Capcom has done a fine job supporting what has become the publisher’s best-selling game, Monster Hunter: World, with a steady stream of post-launch content and seasonal events.
Since the game’s 2018 release, we’ve seen new monsters added such as Lunastra, Kulve Taroth, and Deviljho, giving players new challenges to face and more powerful gear to craft. Collaborating with popular properties like The Witcher, Final Fantasy, and Devil May Cry has also played a role in keeping Monster Hunter: World feeling fresh even for players with hundreds of hours logged.
With the announcement of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, a massive expansion that will transport hunters to a new arctic ecosystem brimming with life, players will have another opportunity to prove themselves and battle tough new monsters in an area twice the size of World. With Iceborne’s release just on the horizon, we thought we’d share everything we know about the upcoming game. We’ll be updating this story in the future, so make sure to check back.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Release Date
First revealed in 2018, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is slated to release on September 6, 2019, for PS4 and Xbox One with a winter release planned for PC. You can currently pre-order Iceborne as a standalone game for those who already own Monster Hunter: World or via a bundle that includes both the expansion and the base game.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Story
Iceborne sees players traveling to a new area called the Hoarfrost Reach, an unexplored landmass that’s locked beneath snow and ice. After a flock of Legiana is spotted fleeing the Ancient Forest and heading towards the mysterious new region, the Research Commission decide to follow in pursuit. They discover that the region is home to a number of creatures which have never been seen before.
The Commission has set up a new headquarters, Seliana, for investigating the Hoarfrost Reach and its many wonders. Seliana features all of the same facilities you’re familiar with from Astera, including the Ecological Research Center, the Smithy, the Resource Center, and more. Additionally, the new base’s layout was designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring you spend less time traveling between stations.
As a hunter, it’ll be up to you to help research the Hoarfrost Reach and uncover its many mysteries. However, you won’t be alone as the following characters play key roles in shaping your adventures in Iceborne.
- Commander – Leader of the Research Commission.
- Field Team Leader – Commander’s grandson; is in charge of protecting Seliana, the Commission’s new home on the Hoarfrost Reach.
- The Handler – An expert in info gathering and analysis; will play a pivotal role in Iceborne’s story.
- The Tracker – The First Fleet’s expert Handler, and a mentor to the hunter’s Handler.
- Third Fleet Master – Leader of the Third Fleet; offers the Third Fleet’s airship to travel to Hoarfrost Reach.
- Second Fleet Master – Leader of the industrious Second Fleet; sets up a workshop in Seliana.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Gameplay
Hoarfrost Reach is a massive area with many hidden areas that players will have to investigate in order to uncover. Environmental hazards, such as waist-deep snow, narrow passes, and icy walls will add a layer of difficulty to your journeys. Picking hot peppers will allow you to craft “hot drinks,” refreshing beverages that help stave off the cold.
Of all the dangers you’ll face, the monsters of the Hoarfrost Reach will prove to be the most challenging. Iceborne will see the return of creatures from previous MH entries as well as some new ones:
A new Elder Dragon and the main antagonist in Iceborne. Velkhana uses an array of chilling attacks that can be tough to deal with. It has the ability to coat itself in icy armor, drop massive icicles on the player, and unleash icy blasts capable of freezing anything in its path.
A flying wyvern straight out of prehistory, Tigrex is known for its deafening roar and powerful charge. Its muscular forelegs allow it to rush towards enemies with immense speed.
A Legiana variant that has adapted to the chilly lands of Hoarfrost Reach. It has the ability to freeze players where they stand by emitting a powerful chill from its tail.
Banbaro uses its two giant antlers to easily tackle hunters and launch anything that gets in the way.
A Piscine Wyvern that loves to bury itself deep in the snow and wait for the perfect moment to ambush its enemy.
An incredibly agile Flying Wyvern that uses its bladed wings and spiked tail to unleash devastatingly-powerful attacks. Keeping your distance isn’t really an option since Nargacuga’s strong legs allow it to jump across great distances with ease.
Glavenus is a Brute Wyvern that uses its razor-sharp teeth to heat and sharpens its enormous dagger-like tail.
Barioth uses its fangs and claws to effortlessly run through patches of snow. Its icy attacks are brutal enough to surprise even the most experienced of hunters.
A Brute Wyvern that fights by covering its stumpy fists and sharp horn with explosive slime.
