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Video games have tons of beautiful aspects crammed into them. A video game can have amazing stories, fantastic world-building, well-written characters, and more. Yet one vital thing that is unforgettable about a video game that many would remember and cherish is the character designs. Character design is one aspect of art, and it also contributes to making the video game unique. The topic itself is a much more complicated subject that would need an in-depth explanation.
There are many video games out there that give the player freedom on what their character would look like via character creation. One particular video game, however, gives the player that freedom and so much more through the armor the character is wearing.
Furthermore, this armor is uniquely acquired by defeating certain enemies and taking inspiration from their designs. That game is Monster Hunter. Before we get fully into our Monster Hunter cosplay ideas, let’s look more into the game.
What is Monster Hunter?
Monster Hunter is a video game franchise originating from Japan spanning a lot of games through many platforms. Monster Hunter as a franchise has been developed for the Playstation, Wii U, 3DS, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and even the PC in the following years. It is developed by Capcom, the same developers for Okami, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, and more. The latest entry of the video game franchise is Monster Hunter Rise.
Monster Hunter is primarily an action-packed video game and obviously, from the title alone, you play as a hunter who hunts for monsters. However, these monsters are not your small, kid-sized monster from games such as Pokemon. No, in Monster Hunter, these monsters are large and are extremely vicious. The game takes place in various fantasy settings with its technology resembling steam power.
If you have played Monster Hunter and you are a fan of the video game franchise, you would know that the armor in the game is extravagant and cool-looking. So, if you are planning on cosplaying to represent Monster Hunter, then the armor is the way to go.
There are a lot of Monster Hunter games; there are five generations of games each having at least two games. Yet this guide will focus more on the recent games particularly the fifth generation games, namely Monster Hunter: World and Monster Hunter Rise.
Monster Hunter: World
Released on January 26, 2018, for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One console platforms and on September 6, 2019, for the Microsoft Windows PC system, Monster Hunter World is the first game of the fifth generation of the series.
In this game, the player plays as a hunter on a voyage as part of the Fifth Fleet traveling to the New World. You are a volunteer of the Research Commission, an entity that devotes its resources to studying new beasts.
In the game, you traverse to several different large biomes each with different climates to hunt down the monsters that roam the land. When you can defeat a monster, you obtain its drops and from their drops, you can make armor out of them.
There are also a lot of weapon types to choose from, yet they are independent of the armor set of your choice. It depends on what you prioritize: style or efficiency.
Monster Hunter Rise
Released on March 26, 2021, on the Nintendo Switch console platform and coming to the Microsoft Windows PC system on January 12, 2022, Monster Hunter Rise is the second game of the fifth generation of the series following Monster Hunter: World.
There are several new features introduced in this game that were not present in the previous game, such as the Wirebug mechanic, Switch skills on weapons, palamutes, and more.
In this game, you are a hunter situated in Kamura Village who has a culture similar to that of Japan. The setting is mountainous yet when the hunter is out to hunt his prey, they can go to different biomes as well.
In terms of armor design, it holds a lot of differences from its previous game which makes sense considering the setting of Monster Hunter Rise is vastly different. Combined with the new armor sets introduced in the game, it is an entirely different cosplaying experience.
What you need to cosplay for Monster Hunter
Monster Hunter is a huge franchise with a huge following, so the idea of Monster Hunter cosplays is not strange at all. However, the major hurdle when it comes to cosplaying to represent these games is that it can be incredibly hard, as the armor sets worn by the hunters are extremely intricate. Armor sets resemble that of the monster it originates from, so there are tons of ideas to pick from.
Because there are too many armor sets to pick from, it is impossible to cover all of them in a general guide. So, instead of tackling each armor set, this guide will cover the gist of many armor sets such as the types of armor, helmets, etc., and break down a list of applicable armor sets for the topic.
This way, many armor sets can be accommodated concisely. Note that since Monster Hunter’s armor sets are intricate by design, you may have to customize a lot to mimic their look.
A vital part of an armor set is the helmet; it protects the head of the hunter against vicious attacks from the monsters. Monster Hunter armor sets take inspiration from real-world armor design, and that holds for the helmet as well.
Below is a list of helmet types with a brief explanation of how each of them looks. Then, a sample of applicable helmets in the game is listed for each type. Again, a ton of customization is needed, but the base structure is there.
It is a bowl helmet with movable cheek plates that fold rearward to encompass the entire head. The close helmet also resembles the armet in terms of design, but they have different usage in terms of movable parts.
