So what are Palicos anyways?
Those who played Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate might remember that you had allies who fight alongside you in single player mode. Well, 4 Ultimate is no different, and brings back instead the gloriously adorable Felyne Companions , called Palicos !
Unlike in 3 Ultimate, you can fully customize your first, primary Palico after creating your own character, and name it too! And afterwards once you’ve reached a certain point in the game, you can recruit up to twenty or thirty Palicos!
Palicos will specialize in one of the following tasks: Support, Fighting, Bombing, Protection, Healing, Stealing, or Treasure. Later on you will have access to new kinds of Palicos, Stamina and Launching.
Support Felynes won’t be doing much damage. They’ll instead spend most of their time blowing their horn to heal you for small amounts of health and sometimes even set a trap! Once they’re at a higher level, they’ll be able to detect where monsters are for you. I highly recommend these types of Felynes.
Fighting Felynes will do just that–attack monsters. Some will target small monsters, other large monsters, and others an equal amount of the two. If you want help fighting that big, bad monster, you might want to leave behind that fighter Felyne of yours who only targets the small fry. Make sure to give them the best weapons!
Bombing Felynes will attack by throwing bombs. It might seem handy to have them, but I highly recommend you leave these Felynes out.
If their bombs hit you, you won’t get damaged, but you’ll still get flung back, and this can be particularly aggravating if the monster is knocked over or otherwise vulnerable to attacks that won’t be happening because you just got bombed.
Protection Felynes, like Support Felynes, aren’t really going to be attacking much. Instead they will play their horn to buff the defense of you and your other Palico, if you’re bringing two with you.
Defense buffs, unless incredibly large, are not going to be very noticeable, however. If you want to have the ultimate support combination, bring along one Protection Felyne and one Healing Felyne. I prefer Support Felynes over Protection Felynes.
Healing Felynes are similar to Support and Protection Felynes but they won’t do anything except heal you. They’re much more powerful than the Support Felynes, however.
When they play their melodies, they’ll heal you and increase your maximum health! I highly recommend this kind of Felyne. Their weapon won’t matter, but make sure you give them defensive armor.
Stealing Felynes will attack with Boomerangs and will sometimes steal monster materials right off the monster. While not the best at supporting you or dealing damage, if you are material-starved or you love getting bonus materials, the stealing cat is for you. Rarely, a Stealing Felyne can acquire an incredibly rare material!
Treasure Felynes won’t be attacking much, but they will be incredibly focused on gathering, with skills geared towards speeding up how much and how fast they can gather. They can be very handy when going on harvest tours or gathering quests, but may not be of much use when you’re up against a big, bad monster.
Stamina Felynes are all about supporting you by boosting your ability to use your Stamina. For short periods, their buffs can completely erase stamina depletion!
If you’re using weapons that are very stamina heavy, such as the Dual Blades, then these Felynes will be your very best friends. I highly recommend them. Having several of them as your 1st stringers can give your primary Felyne incredible utility.
Launching Felynes focus on helping you make jumps and then making the monster more vulnerable to mounting.
If you are a user of the Insect Glaive, simply enjoy mounting, or if mounting will make the target monster much easier to handle, consider using a Launching Felyne. If you successfully mount, a Launching Felyne’s cheer might even give you a free increase to the mounting meter!
Palicos have several different stats, and are so highly individualized it can get very confusing very fast. Don’t worry though, this guide will have you the resident Palico expert in no time!
Palicos have three main stats that will grow as they level up through experience (via taking them on quests or training them): Health, Attack, Defense. These can also be affected by weapons and armor.
Next, there’s Enthusiasm . It can range from a low one paw, up to an invigorated five paws! High Enthusiasm means that your Palico will be more excited and do better while questing with you and while going on Palico-exclusive Meownster Hunter quests (check out the “Meownster Hunters!” section for more information).
Keep Enthusiasm high by letting your Palicos rest once in a while.
Depending on the Palico’s forte, there will be a different Team Attack listed. Some, like Purrtuoso are healing-oriented while others like Rath-of-Meow are offensively oriented. Team Attacks can be quite powerful!
Palicos will target small monsters, large monsters, or an equal mix of both. See which one they prefer in the Target section. The three options are Small, Large, Balanced.
Outside of Team Attack, Palicos come equipped with countless different skills that will aid you whether you’re questing or letting your Palicos quest.
You can check out skills by scrolling with the L and R (ZL/ZR) shoulder buttons once you’ve hit up the Palico Board (check out the Palico Management section for how to navigate and use the Palico Board).
Palico skills range from things like Non-Stick Fur , which help Palicos recover quickly from status ailments, to fishing skills like Meowster Fishermyan , which will sometimes increase the rewards you get from the Casting Machine (check out the Fishing with Felynes section for a rundown of the Casting Machine).
To see all the details, press Y while at the Deploy/Train tab of the Palico Board.
Your first Palico will be a bit different than the numerous Palicos you will recruit. Rather than having skills, your first Palico will have Forte Skills which are influenced by other Palicos you have recruited! More details are in the Palico Management section.