Monster Hunter places the player in the role of an up and coming hero/heroine who must accomplish various quests to achieve greatness. Armor, weapons, and other items are created from the remains of slain monsters by carving off their horns, scales and bones, as well as items harvested and collected in the enviroment, such as bugs, ores and herbs. Monster Hunter plays in a similar fashion to Phantasy Star Online allowing the player to team up with up to three other hunters online to take down stronger monsters.

Unlike most games, Monster Hunter does not have an elaborate storyline or even an ending. The game does offer access to cut-scenes, (accessible through a gallery mode,) but they are only available if you defeat certain quests that contain the corresponding monster. There is no plot to speak of, just a number of quests to complete before achieving the rank of Monster Hunter. Since there is no way to "beat" the game, a person could play indefinitely. The wide variety of items and equipment in the game is a significant draw for players.

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