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Monster Hunter Generations beginner's guide

Everything from creating your character to hunting your first big monster

If you're reading this guide, you're at least a little curious about getting into Monster Hunter. Maybe you've tried one of the previous games, but the controls just didn't click. Maybe you have a friend who's been begging you to help them out in co-op. Or maybe Monster Hunter Generations has been on your radar, and you finally decided to bite. No matter the reason, you're in luck, because Monster Hunter Generations is the most accessible and diverse game to date.

This guide will provide you with the items, gear and knowledg to confidently face Monster Hunter Generations' first set of large monsters. Read on, and let the hunt begin!

Hunter Arts, Hunter Styles, Weapons and advanced tips

After you learn Monster Hunter Generations' basics, you're ready for the next step. Our guide to Hunter Arts and Hunter Styles and the 14 types of weapons will teach you everything you need to know about the game's more complicated — but entirely understandable — parts.

Getting Started

Welcome back … maybe?

If you have a save file for Monster Hunter 4 on your Nintendo 3DS, you can start Monster Hunter Generations with a handy welcome pack. This includes two unique Palico companions, a slew of healing items and a zenny nest egg for the road ahead. If you've never played a Monster Hunter game before, no worries. These items are nice to have, but by no means necessary.

Character Creation

First things first: You need to make a character. The character creator in Monster Hunter Generations is robust enough that you can spend a solid half hour perusing all the different options. Have fun with it! But know that the following attributes are adjustable later:

  • Clothing
  • Hairstyle
  • Features (tattoos, war paint, etc.)
  • Eye color

First steps

Once you speak with the Bherna Gal, you'll quickly realize that the majority of the main quests you'll need to run through are gathering quests. Yup, you have to work your way up to slashing at gargantuan, snarling monsters with a sword the size of a car door. But we'll get you there — and you'll get there faster if your gathering game is on point.

Intro to Prowlers

Meet one of the most iconic creatures in the Monster Hunter universe: the Palico. There are two distinct species of these cat-like critters: Felynes and Melynx. Some settle down into human settlements to lend a paw in cooking, hunting, gathering — that kind of stuff. When a Palico becomes a hunter, it's dubbed a Prowler. Not only can you recruit these guys to help on hunts, but you can also play as them — a feature new to Monster Hunter Generations.

Unlike hunters, Prowlers cannot use items, instead relying on an assortment of skills. This means they can't knock back a potion or use any other consumable, really.

They do, however, have a few advantages over humans when it comes to gathering:

  • They don't require gathering tools like Pickaxes and Bug Nets.
  • They don't have a stamina gauge, meaning they can run for days.
  • They are immune to the effects of hot and cold climates.

As a Prowler, you can gather longer, faster and more efficiently. That's not to say that Prowlers aren't efficient hunters themselves — you could definitely play through the game as either a human hunter or a Prowler.

Once you're ready, head on over to the Palico Ranch and chat with the Meowstress. Your very first Palico will be a Charisma type by default, but there are seven varieties of Palicoes that can each help out in different ways:

  • Charisma: Provides buffs to the party.
  • Fighting: Excels at dealing damage.
  • Protection: Draws the attention of monsters while also blocking attacks.
  • Assisting: Sets traps and provides helpful information on large enemies durings quests.
  • Healing: Recovers the health of the party.
  • Bombing: Hucks powerful explosives at monsters.
  • Gathering: Gathers more items than other Palicoes, and faster.

It's in your best interest to train 'em all, since leveling them up unlocks abilities for your whole pack, even the newly hired ones. And having an army of capable Palicoes will also be super helpful in creating a steady stream of the items you will be burning through on tougher hunts. We'll work our way up to that.

Arranging your Palico A-team

For now, we suggest recruiting at least a Gathering, Protection and Healing type Palico. If the Meowstress isn't stocking any of these types just yet, have her Scout by Abilities and pick your desired Palico type. When you return from your next quest, she'll have a whole new crop for you to choose from.

