Image by @everydayfoxlife
Myla is a Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate addict, Hunting Horn expert, and real life friend of Roy.
At some point in the game you’re going to have put down your weapons, stop fighting
huge monsters, and pull those Mega Pickaxes out of your shed. Mining can be a
tedious and frustrating process but there are ways to make this process a little less
The goal of this guide is to help you obtain the best possible resources with the least
amount of time and effort. Sometimes it can even be relaxing to take a break from trying
not to get killed by the huge monster and just run around hitting rocks and hoping to get
a few rare items.
This guide is going to focus on mining at the Volcano. There are obviously certain
resources you can only mine in other zones. For example, you can only mine
Purecrystals in the Tundra. The Volcano has the most mining points with the highest
likelihood of yielding rare items like Rust/Ancient Shards, Timeworn/Enduring Charms,
and high-level Armor Spheres.
Rare Items at the Volcano
I’m not going to list every single item you can possibly mine (or gather) from the
Volcano. Below, I listed the more important ones along with at which rank you can
Adv Armor Sphere
Hrd Armor Sphere
Hvy Armor Sphere
Tru Armor Sphere
In my opinion, it is not worth doing major mining operations until you are, at least, High
Rank. At Low Rank, the charms you can mine will yield mediocre talismans, armor
spheres, and shards at best. At High Rank you will have access to Timeworn Charms
which are more likely to be evaluated as higher quality talismans, with better skills.
In addition, you then have access to the more valuable Adv and Hrd Armor Spheres.
Feel free to mine at Low Rank but there’s no reason to spend a lot of time seeking rare items.
At G Rank you will be after Tru Armor Spheres, Enduring charms, and probably some
Ancient Shards. You will need TONS of Tru armor spheres to fully upgrade a set of G
Rank armor. Enduring Charms can yield the best Talismans in the game with rare and
valuable skills such as Edgemaster, KO, and Handicraft. Finding an Ancient shard is
hard enough, the chances of it being a rare weapon are even lower, and the odds of it
being the type of weapon you want is 1 in 12.
So what’s the best way to get the rarest items? Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.
What Items Should I Bring on Mining Runs?
You should try to carry as little as possible. You want to maximize the amount of space
in your inventory so you can bring back as many different goodies as possible. Believe
me, there are few things more annoying than sitting there deciding which item to discard
when an Uroktor decides to be a ******* and knock you over. Makes me mad enough
to ****! (That’s kill, btw).
When I go mining, I typically bring a Cool Drink, some Mega Potions (you never know
what’s going to pop!), 5 Mega Pickaxes, 5 Iron Pickaxes, sometimes, a VE Ticket to
trade the little red guy, and possibly a stamina item or two.
What Kind of Gear Should I Wear?
You don’t need to have a special set of equipment to do a mining run but some armors
and talismans have skills that can help.
Whim (Spirits Whim/Divine Whim)
This skill keeps you from breaking pickaxes (and bug nets). If money is tight, this will
make those expensive Mega Pickaxes last longer. It will also allow you to stop bringing
Iron Pickaxes so you can get the most out of your inventory space.
Gathering (Gathering +1/Gathering +2)
Unfortunately, this skill won’t increase your chances of mining a point multiple times. However, if you are in the secret area (you can only access with the Explorer food skill) it may be possible to gather more than three times (although this has not happened for me yet).
Charm (Charm Chaser)
This is a new skill in MH3U that gives you a chance of obtaining two charms at once. It doesn’t happen very often but it’s great when it works. The only problem is this can be a tough skill to obtain. The Azuros X armor set has three pieces that give two Charm each. You will most likely need to be lucky enough to find a charm that also gives Charm (which is probably some type of charmception).
Speed Gather (Speed Gatherer)
Speed Gatherer is a skill you really have to try to realize how useful it is. It allows you to mine almost twice as fast. Saving seconds on each swing adds up and decreases your total time spent on each run. Once you have it, you’ll never want to mine without it ever again.
