Monster Hunter: World: How to unlock Sakura and Ryu Alpha from Street Fighter

Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World just became the most profitable game the company has ever released, and part of that is no doubt due to the steady stream of free post-launch content for Hunters around the world. The most recent update lets players dress as a much better version of Ryu from Street Fighter V, and last week’s update brought in his protégé Sakura. Both outfits are full armor sets, so unfortunately you won’t be able to mix and match the pieces as you could with Dante’s set from Devil May Cry.

Sakura’s quest will be available until May 17, and Ryu’s will be up until the 24th. If you’re familiar with Ryu and Sakura from Street Fighter you might expect them to be quite similar, and you’d be right. The quests you’ll need to complete to unlock both characters are nearly identical, varying only in the monster you face off against and the gear available to do so. We’ll walk you through exactly what you’ll need to do to earn yourself both combatants’ clothes and what you’ll need to make the armor for yourself.

Sakura's armor

Sakura’s quest is a little easier than Ryu’s, so it’s a good way to practice if you’re not quite ready to face off against Nergigante. Both quests are found in the Gathering Hub at the very top of Astera. You can get there by riding the chains to the top of the city, or enter the archway between the Canteen and the Workshop. Once you’re in, you’ll need to talk to the brown-haired woman at the counter in the back, and choose the Challenge quests from her menu. You must be Hunter Rank 12 to accept this quest, so you’ll need to be close to the end of the game before you can make an attempt.

To earn the Street Fighter tickets needed for Sakura’s outfit, you’ll need to select the “Empress in Full Bloom” quest from the list. There are three versions of this quest, and the only difference between them is what weapon you’ll have when you enter the arena. No matter what arms you choose, you’ll have the same loadout of armor and items available to you. Make sure to choose the weapon you’re most comfortable with since this will be a difficult fight. You also won’t be able to rely on your Palico, as this is strictly a 1v1 battle.

The good news is that the Pink Rathian you’ll be facing off against doesn’t have any extra special abilities beyond what it can normally do. The bad news is they’re still pretty tough, and Sakura’s schoolgirl outfit doesn’t offer her much protection. The Rathian can fly, poison you with its tail and claws, and will occasionally breathe fire. It also likes to dash back and forth across the arena, which can stunlock you if you’re not careful.

Unfortunately, you won’t have many healing items to rely on for this fight. You’re provided with four Max potions and one Ancient Potion, each of which can heal you to full. No lesser potions are included in your inventory, so you’ll need to be careful and deliberate when you use them. You may want to consider eating the Chef’s Choice meal before this battle, since it usually boosts your Hit Points and Stamina to their maximum values. This can save you one of your Max potions for when you really need it.

Before entering the battleground, make sure to use the provided Might and Adamant seeds to raise your attack and defense slightly. Use a Max Potion and a Well-done Steak if your HP or stamina weren’t maxed out by your meal. When you’re ready to enter the battlefield you can climb over the short gate in front of you, or use the hitching post on the left to drop in at the far side of the arena. The close end has a small ledge, and the far side has a slope which can be used to charge up sliding attacks. Use whichever end works best with your selected weapon to gain the most benefit.

Sakura’s armor has the Resuscitate attribute, which will let her evade better when she’s afflicted with a status effect. This is helpful, but it’s not worth taking extra damage just to keep the buff active. If you’re poisoned, break off your attack immediately, retreat to a safe distance and drink one of the provided antidote potions. The lack of lesser healing potions means any damage you suffer will add up quickly. Similarly, if you catch fire you should dodge roll three times as soon as possible to put out the flames. If you notice a white item on the ground, be sure to grab it. It’ll either be a healing item or a Slinger Bomb you can fling at the Rathian for some extra damage.

Sakura is provided with four barrel bombs, and blowing them up near the Rathian can do some serious damage. Try to stun the Rathian using a flash pod, then place the bombs nearby and sling a rock at them to blow them up. Unfortunately, the weapons and gear you’re provided don’t really give you any other way to immobilize the Rathian. If you need to back out to sharpen your weapon, use the provided Farcaster to return to the safe part of the arena.

Don’t feel too bad if you faint during this quest. You have plenty of continues and can faint up to eight times before you’ll fail. What’s more, both Sakura and Ryu’s armor sets have the Fortify ability, which actually makes you stronger after you’ve fainted. For this reason, you may want to forego healing at all, using your Max Potions to increase your life bar after you faint rather than healing the damage caused by the monster you’re facing. Make sure to sharpen your weapon and re-buff yourself every time you faint. You can team up with a friend to attempt this quest, but may find it’s easier to complete when there’s only one player draining the number of attempts remaining.

