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’s. With Iceborne’s release just on the horizon, we thought we’d share everything we know about the upcoming game. We’ll also 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 decided 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 – What Could Be Changed?
The 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.
- Velkhana – An elder dragon with the power to freeze all; according to ancient legend, it can freely control the cold and unleash an icy blast of breath.
- Tigrex – A flying wyvern straight out of prehistory, known for its deafening roar and powerful legs that power its overwhelming charge.
- Shrieking Legiana – A Legiana variant shrouded in white frost; it specializes in freezing prey with a powerful chill before swooping down to strike.
- Banbaro – A monster with two giant horns; it charges at threats while digging its massive horns in the ground.
- Beotodus – A piscine wyvern that uses the sharp fin on its head to cut through the frozen soil, swimming freely through the snow.
- Nargacuga – A flying wyvern covered in pitch black fur; it is extremely agile, moving with explosive bursts of speed.
However, with new challenges come new solutions; to help you take on the Hoarfrost Reach’s monsters, Iceborne includes a bevy of new tools and weapon combos.
- 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.)
- 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.
The Final Word
Capcom has remained consistent in supporting Monster Hunter: World post-release and Iceborne will no doubt be their most impressive expansion 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.
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.