There’s a lot to get your head around in Monster Hunter World – but regardless of experience level, we’ve got some tips for you…
Monster Hunter World’s arrival on PS4 and Xbox One heralds what Capcom hopes will be the beginning of a new era for their much-loved action RPG series. Under the hood it’s the same old Monster Hunter, but it’s been streamlined and given subtle tweaks and adjustments to help whip it into shape for consumption by a wider audience. Both Monster Hunter fans and newcomers should be pretty pleased with the result – but we won’t lie, it can be a bit overwhelming at first.
Because of that we’ve put together this tips guide – a bunch of things we think everybody should know as they get started in Monster Hunter World. A lot of these tips are aimed at beginners, but towards the end of this article you’ll find a big summary of some of the new additions to the game that even veteran monster hunters should keep in mind as they get deeper into the game and take on higher rank assignments. So… let’s get stuck in, shall we?
Beginners: Get to know Astera and the flow of Monster Hunter’s quests
Once you’ve gone through the opening sections of Monster Hunter World you’ll be introduced to Astera, your hub world. Think of this as being like the Tower in Destiny or the Normandy in Mass Effect – it’s where you’ll always return after embarking on a mission and it’ll actually grow with you as you progress through the game.
Not only will you get a better private room of your own, but you’ll find as you progress through the New World slaying monsters and helping humanity to find its foothold there that Astera will grow – there’ll be all-new NPCs, new features to deal with and more. Hang out there and get used to its layout, as knowing exactly where to go between missions to do specific things will save you a lot of time. Don’t neglect the lifts, either – these elevators will save you running around, as they’ll get you to your destination pretty much instantly and load-free.
As well as Astera, you should take the time to fully understand how Monster Hunter World’s quests flow. Monster Hunter isn’t like most RPGs where you accept a quest and go off wandering – big quests will instead drop you into one of the game’s vast zones with a goal and a time limit, but how you use those is entirely up to you. Missions always start in Astera with you picking up the assignment from a bulletin board or your handler. There, you’ll have a chance to party up for co-op if you want to, then you’ll head off to the mission zone.
Generally the flow of a mission to take down a monster will involve finding clues in the area to set your scoutflies on the monster’s trail – that’ll then let you find out where it is and attack it. These won’t be quick kills, and the game iks even prepared to let you die: if you’re downed you’ll respawn back at camp and can carry on out to continue a fight. Taking too long or dying too many times will end the quest. Basically, don’t let a death stop you.
When a quest is over you’ll get the chance to either keep or quickly sell your loot before being bumped back to Astera. There, take the time to stock up, craft and prepare before picking up your next assignment – it’s a simple loop, but it’ll keep you very engaged once you get used to it.
Don’t neglect your Scoutflies – they’re your greatest ally
Just like in the real world a big part of hunting in Monster Hunter World is about tracking, but hunters in Astera have a very useful tool to make matters easier: scoutflies. These little critters are marked out by a green glow in the world, and they’ll basically lay down a little breadcrumb trail on the ground to take you to your target.
In order to have them do that, however, you’ll need to get them on the scent. Investigate anything around – scoutflies will fly off to nearby interactive items – and you’ll find lots of clues. Monster footprints, saliva, scratch marks, primitive drawings – it’ll all help them out.
If you see your scoutflies fly off to check something else, it might be worth following them – even if it’s not related to your current task, it’ll result in either loot it intelligence that will increase your knowledge of the new world and eventually help you to level up aspects of Astera and the hunt itself.
The more you use your scoutflies the better they’ll be leveling up to eventually show you more information on monsters including weaknesses, loot drops and their nest – very handy.
Choose your weapon carefully, keep it sharp, and don’t be afraid to switch it up for specific encounters
As you’d expect there’s an enormous number of weapons in Monster Hunter World – but luckily for us they fit into fourteen weapon types, and those different weapon types fit into three broad categories: Light Weapons, Heavy Weapons and Technical Weapons.
