This article is an ultimate Monster Hunter Now beginner guide and will cover basic game mechanics, menu and map layouts as well as short descriptions of equipment and monsters that you can encounter in-game. If you are a fan of the Monster Hunter game series, Monster Hunter Now will definitely be the right choice for you to play on your phone. The game is created by CAPCOM as a part of the Monster Hunter series to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It comes in between two titles Rise and upcoming Wilds in 2025, bringing your favorite monsters to life. It is also worth mentioning that this was done in collaboration with Niantic, the company recognized for its work with augmented reality bringing the Monster Hunter game to the real world.
What is Monster Hunter Now?
Fighting Great Jagras in AR
As a Monster Hunter Now beginner, you should know that the game is created as an augmented reality action RPG game, using the player’s real location for avatar placement. The gameplay reminds me a lot of to Pokemon Go game, where your avatar moves as you move in real life. This is a game that will get you moving around. The Monster Hunter Now map refreshes every 24 hours, while large monsters respawn every 3 hours and smaller every 5 minutes. Pay attention if you are trying to get to the chosen monster because it could disappear before you get there. The game includes safety measures such as movement speed restriction, prohibiting you from playing while driving.
Monster Hunter Now has three different types of terrain (habitats): Forest, Swamp, and Desert. The habitat zones are color-differentiated in the game for easier understanding of the map: Forest-green, Swamp-grey, and Desert-yellow. Each habitat has unique monsters and resources spawning in them:
- Forest is a habitat that features greenery, trees, and plants, with plenty of resources to loot, including Carpenterbug. A unique Monster that can be only found in Forest habitat is Rathalos.
- Swamp is a location featuring wet and muddy ground, with Earth Crystal as a unique item to be found. Legiana is a Large Monster that can be found only in Swamp.
- Desert is a habitat with dry and sandy terrain, where you can find one of the most important items for weapon upgrades Monster Bone+. Exclusively, Diablos can be found in the Desert.
Basic Screen Actions
When you start Monster Hunter Now you will find your avatar located on a cartoonized real-life map. Your reach on the map is marked by a green rotating circle. It represents the area in which you can perform available actions. Zooming on your map is achieved with two fingers, while you can rotate the map with one. Performing available actions (in your circle) is achieved by pressing on the monster or item (when you are zoomed in) or the highlighted icon (when you are zoomed out).
In the left corner, you will find the type of habitat (Forest, Swamp, or Desert) you are in. Pressing on the habitat icon will show you what monsters and items can be found in it. The right corner is reserved for the compass, showing you the north. Compass has two options, manual (finger) rotation of the map and gyroscope.
The bottom of the screen is reserved for gameplay buttons and is separated into two rows. The lower row is devoted to quests, stories, and specials. The upper row contains 5 elements: Hunter (personal) menu, Equipment, Paintball, Items, and Shop.
The Hunter menu shows your hunter’s look, experience, ID, and eight other menus (Friends, Party, Monster Guide, News, Hunter Medals, Item Box, Edit Appearance, and Settings). Pressing on the View (with a small QR code beside) next to ID, will open the referral and friend connect options. Inviting friends will get you both 3 Paintballs, 1 Health Potion, and 300 Zenny (in-game money) when they reach Hunter Rank 11.
As a Monster Hunter Now beginner, you will be often looking at the Monster Guide: a menu that contains the most important information for large and small monsters found in Monster Hunter Now. The basic view shows the monster’s name, icon, and look, and defines where can it be found, its element belonging, and its weaknesses. Further pressing on the chosen monster contains the number of slain monsters, breakable parts, characteristics, useful information, and obtainable materials. This information is crucial for you to easier upgrade your weapon and defeat selected monsters.
Hunter medals are cool for you to follow your in-game progress, but for now, they are useless since they don’t give anything for earning. Edit Appearance allows you to personalize your avatar. In Settings, you can change the volume and graphics, activate the vibration and battery saver, change account settings, and deactivate notifications. It is also a place where you can delete your account. Make sure that your Adventure Sync is enabled, so that Palico assistant (cat following you around) can automatically gather materials and mark monsters while Monster Hunter Now is in the background.
Besides Monster Guide, the Item Box menu is of huge importance, because here you can find all the materials you collected and items you purchased. It is crucial to pay attention that you can have up to 5500 materials collected, but if you want more, you can always purchase it. Also, make sure to visit the Shop menu every day to get your free daily Potion supply (you get five health potions).
