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Monster Hunter Now tips and tricks for beginners

How to get started in the Monster Hunter mobile game

A large Monster Hunter beast stomps on a city street with several other monsters swarming around it Image: Niantic/Capcom

If you’re new to the Monster Hunter franchise or a seasoned veteran, Monster Hunter Now is full of new features that may be confusing to grasp.

Niantic’s augmented reality take on the monster hunting franchise has you roaming around (in real life) to find monsters to hunt and materials to make new gear out of. As you upgrade your gear, you’ll be able to take down stronger monsters and then upgrade your gear even more.

Below, we list some tips and tricks that we wish we knew starting out to help get you up to speed.

Don’t bother completing armor sets — pick and choose based on perks

A screen showing the Firm Foothold skill on a Jagras Helm in Monster Hunter Now. Image: Niantic/Capcom

Each piece of armor has its own set of perks, skills that you get from upgrading your gear to certain tiers. Rather than completing an armor set and wearing a matching outfit, you should pick armor pieces based on skills that match your playstyle. For example, if you find yourself getting tossed around by monsters often, you may want to equip and upgrade the Jagras Helm, which gives you Firm Foothold, a skill that reduces knockback the more you level it up.

Progress through the story for more monsters to fight

If you’re tired of taking out Kulu-Ya-Ku and Jagras, don’t worry — more monsters will unlock as you progress. You’ll be stuck with the same handful of beasts for a while, but just keep taking down monsters and collecting materials to complete your quests and you’ll see a larger variety of enemies in no time.

Elements matter most in combat

When it comes to fighting larger monsters, having an elemental advantage can make a significant difference, especially at higher difficulties; we hit a brick wall during the five-star Rathian encounter in the story, which we able to eventually clear with enough paralysis weapon upgrades. Our recommendation is, once you have settled on your weapon type of choice, is to have a variety of elements at the ready, and to upgrade them up as much as your armor sets — making those leaps in difficulty much less daunting.

Remember to open the app, even if you’re not going to hunt monsters in the moment

You’ll need to collect lots of materials, both for your missions and to upgrade your gear. Even if you’re not feeling up to hunting a bunch of monsters, you should open the app occasionally so you Felyne friend can collect materials around you. It’ll only take a few seconds for your Palico to grab the nearby materials and you can close the app right after it’s finished.

Habitats around you change

Don’t worry too much about being stuck in the same drab area just because you live in the suburbs. The habitats will shift often enough that you should be able to encounter a variety of monsters, even if you’re confined to one neighborhood.

Remember to do both your story and special quests

A quest screen showing three daily quests that each reward 200 HRP each. Image: Niantic/Capcom

Your story quests will unlock progression like new weapons and the like, but special quests are daily objectives you can complete for lots of HRP (experience) and crafting materials. most of them are easy enough to complete and you’ll get them done just by playing the game, so make sure to claim the rewards as you do.

Be within the radius of resources points before you tap

Something worth knowing for those coming from Niantic’s other games, such as Pokémon Go, is that Monster Hunter Now is more temperamental about the game’s equivalent of PokéStops, called Gathering Points. Gathering Points will not register your current position if you interact with them a little too early, requiring you to exit and tap in again each time. A minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things, but does means resource gathering isn’t as quick fire as we’d like.

Small monsters are more useful than you think

Small monsters – which take just a few hits of your weapon to defeat – will regularly litter the map, and you’ll be forgiven for ignoring them in favor of larger ones with more valuable crafting parts. But fighting them has multiple benefits: They have unique drops required for various armor and weapon upgrades (you’ll need these more often than you’d think!) and, perhaps more usefully, fighting them contributes to building your Special Skill gauge. This gauge persists between encounters, meaning you can activate a powerful attack right at the start of a challenging large monster fight.

Paintballs allow you to fight monsters later

Paintballs are one of the smartest features in Monster Hunter Now, where monsters can be “tagged” to fight later at your own convenience. This can either be done manually with pink Paintballs, or automatically in the background via your Palico with a small pool of blue Paintballs you’re gifted daily.

Paintballs are useful if you haven’t got the time there and then to fight something, or if you come across something powerful and need more time to prep. You have three attempts to complete each encounter — any more than that, and the monster will disappear from your roster.

Is your game sluggish? Try downloading assets or tinkering with settings

Monster Hunter Now is a surprisingly demanding on older phones, to the point where it can impact how responsive combat feels — a problem for such an action-focused game that demands precision rolls and cramming in one final attack before the timer runs out.

If you’re in this position — and you’re not alone — our first recommendation is to download assets (found at the bottom of the settings menu), which will see encounters load faster. Next, try dialing down the graphics settings to Medium or Low, and turning off 60 FPS encounters, to see if that helps.

If you’re still struggling, it’s perhaps a sign your phone isn’t up to scratch. It’s quite a shock coming from Pokémon Go (a years-old game which can run on a potato at this point), and we’re not saying you should upgrade your handset specifically for Monster Hunter Now, but going from a 2020 iPhone SE that would lag during battles to a iPhone 15 Max that runs the game flawlessly on max settings made the game much more enjoyable.

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