Wild Hearts is an action RPG published by EA that you may not have had on your radar, but it has all the makings of a sleeper hit. This is the closest we’ve seen a game steal the crown from Monster Hunter while also marking the return of developer Omega Force after the resounding disappointment of Dynasty Warriors 9.
Many Monster Hunter fans will likely flock to Wild Hearts as they wait for the latest game in Capcom’s hit series. You’ll find a lot of overlap between the two, from searching for boss fighting style to obsessively searching for materials.
While the game does a good job of introducing new players to the charming world of Azuma, there is a lot you need to learn if you want to become a Kemono hunting machine. Here’s a helpful list of Wild Hearts tips for beginners to help you make the most of those first few hours.
Wild Hearts | Gameplay: Golden Tempest
Use Dragon Karakuri liberally
If there is something that differentiates Wild Hearts from Monster Hunter, it is Karakuri. Powered by a mysterious celestial force, these ancient mechanisms can be summoned virtually anywhere and at any time, so don’t be stingy!
There are two types of Karakuri: Basic and Dragon. Basic Karakuri are expendable and focus on combat, while Dragon Karakuri are more permanent base-building structures, such as fast travel tents and forges. With the ability to dismantle them at any time, summon Karakuri whenever you can; As you get to know the different Wild Hearts maps better, you’ll discover the best places to set up base camps and checkpoints.
Forge more than one of each weapon.
Wild Hearts features eight different weapon classes, each with their own unique move sets and upgrade trees. These upgrade trees immediately fragment and branch out with a whole web of possibilities, offering different damage stats, elemental infusions, and special abilities in exchange for Kemono parts.
Once you’ve found a weapon class that suits your playstyle, be sure to visit the forge to create multiple versions. This will allow you to follow different upgrade paths, switching between weapons to gain an advantage over whatever Kemono you are hunting. The ideal would be to have a weapon of each type of element.
Creating your first equipment
Each time you successfully hunt a new Kemono, more crafting options will become available. Using the parts you carve from these mythical beasts can be used to forge new weapons and armor that, when combined, create a variety of loadouts offering different damage, armor, and elemental resistance stats, not to mention unique passive abilities.
You’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed by all the equipment options available, making it difficult to choose your first loadout. Our advice is to go ahead and ditch your beginner’s robes by creating one piece of armor for each of the five slots (head, chest, arms, waist and feet).
Don’t worry about not combining armor from different Kemono sets, as long as the core defense stat is good. However, once you reach Chapter 3, you’ll have to start paying more attention to what you have equipped.
Disable lock, enable other assists
For a while now, action RPGs have conditioned us to use a block assist. It’s a hallmark of the ‘soulslike’ subgenre that’s also present here, although you shouldn’t feel obligated to use it in Wild Hearts.
Kemono are large creatures, and while your attacks will occasionally miss, this will be due to your timing or a change in the monster’s behavior rather than poor aim. Once you’ve learned the basic combos of a weapon, you’ll develop a natural feel for how far attacks can go and where they’ll make their impact. This is an essential skill for those late hunts and might take longer to master while using blocking.
However, there are other assistances that we recommend. Wild Hearts offers a host of accessibility features for those who need them, as well as an auto-attend option that will call other players to join you every time you embark on a hunt.
Explore first, hunt later
When visiting a new region for the first time, focus on exploring the area rather than jumping straight into your next hunt. Each of Azuma’s biomes has its own ecosphere of unique creatures, minerals, and fauna – your in-game codex will automatically fill out as you discover them, which can help you track down certain crafting materials more efficiently.
Not only that, this initial exploration phase should be used to build Dragon Karakuri’s infrastructure. Place a hunter’s tent far from your starting point to create a quick and convenient travel point, then summon flying vines, rollers, and wind vortexes to help navigate mountainous areas and wide plains.
Just keep in mind that the number of these you can build will be quite limited until you unlock the various Dragon Pits dotted around each map, upgrading them with crystals obtained by completing quests.
Don’t neglect your partner Tsukumo
In Wild Hearts, you are accompanied by an orb-shaped creature known as a Tsukumo. In fact, there are dozens of these hidden throughout Azuma; Make sure not to ignore them as they can be of great help during solo play.
Your friendly mechanical companion can help you in several ways: distracting Kemono, creating a healing mist, and generating the thread used to power your basic Karakuri. His influence can be subtle, although you will appreciate the helping hand, especially as your Tsukumo becomes more powerful.
To upgrade them you will need Old Cogs, which are obtained by finding any of the 50 Tsukumo hidden in each region. Upgrades allow you to improve their attack, defense, and support capabilities, while also increasing your hunter’s maximum Thread capacity.
Break those body parts
Kemono battles are about more than just whaling your target: even after hunting the same monster multiple times, you may still be missing the materials needed to craft new equipment. Certain crafting components can only be obtained by cutting parts of a Kemono. Additionally, there are even rarer materials in Wild Hearts that require a Kemono to be enraged by breaking a body part.
As a general rule, you should always aim for a Kemono’s head or tail. Deal enough damage and you’ll see these pieces break during battle; just make sure to interact with them to pick up the dropped materials.
Don’t hunt on an empty stomach
Wild Hearts features a simple but effective food system that gives your hunter a much-needed boost before charging into battle. Food can be accessed at any time with the push of a button; This menu will display the various meats and plants in your inventory and the stat bonuses they offer when consuming them.
A satiety indicator prevents you from getting completely tired, and while a balanced diet isn’t necessarily crucial early in the game, you’ll want to start paying close attention to what different types of food do as you progress. Most will increase your maximum health while also granting you at least one other bonus, be it a stat boost or elemental resistance.
Remember to coordinate your meals around the Kemono you’re hunting and be sure to unlock the Dragon Karakuri Drying and Fermentation Stations to improve food quality.
Explore Minato, the center of the hunter
Minato Village is where you will spend most of your free time playing Wild Hearts. Here you will find a number of important characters, vendors and quest givers who play an important role as you progress through the story.
Naturally, you’ll want to visit Natsume the blacksmith to forge new weapons and armor, although there are other NPCs you should interact with as well. Kogyoku regularly restocks a handful of useful items at his emporium, while Nobumitsu of the Fisherman’s Guild will award rewards for completing achievement-like challenges. Be sure to call Tamakazura once Minato’s bathhouse has been rebuilt and use the training area behind your house to practice new Karakuri weapons and techniques.
These Wild Hearts beginner tips will help you get up and running, but you’ll discover that there’s a lot to learn about this exciting action RPG. From the diverse range of weapons and advanced crafting, to your ever-growing Karakuri arsenal and the Kemono themselves, there’s a rich monster hunting experience here that will easily satisfy fans of the genre.
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