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Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a shining example of DLC done right and offers potentially hundreds of hours of new content. One common criticism of Monster Hunter Rise is that the game is too easy, especially for a returning player. If you’re worried that Sunbreak will be the same, fear not, you won’t be singing that tune for long.
With so many new features, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially for new players or those that have taken a break. With this guide, I want to introduce you to Sunbreak, and your new base of operations, the Elgado Outpost. I’ll show you every new feature in the expansion and explain the endgame content that opens up when you’re done with the story.
If you’re ready to fight the most dangerous threats Monster Hunter Rise has to offer, sharpen those blades (… or hammers), and let’s get started.
If you’re brand new to Monster Hunter Rise, check out our guide on the base game here:
Bottom Line Up Front
Sunbreak is a superb expansion, improving on many of Rise’s strengths. The good ol’ Monster Hunter loop of killing Monsters for their parts so you can fight bigger Monsters is still there with a generous assortment of new beasts. Build diversity is encouraged, and there are more ways than ever to show off your individuality. Sunbreak offers a similar package to Iceborne for Monster Hunter World or G-Rank in the older titles.
Can you Skip Monster Hunter Rise?
Capcom offers an eloquent solution if you’re a brand-new player and want to enjoy the DLC immediately. You still have to beat the game as usual, but you have an additional Weapon Tree and Armor Set available, The Defender Set. Defender Gear isn’t exactly the prettiest out there, but its stats are incredible and on par with the best High-Rank equipment.
Defender Gear is cheap, requiring only basic materials. It’s designed to trivialize the main game so you can power through and enjoy Sunbreak. The only problem is it makes Rise laughably easy, and the step up in difficulty when you finally reach Sunbreak is punishing. If you have time to spare, I recommend playing through Rise normally, without the Defender Gear. You’ll enjoy the natural progression of Rise this way and accumulate plenty of items that will set you up nicely for the expansion.
When you get to Sunbreak, the training gloves are off. It’s good to be prepared for that.
Welcome to Elgado Outpost
Elgado is your new base of operations, and it’s functionally very similar to Kamura Village. The biggest difference is that the entirety of Elgado doubles as the Hub area instead of being relegated to a cramped building.
Elgado is much more streamlined than Kamura, as everything is conveniently close to the Quest Board. The only thing missing is a Training Area. Fortunately, you can return to Kamura Village anytime to use their facilities. To swap between areas, hold minus to bring up the map. You can cycle between locations by pressing L and R.
Make Sure to Visit the Cohoot Nest
There’s a new Cohoot nest in Elgado that provides a complimentary assortment of items every few hunts. To find your feathered friend, you have to climb.
Wirebug from where I am (pictured) onto the rafters above. I’m standing just next to the Commander’s table.
Climb the ladder and collect your prizes from the Nest.
Where are the Story Quests?
Back in Kamura, the single-player story was told through Village Quests. In Sunbreak, every new mission is ‘Hub Only’. You can play them with friends, random players, AI followers, or completely solo. There’s still a great story to experience, and the new Monsters offer a formidable challenge.
New Switch Skills
Switch Skills are greatly expanded upon in Sunbreak, and you’ll get new ones and a way to swap between them as you progress through the new Hub Quests. You’ll earn your first new Switch Skills after completing the MR1 mission, Uninvited Guest. Once you’ve made it to MR4 and finished several Key Quests, you’ll unlock another, bringing the total amount of new Switch Skills to a whopping forty-two.
With some of the new Switch Skills being so situational, you can swap between two load outs by Switch Skill Swapping. You unlock this ability by completing an Arena Quest for Master Arlow when you arrive in Elgado. Don’t worry; it’s impossible to miss.
Switch Skill Swapping
You can create two different loadouts, which are interchangeable anytime during a hunt by holding ZL and pressing X+A. You can do this on the spot or perform an evasive dash immediately afterward (B+any direction). The big issue with this new mechanic is it feels clunky and makes new weapons less approachable. If you’re learning unfamiliar equipment, I recommend ignoring the 2nd scroll until you get a feel for it. You’ll still have five Switch Skills to manage, but it’s much better than juggling 10.
Gimme The Dango!
The Canteen is massively improved in Sunbreak. You’ll still be feasting on sugary treats instead of proper meals (oh, how I miss those in Monster Hunter World), but they greatly impact hunts.
There are nine new Dango in Sunbreak. Some grant such niche bonuses that I wouldn’t bother using them, but a few may make it into your general loadouts. These are the new Dango, along with their bonuses:
- Amble Ramble – Reduces damage taken during wall runs.
