Monster Hunter Stories features a completely new gameplay different to the past titles in the series. You assume the role of a Rider who befriends monsters by stealing eggs and hatching them, you then have the ability to name them, ride them in the field, and have them join you in battle. You will be able to explore different environments, encounter monsters in the field, battle them, collect items and steal eggs from monsters' nests.
The battles now have an RPG turn-based combat system and during the player's turn, both the rider and your companion monster will get to attack the enemy. Attacks for both the player and the enemy come in three categories: Power, Speed, and Technique. Each category is stronger against one in particular, similar to rock-paper-scissors. Power will win against Technique, Speed will win against Power, and Technique will win against Speed. In this game, the player only has a choice of four weapons to use in battle, those being the Great Sword, the Sword & Shield, the Hammer, and the Hunting Horn. The player will have access to different skills depending on the weapon and equipment he uses, and he will also be able to use items in battle.
Companion monsters can be customized with the Transmission Ceremony feature, in which you transfer Bond Genes into a monster's slots in order to unlock and awaken their stats and abilities. This allows for further customization and adjustment to the player's play style.The game features multiplayer battles via local or Internet connection.