After just about a year in PC open beta, free-to-play hunting action game Dauntless (opens in new tab) is finally launching in full for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 21. If you haven't heard of it or need to jog your memory, Dauntless is essentially a free-to-play take on Capcom's popular Monster Hunter series, but with a more cartoony, colorful art style and the implementation of a Hunt Pass for earning cosmetic items akin to Fortnite (opens in new tab)'s Battle Pass.
If you've played Monster Hunter World (opens in new tab), you should have a good idea of what to expect: hunts best enjoyed in co-op, weapons with distinct playstyles, giant enemies to take down, and rewards that let you craft increasingly powerful (and fancy) armor. The beasties you'll track and exterminate are called Behemoths, which take the form of hulking owlbears, fire-belching lizards, and much more. The launch day will also usher in a giant update that reworks Dauntless' customization, crafting, and progression systems from the Early Access and beta versions. On PC, Dauntless will be launching exclusively on the Epic Games Store, which continues to snap up titles left and right.
In terms of the microtransactions that keep a free-to-play game like Dauntless afloat, they're entirely cosmetic, such as colored dye and transmog skins for your gear. You can also plunk down $10 to access the Hunt Pass Elite tier, which has 50 ranks of progression and rewards including cosmetic gear and premium currency. The launch on May 21 will coincide with Dauntless' Hunt Pass Season 5, which is themed around a Moon Blossom Festival.
In addition to next week's launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, developer Phoenix Labs has plans for a Nintendo Switch version and cross-play functionality sometime in the future. The Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (opens in new tab) expansion isn't too far off, but if you prefer your monster hunting free of charge, or think it'd be easier to get a group of friends playing when there's no barrier to entry, Dauntless just might be your new action RPG obsession.
For more free-to-play action, check out our list of the best free games (opens in new tab) to play right now. Or see what's happening this week in games and entertainment with our latest Release Radar: