Choose a Weapon You Like
If you are new to the game, it is recommended that you choose a fast-hitting weapon over a slow one. Fast weapons allow you to easily pull back and get out of harm’s way when a monster prepares a counterattack. Some very good options for beginners are the sword and shield, long sword, and bow.
This does not mean that beginners should avoid slow weapons entirely. In the end, just choose any weapon that you like and learn to take full advantage of its unique moves and characteristics. Visit the training ground often to get a good feel of your chosen weapon.
Charging in recklessly will almost always result in failure. Wait for openings before throwing out attacks and retreating until another opportunity to strike comes. Most quests have a 50-minute time limit, which is more than enough to take down any monster using decent equipment.
Observe a Monster’s Behavior
This is a must when encountering a new monster for the first time. You will have an easier time dealing with a monster if you are familiar with its tells, how long it takes for it to recover from an attack, and safe positions to strike.
Know a Monster’s Weak Points
Aiming for a monster’s weak points allows you to make every swing and shot count by dealing more damage. The head and tail are common weak points for most monsters, with a few exceptions.
Doing enough damage to a monster’s legs causes them to fall down. Dual blades are the most effective for doing this, owing to their short reach and the amount of damage they can dish out quickly.
Use Your Environment
The different locations inhabited by target monsters are filled with natural traps and critters to immobilize your target. Use them to your advantage and push on the offense when they are helpless.
Avoid Confined Spaces
Having to fight a large monster in a small area limits your movement. This makes it very difficult to avoid its attacks. Try to engage monsters out in the open as much as possible.
Take Advantage of Turf Wars (At Your Own Risk)
Monsters may sometimes fight each other when they are in the same area. This is a good opportunity to whittle down your target’s health while it is distracted. Keep in mind, however, that you are very likely to take damage by joining the scrap. This is especially true when two very large monsters are fighting.
Mounting monsters allows you to set them up for an attack that knocks them down. Monsters will struggle to get up, giving you a good amount of time to unload on it with attacks before they can retaliate.
Practice the Superman Dive
The superman dive is one of the best evasive maneuvers in the game because of its long duration of invincibility. It is extremely useful for avoiding damage at the last minute when a monster attacks.
It is, however, also important to know when to superman dive. This is because it takes a long time to get up from it, leaving you open to a monster’s follow-up attack. Get familiar with a monster’s attack patterns to know which moves are best avoided by superman diving.
Monsters that Tend to do Follow-up Attacks
Many of the game’s most dangerous monsters frequently do follow-up attacks after knocking you down. Since getting floored twice in a row will likely get you stunned, taking a third attack is usually fatal. To avoid this, do not get up immediately after getting knocked down.
Anjanath, Diablos, Deviljho, Bazelgeuse, and Nergigante are some of the monsters who tend to time follow-up attacks as you get up. Other monsters may also randomly set you up for another hit. Again, try to get a feel for a monster’s attack patterns each time you fight it.