Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin battle guide — Take down monsters faster with these tips

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Zamtrios
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Zamtrios (Image credit: iMore)

Despite its colorful character designs and silly moments, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is actually a rather complicated RPG that requires a lot of strategic thinking. In fact, if you're not paying attention, you can miss out on an important opportunity or your opponent can get the better of you. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to become a better battler.

These complexities help make Monster Hunter Stories 2 one of the best Nintendo Switch games out there. There's a lot to cover so let's dive right in.

Battle basics

In order to efficiently defeat opponents, you'll need to note Attack Types, Weapons/Armor, Weapon Types, Breakable Monster Parts, and Elements. I'll go over important battle tips to keep in mind while making your way through this adventure.

Attack Type System Rock, Paper, Monster

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Attack Types (Image credit: iMore)

Battles basically follow a Rock, Paper, Scissors format, with each Monster having one of three different Attack Types that they favor most: Power, Speed, or Technical.

  • Power beats Technical
  • Technical beats Speed
  • Speed beats Power

Element chart Weapons, armor, and monsters

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Legiana Downed (Image credit: iMore)

Monster elemental weaknesses aren't as set in stone in Monster Hunter Stories as they are in other creature collection games, but in general, this is how things go. Just remember that there are several exceptions to these rules.

Check your in-game Field Guide or your Equipment menu for more details on each Monster or gear's resistances and weaknesses.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ElementStrong againstWeak against

Head-to-Head One-on-one battle

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Head To Head Winning (Image credit: iMore)

If a monster is targeting you and you target it back, a Head-to-Head occurs. Whoever has the winning Attack Type deals more damage, but will still take some small amount of damage from their opponent. If you both have the same Attack Type, you'll both get injured.

That means that if a monster is targeting you, it's a good idea to target it back to hopefully minimize the damage it deals. Of course, there are instances where more than one opponent will target you and damage is unavoidable.

Double Attacks Two-on-one battle

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Double Attack (Image credit: iMore)

If you and an NPC companion or one of your Monsties target the same monster while it's targeting one of you, a Double Attack occurs. Whoever uses the winning Attack Type will deal incredible damage to the other side while escaping completely unscathed.

The ability to inflict damage without taking any damage is why it's so important to swap out Monsties for one with the best Attack Type against your current opponent during each turn (more on that to come).

Skills & Kinship Gauge Powered up friendship

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Joint Attack (Image credit: iMore)

You'll notice a circular gauge near the bottom of the screen that fills with blue light as you battle. Each time you land successful attacks this gauge fills a little. If you and/or your Monstie completes a successful Head-to-Head or Double Attack the gauge will fill a lot more. This is the Kinship Gauge, and it can be used in a few different ways.

Ways to spend Kinship Gauge points

  • Rider Skills: First off, you as a Monster Rider have a number of skills at your disposal and they each take a different amount of Kinship Gauge points to complete. These skills can be one of the three Attack Types or they can boost your team's stats.
  • Ride: This allows you to mount your Monstie during battle. If you manage to stay mounted while you continue to land normal attacks, your Kinship Gauge will continue to go up, but it caps at Kinship Level 3. The higher the Kinship Gauge, the more powerful attacks you can land.
  • Kinship Skill: If you're mounted on your Monstie already then you can choose to use a Kinship Skill against your enemies. Every Monstie can perform a unique attack with you; some only target one monster while other Kinship Skills target all of your opponents and deal massive damage. This also heals any of your teammates on the field and negates your enemy's attack completely. As such, it's a good idea to save it for when you think a strong enemy could pull out its most powerful move.
  • Double Kinship: If you have an NPC companion and they also use their Kinship skill on the same turn as you, you'll all do a massive amount of damage to your opponent. As before, this also heals everybody on your side of the field and negates your opponent's attack completely. Use it strategically to get the upper hand on your enemies.

Special Situations Dueling time

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Special Situation Clash (Image credit: iMore)

At random points during battle, your Monstie might go off on a duel with one of the opposing monsters. You'll need to be paying attention and take the right actions in order to win these confrontations. Winning can help fill your Kinship Gauge.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Special SituationHow to win
Power ClashRapidly tap A to make your Monster win the Clash.
Air ShowdownAlternate pressing L and R to make your Monster fly faster and win the Showdown.
Breath BlastRotate the Right Joystick in circles to win the blast off.

