Monster Hunter World Guide: beginner's tips for new players plus advanced strategy & loot locations
Part of the charm of Monster Hunter of old was that it was pretty obtuse but in return it was enormously rewarding. While Monster Hunter World is without a doubt the most accessible entry in the series, it's still Monster Hunter at heart - and that means new players are going to have a thing or two to learn in order to really break into the world of hunters and make the most of it.
Given we've got some veteran hunters here on team RPG Site, it only seemed right to gather up some of our thoughts to provide some tips to potential newcomers - so here's our top ten things newcomers should keep in mind as they head into the new world with a sharp weapon in hand and their sights set on a monster.
Below you'll find links to our Beginner's Tips and Tricks for those of you new to the hunt - think of it as our Monster Hunter World new player guide! Below that, you'll find links to all of our other in-depth pages with far more advanced strategies. Let's get to it...
Monster Hunter World Beginner's Guide: Tips & Tricks for new players
Use the environment - it can make or break a difficult encounter
Ledges can be jumped off of for jumping attacks, slopes can be used for sliding attacks, and endemic life like toads can potentially stun a monster in a pinch. We said it in our review, but knowing an environment can be as helpful in a fight as knowing a monster's moveset.
Check out the training area - familiarity with your weapons is key
If you're not sure which of Monster Hunter World's weapons is best for you, the training area is a good place to test out each weapon's moveset and play around with how they control. You can find it when leaving on an expedition, choosing Astera, and then choosing to go to the Training Area. Spending time here can make a world of difference, and it can help you to graduate from the simpler weapons to the more complex and rewarding ones.
Try capturing monsters instead of killing them - it has benefits
Capturing monsters in Monster Hunter World requires some extra prep compared to just killing them, but the increase in rewards for “capping” a monster might be worth it. In order to capture a monster you'll need Tranq Bombs and either a Shock or Pitfall trap.
To craft Tranq Bombs you'll need both Parashrooms and Sleep Herbs, while to craft traps you'll need Trap Tools and a Thunderbug for a Shock Trap, whereas you'll need a Net and a Trap Tool for a Pitfall Trap. Nets can be crafted using a Spider Web and Ivy.
Once a monster is limping, catch them in one of the traps and hit them with a few Tranq Bombs to capture them. Elder Dragons cannot be captured.
Always gather when you can - the loot is always useful
Unlike in previous games, materials and consumable items have separate sections in your item pouch, meaning that there's no reason to not gather from every gathering point on the map while finishing up your quest. Honey, Bitterbugs, Herbs, Ivy... if you can grab it, make sure you do, since it'll all come in handy.
Carve up monster corpses - you'll need the materials
Killing a monster is all well and good, and will give you rewards in the quest completion screen, but don't forget to carve the monster's body for even more rewards. And this goes for small monsters too...!
Small monsters can be carved once, usually, while larger ones can be carved at least 3 times. Some especially large monsters can be carved even more. Always double check so you don't leave any valuable materials behind, as much of this material is used for crafting new armor.
Try chopping off tails for unique drops
Some monsters have tails that can be brutally chopped off after enough damage is dealt to them. Doing so will leave it behind in the world, and much like monster corpses, it can be carved - so show no mercy.
Tails even have unique drop tables - meaning they'll drop completely unique items to the rest of the monster's corpse when you defeat it properly. Many tails and other amputatable body parts also have a higher chance of giving players certain rare materials.
Basically: always cut the tail! Certain monsters have other body parts that can be knocked off as well.
Always eat at the Canteen before quests - cheap buffs are good buffs
Back in Astera or at Camp you'll find the canteen or a camp fire for cooking on. This thing isn't just there for show - as the game shows you early on, you can use it to eat before heading on a quest.
While the cutscenes of cooking and eating are cute and the food models are sublime, that novelty can quickly wear thin - but you should still keep cooking as a matter of course, since there's a lot of benefits in it for you as a hunter.
Food can give you a variety of skills that might make your life easier in the field, and depending on the number and freshness of the ingredients can even buff your max HP and Stamina values – at least until you faint! You can also eat during a quest, too, at base camps. You can even eat multiple times, if the quest takes long enough.
Mind your Sharpness - a good hit with a dull weapon is wasted
One aspect of Monster Hunter that can easily trip newcomers up is weapon sharpness - it's easy to remember early on in a mission but once you're in the thick of things it can be very easy indeed to forget yourself and end up using a dull weapon for ten minutes. That's no good.
Your weapons sharpness affects many things – your damage output, the ability to attack an enemy without having your weapon bounce off of their skin, important stuff.