- Buddy Bond – Perform the High Five or Shake gesture for a defense boost and performance boost for your buddy.
- Careless Caramel – Increases recoverable damage (the red portion of your health bar) after taking a hit.
- Easy-Breezy – Recover health when you Scroll Swap.
- Elgado Special – Increases buff duration.
- Gooey Chewy – Increases hang-time when performing a Midair Stop (A midair to hang with your Wirebug).
- Hide-and-Seek – Gradually recover health when discovered by a large Monster.
- Hot-to-Trot – Reduced stamina consumption when fleeing from large Monsters.
- Self Kelp – Reduced damage taken every other hit.
Many of these are incredibly situational, but Self Kelp is fantastic, as is Easy-Breezy if you frequently Switch Skill Swap.
If the new Dango aren’t enough to whet your appetite, you can use Hopping Skewers to increase the potency of your acquired bonuses. The trade-off is you’re less likely to get a buff if you do. You can counter this by paying for your meal with a Dango Ticket; you can see the difference in probability before you buy.
There are more new Decorations exclusive to Sunbreak than I could possibly list here. Most of the new Armor pieces have a generous assortment of Decoration Slots, allowing you to customize your skills like never before. Many of these Decorations are locked behind quests and endgame Monsters, but here are some of my favorites and ones to look out for:
- Hard Friendship Jewel – Grants the Wide-Range skill, which makes some items (like potions) affect nearby allies when used.
- Cornerstone Jewel – Grants the Defiance skill, which increases your Defense versus enraged Monsters.
- Polisher Pro Jewel – Grants the Grinder (S) skill which gives a temporary raw damage increase after sharpening.
- Might Bow Jewel – Grants the Bow Charge Plus skill, which increases maximum bow charge level (essential for any late-game Bow builds)
Better Armor Comes at a Price
Gone are the days when fighting the target Monster a few times would guarantee you had all the parts to make a complete Armor set. Crafting recipes are much more demanding in Sunbreak and will always have a couple of scarce ingredients like Orbs and Mantles.
If lady luck is in a bad mood, it’s possible to fight a Monster 10+ times and still not have everything you need. In this instance, fight something else for a while because you will burn out.
New gear also comes with a literal price increase, so sell any valuable eggs you stumble upon. If you’re hurting for Zenni, I’ll explain a great way to earn money fast in the ‘True Endgame’ section below. Armor can be upgraded multiple times, and the limit raises as your MR increases.
You’ll need a lot of Armor Spheres to upgrade to the fullest. An easy way to obtain those is by doing Optional Subquests. You can select up to five at any time by speaking to the Quest Maiden, and they can be completed during your regular quests.
Embrace The New Difficulty
Sunbreak is much harder than Rise, and even though you’ll be fighting plenty of Monsters you’ve already seen before, they’ve all had significant upgrades. Even with decent Armor from Rise, it won’t take long for you to feel fragile against these new Sunbreak threats. Prioritize building your first Master Rank set of Armor, even from a small monster like Great Izuchi or Arzuros.
One huge difference Master Rank brings is how much health you need to have to be ‘safe’. In the base game, you can comfortably battle with 50% of your life bar depleted. In Sunbreak, I recommend keeping your health at over 70%.
One superb new addition for solo hunters is Follower Quests. These let you fight alongside select NPCs like Fiorayne and the Twins. In Title Update 3, Capcom improved Followers, so they can join you on Hub Quests. You’ll still need to clear their Follower-specific questlines first; some can’t be finished until as late as MR5. Followers are capable fighters and can set up traps and even ride Monsters if the opportunity arises.
What would an expansion be without new Monsters? You’ll be introduced to new threats as you progress through the Hub Key Quests. The first few MR lists are a little uneventful and are packed full of familiar monsters, but it doesn’t take long for new creatures to show up, including Sunbreaks original trio, The Three Lords.
The Three Lords
This section will briefly overview what to expect from each Lord. We’re about to enter spoiler territory, so feel free to skip this section if you want them to remain a surprise.
Garangolm is a unique monster, as the more parts you break, the more aggressive it gets. Many of Garangolm’s attacks are slow and will punish greedy Hunters. As you may expect from slow attacks, they hit incredibly hard, and when the monster is enraged, it’s surprisingly mobile.
Ranged Hunters won’t have this option, but Hunters are relatively safe up close and away from the face. Just beware of the Body Slam if you’re beneath it. Garangolm likes to throw rocks at Hunters that stand back, so be cautious even if you think you’re at a safe distance.
During the fight, Garangolms fists will become charged with elemental power. If you break them in this state, you’ll get a free knockdown for easy damage.