Scoring system Get more goodies

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Results Score (Image credit: iMore)

After every battle, you'll be taken to a Results page that tallies up points you received for various actions completed during battle. It then awards you with items based on your score — the higher the score the better the items. Whenever your score totals 500 or more you will get the best score, an S Rank. Doing well in battle helps you afford armor, weapons, or upgrades.

Some ways to score points:

  • Win a Head-to-Head
    (50 pts each)
  • Mount your Monstie
    (50 pts each)
  • Never get defeated in a Head-to-Head
    (75 pts)
  • Use a Kinship Skill
    (50 pts each)
  • Use a Skill
    (50 pts each)
  • Defeating the enemy on a Double Attack
    (75 pts)

Monster Management Attack patterns, eggs, & leveling up

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Monsters (Image credit: iMore)

During a battle, monsters primarily attack with their main Attack Type and will act on their own without your instruction. Therefore, you'll want to choose a Monstie with an Attack Type that beats your opponent's Attack Type.

The monsters in your party all gain points after a battle regardless if they actually fought. So, if you're trying to raise a monster's level, just having it in your party is enough. You'll need to take advantage of each Monstie's skills, Attack Type, and Element (if it has one).

During the course of battle, your opponent might become angry or, in the case of some monsters, might change forms. When this happens it's a good bet the Attack Type it uses will change as well. Pay attention to each monster's patterns and plan your attacks accordingly.

A Monster's Attack Type is not listed during battle. To figure out its Attack Type, you'll need to pay attention to the attacks it makes in battle and then remember that Attack Type each time you see that particular Monster after that.

Switching Monsties Monster attack patterns

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Nargacuga (Image credit: iMore)

During your turn, you can switch out a Monstie and change your weapon once each before making your attack. Use this opportunity to evaluate what you think your opponent's attack will be and then decide if you need to swap out your current Monstie for one that is more likely to land a strong attack against it.

Pro Tip: Use these hotkeys in battle to make things go faster:

  • Y Button: Brings up quick Monstie Swap menu during battles.
  • X Button: Brings up quick Weapon Swap menu during battles.

Monsters make their own decisions in battle (for the most part), but as I said before, they do tend to land attacks that match their Attack Type. So you just have to make sure you're careful about which Monsties you bring into battle based on your opponent's Attack Type and then figure out your avatar's actions.

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Palico Farmer (Image credit: iMore)

If you want to change the team members in your party, you'll need to head to a village and talk to your Stable Paw (cat in farmer clothes). Talking to this Palico is also how you initiate the Rite of Channeling, which allows you to permanently improve your Monstie's genes, thus making them stronger in battle.

Rite of Channeling & Genes Frankenstein's Monsties

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Rite Of Channeling Gene (Image credit: iMore)

By taking advantage of the game's gene-altering mechanics via the Rite of Channeling, you can make your Monsties stronger or can even give them attacks that their species don't usually have. To get started, just talk to your farmer Palico at the stables.

To learn more about this feature, check out our Monster Hunter Stories 2 Rite of Channeling guide.

Best Monstie team Monstars

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Riding Velociprey (Image credit: iMore)

There are 125 hatchable Monsties in Monster Hunter Stories and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. In order to have a balanced team, try to have two of each Attack Type and one of each element in your party. That way you'll always be prepared no matter what enemy you face.

Some Monsties have Riding Actions like Swim, Rock Breaker, or Fly that help you reach other areas of the overworld map. It's a good idea to at least have Monsties that can Jump, Ivy Climb, and Swim as these were the most often used Riding Actions I encountered.

Weapons & Armor Protect & Attack

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Swapping Weapons Axe (Image credit: iMore)

In addition to Attack Type, you need to pay attention to your armor and weapons when going into battle. Often, the last big monster boss you fought will give you the monster parts needed to forge new armor and weapons needed to take down the next big monster. Talk to a Blacksmith in any town to forge or upgrade your gear.