Monster Hunter Now has two currencies:
- Zenny (gold coins)
- Gems (diamonds).
In the Shop menu, you can only use real money to purchase Gems and Packs, and Gems to purchase items. There are seven items for now to purchase. Zenny is used for equipment upgrades, it can be obtained by killing the monsters or purchasing with Gems. The game allows you to purchase Prime Hunter’s Pass, providing you with 500 Gems at the purchase and 50 each day for 30 days. Pass increase Paintball list capacity from 8 to 10 and Palico Paintball supply from 3 to 5.
Monster Hunter Now Map
On the Monster Hunter Now interactive map you will find monsters and gathering points. There are two kinds of monsters you can fight: Large and Small. If you press a small monster, you will immediately enter the battle, so be prepared for it. While, when pressing the large monster it will take you to the battle screen, giving you options to fight alongside other hunters or change your weapon. Above Large Monster you will find stars, each star represents Monster’s level and strength.
Don’t be scared, a higher tier monster is unlocked with an increase of your rank and passing of the storyline. There are also six kinds of gathering points. Bone, leaves, and blue coal mark small gathering points (one material piece) and are picked automatically by the accompanying cat or by pressing on it. While, large are marked with Tree, Cristal, or Bonehead and require pressing more than once on it (more than one material).
Monster Hunter Now Available Equipment
Armor is limited to the head, shoulders, hands, waist, and legs, with different types of combinations. The game allows the creation of five different load-outs for faster battle preparation and more efficient fighting. Monster Hunter Currently features 8 types of weapons, with more expected to come:
Each weapon has two actions, regular short press – standard attack and holding on the screen – special weapon ability. Besides these two actions, each weapon has a unique power attack, which when activated makes you immune to monster attacks.
Sword and Shield
Sword and Shield is a basic melee weapon with fast hits, providing you with the easier option to evade monster attacks. With a shield, on the other hand, you can block monster attacks, reducing most of the damage. If you successfully block the attack you can by tapping on the screen to activate falling bash. Weapon supper attacks require you to be near the monster so that you won’t miss hitting it. The good thing is that the last two jump hits always hit the monster.
Great Sword is a slower melee weapon for a bit more experienced player. This weapon can be marked as single strike high damage dealer. It is important to pay attention to timing when using Great Sword. On long hold, the weapon charges up to three times giving additional strength to deal higher damage. Slow striking speed makes you vulnerable to fast attacking monsters. Supper attack does not require you to be next to the monster but in the vicinity. If you are playing Monster Hunter Now in multiplayer, this weapon can be very productive, especially when the monster focuses on your teammates providing you time to charge.
Long Sword is another melee weapon that is not that hard to master. The playing style for Long Sword requires aggressiveness and a lot of monster evading. With each hit, you will fill the Spirit Gauge, and if you get hit it will go back to the beginning. Once you have filled it to 70% it will start glowing red, giving your attack speed and strength. Long hold activate slice through the attack, after which if your Spirit Gauge is glowing you can perform a similar attack as its super attack. Unlike the supper attack, it can be stopped by a monster hit. Both attacks require you to be next to the monster because if you don’t hit the monster in the first blow, the supper attack will be canceled and your skill bar depleted.
Hammer is a melee weapon similar to the Great Sword. Additionally, Hammer gives blunt damage with stun and knocks out effect to the monsters (accumulated damage to the head). The stunned monster is open for charged attacks and combos.
Lance is a newly introduced melee weapon with a long reach. The lance is combined with a shield providing you cover (block) with a long hold. The Lance is a powerful Monster Hunter Now weapon but requires practice to make the most of it. Counterattack, after a defended monster attack, is the main technique for Lance. This weapon is made for players enjoying a balanced (offence-defense) fighting style.
Dual Blades were also introduced in the latest Monster Hunter Now update, as a melee weapon. This weapon has quickly become one of the most popular weapons. It adopts high mobility and fast blows, compensating for smaller damage per strike. The Demon Mode is what Dual Blades are about. You can activate it by pressing a special gauge even if it is not full. Demon Mode increases your move and hit speed, provides higher damage, and faster fills the special gauge. When in this mode you deal damage with moving and evading monster attacks. Demon mode has a stamina bar that is automatically filled when you are not in the mode. The simplicity of this weapon and its high mobility make it unique and very interesting to play.
