Hello, fellow hunters!

Monster Hunter Rise has been out for a little over a month, and I’ve been having a whale of a time with it. There’s so much beauty and charm to this game — it’s got the grind appeal of earlier Monster Hunter titles, the story-driven elements of World, and plenty of unique and innovative features of its own. 

Among the new mechanics and monsters stands my personal favorite addition — the Palamutes. It’s not too shocking that the new animal companions caught my attention, but even the demo didn’t really prepare me for how good they actually are.

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Heading out to the field with a support-centered Palico and an offense-minded Palamute makes me feel like I have a pretty well-oiled machine (even when my dog gets a little slaphappy against the Melynxes just minding their own business). It’s been a fun adventure learning how these new Buddies work and how to best capitalize on their abilities, and I’m eager to share my findings with all of you!

We’re kicking off our new generation of Monster Hunter guides with a comprehensive look at Palamutes in Monster Hunter Rise!

MHR Palamute Guide: Overview

Palamute
Image: Capcom

If Monster Hunter World was your first introduction to the series, this new Buddy system might look a little complicated. I promise it’s not as daunting as it seems — much like the rest of the game, everything clicks into place pretty easily once you’ve got a handle on the basics. Besides, you’ve got this MHR Palamute guide to show you the way.

The three most important things to consider when hiring your Palamutes are their Tactics, Gear, and Skills. Any builds you put together will center around these core factors, so you’ll want to make the most of what you have available.

Palamute Tactics

We’ll start with Tactics. These are specific behaviors that your Palamute displays on the field — in other words, their hunting style. Palamutes can follow one of three Tactics at a time:

TacticDescription
BasicPalamutes attack the monster at close range
PincerPalamutes attack the monster on the opposite side from the hunter
FollowPalamutes stay close to the hunter while attacking

In general, it’s best to stick with “Basic” Tactics for maximum DPS. To be clear, there are definitely cases in which the other two Tactics are useful (they’ll feature in our builds later), but they require your Palamute to do a lot more repositioning. Unless you’re looking to do something specific with your dog, it’s easier just to take the extra damage.

You can change your Palamute’s Tactics at any time from the Buddy Board by selecting “Behavior > Palamutes > [Name].”

Palamute Gear

Next up in our MHR Palamute guide, let’s discuss the best Palamute equipment. Not to be confused with the weapons you craft with the Buddy Smith’s help, Gear is your Palamutes’ answer to items — extra moves and abilities they can perform on a hunt for added benefits.

We won’t be listing all the Palamute Gear in this guide (I’ll spare you the extensive table), but you can check out this excellent post by u/Serious__Me on Reddit for a complete overview of your Gear options. It includes helpful advice on other aspects of Buddy management, so it’s a super useful resource to have on hand!

For the purposes of this guide, we’re just going to focus on the strongest recommendations. These Gear options will apply to most builds, so you can focus on effectiveness first and optimization later.

GearDescription
Dual-Bladed ChainGear with scythes on both sides of the chain. Swinging it around can land multiple hits.
Guarding ParasolAn iron-layered umbrella shield for Canynes, capable of both attacking and defending.
Large ShurikenA massive shrunken thrown with full-body force, and capable of making mincemeat of monsters.
Heal Blade ScrollA scroll activated on attack, healing all in its vicinity. Its effect lasts for a limited time.
Heavy Strike ScrollA scroll with salve that raises attack and chance to stagger. Its effect lasts for a limited time.

We’ll cover a few other Gear options in our builds below, but these will generally be your best defaults. As a general guideline, we don’t recommend equipping two scrolls at once — it’s certainly not the end of the world, but their effects aren’t permanent. If you have to juggle cooldowns, it’s better to prioritize high damage and strong buffs over effects that are only situationally useful.

Palamute Skills

Finally, let’s talk about the best Palamute Skills. Palamute skills are passive abilities that your dog brings to a hunt, and they’re the least controllable aspect of your build. RNG governs your Buddies’ Skill sets — you can’t scout for specific Skills, and you can’t replace the Skills your Buddy was hired with. It may take a while to find a Palamute that fits your exact specifications, so it’s better to look for a few key Skills and deal with the rest of the filler as it comes.

Once again, you can take a look at the Reddit post mentioned above for a complete list of Buddy Skills — we’re just going to recommend our top picks for each unlock level so you have plenty of room to deal with RNG or your own customization preferences.

SkillDescriptionLevelMemory
Attack Up (S)Increases attack (will stack)51
Critical Up (S)Increases affinity (will stack)51
Artful DodgerIncreases the likelihood of blocking and deflecting attacks102
EarplugsPrevents flinching from most monster roars102
Attack Up (L)Increases attack (will stack)152
Critical Up (L)Increases affinity (will stack)152
Status Attack UpIncreases the potency of abnormal status attacks.203

Now, the exact Skills you’ll want to equip will depend slightly on the build you’re pursuing — you don’t necessarily need all of these Skills stacked into a single Palamute. We’ll go into a bit more detail on that later on.

