Updated at: 09-03-2023 - By: Leo Hall
To help you get started with Capcom’s Monster Hunter World: Iceborne expansion, here is the definitive guide for newcomers.

In Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, jumping in can be a challenge, especially for new players or those who have been away from the series for a while.

The purpose of this primer is to help you sharpen your hunting skills and get you ready for the challenging journey that lies ahead.

The latest DLC for the Capcom-owned action RPG introduces a slew of new mechanics, quests, and quality-of-life improvements, including a plethora of new monsters to hunt and a plethora of new weapons and armor to craft.

You’ll be able to look and play like a Master Rank hunter after a little practice and some lucky liquor.

What is Monster Hunter World?

Capcom developed and published Monster Hunter World, an action role-playing video game. In the story, you’ll join an expedition aboard the Fifth Fleet headed to the New World of Astera after creating a character and a Palico companion. The Research Commission has already sent out four fleets in search of the Elder Dragons; these are formidable creatures whose very existence affects the climate.

Why does it fall on the Research Commission to find and destroy monsters? They are part of the Hunter’s Guild, which means they are responsible for restoring ecological harmony when certain species become overpopulated. Consider it “high-stakes” animal conservation. Since many of these predators pose a significant threat to human life, it is important that their populations be managed.

An interesting fact is that this game has been extremely profitable for Capcom. Over 13 million copies have been sold, making it their best-selling game ever. If you’re worried about starting this series for the first time, know that you’re in good company.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beginner's guide - Polygon

How to prepare for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne isn’t going to be hard to get to, technically speaking. Getting to Hunter Rank 16 and completing the game’s main story path is the only real challenge in Monster Hunter World. Doing so should be your top priority if you haven’t already. Having access to the expansion’s new content and being ready for it are two different things, so more preparation is necessary.

Capcom states that the Iceproof Mantle and the Temporal Mantle will be useful during this expansion. The former mitigates the effects of ice and cancels out Iceblight, while the latter makes you more resilient to harm. The utility of these two mantles should be self-evident, given that many of the new creatures in Iceborne share an icy theme.

The next step is to test your mettle against some Tempered Monsters. These are the toughest foes you’ll face in the game’s normal difficulty setting, as they have higher health, deal more damage, and occasionally employ special attacks. The battles against these monsters will net you special loot like Streamstones and Streamstone Shards. You can use them to augment your equipment beyond its normal capabilities, giving you a significant advantage over the difficult monsters you’ll face in Iceborne.

Also, this expansion adds a plethora of challenging new monsters to your list of potential prey. There is a roster featuring both brand-new monsters and familiar ones from previous games. Here you can find the complete list that has been made public, in addition to our other guides for Iceborne.

New Features And Changes

New Locale

In Iceborne, players will venture to a previously uncharted region known as the Hoarfrost Reach, which is a frozen continent waiting to be uncovered. Seliana, your temporary base in the Hoarfrost Reach, comes along with the new location.

Because of Seliana’s smaller size in comparison to Astera, all of the city’s shops and quest givers are conveniently clustered together in a small area.

New Mechanics

The Clutch Claw, a grappling hook that lets you latch onto monsters and perform various actions, is the most notable addition to Iceborne. The method has a limited range, but it is useful for dealing extra damage and knocking down monsters. Once you’ve successfully attached yourself to a monster, you have a few choices.

If you have slinger ammunition equipped, you can damage a monster’s tail, body, or head; hitting the head has a higher chance of stunning or knocking the monster over.

You can also do significantly more damage by going in for a direct attack with your weapon against the monster. In order to make quick work of the new monsters in Iceborne, you should get used to the Clutch Claw right away.

Tips For Surviving In The Hoarfrost Reach

You’ll learn how important it is to be well-prepared as soon as you start taking advantage of all that Iceborne has to offer.

Extreme cold will deplete your stamina, the thick snow will slow your movement and make it harder to dodge, and you’ll be in an alien environment with dangerous creatures you’ve never encountered before.

