Monster Hunter World is by far the friendliest iteration of the franchise yet like it’s titular denizens it’s still a massive, complicated beast. It takes all of the core systems that define what Monster Hunter is as a franchise and appends several new mechanics and gameplay wrinkles, creating a sprawling (and spectacular) package that can be a lot to wrap your mind around, particularly as a neophyte. But fret not, whether you’re a newcomer or series veteran, these life-saving Monster Hunter World tips that will keep you alive longer and slaying faster.
Make Use Of Your Scoutflies
Every area of the New World is full of twists and turns and stacked layers. It’s surprisingly difficult to just follow a path from point A to point B. There’s no way to put a custom marker on your map, either. But you can mark any resource, animal or monster you’ve seen before and your scoutflies will lead you straight to it. Pick a resource near where you want to go and ask your scoutflies to take you there.
As you find more and more stuff out in the world, your map will get very crowded. In the upper right corner of your map screen, you can cycle through filters to pare down all of those icons to something more useful.
Use The Environment
More than any past Monster Hunter game, World encourages you to interact with its living environments. There are some obvious, important ways to do so, like interacting with the tracking materials you need to locate your prey. But there are some less obvious (and less explicitly explained) pieces of the environment you should also be aware of.
For instance, there are a number of natural traps strewn around the hunting grounds that clever fighters can bend to their advantage, from rock falls to vine traps to waterfalls. Not only do they deal massive damage, but they often leave your prey disoriented or immobilized, meaning it’s a perfect time to launch your most devastating combos without fear of retribution.
Generally, open areas with lots of space to move around and dodge in are the best — getting caught in a tight little nest with a rampaging anjanath is a bad time. But also be aware of natural ledges and pits that can provide you with the opportunity to mount or make a quick escape to heal, and of clumps of high grass that let you conceal yourself for a well-timed sharpening.
Perhaps most importantly of all, watch out for poisoncups or paratoads, interactable flora and fauna in the environment that you can lure monsters into and afflict them with devastating status effects, without needing to harvest or craft anything.
Hunting Monsters Is About Crafting Gear
Nearly every new monster you carve up unlocks new armor to make or a new upgrade to your weapons. Which, in turn, makes you better prepared for hunting the next monster. Essentially you make gear out of monsters to hunt other monsters. Every time you hunt a new monster and pick up new materials, head to the workshop in Astera. Look at your options for forging and upgrading your armor and weapon(s).
While it’s tempting to just stack armor that has the highest defense rating, for instance, and while that strategy might serve you against some early foes, you’ll inevitably hit a brick wall in the form of a monster with massive elemental damage or particularly lethal status effects. Do your homework, research what the monster’s strengths and weaknesses are (the game provides a robust field guide for just this purpose), and prepare accordingly.
Fighting a Kirin that scorches the earth with massive tempests of lightning? Bring armor strong against thunder, eat a meal at the canteen that boosts elemental resistance, and bring along the mantle that negates thunder damage. Suddenly, instead of being one hit by a single arc of lightning, you’re able to go toe-to-toe with the deadly Elder Dragon and shrugging off its most potent attacks.
Explore Astera Thoroughly
After your initial rush across the Ancient Forest, you’ll enter the town of Astera. This will be your home base for the rest of the game, but Monster Hunter World doesn’t go out of its way to introduce you to it. It’ll walk you to a couple of the locations, but there’s a lot more to discover and do in Astera.
During your early visits, watch your map and minimap to make sure you’ve checked in at every vendor, research center, and quest-giving NPC. Some of the important points of interest are shockingly easy to overlook (we’re looking at you, Ecological Research).
Also, this hardly bears mentioning but talk to all the NPCs with an exclamation point over their head have something they want you to do for them. These NPCs will probably ask you to make some sort of delivery in exchange for a rare item or an upgrade to one of the vendors.
Bring Plenty Of Heals
No matter how timely your blocks or artful your dodges, you’re going to get hit in Monster Hunter World. A lot. It’s a game that makes fights necessarily unpredictable and challenging, and this means that, inevitably, you’re going to take the occasional walloping. But more so than any Monster Hunter that’s come before it, World gives you a huge number of ways to quickly heal up your wounds and get back into the fight. Take liberal advantage of them, especially early on when you’re still finding your footing or mastering a new weapon.
This doesn’t just mean stack potions and mega potions, though that’s an obvious first step. It also means that bringing along a Palico with the healing vigorwasp gadget and getting it leveled up is a huge early game priority. And always be aware of the wild vigorwasps in the environment, and the vitallies, both of which provide large, almost instant healing out in the field at zero cost to you.
Need even more healing? Add the healing station specialized tool, which provides a constant heal over time as long as you’re within its radius, or pack the vitality mantle which makes you invulnerable to a certain amount of damage, so you’re not as reliant on other healing in the first place. If you’re still having trouble, throw in some extra max potions and ancient potions.
