As you make your way through Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, one of the most important aspects of the game is to continually improve your weapons and armor. It doesn't matter how good you are at hunting and capturing monsters. If you don't have the weapons required to take down these creatures, or the armor to protect you long enough to do so, you won’t survive. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you continue to improve your gear.

Multiple Gear Sets

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate allows you to have multiple gear sets that you can quickly switch between when you're in town. This is in place because only certain armor can be used with specific weapon types. The weapon you currently have equipped may limit your armor options, so make sure you examine your armor every time you change weapons. Once you have the best armor for the weapon you currently have equipped, save that gear set for easy access later on.

There are quite a few different weapons you can equip in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. You don't need to have sets for every single weapon. Just make sure the weapons you favor have equipment sets available. It's a good idea to have at least one set for a ranged weapon, one set for a heavy weapon and one set for a sword and shield arrangement. With at least these three options covered, you should be ready for almost anything the game throws your way.

Know Your Weapons

When you first begin the game, you probably won't have a lot of experience with the different weapons available. Spend some time doing early quests, and switch weapons after every quest until you determine which weapons you like the best. Once you have that down, you can focus on upgrading and crafting new weapons in that same category.

Early on, money will be somewhat limited, and supplies will be harder to find. If you're trying to upgrade or craft every single type of weapon, it's going to be a very slow process. If you can narrow this down to two or three weapon types, you can quickly upgrade those. If you need a different weapon type later in the game, you should have enough money and supplies by that time to create or upgrade that weapon type with relative ease.

Crafting New Gear

No matter where you're at in the game, there's almost always a smith nearby that can create new weapons and armor, or upgrade your existing gear. Make frequent trips to this person so you can see what he has available. While it's important to have full sets of gear (to acquire new skills), you probably won't have the items or the money necessary to make everything all at once. Look at every single armor slot and determine which pieces give you the most benefit, then focus on those before moving on to anything else.

For example, if you're looking at a new set of armor, check out the defense on each item slot. If the body piece gives you an increase of five over the defense of your current body piece, compare that to the defensive increase of the other armor slots. You may find that by crafting a new set of legs pieces first, you'll score a defensive boost of six, making it a better choice for your first piece of armor in the new set. These subtle differences can help you get the most from new gear while you're still in the process of completing a full armor set.

Upgrading Existing Gear

It can be difficult to determine if you should buy new gear or simply upgrade your existing equipment. First and foremost, see if you have the necessary supplies to buy that shiny new weapon. If you do, check out how much of an improvement it is over your current weapon. Compare this to what you need to upgrade your weapon and how much of an improvement you'll get from that. If getting a new weapon isn't a significant improvement over upgrading, then you should look into upgrading. The exception here is in the supplies required. If it's much easier to obtain the items needed to upgrade, save your money on a new weapon and go for the upgrade.

When it comes to armor, things become trickier. To upgrade your armor, you need an Armor Sphere. These can be obtained by completing quests and occasionally through mining while out on a hunt. You don't generally come across Armor Spheres all that often. You'll be lucky to get one every few quests you complete, especially early on, so it's best to save them until you have a new set of armor. Once you've picked up a new armor set, you probably won't get another new armor set for a little while. This means you can upgrade your armor without having to worry about spending an Armor Sphere on an item that you’ll replace in an hour.