Monster Hunter: World might be full of dragons, but the hardest enemy for new hunters to slay is the UI. This quick guide should help you focus on what's important.
When you're in the field, it's crucial to know exactly what's going on. Monster Hunter: World covers the screen with a ton of widgets and meters that seem overwhelming at first but aren't all that bad. Here's a breakdown:
In the upper left corner of the screen, you'll find the health meter (1) and stamina bar (2). Learning to keep track of these in a fight is a huge deal. You're only allowed to get knocked out three times on a quest before you fail, so get used to checking these meters a lot.
Next to the stamina bar is a small clock (3). This is used to keep track of the remaining time in a quest. If you're exploring without a quest, it will show the time of day.
Underneath your health and stamina is a small bar that indicates your weapon's sharpness (4). As you attack enemies, its colour fades from green to red. Dull weapons do less damage and bounce off enemies' skin. Try to keep this meter in the green or bright yellow range by using a whetstone whenever you have a chance. Lower than that and you have problems.
Some weapons have a charge meter (5) like the Dual Blades or Longsword. This lets you know how much charge your weapon has stored up.
You'll find your teammates' health (6) a little bit below that. If you're in a small group, this health will include your palico cat. The little symbol next to your teammate's name shows off what weapon they're using. This is the same icon that's used when buying weapons in the smithy.
In the area underneath all of this, there is a section of the left portion of the screen that lists nearby items (7) that you can collect. These can be anything from piles of stone to monster tracks. Check it out if you want to know what's around you or if you're looking for something specific.
The lower left side of the screen shows the mini-map (8). It features enemy monsters, nearby collection nodes, and teammates. When you're in combat, the circle on it turns red. You can use your larger map to see what zone monsters are in, but the minimap is good for keeping track of them on the run.
Next to the mini-map you'll find a lock-on indicator (9) that lets you know which monster, if any, you are currently targeting.
At the middle of the screen you'll find a nifty little reminder that you can sheathe your weapon (10) that can help you keep track of when you might need to put your weapon away and pick up items on the ground. It's not always on screen but I figured you might want to know what the heck it was.
The upper right side of the screen has weapon-specific hints and combos (11) that you can check out to know what attacks you can perform. Below that you'll find your current objective (12), which is usually just which monster you're hunting. If you have to collect multiple things, a nice little indicator will pop up each time you slay a new monster or collect an item.
The bottom right of the screen houses the item menu (13). It shows what item you will use if you press the use button. You can scroll through it or open it up into a small radial wheel and select from there. If you have an item in your slinger, the item type will show up in a smaller box next to the main box.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed with information in Monster Hunter: World, but this should help you sort things out. Don't overthink it; stick to the information you need in the moment. With a little practice, you'll start carving up beasts and making armour in no time.