Monster Hunter Rise gets 3 Elder Dragons, layered armor, Apex hunts, and a roadmap of things to come

Monster Hunter Rise title update 1 is coming later today (early tomorrow morning in the UK and Europe), and it's packing three new Elder Dragons and some highly requested features like layered armor and normal Apex hunts. 

Capcom unveiled the update during today's digital Monster Hunter event, which also yielded a quick rundown on the upgraded combat for Monster Hunter Stories 2 (you can watch the new trailer for that game here). Stories 2 will come to Switch on July 9. 

The first big Monster Hunter Rise update is led by three returning Elder Dragons: Kushala Daora and Teostra, who we last saw in Monster Hunter World, and Chameleos, who we haven't seen for a few years. It's also got two new Apex monsters: Apex Diablos, based on the deviant monster Bloodbath Diablos from Monster Hunter Generations, and Apex Rathalos, based on Dreadwing Rathalos. 

Apex Diablos and Apex Rathalos will be tied to Rampage quests for now, but we'll be able to fight the existing Apex monsters in normal hunts after the update, letting you take them on solo or with some buddies but without the aid of Rampage installations. That includes Apex Arzuros, Apex Rathian, and Apex Mizutsune. These are based on deviant monsters of their own – Redhelm Arzuros, Dreadqueen Rathian, and Soulseer Mizutsune respectively – so expect some wild new attacks compared to their base forms. 

This update will remove the hunter rank cap, and you'll need to further raise your rank to unlock some of these new monsters, not to mention special event quests, advanced Rampage quests, arena quests, and solo challenge quests. Thankfully, these event quests will be available at any time once you download them, whereas Monster Hunter World rotated limited-time event quests. 

According to a not-so-subtle tweet from Capcom Europe community manager Socks, we can expect at least one more new monster beyond these five in this update. 

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All of these new monsters and quests will add a ton of gear to the game, and on top of improving your armor skills, you'll be able to use those armor sets to step up your fashion game with layered armor. This is Monster Hunter's version of transmog, and it'll become available in Rise as soon as you unlock your hunter rank. You'll need to earn outfit vouchers before making layered armor, but the good news is that every armor set in the game will immediately be available as a layered option, whereas Monster Hunter World and Iceborne rolled out layered armor in batches. That said, some event quests will add special layered armor in the future. 

Speaking of cosmetics: title update 1 will introduce character edit vouchers which let you totally remake your character. Everyone will get one voucher for free, but any additional vouchers will need to be purchased on the Nintendo eShop. Another bundle of cosmetics like layered armor, buddy outfits, hairstyles, and voice packs will also arrive on Wednesday. 

To round things out, Capcom offered a brief roadmap of the content still to come. The next big update, Rise version 3.0, is scheduled for the end of May and will add a new story chapter that resolves the cliffhanger we're currently stuck with. Naturally, there are "several new monsters" in this update as well, and I'd wager that at least one of them is a super-sized boss on par with the current final boss. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.