Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is the first major expansion to Capcom’s most successful Monster Hunter game yet, and promises to bring new monsters, gear, and a massive new world for players to explore.
Capcom has managed to keep the hunt fresh with post-launch support in the form of regular content drops and seasonal events. New monsters such as Lunastra, Kulve Taroth, and Deviljho have given hunters new marks and gear to aim for, while characters from other games have made cameos in the form of unique armour sets. After all The Witcher’s Geralt is in Monster Hunter: World.
Capcom’s post-launch support of Monster Hunter: World has been top shelf so far, but most of the new content has been minor, temporary, or both. Until now, that is. Capcom recently announced Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, a massive expansion that will introduce hunters to a new arctic ecosystem packed with fresh monsters to master, weapons and armour to craft, and a continuation of the story.
The Iceborne release date is still a way off, but more details are starting to seep out. Here’s what we know so far.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne release date
The Monster Hunter World Iceborne release date is September 6, 2019 on consoles, but PC players will have to wait a while longer as no specific release has been given. Capcom hopes, however, to have the expansion out in the Winter. At the time of writing, no price for the Iceborne expansion has been given.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne news
The most recent Monster Hunter: Iceborne news comes from Sony’s State of Play stream on May 9, which features three minutes of fresh footage for fans to pick apart. Watch it above to see some of the new monsters you’ll be facing, from the new ice dragon Velkhana to the returning Nargacuga. We also got some titbits of locale info – like how moving through the snow will notably slow you down.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne trailers
The autumn 2019 release date was announced via a short teaser trailer during a Capcom livestream at the 2018 Game Awards. In it, a group of four hunters chase a Rathalos around the Ancient Forest until it takes off across the sea. When we next see the monster, it’s flying towards a frozen landscape. When the screen fades to black, an unseen monster roars and slashes at the screen. The trailer promises a new quest rank, monsters, locales, moves, equipment, and “a new story that begins after the events of Monster Hunter: World.”
Since then, Monster Hunter producer Ryozo Tsujimoto has appeared in a video on Playstation’s YouTube channel to offer a few more details on what we can expect. He says that in addition to a bunch of new content, Capcom has taken fan feedback to heart and promises some quality of life improvements to boot.
MONSTER HUNTER WORLD: Iceborne new gear
The content promised at the end of the trailer is ripe for speculation. The concept of a new quest rank is pretty straightforward; we can probably expect something beyond “high rank” quests that offer up tougher objectives and hunts. New locales also shouldn’t be surprising considering that we saw Rathalos arrive in a totally new and very cold location.
Read more: Check out our Monster Hunter: World weapons guide if you’re new to the hunt
Where the fun speculation really starts, though, is with the the trailer’s mention of new moves and equipment. New armour sets are always an exciting way to customise your character and show off your trophies from various hunts, but the mention of new moves also suggests that we’ll be getting new weapon types. Of course, the “new moves” in question may simply apply to existing weapons.
MONSTER HUNTER WORLD: Iceborne new monsters
The Monster Hunter: World design team has shown off their ability to create terrifying and memorable monsters time and time again. Getting new beasts to hunt is always a thrill, both in terms of their design and learning overcoming their strengths and attack patterns. Considering the icy setting of this expansion, it’s likely we’ll see more ice elemental monsters, which are currently rare in Monster Hunter: World. Of the original Monster Hunter: World monsters, Legiana is the only one that is of the ice element.
Straight from the start of the State of Play trailer we’re introduced to a new monster to hunt called the Velkhana, which is an ice-based dragon. One of the biggest beasts to catch our eyes, however, was the Banbaro. This behemoth may look like a deer but its the size of about 50 of them – the armour on offer from this monster must surely be worth the challenge of toppling it. There’s also the hard to miss Beotodus, which seemingly treats the snow like it’s the sea, as you can see it diving in and out of it.
Most excitingly, though, we got confirmation that the pair of red eyes from a previous tease did, indeed, belong to the Nargacuga – who we can also expect to see making a return. Also making a comeback are the Popo – a series staple who look like woolly mammoths. Aside from that, there are also some smaller creatures like the icy Wingdrake known as the Cortos and snow-rollin’ Dung Beetle called the Rime Beetle.
Tsujimoto says that his team approaches monster design from a gameplay perspective first. It’s important to know how the monster will behave and what attacks it will use and build the design around that. The biggest challenge will be to achieve a back-and-forth between hunters and the monsters, and to give monsters attack patterns that haven’t been seen in the series before.
In the Playstation video, Tsujimoto comments that, while we can expect a handful of new monsters in Iceborne, some old series favorites will be returning as well. The end of the teaser shows off a pair of glowing red eyes that many fans believe to belong to Nargacuga, first introduced in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. Other monsters on fans’ shortlist include Tigrex, Zinogre, and Barioth, so hopefully these will crop up in Iceborne as well.
monster hunter World: iceborne new locations
Of course, one of the most highly anticipated aspects of Iceborne is the collection of new locations we will be able to explore and hunt in. A staple of the Monster Hunter series is the ecosystem and geography that differs between each area. Learning the shortcuts and landscape of an entirely new locale will likely breathe some fresh air into Monster Hunter: World.
So far, Capcom hasn’t introduced any new story content to Monster Hunter: World, but that will change with Iceborne, with new story missions that will take place after the story of the base game. Hopefully (depending on your tastes) that means no more Zorah Magdaros battles. It will be interesting to see what the Fifth Fleet makes of the frozen landscape of Iceborne and what challenges this new terrains will throw at them. Either way, we’ll have to wait a while to find out.
What we do know about the location, however, is that it’s called Hoarfrost Reach and it’ll throw up interesting travelling challenges. Looking at the State of Play trailer, we can see that Hunters wandering through the thick snow are slowed down and leave long tracks. It may seem simple, but the the decreased mobility will factor in quite significantly when trying to fight beasts. On the bright side, tracking monsters may be just a tad easier. On top of that, the cold weather will also play a part as it’ll decrease your stamina faster than before. Don’t worry though, you can counter that with Hot Drinks, or restore your stamina with a quick dip in some hot springs.
Related: Here are the best Monster Hunter: World builds
And there you have it, everything we know about the Monster Hunter World: Iceborne release date, its new beasts, and even the more subtle changes its icy biome has on gameplay. There’s plenty to unpack, and there is likely more to come over the coming months. In fact, the State of Play trailer also featured the booming sound of a roar behind its release date at the end, which could point to another sly tease of an upcoming monster. Of course, if we find out any more about that, we’ll update this guide to let you know.