Once you're done recruiting your furry flock, head to the Palico Board and select the first option to switch to a Prowler. You'll want to assume the role of a Gathering type if you managed to snag one. If you started the game with the Monster Hunter 4 welcome pack, you can hire Sunsnug, who makes for an excellent choice at this point. If you don't have a Gathering type, any Palico will do, but make sure the Meowstress is set to scout one for you.

Next, choose Select Palicoes to assign up to two other cats to join you on quests. We suggest assigning a Protection type to keep enemies off you, and a Healing type to keep you, well, alive.

Questing 101

Head back to the Bherna Girl. This time, you're actually going to accept one of her quests. Flip on through what's available, and pick a quest with a main objective that requires making a delivery. Once you're ready, head northwest to depart. You'll soon be whisked away to the Jurassic Frontier, one of the many questing environments in Monster Hunter Generations.

Base Camp

This is your very own little foothold in the center of the unforgiving wilderness. There are a number of noteworthy features that only appear in this area.

The Supply Box

The first thing you'll want to do at the start of every quest is run on over to the supply box and check out the goodies inside. The quest-giver provides these to help you fulfill your objective. Supply Box has Bug Nets in it? You probably need to catch bugs. Supply Box has fire-elemental ammo in it? Your target is probably weak to fire. Items labeled as Supply Items, like the map pictured above, cannot be brought back to base. Everything else is up for grabs. A hoarding mentality is not a vice in the world of Monster Hunter.

The Delivery Box

All gathering quests end with you dropping your goods off in this red box. You can deliver a portion of the requested items if you can't carry them all, or the whole shebang. Note that unlike previous titles, you cannot deliver anything that is not a quest or subquest objective.

The Bed

You can return to the base at any time and take a snooze in this rather uncomfortable-looking bed. Doing so will fully recover your HP, remove any negative status effects and do the same for any Palicoes you have in tow.

This is especially helpful if you happen to be tussling with a bigger monster right near base. If you happen to play online, it's considered poor form to nap while the rest of your teammates do the heavy lifting.

The Transpurrter

If you fill your item pouches, head over to this NPC and unload your haul. First select Deposit, then Deliver. Note that you can only do this once per quest, because once this dude rolls off into the sunset, he won't come back. For items like honey and raw meat, which have a maximum number you can carry, this feature is especially helpful. It's also useful if you happen to have forgotten to deposit items from your last quest.

Learn your map. No, seriously: LEARN YOUR MAP!

There are a lot of environments in Monster Hunter Generations. That's because this installment includes maps from every Monster Hunter title to date. It's … a lot of maps. I know it's daunting, especially for those of us with a bad sense of direction, but try your hardest to commit them to memory.

Which numbered zone leads to which? How can you return to the base camp? Work on this early on, and it will pay off in the later stages of the game, when your supply box will not contain a map.

Respect Your Elders

Hidden somewhere in each environment is an NPC known as a Veggie Elder. In the Jurassic Frontier, he's right in the base camp, but you may have to search a little harder for him in the other locales.

This little curmudgeon will hook you up with a free item each time you talk to him, for a limited number of times. He may also want an item you're holding and offer a trade.

Regularly talking with the Veggie Elder is a great way to build up a stockpile of helpful items, and even acquire some you may need in a pinch.

You can recover stolen items

Some of the less savory characters in the Monster Hunter universe are known to have sticky fingers, and they may lift items right out of your pockets. The main offender being wild Melynx, who can steal from you in a single blow. Don't panic! There are ways to get your items back.

Either pulverize the offending Melynx or, if it manages to escape, find the zone in your locale with a felyne shrine similar to the one in the GIF above. If you poke around, you may just be able to recover your stolen goods.

Totally lost? Read your quest description!

Even if you examine the boiled-down quest objectives, it's not always clear what you actually need to do to complete a quest. Occasionally, you have to take it a step further and read the full quest description. There may be some hidden tips in there to help connect the dots.


The world of Monster Hunter Generations is teeming with useful resources. Here are some tips on how to come away with the fattest parts of the land.