We suggest the following to keep you warm and, more importantly, alive:

  • In the beginning of the game, you will be introduced to Hot Drinks, a delicious drink that can temporarily protect you from the draining effects of the cold. Picking up Hot Peppers from their plants all over Hoarfrost Reach allows you to make Hot Drinks. The problem of being cold will be solved permanently when you eventually receive the Warming Jewel.
  • The Iceproof Mantle is an essential piece of equipment for any quest that takes place in the Hoarfrost Reach, so don’t forget to pack it. You’ll take much less damage from the ice and be able to move more quickly through the region’s snow. Your second accessory slot offers more freedom; however, we advise you to equip either the Temporal or Vitality Mantle.
  • Hot springs can be found all over Hoarfrost Reach, and by entering them, you can temporarily counteract the negative effects of the region’s chilly climate. If you have a moment to kill, soaking in a hot spring will grant you a buff that increases your stamina regeneration rate.
  • Water and snow can be difficult to navigate, but not impossible, if you have the ability to equip your gear with Aquatic/Polar Mobility. Even though it’s possible to accessorize with it, the Beotodus armor is the most straightforward way to fully benefit from it. Since this will be useful for most of the early hunts, you should get on it as soon as possible.

Tips For Combat

Picking The Right Weapon

A player’s personality and preferred playstyle can be inferred from the weapon they select. In Iceborne, each of the 14 weapon classes from World returns, but with new abilities that are sure to keep even seasoned veterans interested.

We think you’ll find the following suggestions helpful in locating the right option:

  • Talk to the Housekeeper in your room to gain access to the training area, where you can try out a variety of weapons until you find the one you like best.
  • Be familiar with the different kinds of damage dealt by weapons in Iceborne. Most weapons in the game either Blunt or Cut. Hunting horns, hammers, and the vast majority of coatings and ammo types are all examples of blunt damage weapons. weapons that deal cut damage include swords, lances, axes, blades, glaives, and slicing ammunition. Cut damage is effective at severing a monster’s tail, while blunt damage is best for stunning it and breaking off pieces of its head and body.
  • It’s important to know where you fall on the spectrum of damage dealt (DS) and support provided (Support) in Iceborne. The Heavy Bowgun, Hunting Horn, and Gunlance are better for supporting teammates, while the faster Long Sword, Sword & Shield, Insect Glaive, and Dual Blades will allow you to consistently deal damage.
  • Have Choices – Some monsters will be more difficult to defeat with specific weapons, so it’s best to find at least two that you’re confident using in battle. One long-range option, like the Bow or Light Bowgun, is recommended in addition to one melee option, like the Insect Glaive or Sword & Shield.

Using Your Clutch Claw

There are a few ways in which combat in World has changed since Iceborne introduced the Clutch Claw. It adds some strategy and risk/reward to the hunt for formidable monsters, but the increased intensity of battle means you’ll drain your stamina bar faster.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Beginner's Guide

This, in addition to the energy-draining effects of the Hoarfrost Reach, can make getting used to the new equipment feel like a real challenge. What follows is a list of suggestions for anyone who aspires to master the Clutch Claw technique.

  • Keep Slinger Ammo Equipped if You Want to Use the Clutch Claw Against Monsters: Without Slinger Ammo, your chances of stunning or knocking down an enemy monster are slim to none. You should try out different kinds to see which works best in different circumstances. The bottom line is that some Slinger Ammo is better than none at all.
  • Clutch Claw Attacks Need to Be Timed Precisely – At first, you might be tempted to try to mount the monster every chance you get by spamming Clutch Claw. The majority of the time, this will cause your character to be launched off the monster’s body, resulting in a loss of some of their health and stamina. If you want to attach yourself to a monster, you should study its posture and gestures first.
  • Aim For The Head – After you have successfully grabbed the monster, you can shift your focus to other parts of its body, such as the torso or the tail. The best way to deal a lot of sweet Slinger damage to a monster is to jump onto its head if it is standing near a wall or other large obstacle it could easily bump into. This will knock the monster off balance and give you an opportunity to attack.
  • Take Advantage of Your Weapon – It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of using your Clutch Claw and neglect to bring your primary weapon into play. When you successfully attack a monster, they will drop Slinger Ammo, and your weapon will deal more damage. In preparation for your next Clutch Claw assault, this can be very useful.

Knowing When To Attack Or Disengage

Acquiring the ability to decipher a monster’s nonverbal cues is crucial in Monster Hunter. It may mean the difference between escaping an assault and being taken prisoner. The following are some suggestions for improving your monster mind-reading skills:

  • You should spend most of your time on a quest doing damage, preferably up close and personal with the monster. It can be intimidating, especially when facing stronger monsters, but this is the most reliable method for dealing maximum damage at all times.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that the Master Rank monsters in Iceborne deal significantly more damage than their High Rank counterparts, and that you’re at risk of being OHKOed by stronger attacks and 2HKOed by a majority of them if you don’t heal. If your health drops below 75%, you should immediately begin healing.
  • If a monster is in its enraged state, which occurs after taking significant damage, you should back away from the fight to prevent further injury. When a monster is really mad, it will let out a deafening roar and start glowing at random places. As the angry state only lasts for a short time, it’s best to back off until you gain the self-assurance to push through it.
  • Study Common Methods of Attack – It’s important to keep track of how long and in what direction each attack lasts, whether it’s yours or a monster’s. After facing a monster multiple times, you’ll become attuned to its many tells and be able to anticipate when and where its attacks will land. The same holds true for your weapons; you can cancel out of attack animations with many different combos.