Take note of your weapons sharpness meter underneath your stamina meter, and be sure to use a whetstone to sharpen your weapon when it starts to fall low. If you exhaust the meter, your sharpness will lose a level until you sharpen it again. If you need to sharpen, back off from your target and find a safe spot to do so.
Don't underestimate the Slinger - it's a powerful tool
Your default ranged weapon is the Slinger, and though a slignshot sounds pretty lame when you can also have a bow and arrow or a giant gun instead, don't underestimate it. It's a really, really useful tool.
The slinger is a versatile tool, and the sooner you come to grips with using it the better. Try hitting a Flashfly with it to stun a monster, or even knock down some boulders on top of an enemy. Experiment - it can do more and can have more of an impact on monsters than you'd think.
Don't be afraid to call for help - multiplayer is where Monster Hunter's heart is
If you're having any particular difficulty with a specific hunt, you can send out an SOS Flare to call for backup. One of the great advantages of Monster Hunter World compared to the other games is the assumed internet connection you'll have on your PS4, Xbox One or PC - so you may as well make use of it!
Send up a flare Other players will get a notification of the flare, and can join you mid-hunt to help give you a leg up. On the flipside, if you want to help others you can deliberately search for SOS Flares to respond to while choosing a quest - there's even a trophy/achievement or two in it for you if you do this.
We know that getting together with friends for online multiplayer can be a little confusing at first, so check out our guide to playing Monster Hunter World online with friends for more help with that. If you're struggling to get into an expedition in multiplayer, you're in luck - we've got a page for that too.
Now our Monster Hunter World beginner's tips for new players is done, it's time to advance into the deep, complex systems of Monster Hunter more in-depth - and this'll require some sections and links out to other pages!
Weapons, Armor, Builds & Gear in Monster Hunter World
Weapons Guide: Find the best weapon for you: Weapon Classes, Controls, Combos and more
Monster Hunter World features 14 unique weapon types, each of them with their own strengths, weaknesses and gameplay style. Here, we profile them all in detail, complete with strategies for their use, controls, moves and other information to be aware of.
Armor Guide: every armor set, all armor skills, strengths, weaknesses crafting and upgrades
More than anything else, Armor drives your character growth in Monster Hunter World. Understand how this series treats armor with this primer, including an armor list, elemental strengths and weaknesses, crafting, upgrading and the unique and absolutely vital armor skills system, complete with a full list of armor skills.
Female Armor Sets: all low rank female armor sets pictured
Here's an image of every Female Armor Set in the Low Rank end of the game pictured, complete with information on their elemental affiliation and other stats
High Rank Female Armor Sets: all high rank female armor sets pictured
If you've passed the Low Rank stuff and reached the High Rank end of the game, even more armor unlocks, and it's significantly cooler. Here's what you can get, pictured in full.
How to Change Armor Color and Pigment
Look fly while hunting by changing the color and pigment of your armor. Here's how to get all manner of pretty colors on your high rank gear, making it completely unique.
Elements Guide: Elemental Damage, Status Ailments, Monster Weaknesses and more
It's easy to get confused what each of Monster Hunter: World's elements actually do, so we've got a guide to help you remember!
Mantles: every mantle, what each does and how to unlock them
Every mantle in the game, from Ghillie to Rocksteady, and how to get them. Plus what they're good for.
Boosters: how to get the Affinity Booster, Cleanser Booster and Health Booster
Boosters are extremely useful items that can save a hunter's life - so here's what they do and how to get them.
The Plunderblade: how to get this amazing Palico gadget for farming loot
The plunder blade can make grabbing loot way easier - and we're going to tell you how to get it.
Power Charm & Armor Charm: why you should buy & upgrade these items as a priority
The powercharm and armorcharm are great buff items - and they can even upgrade to the even better powertalon and armortalon. Here's how they work and how to get them.
Getting the Earplugs skill and upgrading its effectiveness
How to get the earplugs, how they work, and how to get the maximum buff from them.
Using the Handicraft skill to extend your sharpness gauge
The Handicraft skill can remove the need to sharpen so often, seriously upping your potential damage output.
Game Systems & Other Frequently Asked Questions
Multiplayer Guide: how to play with friends, set up parties and invite others for co-op online quests
Multiplayer in Monster Hunter World is a simple drop-in, drop-out affair, but it does have some little complications that can be a bit confusing at first. Here's us on how multiplayer actually works.