A Fanged Wyvern with lightning coursing throughout its fur. It becomes ten times deadlier once it reaches a supercharged state.
ABird Wyvern with a short-temper. Yian Garuga uses its distinct sharp-beak to strike enemies.
An Elder Dragon with the power to command water, using it as both a shield and weapon against enemies.
A much more aggressive Odogaron sub-species that uses wide-hitting, charged-up attacks.
A Glavenus sub-species with a sulfur-coated tail that can eat through enemy armor.
An Anjanath sub-species that replaces its fire attacks with bursts of electricity.
A Paolumu variant easily identified by the dark markings on its body. It uses pockets of sleep dust on both its tail and wings to put enemies in a deadly slumber.
A Tobi-Kadachi sub-species with an affinity for poison. It’s fast speed allows it quickly bombard enemies with plumes of noxious gas.
A variant of Pukei-Pukei that swaps out poison in favor of water attacks. It can unleash a powerful burst of water from its tail, inflicting any hunter hit with waterblight.
Will be included with the first free Iceborne update in October 2019. Rajang is a highly-aggressive Fanged Beast that’s appeared in previous MH entries. It has the ability to knock hunters off their feet using its tremendously strong arms and is known to turn gold when angry.
These new and returning beasts will require players to form new creative strategies to defeat them; to aid you on your journey, Iceborne will introduce an array of new tools and maneuvers.
- The Clutch Claw – An extension of the slinger; allows you to grapple onto monsters and control their movement, use special attacks with your weapon, and perform a new “flinch shot” that sends them reeling forward.
- Raider Ride – Lets you use Tailraiders as a mode of transportation; while on a raider ride, you can gather and use items, open your map, as well as other specific actions. You’ll be able to pin a destination on your map or let the Tailraider search for tracks on their own. (You won’t be able to control the monster directly.)
- New Palico Gadgets – Iceborne will introduce a plethora of new gadgets for your Palico, including one that lets them revive the player after fainting.
- True Charged Slash – If you connect the first strike of a True Charged Slash on a monster’s softer, weaker parts, the second strike will be even more powerful.
- Slinger Burst – Allows you to fire a slinger burst after an attack and combo into a True Charged Slash or Wide Slash.
- Special Sheathe – When sheathing your weapon after an attack, you can now immediately draw into an Iai Slash or Iai Spirit Slash.
- Iai Slash – Increases your Spirit Gauge. Time this against a monster’s attack to fill your gauge faster. Minor attacks will not knock you out of this attack.
- Iai Spirit Slash – An extremely potent technique that consumes one Spirit Gauge color level. Time this against a monster’s attack to consume no Spirit Gauge. Minor attacks will not knock you out of this attack.
- Slinger Burst – Allows you to fire a slinger burst right after an Iai Slash. Use it in tandem with your Iai Slashes to stagger monsters.
Sword and Shield
- Perfect Rush – A series of attacks that are very effective at inflicting status ailments.
- Claw Uppercut – An aerial attack available when your weapon is unsheathed. Evade an enemy attack to jump into the air and attack with the clutch claw. If your attack hits, you will grab ahold of the monster.
- Slinger Shots and Slinger Bursts – As with normal slinger shots, slinger bursts can be fired whenever your weapon is unsheathed by switching to unsheathed slinger mode. Sheathing your weapon will switch you back to normal slinger mode. All weapons will have access to slinger bursts even when moving, regardless of type.
- Evade Shot – During Double Slash attacks, you can perform a slinger burst while evading. You can then follow up your evade with additional attacks.
- Special Clutch Claw Attacks – Becomes available after landing the second hit of a Double Roundslash while in Demon Mode.
- Spinning Rising Slash – Performed via the clutch claw while in Demon Mode. It has the same properties as other attacks made while grappling a monster, making it ideal for damaging specific parts or causing certain items to drop.
- Charge Attacks and the Clutch Claw – Clutch claw attacks can be performed immediately after a Charged Upswing or Charged Big Bang.
- Slinger Bursts – Can be fired while charging your hammer.
- Echo Attacks – Become available after a normal attack and places an echo mark on the music staff.
- Echo Marks and Melody Effects – Performing a melody with an echo mark may produce an echo-bubble where the melody was played. Touching the echo-bubble will impart special benefits.
- Guard Shot – A special guard that offers increased protection, allowing you to fire a slinger burst more safely. (You cannot move during a Guard Shot.)