Tips For Crafting And Upgrading

Armor / Weapons / Decorations

At first, Iceborne’s extensive arsenal of weapons and armor can make it difficult to keep up with the constant demand for the materials required to craft and upgrade them. Since the game isn’t always great at indicating where to find certain materials or which armor you should consider investing in, we’re here to help by suggesting the following:

  • Put Your Money Into Elemental Damage: With the changes introduced in Iceborne, weapons with elemental damage are now more powerful than their non-elemental counterparts. Before embarking on a hunt, check your Hunter Notes to see if you have any information about the monster’s elemental weaknesses. The absence of an appropriate elemental weapon may prompt you to make one. Avoid making weapons with hidden elemental damage early on because you’ll have to use up valuable skill slots to activate them.
  • Don’t Try to Craft Every Armor Set – Your inner perfectionist may want to try and craft every armor set in case you need it to defeat a specific monster. This is completely pointless, as the skills in each set are different and may not work with your weapon or playstyle. Instead, we suggest tailoring your build to a specific purpose (such as farming resources, dealing maximum elemental damage, or facing Velkhana).
  • Use all of your Armospheres to their maximum potential; if you’re a returning player, you probably have a lot of them. Picking up bounties from the Resource Center and completing them will net you Armorspheres of various sizes, which will come in handy if you’re just starting out. Once you have a suit of armor that will serve you well, you should do what you can to improve it.
  • Check Your Decorations – It can be difficult for new players to remember to equip new decorations between quests. We suggest making and saving a variety of load-outs to facilitate various scenarios. It’s easy to make changes if you find a new piece of decor that works better with a particular structure.

Consumables / Materials

It can feel like an endless quest to gather enough ingredients to keep a steady supply of potions, buffs, ammunition, and coatings. As luck would have it, Iceborne provides a number of shortcuts that make this process go more quickly, allowing you more time to focus on hunting. We suggest you do the following to increase your chances of success:

  • Focus on growth as your driving force – When you’re out on a hunt, the Cultivation Box comes in handy so that you can bring back a wide selection of seeds, insects, and plants. Up to three different items can be cultivated at once, with Research Points increasing yield or decreasing time spent harvesting.
  • Help is at Hand with the Tailriders! Just notify the Housekeeper in your room and they will be sent to your rescue wherever you need them. When sent out, Tailriders will begin collecting resources while you go on a hunting trip, and you’ll have the option of keeping or selling what they find.
  • Gather Resources While Hunting – It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a monster fight and forget about the wealth of resources waiting for you in each area you visit. Take advantage of your time while tracking a monster or traveling between areas by collecting any useful items you come across. It’s possible that with this and a well-kept Cultivation Box, you’ll never have to go on another Expedition again.
  • Pay a visit to The Argosy if you need any of the many items that can be purchased with Research Points. Stop by the Captain in Astera or his steward in Seliana every three quests to see what supplies have arrived.
  • Try Your Hand at the Steamworks Minigame! This timed minigame is brand new to Iceborne, and it offers a wide variety of rewards in exchange for a short amount of time. Depends on how well you do, both in terms of money and what kind of rewards you get.
  • Like with armor and weapons, you can set Iceborne’s item box and Radial Menu to your preferred configuration and forget about it until you need to change it. If you know you’ll need a lot of consumables (Mega-Potions, Life Powders, Demondrugs, etc.), it’s time to start building a loadout from which you can add more items as you go.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne Best Weapons

Hunting Horn

Despite being a close relative of the popular game Hammer, HH may look like it’s not even worth touching at first. There are still some neat tricks up its sleeve that can be useful in battle, especially if you have a full squad.

The ability to bestow bonuses upon one’s fellow players simply by playing certain musical notes is the main draw. And while HH’s slow attack speed can make dealing damage feel awkward, keeping your focus on the monster’s head will allow you to stagger them with surprising ease.

Sword & Shield

S&S is the game’s entry-level weapon because it allows you to block and dodge incoming attacks with ease and return blows when openings present themselves.