Know The Difference Between Quests And Expeditions
Quests are time-limited missions with a fixed goal: hunt a monster, gather something or kill a number of smaller creatures. They usually allow you 50 minutes and three deaths before you fail. There are Assigned quests, which further the story, and always involve hunting a big creature. Optional quests, which you pick up from characters back at base, unlock new ingredients for the canteen, new gadgets, and that kind of thing.
Expeditions are not time-limited—you just head out into one of the environments and explore. You can do whatever you like: hunt whatever big monster is hanging around, find new base camps, or gather plants, fish, and ores for crafting. Investigations are optional goals for your expeditions that offer better rewards than just tooling around. You pick these up from the Resource Center.
While you might be inclined to get through the main story quests as quickly as possible (and that’s the fastest path to getting the best armor and weapons), you don’t want to ignore the other items on your quest list. Optional Quests have the potential to unlock powerful upgrades, and they’re also the way that you’ll expand your cantina. If you want to make sure to get the most benefit from your pre-hunt meals, you’ll need to complete the chef’s gathering quests.
And unlike Bounties, the Resource Center’s investigations aren’t completed automatically when you meet those requirements on a hunt. Investigation quests are a separate category, and completing them nets you bonus rewards on the hunt. When you need “just one more” monster part, investigations are the best way to try and farm rarer crafting components.
Combat in Monster Hunter World is more technical than you might initially think. More than just hammering a button until your prey has fallen, it’s about mixing things up – introducing rising attacks to knock them off their feet, dodging and rolling before striking, charging up your giant hammer of doom before unleashing its full destructive potential.
Again, it’s something you need to figure out for yourself when it comes to what does and doesn’t work for you, but as long as you’re varying your approach to combat and trying out new things (look to the top right of the screen for pointers), you’re sure to find a battling style that suits.
Additionally, keep an eye on where your prey is. Click the right stick in. Simple as that. Even from a distance and with obstacles in the way, you’re able to lock on to your target and keep track of their movements.
Mounting is a fairly new mechanic in the Monster Hunter series, and so even a lot of vets aren’t properly familiar with it. But it’s an incredibly handy trick if you can master it, and can be the source of a huge amount of fairly low-risk damage, and a great way to break some of the trickier parts of a monster’s anatomy. When you’re fighting a monster, particularly some of the trickier flying wyverns, always be aware of ledges and cliffs you can scale and leap from. Land a mid-air attack on a monster and you’ll automatically mount it (and don’t worry about the occasional miss, there’s is absolutely no falling damage in Monster Hunter World).
Once on its back, the mounting process becomes something of a mini-game, where you’ll be hammering the attack button to weaken it enough to deliver a final attack and knock it prone. But it will be constantly attempting to shake it off, and you’ll need to hit a button to brace yourself or move up or down its body to avoid specific attacks.
It sounds difficult but is actually quite simple once you get the hang of it, but make sure you pay attention to the tutorials the first few times you mount, because eventually they’ll disappear, and you’ll be left with only visual cues to indicate when you should move, or brace, or charge a final attack. When the camera zooms in and changes angles, it’s time for that last strike, so deliver it quickly and be ready to hit the monster with your best attacks immediately after you’ve knocked it down.
Break All The Things
As in previous games, monsters have a huge number of spots on their bodies that can be shattered or cleaved. Finding these spots and exploiting their weaknesses is key to not only delivering additional damage (broken areas will often expose the soft tissue beneath, meaning strikes there are much more impactful), but also crucial to collecting some of the rarest crafting materials.
Do your best to focus your attacks on a single area, especially if you’re looking for a specific mat. Need a noseridge to make some new helm you’re craving? Chances are you’ll need to break the monster’s face to get it as a post-hunt reward. One lovely new quality-of-lfe improvement that World adds is the ability to see exactly why you got every reward when you receive them after a hunt, so pay attention to the text that indicates whether it’s for completing the quest, capturing a monster, breaking a body part, etc. That way, if you discover you need twelve of them to make a complete set of armor, you’ll know precisely how to farm them.
Take full and liberal advantage of the bounty system. The way armor upgrading works has been changed a bit in Monster Hunter World, and it now requires a much larger number of armor spheres to improve your existing gear. One of the primary ways you get these precious spheres is through the bounty system, mini-objectives you pick up in town that you can complete while going about the business of your main or optional quests.
First and most obviously you want to always make sure you have a full slate of bounties when you go out a-questin’. But also try, whenever possible, to stack bounties of the same type. It’s possible, for instance, to get multiple bounties that task you with collecting honey, which means that every time you harvest honey (which you should be doing anyway, by the way, it’s one of the most vital crafting ingredients in the game) you’ll be getting rewarded multiples. Stacking bounties like this mean less work for you and more precious armor spheres to feed your hungry gear.
So there you have it! Happy hunting and pet the Poogie when you see it.