Monster Hunter

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Monster Hunter
Monster Hunter logo.png
Genres Action role-playing
Developers Capcom
Publishers Capcom
Platforms PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, iOS
Platform of origin PlayStation 2

The Monster Hunter (モンスターハンター?, Monsutā Hantā) franchise is a series of fantasy-themed action role-playing video games that started with the game Monster Hunter for PlayStation 2. The series is developed and published by Capcom. As the title suggests, the player takes the role of a hunter in a fantasy environment and completes quests by hunting out specific kinds of monsters to kill or capture. The series has branched out into PlayStation Portable games and a massively multiplayer online game.

Promotion of Monster Hunter with Marie Soda's cosplay at Tokyo Game Show 2010

In Japan, the Monster Hunter series is immensely popular, and it has gained a cult following in the West, with the port Monster Hunter Freedom (known in Japan as Monster Hunter Portable) and its sequels, Monster Hunter Freedom 2 / Monster Hunter Portable 2nd, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite / Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and an online game called Monster Hunter Frontier Online selling millions of copies, and Monster Hunter Tri becoming the highest-selling third-party Wii game in Japan.[1] As of February 2015, the series has sold over 38 million units across all games. There is also an anime based on the spin-off game Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village and a book called Monster Hunter EPISODE (モンスターハンター EPISODE~).[2] Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate, Monster Hunter 4 and Monster Hunter Generations launched on the Nintendo 3DS handheld console.


Monster Hunter games are hybrids of action games and role-playing games (RPG), set in a fantasy genre. Gameplay is generally divided between time spent in various villages to manage equipment and resources, and going on quests to hunt down giant monsters that prowl in fields near these villages. The player starts as a novice Hunter and is tasked through quests to help protect and support the villages either by hunting or trapping monsters, or by collecting resources that can be obtained in the field.

Atypically to most RPGs, the player's Hunter does not have any intrinsic attributes that change throughout the game, outside of a Hunting rank that determines what quests they can embark on. Instead, the player selects armor, weapons, and other equipment that grant certain bonuses or penalties to the Hunter. There are several different weapon types ranging from swords, hammers, hunting horns, lances, bows, and guns, each of which provide the player with different combat maneuvers in the field, and determine the Hunter's attack strength and potential elemental or status-inducing effects on the creatures they fight. Armor, made up from different pieces, grants defensive value, strengths and weaknesses to certain elemental attacks, and positive and negative points towards specific skills. These skills only activate after the player equips the Hunter with gear that pass a given threshold; for example, by having 10 total points in the Attack skill, the Hunter's attack is boosted, but may also accumulate -10 points in this skill which can weaken the Hunter's attack. Thus, the player can work to coordinate different sets of armor, weapon, and additional equipment including talismans and decorative gems that can be slotted into certain pieces of equipment to customize which skills their Hunter will have or to avoid inducing a negative skill effect.

Basic weapons, armor, and other equipment can be purchased from village shops using the in-game currency Zenny, but most equipment is constructed from collected resources, including the spoils from defeating monsters, represented in game as the various parts of a monster like hides, horns, and tails. The core loop of gameplay in Monster Hunter is to equip the Hunter with gear best suited for defeating a specific type of monster, questing to hunt and collect parts from that monster, and construct the equipment from those parts that is generally better in combat than their current gear, allowing the player to engage in more difficult monsters. The monster parts and other resources are given to the Hunter based on various percentages, with some parts appearing with high rarity. The player may often be required to undertake the same quest several times to defeat the same monster type to get these parts. Once equipment is crafted, it can then be upgraded. Weapons typically can be upgraded along a "weapon tree", where the player may have the option to choose two or more specialized versions of a weapon at a given upgrade point. Armor typically can be improved through armor spheres to increase its defensive value.

A quest will generally designate how much time the player has to complete the quest (generally 50 minutes), the goals of the quest, the location of the quest, and other restrictions. Prior to the quest, the player selects which equipment for the Hunter, as once on their field, this cannot be changed. Each game features several different fields, each made up of several interconnected areas including a base camp where some supplies and a health-restoring tent can be found. Some areas in a field may be very hot or cold, which can affect the Hunter's health and stamina unless they are protected against these effects.

