Monster capture doesn’t have to be hard in Monster Hunter: World. In fact, it’s usually better to take your targets alive. Capturing monsters provides more crafting materials, lets you fight them without tracking them down again, and is just generally easier on your conscience. It’s not the easiest process, though. So we’ve compiled this guide on how to capture monsters in Monster Hunter: World.
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What You Need for Monster Capture
Very few missions in Monster Hunter: World actually require you to catch the creature. Certain investigations and a few bounties require it more than actual story missions. If the mission does demand a capture, however, the handy dandy blue item box will contain everything you need. It’ll come with “EZ” versions of Tranq Bombs and a trap. The latter items will either be a Pitfall Trap or a Shock Trap—which are largely interchangeable, but require different materials to craft on your own.
Speaking of which, it’s good to bring your own equipment. The free EZ traps and bombs work just fine, but there’s always a chance they won’t be enough. You might accidentally waste them or the monster might not cooperate. If you don’t have replacement gear in those instances you’re out of luck.
Luckily, Tranq Bombs and traps are easy to craft. We recommend Shock Traps, in particular, since they require fewer items to craft. Here’s a list of everything you might need and how to make it.
Shock Trap: trap tool + thunderbug
– Trap tools are available at the shop (Provisions Stockpile) for 200 zenny a pop.
– Thunderbugs are found in every major area except for the Elder’s Recess. You can also cultivate them at the Botanical Research Center in Astera.
Pitfall Trap: trap tool + net
– Once again, trap tools are available at the shop (Provisions Stockpile) for 200 zenny a pop.
-Craft nets from ivy and spider webs. You can gather ivy manually in any major area, or cultivate it at the Botanical Research Center. Webs appear in cavernous areas throughout all major zones, but can also be cultivated.
Tranq Bombs: sleep herb + parashroom
– Parashrooms grow in every major area. You can also cultivate them in Astera.
– Sleep Herbs only sprout in the Ancient Forest, Wildspire Waste, and Coral Highlands. Of course you can always cultivate them, as well.
While it’s entirely optional, it doesn’t hurt to check if there are any bounties for capturing the monster you’re hunting. Bounties provide useful Armor Spheres. You can just about never have enough of those.
When and How to Capture a Monster
Capturing monsters in Monster Hunter: World isn’t a quick process. Once you have what you need, it’s time to hunt. You have to beat your chosen beast down just like on a regular hunt. When it’s weak enough, you need to trap it. When it’s trapped, walk up to it and spam Tranq Bombs right next to the monster’s face. The items simply land at your feet. So there’s no need to aim.
The trick is knowing when the monster is ready to be trapped. Monster Hunter: World gives some clear indicators. It does not, however, explain what those indicators are or how to trigger them. Here are some easy ones.
Weakened monsters will visibly pant, drool, and limp. This isn’t a foolproof tell, however. A monster that’s close to death will usually becomes “enraged.” This makes them more dangerous and unpredictable. It also covers up the usual signs of weakness.
Research and scoutfly levels are the most surefire tools for checking a monster’s health. You upgrade these by picking up monster tracks, hitting creatures with environmental traps (like falling boulders) and, yes, capturing. Do so until your research on the monster hits level three. When you do, you unlock the ability to read a monster’s status via your scoutfly level.
Unlike research, your scoutfly level fades over time. Thankfully it’s easy to recharge. When you’re at research level three for a given monster, you just need to pick up three of that beasts tracks. This gives you enough scoutflies to see the target’s status on the mini-map. The pulsing line is a heart rate monitor. The slower it beats, the closer the monster is to death, until it finally becomes enraged. Rage will send the creature’s heart into overdrive and tell you to be more careful. What we really care about is the skull icon that appears next to badly beaten monsters. That’s your guaranteed sign a monster is weak enough to be captured.
Be patient, though. A monster that’s hurt enough to earn a skull is usually ready to run. If you place your trap too early, the monster might flee to another zone, rendering your item useless. It’s often better to wait for the creature to flee first. Then you can follow it and set your trap in a fresh location, where the target is more likely to step on it.
It’s also worth noting that Elder Dragons are immune to traps no matter how low their health. That includes Behemoth, the Final Fantasy XIV crossover monster. These high-level monsters can’t be captured, either. You just have to hunt and farm their parts the old fashioned way.
Once you capture a normal monster, however, congratulations! You’ll get more monster parts than usual for your trouble. On top of that, the captured monster will arrive in the “Special Arena.” This is a tiny, unique zone in Monster Hunter: World full where you can fight the monster you caught all over again. You won’t have to track the animal down this time and the Special Arena is full of mounted weapons that make fighting easier. So it’s the perfect way to farm even more monster parts. Enjoy!