Hello all. This is the first guide type thing I've posted to Reddit or on MWH in general. So forgive the lack of formatting, I'm not familiar with how to do it just yet (plus I did it all on the app). I've written guides for other games I've been into, so I thought I'd give it a shot here.
I'm relatively new to the game, but at this point I have over 500 hours put in to it. 300 of which was eaten by the disappearing save gods, so I had to start over. This is also my first Monster Hunter experience. Unfortunately I didn't experience any of the other titles. So I'm always open to feedback or suggestions.
This guide isn't going to be your typical "how to beat up monsters better" guide. Instead it's going to focus on something I wish I had known how to do more efficiently from the start: Farming materials. I have found guides on just about everything else, but when it came to farming materials I find lots of questions but very few answers that were as in depth as I hoped.
This guide is going to look at using the Botanical Farm, Argosy, Trail Raider Safari, Bounties, and Expeditions in order to farm materials, research points, and armor spheres. How to do it faster, and also a bit on how to approach it and where you do it. It all ties together so make sure to read it all.
The Build: So in MHW we make builds for everything, but I've never seen anyone mention a build for farming. It's not sexy in the way a mega DPS build is, but it is possible to create a build just for farming. Best part about it is that it's easy to forge, and the decorations are those that you probably just throw away (I know I did). The other good part about it is that you don't need to invest in upgrading the armor, you simply use it for the skills.
Head: Chaimmail Headgear b Chest: Rathian Mail a Arms: Butterfly Brachia b Waist: Butterfly Elytra b Legs: Butterfly Crura b Charm: Geology Charm III
Decorations: Specimen Jewel 1 (x3), Intimidator Jewel (x3)
Skills: Botanist level 4: One extra consumable herb, fruit, nut, seed, insect, or mushroom item per gather. Needless to say extra is great when we are focusing on farming. Especially for things that aren't in abundance like insects.
Geologist level 3: Allows you to gather one extra time from bonepiles, gathering points, and mining outcrops. This is even more significant when it comes to bounties. Now when you need to complete a green bounty it goes that much faster.
Entomologist level 3: Makes it so corpses will always be left behind. You get this from decorations and to be honest it isn't necessary, just a convenience. If you want to farm vespoids or hornetaurs it's easier.
Intimidator level 3: Prevents monsters from engaging you even if you've been spotted. Ever try farming in the middle of a bunch of gajalaka? What a pain, well now you don't have to worry about it. I think it's mostly for small monsters, but I've had a Jho roar at me and then walk away. In fact I've only been bothered twice, once by a blue rath, and once by a pink rathian. You probably shouldn't rely on it with larger monsters, but it doesn't hurt.
Master Gatherer: Speeds up gathering and prevents knockbacks while gathering. To be honest I don't notice the difference in speed, but it's nice not to be bothered by an annoying barnos while I'm picking through a bone pile. Intimidator doesn't stop vespoids or hornetaurs from attacking, but when have you been attacked by them when not gathering? So this stops them from disrupting our gathering.
Honey Hunter: One extra honey per gather. Seems like everything uses honey and gather points are so few and far between, so this is great.
Forager's Luck: Increases the likelihood of rare gathering points respawning. Not quite sure what rare gathering points are, but it can't hurt.
Recovery Up level 1: insignificant
Honorable mentions: pro transporter & speed crawler. I'm not sure they justify a spot over anything else, but I'm experimenting.
Tip: I personally created a gathering item loadout with nothing but blanks slots as an easy way to empty my items. Nothing is worse than trying to finish a bounty but you can't pick up that last big cuz you didn't empty your pouch.
Botanical Farm: This is a very vital part of your crafting obviously, but for the longest time it was so tedious for me it was almost bothersome. Then I cracked the code. A lot of you may already know this stuff, but for those who don't here goes…
Most of what I'm going to say applied once you've unlocked everything, so if you haven't here's a link on how. https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Botanical+Research
First little tip, you can turn the small (S) fertilizers into large (L) by stacking them (buy again while the small is still active) which ends up being cheaper for everything but the catalyst. First thing you want to do is get all four large fertilizers active. Doesn't matter what you're cultivating, just do it. Once you have them active you'll be able to just but soft soil to extend them all with one buy and then no matter what you cultivate you'll always be getting max growth. With only being able to buy one fertilizer per visit this is very handy, plus it's the best value when you are extending all four fertilizers for 5 quests for only 500 points.
Trail Raider Safari:
This is really an unreliable way to farm material, but whatever extra you get from it is icing on the cake. The greatest thing about it is that it lasts 5 quests. Why is this so great? Because soft soil lasts for 5 also, so if you apply soft soil to your botanical farm and start your Trail Raider Safari at the same time, you'll know it's time to re-soil when the safari returns.
Argosy: My advice, request all consumables. Materials is completely unreliable, you're better off hunting for what you need. Besides the occasional Wyvern or Bird Wyvern gem everything else is easier gained by playing the game. Trade in items will never get you enough money to justify the length of time it takes him to come back. But with consumables you get all types of useful things thing would otherwise take lots of materials to craft or are a pain to farm (like screamer sacs or pods). Also consumable bundles average less points cost than the others.
