What the Monster Hunter Rise best armor, and what sets or skills to use, can be tricky to decide because there's no catch-all answer. Everything is good at something and adapting your play style or needs is key. However, if you're just getting started with Monster Hunter Rise and you want to know which armor pieces to prioritize during the story, we can help.
You won't be able to complete Monster Hunter Rise armor sets without farming one specific monster, which takes a while if you just want to progress through the story. So we've focused on the best individual pieces you can pick along the way to give you the best protection, and Monster Hunter Rise armor skills, as fast as possible. We've also included three of the best sets for when you're ready to grind a full outfit. It's worth noting we're not including armor with a Rarity 3 rating as that's only attainable towards the end of the game anyway. This selection is designed to help you get there.
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Monster Hunter Rise armor skills explained
Every item you can wear has a Monster Hunter Rise armor skill that acts like a buff. This includes things like reducing damage taken, or increasing elemental damage. You'll get the effect simple by wearing the item in question but you can stack and increase its effects by wearing another item with the same effect, up to three times.
For example, one item with the skill Recovery Speed doubles the speed at which you heal recoverable damage. However if you wear two items with the Recovery Speed armor skill it will triple the speed you heal, and three will quadruple it. You can mix and match across sets to stack these effects. As far as a full set of matching armor goes, that will buff all your resistances to damage up to three times when you wear a full set. While a few options have some special buffs for wearing it all.
The best way to check all these Monster Hunter Rise armor skills is at the blacksmith. Talk to Hamon and choose Forge/Upgrade Armor, and then Forge Armor. If you click R3 on any piece of armor you can make, or have made, it'll show the active skill it has. From there you can click R3 again to leave that screen and check other items, or press the right bumper to see everything you have equipped and what skills stack (as shown in the screen above).
Monster Hunter Rise best armor
Monster Hunter Rise best armor, head - Rathian Helm
You may need to slay more than one Rathian to craft the helmet because it requires three Rathian Shells and a Rathian Spike, but it's worth it because it grants you protection against all elemental blights. Just the first level reduces the duration of them by 50%, followed by 75% at level two, then nullifying them all completely at level three. It also increases your Fire Resistance, which is great for the Lava Caverns and any fire-based monsters you fight off against.
- Rathian Shell 3x
- Rathian Spike 1x
- Flame Sac 2x
- Lightcrystal 2x
Monster Hunter Rise best armor, chest - Barroth Mail
Easily my favorite chestpiece, the Barroth Mail perks make it an excellent option. It simply increases both your attack and your defense, with two perks for the price of one. These go all the way up to level seven too, topping out with +10% attack and an extra bonus +10, while the defense gets +10%, a bonus +35, and +5 to all elemental resistances. Again though, a Barroth Scalp isn't a guaranteed drop from a Barroth kill, so you may have to slay a few.
- Barroth Shell 3x
- Barroth Scalp 1x
- Fertile Mud 1x
- Big Fin 2x
Monster Hunter Rise best armor, arm - Somnacanth Braces
Another armor piece with two perks on the go at once, the Somnacanth Braces are most effective when using explosive items like bomb barrels.When leveled up to the third stage, the Bombardier skill gives +30% explosive power. Then there's Divine Blessing, which has the chance to reduce how much damage you take – the maximum being 50%. It also increases your water resistance, but you'll need quite a few Somnacanth parts to craft it.
- Somnacanth Scale 3x
- Somnacanth Talon 1x
- Somnacanth Shell 1x
- Great Baggi Claw 1x
Monster Hunter Rise best armor, waist - Basarios coil
For your waist, look no further than the Basarios Coil. You may need to slay more than one Basarios to get the required materials, but when you do, you get another piece of armor with two perks rather than just one. One of these is the aforementioned Defense Boost, also seen on the Barroth Mail, so you'll become even more tanky. The other is Speed Sharpening, which speeds up weapon sharpening when using a whetstone. This might not seem hugely important, but when you're whittling away at a huge monster and constantly need to back off to sharpen your weapon again, it becomes hugely important. The third level removes three cycles from the sharpening process, making it insanely quick.
- Basarios Shell 3x
- Flame Sac 1x
- Basarios Wing 1x
- Earth Crystal 2x
Monster Hunter Rise best armor, legs - Ingot Greaves
Finally, we have the Ingot Greaves. These have a lower defense stat than the other armor pieces on this list, but it makes up for that by being easier to craft and again, by having two innate perks. Both are simple ones too; Attack Boost does exactly what it says, boosting your attack by up to +10% with a bonus +10 at level seven. The second perk, Critical Eye, increases your affinity by up to 40%, which is essentially how likely you are to land a critical hit with each weapon swing. Very useful indeed.
- Dragonite Ore 2x
- Machalite Ore 3x
- Iron Ore 3x
- Lightcrystal 1x
Monster Hunter Rise best armor sets
Later on in the game, when you're ready to farm specific monsters and grind for the materials you need to create entire sets, these are the sets we recommend you go for. The benefit you get from wearing a full set of armor is +3 to all resistances (+1 and +2 for three and four pieces from the same set respectively), so no matter which set you go for, the individual armor perks are the most important thing.
Best Monster Hunter Rise armor set for beginner level - Bone set
Make the first full set you craft after Kamura armor be the Bone set, because this does an excellent job at giving you general buffs in combat. Partbreaker makes it easier to sever large monster parts, Stamina Thief means monsters will get exhausted quicker, and Focus increases the fill/charge rate for various weapons. Muck Resistance, on the other hand, means that your mobility is less affected when stuck in monster muck or deep snow. All of these combined make it a great choice early on, and you look seriously badass and feral kitted out in full Bone armor.
Best Monster Hunter Rise armor set for mid-game - Basarios set
When you're able to take on the level four Basarios, we'd recommend slaying a few of them so you can craft the full Basarios armor set. Getting the full set will give you a very handy level four Defense Boost, which as mentioned above, is a huge help to survive during monster attacks. Speed Sharpening also features for that quick whetstone usage, while Guard reduces knockbacks and stamina depletion when guarding. Finally, Load Shells is very useful for anyone using a ranged weapon, because it improves the reloading speed.
Best Monster Hunter Rise armor set for end-game - Medium set
The Medium armor set is a unique one in that isn't based around attack or defense per se, instead focusing on supporting your teammates, making it an excellent choice for playing online. Speed Eating means you consume items much quicker, while Free Meal gives you the chance to consume a food or drink item for free. Finally, Wide-Range – which is level three by default when you have the full Medium set – means items will also affect your nearby teammates, so any time you consume something, so do they. Level that up to the fifth stage and they get the full effect of those items, rather than just a percentage at the earlier levels.