Currently, Monster Hunter Now features two ranged weapons, and Light Bowgun is one of them. A Light Bowgun is a simple weapon and uses two types of ammo. After you use all ammo, it is necessary to reload it manually. Light Bowgun give you the opportunity to shoot fast bullets and aim at specific parts. Be aware that if you go far from the monster there will be damage reduction. Performing a perfect monster attack evasion will automatically reload your Bowgun. Bow is similar to Bowgun, except you don’t need to reload it.
Fighting small monsters
As previously mentioned, there are two kinds of monsters (large and small). When you start playing the Monster Hunter Now, fighting with a small monster will look seamless. But in the long run, you will find that it is essential to fight with smaller monsters because the Items you get from them are vital for equipment upgrades. Small monsters are easy to kill with just a few smashes of your weapon. They are ideal for you to try different types of weapons and their attacks. The respawn time for small monsters is 15 minutes but it will occasionally require for you to restart the game. Small monsters are divided into flying and non-flying monsters:
- Mernos – Flying – Forest
- Raphinos – Flying – Swamp
- Noios – Flying – Desert
- Cortos – Flying – Swamp
- Jagras – Non-flying – Forest
- Shamos – Non-flying – Desert and Swamp
- Wulg – Non-flying – Swamp
Flying monster will after kill drop Item Wingdrake Hide used for upgrading equipment, most commonly for armor. While on the other hand, non-flying monsters will drop Sharp Claw, the must-have item for a weapon upgrade. You can never have enough Sharp Claws in your Item Box, so keep on slaying Small monsters.
Large Monsters in Monster Hunter Now Universe
At the time of writing, there are 17 Large monsters and 3 special event variations:
- Great Jagras
- Great Girros
- Rathian (Pink Rathian)
- Diablos (Black Diablos)
- Rathalos (Azure Rathalos)
The Monster Hunter Now provides an additional fight effect by including Breakable Parts. Each monster has different breakable parts. Attacking the broken part of the monster gives additional damage. The strength of the monster is marked by the number of stars. Make sure to watch the timer in the left corner since the battle with large monsters is limited to 75 seconds.
Great Jagras can be found in all three habitats. Its weaknesses are sleep, poison, and fire elements. This monster is one of the easier-to-defeat monsters in the Monster Hunter Now. You can easily kill Great Jagras by staying in front of it and concentrating attacks on the belly when it’s bloated. You can break the head, stomach, and forelegs to Great Jagras.
Kulu-Ya-Ku can be just like Great Jagras found everywhere. It has only one weak element – water, and you can only break its head and forelegs. Lower-level Kulu-Ya-Ku can be easily killed by attacking from the front side, where you can directly see and expect its attacks. The strongest move is the Pounce attack and you should try to evade it. After reaching 4 stars, Kulu-Ya-Ku gets a new type of attack, it digs out the rock from the ground. Hitting the rock will just make your weapon bounce, so try attacking it from the side. This move will ensure that your hits don’t bounce and you can simply break its forelegs, making it drop the stone.
Another monster that can be found everywhere is Pukei-Pukei. Its weaknesses are sleep and thunder elements with the head, back, wings, and tail as breakable parts. Pukei-Pukei’s most powerful attack is with its tongue whipping it from one side to the other twice. You can evade this attack by sliding to the side. Other attacks include poison and on higher levels it can drain your health very fast. Try using armor with Poison Resistance.
Barroth can be found in Desert and Swamp and is weak to poison and fire. Its breakable parts include the head, forelegs, hindlegs, and tail. For me Barroth is one of the most annoying large monsters, because it accumulates mud on its body, enchasing its armor and thus highly reducing your damage. Although it is weak to fire and poison, you can use water weapons to remove mud from its body. Barroth’s weak point is its legs, which is why you should focus your attacks from the side.
Great Girros is to be found in Swamp and Forest with water and sleep element weakness. You can break the head, forelegs, and tail. It is recommended to stay in front of Girros in a fight. This will give you a direct approach to its head and provide you with evasion insights. Be careful for Girros has a paralysis attack, try using anti-poison armor.
