Monster Hunter AR game sees players team up with friends in everyday life

Monster hunter fighting a dragon in the street
(Image credit: Niantic Lab)

Capcom and Niantic have teamed up to bring fans of the Monster Hunter series a new AR game. Monster Hunter Now is set to release in September 2023, so we don’t have long to wait before seeing all the menacing beasts in our everyday lives. 

The collaboration between these two gaming giants began four years ago, and since then, a ton of time and effort has gone into ensuring that Monster Hunter Now gets the star treatment. In an interview Kei Kawai, chief product officer for Niantic, says, “we worked closely with Capcom to respect the legacy of Monster Hunter while creating a great experience for new players”. 

For those itching to get their hands on this highly-anticipated AR action game, then be sure to sign up for the open beta, which is scheduled for April 25, 2023. But until then, there’s plenty to get excited about. 

Real-life monsters 

Riding a palamute

(Image credit: Capcom)

The greatest draw of Monster Hunter Now seems to be enjoying the thrilling fights of Monster Hunter Rise in your everyday life. You can either team up with friends and strangers or play by yourself to hunt and capture monsters lurking around cities and towns. 

As you walk around, you’ll be able to find new monsters, depending on your biome, and either fight them where you stand or use the helpful paintball feature to drag the beasts back to your home and finish them off there. 

The fights themselves also look intuitive and simple yet exciting. Instead of using virtual buttons, fighting moves will be performed by a range of press, hold, and flick motions, not unlike Pokémon Go. Sakae Osumi, senior producer for Monster Hunter Now, says, “we have intentionally avoided using virtual buttons, so attacking is intuitive and engaging”. 

Bigger than pocket monsters  

Battling a nasty monster

(Image credit: Capcom)

The obvious comparison fans can make will be between Monster Hunter Now and Pokémon Go. Not only are these two AR games based around monsters of a sort, but they are also produced by the same studio, Niantic. 

While it will be hard to say whether Monster Hunter Now will be able to outmatch Pokémon Go in popularity and longevity, the team behind this next installment in the long-running series does hope that Monster Hunter Now will be a long-lasting title. “I don’t want to speculate, but I strongly believe we have a hit in our hands”, Kawai says. 

Here’s hoping Kawai is correct and that Monster Hunter Now receives a welcoming response. Because if this is the case, then there’s no telling what we may see from this action AR game down the line. 

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.