Monster Hunter World - How to Play Co-op with Friends

Learn how to play Quests and Expeditions coop with a friend and how to set up a Squad for more coop fun in Monster Hunter World.


Monster Hunter World introduces some impressive cooperative experience for players. You’re able to head out on quests and hunt for monsters together, but you’re going to need to understand how the convoluted in-game system works before you play co-op with your friends.

Jump to section: How to Setup Co-op • Start a Co-op Quest • How to Co-op an Expedition

How to Play Co-op with Friends

Before you can start playing Monster Hunter World co-op with friends, you’ll need to finish the first quest in the game, Jagras of the Ancient Forest. This quest tasks you with hunting and killing seven of the Jagras monsters, a relatively easy beast to kill. With this quest complete, you can begin the process of playing with friends.

monster hunter world gathering hub coop
The Celestial Pursuit holds the Gathering Hub, a place where you can begin a co-op session in Monster Hunter: World.

For those playing on console, another optional step before playing co-op is to create a Squad, for players on PC, the squad system has been replaced with Steam Group functionality. Squads in Monster Hunter World are the equivalent of guilds or clans in other online games. To create a Squad, locate the large lift at the rear of Astera and select the Gathering Hub, which is located on Level 4.

When you reach the Gathering Hub, look to your right to see the Notice Board and a woman at a desk – this is the Squad Manager. Speaking with her will allow you to create a squad and invite your friends. To invite your friends to the Squad, open the Star Menu, navigate to the Communication tab, and select Squads from the list. Here you can manage your Squad and invite your friends to join.

monster hunter world squad session
Starting a Squad Session is the best way to begin a co-op session with a friend.

Once the Squad is created and your friends are in the Squad, go to the nearest Notice Board and select to start an Online Session, and choose the Squad Session Search. If a Squad session does not exist, one will be created. Your friends should do the same, which will deliver them into the Squad session you create. You can check whether they are in the same session by opening the Start Menu, navigate to Communications, and then select Player List. You should be able to see your friends on the list. From now on, whenever you start up Monster Hunter World, start a Squad Session to make it easier to locate your friends.

At this point, you will be able to see each other in the Gathering Hub, but not down in the Tradeyard or other areas. Now that the Squad is sorted, you can easily play quests with one another.

If, for some reason, Monster Hunter World is refusing to place you in the same session, Squad or otherwise, try to send each other an invite using your Xbox One or PlayStation 4's invite functionality. Doing this should have them join your session regardless of whether you're in a Squad or not.

Starting a Quest in Co-op

monster hunter world coop quest
Visit a Quest Counter and choose a quest to play co-op.

Head to the nearest Quest Counter, if you’re in the Gathering Hub, it will be near the bar. Speak with the Hub Lass to access the questing menu. Select “Post a New Quest” and choose what type of quest you wish to embark on: Assigned, Optional, Investigations, or Events. After choosing the quest type, select the quest from the available options.

A dialogue box will appear asking how many players you wish to allow and whether you want a passcode. To prevent random players from joining your quest, limit the amount of players and set a passcode – don’t forget to tell your friends what it is! Choose a camp to spawn at, and then confirm your selection. The quest will begin loading, giving you time to collect some provision and get your friend in for some cooperative action.

monster hunter world ready to depart
When everyone is ready to play, select the Standby for Depature option to get underway!

The friend whom you wish to play Monster Hunter World co-op with will need to go to the Quest Counter, select “Join a Quest”, then “Available Quests”, and then select the quest category you chose. They will be able to see all the quest information, as well as your character’s name on the right-hand side, below the map where it says “Members”. Confirming the selection will prompt them to put in the passcode, if you chose one.

Once you and your friends are ready, open the departure window and select “Standby for Depature”. Doing this will launch the quest as soon as it is ready.

How to Co-op an Expedition

Playing an expedition co-op with a friend is probably the least-clear aspect of Monster Hunter: World. There are two ways to go on an expedition with friends in co-op, the first is to use the SOS system and the second is to complete a quest (or other activity). The latter of these two options is the best, as it is guaranteed to deposit all players in an expedition, the only downside being that it requires completing a quest.

Begin by launching an investigation or other type of quest and once the activity is completed, instead of opting to return to Astera, choose to go to a camp. All playes will need to choose this option as anyone who doesn't will be taken back to Astera. Once the timer ticks down to zero, all players who selected to go to the camp will be placed in a co-op expedition. 

monster hunter world SOS flare
Playing an Expedition in co-op is the most difficult aspect of Monster Hunter: World. The SOS Flare is the second-best way to do it.

Alternatively, players can use the in-game SOS flare system to allow friends to join an expedition. When you land at the campsite, open up the Start Menu, navigate to the Quest tab, and select “Fire SOS flare”. This will set off a flare that will notify players you require help. At this point, your friend should go to the closest Quest Board and select “Join a Quest”. In this menu, they will need to select “Respond to SOS” and then set the Quest Type as “Expeditions” to limit the search.

monster hunter world coop expedition
Ideally, you will want to complete an investigation quest with a friend and then select to go to a camp. This will put you in an expedition together.

Monster Hunter World will list every single SOS flare it can see, your friend will need to search through the list and find your name. If your SOS flare doesn’t appear on the list, you may need to try a few different things: do another search for SOS flares, cancel your SOS flare and send it again, or just wait.

monster hunter world coop join request
If the SOS Flare works, and you have manual joining on, you will need to approve your friend's join request.

When your SOS flare appears for your friend (or vice versa), they will need to select it from the list in order to join. If you have Quest Join Settings set to Manual, you will receive a Join Request which you will need to approve. As soon as you approve your friend’s request to join, they will be added to your Expedition. Warning, this method might take between 5 and 10 minutes for your friend’s SOS to appear on the Quest Board. We'll be sure to update this if we discover a more fool-proof method.

TIP: Set the Quest Join Setting to “Manual” so that you don’t have random people joining you. This is found in Systems, Options, Game Settings, Quest Join Settings.

Playing Monster Hunter World co-op with a friend isn’t as straight forward as other games, especially if you want to do an Expedition. The short of it is, if you want to play Monster Hunter World co-op with a friend, first create a Squad, then select the type of quest you want to go on, or even set off an SOS flare, then have your friend search for it using the Quest Board. Hopefully this has solved some of your co-op problems! Be sure to check out our Monster Hunter World Guide for more tips and walkthroughs.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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