Monster Hunter World: 16 Tips We Wish We Knew Before Starting

Monster Hunting Tips To Be Mindful Of

Monster Hunter World is the most accessible game in the series. However, it still leaves some mechanics and systems unexplained. To help you get a knack for some of Monster Hunter World’s intricacies, we’ve compiled 16 essential tips that we wish we knew before starting the game.

Monster Hunter World is out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with a PC release to come later in the year. That’s notable, as recent entries were limited to 3DS. The additional horsepower has allowed for a game with much larger, more beautiful environments to play in.

You can read more about what to expect in our Monster Hunter World review. For more impressions of the game, check out our feature detailing 11 ways for Capcom to make the game even better than it already is.

If you’re eager to see some of Monster Hunter World’s high-rank armor sets, then check out our galleries showcasing armor on male characters, female characters, and Palicoes. Those playing on PS4 will be able to get their hands on some exclusive gear based on Horizon Zero Dawn. We also know that new Mega Man-themed items are on the way, as well as character skins themed around Street Fighter V–and if past Monster Hunter games are any indication, this won’t be the last crossover content that Capcom releases.

Decorate Your House With Creatures

You might’ve noticed a net in your inventory that’s not terribly effective against the world’s bigger denizens. However, that net can be used to capture smaller insects, birds, and lizards. These captures earn you a few research points with each creature that you catch, but more importantly, the little beasts are added to your room as potential living decorations. Even after upgrading your room, the number of pets you can display is limited, but you’re free to swap them out at any time.

This counts for fish as well: While you can grab fish one by one with your rod, you can grab a few at once by using your net. Be warned, though, that the net scares off every other fish in the surrounding water.

Your Palico Can Get New Gadgets

While you’re probably aware that you can swap out your Palico’s weapon and armor at the Smithy, you might not know that you can acquire other gadgets for your companion. The starting Vigorwasp gear is incredibly helpful–especially early in the game, since it gives you free and immediate heals. But you can find other pieces of gear that give your Palico a whole host of different benefits.

To find the new equipment, you need to go out to an area on an expedition and look for Grimilkynes; the researcher in each area will help point you in the right direction. Each area has a Grimilkyne who offers a quest, with new Palico equipment as the reward.

One of our favorites is the Plunderblade, which you earn from the Grimalkyne in Rotten Vale. This handy item steals additional monster parts from your prey, which gives you yet another chance to earn some of the game’s rarer items (and thus craft better loot).

Always Manage Bounties In Between Missions

Don’t let all that time spent picking flowers and murdering small animals go to waste. Head to the Resource Center in Astera’s tradeyard between every mission to turn in completed bounties and pick up new ones. They’re usually fairly easy to complete–tasks range from gathering honey, to completing hunts in specific areas–and they reward valuable armor spheres for upgrading your equipment.

Turn In Delivery Requests At The Resource Center

The Resource Center is also where you go to turn in completed delivery quests. These are the missions that require you to collect a certain amount of specific materials, usually obtained from speaking with characters in Astera who have an exclamation mark icon. Even if you have all the materials, you can’t turn in the quest until you speak with the woman at the Resource Center and select the correct option in the menu. Do so whenever possible, because the rewards are often valuable, and can include new fast travel campsites.

How Investigations Work

Investigations are one of the more confusing elements that are introduced early on in Monster Hunter World, largely because their name is something of a misnomer. You’re not actually “investigating” anything; these are really just side quests to hunt or capture specific monsters. That’s it.

The hard part is managing them. At the Resource Center in Astera’s tradeyard, you can “register” a maximum of 50 investigations at any one time. Each investigation can only be attempted or completed a limited number of times, but it’s easy to get more investigations through combat, or by sniffing out monster tracks, marks, and other leavings out in the world. You’ll also want to periodically comb through and delete lower-level investigations that you’re not interested in, so that you don’t butt up against the cap. Investigations are the best option for farming specific monsters, if you want their loot to make new armor or weapons.

