Azuma is a dangerous and untamed place. Filled with powerful Kemono brimming with nature’s fury, the land itself seems hostile. But you can build. You have the technology. And we have a very quick guide for players just starting their Wild Hearts hunting careers (or perhaps reading up as they wait on a patch for some of the reported performance issues). Read on for a quick handful of tips to help a budding Kemono-slayer bloom.
Karakuri are the Key
Perhaps the biggest single tip one can give a new Wild Hearts player – be they a Monster Hunter veteran checking out the latest contender or a green newbie having their first brush with the monster-hunting genre – is not to ignore the Karakuri. Without Karakuri, Wild Hearts is a serviceable attempt to bite Monster Hunter‘s style. With it, it’s a distinct beast of its own. It can take a little bit of getting used to, but before long being able to plop down impromptu structures made of crates, springs, and well-placed Dragon Karakuri will become second nature. And nature it is, seeing as the Celestial Thread that powers your Karakuri is key both to the story and Wild Hearts‘ story mode.
Build, Build, Build!
Just as using and learning the Karakuri system is the key to unlocking Wild Hearts’ depths, building both in and out of combat is the best way to get into the mindset Omega Force is seeking. Staying aware of your Thread supply in combat is a must, but don’t be miserly. Basic Karakuri are temporary: They’ll be destroyed quickly and are meant to give you momentary advantage, such as by using a Bulwark to blunt a Kingtusk’s charge or setting up a trap to immobilize a large Kemono. Should you run out of Thread in a scrap, there are multiple ways you can compensate. If you’re in multiplayer, your friends can help complete your structures. You’ll also be able to extract thread from nearby rocks and trees, and even the Kemono itself, if you break through its defenses.
Why not Build-A-Bear?
In the earliest hours of the game one of your best friends won’t be a Minato resident or your Tsukumo helpers, but the clockwork bear sitting outside the entrance to your first camp. The Training Bear is a buildable Dragon Karakuri, and it’s useful because it provides you a safe target to practice your combos with. Activating training mode will even play out a brief weapon tutorial to get you familiarized with a weapon’s abilities and timing. The Training Bear will prove itself useful throughout your journey, though you’ll only need one or two per area, since fast travel will let you save on Dragon Karakuri materials.
Chase the Dragon (Karakuri)
Speaking of Dragon Karakuri, you’ll want to fill Azuma with your constructions. Dragon Karakuri are permanent, and give you long-term benefits, like having tents and camps to fast travel to, forges to upgrade your weapons, and even spots to draw precious healing water from. Get used to seeking out Dragon Pits and unblocking them, because they’re how you can ready the land to take your many structures. There are limits on how many Dragon Karakuri you can place in an area, though you can raise that limit by upgrading the local Dragon Pits, as well as demolishing unneeded structures.
One other tip: You can place Dragon Karakuri almost anywhere. They don’t have to be beside or near a Dragon Pit. Find the best location for you. Being able to establish what are effectively your personal fast travel network is a good convenience feature you should take advantage of. Some semi-secret areas even allow you to place Dragon Karakuri at a steep discount in materials, allowing you to save a bit on some of the more expensive structures.
Seek Inspiration through Practice
The story mode of Wild Hearts has an odd habit of giving you Kemono to chase that you’re probably not quite ready to face at the point you get the objective. Don’t go rushing ahead to kill the Kemono. You’re likely to be underequipped and will face frustration. Instead, consider queuing up a previous hunt or two via a campfire. This is a good opportunity to gather up monster materials to use for upgrades, as well as get some practice time in with the Kemono. Just as with other hunting games, learning a monster’s attack patterns and weak spots through repetition is a key part of the game flow.
Wild Hearts gives you an extra reason to do a bit of Kemono “farming”, though: Awakenings. During certain fights, you can see “flashes of inspiration” that will give you the opportunity to unlock a new type of Fusion Karakuri. You’ll get your first brush with Awakenings during your story-mandated first encounter with the Kingtusk, and through it, learn how to create a Bulwark Karakuri. But opportunities for Awakening are found all over the place, and you can find hints on how and where to unlock them in your Karakuri development tree.
Wild Hearts is available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Check out Siliconera’s official review of the game.