Monster Hunter Stories 2 is finally upon us. As you begin your journey on Hakalo Island, there are plenty of little intricacies to get used to and tough battles to conquer. Have no fear, however, as our Monster Hunter Stories 2 Tips & Tricks are here to help.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 puts players in control of a young rider on Hakalo Island. Unlike hunters, riders befriend monsters (termed colloquially as “monsties”) and form bonds with them. When the island’s guardian Rathalos goes missing and things begin to go awry, the player must team up with new friends and a slew of monsties to make things right. Check out the game’s launch trailer to get a feel for the story and gameplay.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Tips & Tricks — Combat
After making it through Monster Hunter Stories 2’s intro, you’re thrown into your first semi-open-world area. Before you know it, you’re in your first of many battles. Things start fairly simple, but it is crucial to get a good grasp of combat basics if you hope to succeed in Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Attack Types
While the game does a pretty good job of explaining attack types, it never hurts to give yourself a refresher. Monster Hunter Stories 2 features three main attack types: Power, Speed, and Technical. The types work kind of like “rock paper scissors”: Power beats Technical, Technical beats Speed, and Speed beats Technical.
While the player can use any type of attack with any type of weapon, every monstie specializes in a different type. As you begin to grow your stable of monsties, it is important to make sure you have at least one monstie of each type available at a time.
Just like your monsties, enemy monsties also specialize in a certain type. While a monstie won’t always use exclusively one type of attack, it’s a pretty good bet that they will typically stick to one type, so be sure to take note of which type every species uses. Making sure you are always using the right attack type ensures that you’ll come out of most head-to-head interactions on top.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Tips & Tricks — Striking Weaknesses
Similar to the core Monster Hunter series, players have a variety of weapons at their disposal. Each plays a bit differently but, in essence, what really matters is what kind of weapon it is: slash (Sword & Shield, Great Sword), blunt (Hammer, Hunting Horn), or piercing (Bow, Gunlance).
Each monster is strong against certain weapon types and weak against others. You won’t be able to tell a monster’s weakness until you’ve fought it, so it’s best to have one weapon of each type on you at all times. Once you discover a monster’s weakness, it is incredibly important to continue using that type of weapon against it. If you make it a priority to learn each monster’s weakness quickly, battles will become much easier.
Make Use of Skills
Monster Hunter Stories 2’s tutorial makes a much bigger deal out of attack types than skills. Ignoring player and monstie skills will make your life much more difficult, so it’s highly recommended that you start utilizing them sooner rather than later in battles.
In order to use skills, players must have a sufficient “Kinship Charge,” a meter that fills as battles progress. Many skills also require other conditions, such as charge gauges or ammo.
Player skills vary based on which type of weapon you are using. Typically, you’ll have three variations of each skill that correspond to the three attack types. While many simply increase attack power or hit multiple targets at once, others inflict status ailments such as poison or sleep, so it’s important to remember to use them in more difficult encounters.
The only way to directly control what your monstie does each turn is by selecting a skill for it to use. Monstie skills work almost exactly the same as player skills, though they typically align to only one attack type and may require fewer conditions.
Grind, Grind, Grind
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is more of a JRPG than a typical Monster Hunter game. This means player and monstie levels are incredibly important to progression, and the only way to raise those is through battles. Luckily, each field has tons of monsters to encounter, meaning it is easy to hop into battles and grind some experience.
While grinding might not always be the most fun task, Monster Hunter Stories 2 gives players multiple tools that can make it easier. For instance, by pressing the “+” button during combat, you can speed things up by two or three times. Putting battles on three times speed makes grinding more bearable and even a little bit more fun.
Additionally, seeing as how wild monsters appear in the field before battle, it’s possible to sneak up behind them and activate a “back attack.” Back attacks basically give your team a free turn, meaning trying to land as many back attacks as possible while grinding can mean a world of difference.
Upgrades, Items, and Quests
The bulk of Monster Hunter Stories 2’s tutorials are based around combat, so it can be easy to miss a lot of the other parts of gameplay that are essential for success. Combat might be what you spend most of your time with Monster Hunter Stories 2 doing, but without these other components, things will be much, much harder for you.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Upgrading Armour and Weapons
The Armory & Smithy, located near the front of the first village, is the go-to place for forging and upgrading armors and weapons. You won’t get very far with your starter items, so it is recommended to forge new equipment as soon as possible.
How do you forge new weapons and armor? Similar to the core Monster Hunter games, you do this by using items obtained from slain monsters (plus some good old-fashioned money). Monster Hunter Stories 2 is full of different aesthetically pleasing armor sets with different defenses and buffs, so it's best to find one that not only has the best stats, but you also like looking at.
You can also craft new weapons of each type using materials you get from battles. Just like armor, each new weapon has different attack stats, bonuses and skills, so finding one that suits you the best and upgrading it to its full potential is imperative to success.
Remember Subquests and Trial Quests
Monster Hunter Stories 2 has a compelling narrative, so it can be easy to be swept away by the main quest and forget about subquests and trial quests. Both found at quest boards within towns (and occasionally directly from villagers), subquests and trial quests can serve as easy experience points for you and your monsties, as well as provide valuable items you’ll need as you progress.
While some subquests have obtuse requirements that you’ll have to go out of your way to complete, a majority of them are fairly simple things that you’ll end up doing whether you mean to or not. Collect a certain amount of raw meat, kill x number of monsters, hatch x number of eggs… since you’re already going to be doing most of these things, making an effort to check the quest board and turn subquests in is a no brainer.
Trial quests are a bit more effort but are still worth doing. They pit your party against certain monsters with a specific objective, providing more rewards the quicker you finish the battle. While not as easy as many subquests, taking on trial quests can be another good way to gain extra experience and items, so it’s important to remember to check in on them as you continue your adventure.
Activate Buffs at the Prayer Pot
Prayer Pots are funny-looking shrines in each town that can add significant buffs to gameplay. Each time you visit one, you can offer up prayers and use charms that will have different effects, such as giving 1% more experience at the end of battles, making rare items 10% easier to find, or adding points at the end of each battle to help get rare rewards.
The Prayer Pot is super easy to miss, but ensuring you stop by it every now and then will help speed up progression and boost your chances at rare items.
Pick Up Items in Fields
Every field in Monster Hunter Stories 2 is littered with items that you can pick up to be used in crafting. While you might not get much use out of crafting earlier in the game, making sure you have enough healing and support items becomes more important the longer you play, so its better to start stocking up on items early.
Picking items up takes almost no extra effort. All you have to do is press “A” as you pass items to add them to your inventory. Before you know it, you’ll have enough materials to craft as many items as you could possibly want.
Additionally, make sure to listen for a “sparkling” sound. Whenever you hear it, it means a rare item is nearby, so you should probably hunt a bit harder for it.
These tips only scratch the surface of what Monster Hunter Stories 2 has to offer. If you keep all of these in mind, however, you’ll be able to confidently tackle the early hours of the game, setting yourself up for success. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, get out there and save the world!