How Weapon Upgrade Trees Work

Even early on, when your weapon upgrade trees span barely more than a few branches, they can seem hopelessly confusing. The important part to understand is that each weapon archetype has multiple possible starting materials. The basic charge blade, for example, begins on the ore tree (the Proto Commission Axe) or the bone tree (the Bone Strongarm). Each has its own unique upgrade path, and they don’t intersect.

For example, if you want to make a charge blade that deals lightning damage, you need to start with the Proto Commission Axe and work your way up; meanwhile, the Bone Strongarm can lead to a water-infused charge blade. It gets way more complicated, but the most important thing to know is that you can craft new base versions of these weapons–ore, bone, or otherwise–at the smithy anytime. You can also walk back most upgrades to get your materials back (though not the zenny).

How Multiplayer Works

Playing Monster Hunter World with your friends is one of the game’s main selling points, but actually hooking up for multiplayer can be a headache. The main thing to know: You need to be in the same “session” as your friends to join each other on quests. When you load up the game, you can matchmake into a session with strangers, or create your own; either way, you can then invite friends. Or you can form a “squad” (like a clan or guild) with your friends, and load into your squad’s session every time you start the game. Anyone in your session can join a quest once you “post” it at a quest board or with your handler. If you want only friends to be able to join, set a password.

This comes with some limitations. You can’t invite your friends early on in “assigned” (story) missions; you have to view all the associated cutscenes and get to the actual monster fight first. After that, you can fire off SOS flares (to attract random players), or have friends in your session join from the quest board. If you’re having more trouble connecting with people, make sure that you’re in the same session by checking the player list from the options menu (make sure that everyone is the appropriate hunter rank for the quest you’re attempting).

Be careful: Monsters become significantly more difficult in multiplayer, and their health scales automatically for four players. Playing with only two players can actually be harder than hunting solo, so it’s smart to fire off an SOS flare from the menu, once you actually start the mission to invite more players in.

Save Manually

Monster Hunter World auto-saves your progress when you do something important, like completing a quest. But it’s smart to save your game manually whenever you’re joining a new online session or powering down for the night.

Let’s say you complete a quest and then spend several minutes putzing around in Astera, upgrading weapons, registering bounties, and managing inventory. Then a friend invites you to their online session. Great–you accept their invitation, ignoring the warning about losing unsaved progress. Congrats! Unless you saved manually, you just lost 15 minutes of your life, and you’ll have to do all that micromanagement again.

How To Actually Use the Insect Glaive

A lot of us first-time Monster Hunters were drawn to the Insect Glaive as our initial weapon of choice, because it’s flashy and looks cool. But more than a few of us didn’t discover how to use it to its full potential, until we had already slain the first few monsters.

The Insect Glaive comes with a Kinsect–a giant beetle that you’re supposed to aim and shoot at monsters, in order to extract one of three different buffs for yourself. Once you’re happy with what it’s got, you’ll need to recall it in order to receive the limited-time benefits.

If you’re diligent, you can have all three buffs going at once, which will greatly assist in your ability to slay your foes. Send the Kinsect to a monster’s feet, and you can get a white speed buff. Hit its body, and you’ll get get an orange buff that boosts defence. Finally, hit its head and you’ll get a red buff, which boosts your attack power–and more importantly, expands your attack strings and combo options with even more slicing and dicing!

Don’t even consider attacking something until you have a red buff, at the very least. Seriously–some of us can’t even believe we slogged through so many monsters without knowing this.

The other important thing to remember with the Insect Glaive is that you should make liberal use of the vault-jump (R2 + X on PS4, or Right Trigger + A on Xbox One). You’ll have access to two different aerial attacks (which are fantastic once you have a red buff active), as well as a midair dash to cover more ground or keep your combo going. It’s even possible to stay in the air indefinitely, if the conditions are right. Naturally, this ability also makes it incredibly easy to mount monsters in order to knock them down.

The Insect Glaive is all about being incredibly mobile, doing great air damage, and keeping your buffs up to unleash a dizzying flurry of strikes. It’s fun as hell–when you know how to use it.

