Monster Rancher 1 Walkthrough
Monster Rancher is a very unique series in the sense that you can play the game a multitude of ways and none of those ways are incorrect. This walkthrough isn't designed to hold your hand and guide you through this game every single step of the way. Instead, it's designed to give you all the information you need at different parts of the game (beginning, middle and end) to make informed choices.
In addition to the information contained in this guide I also strongly recommend you read the other Monster Rancher 1 guides on my website as they all have useful information for you. This guide will make reference to a lot of information contained in those other guides as well.
Understanding Fatigue and Stress in Monster Rancher 1
Important Stats in Monster Rancher 1
How to Raise A Powerful Monster
All Training Regimens and Schedules that I run
What are the best monsters and why?
What does each item do in Monster Rancher 1?
As far as raising your first monster goes, I recommend focusing mostly on Light Work and raising your stats on him. The most important stat for basically all monsters in this game is Ski which is an abbreviation for Skill; Skill increases your chances of hitting with your attacks. It also typically plays a role in Expeditions and Training too but we'll cover that later in the guide.
Since this is our very first monster focusing almost entirely on Skill isn't such a bad idea. Once this monster gets old enough you'll be Combining him at the Lab with another monster which means some of his stats will carry over. A high Skill stat will mean a lot carries over to our next monster and it will allow us to focus on different stats with the next one. Also, Skill is one of the universally useful stats in this game.
Depending on what monster you're using their attacks will either use Int or Pow to deal damage. If you focus entirely on Pow then combine your monster with another that uses Int... You now have a lot of points into a stat that's useless for you. It's for this reason that I recommend you focus mostly on Skill for your first monster.
When your Skill gets to be an acceptable amount (400+) I'd recommend you focus on Speed next. That's another very useful stat for pretty much every monster in the game. Raising both Skill and Speed will ensure that no matter what type of creature your future monster is you'll benefit from Combining.
Once your monster gets to be about 1 year old your can participate in the E Cup and win some money, you'll want to do the D Cup around 2 years old. You can do these cups sooner if you'd like but your odds of winning will be significantly lower and the chances of your being injured will be a lot higher.
I'd recommend only raising your monster to C rank for the time being at the absolute most. The reason I recommend C rank at the most is because participating in lower ranks decreases your Loyalty and Fame - so if you get to C rank then participate in D ranks you'll lose Loyalty and Fame for doing so. Your goal with the first monster should be to build up some money and upgrade your ranch for the first time.
Pay attention to how old your monster gets too - I recommend you save more often once you get to your 5th year of life incase you aren't paying attention to the cues (or don't know what to look for) and your monster dies on you. Most monsters in this game live to 5 - 7 years old depending on the type of monster they are. You should freeze your monster at the Lab before he dies so that you can use him in a Combine later on -- or use him to unlock a Ghost if his stats are too low to combine.
For your first monster my recommendation would be to get about 20k gold saved up before you freeze him. This will allow us to use items while we raise our second monster which will enable us to make him significantly stronger. In Monster Rancher if you want to maximize how much time you can spend raising stats through Work then you'll need to use items on your monster basically every day.
When it comes to raising your second monster I strongly recommend you use a lot of Taffy to maximize how much Hard Work he can do. If you use Taffy every single week you'll be able to do Hard Work every single week with no breaks allowing you to raise stats very quickly. You'll also want to use Mint Leaf once a month or once every other month so that your monster doesn't become stressed.
The only other important thing is what type of monster you choose to raise. Some monsters are far superior to others in basically every single way. For my opinions on the best monsters in the game I recommend you check out my Best Monsters Guide - you should also check out my How To Raise A Monster Guide for more information than this page provides about raising a powerful monster.
Below you will find some of the same information repeated that I gave above mixed with new information.
Early Game Tips & Tricks:
1. Focus mostly on Rank E and D tournaments for making money
2. Your overall goal in the early game is to make enough money to upgrade your house once or twice and to afford Items for raising your monsters. Being able to raise a monster with Items will make a gigantic difference in how powerful it can become.
3. Once you start winning Rank C tournaments with regularity you'll be able to afford enough items to do Hard Work at least twice a month; this will allow you to raise a monster that's powerful enough to make S Rank and beyond.