Bounties: While in farming mode we only want green bounties. These will allow us to farm armor spheres while farming materials. I personally prefer green over everything all the time, but red and blue bounties have far greater value when you're hunting than when your farming. I've yet to be offered so many green bounties that I had to choose, but if your in that position here's how I'd prioritize.
First, and probably doesn't need to be said, but hard armor spheres rewards always over armor sphere+. Much better value. For example a hard armor sphere entomology bounty requires 10 collections, while a + bounty requires 7. So that's 70% of the work for only 25% of the reward. Again you probably won't need to choose but if you do that's how you should.
Whenever you can double up. Kill two birds with one stone, complete two bounties with the same collections.
The order of easiest to farm to hardest is as follows in my opinion:
Flora: you can complete this easily no matter which area you choose to expedition in. Everywhere has plants in abundance, except maybe rotten vale.
Mining and entomology: there are places where there are enough grouped together to complete either of these bounties in one go. (More on what I mean by that in a moment).
Mushrooms: I have a couples spots I like to farm mushrooms, but they aren't quite as consolidated as the things I've listed previously.
Bone piles: Hard armor sphere bounties are twenty one collections. Even using our farming build that gives us an extra dig that still requires 6 bone piles. I haven't found a place that has that many in close enough proximity.
Honey: way to spread out no matter the locale.
Small monster culling: the only red is consider when farming. There are some groups of small animals you can kill quickly, but then the rest run, it's difficult to kill enough for it to be viable for our purposes, but if rng isn't being kind it'll work when you've nothing else.
So how do we tie all of this together?
The Cycle: This bit was game changing for me. I didn't/couldn't find it anywhere online, so if you already knew, great, if not you'll love it when it comes to farming.
Even with all the tips about growing in the Botanical Farm was still slow. I once spent three days growing nothing but flash flies, less than a week later they were gone. The reality is for a lot of items you'll use more in one match than you grow, unless you're doubled or tripled up in the grow box, and if your triple growing one item you're running out of multiple other items, and it's a constant circle of chasing your tail never enough.
As an alternative there's always finding an easy quest like killing a low rank great jagras to cycle it through.
Instead let's farm more materials, cycle the grow box, safari, Argosy, and complete bounties so we can farm armor spheres as well.
I found a lot of questions about what qualifies as a cycle in order to move the game to the "next day" so-to-speak, but never saw anywhere with an answer. So I answered it.
3 minutes. That's the answer. You need to be on an expedition for three minutes in order to cycle through and have the game consider it a completed quest (or whatever term you want to use).
Timing it with load screens it'll take you about 5 minutes to cycle through. Which basic math says you can cycle 12 times in an hour. Reality is that if you stay super focused you can probably cycle 10 times allowing time to deal with the resource center, fertilizing, Argosy, and safaris. Which means if your triple grow you can farm 30 bunches of whatever item you want in an hour of grind.
You'd be surprised how much you can do in 3 minutes in RL or in game. I mention RL because you don't actually have to do anything during those 3 minutes. It's preferred that you complete bounties to farm armor spheres, but you could just as easily start the expedition and go do house work. There are a lot of tasks you can do in three minutes. Need to clean the bathroom? Start the expedition, clean the sink, go back, restart, clean the toilet, etc.
Tip: use a timer so you know when three minutes is up. You likely have one on your cell phone.
The Approach So let's talk about how to approach this. My process is simple, but a bit more complex than it looks on the surface and we'll get into that as well.
- Register bounties
- Start an expedition
Every 5th cycle you'll visit the grow box to fertilize & collect, buy from the Argosy (the Argosy is random so it's not there every 5th quest but we can average it out for the sake of ease. Go when he's there), and restart your safari. (Quick note: there is no wingdrake cut scene if you enter an expedition from your living quarters so save that for last to save a bit of time.)
Now a few things to touch on that you may be tempted to do, but should avoid, or things you should be doing that you might skip on.
Avoid spending money than 3 minutes on an expedition. It'll be tempting, especially if you're trying to complete a bounty. Don't get me wrong it is ideal to complete your bounty in one expedition (i'll tell you where to accomplish this in a sec), but if you spend extra time to complete a bounty or farm extra material you are just costing yourself the same time it would take to do an extra cycle. So three minutes and leave regardless of progress.
Farm everything while on an expedition, but nothing specific (bounty goals excluded). Anything we can grow at the Botanical Farm you don't need to focus on. Don't worry about the best locale to farm fire herb (wild spire area 1 btw) because no matter how much you collect, a triple grow cycle in the box will out do it. So don't reply to ask "where's the best place to farm this?" If it's in the grow box, that's the best place. We use expeditions to complete bounties.
Don't skip footprints they are worth research points. However, skip every thing else track wise unless your farming tempered tracks. Footprints can be picked up on the run, everything else requires you to stop and scrape it into a jar which allows down your collecting.
