Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX Starter Guide - Tips & Tricks

Last Updated: December 12, 2021 3:39 PM /


How to Get Started in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Featured Image

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX brings a series that has long been dormant here in the west back to our screens for the first time since 2006. Whether this is your first time trying out the series, or you’re just trying to wrap your head around the games again, then you’ve come to the right place. this guide will show you how to get started in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX without the pain of failure. Here's some Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX Tips to get started.

How to Get a Monster in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX

How to Get Started in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Getting a Monster
He's excited and ready to go. 

The first thing you’ll need to do in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX is to get yourself a monster to ranch with. There are two ways of getting a starting monster. You can either visit the shrine to generate one from a CD, or you can go to the market and pick one up. At the start of the game, you’ll only be allowed to generate certain species of monster, mostly because if you could get the OP ones from the get-go the game would be over in 2 seconds flat. 

For your first time, I recommend just grabbing one of the market monsters. You can use our CD Guide if you want to grab a decent starting monster that way, but there’s not much of a reason to. The selection of starting monsters is different for both games, but realistically, you can get away with choosing any monster you like. In the first game, Tiger is a solid choice for a money-spinner, and Zuul can fill that same role in the second game. 

If you want tips on what to actually do with your monster, check out our Monster Raising Guide. If you’d rather fly solo, just remember to focus on either power (POW) or intelligence (INT) and not both. Attacks come in two types, Int or Pow, so make sure your monster has mostly the one type of attack, and focus on the relevant stat. 

How to Make Money in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX

The first thing that you really need to do in Both Monster Rancher games is to make yourself some cash. You start out with around 5000 to spend, but that is nowhere near enough to raise a top-tier monster. Your first 3 monsters will probably be mostly about getting cash, so don’t grow too attached to them now. Making money works differently depending on the game that you’re playing, but there are also some universal tips. 

It goes without saying, that you need to not spend too much money. When you’re feeding your monsters each month, only feed them fish until you’re raising your first battle monster. There’s no point wasting money on your money-making monsters. Also, if your monster discovers any items that you don’t need, sell them immediately for quick cash. Just make sure you’re not selling anything useful like Apple Cakes, Mint, or Taffy. 

Monster Rancher 1 Money Making

How to Get Started in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Training
These pixel-art working scenes have a lot fo charm. 

In Monster Rancher there are two main ways of making money: work and battles. Work is a great choice because it gives you money, as well as raises the stats and loyalty of your current monster. However, bear in mind that you get very little money for this. Make sure to regularly rest your monster too, as you’ll need them to be in top condition for the fights when they roll around. 

Your best bet is to stick to the unofficial fights, as the official tourneys will raise your rank, and make it harder to win and earn money. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re battling as often as possible (assuming that you’re winning) with your first monster, and ignore anything about trying to advance your ranching license. 

Monster Rancher 2 Money Making

In Monster Rancher 2 there is no such thing as work, or at least, not work that your monster can do for you. The best way to earn money is to once again take part in battles all the time without raising up the ranks, with the added bonus that if you do well in a fight, your monster may get some stat gain. There is a new Job option in town that brings the old PocketStation minigame back from the dead. 

You can do this minigame by selecting the job option and saving the job data. Then, in the main menu, you can access a number sorting mini-game by pressing Y. Is it worth doing? Not really no. The game is a tedious higher or lower sorting game that pays out a tiny amount of gold for a lot of effort. It might have made sense when it was on the PocketStation, as it gave you something to do away from your game. These days, you’re better off sticking with battles to make money. (bear in mind, the original version of this mini-game used to give out DNA pills for rare monsters. Right now, it’s not clear if it still does or not, but the point stands that it’s a crap way to make money.) 

How to Battle in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX

How to Get Started in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Sleepy
Make sure you rest your monster when it gets tired.

As with many monster-collecting RPGs, Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX revolve around battling. However, there’s a lot of little nuances to figure out, and the game doesn’t really provide you with a tutorial fight or anything. Here are the basics that you need to know in order to not come away with a very bruised monster after every fight. 

First up, you don’t have to actually fight if you don’t want to. At the start of any battle in both games, you’ll be asked if you want to give your monster advice. Depending on their loyalty, or on how confident you are in their abilities, you can elect to say ‘no’ and the monster will sort of do its own thing. Of course, for the best outcome you should really get involved, but bear in mind that a low loyalty stat means the monster won’t listen to you anyway, so focus on getting that higher before you start taking charge in battle. 

Here are the controls, because the game doesn’t necessarily go out of its way to tell you: 

Action Switch Controls
Move Monster Left ZL (MR1) or L (MR2)
Move Monster Right ZR (MR1) or R (MR2)
Force Monsters Apart (when close) B
Use Attack A
Change Attack D-Pad
Forfeit Y

Remember that forfeiting is always preferable to being knocked out and that you can also press X to view these controls during battle. The controls are probably the same on Steam with a gamepad but don’t hold us to it. 

The final thing you need to know is how attacks work. Each attack has a different range, so your monster needs to be a certain distance away before the attack will work. This is indicated by the red sliding bar above your different attacks. When the bar is above an attack, you can navigate to it and use A to perform that attack. Bear in mind that the meter in the middle denotes your percentage chance of hitting, and how many attack points you have left (Will in the first game, Guts in the second). Without enough points, you can’t perform certain attacks and they’ll become greyed out. 

Some Final Tips

How to Get Started in Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX - Food
Your monster is what it eats, so choose well. 

If you’ve been hanging around some more experienced Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX players, you may have heard about expeditions. These are journeys you can go on to unlock specific monster types, as well as find cool items. You’re probably wondering how you get to these, but the truth is that they’ll show up once you’re ready to do them. They’re unlocked by having a monster hit the appropriate stat levels, by a certain time of year, so once you’ve raised funds and are actually creating battle monsters, they should show up on their own. Don’t worry about them in the early stages. 

Remember that you can experiment with the CD system in this game. Once you've got some funds, it's worth spending a few hours just trying random CDs until you find a cool-looking monster with decent stats that you want to actually use. Of course, bear in mind that a lot of the rare monster discs from the old games have been changed, probably to keep the game feeling fresh for returning players, so your old lists and tricks probably won't work. 

Finally, just have fun with the game. It can take a long time to get the hang of, but there's plenty of room for experimentation. Save often, and make good use of the new fast forward feature in the options menu. With these two things combined, you can make several practice runs while you're learning the ropes of the game before you really buckle down and start training powerful monsters. 

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at

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| Staff Writer

Will has been writing about video games professionally since 2016 and has covered everything from AAA game reviews to industry events and everything in… More about William

More Info About This Game
Learn more about Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX
Koei Tecmo
Koei Tecmo
PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date
December 9, 2021 (Calendar)
RPG, Simulation
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)