. You have to be relatively close to the monster to pull this off. Clutch Claw lets you mount monsters with ease. Once you’re up there, you have a variety of moves to choose from.
You can stick with your standard attack, which can break off pieces of the monster’s natural armor. Attacks to that part of the monster will deal more damage if you manage to dismantle some armor. You can also snag Slinger ammo this way, which is more powerful than the standard stones you routinely find.
If you aimed for the head, you can use a claw attack by pressing circle. Along with dealing damage, this forces the monster to move in a different direction.
The coolest move of all is the Flinch Shot. While hanging onto a monster, press R2 to quickly shoot all Slinger ammo at the monster. The disorienting blast can deal a lot of damage, but the aftermath is what’s most beneficial. Monsters can ram violently into walls, onto thin ice that breaks and deals big damage when they hit the ground below, or into traps/bombs you set up prior to the move.
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Clutch Claw can be incredibly useful. But beware that it eats away at stamina — a lot. Also, once the monster becomes enraged, they will almost instantly throw you off when you mount them. Use Clutch Claw to your advantage, but don’t overuse it.
The Clutch Claw also brings changes to the Slinger. You can now shoot Slinger projectiles without sheathing your weapon. Standard Slinger ammo such as stones doesn’t deal much damage at all, but you can use Slinger ammo as a helpful distraction. When a monster’s investigating the disturbance, you can get some free swings in. Not having to put away/take out your weapon makes this much more doable now.
MANAGE THE SNOW AND YOUR ITEMS
Hoarfrost Reach is frigid, snow-covered, and filled with slippery ice. It’s a different experience than other World maps. Right out of the gate, you’ll be reminded to sip a Hot Drink to keep your stamina from constantly depleting. If you faint, you have to consume a new Hot Drink.
You’ll come across hot springs, bodies of shallow water that look like they could hurt you. Never fear, they actually have healing effects and replenish your stamina.
The beta fights are only 20 minutes max, but your max stamina will likely diminish about mid-way through. To boost it back up, eat a steak.
While playing the beta, we noticed that you want to stay away from conflict in areas with heavy snow. Any area that has snow that goes up to your waist limits your movement speed. It’s really hard to find success in battle when you have to constantly run to move at a normal speed.
The beta gives you plenty of items to work with, from potions to traps to barrel bombs and more. Don’t forget to use them. Also, don’t forget to use the whetstone to sharpen your weapon when it’s dull.
TAKE A RAIDER RIDE
One of the cool new features in Iceborne is the ability to ride smaller monsters like Jagras and Wulg. In the item bar, navigate to Raider Ride. Once you call for a ride, a small native monster will appear next to you. You can mark a spot on the map and hitch a ride to that location. It’s a fast way to move around while conserving stamina. You can also fast travel between camps, but sometimes it makes more sense to catch a ride.
VISIT THE TRAINING AREA
If you’re having trouble slaying the Great Jagras, Banbaro, or Tigrex, you might want to hone your skills in the training area. Available in the main menu, you can practice combos, Slinger shots, and Clutch Claw moves to help you get a feel for the new movesets. Helpful on-screen prompts display move names, combos, and damage to give you a good idea of what to expect when you go on the hunt. The training area is a great place to experiment with unfamiliar weapons.
HUNT WITH FRIENDS
Iceborne introduces a new dynamic difficulty setting that scales monsters by party size (solo, duos, and group). This theoretically makes it easier to go solo hunting, but Iceborne is still more manageable with friends. Taking down the Great Jagras solo is pretty simple. Banbaro is also manageable. But Tigrex? It’s a challenging quest. We suggest using the matchmaking feature or join up with friends to hunt Tigrex. Hunting in a group is also just more fun.