Monster Hunter World Iceborne Tips Guide: Clutch Claw, Weapons, Monsters, And More
What To Know Before Playing MHW's Iceborne DLC
Monster Hunter World’s first big expansion, Iceborne, brings a ton of new content to sink your teeth into. But, as is usual with Monster Hunter, the game doesn’t always do the best job of explaining everything to you. World has proven to be much more welcoming to newcomers, and that extends to Iceborne, but this is a challenging expansion meant for veteran players. You'll need to make your way through a significant chunk of the base game in order to even access it. Once you start Iceborne, there are plenty of complex maneuvers and mechanics that need detail beyond what you'll find in the sparse in-game tutorials.
To help you get a better grasp of everything in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, we’ve compiled the best advice we’d have found helpful when first starting up. To find more specific details about what you want to know, consult the table of contents below--you'll find some useful information regarding monsters (a particular behavior for them has been changed in a notable way), weapons (all of them have new moves and combos to be aware of), and the Clutch Claw (which can significantly change the flow of a flight). You can also watch the video version above.
- The Clutch Claw Is Pretty...Clutch
- Take Time To Learn the New Moves
- Now's Your Chance To Try a New Weapon
- Remember To Use Tailraiders
- Master Rank Differences
- Wait For Monsters To Rest
- New Palico Equipment Upgrades
- Remember To Use The Steamworks
- Do Optional Quests For Unique Rewards
If you're curious about all the armor that Iceborne adds to Monster Hunter: World, check out our gallery showcasing the coolest new male armor sets and female armor sets. We've also got a gallery highlighting all the adorable Palico armor sets.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne does well by the solid foundation set by the base game. In GameSpot writer Ginny Woo's Iceborne review, she scored the expansion a 9/10 and said: "Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is at its best when you’re fighting tooth and nail against something that you know could crush you within its teeth in a second, even though this might feel like it came at the expense of a more interesting narrative. Nothing is quite as good as the biting chill cutting through the furs of your armor, the shrill cry of your Palico as it comes to your aid, and the wind roaring in your ears as you latch onto a beast’s flank and climb up its side while it bucks and roars."
The Clutch Claw Is Pretty...Clutch
Iceborne's biggest addition to combat is the Clutch Claw, and it's a real game-changer. When aiming your slinger with the left trigger, which you can now do with your weapon still drawn, you can fire your Clutch Claw at a monster and grapple onto its body. From there you have several options. First, you can attack the monster and inflict damage to the specific part you're on. Heavy weapons like the Charge Blade or Switch axe will soften that part of the monster, leaving it susceptible to further damage for a short period. This is very useful for monsters with heavy armor that can easily deflect your attacks. On the other hand, lighter weapons like dual blades or the bow can’t soften body parts but instead will cause slinger ammo to drop.
Aside from attacking with your weapon while clutched, you can also use a Claw Attack when clutched to the monster’s head to force it to change directions. You’ll want to use this to reposition the monster and then hit it with the Flinch shot. This attack can only be used when you have slinger ammo. It's also worth noting that the attack will unload all your ammo, and send the monster flying backward. If they hit a wall, the monster will fall over, leaving it vulnerable.
The Clutch Claw is a fantastic tool for setting up weak points or toppling over a monster for big damage. It can specifically change up the way you approach a fight, so don’t forget to take advantage of its functionality.
Take Time To Learn The New Moves
In Iceborne, the Clutch Claw isn’t the only new addition to your arsenal. Every weapon type has been given new moves. For example, the Switch Axe’s axe mode comes with a new heavy slam that powers it up, making axe mode more useful for dealing damage where before you might have just stuck with sword mode.
It's worth spending time learning the new moves for your weapon of choice in the training area. You can check out the weapon controls in the Hunter Notes. New button inputs are listed in a light gray text and new modes and combos are listed in blue. The game's still not the clearest when it comes to telling you how to implement these new moves in combat, so you might want to spend extra time practicing to better understand just how they work.
