While our early impressions of Monster Hunter: World's PC release were largely positive, they've soured over the weekend. After 10 more hours of play, and a plenty more between the rest of PC Gamer, it's clear that Monster Hunter: World has a significant crashing problem. We reached out to Capcom for a statement, and luckily the development team is aware of the issue and a fix is on the way. The exact timing hasn't been detailed, but we'd expect to see it before Monster Hunter: World launches on PC on August 9. Until it's fixed, here's what's up and why we think it's happening.
Over the course of a four hour session, I saw about one crash an hour. Worse, when a crash occurs during a hunt, you lose all progress since the last save. Monster Hunter: World automatically saves after missions, but any significant crafting or item management between hunts goes down the tube. Quick load times are something of a salve, but hopping back into a multiplayer hunt after a crash after too much time disqualifies you for rewards attached to the quest. You'll still get to harvest the beast at the end, but no bonuses for you.
Considering that hunts can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, and that Monster Hunter: World is a game fundamentally designed around repetition, it is a devastating, unacceptable problem.
Recommended: Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 3770 3.4GHz or Intel® Core™ i3 8350 4GHz or AMD Ryzen™ 5 1500X
Minimum: Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4460, 3.20GHz or AMD FX™-6300
Home PC: Intel Core i7-5960X
Laptop: Intel Core i7-7700HQ
So why is it happening? We're not positive, but all signs point toward undue stress on the CPU. Capcom has acknowledged and explained why Monster Hunter: World is such a CPU-heavy game, but it might be too dependent on our PCs' brains in its pre-release state.
After a few crashes, I kept task manager open on another monitor to keep find a potential bottleneck, and sure enough, my CPU usage was at 100% at the time of every crash. The rest of my hardware didn't see comparable spikes. Both my PCs meet the minimum and recommended spec for Monster Hunter: World, and run smoothly otherwise, so I hesitate to blame hardware outright. I get the impression this is simple bug, as catastrophic as it seems.
Multiplayer hunts might increase the chances of a crash, as it happened more frequently and on both ends in sessions with friends, but I've experienced them in offline sessions, too.
Again, this is all before public release. We're still waiting on updated graphics drivers and Capcom's promised fix. It's fairly common to see performance hiccups cleaned up before or shortly after launch, but these particular crashes are common and crippling enough to merit a PSA for anyone expecting a perfect launch.