When the Hunter enters the field, they have a health and a stamina meter. The Hunter's health meter drops when damaged by monsters or environmental hazards, and while some health will regenerate slowly over time, the Hunter must use restorative items to bring them back to full health. If the Hunter's health falls to zero, they fall unconscious and put back to the field's base camp, where they can set off again, but will lose some amount of reward Zenny and additional bonuses they had entering the quest. If the Hunter falls three times in this manner, the quest is considered failed. The stamina meter drains when doing any excessive activity like running, or pulling back and holding a bowstring, and if the stamina bar fully drains, the Hunter will pause to recover their stamina, making them prone to attacks. Stamina quickly replenishes if the Hunter does a normal activity like walking. However, over the time of the quest, the stamina meter's maximum will slowly drop, meaning the Hunter will tire out sooner, creating another effective limit on how long the Hunter can be in the field. Various restorative items like potions and rations can be assigned prior to the quest, but only limited numbers of these can be taken. While in the field, the Hunter can gather resources from certain gathering points and if they have the necessary equipment, such as pick-axes for mining spots, or bug-nets for insects. The Hunter only has a limited amount of inventory space while on the field between restorative items and gathered resources and monster spoils.

Monsters will roam between these areas, making them difficult to track. The process of fighting monsters is generally based on watching and learning the various tells that a monster does prior to an attack as either to defend, dodge, or anticipate a counter-attack. As monsters get injured they often will become more aggravated, performing moves faster or engaging in special moves. Various parts of a monster can be targeted for an attack, with different vulnerabilities. The Hunter is awarded additional spoils if they can break hard armor pieces or can cut off a monster's tail. Once the monster is dealt enough damage, it will be slain, at which point the Hunter can carve off random spoils from the carcass. If the Hunter damages a monster enough, it will start limping or some similar sluggish motion, indicating that it can now be trapped rather than slain. Trapping a monster requires the Hunter to place the trap, lure the monster to it, and then tranquilizing it. The Hunter forgoes the carving as with slaying, but may gain different types of rewards for the action. Trapping a monster can be required by a quest, can help to end a prolonged battle earlier, or increase the chance of acquiring rarer materials such as plates or gems.

Outside of quests, the player can use the village functions to craft new gear, buy and sell resources, items, and equipment, interact with farms and fisheries that can help gather resources, and have meals prior to a quest that provide small attribute boosts and skills. Most games also feature a form of "free hunt", where the Hunter can go into a field for an indefinite amount of time to gather resources and hunt any monsters that may appear there for resource points, which are used to improve village facilities or as alternate forms of payment.

All games have a single player component, while the newer games include multiplayer with up to three other Hunters. A new set of quests are generally offered for multiplayer modes, giving more difficult monsters to offset the advantage of having multiple players. Players may also set on multiplayer quests as a single player, where they are then aided by computer-controlled Felynes or Palicos, sentient cat-like creatures that live among the villages.


Below is a list of games in the Monster Hunter main series. Each generation has a number of entries that are derivative of the original release.

Main series[edit]

Title Details

Original release date(s):
  • JP: March 11, 2004
  • NA: September 21, 2004
  • EU: May 27, 2005
  • AU: June 1, 2005
Release years by system:
2004 – PlayStation 2
  • First game in the Monster Hunter series

Original release date(s):
PlayStation 2
  • JP: January 20, 2005
  • KOR: January 20, 2005
  • JP: April 23, 2009
Release years by system:
2005 – PlayStation 2
2009 – Wii
  • Released only in Japan (both versions) while in Korea was released for the PlayStation 2 only.
  • An expansion of the original title

Original release date(s):
  • JP: December 1, 2005
  • EU: May 12, 2006
  • NA: May 23, 2006
  • AU: May 26, 2006
  • KOR: September 21, 2006
Release years by system:
2005 – PlayStation Portable
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter Portable
  • First game in the series to appear on a Handheld Console
  • PSP version of Monster Hunter G with extra features

Original release date(s):
  • JP: February 16, 2006
Release years by system:
2006 – PlayStation 2
  • Released only in Japan
  • First game in the series to add the use of gems.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: February 22, 2007
  • NA: August 28, 2007
  • KOR: August 28, 2007
  • EU: September 7, 2007
  • AU: September 12, 2007
Release years by system:
2007 – PlayStation Portable
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd
  • An expansion of Monster Hunter 2 with the omission of Yama Tsukami
  • New weapon classes include Long Sword, Gunlance, Hunting Horn, and Bow

Original release date(s):
PlayStation Portable
  • JP: March 27, 2008
  • KOR: March 29, 2008
  • NA: June 22, 2009
  • AU: June 25, 2009
  • EU: June 26, 2009
  • JP: May 8, 2014
  • NA: July 2, 2014
Release years by system:
2008 – PlayStation Portable
2014 – iOS
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G
  • Released in Japan for iOS as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G for iOS
  • An expansion of Monster Hunter Freedom 2
  • Available in the PlayStation Vita Store, with enhanced graphics and second stick support for controlling the camera
  • iOS version features addition of intuitive touch controls, virtual camera, automatic tracking, MFi licensing program support, and more

