While slaying your targets is more or less always the main method of finishing missions in Monster Hunter World, there is an alternative: capturing monsters to take them alive. This carries its own benefits and negatives, the primary negative being that it always takes more effort than killing. Some quests in the game will actually require you to capture your prey instead of killing it. Capturing monsters also works as an optional way of completing any regular hunt quests in the game.
It can be a pretty satisfying thing to do, and you'll actually land yourself some great loot and material bonuses for completing quests in this manner. As well as capturing the big lads, you can also capture smaller monsters. This lets you keep these smaller creatures as pets - they even live in your quarters!
On this page, we'll teach you how to capture monsters in Monster Hunter World - both of the large and small variety. Here's how both systems work in detail...
Capturing is one thing, but are you ready for Monster Hunter Worlds's fights? Allow us to help:
- Beginner's Guide: Tips & Tricks for new hunters
- Weapons Guide: which of the 14 weapon classes is best for you?
- Armor Guide: skills, strengths, weaknesses, forging and upgrading
- How to get the Horizon Zero Dawn Palico Watcher gear
- Female Armor Sets: All Low Rank Female Armor Sets
- Multiplayer Guide: how to play with friends, set up parties and send invites
- Trophy Guide: full trophy & achievement list
How to Capture Monsters in Monster Hunter World
To capture a monster you're going to need a few specific items. These will ensure you're able to perform the actions you need in order to get the monster into a state where you can cart it back to Astera. For our example capture what you'll need falls into two categories: Tranquilizer items and Shock items. These do exactly what you'd think - your Shock Item will shock an enemy and temporarily paralyze it, then while the enemy is paralyzed you'll use your tranquilizer item to fully put it to sleep so you can get it back to Astera. These both come in a range of diffent forms including special Tranq or Shock ammo for your slinger, Shock Traps and the grenade-like area-of-effect Tranq Bombs.
For our example capture hunt here we're going to focus on those latter two - Shock Traps and Tranq Bombs. These can be crafted much like any other item, constructed from the materials and loot you'll find out in the various open world zones available for expeditions and hunts. The gear you need can be found in the first area, the Ancient Forest: for Tranq Bombs you're going to need sevreal Sleep Herb and Parashroom. Meanwhile the Shock Traps will require a Trap Tool and Thunderbug. (Trap tools can be found at the store in Astera, by the way.)
When you're on an investigation mission that stipulates you need to capture a monster you'll find these items in the item box as part of that mission's provisions, so all you need to do is hit Start/Options and open up the menu to craft them. With your preparation complete, it's time to capture.
Find your target and get to attacking it. Track it, attack it, and continue to deal damage to it. At full strength monsters aren't going to be easily captured, so what we actually want is to get our target down to a critical health state. Keep on attacking just as you normally would - go wild, and wait for the tell-tale signs that a monster is injured - limping, less aggression or outright running away. Once that happens, cease the attacking.
At this point it's time to deploy the plan to capture instead of kill. Follow the monster and set one of your Shock Traps on the ground. You can find your shock traps in the quick inventory - use L1 / LB and Square / B to rotate through the menu in the bottom right and use square to put the trap down. If you can get the drop on a sleeping monster you can drop the trap right at their feet, but the more likely method to do this is to place the trap in a bottleneck, gain aggro (attention) off the monster and then lure it into the trap, triggering it and shocking the monster.
With the trap triggered, the monster will be stunned and downed. How's the time to get to your tranq bombs. Keeping in mind that the creature won't be stunned forever and there's no menu pause in Monster Hunter World, you need to quickly open up the quick menu again and now switch to the Tranq Bomb. Get in on the stunned monster and begin to use the tranq bomb with Square / X. If it doesn't put the monster down, use more - evnetually it will fall asleep.
Once the creature falls asleep, the mission will end as if you'd killed it, but this counts as a capture. Keep in mind that injured monsters don't regrow limbs, so if you slice off a tail or bash a horn off while wearing the monster down it'll be that way when it gets back to Astera.
Capture Vs. Kill - which should you do?
Capturing Monsters can offer many new and more impressive rewards compared to killing them outright, but there is a catch, and that is that you of course won't get the chance to carve the corpse of the monster for certain pieces of loot. So - Capture vs Kill? Which is better for you?