Look for anything that stands out

What's that in the distance? I wonder if I can gather from it …

Oh snap, I can!

Gathering points will vary in appearance, but they nearly always stand out just a bit from their surroundings. Keep your eyes open, and scan each area as you pass through. Inspect anything that looks fishy.

Honey is love. Honey is life.

There is a little saying in Monster Hunter circles: First you get the honey. Then you get the Palicoes. Then you get the carves.

This basically means that honey is super important. You'll use it to craft a great variety of items you'll use regularly, particularly healing items.

It'll be hard to keep all the gathering nodes straight early on, but at the very least you should keep track of any honey nodes you come across.

Bonus tip: For the Jurassic Frontier, there are honey nodes in zones 4 and 11. Hit these up every chance you get!

Brighter is better

Some gathering nodes come in different colors, even in the same environments. For instance, here is a normal ore mining node in the Jurassic Frontier:

Note the drab color? Now here is a slightly less-common node in the same locale:

Ah, that warming golden hue! Gather here, and you're more likely to get Machalite, a rare-ish ore in Monster Hunter Generations' early stages. Keep this rule of thumb in mind if you know an environment has a resource you need, but you're not having much luck finding it.

Many paws make light work

When you go out gathering, it's always in your best interest to bring along a duo of Palicoes. Your companions will gather from nodes along with you, or totally on their own. They may just come away with that one material you're trying to find, even if you don't.

What to do after completing a quest

The information above should help you clear your first gathering quest with ease. Once you do, you'll be return to Bhurna. Here's a rundown of some things you want to do after clearing a quest.

Craft better gear

If you were thorough in your gathering efforts, you probably came away with with enough materials to make some markedly better gear than you have now. This goes for both hunter and Prowlers, but crafting Palico gear requires an additional step. Speak with the NPC at the Palico Armory to break some of your materials down into scraps.

If you have enough raw materials to craft three Bone or Ore Scraps, you can make a full set of head and body armor for one of your Palicoes.

When it comes to human hunters, you probably can't do much better when it comes to armor, but nearly any Iron-based weapon will be an improvement over the default weapons.

Pet a Moofah

Bherna has a healthy supply of Moofahs, who provide the rich cheese you may notice around town. Don't they deserve some props for their efforts? Pet one after each quest to be rewarded with a Fleeceball. You can break down these items into Fur Scraps. Combine them with items from the Monster Hunter 4 bonus pack to make the Baby Tiga Set.

Combine your items

All those bits you've been picking up off the ground as a Prowler turn into helpful items for your hunter. You can do this from you inventory or from your Item Box.

Depending on what you're combining, there may be a chance that your combination will fail. To increase your odds, head to the market and grab all the combination books you can afford. Note that these books only improve your odds if held in the same inventory you're combining from. In other words, a book in your Item Box won't improve the combination rate for your item pouch.

If you don't have the folding money just yet, just make sure you grab these before you start throwing around rarer materials. Here are some helpful combinations and what they create:

  • Blue Mushroom + Herb = Potion: Pretty important early on, but once you can buy them, this combination becomes less important.
  • Potion + Honey = Mega Potion: As you transition from gatherer to hunter, this combo will only become more important. Maintaining a healthy supply of Mega Potions is a must.
  • Trap Tool + Thunderbug = Shock Trap: A trap you can deploy on the ground. If a large monster steps on it, the monster will become momentarily immobilized. Note that you can't recover a trap after you deploy it.
  • Sap Plant + Stone = Bomb Casing: Use these casings to make a variety of extremely helpful hunter's tools, including:
    • Bomb Casing + Tranquilizer = Tranq Bomb: A throwable item which you can use to capture a weakened monster caught in a trap.
    • Bomb Casing + Flashbug = Flash Bomb: A throwable item that releases a blinding flash of light in mid-air. Dazes any monsters who happen to be staring into the center of the flash.
    • Bomb Casing + Dung = Dung Bomb: A throwable item which covers the target in, well … you know. A semi-reliable way to encourage a large monster to leave the zone you're in. Also effective at escaping a large monster's grab-attack.

