Don’t you want to be the very best that no one ever was?
Don’t you want to travel across the land, to search far and wide? We know it’s your destiny. After all, you are related to the great imperial champion Hector Finnegan. Some see him as a champion, others as a villain, for some reason.
Other than being such a great Monster Trainer, not much is known about your uncle Hector, especially by you. Only those who have seen him truly in action or have encountered him in battle consider him to be one of the greatest Monster Trainers all across the country. In fact, the Finnegan name has spread so far that people believe that your reputation precedes you as a member of such a renowned clan.
Now that your uncle has possibly retired, it’s your turn to take up the mantle of carrying the Finnegan name through combat. However, you have some big shoes to fill since your uncle Hector has indeed left quite a mark on the country. His legacy is something of legend and you’re only starting out as a competitor in the rookie league. Will you fight or will you falter in the road to victory in Neo Monsters?
By the same folks who brought you Evertale, ZigZaGames’ Neo Monsters is a Pokemon-esque game that features a plethora of monsters (we’re talking in the thousands, dear reader!) for you to battle, capture, and raise. Following the footsteps of the great Hector Finnegan, you’re off on a journey of hardship and trials whilst building friendship and trust with your monsters.
However, not everything is as it seems—was your uncle truly the man he made himself out to be or is there something more to his victories? Are you ready to embark on a grand adventure of pocket-sized proportions? Have you just picked this game up? Did you want to play a game similar to Pokemon but isn’t exactly Pokemon? Read on and we’ll show you the road to victory!
What is Neo Monsters?
Neo Monsters follows in the footsteps of the similar and ever-popular Pokemon franchise wherein players would roam various maps and build a team of creatures that each complement each other in some way. Though, while the game itself shares many similarities to Pokemon, the way that the game is played actually mirrors the classic Monster Rancher franchise instead.
Design-wise, however, many of the monsters, especially the rarer ones, closely resemble Digimon given their rather humanoid proportions and appearance. Thus players who have enjoyed the aforementioned titles before, regardless whether they’ve watched the anime, read the manga, or played the series, they may find themselves right at home in Neo Monsters. With regards to the Monster Rancher comparison, we believe that we owe some of you a brief explanation.
Much like the franchise it borrowed some of its ideas from, Neo Monsters has you training, exploring, and fighting with a team of your monsters. The game has you following in the footsteps of the great Hector Finnegan—a legendary trainer and, apparently, your uncle.
While he is hailed mostly as a hero across the empire, some say that his status of champion is quite controversial since he is rumored to have committed grievous crimes despite his reputation. Now, as a member of his kin, and possibly a successor to his legacy, bearing the Finnegan name alone is a monumental task since you’re both seen as hero and villain. The pressure is on, and some people want to see you succeed while some are looking forward to your inevitable downfall.
At the very beginning, you’ll have to choose a starter among 4 monsters:
- Wolfro, Master of Water
- Redkid, Master of Fire
- Galvit, Master of Storm
- Viridino, Master of Earth
Choosing any of these monsters makes no difference, but we guarantee that each of them become exponentially powerful as the game progresses. They’ll go through several evolutions and obtain all sorts of extraordinary skills and abilities. Take good care of them once you’ve made your choice! Though, there are ways you can unlock the other starters as you play the game. We’ll leave you to explore that one for yourself.
The main part of the game requires you to play through the League Tryouts which will have you explore a map whilst battling both wild monsters and trainers who you are likely to encounter in the League Tournament.
Each Tryout will be set on a specific island that has its own species of monsters—some rarer and more powerful than others. However, there are rarer monsters that lurk within the ruins of certain areas in the map which we’ll talk about later. The goal of the Tryouts is to defeat all the trainers present to unlock the League Tournament for you to participate in.
The League Tournament will situate you in a series of battles that will have you fight some of the trainers you’ve faced during the tryouts. Some of these trainers are slightly more powerful than they were during the Tryouts, so be prepared to kick butt harder than you did earlier.
After completing a League, you will go up a rank and you’ll progress the story. Other than that, you will also gain more slots for your team, therefore allowing you to bring more monsters with you to battle.
This is the basic means of progression in Neo Monsters. But don’t be fooled by the simple gameplay. Just like the story about your uncle Hector, there’s plenty more to it than it seems. If you’re just starting out on this exciting journey in a world full of thousands (yes, there are thousands) of monsters for you to capture, collect, train, and fight with, then read our beginner’s guide below!
