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Monster Hunter World Armor - How to Forge Armor, Upgrade to High Rank Armor, Best Armor in Monster Hunter World

In this Monster Hunter World guide, we'll walk you through how to capture a monster, how to use the Insect Glaive, and how to use both the Botanical and Ecological Research Centers, and how to understand the Monster Hunter World armor range.

Guide by Hirun Cryer, .

All throughout Monster Hunter World, you’re going to be encountering various vicious beasts in the new world, for which you’ll obviously need the best protection for. In this Monster Hunter World armor guide, we’ll be walking you through how to unlock High Rank Monster Hunter World armor, upgrade your existing armor, as well as revealing the current best Monster Hunter World armor.

If you should instead need anything else on Monster Hunter World, including how to use the Scoutflies to track monsters, as well as how to customise your quick access items, head over to our Monster Hunter World guides walkthrough hub.

Monster Hunter World Armor Guide

Monster Hunter World armor sets are comprised of five items: headgear, mail, gloves, belt, and trousers. At the start of Monster Hunter World, you’re limited to the option of two sets: Leather, or Chainmail.

Monster Hunter World Armor Strengths

Every Monster Hunter World armor set has their strengths and weaknesses, and just below, we’ve outlined every armor set we’ve uncovered so far, including their strengths in certain areas:

  • Leather - Strong against Fire.
  • Chainmail - Strong against Water.
  • Hunter’s - Strong against Fire and Water.
  • Bone - Strong against Fire, Thunder, and Dragon.
  • Kestadon - Strong against Fire.
  • Jagras - Strong against Fire and Dragon.
  • Kulu - Strong against Fire and Ice.
  • Alloy - Strong against Water and Dragon.
  • Pukei - Strong against Water and Dragon.
  • Barroth - Strong against Thunder.
  • Jyura - Strong against Water and Ice.
  • Kadachi - Strong against Thunder.
  • High Metal - Strong against Ice.
  • Anja - Strong against Fire.
  • Rathian - Strong against Fire.
  • Lumu - Strong against Water and Ice.
  • Girros - Strong against Thunder and Dragon.
  • Baan - Strong against Water.
  • Ingot - Strong against Thunder.
  • Legiana - Strong against Ice and Water.
  • Odogaron - Strong against Fire and Water.

How to Unlock New Armor in Monster Hunter World

You unlock the ability to forge each of the above Monster Hunter World armor sets at the Smithy by defeating the respective monsters. For example, to forge the Anja gear you’ll need to kill an Anjanath, and to unlock the Jagras gear you’ll need to hunt down and defeat a Great Jagras. You can mix and match different items from different gear sets, so you could have a Anja Helm, with Jyura Mail, Barroth Vambraces, Chainmail Belt, and Alloy Greaves.

It’s best to properly assess your target monster before deciding on which gear set to go with. If you’re taking on a Tobi-Kadachi, you’ll want a gear set that specialises in Thunder defence, but if you’re taking on an Anjanath, you’ll want armor items that protect you against fire. The best hunters in Monster Hunter World will mix and match their gear to create a fairly balanced defense, or change their gear based on which monster they happen to be hunting at the time.

How to Upgrade Your Monster Hunter World Armor

You upgrade your existing Monster Hunter World armor at the Smithy in the Workshop, the exact same place at which you forge new armor. Upgrading your armor is a slightly more complex process than forging new armor, as you’ll have to put Armor Sphere items towards upgrading your existing gear.

Unfortunately, Armor Spheres don’t come around that often, and you’re rewarded with a single Armor Sphere item for every quest you complete. Therefore, you’ll have to potentially save up your Armor Spheres, as one Armor Sphere doesn’t necessarily equate to one level increase for a piece of armor.

Every standard armor item begins at level one, with a predetermined defense rating, which gauges how well protected you are against all monster attacks. Every time you successfully upgrade an armor item, it’ll increase the defense rating of the item by two points. Therefore, you need to choose to either spend your Armor Spheres on lower level items to give them a boost, or save them for when you obtain higher level armor like the Barroth armor, which requires multiple Armor Spheres in order to level up once.

Monster Hunter World Best Armor

The truth is that there likely isn’t one ‘best’ Monster Hunter World armor set, as every single type of armor in the game has deficiencies in some areas. For example, as powerful as the Barroth armor is, you’ll get roasted (literally) if you go up against the fire-breathing Anjanath wearing it, as it’s an incredibly weak armor set to wear against fire-type monsters.

With that being said, we'd honestly recommend the Odogaron armor as one of the best sets in Monster Hunter World, not only because of its supreme defense rating of 156, but also because of its other statistical bonuses. The full armor set will add a stun effect to draw attacks, increase your overall attack power, protect you against bleeding, reduces stamina depletion, and increases defense.

You can unlock the Odogaron gear for crafting at the Smithy by slaying an Odogaron in the Rotting Vale region of Monster Hunter World. On top of all the bonuses we've listed above for the set, it also has +10 ratings for protection against both Fire and Water, making it one of the more versatile armor sets in the game.

Monster Hunter World Armor - How to Unlock High Rank Armor in Monster Hunter World

If it looks like you’ve already obtained the very best Monster Hunter World armor, than don’t worry, because there’s a whole lot more to uncover once you’ve sent the Zorah Magdaros back out to sea. After you’ve successfully completed the Colossal Task mission, which sees the Fifth Fleet band together to stop the Zorah Magdaros, you’ll unlock the mission to track a mysterious monster across the Ancient Forest, Wildspire Waste, Coral Highlands, and Rotten Vale.

When you get sent out to these locations with the goal of finding track of the ‘??? Rathian’, you’ll unlock the ability to craft High Rank armor. Head to the Smithy in the Workshop level of the Astera hub area, and select the ‘Armor’ option within the ‘Forge Equipment’ menu. You’ll now have a new tab at the top of the page, dividing the creatable armor into two categories: Low Rank and High Rank. It turns out the armor you’ve been crafting up to taking down the Zorah Magdaros has all been Low Rank, and concludes with the Diablos armor set.

The High Rank armor basically makes you begin again from scratch, starting with Leather A and B, and Chainmail A and B sets, and working your way up from there, unlocking the ability to craft new High Rank armor sets with each new monster that you defeat. So, if you want to craft the High Rank Barroth armor sets, you’re going to have to venture out and defeat a Barroth in the Wildspire Waste.

If you attempt to head out on an Expedition, you’ll now see a new option, similar to that of crafting armor at the Smithy. You’ll now see that you have the option to undertake either Low Rank or High Rank Expeditions to each region of Monster Hunter World, and whenever you toggle between the two options, you’ll see that different monsters are present in the same region. For example in the Ancient Forest, you’ll come up against the Pukei-Pukei, Anjanath, and Rathalos on the Low Rank, and Great Jagras, Rathian, and Bazelgeuse on the High Rank version of the region.

We’d recommend venturing out into each Monster Hunter World region in a High Rank Expedition, to see what monsters you encounter. Try challenging yourself against powerful monsters like the Rathian and Bazelgeuse, and you’ll be rewarded with the ability to craft the corresponding High Rank armor at the Smithy.

This might bring an end to our Monster Hunter World armor guide, but head over to our complete weapons guide page, or our guide on taking down the Odogaron.

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