This Monster Hunter World Iceborne Guiding Lands Walkthrough will explain what to do after the story in the guiding lands. The guiding lands is Iceborne’s endgame with new exclusive monsters and materials.
After defeating the final boss in the main story of MHW Iceborne you will reach the Guiding Lands. The game doesn’t make it clear what to do after the story and just leaves you to it. If you’re going for all trophies, you may be wondering why you’re missing the one for slaying Ruiner Nergigante after the story. The Guiding Lands are the key to this. It will still spawn new endgame story assignments here, the game just never explains to you how to trigger them. You will spend a lot of time in the Guiding Lands, be prepared for more than a 100 hour grind to encounter all monsters and finish the post-story assignments.
What are the Guiding Lands?
The Guiding Lands are an endgame area which combines parts of the 4 main areas from the main game. There is a part based on the Ancient Forest, Wildspire Waste, Coral Highlands and Rotten Vale. This area could also be called an endless hunting area. There will be 3 monsters roaming the map at all times and by slaying / capturing one, a new one will appear shortly afterward.
How to level up Guiding Lands areas
Each area has its own progress bar which you can view at any time by looking at your map. Earning progress for each area can be achieved by:
- Capturing / Slaying a monster
- Collecting tracks
- Breaking parts of a monster
- Using a trap on a monster
- Experiencing a turf war
Basically everything granting you Research Points levels up an area. However, leveling up one area will lower the progress in another one. The progress losing rate is pretty inconsistent, though. It is hard to tell how much progress gets lost for one area for slaying a monster in another one.
After unlocking Guiding Lands each region will have a level cap of 4. You can, however, remove the cap by finishing following assigned quests:
- “Sleep Now in the Fire” – unlocks at MR49 and removes the MR cap there, as well as raises the Guiding Lands level limit to 5
- “Big Burly Bash” – unlocks at MR69 and removes the MR cap there, as well as raises the Guiding Lands level limit to 6
- “To the Very Ends with You” – unlocks at MR99 and removes the MR cap there, as well as raises the Guiding Lands level limit to 7, which is the max level
Which monsters appear in each Guiding Lands area?
Between level 1 and 4 each area will be having monster typical for it. Ancient Forest will start with Jagras, Pukei-Pukei etc. and Coral Highlands with Paolumu, Legiana etc. The higher the level, the stronger the monsters will be which appear in the area.
At level 4 tempered monster will begin appearing in the area, at level 5 elder dragons and at level 7 tempered elder dragons.
New exclusive Guiding Lands Monsters that didn’t appear in the main story
When reaching the Guiding Lands you will be greeted by a cutscene introducing a very beloved by the fans monster: Zinogre. Additionally, each area hides at least one new monster for you to discover. The unique monsters are as following:
- Zinogre – can be fought there for the first time by completing your first special track
- Yian Garuga – an assigned quest will appear for him when reaching level 3 in the Ancient Forest area
- Scarred Yian Garuga – will first appear in Ancient Forest Region at Level 6 (only has a tempered form)
- Gold Rathian – will first appear in Wildspire Waste Region at Level 6
- Silver Rathalos – will first appear in Coral Highlands Region at Level 6
- Brute Tigrex – will first appear in Rotten Vale Region at Level 6
Encountering the monster in the Guiding Lands will also unlock the ability to gain Investigations for those monsters.
Guiding Lands Special Tracks Explained
One of your objectives in the Guiding Lands is collecting Special Tracks. Those will have their own progress bar in your upper right corner of the screen. The bar will tell you a type of monster: brute, flying, bird, etc. Your first one will be granted automatically.
Guaranteed Special Tracks:
- Finding signs of a turf war the Guiding Lands guarantees you a new special tracks bar or progress for your existing one, if the type of the monster is the same (if your progress bar is for Flying Wyverns and the sign would have started the same type, you get progress for your existing one instead of a new one)
- Defeating a tempered monster guarantees you a complete progress bar (it either fills one of your existing bars or simply gives you a finished one instead)
Optional Special Tracks:
Basically anything you do in the Guiding Lands can give you a new track:
- Breaking Parts
- Capturing a monster
- Slaying a monster
- Looting bonepiles or mining
- Collecting tracks
By doing one of the following you will sometimes get a track randomly, but it’s very rare.
How the tracks investigation bar is filled:
A progress bar can have between 3 and 6 dots, ending with a claw symbol. If a bar is for Flying Wyvern, breaking a part of a Flying Wyvern will grant you dots of the bar. Breaking a part of another species, like Brute Wyvern will get you one dot instead. Capturing or slaying a monster of the correct type will get you another one. When the bar is full you will “receive a monster” (more to that in the next point). As mentioned before, killing a tempered monster will fill one bar completely.
The bar is full, what now?
Once a bar is full, you will see a monster name appearing on the right side of the screen. You basically unlocked this monster. Meaning, you unlocked the chance to fight the monster you got whenever you want but only for ONE TIME USE. You can talk to the Handler in a camp in the Guiding Lands and ask her to Lure Out a Monster. Doing this will make the monster you want to be lured out spawn on the map shortly after. Make sure you do not return from the expedition after calling the monster, as it will be gone when you return to the Guiding Lands and it can’t be called again (one use only).
If you unlock a Legiana for example and are leveling Coral Region at the moment, but no monster of this region is on the map right now, you can instead lure it out to appear in the region you want (and the monster lives in) to fight it immediately. This is also the way to unlock your first Zinogre fight in the game.
Important: Once a monster was lured out, the track is gone. You can only use each monster-lure once. Then you’d have to collect special tracks again to get another lure usage.
Monster Hunter World Iceborne Endgame Explained
To sum up the above, the endgame of Iceborne consists primarily of increasing your Master Rank to MR99 to unlock the Ruiner Nergigante Story Assignment. Along the way at MR49, MR69 you hit soft caps that give a new story assignment each and allow you to level up the Guiding Lands further. Level each individual Guiding Lands area to level 6 makes new unique monsters spawn there (as listed above) which cannot be encountered anywhere else up to that point. Bringing an area to level 7 is the maximum and makes tempered elder dragons spawn, which are the hardest monsters in the game. After this you will have seen all the hardest monsters the game has to offer. So primarily you must work on reaching Master Rank 99, then fully level up each of the four Guiding Lands area. This process is going to take up well over 100 hours after beating the main story.
For more guides, all monsters, crafting materials, FAQ, and collectibles check out our full Monster Hunter World Iceborne Wiki & Strategy Guide.