Just like the monsters they came from, your armor will have elemental weaknesses and resistances. Plan which items to use based on what kind of enemies you're facing. If you keep dying, it might be because your gear is ineffective against this particular opponent.

Weapon Type Pierce, and Slash, and Blunt, oh my

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Swapping Weapons (Image credit: iMore)

There are six different weapons in Monster Hunter Stories 2, each with different strengths, weaknesses, and focuses. Whenever you're in a battle, different parts of a monsters body will break faster if you use the right weapon type against it (as indicated by the gauge that shows up below the monster's health).

You can have up to three weapons on you at any time, I suggest you have one of each weapon type or you might find yourself in a rough spot. Choose your weapons based on your preferred fighting styles:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Bow Pierce-typeCapable of afflicting abnormal statuses. Use a charge skill for a higher chance of afflicting your opponent with an abnormal status with your next attack. There is also a chance to follow up your attack with a power shot.
Great Sword Slash-typeAttack-focused fighting style. Charge skills level up the Charge Gauge, enabling the use of even stronger skills.
Gunlance Pierce-typeFires shells at opponents. You get more ammo with each turn. Winning a Head-to-Head earns you extra ammo. The amount of ammo determines which skills can be activated. Use a skill to win a Head-to-Head for a big charge to the Kinship Gauge, but normal attacks won't fill the Gauge.
Hammer Blunt-typeGreat for breaking monster parts. Winning a Head-to-Head levels up the Charge Gauge, enabling use of even stronger skills. Also comes with skills that are especially effective against opponents afflicted with abnormal statuses.
Hunting Horn Blunt-typeOptimized for team support. Besides regular attacks, it comes with a variety of skills for supporting allies. The skills available to you depend on the horn's melody.
Sword & Shield Slash-typeStrikes a good balance between attack and defense. Enables the use of heavy-hitting Slash-type skills while also reducing the damage you take. Some skills block or parry attacks.

Breaking Monster Parts Give me a break

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Zamtrios Defeated (Image credit: iMore)

Some monsters can be attacked in more than one area of their body and some weapons will be better at damaging a given area than others. For instance, when fighting a Gypceros you can attack the head, tail, or stomach. While a Great Sword is ideal for attacking the stomach and tail, a Bow is actually the most efficient way to injure the head.

Breaking certain parts of a monster can prevent it from performing certain attacks during the rest of the fight, stop it from performing an attack it was about to use, and might even temporarily stun the monster. Anytime a monster is stunned, the attacks you and your team land will all be critical hits until the monster gets up again.

Additional battle aids

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Arzuros (Image credit: iMore)

Strategizing with elements, weapons, monsters, and armor alone might not be good enough in some situations. Talk to a merchant in town or open the main menu and combine items together to get the things you need.

You can also get additional stat boosts and assistance with the use of items, prayers, and charms.

Items Traps and potions and stat boosters oh my!

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Items (Image credit: iMore)

Monster Hunter games are known for their extensive items, and Stories is no different. You can use items to increase your Monsties' stats (both permanently and temporarily), to heal your team, or to protect your team.

I personally recommend having at least 10 of the best potions in stock whenever leaving the safety of a city. Lifesoot and Lifepowder heal all party members while both Heart Churros and Vital Essences can help you regain a heart that has been broken.

There are also a few traps that you can place in front of you and your teammates during battles. If a monster uses specific attacks while charging towards the trap, they will get injured instead of hurting you or your friends. Strategize to make the most out of them.

Some item's sole purpose is to be sold at shops to give you Zenny, the in-game currency. Make sure you sell these often so you can afford your upgrades.

Prayers & Charms Make fighting easier

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Prayer Pot (Image credit: iMore)

In each village, you'll find a creepy orange Prayer Pot with teeth. It's usually found near the Quest Board. You can offer free prayers to boost your stats a little and can also offer charms to greatly increase your stats. Both a prayer and a charm can be active at the same time.

The more you interact with it, the more prayers you'll unlock. Make sure to interact with this pot before heading into a difficult battle.

Good luck out there

There's a lot to keep in mind when fighting in Monster Hunter Stories 2. Hopefully, these battle tips will help you make it through your journey more efficiently.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.