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Monster Hunter: World guide: Endemic life, your capture net and fishing rod

Capture some pets and fish for useful scales

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.

There are countless items to gather in the New World of Monster Hunter: World. Some of them are obvious, like the mushrooms or insects or monster materials. Others require specialized equipment to pick up. Luckily, you’ll start the game with the equipment you need. Unluckily, Monster Hunter: World is pretty tight-lipped about how, why and when to use that equipment.

We’re here to save you the frustration of trial and error with this guide. We’ll focus on the two pieces of specialized equipment you’ll use most often: the capture net and the fishing rod. We’ll tell you how to use them and why you’ll want to.

Why capture endemic life

Hanging out with a shepherd hare in the private quarters.

You’ll use tools to capture the various endemic lifeforms — animals that are not a large or small monster or a collectible insect — you encounter around the New World. Every one you capture or catch will earn you research points. The other (arguably more important) reason to capture endemic life is to release it as a pet in your room in Astera.

You won’t be able to use the animals you capture with your net for anything other than points and companionship. Most fish, however, will drop scales. You can oven roast scales at a canteen, sell them or use them as items or for crafting materials.

Capture Net

If you scroll through your item bar (at the bottom right of your screen), you’ll find a capture net. When you hit the button to equip it, you’ll load it into your slinger — you’ll hold onto whatever ammo you have in there and put it back when you unequip your capture net.

Lining up the capture net reticule.

Once it’s loaded, just use L2/LT to aim your slinger like normal. Your reticule will be replaced with a rectangle. When you aim it at a capture-able thing, it’ll turn yellowish-orange. You’ll use the capture net to collect things like frogs, birds or flying bugs — basically anything that isn’t a fish.

Fishing rod

A fishing taking the bait.

Next to the capture net in your item bar (at the bottom right of your screen) is a fishing rod. When you hit the button to use it, you’ll (unsurprisingly) equip a fishing rod. You’ll see a glowing column where your lure will land. You’ll only be able to cast it when you’re standing next to water that’s deep enough for fish.

If you’re hooked into a larger fish, you may have to play out a bit of a quick time event to land it.

For the most part, you’ll be able to see the fish in the water before you cast — if you can’t see anything moving in the water, there probably aren’t fish around. With some practice, you can even start to identify the fish by sight — whetfish have blue eyes and gunpowder fish have orange eyes, for example.

Once you do cast, it’s time to wait for something to take the bait. This usually happens pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t, you can get the fishes’ attention by moving the left thumbstick. Then you just wait until the controller vibrates and the bobber goes underwater. All that’s left is to hit the button to reel in the fish.

As you collect more and more things from the world, you may find things like baitbugs that can be used as alternate bait. Use up and down on the D-pad to cycle through your tackle box.

A good early fishing hole.

Our favorite fish and one you should seek out is the whetfish, which will drop a scale that you can use to sharpen your weapons faster than your whetstone. You can find these fish just about anywhere with water deep enough to fish in, but there’s an easily accessible location in the Ancient Forest that you can find very early in the game. Head to the seashore in the east-southeast (about halfway between the numbers 3 and 4 on your map). You’ll have to clear out some kestodons, but there’s a bountiful fishing hole here. The whetfish are the ones with the glowing blue eyes.