Although Capcom has created Monster Hunter World with a pretty extensive tutorial, there is plenty about the game that players need to figure out for themselves. For example, the game doesn’t accurately explain what Hunter Rank is or how to increase it.

At a glance, Hunter Rank sounds like a player’s level, which they can increase by playing the game and killing monsters. That’s partially true, but there are some specific things to know about Hunter Rank if Monster Hunter World players want to unlock the endgame investigations/quests and Tempered Elder Dragon hunts.

Hunter Rank 1-15

To start, Hunter Rank is tied to the story missions, which are accessed via the Assigned section of the job board. As players progress through each quest, most of which require hunting or capturing one or several monsters, their Hunter Rank will increase. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but Monster Hunter World never explains that Hunter Rank is gated.

Hunter Rank 29+

Eventually, players will complete the final quest in the game (at Hunter Rank 15) and the cap will be lifted, up to a point. Now each successful monster hunt, optional quest, or investigation will give the player experience, which will fill a bar towards the next Hunter Rank. This setup will go on until the player hits Hunter Rank 29 and then a new quest will unlock.

monster hunter world bazelgeuse

This quest is likely going to be a challenge, as it has the player facing off against two tempered Bazelgeuse. We highly recommend tackling the quest with a full team, since it will be easier to keep the Bazelgeuse distracted with 4 players in the area instead of just one. You also might want to buff defense and health, since the Bazelgeuse can and will faint a player in one hit. A thunder weapon can’t hurt either since the monster is weak against the element.

Hunter Rank 49+

Once the dual tempered Bazelgeuse quest is complete, the players Hunter Rank will be unlocked once again. They can continue to hunt monsters and gain experience until HR 49, the final threshold. The final quest involves defeating a tempered Kirin, the lightning unicorn. Kirin might seem easy given its size, but its lightning attacks at the tempered level can wipe out a player at full health. It’s important to pay attention to the Kirin’s attacks and choose when to do damage carefully. It also doesn’t hurt to enter the fight with full weapon charge.

With Kirin down, Hunter Rank is finally unlocked and players can earn experience at will. There isn’t much advantage to increasing Hunter Rank from here, except HR 100 unlocks the opportunity for some new, harder investigations. Outside of that, Hunter Rank becomes a prestige thing.

It’s also worth noting that any experience accrued during the story or at HR 29 or 49 will carry over once the requisite quests are complete. So if you have been banking some experience grinding gear or weapons before finishing the story, chances are your Hunter Rank will jump well past 15 when the final boss falls.

Monster Hunter World is out now for PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version releases this fall.