I am new to Monster Hunter. Having spent the long Easter weekend with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U, I've gone very quickly from sceptical suspicion to total convert. This game is amazing. I love the way you must learn to read a monster's animations instead of just waiting for a symbol to pop up.
Sure, there were some dark times where I just wanted to beat the my own head in with the Wii U Gamepad. Many techniques are unexplained and the search functions on most community wikis don't easily filter on versions of the game. Perhaps that's irrelevant. Perhaps all the games are fundamentally the same but I don't know that. I'm a noob.
Here are some things I wish I'd known before starting on Friday. Hopefully they'll spare one of you fellow newbies from the same pain.
Play through the offline main quest until you've reached at least a 2-star rating and unlocked Cha-Cha. It's tempting to jump into the online mode after a few hours but trust me, you haven't learned nearly enough yet. I tried this and promptly got my ass kicked by a Qurupeco who summoned a Wyvern. What the hell?
Always carry megapotions, rations/steak and paintbombs/bullets. Blade users should also keep a ready supply of whetstones or whetfish. Megapotions are easy enough to make – Herb + Blue Mushroom = Potion. Potion + Honey = Megapotion. Rations and steak are to bump your fatigue so you can sprint around the map. Paint will track any giant monsters so you can find/avoid them when you need to.