You Can Swing Around On Wedge Beetles

Mounting monsters is both fun and incredibly useful, but you don’t always have always a good ledge to leap from. Enter the Wedge Beetle, those glowing bugs that you may have noticed scattered around the world (which also make a very distinctive noise to notify you that they’re nearby). By aiming at a Wedge Beetle with the left trigger, you can hit the Circle button (on PS4) or B button (on Xbox One) to latch onto it, allowing you to swing indefinitely before launching yourself in a direction. This is useful not just for mounting monsters, but also for navigating the world, as you can sometimes save yourself the trouble of scaling a wall–just fly on up by latching onto a Wedge Beetle.

Item And Equipment Loadouts Save Tons Of Time

One of the most time-saving (and tedium-reducing) things you can do in Monster Hunter World is save your item and equipment loadouts. This can be done from the Manage Items and Manage Equipment screens of your item box, and each loadout can be assigned a name to help you keep track of what it is. By doing this, you can establish equipment sets that work effectively when hunting specific types of monsters. This means no more scrolling through all of your items to double-check, say, whether you have something that provides more defense and resistances.

Item loadouts serve a similar purpose: They not only ensure that you have everything you want to bring on a hunt, they also allow you to easily dump everything that you picked up on a previous hunt. While Monster Hunter World introduces the ability to visit your item box while you’re in the field, this ensures that you never find yourself ready to capture a monster after a long fight, only to realize that you didn’t bring any traps.

The Map Is A Powerful Tool

A glimpse at the map can be overwhelming, but it’s incredibly helpful if you know how to use it. If you’re on the trail of a monster, you can select it in the bottom-left of the map, to have your scout flies help guide you toward it. Beyond that, you can set custom waypoints anywhere on the map,and your scout flies will guide you to your destination. And the map shows quite a lot–quests and bounties that involve hunting a particular small monster or collecting honey are much easier when your scout flies can take you to the correct location.

Talk To The Chief Ecologist Often

Among the people you’ll want to routinely talk to in town is the Chief Ecologist, in the Ecological Research area of Astera. Located just to your left of where you spawn (up the stairs, behind where you manage bounties and investigations), having a quick chat allows you to capitalize on any tracks and other monster evidence that you collect in the field. Picking up that stuff is incredibly helpful long-term, but speaking to the researcher is a necessary part of the process, as doing so lets you increase your Research level with that particular monster. This, in turn, allows you to check out your Hunter’s Notes from the Start menu at any item, which gives you important information about monster weak points, resistances, and item drops. Higher Research levels also provide a scout fly bonus, letting you more quickly pick up a monster’s trail.

The Wishlist Makes It Easy To Track Materials

Crafting everything you want requires a lot of materials–and trying to remember exactly what you need can become a hassle. Rather than waste your time running to the crafting screen to see if you finally have all the necessary parts after each hunt, setting up a wishlist ensures that you get notifications telling you both when you’ve picked up a material for something on your list, and when you have all the parts to start crafting.

Capturing Monsters Is The Way To Go

Capturing monsters may seem a little intimidating, particularly if you’re a newcomer; it’s easier and safer to just keep smacking a monster on the head with a sword than to risk death by trying to ensnare it. But the process is actually quite easy (check out our guide to capturing monsters in Monster Hunter World), and more importantly, tends to yield more rewards than killing a monster. Capturing is obviously an essential element of some quests, but even when you can get away with killing a monster, you’re better off bringing some traps and tranq bombs (or tranq ammo) and capturing everything that you can.

Flash Pods Are Invaluable Against Flying Monsters

Flying monsters can be obnoxious, particularly if you’re a melee weapon user. They soar into the air, often out of even the most comically large weapon’s reach, and they launch deadly attacks from the sky. Launching rocks with your slinger won’t do much, but the slinger can be equipped with something that is more effective: Flash Pods. These are occasionally given to you for free at the beginning of a quest, or you can craft them and bring them yourself.

Either way, simply scroll through your item bar and equip the Flash Pod, and you suddenly have a great counter to flying monsters. You only get three shots, but firing one in the vicinity of a monster’s face with the slinger (done by holding the left trigger and firing with the right) will stun the monster and cause it to drop out of the sky, thereby saving you from an incoming attack (and opening up an opportunity to deal some damage).

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