Understanding Monster

Monsters are creatures residing in the world, some with immense strength.

Monsters can split into two groups: small monsters and large monsters. Small monsters do not have the same complexity as large monsters. They have very low health and their behavior are not as complex as large monsters.

Types

Types Example monsters
Bird Wyvern Kulu-Ya-Ku, Pukei-Pukei, Tzitzi-Ya-Ku
Fanged Wyvern Great Jagras, Tobi-Kadachi, Odogaron, Great Girros, Dodogama
Brute Wyvern Barroth, Uragaan, Deviljho, Anjanath, Radobaan
Flying Wyvern Rathalos, Rathian, Diablos, Paolumu, Legiana
Piscine Wyvern Lavasioth, Jyuratodas
Elder Dragon Kirin, Teostra, Kushala Daora, Nergigante, Zora Magdaros, Vaal Hazak, Xeno'jiiva

Monsters from the same type usually have similar body types and features. The only exception are Elder Dragons, which refer to a collection of rare and ancient monsters with immense strength and power.

Subspecies

Some monsters have a "subspecies", which usually refers to a counterpart monster that has different colors and abilities. For example, Azure Rathalos is the Rathalos' subspecies.

Common Subspecies

Tempered Monster

Tempered monsters refer to an exceptionally powerful individual monster of a species. Tempered onster tracks can be found in High Rank Expeditions. Collecting sufficient tracks will unlock a Tempered monster investigation.

Habits

Movement

Monsters move from area to area. Flying monsters can fly to a new area, while other monsters may walk, dig, or swim. Monsters can be located with trained Scoutflies.

Rage

When a monster is engaged in combat for a while, it can enter Rage mode. In Rage, monsters become more aggressive, their heart rate increases, their attack patterns may change, and they can access new attacks. Some monster weak spots change when in Rage.

Monster stamina

Monsters require stamina to perform attacks, and stronger attacks require more stamina. Monsters naturally recover stamina, but can also eat to do so.

Attacking monsters with Blunt damage weapons will apply Exhaust status. When monsters become afflicted with the Exhaust Status Ailment, they lose stamina.

Monsters with low stamina are slower and may fail in performing certain attacks. They may also stop moving temporarily to recover their breath.

Dying Monsters

When a monster is near death, it will limp and return to its nest to recover some health. Dying monsters can be captured.

Monster Strength and Size

The strength, health, defense, and status thresholds of a monster species varies depending on the quest taken. For example, the Rathalos in one quest may not have the same strength, health, and defense as a Rathalos in another quest.

If a quest features multiple monsters as quest targets, each individual monster has less health compared to a quest where that monster is the only quest target.

Monsters of the same species may come in different sizes. However, a monster's size has no effect on its strength, health, defenses, and status thresholds.

Monster Hitzones

The body of a large monster can be divided into different parts called Hitzones. Each Hitzone has different values, which represent the part's weakness to Physical and Elemental damage. Hitzone values range between 0 and 100, and higher values indicate a weaker Hitzone (i.e. more damage). The Hitzone value represents what percentage of an attack's damage is actually dealt to the monster. More information about how Hitzones influence player-dealt damage can be found here.

Hitzone values can change during combat. For example, Barroth covered in mud becomes weaker to water damage. When in Rage, a monster's original Hitzone values may change. When a monster's body part is broken, it may also become more vulnerable to player attacks.

A Hitzone is generally considered vulnerable when its physical Hitzone value is 45 or higher or when its elemental Hitzone value is 20 or higher.rable.

Hitzone Example

Hitzone Sever Blunt Projectile Fire Water Thunder Ice Dragon
Head 22 25 15 40 0 0 20 10
Front Leg 50 55 50 20 0 0 10 5
Hind Leg 36 30 25 20 0 0 15 5

The above table describes the Hitzone value distribution of different monster parts on a monster.

When a Physical-only Severing damage weapon is used, the best Hitzone to attack would first be the Front Leg (Hitzone value of 50), then the Hind Leg (Hitzone value of 36), then finally the Head (Hitzone value of 20).

When a Severing damage weapon with Fire Element is used, it will deal Physical damage to the monster and will additionally deal Fire damage due to the >0 Fire Hitzone values on the monster. Contrastingly, if a Severing damage weapon with Water Element is used, only the Physical damage component is dealt, because no monster part is weak to Water Element (i.e. all Water Hitzone values are 0).

