Monster Hunter World - How to Trap a Monster

Learn how to hunt, trap, and capture a monster in Monster Hunter World.


A lot of new hunters are joining the good fight in Monster Hunter: World and all of them are eager to venture out into the Ancient Forest (and beyond) and capture their first monster. Capturing a large monster in Monster Hunter: World can be a bit challenging for players just joining the series, but by knowing what to look for, every hunt can end in a successful capture.

How Monsters Behave

Knowing how a monster behaves is the first step in knowing how to successfully capture a monster. In Monster Hunter: World, monsters are a whole different kettle of fish compared to bosses in other games. One of the major differences players will need to become acquainted with is that these monsters do not display a health bar and won’t endlessly attack players until one or the other is dead. In saying that, there are plenty of giant monsters that will absolutely one-shot any player that isn't careful.

Despite its impressive size, even the Diablos can be captured in a Shock Trap or Pitfall Trap.

During a hunt, monsters will move between set locations, attack when provoked, and otherwise behave as one would expect an animal to behave. After the player deals a considerable amount of damage to a monster, it will run away to a new location, forcing the player to give chase. Once the monster has received a critical amount of damage, its movements will change and it will limp whenever it tries to flee. This is the main sign a monster is ready to be captured. The limping monster will make its way back to its nest or home, and then go to sleep. When the monster begins to sleep, it will begin regenerating health, so it's a good idea to either capture it immediately or continue to deal damage to prevent it from recovering too much health.

Another important sign of whether a monster is ready to be captured is a very obvious skull icon on the mini-map. Sometimes players will deal too much damage to a monster too quickly, and instead of limping away, a skull icon will begin flashing beside the monster icon on the radar. At this point, any more damage dealt has a good chance of killing the monster, voiding any attempt at capture. 

The last sign a monster is ready to be trapped is its heartrate. Down the bottom left of the screen, beside the mini-map, is the heart rate of the monster. During combat, the monster's heart rate will be accelerated but as it gets tired, and draws closer to death, it will begin to lower and almost flatline. If the monster isn't limping (it's already reached its last location or has recovered), watch the heart rate. Sometimes a monster will show all three signs that it's ready to be captured, sometimes it will only show one. It's up to the player to use all available information to accurately predict when it can be captured.

It's worth noting that all elder dragons cannot be captured, meaning whenenver players need to hunt one, the only option is to slay it.

How to Capture a Monster

Now that a monster's behaviour can be accurately read, players will need to actually lay down a trap and capture the monster. The way to capture a monster is to placet a trap, get the monster to walk into it, and then throw two Tranq Bombs at its face. A monster will only ever need two Tranq Bombs to go to sleep and be captured, unless it wasn't ready to be captured in the first place.

  1. Damage a monster until it begins to limp, has a skull icon on the radar, or its heart rate flatlines
  2. Place a Shock Trap, Pitfall Trap, or Flashfly Cage trap below the monster or in its path
  3. When the monster gets caught in the trap, throw two Tranq Bombs at its face
  4. Provided the monster was ready to be trapped, it will be successfully captured

Before any hunt, players should take a moment to stock up on the supplies they'll need to capture a monster. Shock Traps and Pitfall Traps are an essential, and because only one of each can be carried at a time, it's a good idea to bring both. Players can also bring along two extra Trap Tools to make an extra trap in case the first two fail (perhaps the monster avoided the trap or it wasn't ready to be captured). Players might also consider bringing a fully-upgraded Flashfly Cage Palico gadget to a hunt, which will allow them to place a trap for free. Another valuable resource is the Tranq Bomb, or a Tranq ammo-type for those using ranged weapons. Bringing 8 along for the hunt should be enough, but if not, bring along the necessary materials to craft more. Finally, players should always remember to check the item box when they land at a campsite for a hunt. Sometimes, the item box will have free, quest-only traps and tranquillizers that can be used in place of their own.

A good example of capturing a monster is the Great Jagras, one of the first monsters players will be tasked with capturing. Players should begin attacking the Great Jagras, paying special attention to it as it moves around. When it flees to the next location, watch it walk away, this will be the reference point for whether or not it is limping. First-time players might find it difficult to tell when a monster begins limping, so the trick is to try and memorize what it looks like normally when it moves.

Once the monster begins limping, get into a position where the Shock Trap (or Pitfall Trap) will be directly in its path. It's sometimes worth waiting until it reaches its destintion before placing it, as the traps can take a few seconds to activate. As soon as the monster sets off the trap, immediately run to its head and throw two Tranq Bombs directly at/under its face. This is the most important part because if the Tranq Bombs aren't thrown at its face, or if it wasn't ready to be captured, the monster will free itself and begin attacking the player.

So long as the monster had been limping, had a low heart rate, or the skull icon was showing, and it was caught in the trap and the necessary amount of Tranq Bombs hit its face, the monster should be captured. It might not go perfectly the first couple of times, which is why the capture Investigations allow for a couple of attempts. In the event you lose all attempts, don’t fret, as these sorts of mini-quests pop up all the time.

Head over to our Monster Hunter: World Guide for more tips and explanations of the many systems and features in the game.

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 message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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