What Monster Hunter: World’s Multiplayer Gets Right And Wrong

What Monster Hunter: World’s Multiplayer Gets Right And Wrong
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Slaying a rampaging rathalos with a team of friends is one of Monster Hunter: World‘s greatest joys — if you can sort through the menus required to join your pals. The game’s online management is clumsy and poorly explained. Setting up online sessions and sharing codes can be confusing, but it helps you get the precise experience you want while hunting.

Joining an online hunt in Monster Hunter World isn’t as easy as hitting the play button and waiting a few seconds. If there’s one major thing the game gets wrong, it’s how needlessly complicated matchmaking is. To play with your friends, you have to speak to the in-game Handler or go to the Gathering Hall’s quest counter to manually search for online sessions that fit the criteria you want.

You can browse search terms such as language or the monster you want to hunt. To head to a specific session, you need a ten digit session ID composed of random characters.

Monster Hunter: World doesn’t really explain the procedures and rules that go into joining a multiplayer match. There is a matchmaking tool that will automatically drop the player into a random session. If you’re looking to play with friends or members of your squad (basically the game’s version of guilds,) you can invite them to your session through an option in the pause menu.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to know either your session ID or your friend’s, which can be found by checking the Player List option in your menu. Once you know the ID, you can join your friend or invite them to join you.

Browsing search terms or typing in session IDs feels complicated, but these extra steps help you find the kind of match you want to play. If you’re looking for Anjanath material farming, you can search for it in the menus. If you want to search for a session full of hunters near your rank, you can do that. Monster Hunter: World‘s menus slow down the matchmaking process, but they give players the ability to find the precise hunt they want.

The best way to learn these tools is to use them. Try searching your browser for certain monsters or get a small group of friends together into a single session. Like anything in Monster Hunter: World, it’s much scarier to look at than to deal with.

It’s worth learning to navigate the complicated session finding process to find the hunts you’re eager to complete. Meanwhile, setting search terms or passwords on a session you create can help turn them into small community hubs.

A well-populated online session feels a bit like an old Team Fortress 2 server: full of people people looking for a good time and eager to show off their gear. Sessions can function like miniature communities if you gather enough friends. I’ve tweeted out session IDs to Kotaku readers during livestreams, and the result has been a small gaggle of hunters aiding each other with quests.

Supplementing the online session system with tools like Discord can lead to enthusiastic sessions of like-minded players and great hunts.


  • The session ID crap is hardly necessary. Just get someone to invite you to their session then anyone can post quests on the board. Not so bad once you kniw what you’re doing. The game should have explained it better though.

    Especially when you have squads, hunter party, sessions and guilds which are all completely different things.

    • Yeah it’s not hard. Go to your friends list. Join their session from the xmb. From there you can join each other’s posted quests. If you like, head to the staging area, create a squad, add your friends and then you can choose to start the game in a squad only session.

      It gets tricky with players with different progress but I feel that applies to a lot of coop games.

      • This doesn’t apply to any coop game. This is by far the most complicated and worst coop system I’ve ever played. I’m very disappointed with it.

  • Thats all well and good if I could actually jump online. All I get is failed to join with an error code. Im on PS4 with a solid internet connection. I have barely played any multiplayer and tried numerous fixes…over it!

  • Create a squad with your friends once you find them online so that you can always play with them. It’s from the “Gathering Hub”, there is a lady that will create a squad for you then help you invite your mates. Then from the main log in screen you can start a squad session. If you want randoms to play with though, this isn’t the way to go and you will have to try the tracking down people via the menus around your level like you say above.

  • It’s less of an issue now that we’re both in High Rank territory and appear to have completed most everything storyish, but progression is/was the most annoying part for the first couple dozen hours of gameplay. I sat down with a copy of MHW, and so did my GF. We were pretty hype for this release. She actually got the limited edition MHW Pro console bundle.

    Naively, when we got home and installed our games, we thought we were going to get to play the game together.

    Haha, Monster Hunter says. Nope. What ACTUALLY happened is that we each had to play separately for the first half of every mission, THEN either complete it or fail it and then join each other. I mean, that’s for pretty much ALL the story missions that gate progress. And for sure, if we didn’t want the game continually forcing us apart from each other, I guess we could have just fucking farmed Great Jagras side-missions for the rest of our lives, only ever using the starter weapons. But for fuck’s sake. How hard is it to let two people queue together and just kick off a cutscene like every other god damn co-op game does?

    And expeditions were the really striking new feature that sold us on the ‘world’ aprt… but fuck me, I’m not actually sure they could’ve made it any more of a pain in the ass if they’d tried. The only way to play with 2-player co-op in an expedition is to either have them fire up an SOS flare and repeatedly search for the randomized session-results until you FINALLY find your friend’s session in the results, and hope to hell that no-one else also responded to that flare while you’re waiting for the mission to load + waiting for the loading screen to get to their area. It’s either that roll of the dice, or the more sure-fire but even more elaborate process of having to join the same online session as each other (loading screen!) then actually load up a quest together (quest load + loading screen), then complete it (turns out failing it is not an option, it sends you back to town!), and both choose to go back to camp! (Moar loading screen!)

    Why the FUCK is it not possible to just, ‘join player’ and automatically load into whatever the hell they’re doing at the time?

    • It was annoying as hell for me as well. But I’ve finished story mode already and it’s not an issue anymore. Hopefully they fix it with subsequent patches. That said, I can see how the other players will be forced into waiting for the main player from watching cutscenes though, so I’m glad they made newtimers finish watching cutscenes, then invite others to join the action.

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