Wild Hearts Karakuri building system explained

Wild Hearts screenshots
(Image credit: EA)

Wild Hearts building Karakuri system allows you to build constructs, either as Basic, Fusion or Dragon Karakuri that serve different functions in-game. Whether you're building crates, springs, hammers, bombs, harpoons, ziplines, traps or roller vehicles, Karakuri are almost as much of a backbone to Wild Hearts as monster-stabbing is. For that reason, we'll cover everything you need to know about Building Karakuri in Wild Hearts, from resources, unlocking new structures and the special Dragon Pits.

Wild Hearts and building Karakuri constructions explained

Karakuri in Wild Hearts are constructions made by the player, and fall into three types:

  • Basic Karakuri: Objects like crates and springs, usually used in the middle of combat. Usually destroyed soon after construction or in a single hit. Costs Karakuri Thread to build.
  • Dragon Karakuri: Base, traversal and exploration-based constructions, like Tents, Campfires, Ziplines and Hunting Towers. Automatically rebuild themselves if destroyed at no extra cost. Costs Dragon Pit Resources to create.
  • Fusion Karakuri: More complex constructions made by combining Basic Karakuri in specific patterns, nearly always used in combat. Usually destroyed soon after construction or in a single hit. Includes Bulwarks, Hammers and Star Bombs. Costs Karakuri Thread to build.

This is only an overview of how Karakuri work though, and we'll cover further details below about how they're unlocked, how they work, and how you should be using them.

Basic Karakuri

Wild hearts karakuri building

(Image credit: EA)

There are six kinds of Basic Karakuri in Wild Hearts: crates, springs, torches, gliders, stakes and celestial anchors, though you won't unlock all of them until some way in. They all cost between 1 and 3 Thread to summon, and you can have four assigned to your quick-select (L1/LB) at a time, switching them out at either Natsume's forge, or a Field Forge you build in the wild.

Because Basic Karakuri are so cheap and quick to make, they're something you should use in the middle of combat all the time, throwing down a spring for a quick dodge or summoning a glider mid-air.

How to unlock all Basic Karakuri

Wild hearts karakuri building

(Image credit: EA)

Because they're so fundamental, we've outlined all the purposes of the basic Karakuri here, and how to get them yourself.

  • Crate (1 Thread) 
    • Description: A default box that can be used for climbing or assembling instant towers by making a stack of three. Destroyed when attacked by an enemy.
    • How to unlock: Unlocked in the tutorial.
  • Spring (2 Thread)
    • Description: A bounce pad for rapid horizontal movement. Destroyed when attacked by an enemy.
    • How to unlock: Defeat the Ragetail boss.
  • Torch (1 Thread)
    • Description: A standing torch that can be used to ignite players' weapons temporarily. Destroyed when attacked by an enemy.
    • How to unlock: Defeat the Wild Hearts Kingtusk boss.
  • Glider (3 Thread)
    • Description: A handheld glider that lifts the user a little before granting a slow, controlled fall. Dropped when the player lands, and destroys itself if not quickly picked up again.
    • How to unlock: Defeat the Spineglider boss.
  • Stake (2 Thread)
    • Description: A platform that fires a grapple hook ahead when stepped on, sticking into whatever it's facing to provide a platform in the side of the wall or monster. Destroyed when attacked by an enemy.
    • How to unlock: Purchased with Kemono Orbs from the Karakuri menu.
  • Celestial Anchor (3 Thread)
    • Description: A pole stuck into the ground that a player tethers themselves to with thread, allowing them to pull themself around and redirect their motion rapidly, even in midair. Destroyed when attacked by an enemy or after the player's fourth redirect.
    • How to unlock: Purchased with Kemono Orbs from the Karakuri menu.

Clearly there's a lot here to use, though we've found that the Crate, Spring and Glider are all pretty essential throughout the game except for very specific builds, so that fourth slot can go to whichever of the other three you think makes the most sense for the current hunt you're on.

Dragon Karakuri

Wild hearts karakuri building

(Image credit: EA)

Dragon Karakuri are permanent, special buildings and devices that range from Tents for Wild Hearts fast travel, to Campfires, Ziplines and even things like Baths, Signs and special Roller vehicles. These are rarely used in combat, usually built between fights, and focus on base management and traversal.

To build Dragon Karakuri doesn't cost Thread, but resources from the Dragon Pits of the region. There are five resources:

  • Leaf
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Wind
  • Earth

Different Karakuri will cost different amounts, and you can choose to destroy them to get those costs back.

How to unlock Dragon Karakuri

Wild hearts karakuri building

(Image credit: EA)

Most Dragon Karakuri are unlocked as purchases from the Karakuri menu, via story progression, or as rewards for hunting specific monsters - though most of them fall under that first option. They're paid for with Kemono Orbs, rewards for successful hunts and for breaking specific parts of monsters during those hunts.

Dragon Pits explained

Wild Hearts dragon pits

(Image credit: EA)

Dragon Pits are something we brought up in our Wild Hearts tips, but we'll elaborate here: these glowing pools are found in every region (marked on the map by a swirling symbol), and players can approach them to open a menu. This menu will show the cost of "unblocking" the Dragon Pit - which will grant the player more resources for that specific region. 

Pits have multiple stages of unblocking, each one of which increases the amount of resources in play, but the costs increase each time. All Pits also don't provide the same amount of resources - one on the beach might provide only Water, while one on a volcanic peak might provide a mix of Earth, Fire and Air.

A useful feature is that after you've unblocked the first stage of a Dragon Pit, you can access it from the map and do further unblockings without having to physically visit it. Convenient!

Fusion Karakuri

Wild Hearts bulwark karakuri and Kingtusk boss

(Image credit: EA)

Fusion Karakuri are constructions made from stacks of basic Karakuri. For example, a precise arrangement of basic crates will instantly reform themselves into a Bulwark, a reinforced wall. Alternatively, mixing in some Stakes in the right way will allow you to summon a Chain Trap that can pin down a monster temporarily. There's too many to go over and we're still unlocking them all, but they're worth keeping in mind, usually serving as specific counters to certain kinds of enemy attacks.

How to unlock Fusion Karakuri

Wild hearts karakuri building

(Image credit: EA)

Unlocking the knowledge to build a new Fusion Karakuri requires a "Flash of Inspiration", triggered by the following:

  • Having the right Basic Karakuri equipped to build the new fusion
  • Being on a hunt with a specific Kemono
  • That Kemono then uses a specific move
  • The player must also have the Thread to build the Fusion

For example, when you first fight the Kingtusk, if you have the Crates equipped, you'll get your Flash of Inspiration when the Kingtusk tries to use its charge attack, which can be countered by the Bulwark, two stacks of three crates. Time will slow and the button prompt for the new Fusion will come up, giving you the chance to enter it - and afterwards the new Fusion will now be something you can build whenever!

Of course, you need to know how to unlock Fusions specifically. In the Karakuri menu (the tab next to your map), it'll show you all the Fusions that a player can learn. If you haven't unlocked them yet, it'll show you what Basic Karakuri you need to bring with you, and against which Kemono, to trigger that inspiration. And if it doesn't show you the Kemono you need to be hunting - that means you haven't encountered it yet. Try encountering all the ones you can to make sure they're registered to your Cyclopedia, and if it still doesn't tell you what one will prompt the inspiration, you may not have unlocked that monster yet. Keep playing through the campaign until you find it.

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.