Monster Hunter World

Finding monsters without paintballs – A Practical Primer on Painlessly and Paintlessly Pursuing Prey

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From time to time in Monster Hunter, you'll find yourself trying to find a monster which isn't marked on your map. Whether it's because you've just spawned into the quest, or because your paintball wore off, this can be frustrating for the ill-prepared hunter. Nobody wants to spend 10 minutes on a wild gargwa chase. In this guide, I want to share some techniques and information to help track down an elusive beast.

The tips in this thread are mostly focused on Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, but much of the advice will still apply to MH4U, MH3U and earlier. This thread won't be of much use in the Monster Hunter World, as scoutflies make a lot of this guide obsolete! So, with that out of the way, let's get into it.

Knowledge is Power

Every monster in MHGU has a pre-defined spawning location on each map. The simplest way to figure out where a monster is when you start each quest is to learn these spawn zones! Of course, with almost 100 large monsters and several maps for each of them, that could take hundreds of hours. Kiranico lists the spawning locations for each monster in each quest, so you can always look it up before the quest!

But sometimes the monster has moved before you can reach the spawn point, or your paintball has worn off mid-quest. Map knowledge won't help you there! What will help you is…

Being Psychic

The armour skill Psychic will automatically mark all monsters on your map for you. All it costs is a measly 15 skill points! As an added bonus, the marking will show which direction the monster is facing! Why would you need that? Who knows!

"But Bool!" I hear you cry, "I can't fit that skill on my armour set! I need those slots for DEE PEE ESS!" Never fear, my wannabe-speedrunner friend! I have just the thing for you!

Being Psychic (But Only Temporarily)

The food skill Felyne Oracle, which will mark all monsters on your map for the first minute or so of the quest, giving you enough time to figure out where to head! If you've lost a monster in the middle of a hunt, for just a couple of hundred resource points each, Neko (Means Cat) will sell you Psychoserums. This orange-brown juice will mark all monsters on your map for about a minute.

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"But Bool! I need to use my food skills for the best food skill, Cool Cat! And my bag is packed full of worthless junk! I can't make room for psychoserums! What am I going to do?!" Well, my very stylish and very encumbered friend, it sounds to me like it's time for drastic measures. You're going to have to do what millions of Gamers before you have failed to do. You're going to have to try…

Being Friendly

Have you ever seen that weird hot air balloon floating around in the sky? What's that all about? Let me tell you about the Dragonseer. There's a tiny old man inside that balloon and he's very, very lonely. Perform the "wave" gesture towards the balloon and he'll be so delighted at getting some human contact, he'll mark all monsters on the map for you for, you guessed it, about a minute. Respect your elders, kids.

If you're underprepared, and you're having as much trouble finding the dragonseer as you're having finding the monster itself, though, I have two more tips for you. One is somewhat obvious, and the other is less so.

Chasing Shadows

When a flying monster takes off and it isn't marked with a paintball, figuring out which area it's heading to is a cinch! Stand directly beneath the shadow as the monster flies up, and once it starts moving towards the new area, turn the camera in the direction the monster is moving and start running forwards. Take a look at your map, your arrow will be pointing directly at the area the beastie is flying to. This also applies to monsters you didn't know could fly, like monkeys and weird electric wolf lizards. When they leap into the stratosphere, they'll head directly towards the area they're going to.

In previous games, flying monsters would occasionally reach the area they flew to, and immediately turn to fly to another area. In this case, you're out of luck. I haven't seen this in MHGU yet, but I wouldn't discount the possibility.

Anxious Aptonoth

Here's the last tip, and the one which will make you truly feel like a hunter. When you see herbivores running from an area transition, it's generally a sign that a monster has entered the area on the other side of that loading screen.

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Additionally, you'll occasionally see Aptonoth rearing up and looking over their shoulders nervously. For the first few hundred hours of my Monster Hunter career, I thought this was just something they did from time to time. It turns out that Aptonoth get nervous when there's a large monster in an adjacent area. This little nervous tic can massively help you narrow down where to search when you have no other options!

I Didn't Come Here to Read! Give Me Bullet Points!

Alright, alright!

  • Monsters spawn in the same location every time. Learn them, or check Kiranico.
  • The Psychic armour skill will permanently mark all monsters on your map.
  • Psychoserums, the Felyne Oracle food skill and waving at the balloon will temporarily mark all monsters on your map.
  • Please read my thread, it's very good, I promise.
  • Flying/jumping monster shadows travel directly towards the area the monster will land.
  • Aptonoth will leave any area with a large monster, and have a nervous "looking over the shoulder" animation when there's a monster in an adjacent area.

And that's it! Honestly, with a couple of psychoserums in your pouch, and a little bit of map knowledge, you'll never need to paintball a monster again.


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