- Anja Helm (Monster Hunter World); Anjanath Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Dodogama Helm (Monster Hunter World)
- Hornetaur Helm (Monster Hunter World)
- Ingot Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Rathalos Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Rathian Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Diablos Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Zinogre Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Alloy Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Aknosom Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Basarios Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
It is an enclosed helmet with a Y- or T-shaped slit for easy vision and respiration.
- Damascus Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Jyura Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Nergigante Helm (Monster Hunter World)
- Lavasioth Helm (Monster Hunter World)
- Nargacuga Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
It is an enclosed helmet with ornamental or useful tiny openings for viewing and breathing.
- Kaiser Crown (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Kulve Taroth’s Fury (Monster Hunter World)
- Diablos Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Barroth Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Aelucanth Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Goss Harag Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
It is a bowl helmet without a visor, leaving the face exposed. The helmet has side pieces to protect the wearer’s cheeks.
- Jagras Helm (Monster Hunter World)
- Hunter’s Headgear (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Tigrex Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Barioth Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Chainmail Headgear (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
Leather Hats or Caps:
It is a leather covering on the head with a stylish look. Its components may vary such as having a brim.
- Kulu Helm (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Bnahabra Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Kamura Headgear (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Leather Headgear (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Lumu Hat (Monster Hunter World)
- Empress Crown (Monster Hunter World)
- Kadachi Hat (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Wroggi Helm (Monster Hunter Rise)
It is a cloth covering over the head usually worn in cold climates.
- Death Stench Brain (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Slagtoth Hood (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Pukei Hood (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Lumu Phantasm Hood (Monster Hunter World)
Where to start with making head armor
Once you have picked an armor set that you would like to cosplay as then you can start by picking two choices: either buy one from the internet or make one yourself. If you choose to make one, be advised that a lot of customization is needed.
So, check what the head armor of your chosen armor set is like. Then, buy the helmet style to serve as a base for your cosplay. If, for example, you are cosplaying as a hunter with the Alloy armor set, then you can buy an armet helmet as a base for your helmet, then customize it from there to match the intended design.
Some head armor, like the Pukei Hood, would need more items than the base helmet. The Pukei Hood would need you to buy a pair of aviator goggles to match the design. Thus, try looking out for elements in the helmet design that you could buy as a separate item to which you can combine with the base helmet.
Other head armor, like the Kulve Taroth’s Fury, have accessories attached to the base helmet such as horns. You can buy them separately as well, but they might not be common. Making one yourself out of cardboard would do the trick.
If the helmet is too tricky for you to find one for a base helmet, you can opt to make one from scratch. You can use material such as foam or cardboard for your helmet. For leather armor sets such as helmets inspired by leather caps and hoodies, you can sew for one. Be sure to also buy materials to color your armor sets such as paint, brushes, and the like.
Paint is very useful as it can change the color of your cosplay outfit to match the colors of the intended design. Then again, if you are not ready to DIY your outfit, then it is best to buy one from the internet or commission one from professionals.
The torso armor protects the hunter’s body and in Monster Hunter, the designs for each of them are very detailed. It can be pretty hard to categorize each of them as they all have distinct styles.
Yet, they can be separated into three broad categories: torso armor that is made from hard materials such as metal or wood, torso armor that is made from soft material such as cloth, silk, or wool, and torso armor that is a mix of both hard and soft material.
This is an important distinction because when you are trying to cosplay a certain armor set, you can start customizing the torso armor by finding the right materials to work with.
For example, the Kulu armor set in Monster Hunter Rise is primarily made of cloth and fur, so buying hard materials such as cardboard or foam to make the torso armor would not fit well with the design. Below are a few examples of each category.
- Alloy Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Ingot Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Jyuratodus Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Basarios Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Rathian Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Lavasioth Mail (Monster Hunter World)
- Kushala Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Damascus Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Barroth Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Volvidon Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Leather Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Mizitsune Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Kulu-Ya-Ku Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Girros Mail (Monster Hunter World)
- Kirin Mail (Monster Hunter World)
- Pukei Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Ludroth Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Lagombi Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Khezu Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Kadachi Mail (Monster Hunter World)
- Bone Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Hunter’s Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Anjanath Mail (Monster Hunter World; Monster Hunter Rise)
- Izuchi Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Wroggi Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Banbaro Mail (Monster Hunter World)
- Arzuros Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Tobi-Kadachi Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Goss Harag Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
- Bishaten Mail (Monster Hunter Rise)
Where to start with making torso armor
As stated above, the material considered depends on your torso armor. When creating torso armor made out of hard material, a good recommendation that many cosplayers are using is Wonderflex, a thermoplastic material that, when heated, can be bent and flexed into different shapes and forms. When dealing with Wonderflex to make your cosplay, follow this basic guideline.