They work pretty much exactly as you’d expect – Light Weapons are fast and versatile but also weak. Heavy weapons hit hard but have to be used in a more methodical way and generally carry greater risk. Technical Weapons often require a lot more micro-management to get the most out of them but are hugely rewarding if you can master them.
There’s an awful lot of different monsters in Monster Hunter World, and every single one has its own strengths and weaknesses – be that elemental or a susceptibility to certain types of damage. Some fly or for other reasons are more easily tackled with ranged weapons, too. Experiment with a variety of weapons – start with an easier one like the greatsword or sword and shield then try to graduate up, and try to have proficiency with more than one weapon type – then you can switch if a hunt is proving too difficult. Remember that you can even switch gear mid-mission by heading back to camp.
If you need more help with all this, check out our Monster Hunter World Weapons Guide where we break down all 14 types in more detail.
A major consideration when using a weapon should be its sharpness, represented by a blade-shaped icon in the top left of the screen, near your health. As you use a weapon it’ll blunt, and a blunt weapon is less effective. Sharpening your weapon can be done in the field with a whetstone – so if your blade dulls, back off from the encounter to sharpen up.
Use the environment, other monsters and weak points to your advantage
As well as the elemental weaknesses mentioned earlier, the cast of monsters you can take on in Monster Hunter World all feature unique weaknesses beyond mere rock-paper-scissors elemental affiliations. Many monsters are susceptible to certain types of damage from certain types of weapons or will even take additional damage if you’re wearing the right armor set. Parts can be broken off monsters, too, and that can help to make them less immediately deadly.
As well as being able to attack these points remember you can clamber atop monsters and cling to them to get to a particularly weak spot – but the most useful aspect of Monster Hunter World is that last word of its title – the world itself.
For one, the world is full of natural hazards that can be turned to your advantage to help in hunting. You can use elements of the environment to trap monsters, heal yourself or impart negative status effects – but beware, all the monsters can do the same right back to you, including destroying terrain. Is that wall you’re standing next to really solid enough to hold back that beast…? Be careful!
Don’t forget that not all monsters in any given zone are friendly to each other – and one of of the best ways to take down a monster that you’re struggling with is to lure another beast to take it on. As they fight you can stand back and wait for the dust to settle – but it’ll take careful management of aggro and use of lures to get two beasts together.
Prepare for battle with Crafting, Smithing, Eating and Mantles – and don’t forget to loot!
While it is a proper Role Playing Game, Monster Hunter World doesn’t put a focus on character progression in the sense of leveling up your character – instead, your progression is mostly tied to your own skills and the gear you currently have equipped. As previously mentioned, gear can significantly turn the tide on a difficult monster encounter, opening up a new weakness or a new avenue to major damage you might not have considered before.
Between assignments take yourself to the blacksmith to see what you’ve got the gear to craft. There’s an actual store to buy stuff here, too. New to Monster Hunter World is the wishlist system that lets you keep tabs on the items you eventually want to craft, while there’s an easy way to test weapons and armor for both look and utility. Do all this, and upgrade often! For this you’ll need to make sure you loot – so be sure to always grab items like ore, monster bones and carve from the carcasses of dead monsters you defeat.
Similarly, don’t forget to craft items and pick up additional crafting loot from around the world by following your scoutflies. A lot of this can be used to craft items like more potent healing potions or to cook meals which give you long-lasting status effects that buff your character. The right meal can save you from death or protect you from a monster’s nasty ailments such as poison, so it can really save you. You can craft back at base but smaller items can also be crafted out in the field – a great way to get additional curative items mid-mission.
Finally, don’t go underestimating mantles. There’s a Gillie mantle which is useful for stealth, a Glider that grants you limited flight (or, y’know, more like guided falling) plus Rocksteady and Challenger – special mantles that up your resistance to make you more hardy and make monsters more aggressive to you respectively.
Customize your Item Pouch prior to battle for quick access to your most important tools
Combat can suddenly move at a pretty blistering pace in Monster Hunter World, and so you need to be very careful to not let yourself be overwhelmed by that. The worst possible thing you can do is need to scramble for a potion or something and struggle to find it while a beast is bearing down on you – but the solution to that is to set up your quick access menu in advance.