Check the shops

You can buy some hunting tools in town. At these early stages in the game, you can get by without having to break the bank, but you should still keep an eye out for a deal. Every so often, the market in town will have a half-off sale. This is a great opportunity to stock up.

We suggest stocking up on the following items if the opportunity arrises:

  • Potions (available after taking down your first large monster)
  • Trap Tools
  • Tranquilizers
  • Iron Pickaxes and Bug Nets
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Ammo, Coatings and Oils depending on your preferred weapon(s)

There is also a trader in the Palico Ranch who will exchange items for your Wycademy Points. These points are a measure of how much you assist the Wycademy, so you accrue them from doing things like clearing quests, gathering account items and taking out large monsters. And wouldn't you know it, he has sales from time to time too.

Equip Palico Moves and Skills

Once your Gathering Palico reaches level five, it will unlock the Gathering Pro skill, increasing the number of items gathered at nodes. Each Palico type has certain type-specific skills like this that unlock at higher levels.

From the Palico Board, choose the Palico Skills option to commit skills to your Palico's memory, represented by the empty sockets above. Different Skills may require more memory sockets, and your Palico develops more memory sockets as you continue to raise it. Also check out the Support Moves option on the Palico Board. These are actions Palicoes can perform in quests, and they need to be equipped to use as well.

Check on your Scouted Palicoes

If you cleared a quest (with the exception of a Harvest Tour) the NPCs that scout Palicoes will have a fresh list of recruits. Tab through their info with L and R to see the different skills that set them apart. With more Palicoes to choose from, you can be more discerning in who you bring on.

Have your Palicoes trade for the items you don't want to gather

Speak with the Trader in the Palico Ranch to assign a Palico to trade on your behalf. First select the Palico for the job, then the crop from the corresponding farm. In the beginning of the game, you'll only have the option to trade at a farm that specializes in plants, but you'll unlock others with different specializations as you go.

For now, we suggest trading for Sap Plants, a material you can never have too much of. This system is a big part of what allows you to focus even less on gathering, and ever more on hunting, so learn to love it.

Feed your face

The Purr-prietress can prepare a hearty cheese-covered meal for you before heading out on your next quest. This provides a variety of benefits, such as increased maximum health and stamina, a buff to attack or defense and food skills that help out on the field.

Combine ingredients with the Purr-prietress as you unlock them to add to her list of recipes. When a recipe is fresh, the little chef's hat icon will appear next to it. This means the odds of activating food skills will increase.

Depending on the dish and the sauce you choose to accompany it, different food skills are activated. You'll want to experiment a bit, but here are some helpful skills to shoot for:

  • Felyne Gatherer: Increases the number of times you can gather at gathering nodes.
  • Felyne Blackbelt: Decreases the amount of stamina used when evading or blocking.
  • Felyne Defender: Decreases the amount of damage received from some attacks.
  • Felyne Foodie: Retains the benefits received from your meal even if you should fall in battle.


Whew, now that all that gathering and item maintenance junk is out of the way, it's time to focus on why you're really here: taking down massive monsters. The thing about monsters is, they're a lot bigger, stronger and faster than you are. They'll aggressively throw themselves and their powerful attacks at you. If you adopt the same approach and attack wildly, you're doomed to fail.

So what advantage does that leave you? Why, your wits of course. Your first large enemy in Monster Hunter Generations will be the Great Maccao. Here are some ways to take control of the fight.

Prepare Accordingly

It's not wise to pack a full item pouch, as you'll want to carve materials from your defeated target or gather items along the way. However, it is highly recommended that you bring some crucial items to keep you in the fight:

  • Mega Potions: These heal a substantial amount of health. Note that downing this and other consumables will leave you momentarily open to attacks.
  • Well Done Steaks: Use these to recover your stamina. Learn how to make these mouth-watering treats from a separate Training Quest.
  • Paintballs: For now at least, there will be a couple of these in your Supply Box. But until you get the hang of aiming them, it's a good idea to bring extra. Dart a monster with one of these and its position will appear on your minimap for a limited time.
  • Whetstones: When your weapon's sharpness drops a level, you'll be notified with a pop-up. This means you're dealing less damage and risk your attacks being deflected. Keep your weapon honed to prevent this!

