Given legendary impatience with manuals, and lack of game-time, I dived straight into the game. Tutorial screens? Nah. Practice runs against some inanimate objects? Don't be silly. Monster Hunter: World however really benefits from paying attention to the help screens, and using practice the area.
Radial Menu Item selection is a pain in the neck?
So, perhaps it's just me, but talk about pain in the neck. On PS4 you need to push L1, then select which of four menus you want, then select what you want by pushing stick in that direction twice. Not with my sausage fingers.
Change Item Type instead in settings to Type 3, which allows you to press L1 and cycle through it by pressing square or circle to go left or right. Selected item is then used by pressing square again. Much easier and more obvious.
How to set up a new camp area?
When you discover an area of the map which can be turned into a camp, you would, reasonably so, assume that you can somehow do it there and then.
You will be prompted on the screen to do it, however, even if you do have the necessary materials (different for each area), you still have to go back to Astera base, and talk to the good people in the Resource Centre. There, under Complete Deliveries menu, you basically click a button to complete a quest, which will then set up your camp. Not the most obvious of places.
Canteen upgrades and what food to eat
Watch out at all times for any quests from the people making food for you. You want to do those as soon as possible, as it will upgrade the canteen, and/or expand number of meals available to you. Chef's Choice Platter is generaly the best option once it becomes available, as it gives you both Health and Stamina Boost (both super important), as well as a third boost such as Attack boost. Look out for a yellow highlight for each item available.
Armour Upgrades and crafting downgrades
Where your weapon upgrades are pretty simple in terms of needing to find the right resource by harvesting it from monsters, upgrading armor will depend on Armor Spheres. These in turn can be earnt quite easily from Bounties and Investigations quests, which get triggered as you track monsters. In addition these quests also give you some bonus items to supplement your Large Monster haul.
Whilst crafting new armour pieces works same as weapon crafting, armour upgrades simply need the Armor Spheres. You can now downgrade both armour and weapons, and receive materials back.
Online matchmaking is broken, use the SOS Flare
If you are hoping you will be matched with some fine people, or indeed any people, at the time of writing, it doesn't really work. However, check your menu regularly and as soon as SOS Flare option becomes available, if you want some company, just fire that. Kind people that play Monster Hunter: World regularly usually answer your cry for help (or company!) pretty quickly, and you will have some people to play with pretty quick. It certainly will speed up any activity.