This is a how to play guide for Monster Hunter: World.
Monster Hunter is a game that is about skill as much as it is about the correct equipment - that is to say, there's no "perfect loadout", as such loadouts dramatically shift in effectiveness depending on the playstyle, the mission at hand, and the experience of the user. That being said, there are some general tips that should be kept in mind while hunting.
Use Your Environment
The environment is often overlooked by new players, and this is very unfortunate - environmental features and hazards present perhaps the strongest offerings for the hunter to leverage against the monsters. Flashflies, for instance, can be hit from afar by ranged weapons to temporarily stun nearby creatures, negating their overwhelming force and power for at least a short time.
Other hazards, such as mud, water, and more can have a direct adverse effect on the movement of the monster. More specifically, other monsters can also be leveraged - using the monster's aggressive natures against each other to whittle away at a stronger opponent's health is a very effective tactic.
A great example of this type of environmental play can be found in the Ancient Forest. Vines hanging from trees can be swung on, allowing for greater freedom of movement, especially for heavier classes. More specifically, those vines can be used to wrap up enemies, slowing htem and exposing Monsters to massive damage with relatively low danger.
The Wildspire Wasteland is somewhat of a warning point, rather than a possible point to utilize for your own purposes. The Wasteland has several quicksand areas that can quickly capture and even kill hunters and Monsters alike. While it might be tempting to use them for your own benefit, and this is absolutely something doable by experienced and quick players, more often than not hunters will find themselves just as easily ensnared by this trap as they will find monsters likewise captured.
Manage Items and Health
Even so, there are going to be creatures you just can't fight. In those cases, you're going to need a little bit of help. Healing potions and other such items are abundant in primordial resources through the hunting fields. Learning how to craft them, and when to properly utilize them, will be key to surviving the monster onslaught, as being caught with low health and no items is much more a death knell than low health and decent item accouterments.
More important than having such items, though, is knowing when to use them. Don't have an itchy finger - use them only when needed, and sparingly at that, to prolong your life and ensure that you can effectively manage monsters over the long game, rather than running in headfirst and relying on potions as a saving grace.
Lean on Palicoes
Palicoes are hugely effective aids in battle. They can do a ton of things, from distracting to actually helping take down a Monster. Don't be afraid to spend some time properly equipping them and making sure that your Felyne friend is well-upgraded - they may tip the balance in a hairy fight.
That being said, they can only do so much - being aware of their limitations is just a important as utilizing them. Accordingly, balancing your loadout with the specific Palico set that you've equipped will be key in your battles.
Finally, and key to all of this - be calm. Consider your environment, the enemy at hand, the items you have - all of this must be known before engaging in battle, because even a small miscalculation can result in absolute and quick destruction. Don't try to rush in, even with equipment designed for just such a purpose. It is better to take a little longer and find the best battlefield for your epic struggle than it is to get cornered because you weren't paying attention to your surroundings.
This isn't just a general piece of good advice, either - World producer Ryozo Tsujimoto echoed this very sentiment.
The most important thing if you haven’t played Monster Hunter before is to realise that it’s about hunting. In a real life situation if you were to try to hunt an animal that was trying to kill you, you wouldn’t run up to it and bash the buttons, so to speak. Observation, learning and putting into practice is really important, so don’t just run up to the monster and swing your sword. Take a look at its behaviour, because it will always have some tells. If it’s about to do its big damage swipe attack, there will always be a wind up animation that will give you a signal. You can always tell from observing the monster if you look really carefully what kind of attack it’s going to do and what kind of mood it’s in
High Immediate Damage vs Quick Low Damage
Players need to be aware that their equipment choices will largely be a choice between high single damage and low, but persistent damage. These two categories have very specific playstyle implications, and as such, certain sets are more appropriate for certain types of combat.
As an example. a weapon like the Jawblade deals 480 damage, but is relatively slow. Because of this, Hunters will have to plan their attacks, waiting to get close at a time where the threat of being damaged is relatively lower.
Using something like the Jyura Hatchets, however, means that you're dealing 140 damage over a long time. You'll need to strike the enemy almost 4 times in order to deal nearly the same damage as a single shot from the Jawblade. Because of this, you'll need to deal a lot of strikes successively, utilizing your speed to get close and dodge attacks that you would otherwise altogether avoid.