Monster Hunter: World has been out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One since January 26, 2018, which is just over six months ago. The casual players have gotten their taste and the hardcore have spent hundreds of hours hunting, killing, capturing, and crafting. Capcom has tightened up the game and added a host of new monsters to hunt, including some from Final Fantasy.
Now Monster Hunter: World is finally launching on PC, the third platform originally announced at the reveal. Players can pick it up on August 9. Capcom has taken the time to make sure the PC port is everything it can be, with the bells and whistles that the PC faithful expect.
That six-month wait isn't coming with a six-month discount though. If you were strong enough to hold off until now, that's not a problem, but if you're coming to PC from Xbox One or PlayStation 4, the entry fee is full price. Even beyond that, the PC version will be behind the console releases, missing updated monsters like Deviljho and Lunastra. So the question remains: Is it worth it?
Let's cover the ground rules upfront. I've been testing the PC version of Monster Hunter: World on my personal desktop, so my experiences reflect playing on that build. Here's my details so you can compare them to your own PC.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.00 GHz
- RAM: 32GB DDR3 1866 MT/s (PC3-14900)
- Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5
With that out of the way, Capcom has offered up a fairly robust PC port this time around. Part of the magic of the PC as a platform is being able to tweak the game to run just right on your system. Some publishers are a bit soft in terms of graphical options though, meaning you're stuck with a series of compromises. For the most part, Capcom has delivered here.
Here's the full list of graphic options available in Monster Hunter: World for PC.
- Screen Mode: Fullscreen, Windowed, Borderless Windowed
- Resolution: 3840x2160*, 1920x1080**
- Frame Rate (Limit, not Lock): 30, 60*, No Limit
- V-Sync: On* and Off
- Graphics: Low, Mid*, High**, Highest
Advanced Graphics Options:
- Resolution Scaling: Variable (Resolution Priority)*, Variable (Framerate Priority)**, Low, Mid, High
- Texture Quality: 256, 512, 1024**, Full*
- Ambient Occlusion: Off, Low, Mid*, High
- Volume Rendering Quality: Off, Low, Mid, High*, Highest, Variable
- Shadow Quality: Low, Mid**, High*
- Anti-Aliasing: Off, TAA*, FXAA
- LOD Bias: Low, Mid, High, Variable*
- Max LOD Level: -1, No Limit*
- Foliage Sway: Off, On*
- Subsurface Scattering: Off, On*
- Screen Space Reflection: Off, On*
- Anisotropic Filtering: Low, Mid, High*
- Water Reflection: Off, On*
- SH Diffuse Quality: Low, Mid*, High
- Dynamic Range: 32-bit*, 64-bit
- Z-Prepass: Off, On*
The single asterisk denotes the options I used for the PC 4K resolution (3840x2160) screenshots in this article. This is basically the best I could get the game to run while still operating at something I'd call playable. With these settings on my rig, the game ran around 27-28 frames per second on average, dipping as low as 20fps.
It's worth noting that Monster Hunter: World on PC does not have a way to lock the game to a specific framerate. Instead, it has limits. Ultimately, I spiked the 4K resolution, moved down to 1080p (the double asterisks above denotes the changed settings), and found a very smooth play experience. Using the Variable resolution with frame rate priority and the 60fps limit mostly gave me 60fps, but the game would occasionally dip to 59 or 58.
This is markedly better than the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. Both of those systems have multiple power utilization options: prioritize resolution, prioritize performance, or prioritize graphics. Even sticking with performance, you're not getting 60fps on either premium system: Digital Foundry found the PlayStation 4 Pro hovering at around 40fps, while the Xbox One X was only slightly higher.
This performance still comes with better image quality on PC. Draw distance is improved, foliage and shadow quality is better, and the PC version offers anti-aliasing, something that was weak on the PlayStation 4 Pro version (which even at its best isn't full 3840x2160, only 3200x1800) I had to compare it against. Again, assuming your rig can hack it, but I think messing with shadows and fog will probably prove to boost performance for folks.
The primary question you're asking yourself with the PC version of Monster Hunter: World is "How much do I care about 60fps?" With the right desktop hardware and settings, the game can hover at that 60fps sweet spot, even if it isn't the locked version I'd prefer. And if you're willing to suffer 30fps and below, the payoff is some fantastic image quality overall.
The Best of the Rest
Monster Hunter: World leans heavily on the Steam interface, utilizing the Big Picture overlay. Achievements are done through Steam, screenshots go into the Steam interface, and more importantly, the Friends List and grouping mechanics are all Steam's options. In fact, the game pulls icons from your Steam Groups to put next to your character name. The flipside of this choice is the Squad creation tools don't seem to be in-game anymore, as that's all handled within Steam Groups as far as I can tell.
There are some other weird quirks to the port. Mouse sensitivity options aren't in the starting menu; instead they're under Options>Camera in the game's pause menu. This actually bugged the hell out of me when I first started the game, as the mouse was very slow and floaty. I ended up using an Xbox One controller until I figured out where the option was. Mouse support within the game's menus overall is pretty damn good and the bowgun with mouse aiming? *mwah* Perfection.
Speaking of controllers, while you can fully rebind the keyboard commands, you can't do the same for controllers. You're stuck with the Control Type options in the pause menu, much like the console counterparts. I'd hazard that like the options above, you're expected to make any other controller binding changes within Steam's own settings, not within Monster Hunter itself.
All in all, the Steam reliance is a bit weird in some spots, but there's nothing horrible there. (Except Denuvo if that's your poison.)
I honestly can't tell you whether you should drop another $60 on Monster Hunter: World if you already purchased the game on PS4 and Xbox One. You're going to need a beefy rig right off the bat if you want 1080p resolution at 60fps with High graphics settings; I was only rocking Mid level graphics myself. If you want to jump up to High or Highest, Monster Hunter: World is going to want all the power you can feed it. And the truth of the matter is if you have that kind of rig, you're probably ready to drop $60 to get 60fps in Monster Hunter: World.
In short, good port, needs a beefy PC, and maybe see if you can't pick it up for $40-45 if you're double dipping.
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