Monster Hunter Stories 2 - Understanding dens and how to gets the best eggs
Out of all of the games in the “monster collecting” subgenre of RPGs, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin handles the collecting aspect far different from its contemporaries. There’s more work involved than in a game like Pokemon, but would it really be Monster Hunter if you didn’t need to put that extra bit of effort in?
Instead of capturing a monster in the heat of battle and immediately recruiting them, you instead track down Monster Eggs in dungeons called Dens. These are optional dungeons that all share a cave-like visual aesthetic and have a monster nest at the very end of them. The form and rewards you can get will change depending on the kind of Monster Den you visit. We’ll go over all the different types of dens you can expect to come across, and how to further maximize your gathering.
These will be the most common type of Den you come across, and their locations and types are randomized whenever you enter or re-enter an area. A useful trick to resetting the ones in your current area is to fast travel to a nearby Catavan Stand. On top of their locations being randomized, the insides of these kinds of dens are randomized as well. The monster nests you’ll discover will either feature a tough monster (sleeping or on patrol), or will be barren and open for you to pillage them for eggs.
The eggs you’ll find will also be random, based on the type of den you visit and the area it is located in. Consider the eggs you scavenge for at the end of this to be a form of (completely free) gacha, and you want to roll for the shiniest egg you can get your hands on.
Every monster will have an egg with a unique color to signify what monster will hatch from it, but you can tell how good the egg will be by the light show on display when you pull for it. The shinier, the better when it comes to the the random stat boost received when you hatch the egg.
There are three types of eggs you can get:
- Extra Shiny
You can only take one egg with you, so it’s a good idea to keep picking until you get one that seems to be the most rare. Once you grab the egg you’ll need to make a beeline to the cave’s exit, which can thankfully be fast traveled to with a prompt once you leave the nest area.
The default type of random den you’ll come across, available as soon as you start the game. While they’ll be helpful early on as you try to grow your ranks, they’re overall not too worth exploring. They also look rather unimpressive, as you can see below.
The next type of den available immediately when you begin your adventure are Rare Dens. Normal dens will do a decent job, but Rare dens are where you want to look for to get the best kinds of monsties in your party early on. Not only is the pool of monsters expanded, but the rates of eggs and gathering materials is increased as well. These stick out right away thanks to their golden look, which you can see below.
High Rank Dens
Once you reach the postgame you will unlock three new kinds of dens. The first of which are the High Rank Dens. These will appear in any area across the world, but are harder to find than the previous two dens. Some monsters can only be found in these types of dens, such as variants like the Pink Rathian and Azure Rathalos. High Rank Dens are distinctive by their gorgeous crimson entrances, as seen below.
Rare High Rank Dens
A step up from the crimson High Rank Dens, but it could easily be confused with Low Rank Rare Dens thanks to it's golden exterior. These are pretty straightforward, and have more rare variants of high rank monsters than you'll find in normal High Rank Dens. Low rank dens do not disappear after reaching the post game, so you'll need to walk up to a rare den to see which rank it is.
Super Rare High Rank Dens
The final type of Den unlocked after finishing the main story are (the extremely Capcom titled) Super Rare High Rank Dens. These are the best dens in the entire game and justifiably the hardest to find because of that. These are where a majority of the Elder Dragons are, such as the Kushala Daora and Teostra. You’ll be able to find these by their blue appearance, as seen below.
The final type of den are the Subquest Dens, which are variants of both the low and high rank dens mentioned above. These are only found after taking specific quests and the insides are based on that quest.
Randomization is certainly exciting in it’s own right, but if that’s all Monster Hunter Stories 2 had to offer then it’d be far too frustrating. Unfortunately, Everdens aren’t the best answer for trying to get monster eggs. You’ll still be able to find a random egg at the very end, but what you really want to use these for are the items found inside. Their locations and shapes will always remain the same, so they are less worth exploring if you’re egg hunting. These are best used to grind caps that can be spent in Melynx Inc Shops.
Making Your Own Dens
Would you believe us if we told you that forcing monsters to retreat is the best thing you could do in Monster Hunter Stories 2? It completely breaks RPG conventions, but trust us here. Whenever a monster retreats from battle, they’ll spawn a unique den specifically labeled for that exact monster. These dungeons are typically straightshots to a nest, which will feature the monster sleeping. You will find a single egg here when you look, and it will always be for the exact monster the den is named after. You can tell where these are by the giant egg on top of the den’s entrance.
For most monsters in the game, using a paintball when their health is low enough will be enough to force them to retreat. Because of this it is always a great idea to keep yourself well stocked up. Any hatchable monster can be forced to retreat with paintballs, but that's not the only way. It is worth noting that if a monster cannot be recruited, using a paintball on them will result in an "ineffective" message. You can look into the Monsterpedia to figure out how the specific monster you are looking to recruit can be forced to retreat if you don't have any paintballs left. This will fill up after defeating it, so it’s a good idea to have done so at least once. This is also helpful for monsters that only need to be paintballed, because knowing their health will help you gauge when to use your paintball. You’ll want to do this right near the end, as doing it too early will waste the paintball.