Monster Hunter World’s Iceborne expansion beta starts this week

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Monster Hunter World: Iceborne might not be out for another week or so, but Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be able to get an early taste of the frost-tipped expansion – or at least, a very small part of it – in just a few days, courtesy of Capcom's imminent Iceborne beta.

PlayStation 4 owners are first in line, with Monster Hunter World's Iceborne beta kicking off on Sony's console this Friday, 30th August, at 8am in the UK. Things wrap up for PS4 players at 7:59am on Sunday, 1st September, making way for the Xbox One beta. This runs from 8am on Monday, 2nd September, until Thursday, 5th September, at 7:59am. You will, however, need an Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus subscription to get involved.

The Iceborne beta, according to Capcom's page on the matter, will accommodate both solo and multiplayer hunters, with the headline quest, Velkhana of the Frost, pitting participants against the expansion's new main monster, the Elder Dragon Velkhana. Capcom says the quest is for Monster Hunter masters, so "expect a real challenge!".

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Those not quite up to the task needn't despair, however; the beta will also feature three more quests designed for a variety of skills sets. The Great Devourer, Great Jagras mission, for instance, is intended for novice hunters, challenging them to slay a Great Jagras in the Ancient Forest. The Big-horned Banbaro, meanwhile, caters to experienced players, and features a hunt for a Banbaro in the chilly climes of Hoarfrost Reach. Finally, also unfolding within Hoarfrost, is the self-explanatory The Wild Tigrex, intended for the "most skilled" players.

Successfully completing each mission will unlock a different reward pack, containing the likes of max potions and meal vouchers for use in the full game.

Alongside new encounters, the beta will offer a chance to try out Iceborne's new Clutch Claw mechanic, new actions and combos for each weapon, rideable creatures, and the screenshot-snapping View Mode. Players can also experiment with some of Monster Hunter World's new features before undertaking quests by visiting the Iceborne demo's training area.

Once players have had their fill of the beta's quests, of course, there's not long to wait until the real deal arrives. Monster Hunter World's Iceborne expansion launches on PS4 and Xbox One next Friday, 6th September. A PC release will follow in January next year.

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