So how does a fight in Neo Monsters work?
In traditional monster vs monster type of game (like the older titles we’ve mentioned earlier), the player would often have to pit one monster against the opponent’s monster. Once the battle has started, commonly, each side will take turns picking their attacks and performing them.
Other games will simply have the two monsters in an arena wherein the player will direct their monster with which attacks they’ll execute. This type of gameplay is also common in mobile games like Dragon Tamer.
In Neo Monsters, it’s a team vs team type of battle. When a battle commences, your team will be shown at the bottom of the screen while your opponent’s party will be on the section directly above. In the very middle of the screen is a horizontal line that dictates the order of the turns of each monster.
As you’ll notice very quickly, the turns of each monster is denoted by the number of seconds remaining as opposed to their speed stat. We’ll discuss the time mechanic later. Performing an attack will land that monster to the back of the order.
Each team will take turns defeating each other’s monsters. Defeated monsters can be replaced by reinforcements in their team, however, if either party runs out of monsters they are considered defeated. A party’s reinforcements can be seen on the upper left portion of their team section (for your party), and the upper right portion of their team section (the opposing party).
There’s plenty more to just commanding your monsters to execute any attack. Read on!
To Become a Neo Monsters Champion
The basics of becoming a great trainer in Neo Monsters is perseverance, dedication, and sweat—but mostly your sweat. As simplistic as the game looks, Neo Monsters is chock full of surprising mechanics that can throw any player off guard when they haven’t thought their moves through. Read on below and build your career on these basic principles!
1. Explore Each Island Fully
To become a champion in the world of Neo Monsters, one must open their heart and mind to exploration.
Exploration can come in many forms—accepting new ideas, being open to change, pushing certain monsters in order to reach their full potentials, etc. Of course, exploration in itself could mean physically exploring an island.
What we mean exactly is that during the League Tryouts, don’t just rush toward the first opponent you find on the map. In case you aren’t sure of where you’re going, you may tap the Map button on the upper-left corner of the screen. The location of each of the next trainers will be displayed.
Trainers aside, a good reason for you to explore an island is because you always have the chance to encounter packs of rogue monsters which you can fight to earn Training Points or TP (these are very important, and we’ll talk about them later in this guide).
Otherwise, this is also an opportunity for you to understand the difficulty at which you might be at in the game. Later islands will naturally be more difficult than the early ones, but the better part about this is that they each have their own slew of monsters. This means you can only capture specific monsters in only some of the different islands.
If you feel as though your team has incurred a lot of damage, don’t hesitate to bring them back home. It’s better to explore with a healthy team than an injured one since you’ll never know if you’ll encounter an unwinnable battle. Suffering a defeat will send you back home and any monster you’ve captured with you upon your defeat will be released. Ouch!
That said, there are different monsters that you should capture and raise. This is how the game is played, after all!
2. Seek and Capture Rare Monsters
You know what they say about rare monsters—they’re often quite strong!
There are rare monsters in certain places in Neo Monsters. These rare monsters often contain Stars which denote their potential. That said, your starter’s potentials are all quite large, allowing them to become as powerful as legendary monsters, but we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.
Before we discuss where you can find rare monsters, let’s first discuss how you can capture a monster. The best way to do so is to weaken them considerably. Bring their health bar down to an extremely low amount (without killing them, that will forfeit your chances of capturing them) and then hitting the Capture button located in the middle-right of the screen.
Lower amounts of health will increase the likelihood of you capturing the monster. While some monsters are more powerful than others thanks to their elemental advantages, we highly advise you to be careful—a simple attack could become a killing blow! You may otherwise try whittling at a monster’s health with those who are at an elemental disadvantage.
Now that we’ve tackled the basics of capturing a monster, finding rare monsters is not as difficult. Tying this bullet into the first one above, it really pays to explore a map. Occasionally, you’ll find a prompt on the upper right corner of the screen signaling you if a rare monster is nearby. Once it’s present, don’t hesitate to wander around the area.
If your next encounter isn’t the rare monster, try again! Be warned that some rare monsters are more powerful than regular monsters. You might be in for a challenge. Just remember that monsters with more stars on them means that they have higher potential. This means that they can become really strong later on.
A more effective way to find an even more powerful rare monster is by finding dungeons on the Map. Locations that have the “Rare” indicator on them will tell you that these dungeons have rare monsters in them. While this may seem much easier than the method mentioned in the paragraph above, this isn’t the case since these rare monsters in particular are actually treated as bosses more than anything.
