Monster Hunter games have only gotten more and more user-friendly with each release. The oldest games were nearly impenetrable (even for dedicated players) to fully understand without outside help. Monster Hunter: World helped streamline many systems, and the latest game for the Nintendo Switch, Monster Hunter: Rise, goes a step further toward letting players skip all the confusing inventory and system management so they can get right to the good stuff: Hunting giant monsters.

That said, each new game does need to add some new systems and mechanics in order to keep things fresh for those who are dedicated to the series. Monster Hunter: Rise’s most flashy and featured additions were the new ride-able pets, but there was plenty more added under the hood. Affinity, for one, is a stat that isn’t easily decoded just by the name alone, unlike attack, for example. Add in the fact that there are dozens of skills to keep track of, and it can be easy to just ignore Affinity. However, this isn’t a stat you should ignore. Here’s everything you need to know about what Affinity is and how to improve it in Monster Hunter: Rise. 

Further reading

What is Affinity, and what does it do?

Let’s get the basics out of the way first and define exactly what Affinity is and what it does for your hunter in Monster Hunter: Rise. In short, Affinity is the stat that dictates your chances of any attack being a critical strike. Other games have this exact same stat, usually called crit chance or something of the like, but it isn’t exactly the same in this game. Critical hits in Monster Hunter: Rise have a few unique aspects. First, Affinity functions as the percentage chance you have of any attack being a critical hit. The higher the number, the more likely you are to deal bonus damage. However, Affinity can actually be a negative number. If it is, there’s a chance your attack will be a weak attack and deal less damage than a normal strike.

Critical and weak attacks are both static increases and decreases in damage based on your weapon and stats. Landing a critical hit will deal 25% more damage, and a weak attack will deal 25% less damage. You know you hit a critical strike when the big red slash effect appears on a hit. Every weapon comes with its own Affinity stat number you can see just below the element, with positive numbers displayed in green and negative in red.

How to raise Affinity

Unfortunately, you can’t raise a weapon’s Affinity just by upgrading it, but there are other ways you can boost this stat. If you have a weapon with low — or negative — Affinity, you can boost it in two primary ways. The first is to get specific armor skills when you’re forging your armor. The armor skills you should look for are:

The final way to squeeze out a bit more Affinity is through decorations. Forging certain decorations for your armor, such as the slider jewel and mighty jewel, can also give your Affinity an extra push. Look for the best decorations that align with the specific armor skills you have to maximize your buffs.

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