Tobi-Kadachi is usually found in Swamp and Forest and is weak to water and poison elements. The head, back, forelegs, and tail are its breakable parts. Tobi-Kadachi weak points are head and tail, giving you two possible sides of attack. Still, it is better to attack it from the front due to Tobi-Kadachi’s most powerful attacks are with its tail.
Paolumu is a monster that prefers Swamp and Desert habitats. Make sure you are using fire element weapons because they are its weakness. To Paolumu you can break back, wings, neck pouch (when inflated), and tail. To fight Paolumu it is better to stay up front.
Jyuratodus is weak to thunder weapons and is located in a Swamp, with its head, body hindlegs, and tail as breakable parts. Targeting Jyuratodus’s body as the weakest point is the best strategy to defeat it.
Anjanath is best to be attacked by water element weapons. It can be found in the Desert and Forests and you can break its head, hindlegs, and tail. In my experience, it is much easier to kill Anjanath fighting from the side.
Rathian can be found in Forests and Deserts and is vulnerable to thunder and dragon element weapons. You can break its head, back wings, and tail. Its strongest attacks are coming from the front, so try to fight with Rathian on the side.
Legiana is susceptible to fire and poison weapons. It is only found in Swamp, and like many other monsters, you can break its head, back, wings, and tail. Ensure your fire weapon is above grade 4 so you can create enough damage when you fight it for the first time. To be able to kill it try aiming attacks to the head and wings. Since most of the Legianas attacks are frontal, staying on the side in a fight will keep you safe.
Diablos is a Desert monster, weak to ice, paralysis, and dragon weapon. Since it is a horned monster you can break its horns, back, and tail. It is weakest to the ice weapons, so it’s recommended to use Legiana weapons. Diablos is very keen to attack when you are on its side, so try to stay up front. Hammer is pretty effective in hitting the head and horns, while ranged weapons should be aimed at wings. Evading Diablos charge can be done by swiping to the side. When it burrows, swipe at least twice to avoid being hit. An interesting fact is that you can get Diablos stuck in the ground if you manage to stun it while digging.
Rathalos is a Forest monster weak to thunder and dragon weapons. Using thunder weapons, you will have no problem breaking its head, back, wings, and tail. In Monster Hunter Now, Rathalos is considered the King of the Skies, making it strongest when it’s airborne. To kill Rathalos it is recommended to use ranged weapons, aiming at its wings.
Radobaan is to be found in Swapms and Deserts. The head, body hindlegs, and tail can be broken easily using ice or dragon weapons. The fastest way to kill Radobaan is to attack its weak points – head and legs. Using a blunt-type weapon will help you to break Radobaan’s spikes. Pay attention to Radabaan’s special attack, because it can make you immobile.
Banbaro is Swamp and Forest monster, weak to fire and dragon element weapons. Just like Diablos, you can break horns, hindlegs, and tails. Its weak spot is the head, which is why it is recommended to use Lock on skill to target it. Banbaro’s burrow attack will require you to slide at least twice to the side to evade it. Be careful since it can throw a tree at you after a burrow attack.
Barioth is a unique winter Monster Hunter Now creature, which is why it will be available only during the winter season (December-March). Most commonly it can be found in forest and should be hunted with fire weapons. Breakable parts include the head, spikes, wingarms, and tail. The weakest point is the wingarms because they are easy to break.
Zinogre is an exclusive monster because it can be only hunted through special missions and Hunt-a-thons. It randomly appears as one of 5 creatures that you need to hunt. Zinogre is weak to ice weapons, where the back, horns, forelegs, and tail can be broken. Special ability puts Zinogre in a powered state, which can be stopped by continuous attacks. When using an air flip attack, Zinogre will do two rolls, meaning that defending against these attacks is not efficient and that it is better to try to evade them.
Final Thoughts on Monster Hunter Now Beginner Guide
For me, this game was a breakthrough. It helped me get back into Monster Hunter Universe while I’m on my phone. Playing this game and walking around I made an extra step, that is why I sincerely recommend you to try it. At the start of the road, I wish you to explore the world around you, enjoy a quest, and have successful fights with powerful weapons and curious monsters. Try connecting with your friends in multiplayer battles. And don’t forget to try augmented reality, it gives special vibe to fights. If you enjoyed this article and are looking for more monsters to fight, our tip is to check out our They Are Billions strategy guide and start from there.