Always choose your expedition locale based on your bounty needs with the exception of specifically farming research points. Again a bit repetitive, but the grow box is for material, the Argosy and safari is for random, and Expeditions are for research point or armor sphere farming.
Empty your pouch at the beginning of your expedition not before you depart. This process is about speed and efficiency. Spending time in Astera emptying your pouch nets you nothing, spending time in your tent on an expedition gets you that much closer to the 3 minute mark. In fact if you want to do just about anything (other than setting decorations, forging, or upgrading) do it in an expedition. Have the need to rearrange your items or armor loadouts, reorganize your item wheel or your radial menu? Do it on an expedition, all that time spent on those things could be spent cycling your day.
To reiterate expeditions are about cycling the day forward, not about farming material.
Where: Floral: You can complete these bounties in a number of locales, I typically will pick a location based on my other bounties because the plants are there no matter where you are. If I had to pick a spot just for floral is go wild spire area 1. You can complete a bounty (or come close to) before you even hit the river.
Insects: Area 11 in the Coral Highlands. The cave where you find the fishing guy.
Hard armor sphere bounties require 10 bugs, you can easily collect 10 in here in under 3 minutes. It has good mining outcrops as well. I will say for me personally the bugs are hard to see, even with the scout flies. So spending a few times in there longer than 3 minutes, using the mini map and pins to find them is worth it in the long run. I can now run through there and complete my bounty in less than the 3 minute time frame, because I just know where they all are. (Don't miss the thunder bug just before the little crawl space when getting to this area.)
Mining outcrops: there are a couples good places for mining, but my go to place ous Elder Recess. No matter where you choose remember to do expedition on high rank for mining so you get the reds also. With our geology skill we get 4 hacks at each crop. Hard armor bounties require 21, which means we need 6 gathering points.
Start at camp 8, use the wedge beetle to swing up to the ledge there is a red mining point (1). Drop down the hole there is a blue point on the platform you land on (2). Jump off and there is another blue right below (3). Run out towards the central area (at least what I consider the central area of the map) and there is a blue up the ramp near the gajalakas (4). Up the ramp and towards the entrance to Nergigate's lair there is a red (5). In to Nergigate's lair to your right is a blue (6) bounty complete.
Bone piles: The Rotten Vale is the only place I've found with 6 bone piles close enough. The hard armor sphere bounty requires 21 pulls so we need 6. Getting to all 6 in three minutes will take every bit of your time, but it's the best place I've found. It's hard to explain the route unfortunately. From camp 1 head left through the crawl space, and then basically go in a big circle. Don't try it the other way because you won't be able to get up the wall to the last bone pile.
Mushrooms: Wild Spire. It's kind of a convoluted route which I can't explain in text, but it's the place I use. There's probably a good place in the Ancient Forest but the Wild Spire is my place.
Honey: I've not found a location dense enough with honey to compete the bounty in one go, the hard armor sphere bounty requires 10 gathers. I don't even recall a locale with 10 gathering points for honey, much less close enough to get in our three minute allotment. This is easily the worst of the gathering bounties, but seeing as that you'll probably never max out your bounties you might as well carry it along and make the long term investment.
Research points: Without a doubt the best place for farming research points is the Elder Recess. With our skills we can pull from the Beryl deposits 5 times. The smallest amount of points you can get from a pull is 32. So quick math 32×5 is 160 research points minimum from each spot. If you find a rare item it's 260 points from one pull. If you go during a Beryl upsurge you can get a boat load of points in just three minutes. Amber deposits are slightly less than Beryl deposits but can work also. A close second is collecting wyvern eggs from the low rank Wild Spire. With pro transporter you can do 3 in three minutes so you can get 750 a pop, but I've never got less than that using Beryl deposits in the Elder Recess.
So if we think about some of this; soft soil 100 pts per quest (500 every 5th), Safari 120 pts per quest (600 every 5th), Argosy 300 pts per quest (average estimate since he's so random). So we are looking at 520 research points per quest it's costing us to run this cycle. The best I've done (when paying attention to my total) in three minutes is 1578. So that one trip paid for three quests worth of points.
On a normal expedition, not an upsurge if you start at camp 8 go out the crawl space, and up the wall you'll find two gathering points. Jump down the big wall towards Nergigate's lair (jumping down is faster than climbing up which is why we start high) and head into the central area where you'll find 2 more with plenty of time to spare. If you duck into the lava area and head left there's an amber deposit. That's a minimum of 5 gathering points at a minimum of 160 points each, so you'll make a minimum of 800 points just doing that. An upsurge adds 4 more gathering points (that I can recall) along that same route, you may not get to them all in three minutes though.
Whenever I go on an expedition I'll check the map for the upsurge and I'll go whenever there is a Beryl upsurge and do bounties the other times. Personally I don't go for Amber upsurge, I don't feel the route is as time friendly.
Conclusion I hope this was insightful and helpful, especially if you're like me and struggle with materials and are always feeling like no matter how much you grind and farm you will never have enough materials. I'm always open to feedback, and if there is anything you think could help make this better let me know I'll try to add it.
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