Original release date(s):
  • JP: August 1, 2009
  • NA: April 20, 2010
  • EU: April 23, 2010
  • AU: April 29, 2010
Release years by system:
2009 – Wii
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter 3 (tri-)
  • First game in the series to include underwater exploration and combat
  • New weapon class added: Switch Axe
  • Weapon classes Dual Swords, Gunlance, Bow and Hunting Horn were not included

Original release date(s):
  • JP: December 1, 2010
Release years by system:
2010 – PlayStation Portable
2011 – PlayStation 3
  • Has an overall more eastern setting compared to previous games in the series
  • Not a port or expansion of Monster Hunter Tri but a completely separate game
  • Released only in Japan
  • Missing weapon classes returns (Dual Swords, Gunlance, Bow, Hunting Horn)
  • Does not have underwater exploration and combat
  • PS3 Edition is high definition remastering of PSP Edition
  • Cross-platform play between both versions

Original release date(s):
  • JP: December 10, 2011 (3DS)
  • JP: December 8, 2012 (Wii U)
  • NA: March 19, 2013
  • EU: March 22, 2013
  • AU: March 23, 2013
  • KOR: April 24, 2013 (3DS)
Release years by system:
2011 – Nintendo 3DS
2012 – Wii U
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter 3 (tri-) G
  • An expansion of Monster Hunter Tri
  • Features new monsters and locations
  • Weapons brought back in Portable 3rd remain
  • Has underwater exploration and combat
  • Wii U Edition is high definition remastering of 3DS Edition
  • 3DS edition has 3D graphics
  • Cross-platform play between both versions
  • Online mode is only available in the Wii U version.
  • Only time the series was released on the Wii U.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: September 14, 2013
Release years by system:
2013 - Nintendo 3DS
  • Announced on "Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011" (September 2011)
  • Released only in Japan.
  • New weapon class added: Charge Blade and Insect Glaive

Original release date(s):
  • JP: October 11, 2014
  • NA: February 13, 2015
  • EU: February 13, 2015
  • AU: February 14, 2015
Release years by system:
2014 - Nintendo 3DS
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter 4 G
  • Announced on "Monster Hunter Festa 13" (January 2014)[3]

Original release date(s):[4]
  • JP: November 28, 2015
  • NA: July 15, 2016
  • EU: July 15, 2016
  • AU: July 16, 2016
Release years by system:
2015 - Nintendo 3DS
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter X (cross-)
  • Announced in a Nintendo Direct presentation on May 31, 2015
  • Added new "Hunting Styles" and "Hunter Arts" abilities to make Generations the most customizable and personalized Monster Hunter yet.

Original release date(s):[5]
  • JP: March 18, 2017
Release years by system:
2017 - Nintendo 3DS
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter XX (double cross-)
  • Based on Monster Hunter Generations, adding in additional monsters, areas, and hunter styles


Title Details

Original release date(s):
  • JP: June 21, 2007
Release years by system:
2007 – Microsoft Windows
2010 – Xbox 360
  • Differs from other games in the series by being a full-fledged Multi-player Online Game.
  • Released only in Japan

Original release date(s):
  • JP: August 26, 2010
Release years by system:
2010 – PlayStation Portable
  • Released only in Japan.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: August 10, 2011
Release years by system:
2011 – PlayStation Portable
  • Based on and expanded from Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airu Village

Original release date(s):
  • WW: June 1, 2011
Release years by system:
2011 - iOS
  • First game in the series to be on the iOS system

Monster Hunter Online

Original release date(s):
  • CHN: August 18, 2013
Release years by system:
2013 - PC
  • Second Monster Hunter, Multi-player Online Game as a collaboration between Tencent and Capcom
  • Uses Crytek's CryEngine 3
  • Free-to-play business model
  • Beta in Cancini began on July 6, 2013
  • Planned to be released only for Windows
  • Though developed primarily for Chinese players, and solely uses the Chinese language, the game is not region locked, and only limited by the language limitations. Tencent has approved the distribution of an English-language patch created by a fan group in May 2016.[6]

Original release date(s):
  • JP: April 17, 2013
Release years by system:
2013 - Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U
2014 - PlayStation Vita[7]
  • Not released outside of Japan.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: September 10, 2015
Release years by system:
2015 – Nintendo 3DS
  • Based on Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airu Village