Breaking Monster Parts

Some monster parts are breakable, and dealing sufficient damage to these parts will break them to yield additional rewards upon completing the quest. Some rare materials can only be acquired by breaking monster parts. For most monster parts, the type of damage used to break them does not matter.

However, there are a few exceptions. For example, monster tails can only be cut (i.e broken) with Severing damage. In order to cut a tail, sufficient Severing damage must be accumulated on it. Elemental, Blunt, and Projectile damage do not count towards tail cutting. The severed tail can be carved for monster materials.

When a monster part is broken, the Hitzone may become weaker to player attacks. Shorter tails may reduce the reach of certain monster attacks.

Bouncing

An attack may deflect and "bounce" off the monster if the Hitzone is too tough. If a Blademaster weapon bounces, the weapon loses Sharpness and the player is locked in a flinch animation indicating the weapon has deflected. Shots fired by Gunner weapons will deflect and may end up hurting the player.

Factors in determining if an attack will bounce include:

If Hitzone X Sharpness X Sharpness adjustment is less than or equal to 25, then the attack will bounce.

Green Sharpness and Blue Sharpness

Hitzone Sharpness Sharpness Adjustment Result
22 1.05 1.0 23.1, will bounce
22 1.20 1.0 26.4, will not bounce

Great Sword Lv 1 Charge Slash and Lv 3 Charge Slash

Hitzone Sharpness Sharpness Adjustment Result
20 1.05 1.1 23.1, will bounce
20 1.05 1.3 27.3, will not bounce

When an attack bounces, the monster still receives all damage dealt by the attack and no damage penalty is incurred. Having a Mind's Eye effect active, either from an Armor Skill or because the weapon's attacks have the effect innately, only stops the attack from bouncing. Mind's Eye does not impact damage dealt by the attack.

Inflicting Status Ailments on Monsters

The player can inflict Abnormal Status Ailments on monsters, which damages them or temporarily immobilizes them. Status Ailments can be inflicted by status weapons, status shots/arrows, status items (e.g. a paralysis knife), or by interacting with the environment.

Blademaster weapons with a status attribute have a 1-in-3 chance of applying status damage when hitting a monster. Gunner weapons have a 100% chance of applying status damage when they hit with a status shot or status-coated arrow.

Status-related skills do not increase the ailment's effectiveness on the monster. Instead, they increase the status damage dealt by player attacks, thus making it easier to inflict a status ailment.

Icon Status Sources
Poison Poison weapons, Poison Coating, Poison Ammo, Poison Knife, Poisoncups
Paralysis* Paralysis weapons, Paralysis Coating, Paralysis Ammo, Paralysis Knife, Paratoads
Sleep** Sleep weapons, Sleep Coating, Sleep Ammo, Sleep Knife
Stun Hammer, Hunting Horn, Blunt damage from other weapons, Phial explosions from the CB, Exhaust Phial from the SA, Sticky from the Bowgun, Arc Shot from the Bow
Exhausted Hammer, Hunting Horn, Blunt damage from other weapons, Phial explosions from the CB, Exhaust Phial from the SA, Sticky from the Bowgun, Arc Shot from the Bow
Blast*** Blast Ammo, Blast Coating, Blast weapons

* Shock traps do not affect Paralysis and vice versa.

** Sleeping effects and Tranquilizing effects are not the same. They do not affect each other.

*** Blast and Barrol Bombs are not the same and do not affect each other.

Status Thresholds

Applying Abnormal Status damage to a monster does not instantly activate it's effect. Instead, monsters have an innate tolerance to Status Ailments. To trigger a Status Ailment, enough Status damage must be dealt to a monster to overcome its tolerance threshold. Once a monster is affilicted with the Ailment, the accumulated Status damage is reset to 0 and additional Status damage cannot be dealt until the monster recovers. The only exception to this is Poison (more information below).

After the monster recovers, its tolerance threshold for the Ailment increases. This means it takes more Status damage must be accumulated before being able to inflict the monster with the same Ailment.

For all Ailments (except Blast), the accumulated Status damage disappears gradually due to the monster's tolerances. Overcoming this gradual decay is necessary to successfully trigger a Status Ailment on a monster.

