Beginner Tips And Tricks For Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince

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  • Don’t Wait To Beat The Big Hitters To Scout
  • Don’t Neglect Status Effects

Monster tamer games can be very complex – there are lots of monsters to collect, each with different strengths and weaknesses, and they must all fit into a team of well-balanced monsters. Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince is part of a series known quite well for its relative difficulty.


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While this entry has many quality-of-life upgrades that make it far more accessible than the older games, there’s still a lot to get your head around. Synthesis asks you to make many choices, battles can trounce you if you’re not prepared, and some mechanics aren’t explained all that well.


Don’t Wait To Beat The Big Hitters To Scout

Bernie in a cutscene in Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince feature

Early on in the game, you’ll be told that it’s not worth trying to scout monsters until you beat the ‘big hitter’ of an area. This is only half true.

While you will get a bonus to your scouting chances after beating an area’s big hitter, it’s really not a bad idea to go scouting beforehand. As long as you have a party of decent monsters, you’ll still be able to get some workable chances, hovering around 15-20 percent at the low end to begin with for each new area.

This isn’t even including when you use meat to tempt a monster to your side, which gives you a not-insignificant chance of recruiting the monster at the end of a battle even if scouting fails.

Scouting these monsters early will give you access to new Talents, strong monsters who don’t need to be levelled up, and potentially powerful synthesis options. It’s never worth waiting until the big hitter goes down.

Synthesise In Batches

Hunter Mech creature after synthesis in Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince

It’s very tempting to go scouting, collect a large number of monsters, and then synthesise every single one into a new, more powerful monster with lots of skills. We would recommend that you don’t do this – it’s a better idea to keep a few monsters unsynthesised for now.

This way, you’ll have some powerful monsters that you can use to take on the strongest monsters you can fight, usually those in the most recent area you’ve unlocked. Monsters that are not in your party will still gain some of the experience earned in battle, so you’ll level them up far quicker by being able to take on stronger fights.

Scouting Tips

Terrestria Plains in Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince

As scouting is a crucial mechanic that you’ll want to engage with, you’ll want to know how to make it as effective as it can be.

The amount that a monster adds to the percentage chance when an enemy is scouted appears to be based on two factors, the monster’s Attack stat and its level. This makes hard hitters particularly good for scouting but means that Wisdom-focused monsters aren’t useless.

This means that means of artificially and temporarily increasing a monster’s Attack stat will also increase how effective a scout they are. Try any of the following:

  • Lowering your target’s Defence with moves like Sap or Helm Splitter.
  • Raising your monster’s Attack with moves like Oomph or Oomphle.

You can also use items that simulate these moves, but be wary that you cannot scout on the same turn that you use an item.

Another way to improve your scouting success rate is to lower your target’s health before you try to scout it. While the difference this makes isn’t massive and you run the risk of killing the monster before you can attempt to recruit it, it’s worth trying for those more difficult enemies.

Upgrade Your Talents

Monsters battling in Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince.

The main way to gather new abilities in this game is to scout and synthesise new monsters that naturally come with the Talents that contain them. Many of these Talents can be upgraded when it comes time to synthesise the monsters that have them.

These upgraded Talents will grant access to more powerful abilities and stat gains, usually very similar ones to those in the original tree. The elemental ‘Afficionado’ Talents, for example, can all be upgraded into respective ‘Virtuoso’ Talents, which grant the stronger versions of those elemental moves (Crag to Kacrag, for example).

When a Talent is upgraded, the new Talent does not replace the old Talent, it simply becomes an extra possible option in the synthesis process.

To upgrade a Talent during synthesis, you’ll have to pass down the equivalent of a filled-out Talent to a new monster. There are two ways to do this:

  • The simple way is to simply max out the Talent on one monster.
  • An alternative is to have that Talent on both monsters you intend to synthesise, and make sure that their combined skill point total in that Talent exceeds the number of points it would take to max out the Talent.

For example, Firespirits and Lamplings both have the Frizz Afficionado Talent. The Frizz Afficionado Talent requires 100 skill points to complete.

If you were to fuse the two together and each had 50 points in the skill, the resulting monster would be able to inherit not only Frizz Afficionado, but Frizz Virtuoso.

It’s a very good idea to start upgrading your Talents as soon as it’s viable to do so – the upgraded Talents provide powerful moves that can very easily carry you through the first third to the first half of the game. Particularly good Talents to upgrade are the Crag Afficionado, Sizz Afficionado, and Attack Booster Talents.

Not all Talents can be upgraded.

Don’t Neglect Status Effects

A Hunter Mech with an attack buff in Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince

If you play a lot of RPGs, you may be suspicious of this one – oftentimes, status effects aren’t that useful and bosses will end up being immune to them anyway. This is not the case in Dragon Quest Monsters.

A high-Wisdom monster with a host of useful status effects to inflict or bestow is very useful to have in the later parts of the game. Stat adjustments provide a significant difference, poison racks up damage very quickly over a few rounds, and silence can destroy an annoying enemy’s strategy. The list goes on.

The important thing to know when using status effects on an enemy is that the game is handy enough to tell you what your relative chances of success are.

When attempting to use such an ability, a word will show up under the enemy’s portrait at the top of the screen, denoting whether or not the enemy is weak, strong, or immune to the status (or element) you’re trying to use.

A good strategy for tougher fights is to have a buffer/debuffer monster in your party to begin with, spend a few rounds spreading around the status effects you want to use, and then switching them out for a monster that can deal damage once their job is complete.

Play Online

Fizzy explains the Online Gateway in Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince.

You’ll unlock the ability to play online very early on in the game. While fighting in ranked matches is likely to stay a lategame/postgame activity thanks to how powerful players can get, the Quickfire Contest is another thing entirely.

Quickfire Contests set your team up against a random selection of other players’ teams. You’ll lose most of these fights, but if you’re lucky, you’ll win some, too. No matter how well you do, though, you’ll get some goodies at the end of the gauntlet.

It doesn’t take long, you get some stat-increasing seeds, and you can do it once per day. There’s no downside. It doesn’t even require a Nintendo subscription!

Still Need To Unlock Synthesis?

Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince – How To Unlock Synthesis

You’ll need to do some legwork before you can unlock monster fusion in DQM: The Dark Prince.

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