Well, the important thing to note here is that Monster Hunter World has different loot tables, essentially, for capturing vs killing. So while you won't get as much immediately in the form of carving when you capture, you'll be rewarded more on the post-mission results screen - you'll get more research points, more cash, and you'll also get additional item materials and other loot for capturing alive.
Honestly, which is the better option for you depends a lot on what you're doing, where you're at in the game and so on. If you fill in your research on all the monsters by tracking them extensively (and capturing them at least once), you'll find detailed information on the potential drops from both capturing and killing in your research notes. Good luck!
How to Get Rare Pets with the Capture Net in Monster Hunter World
While Monster Hunter World is focused on those big, dangerous creatures that you can do battle with and capture, that's not all there is to the game. In fact, there's a whole little ecosystem of smaller creatures like birds and insects that you can also capture in your ongoing quest to log the wildlife of and tame the new world. These smaller creatures can be caught with the capture net item, and once caught they can become your personal pets.
The Capture Net is actually a key item given to all Monster Hunters by the commission, and so you'll find it in your item list from the moment in the early game when you first get your hands on your equipment alongside other useful gear like a fishing rod and such. In order to get to the Capture Net simply browse to it in your quick inventory in much the same way as we just described doing for those other capture items - press L1 / LB and scroll through with the face buttons.
Hitting Square / X will equip and unequip the Capture Net, and it temporarily replaces your Slinger. That means you'll press L2 / LT to aim and R2 / RT to fire, and your regular small slinger aiming reticule is replaced by a much larger reticule that indicates the range of the capture net. Try aiming at things in the environment - if something is in range and able to be captured, the reticule will change from grey to a sort of dull orange/red color.
Keep in mind that many smaller creatures are skittish and will run when you get close, so remember a Gillie Mantle or simply sneaking by crouching (Cross / A) can help you enormously.
Once you return to Astera, you'll be able to see your pets simply by returning to your room. Chat to your Palico assistant there (not your personal Palico, but the housekeeper) and they'll happily adjust what pets are loose in your room and where. As your room expands you'll have more places to put your little pals - and in addition you'll earn some research points in for the bargain.
How to get the 'Creature Capture' Trophy by finding the rare creatures
The Monster Hunter World trophy list shouldn't be too difficult for anyone used to playing each game in the series for hundreds of hours, but a few specific hidden trophies stand out compared to the rest. These require you to capture (or fish) a few specific animals in the maps environments, and each unlock a silver trophy (or the Xbox equivalent achievement). Here's what, where, and when to find the animals that unlock these trophies. This section will be updated as more of the creatures are found!
Rainbow Bright - where to find and capture
This trophy tasks you with finding a creature that "glitters like a rainbow". Ostensibly, the animal you're looking for is the Prism Hercudrome. You can find it at the portion of the Wildspire Waste posted below, at either dusk or dawn. This is in Area 10 on your map, and you will have to either swing on to the platform using your grappling hook or climb up to it using the vines on the side. Once you're there and can confirm that the insect has spawned, grab your prize. The trophy should unlock immediately.
Snuggles for All & Bristles for All - where to find and capture
These two trophies task you with capturing a "fluffy, snuggly" creature, as well as a "stiff and bristly" one. Truth of the matter, they're two species of the same family of bird. The Downy and Bristly Crake, to be exact (it should be fairly obvious by name alone which awards each trophy!) These are a little tricky to find, and a certain amount of RNG is involved, but for the Downy variety you'll want to search the backs of grazing dinosaurs in the forest or the Wildspire Waste around dawn, whereas with the Bristly variant you'll want to check Area 15 of the Rotten Vale - if you find one, it'll be on the back of the Mosswine. For both species wear a Gillie Mantle to prevent them from running off!
A Living Fossil - where to find and capture
This last trophy is also based off RNG, but one place you can find this glowing fish is Area 8 of the Elder's Recess, in the Eastern Camp. Check the river to the side, and if you're lucky you'll find the fish in the spot pictured above. We recommend searching at night. If you're lucky, you might find it in Area 15 of the Rotten Vale as well - off near the Grimalkynes, in a pool of acid alongside some Goldenfish.