As Garangolm is the MR2 Urgent Quest, your Armor won’t be able to withstand too many hits. Even if you only take minimal damage, it’s worth healing to full.
Lunagaron looks incredible but will cut you to ribbons if you stand around staring at it. This monster is agile and does a lot of damage with its Ice attacks, so try to increase your Ice resistance before the battle if possible.
Lunagaron loves to strike fast directly in front of its face. That may sound obvious, but if you’re careful with your positioning and exclusively stay near its back legs, you’ll almost never get hit. The only attack that’s dangerous here is a sweeping kick which is telegraphed in advance.
Most attacks inflict Ice Blight, so Nulberries are essential here. If you can break the icicles that form around its legs, you can knock Lunagaron down and follow up with your most damaging attacks.
Like Garangolm, Lunagaron is an Urgent Quest and the gatekeeper to MR4.
This fearsome Elder Dragon took many names in the Sunbreak Demo and humbled skilled hunters worldwide. Now, it’s time for payback. Malzeno is the MR4 Urgent Quest and a force to be reckoned with.
Evasion is the most vital tool in a Hunter’s arsenal, and Malzeno has some nasty ways to get around that. Malzeno can teleport and close the distance on you in a split second. This monster inflicts a unique status ailment called Bloodblight, which slowly drains health. Landing attacks can negate this drain, but reckless offense will kill you as Malzeno hits ridiculously hard.
Just like Lunagaron, Malzeno has a few stances/forms. In its most dangerous form, Malzeno adorns a mask of Qurios and moves erratically around the stage. Keeping track is tough if you’re in a group, but if you land enough hits, Malzeno will fall to the ground so you can freely attack.
Malzeno has tools for every situation, but the one you absolutely must avoid is this gigantic energy blast (pictured) when it teleports into the middle of the area. You’ll probably die if this hits you, and learning the telegraph for the attack will take a few tries. Don’t lose your cool, as Malzeno is easily the most formidable opponent you’ve faced thus far.
The True Endgame
Once you’ve beaten Sunbreak’s story, there’s a wealth of Endgame content to sink your teeth into. Monster Hunter is renowned for its great post-game content, and that’s no exception here.
You can try your luck at Charm Farming whenever you wish, but it makes the most sense when min-maxing starts to matter at the endgame. At the Market, select Melding Pot, then Melding – Aurora.
This lets you pick one guaranteed skill that your Charm will roll with. I’m going to try my luck with Attack Boost. If you have an MP Accelerant, you can use this to meld Charms faster.
OK, luck wasn’t on my side, but if you keep hunting, it’s only a matter of time until you meld something mindblowing.
If you’re after a great mission to farm EXP, I recommend the Event Quest, M5 Roar of the Black Eclipse. This is an Arena Quest versus a Gore Magala and rewards you with a ton of Experience. This is a well-known farming Quest, so people usually join your hunts, even during unsocial hours.
Even if you’re appropriately geared, Gore Magala is a dangerous foe, but it’s worth learning the fight and taking full advantage of the Quest rewards.
Experimenting with new weapons and armor will quickly deplete your Zenni reserves. Fortunately, there’s an Event Quest that will shower you with valuable eggs to sell… If you can beat it. The MR5 Event Quest Cheering Ra Ra Rajang puts you against a Rajang in the Arena. Rajang is a nasty opponent at the best of times, but in this quest, it has backup. There’s always one other large monster in the Arena, and it’s seemingly random what will show up. I’ve seen everything from Astalos to Almudron in this quest so expect the worst and hope Rajang goes down quickly.
MR Locked Monsters
Sunbreak hides a selection of fantastic hunts behind MR thresholds which is why many Hunters use the EXP Farming method above. This list has grown through time as Monsters have been added to the game through Title Updates. These are the MR-locked Monsters, along with the required rank to battle them:
- Flaming Espinas – MR10
- Chaotic Gore Magala – MR10
- Seething Bazelgeuse – MR10
- Silver Rathalos – MR10
- Gold Rathian – MR10
- Lucent Nargacuga- MR10
- Violet Mizusune – MR10
- Velkhana – MR10
- Wind Serpent Ibushi – MR20
- Narwa the Allmother – MR30
- Furious Rajang – MR50
- Crimson Glow Valstrax – MR70
- Scorned Magnamalo – MR100
The Monsters in this list that require MR10 to battle are arguably more dangerous than those that need higher ranks. The MR10-restricted targets were added in Title Updates and are some of the most brutal brawls in the game.
Velkhana, in particular, is a mighty Elder Dragon. If you fought it in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, you know exactly what it’s capable of. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t defeat these immediately, as they are meant to be tough.