- Prepare the materials you need: heat gun, trauma scissors, hand punch, roller, sanding sponge or sanding paper, soldering iron, proper safety equipment, etc.
- Look for blueprints for your armor design. If there are none, you can make one yourself by drawing it on paper.
- Apply the blueprints on a body mannequin to check if they fit well with the torso.
- Cut and shape the Wonderflex according to your blueprint. When dealing with curves, it is best to curve the Wonderflex before cutting it to shape to avoid unnecessary spaces.
- Heat the Wonderflex to harden it to its intended shape using your heat gun. You can do the process of bending the material and heating it again numerous times to get the best results.
- Add the necessary details to your torso armor design such as attached spikes, accessories, etc.
- Sand and smoothen your costume.
- Coat your armor with layers of paint to match your armor set’s intended color scheme.
There are more detailed instructions out there with the use of Wonderflex, so be sure to check out more information on the internet. On the other hand, soft materials can be easily made by picking a base for your clothes and adding more customization on top. Making one from scratch is also possible if you are skilled or knowledgeable enough in sewing clothes.
Legs, Boots, and Arms Armor
Armor that protects the hunter’s limbs exist, and they, just like the torso armor, can be differentiated into the three major categories as discussed before. Usually, the material is made from the same material that the torso armor is made of. You can view examples of these categories and you can expect that the leg, boots, and arms armor are made of the same material.
Where to start with making legs, boots, and arms armor
Since these types of armor are similar to torso armor, you can also follow the guide provided above.
Weapons and other accessories
Weapons are also a big part of a Monster Hunter cosplay, although it is optional since the important aspect to it is the armor you will be wearing. Still, weapons can add a whole lot to your cosplay.
You can buy Monster Hunter weapons on the internet that are ready to use, but you can also make your own. When making your weapon, the first thing you need to do is to choose a weapon type that you would incorporate into your cosplay.
In the game, armor sets are independent of weapon types so you have the freedom to choose whichever you want.
- Great Sword
- Long Sword
- Sword and Shield
- Dual Blades
- Hunting Horn
- Switch Axe
- Insect Glaive
- the Charge Blade
- Magnet Spike*
- Accel Axe*
- Light Bowgun
- Medium Bowgun*
- Heavy Bowgun
Note: The Tonfa, Magnet Spike, Accel Axe, and Medium Bowgun weapon types are not available in both Monster Hunter: World and Monster Hunter Rise.
The best material to use when making weapons is foam due to it being light and easy to shape and form. There are many types of foam, but the best ones to use are polystyrene foam, cross-linked polyethylene, and gym rubber.
The process is similar to making armor, wherein you need to make blueprints first using paper, fit the foam to the blueprint, sand and smoothen the foam, and add coats of paint on it. For a basic guideline, go to the “Where to start with making torso armor” subsection in the “Torso Armor” section. There are also more in-depth guidelines on the internet.
Monster Hunter Alternate Costume Designs
Armor sets are very detailed and not everyone can afford to buy a complete set or customize one. If you do not want to cosplay as a hunter wearing armor sets, you can still cosplay for the Monster Hunter community by cosplaying as NPCs from both Monster Hunter: World and Monster Hunter Rise. What’s good about these NPC character designs is that they are simple but iconic and unique. At a single glance, you can tell who it is (as long as you played the game).
Below are a few select NPCs that you can cosplay as along with which game they are from and the basic attire that you would need to effectively represent them.
The Handler (Monster Hunter: World)
The Handler is an NPC in the Monster Hunter: World game who gathers research data in the New World and interacts with the Hunter in the story. The Handler wears a yellow outfit resembling a sleeveless peplum blouse with an open collar.
Underneath the yellow outfit is a long-sleeved dark blue shirt. Over the yellow outfit is a big, brown leather belt with a metal ornament attached. Her main outfit is made out of leather and cloth.
She wears a pair of goggles that she puts over her head. She carries with her a brown strap bag. Covering her shoulders and a part of her back is a blue cloth. She has brown hair that she ties in a neat and short style.
The Field Team Leader (Monster Hunter: World)
The Field Team Leader in Monster Hunter: World is an NPC that welcomes the Hunter and assists them during the first few quests or assignments. He wears leather armor adorned with wool on its edges.
His chest is not covered by the armor yet his arms are equipped with metallic armor. He also wears metal boots to cover his feet and legs. The most iconic piece of his look is his Giant Jawblade that he always carries with him.
Fugen the Elder (Monster Hunter Rise)
Fugen the Elder is an NPC in Monster Hunter Rise who is known as a hero and a big-hearted leader of Kamura Village. He is skilled with the long sword, as evident when he gives the player a Hand-Me-Down longsword.
