Monster Hunter Rise is less than a week out from release and no doubt many fans will want to play the game as soon as humanly possible. Thankfully, digital pre-orders of Monster Hunter Rise can be downloaded ahead of time so that players can start hunting as soon as the game is unlocked.
The process for pre-loading the game is actually relatively simple. With Switch pre-orders, Nintendo will charge players for the purchase a week from the release of the title in question. Given that Monster Hunter Rise releases on March 26, any active pre-orders will already have been charged and any future ones will be immediately charged.
After payment goes through, players may go ahead and immediately pre-load the game. Once downloaded the game will be on the Switch home screen, but selecting it will prompt a pop up saying that an Internet connection is needed to determine if the game has been unlocked yet. proceeding will result in another pop up informing that the game is unable to be played yet with a prompt to go to the eShop for more details.
Neither pop-up explains when exactly the game will unlock however. Thankfully, Nintendo’s support site gives additional information on this. For the most part, games will launch at 12am EST on the day of release, but Nintendo also notes that some third-party games launch at 3pm EST the day of release. They also note that there is usually a small update that is needed before the game can be played on release day, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, it is as of now unclear whether or not such an update will be required or if Monster Hunter Rise is one of the third-party titles that will be releasing later during it’s release window.
For those who are wanting to get a head start on their hunting, a demo for Monster Hunter Rise is currently available for download. It is not quite an accurate reflection of the game proper as there isn’t an option to customize gear beyond the choice of one of the 14 weapons, but it does give players a sense of how the hunts operate even if they are a bit more difficult than they will be in the actual game.
An earlier version of the demo released in January and contained two tutorial missions as well as fights against Great Izuchi and Mizutsune. The demo that is currently available includes all of those missions, but an added a hunt against the new flagship monster Magnamalo.
Monster Hunter Rise will be released on Switch on March 26 and on PC in 2022.
Source: Nintendo Support