Original release date(s):
  • JP: September 3, 2015
Release years by system:
2015 - iOS
2015 - Android[8]
  • Name was changed from Monster Hunter Smart

Original release date(s):
  • JP: October 8, 2016
  • NA: Q4 2017
  • EU: Q4 2017
Release years by system:
2016 - Nintendo 3DS[9]
  • Plays more as a traditional RPG and less focus on action-heavy combat.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: November 9, 2016
Release years by system:
2016 – Wii U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360


Since the series debuted, it has sold 28 million units as of March 31, 2014.[10] As of February 17, 2015, the series has sold 32 million units.[11]

The Monster Hunter series is widely more popular in Japan and other Asian markets compared to Western (North America and Europe) markets, primarily due to the percentage of ownership of handheld consoles in Japan compared to the West, and that all but one main title in the series were developed for handhelds. In an October 2016 interview, Capcom chairman Kenzo Tsujimoto said they are looking towards increasing the popularity of the games in the Western markets, recognizing that gaming consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have dominance in these regions over handhelds.[12]

Other media[edit]


A series of anime shorts titled MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airū-mura Airū Kiki Ippatsu (ja:モンハン日記 ぎりぎりアイルー村) was broadcast beginning August 10, 2010. A sequel, MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airū-mura G, was produced.[13] An anime series based on the franchise premiered on October 2, 2016.


A manga titled Monster Hunter Orage was published jointly by Kodansha and Capcom in April 2008. The author of the manga is Hiro Mashima. There are four volumes total with the last volume published on May 4, 2009. An English release of Monster Hunter Orage first took place on June 28, 2011.

Card game[edit]

A trading card game titled Monster Hunter Hunting Card was released in October 2008 with periodic updates planned.[14]


Elements from Monster Hunter were later included in the Worlds Unite comic crossover from Archie Comics, which featured several other Capcom and Sega franchises making guest appearances in the previously running Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comic lines.[15]


In 2012, it was reported that Resident Evil director Paul W. S. Anderson might direct a film adaptation of Monster Hunter.[16] During the September 2016 Tokyo Game Show Capcom producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated that a live-action Monster Hunter film is currently in development within Hollywood.[17] Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, who both helped to bring Capcom's Resident Evil game to a series of films, have obtained the rights from Capcom for the Monster Hunter adoption after about five years of discussion. The two anticipate a series of Monster Hunter films. Anderson said he was drawn to the Monster Hunter property, not only because of the series' popularity, but also for the "incredibly beautiful, immersive world they've created". Anderson has already penned a script, which would involve an American being dragged into the parallel universe that the Monster Hunter series is set in, learning how to fight monsters, and then having to deal with the situation when monsters cross back into the real world and start attacking, such as a final climatic battle at Los Angeles International Airport.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fletcher, J.C. (2009-08-13). "Monster Hunter 3 is Japan's best-selling third-party Wii game". Joystiq. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  2. ^ "MONSTER HUNTER|モンスターハンター 公式ポータルサイト" (in Japanese). Capcom(Japan). Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  3. ^ 2014-01-26, Monster Hunter 4G Announced for Nintendo 3DS, Siliconera
  4. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (May 31, 2015). "Monster Hunter X Announced for 3DS, Watch the Trailer". GameSpot. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Robinson, Martin (October 27, 2016). "Japan getting new Monster Hunter next March". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ Whitaker, Jed (May 23, 2016). "The beautiful Monster Hunter Online is getting an English patch on May 30". Destructoid. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ 2013-09-18, TGS: Monster Hunter: Frontier G Announced for Vita, IGN
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (8 May 2014). "Dead Rising 3 sales rise to 1.2m as Capcom enjoys profit boost". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (February 17, 2015). "Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has shipped over 3m copies worldwide". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ Saed, Sharif (November 3, 2016). "Capcom wants Monster Hunter to grow in the West, knows handhelds alone aren't enough". VG247. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Monster Hunter Nikki Anime Shorts Get Sequel". Anime News Network. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  14. ^ "Monster Hunter becomes a card game". andriasang. August 22, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^
  16. ^ Paul W. S. Anderson to direct Capcom's 'Monster Hunter'?
  17. ^ Ashcroft, Brian (September 15, 2016). "Hollywood Is Making A Monster Hunter Movie". Kotaku. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  18. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (November 21, 2016). "As 'Resident Evil' Nears $1 Billion, Paul W.S. Anderson & Jeremy Bolt Set 'Monster Hunter': Q&A". Retrieved November 21, 2016. 

External links[edit]