Monster Hunter Now Is Niantic's New Real World Game, Partnership With Capcom

The World of @MonsterHunter is joining ours as @NianticLabs and Capcom announce Monster Hunter Now with Open Beta Sign Up for later this month


Published: April 18, 2023 1:00 AM /

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Key Art for Monster Hunter Now with the Monster Hunter Now logo and Niantic logo in the foreground

Today Niantic and Capcom have announced that their newest Live Earth game will be Monster Hunter Now. Niantic Founder and CEO John Hanke spoke to the press about this new release alongside Monster Hunter Series Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, Niantic Senior Producer Sakae Osumi, and Niantic Tokyo Studio Executive Director Tatsuo Nomura. Monster Hunter Now has been in the works at Niantic and Capcom for a total of 4 when after Hanke set up a meeting with Tsujimoto who after hearing the initial pitch for a Monster Hunter game made by Niantic immediately agreed to the proposal. Now, four years later they're ready to show off the game to fans of Monster Hunter as well as Live Earth games.

What is the Monster Hunter Now Gameplay Loop?

Monster Hunter Now is a Live Earth game from Niantic (Pokemon Go, Pikmin Bloom) where players will be able to create their own Monster Hunter character and Palico companion and explore the world of the game as they tread the real world. Players will be able to interact with deposits to gather a variety of resources, defeat different monsters from the Monster Hunter roster, and then use those collected resources and monster parts to craft new weapons and upgrades to take on bigger and more powerful monsters.

In the brief trailer shown we're able to see plenty of combat gameplay where a hunter takes on a variety of scaled-down monsters. Included in this trailer is also some of the overworld traversal and even a horizontal combat mode that is meant to be a more comfortable alternative to playing the game strictly in portrait mode. The trailer also shows off four hunters facing a monster together, multiplayer and social aspects will be key in trying to take down larger monsters.

Tsujimoto-san explained that Monster Hunter Now was created in close collaboration with Capcom to ensure that the "roots and themes of the franchise can still be felt."

For players in rural areas, Nomura-san reassured those at the interview that monsters won't just spawn at landmarks but will be able to appear anywhere. To that end, Niantic is working to improve its Wayspot database for rural areas. There also won't be any multiplayer gameplay at a distance, but those present were reassured that Niantic was "experimenting with a variety of ways to fight alongside more people."

How does combat in Monster Hunter Now function?

A player can take on any monster that they come across while exploring the world. Once you engage the monster your top-down map view will shift to a third-person battle scene against the monster. Combat can be conducted both horizontally or vertically on your phone. You fight using different taps and swipes on your screen and only have 75 seconds to take down the monster. If you're successful you'll be rewarded with loot from the monster, but if you fail you'll be returned to the map view. Osumi-san later commented that taking a large Monster Hunter fight and paring it down to just 75 seconds was one of the hardest challenges in making the game but they wanted to make sure that the game was approachable for new and returning fans, while also taking the setting of being out and about for a walk into account.

Four screenshots from Monster Hunter Now showing off exploration, the overworld, mining, and fighting a Rathalos
While some aspects are familiar Capcom and Niantic promise the combat will be more action based

You won't just have to fight monsters when you're out or about, Monster Hunter Now has a paintball feature where a player will be able to mark a monster. Any marked monster can be fought for a period of time after marking it, and even if you don't manually mark the monster as you're walking your Palico will automatically mark monsters for you. This means if you're traveling from your home to the office and you happen to pass by a few monsters once you've reached your office you can then fight each of those monsters. If there were any time of quantity limitations to the paintball features they weren't brought up during the interview.

Monster Hunter Now monetization

Nomura-san confirmed to us that Monster Hunter Now would be a free-to-start game and that after beginning the game players will be able to receive items both for free and as paid items. None of the items that would be purchasable options were confirmed by Nomura in the interview.

When is the Monster Hunter Now Open Beta?

Open Beta registration will be available today, April 18th, via monsterhunternow.com. You can register for iOS or Android devices and the Monster Hunter Now Open Beta period will begin on April 25th. How long this Open Beta period will be was not specified.

In the Monster Hunter Now Open Beta the players will have access to three weapons; Sword and Shield, Greatsword, and Bowgun. It's expected that players will not only be able to craft the base weapons but that some upgrades will also be available for them. No monsters were specified to be encounterable in the Open Beta but two monsters that were referenced during the Q&A session were the Great Jagras as well as the Rathalos and Pukei-Pukei

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