Learn some telegraphs

Most monsters have only a handful of attacks that are truly devastating, but your enemies tend to project them very clearly beforehand. The Great Maccao rears up on its tail and pauses for just a moment before making a speedy lunge attack. Keep your eye out for this tell and prepare a counter attack — or just get the heck out of the way!

Capitalize on exhaustion

Even if you're not doing so well, keeping a monster moving will eventually exhaust it. In the case of the Great Maccao, it drools profusely once it's worn out. Many other monsters do the same, and when this happens, they'll dramatically slow their roll. This makes for a great opportunity to unleash some tricks!

Use your tricks

Like a Flashbomb! Once your enemy is doubled over from exhaustion, it's easy to throw one of these right in a monster's field of vision. Doing so will leave it sitting still or attacking in a random direction. Heck, it might even stare off into space long enough for you to take a selfie:

Capitalize on hunger

Exhausted monsters tend to try and find food somewhere. They may take down some prey or just eat whatever is laying around. If an exhausted monster changes zones, follow closely, because it may be trying to recover. If they begin eating, take advantage of a great opportunity to attack uncontested.

Ride 'em, Cow-boy-or-girl

Leap off ledges or use the Aerial Style to jump on a monster's back. You may manage to mount it, which initiates a basic red light, green light minigame. Simply hold R, and then the skull icon turns green. Rapidly alternate between X and A to slash at the monster. If the skull icon turns yellow, hold off on attacking it, and hold R to focus on staying on the monster. If you manage to fill the gauge pictured here, the monster will tumble to the ground, allowing you a long window to lay the attacks on thick.

Break critical body parts

In the above GIF, the Great Maccao began eating, so we focused our attacks on its tail. As you saw in the first GIF on telegraphs, this monster's tail is a key part of how it attacks. The thing is covered with pointed spines, which help stabilize it after a lunge attack. If you break the spines, then, well …

He'll fall right over after one of those telegraphed lunges, and you create a new opening!

Watch for a limp

When a monster's health drops very low, it may attempt to flee the zone. Weakened monsters will have a pronounced limp, which is a sign that you can capture the monster. Deploy either a Shock Trap or Pitfall Trap in the zone the monster moves to and lure it into the trap. Throw two Tranq Bombs at it, and you've got yourself a captured monster. Or, allow the monster to flee, which presents yet another option.

Capitalize on sleep

A sleeping monster will recover its health if you allow it. But it also takes extra damage — three times the damage to be exact — on the attack that wakes it. Use this opportunity to put it to sleep … for good. For the record, the Great Maccao sleeps in zone seven, so if it manages to elude you after limping, that may be where you want to head.


All these tips should be plenty to bring down the Great Maccao, and certainly at least a few of his delinquent friends. The important thing to remember is that most of these above strategies apply to all the monsters in the game, so consider this fight a microcosm of what's ahead.

Bonus tip

Learn this enemy well, and you can begin to try all the different weapon training courses the Bherna Gal has to offer. They all face off against the Great Maccao, and once you know an enemy inside and out, experimenting with different weapons affords you a bit more room for error. The training courses do a decent job explaining the basics of each weapon, so you can learn what matches your playstyle.

In the next installment of this guide, we'll explore all the weapon types and hunting styles, a feature unique to Monster Hunter Generations. Until then, happy hunting!

Hunter Arts, Hunter Styles, Weapons and advanced tips

After you learn Monster Hunter Generations' basics, you're ready for the next step. Our guide to Hunter Arts and Hunter Styles and the 14 types of weapons will teach you everything you need to know about the game's more complicated — but entirely understandable — parts.