- Counter Claw – A special stance you can take while in slinger burst mode. Though it consumes stamina, getting hit will allow you to grab, and potentially latch on to, the monster with your claw. If successful, you will gain Flinch Free for a short time.
- Load Wyrmstake Blast – While aiming the slinger with your weapon drawn, you can expend all of your slinger ammo and load a Wyrmstake Blast. Once loaded, the attack will change depending on the amount and type of slinger ammo used.
- Wyrmstake Blast – Lodges itself in at the point of impact. Strike the stake once more with a Heavy Artillery attack to make it explode. Damage caused will vary depending on the strength of the heavy artillery used.
- Power Axe Mode – After a set number of Wild Swings in Axe mode, follow up with a Heavy Slam to activate Power Axe Mode. While active, your axe attacks will cause monsters to stagger more easily.
- Special Clutch Claw – Allows you to use your clutch claw during an Element Discharge. Connect with a large monster to grab ahold of it. The claw attack will also increase phial output, making it easier to go into an Amped State.
- Clutch Attacks and Zero Sum Discharge – While in an Amped State, you can follow up a clutch claw grapple with a Zero-Sum Discharge. Use your claw to get close before unleashing the pain.
- Slinger Burst – Can be fired after a number of axe attacks.
- Power Axe Mode – If you have at least one phial filled, you can use a Savage Axe Slash while amped element discharge is readying to activate Power Axe Mode. For a set time afterward, axe attacks will be further enhanced depending on the type of phial you are using.
- Power Element Phials – Enhances elemental damage of your axe attacks for a longer period of time.
- Impact Phials – Enhances physical damage of your axe attacks for a short period of time.
- Slinger Burst – Can be fired while in axe mode after your attacks or while guarding in sword mode.
- Kinsect Charge – You can now use slinger ammo to enhance your Kinsect. Enhanced Kinsects can harvest up to two extracts and extends the duration of some effects depending on the type of slinger ammo used.
- Kinsect Charge (Power) – Use slinger ammo drops from monsters to increase your Kinsect’s attack power while decreasing the cooldown between Kinsect powder deposits.
- Kinsect Charge (Spirit) – Use slinger ammo harvested from the field to increase your Kinsect’s maximum stamina while increasing the duration of their extracts.
- Mid-air Claw Attack – Available mid-jump; connect with a large monster to grab ahold of it.
- Descending Thrust – An attack during a vault that continuously hits a target while you descend. If your Kinsect is on your arm during this attack, it will perform a follow-up attack once you land.
- Thousand Dragons – A powerful short-range attack that consumes all of your slinger ammo upon use.
- Aiming the Slinger (Unsheathed) – Allows you to switch between your main weapon and slinger with the press of a button.
- Evading Reload – While evading, you will reload one round for each Evading Reload mod you have equipped.
- Wyvernblast Counter – Equipping the Wyvernblast mod allows Wyvernblasts to become forward-firing mines that detonate when attacked.
- Special Scope – Equipping a special scope will cause the targeting reticule to turn orange, indicating when you are in Super Critical Range for increased damage.
- Wyvernheart Mod – Increases Wyvernheart power for each successive round that hits a monster.
- Wyvernsnipe Mod – Rounds no longer penetrate, but become extremely effective against weak points.
New Dynamic Difficulty
Lastly, Iceborne will introduce a new system that scales difficulty based on the number of players in a squad. Up until now, monsters would be given one of two health pools: the standard amount of HP for solo hunts or roughly double HP for two or more players. This made completing hunts with two/three-player squads drag on for far too long.
Thankfully, Capcom is addressing this issue by adding a new health pool that falls somewhere between the original two. Additionally, it will adjust automatically if say, someone from your squad was to disconnect mid-quest. The feature will be added alongside the release of Iceborne, however, it will be available in vanilla Monster Hunter: World as well.
The Final Word
Capcom has remained consistent in supporting Monster Hunter: World post-release and Iceborne will no doubt be their most impressive update yet. We’re eager to see what formidable beasts lurk within Hoarfrost Reach’s snow-covered lands when Monster Hunter World: Iceborne launches later this year.
Looking for something to hold you over until Iceborne’s release? Check out our curated list of the Best Games Like Monster Hunter.
Whether its PC or console, AAA or Indie, New-York born and raised Justin has a natural curiosity to seek out hidden gems and share them with other gamers. He also maintains his own YouTube channel in addition to writing and managing the social media profiles for GamingScan.