Monster Hunter Wilds' hunting horn will be more like World's than Rise's, but Capcom promises new moves: 'If you're a fan of the hunting horn, I'm sure you're going to love it in Wilds'

Monster Hunter Wilds
(Image credit: Capcom)

If you want to make the developers behind Monster Hunter laugh, apparently there's an easy way to do it: just ask them about the hunting horn. 

"I'm always surprised by how much we get asked about the hunting horn when we come here," said Monster Wilds (and World) game director Yuya Tokuda.

I'm not positive if Tokuda was referring to press events like Summer Game Fest where we held our interview, or if America is a secret hunting horn haven. But I love the hunting horn: it is a silly thing, a giant honker of a weapon that emits musical notes as you swing it. Slow, ungainly, and underpowered in an amateur's hands, it becomes a mighty useful support tool and decent damage-dealer in the hands of a maestro, with songs unique to different horns that provide buffs useful in battles against different monsters.

Alas, the players of Monster Hunter World gave the hunting horn little respect—it was, at least at one point back in 2022, the least-used weapon in the whole game, which means approximately 98% of World's players have been missing out.

Perhaps melding a weapon as slow as a hammer with the musical sensibility of a Saxaboom wasn't the easiest sell; with Monster Hunter Rise, Capcom greatly simplified the hunting horn, making it faster and easier to play songs with, but also robbing it of its expansive repertoire of songs that varied per-horn. This was either a great change or a travesty, depending on your bardic leanings. (The weapon was slightly more popular in Rise).

Well, good news (or bad news), toot squad: We're going back. Tokuda said that Wilds' hunting horn is based less on Rise and more on Monster Hunter World "as a baseline."

"Taking the Monster Hunter World version of the hunting horn, we've made changes and additions to it to make it fit in with the Monster Hunter Wilds concept. Exactly what that involves, I'm going to have to ask you to wait as we cover more weapon details in the course of the campaign. But if you're a fan of the hunting horn, I'm sure you're going to love it in Wilds."

I have a feeling this will be the hunting horn's moment to shine, in large part because Wilds will allow players to quickly switch between two weapons on a hunt. Even if you aren't willing to commit to playing support with the hunting horn full-time, it'll make an excellent backup for a faster mainstay like the longsword.

Monster Hunter Wilds is out sometime next year, but I'm already practicing my embouchure.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).