Hunter Rank is basically your level in Monster Hunter World. It measures your progress and how many monsters you have killed, or in other words how much effort you’ve put into the game.
What Does Hunter Rank Do?
Simply put: it only unlocks higher-difficulty missions.
During the story the HR is irrelevant. You automatically level up when doing a story assignment so that your Hunter Rank is high enough to play the next quest. On the quest board you’ll always see a Hunter Rank requirement on each quest, it simply gives an indication of how difficult it’s going to be.
During the Story your HR is capped at level 16. However, any excess XP you earn will be attributed to you after the final boss. So if you hit HR 16 before the story your additional XP aren’t lost, the game simply stores them for later and gives them to you then.
After the Story is when Hunter Rank starts to matter! Now the cap is removed. The only way to unlock new Assignments (Main Quests) after the story is to increase your Hunter Rank. There are a few more caps after which your HR will get stuck. To remove the cap you must play the next Assignment. So basically, Hunter Rank is what the endgame progression is based on.
Other than that it’s just for bragging rights to show off to others how experienced you are with the game and how many monsters you have slain.
What Does Hunter Rank NOT Do?
- It does not increase your health
- It does not increase your stamina
- It does not increase make your stronger in any way
- It does not increase any of your stats whatsoever
In other words, it has no positive effects on your character development other than unlocking more difficult missions which will eventually lead to better gear.
How to Increase Hunter Rank
Simply put: by killing/capturing large monsters.
That’s all there really is to it. After the story this will go quick, especially when in a group of 4 players you can kill the monsters quickly. To put things in perspective: getting from HR 16 to 17 takes roughly 2-3 large monster kills. Some may give more than others but you should test a few different monsters and see what you can kill the fastest. Even if one monster gives more XP it might take much longer to kill and thus it’s less effective to hunt.
So just keep on hunting to increase your rank and unlock new assignments after the story.