As with other Monster Hunter titles, Monster Hunter Rise has the player take the role of a Monster Hunter, tasks with slaying or trapping large monsters using a variety of weapons, tools, and environmental features to damage and weaken them while surviving their attacks. Successful completion of the offered quests provide loot, typically in the form of various monster parts from the monster, which are used to forge new armor and weapons that can be used to take on more powerful monsters, forming the series' notable core loop. Several of the series' monsters return along with a host of new monsters developed for Rise. All fourteen weapon types that have been present in both Monster Hunter Generations and World, which mix archetypes of swords, shields, staves, bows, and guns, will be in Rise.
Rise uses the game seamless map approach introduced in Monster Hunter World unlike the zoned area approach typical of earlier games in the series. Its maps are more focused on vertical movement than previous games, as implied by its title, so new tools are given to the player to help with quickly vertical scaling. One is the companion Palamute, a dog-like creature that the player can ride without losing stamina. The Palamute can quickly scale cliffs and can also be ridden and perform attacks while fighting monsters, alongside the player's cat-like companion Palico. A new tool, similar to the Clutch Claw added in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, is the Wirebug, which can allow a player to grapple and swing across gaps or to higher locations as needed. The Wirebug also has different interactions with each weapon type, adding to that weapon's set of moves and combos.
Rise features both single-player and online multiplayer modes with up to four hunters in a group. In single player modes, the player hunts with both their Palico and Palamute companions. In the online modes, players select either the Palico or Palamute to join them.