Ten things you should do before starting Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

iceborne guide
(Image credit: Capcom)

Looking for a Monster Hunter World: Iceborne guide to get your prepped for your sojourn to Hoarfrost Reach? Capcom's huge expansion is here—which means our Iceborne review is, too—but there are a few things you need to get squared away first before you can tackle the treacherous territory of Master Rank.

You need to finish the 50-hour main game before you can get stuck into the myriad terrifying Iceborne monsters that roam these icy climes, and reach rank 16, at least. However, if you're behind your friends and still languishing in the early game, here are some quick prepatory Iceborne tips to help you prepare for the challenges ahead.

Phone a friend

If World is your first taste of the franchise, getting to Master Rank may be a challenge. Use the Hunter Helper system and find experienced hunters to help you through tough scraps. Veterans don't have to help you just out of the kindness of their heart, either: they get a nice little reward for their troubles.

Meet some Grimalkynes

If you prefer to bash beasts about solo, ensure your Palico is as powerful as possible. Earn perks by completing missions for Grimalkynes, which are Palico-like creatures that can be found by following Doodles across the Ancient Forest. Finishing their quests grant various abilities, such as helping your fluffy buddy turn small monsters into temporary mounts.

Practice makes perfect

We can understand if you've taken a break from hunting between the first few weeks of the original game's launch and now. Get your eye in for Iceborne by tackling the base game's hardest scraps, like the Nergigante and Vaal Hazak Elder Dragons.

Assume the Mantle

Mantles are cloaks your hunter can equip, and their temporary, rechargeable boons will be essential for the chilly challenges ahead. The most important one to acquire is the Iceproof Mantle—finish the Armory R&D: Weatherizing optional quest which pits you against a high-level Paolumu to get that. It offers the essential defence against Iceblight, a common affliction in Hoarfrost Reach's cold climes.

Stockpile healing items

As you progress through the early game before you get to Iceborne, keep an eye on where you're lacking in terms of healing items. Focus your resource farming on the ingredients for blight-removing Nulberries, mega potions to restore health, and stamina-replenishing steaks.

Decide your weapon specialisation

Over the course of your monster hunting career pre-Iceborne, you will have experimented with up to the 14 total weapon types. If you haven't done so already, pick your favourite, make sure it's maxed out, and ensure you've mastered it as far as you possibly can.

Get as much high-powered armour as possible

Acquire multiple high-powered armour sets to help you deal with different situations in Master Rank. Get the full Rathalos set, for instance: the associated Rathalos Mastery bonus boosts elemental damage, pairing well with the fire damage that'll come in handy for Iceborne.

(Image credit: Capcom)

Don't neglect optional quests

Optional quests, by definition, are not essential to progress the story and access Iceborne, but you'll earn important rewards such as canteen and armor upgrades, and new monsters. Look for NPCs with exclamation marks above their heads to start them.

Get the Defender weapon and armour sets

Defender armour and weapon sets are specifically designed to help PC players get to Iceborne. Defender variants of all weapon types can be crafted and upgraded really easily at the Smithy, and they should see you through most of the vanilla game. Defender armour boosts health, damage, and, well, defence stats.

Clutch Claw

This immensely useful bit of Iceborne kit is a handy grappling hook, and you can use in World's story, too. It lets you latch onto a monster to drag them towards an environmental hazard and grapple towards their weak points.

Harry Shepherd

UK — After collecting and devouring piles of print gaming guides in his younger days, Harry has been creating 21st century versions for the past five years as Guides Writer at PCGamesN and Guides Editor at PC Gamer. He has also produced features, reviews, and even more guides for Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and Top Ten Reviews. He's been playing and picking apart PC games for over two decades, from hazy memories of what was probably a Snake knock-off on his first rig when he was seven to producing informative guides on football simulators, open-world role-playing games, and shooters today. So many by now he steadfastly refuses to convey information unless it’s in clickable online form.