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‘Monster Hunter: World’: Tips and tricks for solo adventurers

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Monster Hunter: World is designed with multiplayer in mind. For the first time in the series, every quest can be tackled with a party of up to four hunters. The game encourages you to team up with friends or search for a hunting party via the matchmaking system. The emphasis on multiplayer lends itself to the belief that solo play may not be ideal in Monster Hunter: World . Rest assured, though, you can find much success as a lone hunter — it just requires you to put your best hunting foot forward. Here’s how to flourish in Monster Hunter: World as a solo player on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Always come prepared

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Before accepting a quest and heading out on your way, you need to prepare. Early on, you’ll start to acquire herbs and other materials that turn into useful consumables like potions and antidotes. You can hold up to 10 of each consumable in your item pouch at one time. Since you won’t have teammates to heal you, you’ll want to max those out.

If you don’t have enough resources to craft potions, you can buy them for next to nothing at the provisions stockpile at headquarters. We suggest buying plenty and sending them to storage. Before too long, you can use them to craft mega potions (potion + honey = mega potion) which restore much more health. If you have close to 10 with you at all times, you will be in good shape.

With your healing items situated, visit the Smithy on the second level of headquarters. It’s a always good idea to check to see if you can upgrade any of your weapons or armor with the materials earned from the last quest. Also, after taking down a new monster, you can craft its themed armor — which almost always has better stats than what you currently have on. You won’t always have the materials needed to upgrade your armor and weapons after each mission, but it pays off to check. Even small increases in attack and defense go a long way during the lengthy hunts.

Lastly, visit the canteen on the third level of the headquarters (the cat chef), and purchase a meal. The Chef’s Choice is your best bet, as it almost always provides significant health and stamina boosts, along with the occasional attack/defense bump.

Seriously, don’t forget to eat before the hunt. It’s the most important aspect of your preparation, especially as a solo hunter.

Focus on the main objective

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Monster Hunter World‘s quests have a time limit, which ups the thrills and keeps you on your toes. You have 50 minutes to complete a main objective. If the clock runs out, you’ll have to start all over again.

It’s a lot less time than it sounds. You need to make the most of every minute, especially on missions that task you with killing a single boss. Focus on tracking the monster, and sticking with it until the beast falls. There’s nothing worse than inflicting life-threatening damage, only for the mission to end before you can finish the monster off.

You aren’t so pressed for time that you can’t stop to pick up resources in your path toward the objective, but avoid pursuing smaller monsters or going off the beaten trail. Just avoid taking in the sights when there’s a giant dragon to be killed. You can always return to a map on untimed expeditions to gather resources in the same exact area.

Patience and repetition is key

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Monster Hunter veterans know that targets don’t succumb easily — hence, the 50-minute time limit. To survive long enough to win, it’s important to avoid taking any unnecessary risks. To avoid risk, you have to know what your enemy is going to do before they do it.

Each monster you fight has its own set of moves, and most of them follow a very rigid pattern. They also tend to have “tells,” which let you know what move will come next. Identifying these patterns and learning when and where to capitalize on them leads to success.

Even when a pattern isn’t clear, it helps to know a monster’s move set. Most have at least one “lunge” toward you, and a set of close-range maneuvers.

As a solo player, rushing into a battle and hacking away as quickly as possible is a surefire way to get yourself killed. Before you even try to inflict damage, you should spend a short time watching your foe’s behavior. That way you can look for an opening, go in for the kill, and go back on the defensive without getting hit.

In the vast majority of missions, you can only faint three times before you have to start over. If you aren’t patient and deliberate, death comes quicker than you’d think.

Wield the environment

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There’s one significant advantage in World‘s move to PS4 and Xbox One? The environments are much larger and more diverse. You may think a larger playground sets up better for a team of four, but solo players also can and should still try and make use of the world around them.

Remember, you’re a lot smaller than the monsters you take on. Use the size difference to your advantage by getting behind trees, boulders, anything around you that thwarts an enemy attack. Not only can you use the environment for defense, but you can often use the terrain to create openings or even damage your prey. For example, when monsters collide with structures, they frequently need to regroup, giving you a prolonged opportunity to attack.

Also, if you’re having trouble avoiding a monster’s attacks, try finding a patch of tall grass to conceal yourself. You won’t be able to sneak attack all the time, but when entering new areas, you can catch your enemy off guard by hiding in the shadows and keeping the noise to a minimum.

Consider ranged weapons

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Multiple hunters can swarm on a large monster and take hack after hack, weakening it to a standstill. Solo hunters don’t have that luxury. You can absolutely come out on top with any of the 14 weapons on solo hunts, but we’ve found that ranged weapons — particularly light bowguns — seem to provide the best balance of offense and defense.

For starters, you only have to concentrate on avoiding the monster’s long-range attacks when it’s at full strength. You can continuously fire on the beast from afar, stopping only when you need to dodge attacks, scurry away, and repeat.

Ranged weapons also allow you to survey the landscape and use the environment to your advantage more often.

So while hacking away with a large samurai sword or hammer may feel better, you can dole out just as much damage with a string of projectiles while eliminating the threat of at least a few of each monster’s attacks.

Don’t forget to camp

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Monster Hunter World is the first entry in the series that lets players manage items and refuel at camp mid-mission. As a solo player, you should absolutely keep this in mind. When the message comes up on screen that you can eat again, fast travel to the nearest camp and eat to get those health and stamina bonuses back.

And if you find yourself low on potions, visit your tent and restock from your item storage. You can also change weapons if you find that your current choice isn’t getting the job done (say it with us: light bowgun).

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Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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