Monster Hunter World starter guide: everything you need to know to get hunting

Join a squad to adventure with friends

Working out exactly how to play online with friends in Monster Hunter World isn’t exactly straight forward. We do this for a living and it took three of us around half an hour to work out how to do it - seriously. But there’s a way to make the whole thing a much easier process and that’s through starting a Squad for you and your pals. You can set one up by going to the Squad Manager in the Gathering Hub and then just invite your friends to join. You can then jump straight into a Squad Session Search from the title menu, meaning you’re guaranteed to only play with members of your squad, making it easy to see who needs an extra hunter or two from the Quest Board itself, without having to faff around in menus. You can be a member of up to eight squads, which can hold up to 50 members, meaning you can swap between different player groups easily as well.

Accept as many bounties as possible

When you're running around on missions you'll be picking up everything in sight (which just so happens to be one of our tips, as you'll find out if you just keep on reading). Why not get rewarded for it at the same time? Go to the hub in Astera and head towards the Resource Center, where you can gather up a ton of bounties that just require you to collect a set amount of items, kill some beasts, or investigate a specific monster. Ticking these off comes naturally when you're wandering around in the wild, so just remember to turn them in after every quest and stock up on new ones. 

Expect to get Tutorial fatigue

Monster Hunter World has a severe problem with the amount of text it shoves onto you in your first couple of hours. It generally feels like you’re having an encyclopedia being shoved down your throat, so I’m just going to tell you right now that you don’t have to worry about reading every single one. You can access the tutorial messages from the main menu if you need a refresher by going to Info, then Play Guide, and then View Tutorial. Mind you, the best teacher is experience when it comes to hunting monsters, so you’re better off skimming the tutorial messages and clicking ‘yes’ on that scary ‘Exit the Tutorial?’ screen and just throwing yourself at the next Jagras you see. 

Save, save, save

Monster Hunter World doesn’t have the autosave feature us gamers are typically used to. If you don’t manually save before exiting an online multiplayer session or entering a different one, you’ll lose all the gear and weapons you crafted, which can be somewhat annoying (an understatement). However, you won’t lose the materials you gathered on your multiplayer shenanigans, so you can just return to the Workshop and build everything all over again. That’s not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, though, so just remember to save. To do so, press Options to go to your menu, scroll to System, and then select the Save option. 

Expeditions have no time limit, so are perfect for gathering resources

Missions usually have a time limit. Which are super fun when you've almost killed your quarry but can literally see the seconds ticking away before your very eyes. However, expeditions let you roam free without any restriction on how long you spend out in the open. That makes them perfect for fighting monsters at your own leisure, gathering resources, or simply exploring the maps at your own pace. 

Eat before you go out to hunt

Typically beginners might be used to carrying around a whole host of potions that’ll buff your stats when you’re in an especially difficult fight, but Monster Hunter World does things differently. Make sure to visit the Chef at the canteen before you go out on a hunt, (or head to the one at each base) and choose the foodstuff you’re going to be shoving in your mouth carefully. Each meal will give you a special set of status effects, an HP boost, or even give you temporary skills. Generally speaking you shouldn’t have to worry about eating near the beginning of your playthrough, but if you’re having repeated trouble fighting an Anjanath then it’s time to get some food in your belly.

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.