Iceborne’s new Clutch Claw improves on its already impressive mobility, allowing you to quickly grapple onto monsters and maintain pressure.

Given that S&S can’t deal as much damage as other weapons, that’s something you’ll want to do.

However, this is somewhat offset by the fact that you can access your inventory while your weapon is drawn. The lack of specialization in S&S means that it is less effective when you are hunting alone, but it is great for combining with other players.


GL, like the Lance but with more firepower, deals damage in bursts via explosive shells.

Even though it comes with a shield, you’ll find that it’s not as effective as the Lance at blocking. Its main strategies revolve around conserving energy and waiting out cooldowns so that it can move around in its restricted environment.

As a result, whether you play GL solo or in co-op depends greatly on the abilities you bring to the table. Not all of GL’s attacks are well-suited for use in multiplayer, as explosions have a tendency to displace allies and disrupt ongoing attacks.


The Lance is built to take hits while allowing the user to focus their attacks on the weak points of monsters, at the expense of damage output and mobility.

Because of its emphasis on defense, melee combat in MH can feel more like a game of chess than a straightforward brawler.

Badly low damage is the only real drawback. On the other hand, if you’re armed with a huge shield, you can move in close without worrying about being captured easily. The Lance can be used effectively by itself or as part of a team, allowing your allies to take a break from taking damage and instead focus on running and healing.


The Bow is one of the most flexible long-range options in the game, thanks to its impressive range and the fact that its shots can be charged up for increased damage and coated with status effects.

Furthermore, in Iceborne, it acquires a new move in which slinger ammunition is attached to an arrow to create devastating explosions.

Bow users have options for stunning and penetrating monsters from a safe distance thanks to tools like pellet showers and the Dragon Piercer. Because of this, it’s great for both single-player and multiplayer games, as you can always help out your teammates.

Insect Glaive

The IG is one-of-a-kind because it deals significant aerial damage while still being useful on the ground.

Insect buffs, which let you collect essences from a monster’s body to increase your speed, attack, and defense, further augment its already impressive mobility.

Even though IG’s ability to jump and dash through the air was already useful, the addition of Iceborne’s diving attack makes it even more so. Given that IG’s mobility is at the expense of weaker attacks, this was somewhat required.

Nonetheless, it is a fantastic weapon for both solo and team play, as mounting monsters can open up opportunities for everyone.


The Hammer is the weapon of choice for one-hit killing of monsters because of its simplicity and potency. Basically, you just need to raise your Hammer, target your opponent’s head, and unleash a furious onslaught.

It’s even more useful in Iceborne, allowing you to grab onto monsters and deal devastating headshots.

The Hammer loses much of its effectiveness against targets other than a monster’s skull due to its strength, which is both a strength and a major weakness. Because of its inability to deal severing damage, it is almost useless for cutting off tails; however, this problem can be solved by joining players together.

Great Sword

Monsters are no match for GS’s fully charged attacks, which can knock them down with even a couple of blows. Because its attacks require such a long time to charge up, it can be challenging to use.

Thankfully, Iceborne fixed this flaw by including slinger bursts in between charges, making it possible to get to the game’s final, most devastating stage.

Though GS’s high damage output makes it a safe pick in one-on-one situations, its effectiveness decreases when used by itself. Savingly, it has access to the most damaging single strike in MH, making it the ideal alarm clock for sleeping monsters.

Heavy Bowgun

The HB is a simple weapon that trades portability for devastating effect; all you have to do to use it is point it at a target.

As it deals some of the most damage of any weapon, HB is ideal for speedruns and effective against many of Iceborne’s monsters.

With the exception of its limited ammo, using HB in solo or co-op poses no significant disadvantages. Its blocking skills may not be as good as the Lance’s or the GL’s, but it can still withstand light attacks.

HB is one of the best weapons available, especially when prestige ammunition and artillery are taken into account.

Switch Axe

SA is one of the more complicated weapons, so it is frequently overlooked in favor of simpler alternatives. The unique design that smoothly converts it from a giant axe to a sword, however, makes it an exceptional fighting tool.

Iceborne adds two new ways to use the axe, both of which improve upon the weapon’s performance in the original game: fade slash, a mobility-enhancing swipe attack, and power axe mode, which makes it simpler to flinch monsters.

Due to its adaptability, SA can be played both solo and with friends, though friends should be kept in mind at all times to avoid startling them.

