Wild Hearts is the new boss hunting game from Omega Force, the developer behind the Toukiden series. It takes as many cues from Monster Hunter World as it does from Toukiden, but there’s enough new stuff in here that even veterans of Capcom’s genre-leader might struggle a little. We’ve played a lot of it now, so brush up on the basics with our Wild Hearts Beginner’s Tips.
Wild Hearts Beginner’s Tips 1: Don’t forget to eat
As in the Monster Hunter games, making sure you’re well fed before a hunt can increase various stats and impart special skill bonuses to your hunter. You don’t have to do this at a canteen or even at camp, and can simply scarf down various raw ingredients from your inventory.
However, for best results build a drying rack or two near your starting zone and hang ingredients on it. This uses up a lot of items, but creates much more potent food. It takes the duration of a hunt or two to finish, but it’s essential.
2: Upgrade your Tsukumo
These cute little spherical Karakuri constructs are more useful than they look. The first one you find will stick with you. You can name it and change its look based on others you collect when you rest at a campfire, and it will help you in solo fights by healing you, detracting the Kemono, or giving you Karakuri Thread when you run out.
Every one you find will give you an Old Cog, which can be used to upgrade the Tsukumo at a campfire to improve its stats and abilities. Make sure to do this for a more efficient hunting helper.
3: Train smart
Stick a Forge near the training bear in town, and you’ll always be able to easily change weapons while you’re training. It helps if you want to try out something new or refresh yourself on a weapon you haven’t used before.
4: Spend your Kemono Orbs
You’ll gather this currency simply by breaking parts on a Kemono or completing Fishing Guild requests or side jobs. It’s used to upgrade and unlock your Karakuri, but the game doesn’t always tell you when you can. Check in periodically on the skill tree in the game menu to unlock more and maintain effectiveness.
5: Do Fishing Guild jobs
Once you reach Minato you’ll be introduced to side quests, which appear on the map as scroll symbols. One down by the Dock will let you meet a representative of the Fishing Guild. He’ll offer you a list of challenges similar to the Optional Side Quests in Monster Hunter Rise. Each rewards you with favour that builds towards tiers, and unlocking tiers rewards you with materials, money, and items. It’s well worth always keeping 5 of these live, and when you clear the list he’ll repopulate it.
Wild Hearts Beginner’s Tips 6: Don’t skip side quests
As mentioned, the scroll symbols on the town map signify side quests. These are often multi-part quest lines that reward you with rare materials, new Karakuri schematics, or even just allow you to grind on Kemono. More than this though, they often reveal backstory for the NPC townsfolk you’ll be spending time with.
7: Don’t work too hard
One very useful Dragon Karakuri you can unlock actually goes out fishing for you. Place this device in water, and let it run. Revisit it every now and then and it’ll be full of fish for you to dry, pickle or ferment in one of your other Dragon Karakuri. Or you can just eat them, of course. Fish often impart Water resilience, which come in handy for certain Kemono.
You can also build a shrine which lets your Tsukumo go out foraging for you, and they’ll bring back food, metal, stone and lumber to help you upgrade your gear.
8: Spread Hunting Towers
In order to find Kemono on the map, you’ll want to install Hunting Towers to cover large areas of the wilderness. You’ll need to build up your Dragon Pits to construct more, but ideally you’ll want 3 or 4 installed across a given area to overlap coverage and give your Kemono nowhere to hide.
9. Know your i-frames
Kemono hitboxes in Wild Hearts can be somewhat unpredictable. Some Kemono can outright track you as they attack, making them very hard to dodge, and follow up combos can wipe you out. Dodge rolling is an effective way to evade contact, while using Karakuri Springs and Crates and the Celestial Anchor later on help you move fast
But if you want to avoid taking damage altogether, the best move by far is the slide. If you press B or Circle with your weapon sheathed while sprinting, you’ll slide instead of rolling. This has incredible i-frames, which is essentially a window of pure invincibility where you are impervious to attack. The right timing will save your life over and over. It’s worth noting that the Spring also has i-frames, but it’s not as easy or effective as the slide.
Wild Hearts Beginner’s Tips 10. Keep pets
You’ll have noticed a great deal of endemic life while running around Wild Hearts’ various biomes. At first you might wonder what a Berrybright Squirrel or Cheery Bug even does. Well, catch at least one of everything.
Later on in the game you’ll be able to make Karakuri cages to keep pets in. After every hunt, they’ll let you take something from them such as a feather, piece of shell, or lock of hair. These reagents are super useful for upgrading armour and weapons. Ideally build a few cages in Minato where there’s no Dragon Pit cost and revisit them after every hunt.
11: Check whether to pet or Slay
As you run around the map you’ll notice an absolute abundance of things to collect. Some are edible, like plants and fish, others are for crafting like lumber, ore, and stone. Gather as much as you can see, and stock up at every opportunity.
It’s not only what you can pick or mine, though. Most of the less hostile small Kemono can be approached in the wilderness if you crouch and go slowly. You’ll then get the option to pet them or slay them. While both are easy, petting often guarantees that the rarer item drops. So be nice.
Wild Hearts Beginner’s Tips 12: Use your Hunter’s Arm
You’ll notice as you hit Kemono, you knock chunks of their flesh or armour off, to reveal bright blue, glowing patches. These are Weaknesses, and you will want to exploit them.
You do this by grabbing the monster using the right bumper, and climbing to the Weakness. Once there, you’ll get a prompt to hold the left trigger and use your Hunter’s Arm. This allows you to pull Karakuri Thread out of the Kemono, which can give you up to twice as much Thread as you can usually carry for a brief period.
This is also the best way to farm Talisman’s from Kemono. Using Hunter’s Arm massively increases your chance of dropping a Talisman when the Kemono is slain.