Monster Hunter World: Iceborne release date, trailer, new monsters, story, and everything we know

Whoo boy, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne looks good. On top of adding several new monsters and a whole new rank of hunts, the upcoming expansion will address feedback on various features in the main game, from difficulty to social features. It's got a new biome, an expanded story, hunter and Palico gadgets, and some sweet new gear. The wild new World is about to get wilder. Here's everything you need to know about Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.  

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne release date 

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will come to PS4 and Xbox One on September 6, 2019. It will arrive on PC in January 2020. 

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne price and pre-order details 

Current Monster Hunter World owners can get Iceborne digitally for $40. If you don't already own World, you can get the base game and Iceborne in the $60 physical Master Edition or $80 Deluxe Master Edition. Pre-ordering Iceborne in any form will net you a new layered armor set as well as some emotes and cosmetics. Here's what all that looks like:  

New monsters?  

For a full breakdown on the confirmed new monsters and the ones we're expecting (and desperately hoping) to see, check out our Monster Hunter World: Iceborne monsters guide. Iceborne is slated to significantly expand World's roster of beasties. We've got some returning fan-favorites, some all-new monsters (and an Elder Dragon), and even a few new subspecies. With Master Rank on the way, existing monsters will also receive new attacks, so the whole roster will get a refresh on top of an expansion. 

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Rank explained 

Monsters aside, the biggest addition in Iceborne is Master Rank, a new tier of quests. Master Rank is equivalent to G-Rank in previous Monster Hunter games; it is to High Rank what High Rank is to Low Rank. It's a new level of difficulty featuring all-new monsters as well as stronger versions of old monsters, many of them packing additional attacks and abilities unique to Master Rank. Naturally, these monsters reward Master Rank-quality items which you can use to craft stronger weapons and armor. Remember that rush of excitement you felt when you reached High Rank and saw the expanded crafting tree? Yeah, get ready to feel that all over again and then some.  

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne new weapon attacks and hunting actions 

Monsters aren't the only ones getting new tricks in Iceborne, mind you. We hunters are also getting some new hunting actions and attacks. For starters, once Iceborne is out, all weapons - not just the sword and shield - will be able to fire their slinger while their weapon is out. No more clunky cycles of sheathing, slinging, and unsheathing. 

On top of that, we're getting a new slinger attachment called the Clutch Claw. Think of it as a grappling hook you can use to latch onto monsters and unleash special attacks. Some weapons can deal heavy damage after grappling onto a monster, others can hit weak points to force the monster to drop special slinger ammo (don't think too hard about that, just roll with it), and some can weave the Clutch Claw into new combos on the ground. 

All 14 weapons are getting new maneuvers utilizing the slinger and Clutch Claw in Iceborne. Here's a quick-and-dirty look at each: 

Heavy weapons  

  • Great Sword: fire slinger ammo after a level one charge to go straight into a super-buffed true charge slash. 
  • Hammer: fire slinger ammo while charging your hammer. Unleash the beloved sliding spin attack by grappling onto a monster.
  • Lance: fire slinger ammo while guarding, and use the Clutch Claw after a counter to grapple.
  • Gunlance: load slinger ammo into your gunlance to fire a buffed wyrmstake. 
  • Heavy Bowgun: fire your heavy bowgun's special ammo after using the Clutch Claw. Add a long-range scope mod to deal heavy damage from very far away. 

Light weapons 

  • Sword and Shield: unload all your slinger ammo in one heavy burst, or fire individual shots after any attack to string together all-new combos, including some incorporating the Clutch Claw. 
  • Dual Blades: fire slinger ammo while dodging, and deploy the Clutch Claw mid combo for a flashy aerial attack.
  • Longsword: fire slinger ammo in between spirit slashes, then use your Clutch Claw to pick up more slinger ammo and refuel. Sheathe your sword to prepare for an Iai slash, a new type of counter which (seemingly) ups your spirit gauge. 
  • Light Bowgun: attach Wyvernblast mines to monsters after grappling onto them with the Clutch Claw. Attach an evade mod to reload one round every time you dodge. 

Technical weapons 

  • Switch Axe: fire slinger ammo mid-combo for a different axe-mode finisher. 
  • Charge Blade: use the rapid 'savage axe' slash to quickly dish out multiple phial attacks. 
  • Insect Glaive: use your Clutch Claw mid-air to launch a slick dive attack. Use slinger ammo to buff your Kinsect so it can pick up multiple extracts at once. 
  • Hunting Horn: launch new sound wave attacks to stun monsters, and play special songs to place bubbles that provide lingering buffs for you and your team. 
  • Bow: attach your slinger ammo to your arrows to launch a dramatically named "Thousand Dragons" shot.  

Oh, and did I mention we'll also be able to ride small monsters to get around the map? We won't be able to fight large monsters while riding them or anything - Golden Axe this ain't - but it's still a neat little feature.  

What's the Monster Hunter World: Iceborne story about? 

Iceborne will feature several familiar faces, including your handler, the tracker, and several fleet masters, but it's set in, well, a whole new world: Hoarfrost Reach. You'll follow a pack of migrating (or fleeing?) Legiana to this frozen biome in order to find out what's disturbing the ecosystem this time. From the sound of things, this also affects familiar biomes like the Ancient Forest and Wildspire Wastes. That said, Hoarfrost Reach is the focus of Iceborne. There, you'll help establish Seliana headquarters, which Capcom says will "ensure even easier accessibility to each of the facilities" like the smithy and canteen.  

 New social features and difficulty options in Iceborne 

Iceborne is as much about hunters as it is monsters. Capcom's looking to improve the way players hunt together by breaking down barriers in multiplayer, starting with the new Gathering Hub in Seliana. The new Gathering Hub will cut down on loading screens by putting the smithy, botanical garden, and resource center right in the Hub, which is something players have been asking for since World's launch. 

You'll also get to spend more quality time with your companions thanks to the new bath and sauna social spaces, in addition to customizable Seliana rooms which you can show to friends. A proper photo mode is also coming in Iceborne, though it will only let you pose in the hub and seemingly won't be available mid-hunt. Finally, Squads are getting new invite cards which will make it easier to recruit hunters. 

Perhaps most importantly, co-op play is getting a much-needed addition in Iceborne: two-player difficulty scaling. Right now, hunting with just two people is practically a handicap since the difficulty automatically scales for either one or four players. But thanks to the new two-player co-op difficulty and dynamic difficulty scaling - which will adjust difficulty on the fly when people leave or join a hunt - you'll be able to hunt however you like without worrying about effectiveness. 

Monster hunter World: Iceborne New Palico gadgets 

Palicoes are getting some new tricks too, and they'll be especially relevant in Iceborne since co-op hunters can bring their Palicoes with them. Capcom says existing Palico gadgets like traps and the plunderer boomerang will receive an upgrade, and the cats are also getting some brand-new gizmos to play with. The Shieldspire Stooge deploys a doll which will attract a monster's attention, the Meowcano lays down a barrage of firebombs, and the new Vigorwasp can instantly revive you after a faint. Palicoes will be working harder than ever, so be sure to give your feline friend lots of love back in Seliana.