Wild Hearts is a game full of interesting innovations and alterations to the typical monster-hunting formula. Between the different weapon types, the various kinds of Kemono and Karakuri and everything else the game has to offer, there are more than a few things that will fly over hunters’ heads.
Here are 7 useful tips and tricks that will help you take your hunting game to the next level. Whether they be to do with combat, tracking down specific resources or improving your pre-hunt preparation, these tips will help any player get better at Wild Hearts and will hopefully save you some time.
Want more Wild Hearts content and articles? You can find more here on KeenGamer:
- Wild Hearts | Human-Path and Kemono-Path Affinity Explained
- Wild Hearts | How to Craft the Best Weapons (Weapon Upgrade Guide)
- Wild Hearts | Amaterasu Monster Guide
- Wild Hearts | Sapscourge Monster Guide
- Wild Hearts | Master of the Skies Achievement/Trophy Guide
Better Hunting Towers
To begin, let’s start by discussing one of the most important features of Wild Hearts: the Hunting Towers. These towers are a type of Dragon Karakuri that you’ll unlock early in your adventure that highlight the location of nearby Kemono on the map. Using one of these means not having to run headless around the map looking for that Dreadclaw or Sporetail that seems to be needlessly avoiding you.
One thing that the game doesn’t tell you though is that activating one Hunting Tower will activate all the Towers you’ve placed on the map. Placing one close to a camp and placing all of the others in strategic positions is a great way to scout the area, as you’ll only need to use that one near the camp to get all of the benefits. It’s a massive time saver that you should often be used whenever you get to a new area.
Another thing is you should have a good grasp of where to place your Hunting Towers. Because activating one will trigger them all, having them spaced out to where they can effectively cover the entire map will mean knowing where every Kemono is at the start of a hunt. One recommendation is to space them out at major landmarks to the four cardinal directions – North, East, South and West – with another at around the middle of the map. This regimented way of putting them down won’t always work but if you follow that philosophy, you’ll have enough Towers put down to survey the entire map with a push of a button.
Do not neglect your Hunting Towers and make sure you know where to put them so you can spend more time hunting and less time looking around aimlessly.
Throughout the game, you’ll likely have seen (or heard) the Tsukumo. These small, mechanical creatures effectively serve as the Palicos of Wild Hearts: small companions who aid you in fighting Kemono by healing, distracting or getting into the fray themselves with Karakuri. They can be a massive lifesaver in certain fights and serve a pivotal role in solo-play (plus, just having a friend makes the experience all the better).
Once you have found your first Tsukumo, it will permanently accompany you throughout your journey. You’ll then be able to upgrade, rename and change its appearance at any campfire. To upgrade them, you’ll need Old Cogs, items dropped whenever you find another Tsukumo out in the wild. There is 200 spread throughout the game – 50 in each of the four main locations – giving you a total of 200 Old Cogs to upgrade your little metal friends with. Finding them can be tricky, though. They’re hidden all over the map with some of them hiding in buildings, inside of shrines, atop cliffs, they’re everywhere.
There is one saving grace. In the Karakuri upgrade tree, focus on the left side until you reach the upgrade Hunting Tower: Deep Probe. This will reveal the location of any Tsukumo (as well as documents) on the map in the radius of a Hunting Tower as small question marks [?], granting you a much easier time pinning down their location. Pairing this with our last tip on optimal Hunting Tower locations means having an accurate location of every Tsukumo on the map with a single Karakuri activation.
Considering how useful the Tsukumo are, you’ll definitely want to track down as many of them as you can, so going for this upgrade will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Easier Dragon Pit Upgrades
One of the most innovative things about Wild Hearts (when compared to contemporaries in the monster-hunting genre) is the ability to make camp wherever you please. And it’s not just where you spawn after carting, either, but you can a whole range of Dragon Kakuri all over the map… should you have the resources available, of course.
To increase the amount of Dragon Karakuri to create you need to improve the various Dragon Pits sprinkled throughout each map. These grant boosts in certain elements so that you can improve your Karakuri, with 5 upgrades on each Pit. You may end up ignoring these due to how out of the way many of them are: during a Hunt, you’ll be focused on the Kemono, not these Dragon Pits.
However, there is a much simpler way to upgrade them. Once you have unlocked a Dragon Pit by visiting it, you never have ly walk up to it again. Instead, you can manually upgrade each Dragon Pit from the map menu. Simply mouse over the Pit you wish to upgrade and you not only be able to upgrade it remotely but also check what the future levels need without needing to travel there.
Another quick thing is that the Dragon Pit symbol will change colours depending on whether you can or cannot upgrade it. If the symbol is red, you lack the resources: if it’s gold, you have enough to ascend to the next level. Using this alongside being able to upgrade via the map should make creating more Dragon Karakuri way easier and more impactful.
