Monster Hunter World doesn’t go to great lengths to explain the concept of a Hunter Rank. As a result, it is very easy for interested individuals to have misconceptions about it. Fortunately, Hunter Rank is a relatively simple and straightforward concept, meaning that there isn’t much to explain.
Why Does Your Hunter Rank Matter?
Based on the name, most people would guess that Hunter Rank is the same as a player-character’s level in RPGs. This is problematic because the comparison is rather misleading. Yes, a player can raise their player-character’s Hunter Rank by hunting monsters. However, a player-character’s capabilities are tied to their equipment rather than their Hunter Rank, meaning that the comparison is fundamentally incomplete. Instead, Hunter Rank is important because higher Hunter Ranks unlock more challenging missions with better rewards.
How Can You Increase Your Hunter Rank?
The first tier of Hunter Ranks from 1 to 15 are tied to story missions. As a result, interested individuals can just complete these story missions to make progress in this regard. Something that should be simple and straightforward because most of these fights will be challenging more because of their novelty than because of other factors.
Moving on, the second tier of Hunter Ranks from 16 to 29 will require interested individuals to do a fair amount of grinding. Basically, every time that the player completes a hunt, a quest, or an investigation, they will earn a small measure of experience towards their next Hunter Rank. They should have no problems hitting Hunter Rank 29 by just playing through the game in the normal way without having to make an excessive effort to grind.
At Hunter Rank 29, players will get a special quest that will require them to take on not one but two Tempered Bazelgeuses. This can be pretty tough. After all, a Tempered Bazelgeuse is stronger than a standard Bazelgeuse, which is already one of the stronger monsters that can be found in the game. On top of that, facing not one but two of them means that it is perfectly possible for interested individuals to get double-teamed with disastrous consequences. Still, tough isn’t the same as unbeatable, particularly when players optimize their load-outs to mitigate the monsters’ strengths as well as capitalize on their weaknesses.
Once interested individuals have completed that particular quest, they will be able to start grinding for Hunter Rank experience once more. This time, they can raise their Hunter Rank to 49, which is when they will be presented with another special quest to hunt a Tempered Kirin. On initial consideration, a Tempered Kirin might not seem as impressive as a Tempered Bazelgeuse. Never mind two Tempered Bazelgeuses. However, it is important to note that the Tempered Kirin is an Elder Dragon that can move fast, hit hard, and paralyze players in preparation for a brutal follow-up. On top of that, Tempered Kirins are very unfair in that they have just a single weakness in the form of their horn, which is particularly brutal because they will cause all attacks directed at anything besides the horn to just bounce off when they are in an enraged state. Speaking bluntly, there is a reason that players who want to take on a Tempered Kirin are recommended to bring their Thunderproof Mantles as well as any other items and equipment that can give them an edge with them.
Upon beating the Tempered Kirin, players will gain the ability to grind more experience for more Hunter Ranks. There aren’t a lot of rewards for this process, meaning that it is more about prestige than anything else. Still, for players who want to experience everything in the base game, they had best get started on their grinding as soon as possible.
Please note that Iceborne has introduced a new tier in the form of Master Ranks, which can be gained by players who have managed to meet the necessary requirements. For starters, they need to have the Iceborne expansion, which is a paid expansion rather than a free expansion. Furthermore, they need to have beaten Xeno’jiiva, the Elder Dragon that serves as the final boss for the story of the base game. This should not be a huge issue, particularly since Xeno’jiiva is very easy compared to a lot of the tougher monsters that can be found in the base game. Finally, interested individuals will need to head to Hoarfrost Reach, where they will unlock Master Rank as well as the Master Rank monsters, equipment, and other content that go with it. It is possible to unlock the limit of Master Rank, but that won’t happen until players have managed to beat Ruiner Nergigante as well as raise Guiding Lands to Tier 5 or higher.
In the end, increasing Hunter Rank in this game is just a matter of hunting more and more monsters. However, it isn’t enough for interested individuals to just go after low-level monsters that they know that they can handle, not least because they need to take on at least a couple of tough quests to unlock everything. As such, it is very worthwhile for them to continue pushing the limits of their skills. Of course, just because someone is seeking to push the limits of their skills, it doesn’t mean that they have to deliberately make things harder for themselves. Generally speaking, when someone is about to head into a particularly tough hunt, they should strive to stack the odds in their favor as much as possible. In part, this means that they should be switching out their equipment based on the strengths and weaknesses of their target monster.
For example, if someone is going after a Kirin, they should know that they should be avoiding Thunder-elemental weapons. Likewise, if someone is going after a Kirin, they might want to choose either a fast weapon or a ranged weapon because they are going to have a very hard time hitting the monster in the right location with something slower unless they have a very good understanding of how the monster moves. Having said that, interested individuals should also look into every other option of buffing themselves as well. Some of these will be very simple and straightforward, with excellent examples ranging from buff items to eating at the cafeteria. Other methods are less obvious but no less useful, with an excellent example being switching out the decorations on their equipment. Finally, if players know the right people, they can always just bring the right party of four for a monster beatdown.