Poison

When a monster is poisoned, they start to drool purple saliva and take damage over time. The amount of poison damage a monster takes differs from monster to monster.

Unlike other status ailments, Poison Status damage continues to accumulate even while the monster is afflicted with Poison. After the monster recovers, if the accumulated Poison Status damage exceeds its new tolerance threshold, the monster will be immediately poisoned again.

Paralysis

When a monster is paralyzed, it stops immediately and is rendered immobile. This creates a large window of opportunity to attack the monster freely. Additionally, paralyzed monsters take a bit more damage. Paralysis duration varies from monster to monster.

Although Paralysis has the same impact on monsters as a shock trap, they are considered different effects and do not influence each other. This means Paralysis is not a replacement for a shock trap in capturing monsters.

Paralyzing a monster while it is in a pitfall trap will pause the duration of the trap. After the monster recovers from Paralysis, the pitfall trap's duration will resume.

Sleep

After being afflicted with the Sleep Ailment, a monster goes into a deep slumber. In this state, the monster can be awoken prematurely by attacking it or making it fall into a trap. Monsters naturally wake up from Sleep after a short duration.

The attack that wakes up a monster will get a damage bonus. Physical attacks get a bonus damage multiplier of 2.0x, but only the first hit will get this bonus damage. Explosives get a bonus damage multiplier of 3.0x. If multiple explosives, only one of the explosives (typically the one that wakes the monster up) gets this bonus damage.

Sleep is not the same as a tranquilizer effect, and putting a monster to sleep while it is trapped will not capture it.

Stun

Stun (or KO) damage only occurs when the attacks with the stun property land on a monster's head.

Landing sufficient Stun damage will knock out and immobilize a monster. Stunning a monster releases it from a shock trap, but not from a pitfall trap. When a monster is stunned inside a pitfall trap, the monster stops flailing and the pitfall trap's duration is extended.

Exhaust

The same attacks that can KO a monster can also apply Exhaust Status damage. Inflicing an Exhaust Status Ailment drains a monster's stamina.

When a monster's stamina is drained, it starts to drool, moves slower, and may ocassionally pause to catch its breath. Traps also last longer when they ensnare a monster with depleted stamina.

Blast

When sufficient Blast status damage is accumulated, a small explosion is ignited and damages the monster.

Unlike other status ailments, accumulated Blast staus damage does not decay.

Flinching Monster

A monster is staggered and/or flinched when sufficient damage is dealt to a monster part. While breaking a monster's horn or tail always causes a flinch, breaking a monster's legs or arms may only somtimes cause a flinch.

When a monster is flinched, most attacks and movement are interrupted. Sometimes, flinching a monster will cause it to fall over for a short duration, During this time, the player can deal damage relatively freely. Flinching an airborne monster will cause it to fall to the ground. If a monster is trapped or immobilized (e.g. Paralysis), they cannot be flinched, even if sufficient damage had been accumulated on a monster part to flinch it.

Interrupting Monsters

Monsters can also be interrupted by a bright flash of light from a Flash Pod, which sends monsters into a brief state of disarray. The flash must be within the line-of-sight of the monster to take effect.

Some monsters have sensitive hearing and can also be interrupted by a Screamer Pod.

Mounting Monsters

The player can mount monsters to do additional damage. Completing a mount will topple the monster over, providing a brief window where attacks can be made freely.

To trigger a mount, the player must land aerial attacks on the monster, which accumulates mount damage. When sufficient mount damage is accumulated, the player will mount the monster. When mounting, the player has to keep attacking () while making sure the monster does not throw them off (R2). Eventually, the player performs a finisher attack and topples the monster.

Acquiring Items from Monsters

Completing quests will reward the player with monster materials and additional items. Additional rewards can also be acquired through the following methods:

Method Description
Carve Carve dead monster. Carve separated tails (etc)
Shiny Drop A monster may drop items when they are toppled or have their body parts broken.
Capture Capturing a monster will yield quest rewards in lieu of those normally gotten from carving
Broken Monster Parts Bonus quest reward from breaking monster body parts. Examples include horns, arms, back, legs, etc
Bonus Bonus quest rewards gained from killing additional monsters