Like the base game, the player Ice Bone takes on the role of a hunter, either alone or in cooperation with other players, killing or trapping large monsters. Iceborne features a new Arctic ecosystem called Hoarfrost Reach, one of the biggest maps the team has created, allowing players to encounter both new and returning creatures. As players progress through the story slowly, more areas of Hoarfrost Reach will open up for players to explore. Since it is set in a cold environment, players must drink hot drinks or visit the hot springs to avoid running out of stamina. Snow will also slow down the player’s movement. Seliana was the hub area of Hoarfrost Reach, where players could visit weapon makers and cooks. This expansion pack includes a new fast-moving system called Raider Rides, which allows players to tame and ride small creatures to navigate to designated points on the map or track monsters while the player is collecting certain resources while on the move.
Capcom has also introduced new combat options and tools to Iceborne, including giving players the ability to catch monsters with the new Clutch Claw tool and the ability to stun creatures using Flinch Shot. Slinger can now be used with its main weapon removed. All weapons Akita clad have gotten the upgrade path. Existing armor and weapon equipment gained additional upgrade levels. Iceborne also introduces new layered armor, allowing players to equip additional armor over existing armor sets to customize the hunter’s look while maintaining the same equipment skills. Iceborne introduces a new hunter class called Master Rank. Upon reaching the master rank, players will encounter new sets of armor, such as encountering more challenging enemies and creatures, and earn better rewards as well.