Now's Your Chance To Try A New Weapon
After spending hours mastering your weapon of choice in the base game, you might be interested in learning a new weapon. The Ore and Bone trees for each weapon have a new Rank 9 version you can craft. These more powerful versions line up nicely with the difficulty at the beginning of Iceborne, and might even be better than your current weapon. It also helps that they're simple to make, requiring some quick farming in the Master Rank versions of expeditions.
Remember To Use Tailraiders
Your Palico is no longer the only one that can use monsters as Tailraiders. Simply activate Raider Ride from your item bar to summon your own mount. However, you can’t control the monster directly. Set a destination in the Wildlife Map and your Tailraider will automatically travel there. If you don’t set a destination, it will begin following nearby tracks.
Tailraiders are not only a great way to quickly track down a monster, but you can still pick up tracks, grab materials, or even use items while riding them. So heal up, sharpen your weapon, or do whatever you need to do while your Tailraider deals with the navigation. Once you reach your destination you can either dismount normally or hop into the fray with a jumping attack, which is a great way to start off any fight.
Master Rank Differences
Iceborne introduces Master Rank, a new tier of difficulty above High Rank and is this game’s equivalent to the series' notorious top-tier G-Rank difficulty. Everything in the Iceborne DLC is Master Rank, but there are also new Master Rank versions of the previous biomes and all the older monsters.
Outside of being more difficult and offering new materials, there are more subtle differences in Master Rank--although the game doesn’t make them clear upfront. For example, using Flash Pods repeatedly on monsters causes them to slowly build up a tolerance, reducing the stun duration each time they're used until they eventually become immune. The resistance does eventually go away in time, but we recommend pacing out how often you use Flash Pods and maybe don’t give your Palico the Flashfly cage.
Older monsters also seem to have some new attacks in Master Rank. We noticed the Tobi-Kadachi has a new lightning state it enters during a fight. But there are other monsters that seem to behave the same as they do in the base game. We haven’t had a chance to thoroughly test out every old monster, so we can’t give you a definitive breakdown, but it's something worth keeping in mind.
Wait For Monsters To Rest
A minor but important change to note is how monsters behave when near death. They still head back to their nest to sleep, however, they will no longer fall asleep if you're present. So when a monster starts to head back, pause and give them a sec to get ahead of you so they can still fall asleep, giving you ample opportunity to safely capture or get the jump on them.
New Palico Equipment Upgrades
When progressing through Iceborne, you might not notice that your old Palico equipment can now be upgraded to higher proficiency levels. Leveling them increases their effectiveness, but there are also new abilities and changes. For example, the Plunderblade can now pull four materials off a monster at a time. The biggest change, however, is to the Vigorwasp spray, which can now be used to revive you. That’s right, if you lose all your health, your Palico can save you with a Vigorwasp and prevent you from carting. It's worth noting that this new perk can only be used once per hunt, so you still want to exercise caution.
Remember To Use The Steamworks
The Steamworks is a new mini-game you can play at Seliana. By matching the hidden sequence of buttons, you build up the steam meter and earn items. It's random so don’t stress out about what you'll get and just try your luck--although, there are moments when the Palicos will give you hints.
In order to use the Steamworks, you need to fill it with fuel. You earn fuel by completing quests or trading in items. Eventually, the fuel will hit a cap, and when that happens, it's time to play the mini-game and empty it out. You naturally acquire more fuel as you play, so just remember to check on the Steamworks from time to time to win free items.
Do Optional Quests For Unique Rewards
This tip isn't necessarily new to Iceborne, but it's important to not just focus on the main missions and do your optional quests as well--specifically, the ones that bank you unique rewards. There are further upgrades to be made to the canteen, more space for your harvest box, and upgrades to mantles, just to name a few. But a new type of reward you’ll earn from optional quests are decorations for your house in Seliana, so if you’re really into home decorum, do those quests!