In Monster Hunter World Palicos are your feline hunting companions that will accompany you throughout your adventure when playing solo or in a two-player game.
They can offering offensive and defensive assistance in battle, and will also occasionally gather items while you’re out in the field. Like your character, it’s possible to upgrade them and kit them out with new abilities – though it’ll take some unlocking – as well as the ability to recruit second Palicos temporarily, known as Tailraiders.
Elsewhere, our Monster Hunter World tips can help you decide when to farm, what to forage and what to do between hunts, and our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide can help with main quest and story progress.
On this page:
How to Palicos and Tailraiders work in Monster Hunter World?
Palicos are far simpler to use in Monster Hunter World than in earlier series games. Previously, you’d have a main companion Palico and an entire squadron of other cats to train and upgrade.
In Monster Hunter World, though, you’re limited to just one – the one you customise at the start of the game – and much of its levelling and upgrading is done automatically.
Note you can disable (and later re-enable) your Palico if you’re rather go it entirely alone. Use the ‘Palico Status’ option displayed when speaking to it in your room at base or inside a tent at a campsite while out on an expedition or quest.
Also, when you play online with more then two people in a hunt, Palicos will be subbed out for additional players.
What are Tailraiders?
While you can can only take one Palico out on a quest or expedition, it’s possible to temporarily bolster your numbers during solo play by enlisting Palicos and other other wild cats, known as Grimalkynes, found in the field. It’s even possible to enlist the help of small wild animals later on.
Grimalkynes each have specialised abilities, such as trap deployment, and will unlock for temporary employment once you’ve found the Grimalkynes settlement (and completed a connected task) in each area.
Our Grimalkynes and Doodles page goes into more depth on how to recruit the different varieties available.
Additionally, each time you unlock a new Grimlakyne settlement, your Palico will gain access to a new gadget and learn the ability to converse with – and eventually recruit – small animals such as the Jagras for battle.
Once you are done, in order to enlist another cat, simply approach it and wait for your Palico to engage it in conversation. It’s worth doing this during hunts to give you an extra edge in battle.
Palicos in the field are pulled from an in-game pool, and sometimes from friends and hunters you’ve exchanged Guild Cards with.
Palico armour and Palico upgrades explained
Although basic levelling and upgrading of your Palico is now automatic in Monster Hunter World, and happens immediately after successfully completing a quest or expedition, you do have at least some control over the basic progression and functionality of your Palico.
Palico level benefits
Like your Hunter Rank, the more quests and activities you complete the higher your Palico’s level increases.
Palico armour and Palico weapons
You can change a Palico’s armour and primary weapon, and construct new equipment at the Smithy. As with your own armour, each equipment piece imbues your Palico with different strengths and weaknesses – adjusting core defence, for instance, or increasing or decreasing its immunity to fire, water, electricity, ice, and dragon elemental attacks.
Palico weapons and armour have notable limitations compared to your own, however:
- For example, Palico outfits only come in two pieces – helms and chests.
- Weapons behave a little differently too. Despite their wide variety of fancy names (Space, Hammer, Arrow, Lute, Bow, Mace, etc), each is essentially a basic melee weapon with two sub-categories: blunt or severing. Additionally, each weapon has two core stats: an attack damage value, and sometimes an elemental damage value.
- Unlike your own equipment, Palico weapons and armour cannot be upgraded. Instead, the only way to adjust and improve your companion’s equipment stats is to craft new items. Like your own. Palico weapons and armour require materials to craft, with tougher monsters and rarer materials invariably making better armour.
- Palico equipment also costs a number of Research Points to craft, rather than the money used to make your own. Research Points are accrued by completing research activities throughout the game – be that completing specific quests or investigating monster detritus out in the field – so it’s vital your pay your scientific dues.
Palico status boosts
Palicos, like hunters, can also gain a temporary stat boosts by eating a meal at the canteen, prior to embarking on a quest or expedition.
Each available meal can imbue different effects on your Palico, meaning that it’s worth taking time to investigate your options and pick the most appropriate boost for the task ahead.
Looking for more Monster Hunter World tips? Our Monster Hunter World walkthrough and guide explains how things piece together, how Expeditions and Investigations work, as well as pages on challenging monsters such as Anjanath, Pukei-Pukei, Zorah Magdaros, Paolumu, Legiana, Diablos, Rathalos and Odogaron. We can also explain how to join friends and Squads in multiplayer, how to capture monsters, find Grimalkynes and explain Doodles including the Plunderblade and other Palico Gadget upgrades, Monster Bone locations and Ore locations, what you need to know about the Aloy and Watcher Lens Horizon Zero Dawn event quest, and provide a weapon types list to decide the best weapon for you.
How to unlock new Palico Gadgets
Arguably the most important customisable element of your Palico is its gadget type. Gadgets can be equipped in your room or in a campsite tent, and are essentially specialised support skills, used in combat in conjunction with a Palico’s weapon.
There are six gadget types in Monster Hunter World – Vigorwasp Spray, Flashfly Cage, Coral Orchestra, Shieldspire, Plunderblade, and Meowlotov Cocktail – and each offers distinct benefits that can have a dramatic impact on your success in battle.
However, at the start of the game, you’ll only have access to the Vigorwasp Spray. To unlock additional gadgets, you’ll need to locate the Grimlakyne settlement in each area, and complete the connected quest.
Our Grimalkynes and Doodles page breaks down the specific steps on how to get these.
|Ancient Forest||Bugtrapper||Flashfly Cage||Jagras|
|Coral Highland||Trooper||Coral Orchestra||Shamos|
To acquire the Meowlotov Cocktail, you’ll first need to unlock all five other gadgets, and reach the Elder’s Recess. With that done, speak to the Lyrian Researcher in Astera to begin the relevant quest.
Palico Gadgets explained in detail:
- Vigorwasp Spray – Equip a Palico with Vigorwasp Spray and it will intermittently detonate a vitality bug near you or your team, immediately replenishing a hunter’s health.
- Flashfly Cage – can be struck to cause a burst of light, temporarily stunning your target.
- Shieldspire are shields fashioned to resemble a face, and will aggro a monster when used. The shield can also protect your Palico from harm.
- Coral Orchestra functions much like a hunting horn, and can grant boosts to your attack, defence, and so on.
- Plunderblade lets your Palico carve off additional monster parts – even rare ones – from a down creature, beyond your usual limit.
- Meowlotov Cocktail is a throwable area-of-effect fire bomb.
How to upgrade Palico Gadgets
Palico Gadgets are upgraded automatically through use, and currently equipped gadgets will see their Proficiency stat increase at the end of a quest. The higher a gadget’s Proficiency, the more effective it is, and the more functionality it can gain.
An upgraded Vigorwasp Spray, for instance, can heal more health, while a higher Proficiency Flashfly Cage can stun a monster for longer. A high level Plunderblade can carve more, better, quality parts, and an upgraded Meowlotov Cocktail features a wider blast radius and can do increased damage.