A brief guide to Prowlers
The transition from the shiny new Monster Hunter: World to the now-archaic Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate is a tough one. Whetstones are single-use, pickaxes break, inventory management is a huge chore, and many things are a lot stiffer than in World. I very much enjoyed my time with Generations on the 3DS, but we now live in a post-World, well, world.
Despite the clunkiness that comes with going back to something like Generations Ultimate, I’d still recommend it for people who really love Monster Hunter: World and want more of the formula. After all, there are a ton more monsters and weapons, many of which lean toward the zany side of things that is distinctly missing from World.
Specifically, I’d recommend World newbies to use the Prowler mode and play as a Palico. Not sure if you want to? What if I said that you don’t have to worry about any items, all gathering points are free, stamina management is a non-issue, they are extremely customizable, and you can complete all of the content this way?
Now you should be interested.
Marcel has already written a guide on what you’ll need to do and think about to adjust to the vastly different Generations Ultimate (GU) after coming from World. Scrolling through the comments, there was a large sentiment of “ugh, I don’t know if I could go back to this.”
I’ve been playing GU for about a week now, and I’ve been having an absolute blast…in Prowler mode. I did a few hunts with my trusty Hunting Horn (side-note: maybe don’t hunt two Khezu to “get back into the swing of things”) after transferring my character, and I can’t say I was feeling it as much as I hoped. It only takes a few times of realizing you forgot to bring an important item to get frustrated with the lack of quality-of-life improvements that World ushered in.
Then I decided to switch to Prowler mode, something I had dabbled with in Generations. Hoo boy, this is really a completely different game. In Prowler Mode, which you can switch to from your room, you play as one of the Palicos. You know, the cats that accompany you on missions and help you out.
Palicos cannot use items, have zero stamina or sharpness to worry about, and use abilities based on a separate meter. It plays much more like a “traditional” action game, while still maintaining the core Monster Hunter fight pattern of knowing monster behaviors and even preparing accordingly. Oh, and your health bar can reach 0 nine times in a hunt before you fail. Get it? Because cats have…nine lives…
While the immediate preparation before a hunt is quite different (no item box management), the general preparation of Palicos takes a lot of time and effort. Sure, you could pick some random Palico and go out on a hunt with whatever skills are there, but that would be akin to never upgrading or even practicing with a “traditional” weapon.
Here’s a quick guide on how to play and prepare a Palico for Prowler mode:
- Charisma – All-around balanced type. The Mario of Palicos.
- Fighting – Obviously more damage oriented, with skills to dish out the damage.
- Protection – Won’t receive any damage from blocking attacks, and blocking raises your ability gauge.
- Assisting – Great at boomerang attacks and using traps.
- Healing – Plays an extra doot when using healing horns (heals for more).
- Bombing – Faster gauge filling and extra bomb damage.
- Gathering – Can make monsters drop extra items.
- Beast – Can go into Beast Mode, gaining Mind’s Eye (attacks are not deflected) and providing a bunch of new combos.
This is a very basic overview of what each type specializes in (as if the names weren’t obvious enough), and there is plenty of content about how each type plays on the Internet already. Personally, I’ve been playing a lot of Beast Prowler and loving it. Going into Beast Mode and pulling off combos looks so badass! This cat also has the unique ability to level up Beast Mode by pulling off successful combos (up to level three), further rewarding smart play.
This is very important, so pay attention! The way to acquire a Palico is to scout one. This can be done at any village, by either the Meowstress in the Palico Ranch or the Grandmeows (aww) at the other villages. Here, you can select what type of Palico to scout. So if you want to play as a Gathering Palico (or just have one by your side), select that type!
It takes one mission for a new list of Palicos to be scouted, and each village has their own set of scouted Palicos. If you’re looking for a Palico with a certain ability combination, check each village. In addition, each village tends to prefer a certain type of Palico when it scouts: Bherna finds more balanced Palicos, Pokke finds healing, Yukumo finds support, and Kokoto finds attack-based Palicos. Each Palico will have its own set of Moves and Skills (more on that in a bit) and can lean one more through cat-to-cat training. As you begin to develop what type of Palico and abilities you want, keep it in your mind that you can scout one that is missing a single ability from your wishlist and that’s okay.
Moves and Skills
“Moves” are the active abilities that you’ll use in battle, while “Skills” are passives like Attack Up or Earplugs. There are a ton of moves in total and it can be hard to know what you want in a Palico. Here’s a good visualization and description of most of them from gaijin hunter on YouTube. I believe this list is incomplete (and some lines are wrong) because of the updates in Generations Ultimate.
Each move has a cost associated with it. On the bottom right of the screen during a hunt, a bar will fill up as you damage monsters. Certain Palico types will fill the bar in other ways, too. Balancing which abilities to equip with their cost is crucial, as is deciding when to use certain abilities and managing your meter.
Palicos can also learn a single new move from a fellow Palico by way of the Palico Dojo on the Ranch. This also takes one quest to complete and then bam! New skill on an old cat. You can scout for cats that have the skill you want your cat to have pretty easily to get this done.
Skills are rather self-explanatory. Choose the ones that best suit your build idea and fit within the given slots you have at your current level. For example, I’m currently looking for a Beast Palico with Earplugs, so my Beast Mode attacks don’t constantly get interrupted.
The Kelbi Horn Quest
After unlocking your Hunter Rank (completing the HR7 Urgent Quest), you can buy Kelbi Horns whenever you want. There’s also a quest to deliver three Kelbi Horns. Remember when I said that certain Palico actions take a single quest to complete? Do you see where I’m going with this?
This is the quest that you go to when you need to “pass time” and make things happen. Before this point you should just be playing the game and figuring everything out, but after unlocking the ability to buy Kelbi Horns, moving things along in the Palico world becomes a simple matter of money.
Amor and Weapons
Unlike Hunter mode, Palico armor doesn’t add any skills — those are all embedded into the cat itself. Armor is purely for the defense and resistance numbers (and, of course, fashion). For this reason, it’s important to have different sets when heading into different monsters.
As for weapons, be sure to check out the melee and ranged damage numbers. Some weapons are balanced between the two, many are not. If you’re building a cat that prefers boomerangs (the “meta,” as it were), you need to get a weapon that’s equipped to deal out the damage! It’s also a great idea to get a weapon with elemental damage; Palicos put out a lot of hits, and more hits means more status effects.
- Palicos can KO monsters and sever tails
- Palicos can mount monsters
- When your cat gets the angry red marks, your attack is buffed! Go all out!
- Palicos can run with their weapon out! After a dodge, you’ll notice your cat will be running around — make sure this is always the case! If you’re walking around like a slowpoke, do a quick dodge to be able to maneuver around the battlefield faster.
- Armor/Power charms and talons work, despite the Palicos not having access to items.
- Temperature effects do not affect you in Prowler mode. Never worry about Cool and Hot Drinks again!
- Make a Palico that you like to play! Many guides online will push you towards Big and Pierce Boomerang Palicos to maximize damage, but the beauty of the class is its ability to be completely customized.