Taking down monsters solo is a great way to learn the fundamentals, which we’ve outlined in our Monster Hunter: World beginner’s guide. But even if you’re staying on your A-game, you’re likely to eventually hit a monster-shaped wall. That’s when it’s time to team up with other player. Hunting in a group is really where Monster Hunter: World shines, so here’s how to approach it based on wherever you’re coming from.
Invite your friends to a hunt
Nice, you have friends! Uh, I mean, I do, too … of course. Ahem. Anyway, you’re good to go provided you all have:
- The same console
- The game
- An internet connection
- Playstation Plus (PlayStation 4) or Xbox Live (Xbox One)
The first thing you’ll want to do is create an online session, which you may have already been prompted to do when starting the game. If you want to recreate or confirm the settings of your session, you can do so at any quest board in Astera or by talking to the handler and selecting Online Session > Session Settings.
Next, head on up to Astera’s Gathering Hub and invite your friends to your session like so: Options Button/System Menu Button > Communication > Invite a Friend. This will bring up your friends list, allowing you to invite anyone who is also playing into your session. Note that you can only see your friends when here in the gathering hub.
Creating a squad
So the above is not particularly … intuitive, and you won’t want to do it each time you play. Being in the same squad will make life easier. Once you’re all together in the gathering hub, one of you should speak to the squad manager to create a squad. Then invite everyone to it. Be sure to pick a really punny name so people know you’re clever and that your squad means business.
From now on, when you load up Monster Hunter: World, you can check to see if anyone from your squad has a session going by selecting Squad Session Search. You’ll then jump right into their session, where you can thankfully skip most of this explanation.
Once you’re all together in a session, talk to the hub lass at the quest counter to post a quest. Or, if one has already been posted (or is in progress), select Available Quests to see what you can jump into. Note that you can’t join a hunt for a monster requiring a higher hunter rank than yours. For this reason, it’s good to all stay at around the same hunter rank if you plan on hunting together for the long haul.
Exchange guild cards
Another super unintuitive little feature of Monster Hunter: World is guild cards. You’ll definitely want to exchange these with folks you’ll be hunting with often. And since you’ve already done all the work to come together in the same session, you might as well do this now:
- Go to Options Button/System Menu Button > Info > Guild Card > Send
- And then select everyone.
Now, to actually accept these sent guild cards, do this:
- Options Button/System Menu Button > Info > Guild Card > Receive
- Select them all.
Phew. This is probably a feature you’ve ignored up until now, so you may want to take some time to personalize your guild card. As you continue to play with your friends, your unity level will increase, which gives some added benefits. How nice for you. And your friends. Ahem.
The SOS flare: Hunting with randos
I hear you: Not everyone has such exquisite taste in video games. Playing as a hunting ronin is totally fine, and another way to approach online play in Monster Hunter: World. If this is the case, your hunts will essentially revolve around the SOS flare. You can use it in two ways.
This monster is too hard, and I need help!
Hey, it happens to all of us. There’s no shame is asking for help, so while in a quest, fire of a flare by going to Options Button/System Menu Button > Quest > Fire SOS Flare. This will make your quest searchable to other players, who can jump right in and lend a hand.
I want to grind a specific monster
If your goal is to farm the same monster for carves, you can respond to SOS flares that other players send. But rather than initiating this from within a quest, use any quest board or quest NPC. To do that, select Join a Quest > Respond to SOS > Target and pick whichever poor monster you’d like to help cull. From there, you’ll be able to see any quests in progress and jump in.
Playing with other people means you’ll have to maintain an awareness of several things you may not think about at all when playing solo. Doing so will be the difference between being a hunter people want to bring with them versus someone who makes everyone groan in frustration. Here are the big ones to keep in mind.
Cap or kill
The rewards you get from a monster vary based on how its dragged back to Astera. For instance if you want a monster’s hide, your best bet is to kill and carve the monster. However, if you want rarer materials like plates of gems, you’ll want to capture it. Refer to your monster field guide and speak to the chief ecologist for more information on how to get specific carves.
The important thing to remember here is that the person who posts the quest generally gets to decide the fate of the monster once it starts to limp. I know it can be tempting with the finish line in sight, but it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one out there with carves on your mind.
We covered pretty extensively in our Monster Hunter: World beginner’s guide, but what’s in your item pouch is just as important as the weapon that’s on your back and the armor girding your loins. Don’t jump into anyone’s online session unless you have the materials you’ll need to contribute. Healing items are the absolute minimum requirement, but it should also be second nature to bring items that can assist such as traps, slinger pods and tranquilizers.
An all-too-common hunter seen in the previous games was the “honey beggar,” who would drift from gathering hall to gathering hall requesting honey to craft potions. Please don’t become a honey beggar.
Don’t hit people
Playing solo means you can freely upswing your great sword or let fly with the cluster bombs. But both of these will interrupt other players’ actions if they’re struck. This could put them in a dangerous situation, beyond being just plain annoying.
Pay attention to the placement of your enemy and your allies, and know where your weapon will hit. Obviously this will take some getting used to, since it’s a matter of learning how weapon attacks affect others. Just know that if you repeatedly mess up your fellow hunters, they won’t want to continue hunting with you.
One way that you can avoid stepping on each other’s toes is by paying attention to the weapons people bring. Hammer and hunting horn users will get priority when it comes to attacking the head. The longer, bladed weapons focus on cutting off a monster’s tail. And bowgunners and bow users maintain the greatest distance of the bunch. Having a balanced spread of weapons can help ensure everyone isn’t launching each other across the map.
Watch for sleep
If your target lazily flops over and the exciting hunting music stops dead, it means the monster has been put to sleep. Either someone has a weapon that deals sleep damage or a bow or bowgun user used sleep ammo. When this happens, stop and observe your team. This is an opportunity to deal incredible amounts of damage if everyone works together.
Most of the time, you’ll want to use barrel bombs strategically placed by the target’s head as its wake up call. In that case, all four players would pile their barrel bombs in the same spot. Finally, ignite the bouquet of bombs will by placing a small barrel bomb next to them, out of range of the monster’s head. The reason for this: The waking blow deals increased damage, and it would be wasted on the small power of the tiny barrel bomb. Rather, you want the stack of big boys, and them alone, to wake the target.
No worries if you don’t have bombs: Just don’t interfere with this process! Generally, you should discuss this kind of tactic before the quest, so that everyone knows to come prepared. However, this tactic is so tried and true that veteran hunters just know on an unspoken level that when a monster goes night night, it’s bomb time.
A second option is to let players with weapons that deal huge spikes of damage deliver the waking blow. Great swords are ideal for this, as are hammers. Just be sure that you don’t wake the target until everyone knows the plan.
Hey, you can talk to people in Monster Hunter: World using voice chat! That’s pretty great, but maybe you don’t want to? Maybe other people don’t want to? That’s also great. Either way, there are still options to keep communication open.
You can use stickers, text chat, scripted messages, heck even gestures to get your ideas across. This can help break players out of their frenzied attacking to remember that other people are behind the avatars helping them out. One of the key themes in Monster Hunter is the power of people working together to accomplish seemingly impossible things. Keep that in mind as you play, and you’ll go far.