Slaying the Rathian will award you with one to three SFV Ticket II, depending on how swiftly you manage to dispatch the beast. You’ll need four of these tickets to craft Sakura’s armor set, as well as four of the green Rathian coins you earn by beating Rathian in the arena. These coins aren’t guaranteed to drop every time you finish Sakura’s quest, but if you’re having trouble earning them you can do a lower rank Rathian arena battle to speed up the process. You’ll also need 40,000 Zenny, four Hunter King coins and six Pink Rathian Scale+, but you should get plenty of both just by repeating Sakura’s quest.

Sakura’s armor doesn’t have great stats, and is mostly for looks and bragging rights. You’ll be able to find it by selecting “full armor sets” at the forge. It starts with 256 defense, and this can be increased using armor spheres. It provides good defense vs. the Water and Ice elements, and has the Rathian Mastery perk which will increase the damage dealt if you manage to poison a monster. It’s very likely you’ll have better gear by the time you manage to earn Sakura’s outfit, but it’s pretty funny stabbing dragons to death as a Japanese schoolgirl.

Ryu's armor

Ryu’s quest is extremely similar to Sakura’s, and many of the same strategies apply. You’ll find his quest in the same place, but his is called “The Awakened Satsui No Hado,” and it appears on the second page of the challenge quest list. You can select the weapon you want to bring to the arena, but Ryu’s loadout and armor are the same no matter which you choose. This version of Ryu’s quest requires you to be at least Hunter Rank 13, so you’ll need to have progressed almost all the way through the story before accepting it.

Instead of a Pink Rathian, Ryu must instead face off against Nergigante, eater of Dragons. Like Sakura, he won’t have access to many healing potions and will have to be very careful not to take too much damage. Fortunately Nergigante doesn’t cause any damage-over-time effects, but it hits like a truck. Ryu’s Gi offers a little more protection than Sakura’s outfit, but you should still try to avoid taking hits if at all possible.

Make sure to eat a meal and buff up before entering the arena. Ryu doesn’t get any bombs, but he is provided with some knives which can be used to cause some status effects to Nergigante. I recommend equipping the Poison knives to your slinger first and using them to start the battle. You’ll be able to tell Nergigante is poisoned if it drools purple slime, and it will periodically take some minor damage.

Once the poison has worn off, you may want to switch to Ryu’s Paralysis knives and try to stun Nergigante for some free hits. Nergigante is especially vulnerable if you attack its tail or front forelegs, but the giant horns protect its head from most damage. Its back legs are also covered in tough scales, so try to avoid striking these areas if possible.

The Nergigante acts just like the ones you’ve seen on Zorah Magdaros and in the Elder’s Recess, but it won’t run away in the arena since there’s nowhere else to go. Ryu’s sleep knives should be saved until you want a short break in the action, for example if you need to sharpen your weapon without dying or using your Farcaster. The first hit dealt to a sleeping monster always deals double damage, so make sure to use your most powerful attack to wake up Nergigante.

Try to stay behind or to the side of Nergigante, and don’t let it trap you in one of the corners. If you do end up in front of it, dodge to the side if it scrapes the ground, because it’s about to throw a barrage of spikes at you. You should also watch out for its pouncing attack, which is often followed up by a sliding move that looks like a spiked bulldozer. You can avoid this by dodging to the side when you see it coming. If you do get hit by the pounce, don’t get up right away; you’ll take more damage from the followup if you’re standing than if you stay on the ground.

Defeating the Nergigante will award you with one to three SFV Ticket III, depending on how fast you can defeat the dragon. Crafting Ryu’s armor set will take 50,000 Zenny, four of these tickets, five Hunter King coins, six Immortal Dragonscales, and one Rathalos plate. The Dragonscales can drop from any Elder Dragon, though the Rathalos plate is a rare drop from (you guessed it) Rathalos. If you don’t have one on hand, do some Investigation quests targeting Rathalos, especially if you can find any with Silver and gold rewards.

Ryu’s updated armor is darker than his traditional white Gi, but you can make it whatever color you want by changing the armor pigment. It provides 306 defense and offers excellent protection against the Thunder element. It’s also not bad against Fire or Dragon attacks, but will have trouble against Ice. You may not want to face Legiana while wearing Ryu’s clothes. It does offer a nice benefit with Rathalos Mastery, which increases any elemental damage dealt to a monster.

If you just want the white GI for the look of the thing and don’t intend to use Ryu’s armor, an earlier quest called “Along the Dark Muddy Path” is also currently available. This quest pits Ryu against an extra-large Barroth and is much simpler to complete than facing the Nergigante. You’ll probably need to complete that quest several times, since the basic Ryu armor requires seven SFV tickets.

If you’d like to throw Hadoukens as either of these characters, you’ll need to buy the special emote that allows you to do so from the Xbox or PSN store. Both Sakura and Ryu’s slingers have a cosmetic effect that gives your projectiles a blue glow, but it’s not quite the same.

No matter which Street Fighter character you decide to dress up as, think about adding Mega Man as your sidekick the next time that quest rolls around. He’s had it pretty rough the last few years, and he’d probably appreciate the attention.