It’s Monster Hunter Day! It’s Monster Hunter Day!
Friends and countrymen, rejoice. Sharpen your blades and prepare your potion jars, because the gaming community is about to absolutely murder some monsters.
Maybe you are new to the Monster Hunter franchise, or maybe, like me, you’ve tried it in the past and it just didn’t take. Either way, I have assembled a few tips to help get by while you get your Monster Hunter legs. This is by no means intended to be a definitive guide. Rather, these are little tidbits that are unique to the Monster Hunter Franchise that might be obvious to veteran monster slayers but came as news to me when I played through the game recently.
I hope new players find some of this helpful:
Sharpen your weapons – While Monster Hunter World is mercifully free from weapons that break, your killing implement of choice still requires regular maintenance. You start each mission with your weapon fully sharpened, but as you use it you will notice that sharpness gauge (under your health bar in the upper left) slowly decreasing and changing color. It is in your best interest to keep your weapon in peak condition, as a dull weapon does less damage. Longer battles typically have and ebb and flow to them, and there are periods when enemies just kind of wander away. Take advantage of these short breaks to pause to sharpen up. The animation only takes maybe three seconds, and it sharpens your weapon all the way back to peak condition every time it completes. It is also totally fine to run away from a battle for a moment to sharpen or potion up, then rush back into the fray.
Having trouble? Try to go it alone – It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you are battling with a team and you are continuously getting wiped by a vicious monster, consider bailing on your friends and trying the battle solo. It is easy to miss, but when you are soloing a monster and a friend joins, a small blurb appears onscreen that reads “Difficulty adjusted for multiplayer”. That means that the game just pumped that monster you were fighting with an injection of hatred and hit points. Logically, this means that monsters you battle solo have less hit points and might be more manageable. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here. My son and I got destroyed by an Anjanath three times before I attempted the fight by myself and beat it on the first try.
Bounties/ Resource Control Center – The Resource Control Center is your friend. It is located in the Hub city, down near the trade area. As soon as it opens up (a couple of missions into the story-line), make a beeline for it and pick up some bounties. Bounties are mini-quests that can be accomplished while doing larger quests. They consist of things like “Mine nine times”, or “Pick up six bugs” or “Do three quests in this area”. Stuff like that just kind of happens when you are playing the game, so it is easy to knock these out and turn them in when you get back to town. They reward you with Armor Spheres, which can be used to improve your gear at the Smithy. As a bonus, there are slots for you to accept several bounties, and there is often overlap in what the Resource Control Center is offering. If you take two bounties for picking mushrooms simultaneously, you can reap double rewards for you efforts.
Investigations - In addition to bounties, the RCC offers investigations. These are opportunities to hunt specific monsters within a predetermined time-frame. Completing investigations rewards players with rarer materials and cold hard cash, and are a great way to farm for materials for that sweet hat you are trying to make.
Pick up body parts – As you whack away at the giant beasts in Monster Hunter, you will notice that parts of their bodies eventually break off. You can chop off tails, wings, horns, any manner of monster parts. When this happens, if you can get away with it, sheathe your weapons for a second and pick those severed pieces up. They are basically extra materials that you wouldn’t receive if you just waited for the end of the battle to harvest the monster. Pay special attention to tails, which sometimes can’t be picked up, but can be harvested themselves for extra goodies.
Palico tanks – It goes without saying that Monster Hunter World’s cat friends – Palicos – are the best thing since sliced bread. In addition to being adorable, they are able to help in battle in any number of ways, offering heals, dealing damage, and providing comic relief. Don’t be afraid to let your cute little buddy act as a tank in battle. If Palicos take too much damange and get knocked out, they just get up again eventually. They don’t die permanently, so feel free to let your tiny friend go toe to toe with that giant dragon. He can take it. He loves getting blasted in the face with fire.
Materials respawn – Some materials are rarer than others. When out gathering herbs and mushrooms, be aware that these items will respawn a minute or two after you harvest them. The second you pick something up, the location will be noted on you map for the rest of time, so feel free to swing by a little later for another helping of rare materials.
Tracking for cash – There are two forms of currency in Monster Hunter World (don’t worry, you don’t have to pay real-world cash for either of them). Zenny is the standard currency you are rewarded with when completing missions and investigations. When you are tracking monsters in the wild, you are rewarded with Research Points, which can be used at several vendors in the game for bonuses, materials and food. Research Points are easy to come by. You simply have to investigate monster prints and other signs of monster life out in the wild (scratch marks, mucus, stuff like that). Before you know it, you will be swimming in Research Points, so don’t neglect to check out everything you see.
Wander environments – There are all sorts of secrets hiding in the beautiful and dense hunting grounds in Monster Hunter. You might be less inclined to wander around when on a timed hunt, so take advantage of excursions. Excursions are non-structured trips into the game’s incredibly detailed and lively worlds. You can find mini-quests, learn new skills, open up new camps (spawn points), and make friends with wild Palicios. There are all sorts of fun things to play with and discover, so take a break from the grind occasionally and just wander around poking at stuff.
Fishing is easy – Do you hate fishing minigames? I hate fishing minigames. I find them to be needlessly complicated, and it seems as though each new game tries to reinvent the wheel in their quest to make fish unobtainable. Monster Hunter World cuts right through that nonsense and delivers one of the simplest fishing minigames I’ve experience. Simply select your fishing pole, select where you want to cast your lure, and click the button. Hang out and wait for a moment, and a fish will bite (if there is a fish around). Wait until you are sure he is hooked (watch your bobber) and hold down the button to reel him in. So easy. Pay attention, other games.
Dodge! – Don’t forget to dodge incoming attacks. Those monsters are trying to kill you, and you won’t have to heal if you don’t get hit. Just sayin’.
I hope these tips soothed the pain of entry a little bit. There is a lot to learn in Monster Hunter World, but don't worry, the game eases you in. The best way to approach Monster Hunter World is to just dive and play. Don’t sweat the details it too much. Things become clear the more time you spend in game. With a game this fun, it will only be a couple of hours before you get your bearings and are killing monsters with the best of them.