How to Play Expeditions in Multiplayer, plus Assigned Quest online restrictions explained
Playing the open world expeditions with friends is probably one of the silliest stumbling blocks for Monster Hunter World, but the game really doesn't explain it very well - so we will!
How to Capture Monsters and get small pets - and Capture vs Kill, which is better?
As well as slaying Monsters, Monster Hunter World also gives you the option to let them come in alive. Here's how to capture, plus musing on which is better for you, capturing or killing.
What is Affinity? How this little Weapon Stat Defines your Damage Output
Learn all about the mysterious Affinity stat. It's one number, but Affinity has a big impact in Monster Hunter. If you don't get it, allow us to explain...
Hunter Rank Guide: how hunter rank works and what it means to you
Hunter Rank is a major concept in Monster Hunter, but it's executed a little differently in this latest game. Here's how it works, explained in detail.
Tempered Monsters, Augmentation, Decoration Farming, and the endgame explained
Tempered monsters make up Monster Hunter World's endgame content - and you'd better be prepared to take them on to get your hands on decorations, the late-game progression element.
Limited Bounties, Wyvernian Prints, and the Elder Melder explained
Limited, Weekly Bounties hold the secret to more effective grinding. Here's how.
How to Change Character Appearance after Character Creation
Does your character look a bit ugly? Not satisfied with the end result now you see it in game? Here's how to change things up...
How to deal with the toxic gas in Rotten Vale
Rotten Vale has some really nasty toxic gas that can make hunting stupidly hard, but there is a way around it...
Loot, Drops & Materials - where to get key items you'll need
Wingdrake Hide Locations: Where to find the Wingdrake Hide
Wingdrake Hide is a really useful crafting item early on, but it's not easily found. Not until you read this page, anyway...
Where to find the Aqua Sac, Electro Sac, Flame Sac, Frost Sac, Poison Sac, Paralysis Sac & Sleep Sac
Very useful equipment with potent elemental properties can require certain elemental sacs to craft and upgrade. Here's where to find them!
Where to find the Hornetaur
Looking for Hornetaur Shells and Wings? We've got you covered.
How to get the Wyvern Gem and Bird Wyvern Gem
How to get your hands on those precious Wyvern Gems for crafting and upgrades.
Finding Ancient Bone, Boulder Bone, Coral Bone & Warped Bone
How to find these various bones for weapon and armor upgrades.
Monster Hardbone & Monster Bone Plus - where to grab these vital drops
As if the last link wasn't enough, on this page we've got even more bones for you to collect...
Majestic Horn Location: where to get this rare lootfor crafting
How to get the Majestic Horn for weapons like the Kadachi Claws, Diablos Shatterer and the Diablos Alpha and Beta armor sets.
Where to find Sinister Cloth for the Death Stench armor set
One particularly amazing armor set requires the Sinister Cloth - here's how to get some for your crafting.
Herbivore Egg & Wyvern Egg Quests: where to find monster eggs and what to do with them
Tracking down herbivore eggs and wyvern eggs can be a pain - and escorting them even more so. Here's some eggsellent tips. Ahem.
Lumps of Meat: finding and dealing with the meat in the 'The Meat of the Matter' quest
This lump of meat had better be delicious, given you have to track it down and carry it halfway across the map.
How to catch a Platinum Fish for the Piscine Researcher's Ekder Recess quest
Catch this stubborn, well-hidden fish and you'll be in for a reward. Here's how to find the platinumfish.
Poogie Costumes: how to get all of the hidden outfits for Astera's pet Poogie
How to get all of Poogie's costumes so your personal pet piggie looks stylish.
Event Quests, Downloadable Content & Pre-Orders
How to pick up your free pre-order bonus DLC, plus a note about the Samurai Set
Monster Hunter World has some pretty nice pre-order bonuses for players who ordered the game in advance, but picking up that pre-order bonus can be a little bit perplexing. On this page we explain how it works.
Deviljho Guide: everything you need to know about the Deviljho update
Monster Hunter World's first DLC Monster has been released, and we've gone over the new content to sort out what you'll need to know heading in.
Kulve Taroth Guide: how to play the Kulve Taroth Siege quest, rewards and strategy
How to play the new event quest to take down Kulve Taroth, as explained by Famitsu.
Lunastra Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Lunastra Update
Lunastra has been added to the ever-growing Monster Hunter World roster. Here's all you'll need to know before challenging this majestic beast!
Behemoth Guide: everything you need to know about the FF14 collaboration
The land of Eorzea collides with Astera with Monster Hunter: World's latest title update. Here's all you need to know about the game's new FFXIV-themed content.