Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a Monster Hunter game, so you’re understandably going to be doing a lot of monster fighting. Combat in the game isn’t an immensely complicated affair, but there’s a lot of subtlety to it, plus there’s plenty to keep in mind on account of the fact that you’re going to be working with an AI partner during turn-based battles as much as you are. As such, I’m going to break down the ins and outs of combat in the game, starting with the rock-paper-scissors-esque attack types and then going more into how you can use the AI to your advantage.
Every monster in Monster Hunter Stories 2 has an attack type. There’s power, technical, and speed, which are designated as red, green, and blue. Power attacks are weak to speed, but strong against technical. Technical attacks are weak to power, but strong against speed. Finally, speed attacks are weak to technical, but strong against power. After a dozen hours or so in the game, you’ll get a sixth monster in your party. It’s best to have two monsters of each type with you at all times for combat flexibility. Otherwise, you’ll end up having monsters take large amounts of damage in head-to-head attacks.
Head-to-head attacks occur when two characters attack each other simultaneously. It’ll be clearly denoted when two AI-controlled characters are about to enter a head-to-head with one another. When a normal attack is used against an enemy outside of a head-to-head, it plays out much like any other turn-based affair. The character strikes them. The head-to-head attacks are where the attack types matter most. Whenever two characters enter into one, they both get damaged. If the same attack type is used, it ends up in a draw. If not, the character with the weakness takes more damage. How much damage will, of course, depend on attack and defense as well.
Your weakness is strong
Dealing with head-to-heads with your Rider is, of course, the easy part. You have complete control over their every action, so it’ll be your fault if you end up getting the short end of the stick in head-to-heads. However, the game doesn’t merely hand enemy behavior to you on a silver platter. The general rule is that all enemy monsters always lead with their natural attack type. If they’re attacking and in a normal state, you can be sure that you can use the right counterattack.
Naturally, it’s not that simple. Monster Hunter Stories 2 doesn’t constantly tell you what a specific monster is weak to, so you’ll either have to memorize, write down, or watch their early attacks if you don’t know or remember what their type is. Monsters all have agitated states as well, where their attack type switches to something else. This works exactly like their standard, but it’s another thing you’ll need to take note of. When a monster grows agitated, you’ll have to switch your monster to a more appropriate one. Likewise, when it stops, you’ll have to switch them back.
Matters are complicated by the fact that, while you have complete control of your Rider, you only have partial control over your selected monster. You can only tell them what to do when you’ve got the appropriate skill points accrued through normal battle. Using the skills tab on the menu allows you to utilize all of a monster’s skills for a price, but you can’t use this to choose their normal attack. Instead, whenever you don’t use a monster’s skill, they act independently. This creates problems, hence the need for having two monster of each type in your party.
Against the grain
Just because a monster is of a certain type doesn’t mean that they’ll have a skill of the same type in their genes. Skills each have one of the three attack types, but there’s a lot of variance in regards to what skills they’ll have. Just because an enemy monster is about to attack yours, that doesn’t mean they’ll make the right choice to counteract it. You can have a power type about to have a head-to-head with a technical type, only for said power type to use a speed skill and get massively hurt. But there are ways around this.
For your monsters and your allies, Monster Hunter Stories 2 will always tell you what they’re going to use during the next turn. It won’t necessarily tell you who it’s going to use it on, but you still won’t be surprised as long as you pay attention. If you see something akin to the above scenario taking place, you’ll want to use a skill that the enemy is weak to. If you don’t have one, switch to another monster. If you don’t have any skill points to use, there’s a good chance that switching to a monster of the same type as the one that’s currently making a terrible decision will result in them using their default attack, thus winning the head-to-head. Also, if you and your monster both use the same type of attack on the same monster simultaneously, you’ll execute a double attack for extra damage.
If you or your monster loses all their HP, you lose a heart. Lose all three and you get kicked back to the region’s camp. You’ll often have buddies with their own monsters that have separate hearts. Typically, they’ll be okay no matter what during story-based hunts. But they can weigh you down during tougher optional fights. However, you have no control over them whatsoever, so their success in head-to-heads will be entirely out of your hands.
During battles, you can also swap between weapons, which will be necessary, as Monster Hunter Stories 2 will tell you when a weapon is effective against certain monster parts. Different monster parts allow them to utilize abilities, so it’s often important to focus on breaking them to limit their attacks. Different weapons have different skills, but it’ll boil down to personal preference. It’s a good idea to have three different types of weapon equipped at all times, though, as you don’t want to be caught barely doing any damage to a monster’s parts during a fight. That’s all for our combat tips, but I hope you’ve been able to glean some helpful information.