Anomaly Research Quests
Anomaly Quests unlock after you’ve defeated the final boss in Sunbreak. At this point, your MR cap will increase to MR10, and you’ll have a new Urgent Quest to defeat an Afflicted Arzuros.
Afflicted Monsters must be slain and cannot be captured. Every Afflicted monster hits like a freight train and always have a few red areas on them. Aim for those areas, as destroying them deals a ton of damage. This can be tricky with short-range weapons like the Sword & Shield and Dual Blades.
If you destroy every red area, you’ll knock the monster down for some free hits. If you fail to remove the red spots quickly, they will slowly build up power before throwing out a wide-range explosion. If you’re caught in the blast, you’ll take a ton of damage and instantly be stunned.
Anomaly Monsters are challenging but worth fighting as they reward you with Anomaly Tickets. Tickets are required for most endgame weapons. Afflicted Monster parts are also used for new decorations and an advanced crafting technique; more on that in just a moment.
The best thing about these battles is the multiplayer element. On the Quest Board, you can pick Respond to Join Request – Anomaly Research Quests – Anomaly Investigations, and you’ll join random battles against Anomaly targets with other players. These quests are great if you can’t decide what you want to fight and fancy lending a hand to needy Hunters.
Anomaly battles have levels that increase the more you do them. Monsters hit harder at higher levels, but you get better rewards for the challenge.
You can use Qurious Crafting on Weapons and Armor to upgrade your gear further than ever before. This is where you’ll use all of your hard-earned Afflicted Parts. You’ll earn better parts from higher-level Anomaly Quests, so grind these when you can. It’s worth it for the best gear in the game and the ability to customize your equipment in ways never possible before.
Qurious Crafting is very advanced and not strictly required to beat any content in the game. Still, if you’re chasing that next power level, this is how you do it.
We’ve focused on many endgame challenges, but make sure you make time to have fun and enjoy one of the most critical parts of the Monster Hunter experience, Fashion! Some of the most stylish armor sets are locked behind fearsome battles, but they might not offer the skills you need.
In Monster Hunter, you can craft Layered versions of every piece of gear, including weapons. Layered gear changes the appearance of your Hunter like you’re wearing it on top. Seriously, Fashion is the true end game for many players, and there are even communities dedicated to it on Reddit (r/fashionhunters) and many more.
Risen Monsters: The Ultimate Sunbreak Challenge
In Monster Hunter lore, some Elder Dragons overcome the Qurio Affliction, and in doing so, they become more powerful than ever before. These terrifying adversaries are known as Risen Elder Dragons and offer the most challenging fights Sunbreak has to offer. These are only worth facing with the best gear in the game and are gated by the highest MR restrictions:
- Risen Chameleos – MR110
- Risen Kushala Daora – MR120
- Risen Teostra – MR140
- Risen Crimson Glow Valstrax – MR160
Risen Elder Dragons share many similarities with their standard counterparts, but many have nasty tricks added to their arsenals. Even with the highest armor values, these beasts can deplete your health bar in a couple of hits. Fully geared groups regularly lose to these Monsters, so be patient and expect to cart a few times while you learn their attack patterns.
What Does the Future Hold for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak?
At the time of writing, Hunters eagerly await the release of Title Update 5. According to Capcom, this is the final large-scale update the game will receive. We will still get periodic Event Quests, but no more massive additions after the update. Sunbreak has a thriving fanbase, and even without Title Updates, the game will likely retain a healthy player count for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is G-Rank?
Answer: Monster Hunter games have stuck to the same formula regarding add-on content for many years, with a significant expansion bringing new monsters, a new Hunter Rank, and more challenging gameplay. In Monster Hunter World and Rise, this new rank is called Master Rank, but in any game before World, it was known as G-Rank. In the West, we used to get Monster Hunter games later than Japan and got G-Rank bundled into our releases.
Question: What Happened to Rampage Missions?
Answer: Rampage missions were hectic but brought a fun ‘Tower Defense’ twist to the standard Monster Hunter gameplay loop. In the Kamura Village story, the Rampages were caused by Magnamalo and since he was defeated, they no longer occur.
Question: I Followed a Guide Online for a Powerful Build. Now, I Die More than Ever. What Happened?
Answer: Many build guides justify lofty titles with the mighty damage numbers they can inflict. Damage is fine, but unless you’re a master Hunter, you will still take a few hits. Many ‘best’ builds replace defensive skills like Defense Boost and Divine Blessing with Risk/Reward abilities like Dereliction. For the average player, it’s worth taking a hit to your damage numbers if it keeps you alive.
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