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Monster Hunter: World guide: Things to do in Astera

A guide to your hometown, its shops and its inhabitants

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

The town of Astera is your base of operations while exploring the New World in Monster Hunter: World. You’ll come back here all the time to upgrade your gear, purchase supplies or manage your monster research and bounties. Even though you’ll spend a lot of time here, it’s entirely possible to miss locations and vendors while running around. Read this guide, and you won’t miss a thing.

Astera map, shops and NPCs

On your first visit, wander around and talk to everyone you can find that has a yellow exclamation point above their heads. These are the people who unlock vendors and locations. Keep an eye out for new people with new exclamation points as you progress to add new features to Astera.

You can use the map below as a quick reference for finding everything and everyone in Astera.

Astera’s points of interest.
  1. Quest boards. You can post new quests and investigations from here without having to talk to the handler.
  2. Item boxes. Go here to unload your pouch and to prepare for your next quest.
  3. Provisions stockpile. You can purchase the basics here — items like potions and ammo. As you progress through the game, the selection of available items will grow.
  4. Resource Center. This is where you’ll manage your bounties and investigations.
  5. Botanical Research. This isn’t available until you’ve played a few hours of Monster Hunter: World. Once it’s open, you can (slowly) grow supplies like herbs and mushrooms to cut down on your time spent foraging.
  6. Ecological Research. Talk to the Chief Ecologist in his comically large pile of books to increase your monster research level.
  7. Elder Melder. After your trips to the Rotten Vale, the Elder Melder will move from the Research Base to Astera. At her shop in the tradeyard, you can turn the stuff you’ve collected into melding points, and then turn melding points and research points into items. These are higher-level items than you can purchase from the provisions stockpile.
  8. Handler. She’s like a quest board with extra steps.
  9. Canteen. You can order stat-boosting meals or choose to oven roast items and materials you’ve picked up.
  10. Your room. There’s an item box in your room, but more importantly, it’s where you can release “pet” versions of endemic life you’ve captured. Talk to the housekeeper inside to access the training grounds and practice your weapon skills. You can also manage your palico equipment loadout here.
  11. Smithy. Probably the person you’ll visit most often, the smithy turns all the monster materials you carve off the creatures you’ve killed into weapons and armor.
  12. Armory. If you don’t feel like (or don’t have the resources to) make weapons and armor from scratch, you can buy a limited selection from the armory. You can also go here to sell equipment you’re no longer using.
  13. Gathering Hub. This is a social area where up to 16 players can meet up and interact. This is where you’ll go to join a squad (think of it like a clan in most other games). The gathering hub has all the same amenities as the rest of Astera minus the workshop.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.