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Monster Hunter Now’s latest update proves that, in 2024, it’s still one of the best mobile games out there

New weapons, new monsters, more rewards – oh, and a Deviljho; it doesn’t get much better than this.

Monster Hunter Now header for the Vernal update
Image credit: Capcom/VG247

The whole world is holding its breath and waiting for news about Monster Hunter Wilds. And rightly so – not only is it the follow-up to Capcom’s best-selling game of all time (Monster Hunter World), it also promises to expand on the multiplayer side of the series in the same way World did. It’s got MonHun fans, old and new, pretty hot under the collar.

But it’s still quite some ways off, yet. All we know is that it’s coming in 2025. So, if your Gunlance trigger finger is getting itchy and your sword arm is hankering for a fight, you should try Monster Hunter Now – a mobile game from the makers of Pokemon Go that, honestly, I boot up at least five or six times a day.

If you’re a regular on the site, you will know I’ve beaten this drum before. A few times, in fact. But you can’t just write about a mobile game once, these days, can you? They’re living things, evolving titles that shift and morph and grow as the seasons roll by. Monster Hunter Now, of course, is no exception, and after some fairly paltry updates in the six months since it launched, we’re finally in something of a golden age thanks to the Spring Major Update.

This massive overhaul changes quite a few things. For starters, we’ve got a new weapon – one of the most unique from the whole series, no less. The Charge Blade actually transfers really well to tap-based play; it’s a highly maneuverable sword and a powerful axe, all in one. So sliding around the screen with swipes of the finger and going hard in whilst tapping on a Anjanath’s head feels great. One of the best weapons in the game, I’d say, even at this early stage (especially given the Super Amped Element Discharge can do silly damage thanks to how broken elemental damage is in the mobile title!)

Loading screen for Monster Hunter Now's Vernal update; featuring a red dragon-like wolf growling at a hunter with a sword and shield.
Even the loading screen goes hard. | Image credit: Capcom

The last major update introduced some fun fights, headlined with Zinogre, to pad out the launch roster of monsters with some more varied fights. The Major Spring Update has taken it one step further, introducing Odogaron (big angry fire wolf), Tzitzi-Ya-Ku (dinosaur-ass little pest that can blind you), and Deviljho (one of Monster Hunter’s most infamous rouges). Paired with the last update’s four monsters, there is now a packed line-up of fights to enjoy in the field – we’re a long way from the somewhat scant selection we had at launch.

For now, Deviljho can only be fought in the newly-added ‘Invasions’ feature – where it’ll chase down a monster you’ve tapped on in ‘hostile’ territory. This plays into MHNow’s core conceit: keep walking around and killing stuff. You want to fight a ‘jho? Find corrupted land, buddy. There’s no way to ape it.

I like this. I walk about 10,000 steps a day – between walking my dog and going to and from classes I take before work – and I feel like Monster Hunter Now really rewards me for getting out the house and committing to my hunts. I still have a few issues with how the difficulty scaling and massive grind work, but hey… I’m still playing daily six months after the game launched, so it’s doing something right.

It's 'jhover.Watch on YouTube

The final element of this new update that I’m all riled up for is the season pass. Yes, I know, I could hear your eyes roll from here. But hear me out; I’ve been playing for half a year, only getting occasional rewards for daily quests and some seasonal bonuses. This game is all about the grind, I’ve come to terms with that, so at least now I get some motivation to leave a trail of dead Kulu Ya-Ku in my wake between the bigger content drops.

I’ve paid for the premium pass, too. I know, I know. I’m a Now-pilled Monster cuck. But hey, I’ve extracted hours – days! – of playtime from Monster Hunter Now since launch, so droppiong £10 for a few more customisation options and a couple of incidental rewards only feels fair.

This is a game of exceptional quality, and by mobile games standards, the monetization of it really doesn’t feel all that predatory. It helps me get exercise, and enjoy the hardcore action-RPG combat of my favourite console games on the go. And the only thing it really costs me is a hefty chunk of my phone battery, every single day.

If you’ve not tried Monster Hunter Now yet, there’s no better time to jump in. Just learn to dodge and break monster parts, and you’ll be golden.

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