Monster Hunter: World makes its console debut this weekend, and thousands of gamers around the globe want to know exactly when they can join the Fifth Fleet. Fortunately, publishers and platform holders are getting much better about releasing that information ahead of launch.
If you’re picking up a physical copy of Monster Hunter: World, you’re pretty much at the mercy of your local retailer. GameStop and Best Buy have completely pivoted on their launch strategies in recent years, abandoning midnight release events and making customers wait for normal business hours on launch day. Some all-hours stores, like Walmart, will be able to accommodate gamers willing to make a late-night drive; however, the most reliable way to be part of the initial Monster Hunter: World server rush is to pre-order your copy on PSN or Xbox Live.
According to store listings on both services, Monster Hunter: World will be playable at 12:01 a.m. (EST) on Friday morning, which means most of the United States will actually get access to the game late Thursday night. PlayStation 4 owners who preordered MHW via the PlayStation Network can begin preloading the game as soon as their purchase is complete, which drastically increases the odds the game will be ready when it unlocks at midnight. The same goes for Xbox One owners who preordered from Microsoft’s online gaming service.
Here’s a quick conversion chart for the rest of the country:
- Central – 11 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25
- Mountain – 10 p.m. on Thursday
- Pacific – 9 p.m. on Thursday
Of course, it’s one thing to say we’ll all be able to play Monster Hunter: World tomorrow at 12:01 a.m., but we’ll have to wait until then to see if Capcom can deliver. Server troubles are a common problem for major game launches these days, especially when so much of the game is built around online multiplayer. Connection issues weren’t a major problem during the PS4 betas but it’s safe to assume a much larger crowd will be trying to play Monster Hunter on Friday.
Monster Hunter: World is available on PS4 and Xbox One. The game hits PC this fall.