Hunting monsters is hard work and shouldn’t be tackled on an empty stomach. Monster Hunter World players need all the help they can get when they out into the wild to track down a beast and, very often, the bonuses earned by consuming a hearty meal can be just the extra boost that is needed.

Anyone who powered through Breath of the Wild or Final Fantasy 15 last year is more than familiar with intricate cooking recipes and the powerful bonuses that accompany them. The basic idea behind those systems are fairly similar to Monster Hunter World’s. For players who need some help getting started with cooking and knowing which meals to eat before heading into the hunt, here’s a crash course…

Players can eat either at camp or at the canteen. Keep in mind that you will almost always want to pay for food with money. Points are far too valuable and used for other important transactions in the game, so always try to stick with cash when shopping at the canteen.

Attack Up

Meals are made up of six ingredients and different combinations of grub lead to different bonuses. For example, a meal with two pieces of meat offers a Attack Up (Small) bonus. Increasing the amount of meat in the meal to four pieces changes that bonus to Attack Up (Medium) and going all the way up to six pieces of meat will offer Attack Up (Large).

Defense Up

Fish, on the other hand, leads to Defense Up bonuses. Two pieces triggers Defense Up (S), four pieces for (M), and six pieces for (L).

Elemental Resistance Up

Veggies will trigger the Elemental Resistance Up bonuses. The bonus stacks in the same pattern as Meat and Fish.

Skills

Skill boosts on the other hand are controlled by the color of ingredient (rather than the type; like fish, meat, or veggie). New skills unlock at two, four, and six matching colors; similarly to the status effects.

Red – Courage

Blue – Resilience

Orange – Vigor

Purple – Health/Poison

Yellow – Artillery

Green – Perception

Gold – Fortune

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Obviously, the correct meal to eat before each battle totally depends on which monster the hunter is preparing to face off against. Weigh the monsters strengths and weaknesses carefully and then craft a meal that will exploit any vulnerabilities.

Which meals are you your favorite to eat before a big hunt?

Be sure to check out our other Monster Hunter World strategy guides for more tips. Happy hunting!

Monster Hunter: World is available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a PC release set for later this year.