Posted by Michael Mitchell @MitchFizzl
Gamer, writer, occasional pedant. Mitch lives up to all these adjectives and more by writing for Now Loading and Blizzard Watch. @Fizzl_CTR.
Michael Mitchell

Monster Hunter Generations was recently released in North America, and if you're anything like me, you had a few questions after firing the game up for the first time. "What is Hunter Rank and how do I increase it? What are hunting styles? Why are there so many cat puns?!"

Fortunately, we're here to help with some answers! Let's start with the big one: the cat puns. You see, for generations– okay, just kidding. The cat puns alone are worth playing the game but not why we're here. We're here to git gud and level up our Hunter Rank.

...Okay, I may have chosen my words poorly.
...Okay, I may have chosen my words poorly.

What is Hunter Rank and how do I increase my Hunter Rank?

Monster Hunter Generations does not have an XP-based leveling system for players but instead has a tiered system of unlocking additional challenges. Your Hunter Rank starts at 1-Star, which means all the quests you are offered will be 1-Star quests. In order to unlock 2-Star quests, you need to do specific "Key Quests," and completing all the Key Quests for a particular rank will unlock an Urgent Quest. When you complete an Urgent Quest, congratulations! You've increased your hunter rank.

For simplicity's sake, we won't dive into the details here, but please be sure to check out our breakdown of all Key Quests and Urgent Quests required to rank up!

Of course, new ranks means tougher monsters, and without XP or inherent stat boosts to accompany ranking up, you'll need to get better gear. Sometimes, this means going back to the previous rank's quests to farm gear.

As an example of everything I've said above, hitting rank 2 and unlocking the accompanying quests required me to slay a Great Maccao. The Great Maccao provided me with crafting materials that I needed to make some nice armor and weapons — but not quite enough. As a result, I had to go back and do the quest a second time before I had enough materials to forge armor and weapons that allowed me to successfully complete 2-Star quests.

In short, Hunter Rank is a way of showing off how strong you are. It determines how many quests are available to you and higher rank means harder quests will appear. You increase Hunter Rank by doing specific quests and will very likely have to farm some of the same quests multiple times in order to be strong enough to continue ranking up.

How do I change my Hunter Style or Hunter Art?

Hunter Styles are a new aspect added with Generations. There are multiple arts and they each affect how you play — sometimes, you'll want to change your Hunter Style just to shake things up, other times it'll be to find the playstyle that best fits you. But occasionally, you may need to change your Hunter Style to take on a new monster that's preventing you from ranking up. If you're not familiar with what each Hunter Style does, allow me to break them down quickly:

  • Guild Style — "Guild Style is the definitive style for members of the Hunter's Guild. Allows for two Hunter Arts and has a versatile mix of attacks. Great for adapting to any situation." Limited to 2 Arts.
  • Striker Style — "Striker Style is a relatively simple-to-use Style that lets you equip up to three Hunter Arts. It's also easier to charge up the Arts Gauge, so this style is perfect for going heavy on the Arts." Limited to 3 Arts.
  • Aerial Style — "Aerial Style is unique for allowing you to use an Aerial Dodge to jump on monsters and propel yourself high into the air. You can also launch yourself off of players and barrels. Great for mounting monsters." Limited to 1 Art.
  • Adept Style — "Adept Style is all about waiting until the last second to evade or guard your foe's attacks, letting you perform Insta-Moves. It's difficult to pull off, but allows for devastating counterattacks." Limited to 1 Art.

Unfortunately, the game isn't all that helpful in explaining how to change your Hunter Style or Art. Un-unfortunately, it's pretty easy to do! All you have to do is go to the Item Box located inside your home and scroll down — the last option on the list is all about changing your Hunter Style.

No ledge, no problem!
No ledge, no problem!

My personal favorite so far has definitely been the Aerial Style. It takes a little getting used to, but it means you don't have to rely on ledges to mount monsters and it also, well, it just plain makes for some cool visuals. And since I'm all about fast attacks and being right up in monsters' faces, Adept Style is just not for me. Guild and Striker are both a little more newbie friendly and can be great if you have multiple Arts you want to equip at once.

Of course, I keep throwing around that phrase "Hunter Arts" as a big tie-in to Hunter Style — but what are Hunter Arts, exactly? If you don't know what Hunter Arts are or just need a refresher, they're more or less strong abilities that you can only activate after filling a specific gauge for each ability. You can unlock new Hunter Arts are you increase your rank, but the number you can have unlocked at any given time is explicitly tied to your Hunter Style.

How to acquire the best gear in the game

Finally, the other aspect of the game that will aid you in increasing your hunter rank is gear. Yes, surprise, surprise, good gear makes you stronger (and sometimes, so does friendship!)

But if you're newer to the series, you may be wondering what the fastest route to good gear is. Thankfully, there are a few road signs to follow on your way to good gear.

Namely, you can always talk to a forger in the Village to see what gear is available for you to make, and doing so will also show you specifically what items you need to make that gear. With that in mind, you can take on specific quests that will have you tackling the right enemies — which may sound obvious, but planning your targets and goals ahead of time really will help gear faster!

Additionally, gear will often times come in sets that may provide bonuses when used together, and multiple sets can be equipped at once. Sets can typically be identified by the monster they're named after (e.g., Jaggi armor pieces), and some armor even allows you to "decorate" it as a way of increasing certain stats or resistances. Mixing and matching sets may be a bit advanced for beginners, but is always an option if you like the stats offered by two different sets.

Hopefully, this has helped answer a few of your burning 'Monster Hunter Generations' questions. If you have any more or want to share your own advice, please let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out our other 'Monster Hunter' articles as well!