4. Sell all of the items you win from tournaments, don't worry about keeping anything at this point in time. Also don't worry about doing tournaments below your rank to make some extra money
Mid Game Tips & Tricks:
1. B and A Rank tournaments can make you a ton of money and are pretty easy to beat without a super powerful monster. Focus on making a lot of money midgame by running as many of these tournaments as possible. It's also recommended you feed Taffy to your monster before and after a tournament to prevent it from getting too Fatigued.
2. In order to win an S Rank tournament you'll need a powerful monster. I recommend you check out my list of Best Monsters for help choosing the right monster. Using an INT based monster like a Ghost or a Pixie will make all the difference in the world when it comes to winning these higher ranked tournaments.
3. Once you beat the S Rank tournament you'll start getting invites to the Big 4 tournaments which are the hardest but also most profitable in the game. Each one of these tournaments is worth 10k Gold.
4. You may want to Freeze your tournament monster(s) if they're starting to get old and Un-Freeze them before a big tournament. Make sure to bring your monster out of hibernation on the invite dates for the Big 4 tournaments if you want to participate in them. Check out Legend Cup's Calendar page for more information about invite dates and tournament dates.
5. Some monsters will require Training to learn new Techniques for battle. It's strongly recommended you save the game before doing the Training and if you don't get the Technique you want (or one at all) reset and run it again. Also, do the Trainings when it's best for you and don't wait for months until it's on discount.
Now that we've got all of that information out of the way, when it comes to mid to late game Monster Rancher 1 you'll mostly be running Expeditions with your monsters. After you get a monster to S rank the amount of money you make from tournaments is insane and you'll probably never have to worry about money again.
Once you get to C Rank and have at least 40 Fame someone by the name of Karn will show up 3 times a year and ask you to participate in an Expedition. This is essentially an adventure that you do with your monster where you have the opportunity to find very rare and unique items. Some of the items you find can be used in the Combine process to unlock rare and powerful monsters and other items can be used to extend your monster's Lifespan!
Expeditions are, for a lack of better words, the end game for this Monster Rancher. Once you beat all of the Big 4 Tournaments and achieve the highest Breeder Rank there really is no point in doing it again. You don't need the money and you will waste a decent chunk of your monster's life making them battle ready.
When it comes to Expeditions some stats like Speed, Life and Defense don't matter at all. The only stats that really matter are Power, Intelligence and Skill. You only need to raise 1 monster with a high Power stat to clear obstacles on Expeditions, once you've cleared all POW obstacles on the 3 Expeditions in this game you never have to worry about raising POW on a monster again.
To find items on Expeditions you'll need high INT and SKI stats; for this reason it's typically best you raise monsters that use Intelligence as their primary form of damage too. Ghosts, Pixies, Galis and monsters like that are the best ones to raise in my opinion. As previously stated you will have to at least get to C Rank on a monster to participate in Expeditions but this is easy enough to do - you'll also get 40 Fame by getting to C Rank so you'll accomplish both prerequisites just raising your rank.
I recommend you check out Legend Cup's Expeditions page for more information about Expeditions and also maps for each of them.
Late Game Tips & Tricks:
1. Always save before doing an Expedition. If your monster gets lost or you don't get the outcome that you want then reload and run the Expedition again.
2. Obstacles that you remove are gone permanently. I strongly recommend raising one monster with 600+ POW and using him to remove all of the POW obstacles on each Expedition. Then you can solely use monsters with high INT and SKI to clear those obstacles and find the best items available to you.
3. You can Freeze a monster with high INT and SKI then Unfreeze him the week before an Expedition. This will allow you to take the same monster on many more Expeditions in its life time than you'd normally be able to do.
4. If you're looking to make money, a single Expedition can bring in significantly more than a whole years worth of Big 4 Tournaments.
This walkthrough for Monster Rancher 1 was pretty short but there isn't too much more I can say than what I have said here. One of the cool things about this game is there are so many different ways to play the game that you can't really write a guide on the "best" way. The most I can do is give you a bunch of advice and guidance on things you should know so that you can make the best decisions possible.
If you still need help or advice when playing this game I strongly recommend you check out my other Monster Rancher 1 Guides, follow the link provided to head back to the index page where you can find all of them.