Bringing up the menu and selecting the ‘Item Pouch’ option then hitting Triangle or Y will let you set the item bar up how you want it – and you may want to adjust it on a per-mission basis. This changes the items in the bar at the bottom right and their order, so you can organize things to ensure you always have access to the most important tools you need – most pressingly, curatives.
And finally… don’t underestimate online
The truth is, Monster Hunter is designed to be experienced in multiplayer. It’s absolutely possible to solo the vast majority of Monster Hunter World’s content, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Monster Hunter World is a blast when you get together a squad of players to tackle beasts together, and the difficulty of the game will automatically shift to make everything more appropriate when you join other players or have them join you on a quest.
Early on in the game you’ll unlock the SOS beacon, and you shouldn’t be afraid to shoot this skywards if you’re struggling and get some help from a more experienced hunter online. It’s a great way to progress and grind out loot so you can better tackle more things – even if you prefer to do so solo for the most part.
The squad system is also useful – think of them as clans – so once you’ve tried out online a little, give that a shot too.
Experienced Hunters: Changes you should be aware of
Monster Hunter pros are often some very serious, in-depth types thanks to just how full-on Monster Hunter can be, but World brings with it more major changes than the series has seen in pretty much its entire lifetime. There’s a lot new to discover, and that can mean pros will be as wide-eyed with wonder in some cases as the full-blown newcomers.
Monster Hunter fanboys don’t come much bigger than our friend Arekkz, and he put together a neat little video – as you can see above – detailing some of the new features veteran unters should be aware about. If you can’t watch the video, we’ve rounded up ten of the new features he flags as a big deal to existing fans below…
1. Bounties and investigations: Every quest can now be done either solo or with friends, and will scale depending on how many players are in there. Where once there was filler quests, there are now bounties – instead of needing to go and kill 20 small monsters, for instance, you can just meet that condition while out in the world doing more exciting things. You can carry six bounties at a time. Investigations are optional hunting quests that hand out additional items, which are also new for World. This means that there should be less time spent grinding away at uninteresting objectives.
2. A clear key quest line: You’re now given a much clearer idea of which quests are essential and what you need to do to progress, thanks to the ‘assigned quest’ list, in Monster Hunter World. It’s now easier to figure out what you need to do next to progress the plot forward.
3. Daily bonuses: Each day when you log in you can get a bonus item and voucher just for opening the game. Solid! These probably won’t be huge rewards, but they’re a nice incentive to jump in daily.
4. Research levels: The scout flies you bring with you to track monsters level up as you examine things in the world. Eventually they’ll level up to a point where they can simply tell you where a monster in on the map without you needing to look for clues. You’ll also learn more about monsters each time you hunt them, eventually learning their weak points.
5. House and pets: You will gain access to different houses as you progress this time. You can also get house pets – catch a spider in your net, for instance, and it will be your buddy in the new home you potentially just bought. Cool.
6. The Training Room: There’s now a room…for training. It’s actually very good – plenty of targets to hit, vines to climb, walls to run up, and lots of different tools for testing different scenarios. Arekkz says it’s very helpful and that they’ve ‘thought of everything’. It’s a great place to learn how to use weapons.
7. Squads: Basically Monster Hunter now has guilds/clans, which give you access to member-only online sessions and squad icons.
8. Arm wrestling is back! In the lobby you can start arm wrestling other players at one of the barrels. A lovely little way to pass the time.
9. Weapon and gear previews: You can now try on a whole set of armour before buying, and get an idea of how it will look before you buy. You don’t have to buy a full set of armour only to find that it looks ugly together now.
10. The Wish List: When you mark that you need something for crafty with your Smithy, the game will start tracking it and let you know when you collect the objects you need. Very handy, and saves you from needing to obsessively check yourself. It sounds like the game is generally better at tracking your progress in its many forms now.