Other than that, you can pretty much just wear the armor and weapon you would
typically take to the Volcano.
Roy: Here is a look at Myla’s mining set, which is the G-Rank Arzuros X armor, specced for mining with Gathering +2, Speed Gatherer, and Charm Chaser.
Harvest Tour: Volcano
This is the best and fastest way to accumulate resources.
For a Harvest Tour quest I would go from Zone 1 to Zone 3.
In Zone 3 there are four possible mining points but there might be zero that have
Now, pop a Cool Drink and head into Zone 5. Zone 5 has five possible mining points
and at least one of them is always available.
Next, travel north to Zone 8 which has a single mining point that is always active.
Now head northwest, to Zone 9, where three mining points will be ready to mine. You
can also trade with the Veggie Elder if you remembered to bring a VE ticket.
Zone 10 has two of the best mining spots on the map which are (fortunately) always
Jump off the cliff, back to Zone 5, to see if any new spots have spawned. Lastly, pass
through Zone 3 on your way back to base camp. If you get lucky, there might be one or
two last mining points there.
This is the fastest way to hit the most mining spots. Just lather, rinse, and repeat until
you’re sick of mining. However, keep in mind, not all mining spots are created equal. If
you are looking for the rarest items, sometimes it is better to go for quality over quantity.
The Explorer Method
With the Explorer food skill you can access a secret area that has best mining point on
the map, a gathering spot which can yield charms, shards, and armor spheres, and a
bug catching spot where you can obviously…catch bugs.
So how can you get this Explorer skill? First, you need to buy a meal from the cat at the
counter. Check the skills available before you eat for a combination that can give
Explorer. You can always combine a Seafood and a Drink into a meal to have a good
chance of getting Explorer as the fixed skill. Use ingredients marked “Fresh” to give
yourself a better chance of activating it. If you don’t get Explorer, don’t worry, just
depart on any Harvest Tour quest and immediately abandon it in order to remove your
food skills. Then you can try again.
Once you have Explorer you should just depart on the Volcano Harvest Tour, right?
Wrong! The secret area is not accessible on harvest tours because you always start
at the base camp. You can choose any other quest that takes place at the Volcano.
I often base this choice on which monster I want to kill me. Oh, that’s right, I forgot to
mention: after you’re done mining you’re going to have to die a few times.
If you simply abandoned the quest your item inventory would go back to however it was
prior to the quest. When you die you get to keep the items you obtained during the
quest. The game will even allow you to evaluate charms and shards after your lose. I
guess they feel bad for you and want you to get some items as a consolation.
Personally, I like to choose the Rathalos or Brachydios quest. These monsters are
likely to drop a Shiny after they kill you or one of your companions. If you are going with
a few friends, in multiplayer, I like to bring a Long Sword and some Flashbombs and try
to cut off the monster’s tail before dying. You can sometimes carve a rare item from the
tails of certain monsters.
After mining and gathering from the secret area you should stop and check what
items you ended up with. If you didn’t get anything you wanted, I recommend you
just abandon the quest and start over. The whole point of doing this is to abuse the
lucrative spots in the secret area to get the best chances of obtaining rare items. If you
didn’t get anything good, there’s really not much point in completing the run.
If you did get something worth keeping, jump off into Zone 8. Then proceed 8 > 9 > 10
> 5 and finally to 3. Now it’s time to die. If you chose the Rathalos quest he is usually
waiting for you in Zone 2 or 4. Here’s a tip, if you can’t find a monster to kill you, you
can always stand next to the lava and melt your feet off.
Dying three times by yourself can take a while. Bring a few friends to help get killed and
fail the quest even faster!
Hopefully this guide will help make mining a little less painful. Remember, it takes a lot
of luck to get the talismans and ancient weapons you want. If you do get a high level
charm or ancient weapon, and you’re not sure if it’s good, send it to your box anyways.
There are many ways to make money in MH3U but finding a rare charm or weapon may
only happen once in a blue moon. You can always sell the item later if you find out it’s
useless. Good luck and happy hunting!