He wears chainmail armor underneath a blue breastplate and blue wrist armor. He wears gray baggy pants going to knee-length which is then continued by his boots. He wears white fur around his waist and the edges of his boots are lined with white fur.
Behind him, he carries two swords with red hilts. He has white or gray hair and is always shown to have a stern look on his face.
Hinoa/Minoto (Monster Hunter Rise)
Hinoa and Minoto are young girls residing in Kamura Village in Monster Hunter Rise. The both of them are sisters and they provide the player quests to hunt down monsters; Hinoa is the Quest Maiden while Minoto is the Hub Maiden. They have similar appearances even in their clothes, so they can be hard to distinguish. Both of them are wearing outfits similar to that of a shrine maiden’s outfit.
Both of their shrine maiden outfits are mostly white at the top with the leg area being red. Both of them also wear black gloves and a huge green waistband over their waist.
Hinoa, however, has her arms revealed at elbow’s length while Minoto wears red long sleeves to her wrists. Furthermore, Hinoa’s cape is red while Minoto’s is golden with a red string attached. Hinoa has a singular ornament on her head while Minoto has two.
Master Utsushi (Monster Hunter Rise)
Master Utsushi in Monster Hunter Rise has a similar role to the Field Team Leader in Monster Hunter: World in the way that they both assist the player when they first play the game.
Master Utsushi has an outfit that resembles that of a ninja; he wears a sleeveless gray shirt and baggy gray pants going to knee length. He wears a gray scarf around his neck which dangles behind him. Underneath his gray outfit is a chainmail armor that extends to his face.
The chainmail armor covers his mouth, but he also carries with him a mask resembling a horned green monster biting a dark green scroll. He also dons armor on his arms and his boots are made of dark blue metal, possibly iron.
He wears a green waistband over his waist with white fur around its edges. Some of the elements of his outfit resemble that of a Zinogre. He has dark green hair and has a scar underneath his left eye.
Frequently Asked Questions about cosplaying Monster Hunter
Question: Where can I buy Monster Hunter cosplay outfits?
Answer: There are many stores online especially Etsy that can accommodate your desire for Monster Hunter cosplay. Some will make one from scratch, or have outfits ready to be worn. It will be extremely unlikely that you can buy outfits resembling armor sets in major retail stores unless they have common elements or if you customize the attire.
Question: What is a good Monster Hunter costume for Halloween?
Answer: Monster Hunter cosplays require either large amounts of time and dedication to make or large amounts of cash to buy. If you are dedicated to doing a Monster Hunter cosplay, you can do a simple cosplay of the monsters instead. Although if you are aiming for an armor set, then the Death Stench armor set is a good place to start.
Question: Are Monster Hunter games hard?
Answer: Although it depends on the skill set of the player, Monster Hunter games are generally hard. However, it was intentionally designed this way so that when you finally become better at hunting monsters after multiple failures, you will feel good about your newfound skill.
Question: Is Monster Hunter Rise coming to PC?
Answer: Yes, it is. Currently, it is only available in the Nintendo Switch system, but it is coming to the Microsoft Windows PC system by January 12, 2022. Monster Hunter: World, on the other hand, is already available on the PC as well as its DLC, Iceborne. A demo for the Monster Hunter Rise on PC is available to download on Steam.
Question: What are the weapon types in Monster Hunter?
Answer: If you are cosplaying as a hunter in Monster Hunter, it is best to know the weapon types in the game. There are 18 types of weapons in total, namely: the Great Sword; the Long Sword; the Sword and Shield; Dual Blades; the Hammer; the Hunting Horn; the Lance; the Gunlance; the Switch Axe; the Insect Glaive; the Charge Blade; the Tonfa; the Magnet Spike; the Accel Axe; the Light Bowgun; the Medium Bowgun; the Heavy Bowgun; and the Bow.
Final Thoughts about Monster Hunter cosplay ideas
Monster Hunter is a game with intricate designs in terms of armor sets. Armor sets are an essential part of the game and make it unique among other games.
They are also crucial because these armor sets make the player stronger, which in turn grants them the ability to hunt stronger monsters. Capcom knows that the design on these armor sets is well-done and intricate, as they incorporated layered armor for cosmetic purposes.
If you are dedicated to doing Monster Hunter cosplay, then be ready to spend either large amounts of time and resources to make one yourself, or spend large amounts of money to hire someone to make one for you. However, if you do not want to spend that much, then you can also do simple cosplays of monsters or NPCs in the game.