Skills that increase your Palamute’s attack and affinity are always helpful for raising your DPS, but be careful not to overload your memory slots. Skills have the greatest impact on your overall build, and as you can see from the table above, more powerful Skills require more memory slots. To truly specialize your build, you’ll want to leave room for Skills that do more than just deal damage.

MHR Best Palamute Builds

Best Palamute Builds
Image: Capcom

Now that we’ve covered the basics in this MHR Palamute guide, let’s dive into a few example builds! For each of these options, we’ll recommend a weapon and armor set, along with some suggestions for the best Tactics, Gear, and Skills to complement it.

As a quick disclaimer, all of the following builds assume your Palamute is at least Level 20. At this point, they’ll have all of their Skills unlocked and five memory slots with which to equip them.

Let’s get to it!

Best Melee Palamute Build

This first build is centered around close-range melee damage. We’ll focus on maximizing DPS, capitalizing on your Palamute’s offensive capabilities.

WeaponArmorTacticsGearSkills
C Bazelgeuse MaceC Narwa’s ManeBasicHeavy Strike ScrollAttack Up (S)
C Narwa’s ArmorBasicGuarding ParasolCritical Up (S)
Status Attack Up

For our weapon, we’re going with the C Bazelgeuse MaceIt’s a close-range weapon with a decent amount of Blast, making it perfect for dealing additional raw damage. As of the April 28th title update, the Garwa Armor is one of the best Palamute armors in Monster Hunter Rise. It’s not crucial to the build, however, so feel free to substitute it with the best armor you have available.

Basic Tactics pair well with a melee-focused build, as it prioritizes getting up close and personal with the monster. Equipping the Heavy Strike Scroll will make the already hard hits deal even more damage, and the Guarding Parasol will help your pup block some of the attacks they face at close range.

As far as Skills are concerned, Attack Up (S) and Critical Up (S) will both work well for dealing additional damage. Investing in Status Attack Up will ensure your Palamute makes the most of their Blast weapon.

Best Ranged Palamute Build

This second build is still pretty damage-focused, but it’s more suited toward players using ranged weapons. Since all Palamute weapons use a blend of melee and ranged damage, this build puts emphasizes range to ensure you have sufficient openings to deal damage yourself.

WeaponArmorTacticsGearSkills
C Ibushi’s SwordC Narwa’s ManeBasic/PincerLarge ShurikenAttack Up (S)
C Narwa’s ArmorDiversion ScrollRanged Attack Up
Element Attack Up

C Ibushi’s Sword is a ranged weapon equipped with a healthy amount of Dragon damage. We’ve recommended the Garwa Armor again, but you’re welcome to substitute as you see fit.

Basic Tactics will serve you well in most builds, but Pincer Tactics can also be useful for a ranged build. While your Palamute will spend a bit more time repositioning, having some guaranteed distance between the two of you will help split the monster’s focus and give you some handy openings. The Diversion Scroll helps with this, as it briefly lures the monster’s attention away from you, and the Large Shuriken is a great way to get some additional ranged damage from your Buddy.

We recommend using Attack Up (S) again for this build, but we’re introducing two new Skills into the mix. The first is Ranged Attack Up for obvious reasons (it increases the ranged attack your Palamute deals), and the second is Element Attack Up to squeeze more Dragon damage out of the Ibushi sword.

Palamute 2
Image: Capcom

Best Support Palamute Build

Our last build is designed to help the hunter out as much as possible. While your Palico should still be your go-to for applying buffs and blights, your Palamute can do its part in providing support by applying statuses and taking some of the heat off you.

WeaponArmorTacticsGearSkills
Barking BellC Narwa’s ManeBasic/FollowHealing Blade ScrollArtful Dodger
C Narwa’s ArmorGuarding ParasolStatus Attack Up

We’re using the Barking Bell as our weapon because it’s a solid balanced option that deals strong damage and imposes Sleep status. To be clear, Sleep isn’t a must here — you can always swap the bell out for a different high-level weapon if you want to deal another type of status damage. Once again, you’re free to use the Garwa Armor or trade it out according to your preference.

We’ve recommended Basic Tactics again, but Follow Tactics is another great option if you want to make the most of our suggested Palamute Gear. The Healing Blade Scroll will provide a small AOE heal for a brief time, which works better if your squad is closely grouped. Your Buddy can also use the Guarding Parasol to deflect incoming attacks directed at you (again, this works better if they’re close by).

Finally, we recommend taking Status Attack Up to increase your Palamute’s chances of inflicting Sleep on the monster. Spend the rest of your memory slots on Artful Dodger to boost your Buddy’s blocking and deflecting abilities, which pairs well with the Guarding Parasol for improved survivability.

MHR Palamute Guide: The Hunt Begins

That’s it for our MHR Palamute guide — thanks for reading! If you have any tips and tricks to share, or if you want to show off your favorite pup, feel free to hit us up in the comments! Don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for more guides like this.

Happy hunting!

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