Monster Hunter: World beginner's guide | PCGamesN

Charge Blade

Despite CB’s diminished strength, it is still a viable option in Iceborne. The CB acts as the yin to SA’s yang, as you charge up your sword and unleash its full fury in axe form.

Those who use CB also have access to a shield, which can be useful in combat.

Due to its technical nature, CB requires some training before it can be used effectively in solo play; however, after that time has passed, it becomes a fantastic option, providing tools for blocking monster attacks and dealing significant damage with super amped elemental discharges.

It is less than ideal for co-op play due to its tendency to disrupt allies while in axe mode.

Light Bowgun

In exchange for increased mobility, LB is a less powerful version of HB.

For this reason, Iceborne employs Wyvernblast mines, which can be fired at the ground or at monsters for short bursts of explosive damage to make up for the diminished damage they otherwise would have dealt.

Its incredible versatility makes it perfect for a cooperative game where players can pool their resources to maximize the impact of status-enhancing ammunition. A skilled user of LB can deal with any threat, despite the weapon’s lower damage output, which makes it less ideal for solo use.

Dual Blades

In DB, the goal is to fill your Demon Gauge as quickly as possible so you can unleash a devastating barrage of attacks.

When the Demon Gauge is at maximum, your weapons will deal double damage with each attack at the cost of your stamina rapidly draining. It’s unfortunate that the weapon hasn’t gotten any new upgrades in Iceborne, despite the fact that it doesn’t really need any of them.

Despite its limited range, DB is effective in both single and multiplayer games thanks to its ability to consistently deal heavy damage.

Long Sword

The addition of Iai Slash in Iceborne has only made LS better, as it allows the user to either strike twice (passively increasing their spirit meter) or deal a single counter blow (refunding any spent meter if timed correctly) with the same attack.

Topping this list, it consistently deals significant damage and has more defensive options than any other weapon in the game. When used alone, it is unparalleled in effectiveness.

With allies on the field, however, it becomes more difficult to perform the necessary set-up combos for LS.

Tips For Multiplayer

If you’re the type to work well with others, you’ll be happy to know that Iceborne implements a new system for adjusting challenge based on the size of a player’s squad. You should think about the following, though, before joining another person’s session or inviting them to join yours:

  • One of the few drawbacks that Iceborne inherited from World is the requirement that players must have watched the opening cutscene of a story mission before any other players can join them. If players don’t want to watch the cutscene, they can skip it by abandoning the quest or by releasing an S.O.S. flare.
  • To avoid making your allies flinch, avoid getting too close when attacking with certain weapons. Teammates’ attacks can be halted by using heavy weapons like Great Swords, Hammers, or even the Bow’s pellets. Therefore, if you want to attack a specific part of the monster, you should be aware of your positioning and coordinate with your allies.
  • In multiplayer games, it’s not just the amount of damage that matters; the type of damage also matters a great deal. Attacking the monster’s head will increase the chance of stunning it if the player(s) using a Blunt weapon are doing the attacking. The other player(s) should focus on severing the monster’s tail as they deal Cut damage.
  • Be On The Lookout For Instances Of Sleep If One Of Your Allies Is Using A Sleep Element Weapon, Ammo, Or Coating, The Monster Is Likely To Fall Asleep Several Times During The Battle. As a result, you and your team may be able to regroup, hone your skills, and launch an attack with devastating initial damage. If the monster seems to be dozing off, it would be wise to wait to launch an attack until everyone is ready.
  • Do not use flash pods, clutch claw attacks, or inflict any status effects that could disrupt your teammate’s mount sequence once they have successfully mounted the monster. It’s a bad idea because it wastes time and resources and prevents you from killing the monster.

Iceborne’s Steamworks minigame and Lynian Research

There are some fun new minigames to enjoy in the new Iceborne base for Monster Hunter World. The Steamworks building is the first of its kind. Once a player reaches Mastery Level 3, they gain access to the Steamworks area. In this game of chance, your objective is to correctly predict the actions of three randomly selected buttons. When you get closer to the concealed correct sequence, you’ll be rewarded more handsomely. Each time you go on a hunt, you bring back fuel for the Steamworks, and you can also convert specific items into fuel. Rewards can range from Armor Sphere to Max Potions to even a Celestial Wyvern Print.

Once you’ve located the Lynian Researcher in Seliana, you can begin the minigame proper. He’ll hand you a camera and have you take 20 photos of various outdoor subjects for him. Some of the photos will be of Grimalkynes, while others will be of small wildlife, and they’ll need to be taken in a wide variety of locations throughout the game’s original and supplemental worlds.