Tracking Down Small Kemono
Another Wild Hearts tip related to the map has to do with Small Kemono. Upon opening the map in any of the major locations, you’ll see a few things: the overall location of the area you’re in, the available Dragon Pits scattered around the map, tents that you can fast travel to and any Dragon Karakuri you’ve placed around the map. While all of this information is useful, it is hiding a few things away.
Small Kemono is the classification given to any of the creatures wandering around the world that you can either pet or slay for resources. Many of these resources are needed in specific weapon upgrades and for forging new armour, but finding exactly where you can get them is a bit harder. The best place to start is the Cyclopedia as the Small Kemono section will tell you what parts each creature you’ve encountered will drop, as well as a general overview of the area they inhabit.
However, you want specifics. If you want to know exactly where to find specific Small Kemono, the map has you covered. While on the map screen, you can change what you see on the map based on the icon in the bottom left of the screen (on PS5 or Xbox this is done by pressing right or left on the D-Pad). The second option is Small Kemono and, once selected, you’ll see a bunch of small dots appear on the map highlighting where they can be found. What’s even better is that you can mouse over each of these dots to individually check what Kemono it is.
Tracking down the Small Kemono can sometimes be even harder than finding the larger ones. Just remember to check the map often to find the ones you need.
Making Better Food
Cooking has, rather strangely, become an integral part of the monster-hunting genre: you can’t even consider going out to hunt a Rathalos before you’ve had your big meal back in town first, now can you? Well, Wild Hearts is no different. While there isn’t a super fancy animation that will make your mouth water, there are still plenty of ingredients and items that you can scavenge that will grant you bonuses in combat such as extra health or defence.
Most players will likely just scarf down whatever they get their hands on raw. While this is certainly one way of doing it, the benefits from these versions of the food will be less impactful. You only have a certain amount of food you can eat, after all, and filling it with low-quality ingredients only increases your stats by a handful of points and isn’t going to be that useful.
Enter the Dragon Karakuri once again. By upgrading your Karakuri, you’ll be able to unlock several different cooking items that will enhance your ingredients and the bonuses they provide. The two most important are the Drying Rack and the Pickling Jar, both of which can be unlocked early on in the game. The Drying Racks let you dry several ingredients from the same category, creating up to 3 pieces of dried food with better stats. Similarly, Pickling will let you add seasonings to food, bringing out different effects.
While some may prefer to still wolf down any ingredients they find on the ground, the small but meaningful benefits from processing food shouldn’t be overlooked. You’ll pick up more than enough ingredients during your hunts that setting a few aside shouldn’t be too detrimental, and it will seriously help in some of Wild Hearts’ later encounters.
At the end of a Hunt, you may notice some oddities among your rewards. You’ll have your usual Kemono parts, affinity materials and sometimes a Talisman or two, but there may be something out of the ordinary.
These are likely commodity items. Every single Kemono in the game has one of these commodity items, signified by a cluster of circular coins as their icon rather than a symbol depicting a Kemono part. Each Kemono has a different name and value attached to its commodity item – Sapscourge’s is called Prized Sapscourge Sap, for example, whereas the Lavaback’s is Rare Lavaback Tufa. They’re an interesting addition but you may find yourself at odds with what to do with them.
Well, you won’t be using them to craft any weapon or armour. Instead, you can sell these items for lots of gold back at Minato. Simply head over to Kogyoku at the Crimson Treasury, where you can select the option to sell your commodity items. These Kemono parts serve no other purpose other than be traded for money, so be sure to check back here often when you’re running low.
Crafting all that new armour and all those new weapons can be expensive, so come pawn off whatever you don’t need every so often: you find yourself rich in no time.
Finally, we’ll discuss a tip that should help any Hunters who want to try out a bunch of new weapons. Wild Hearts has a total of 8 different weapon types ranging from the Bladed Wagasa to the Hand Cannon and more. Each of them provides a distinct playstyle when Hunting Kemono and many Hunters will want to try out every single one before deciding on which one to main.
This can prove costly, however, in both time and resources. If you want to effectively test new weapons then they’re going to need to be upgraded to a decent level: if you intend on fighting a high-level monster with a low-level weapon, you’ll likely fail or believe the weapon type itself isn’t strong enough. This means spending a lot of time collecting and spending Kemono parts to upgrade weapons… or does it?
Just like how you can go down on the weapon upgrade tree, you can also go up. Going back through a path to a node you previously unlocked will give you the option to refund it. This will cost you a little bit of gold, but it will also give back every Kemono part you spent making the weapon. It doesn’t matter how far through the tree you are, either, as you can return to the start to completely reset the weapon and give yourself all the resources back.
This is an excellent way of incentivising players to try out new weapons. Craft a powerful new tool to use in combat and, if you end up not liking it or want to try something else, simply refund the weapon parts and make a new one out of the same resources.
Those were 7 useful tips and tricks that all Hunters in Wild Hearts should know. Happy hunting!