These dungeons are tiny, so finding the rare monster is at the very end of it, past the healing circle. Upon encountering them, you’ll find a team of rare monsters, allotting you the chance to capture at least one of them.
Defeating any one of the rare monsters on that team will summon a boss monster—an evolved version of the rare monster available for capturing. This boss monster cannot be captured, but they will certainly pose a grave threat to your team if you aren’t prepared. Good luck!
Conversely, if you’ve amassed a total of 40 Gems whilst playing the game, you will be able to draw for a batch of 10 Golden Eggs—each of which will contain powerful monsters. To access this, you need to simply just tap the Hatch button in the main menu and then tap the left arrow button to find the Gem banners.
Be sure to pick a banner that you like since each banner only has its own pool of monsters. Those of extremely rare tiers only appear in certain banners, so choose wisely! That said, save those Gems and pray to the RNG gods for a miracle!
If you feel like you’d like to have an edge in your combat strategy, try exploiting the power of the elements!
3. Master Elemental Weaknesses and Strengths
You’ve been there before, maybe!
Similar to how elemental affinities work in Dragon Tamer or Pokemon-esque games, each element has advantages and disadvantages. If you’ve never played Dragon Tamer before, then perhaps games like RAID: Shadow Legends is something you’ve also come across wherein the affinities of a character counter that of others and vice versa. Neo Monsters is not short of this form of elemental rock-paper-scissors, and it’s gonna be a pretty fun ride.
While as not as simplistic as the aforementioned RAID and not as complex as the immensely popular Fate: Grand Order or, Neo Monsters’ inspiration, Pokemon, Neo Monsters offers its player a rather easy to understand elemental system:
- Fire — Most monsters that are red are considered members of the Fire element. These guys are strong against Earth monsters but weak against Water monsters.
- Water — Monsters with bluish hues are often categorized as members of the Water element. Water monsters are strong against Fire monsters but weak against Storm monsters.
- Earth — Greenish monsters are mostly members of the Earth element. Monsters under this element excel against Storm monsters but suffer from monsters of the Fire element.
- Storm — Monsters that usually have yellow colors on their body are classified under the Storm element. Any member here can easily dispatch monsters of the Water element, but can be defeated by Earth monsters.
- Holy — White monsters or any monster with white shades often fall under the Holy element. Unlike the first four elements, the monsters under this element only directly counter those of the Shadow element.
- Shadow — Monsters that have darker colors on their being are usually considered members of the Shadow element. This element directly counters the Holy element only, scoring average damage to members of the first four elements.
Notice how we didn’t point out how monsters would absolutely follow a code in appearance. This is because some monsters may appear as others but actually are of a different element. For example, the Ninjagust – Ninjagale – Ninjastorm evolution tree would fool any newbie monster trainer into thinking that they’re members of the Water element.
On the contrary, and thanks to their names alluding to violent weather, these monsters actually have the Storm affinity. If you aren’t sure of which element some monsters fall under, decipher their names and you won’t go wrong… mostly! Of course, we won’t cover the rarer, more powerful monsters that you can only get later on. Names like Novemdomina and Voidress have unlikely elements tied to them, so watch out!
Having monsters with elements that overpower their counterparts is advantageous in battle. However, this isn’t always the case since you are likely to encounter a team with monsters of varying elements. That’s why it helps to…
4. Build a Diverse Team
There are many ways you can build a team.
Surely, you can choose to cram in all of your most powerful monsters into one team regardless of their element, right? Such a team can become a force to be reckoned with, but you’ll quickly notice that your Team Cost will be too high. What on earth is happening, really? Let us explain.
While it would seem at first that you can deploy almost any monster at your disposal, there is a cost to your team’s power overall. For instance, stronger, rarer monsters would have higher costs than others and that’s simply because they are strong enough to not need any backup. Having a team over the Team Cost won’t allow you to go to battle with them. But without your strongest monsters, how is your team going to work, exactly? This is where building a diverse team comes in.
As we’ve stated earlier, the first thing that should come to mind when building a diverse team is to have monsters of differing elements. This should open up an advantage if you’re at least facing an enemy with monsters with randomized elements.
One marker of elements that you need should be your starter—depending on what element they have, you will need to fill in other elements to make your team more versatile. For example, you’ve chosen Wolfro as your starter, a Water element monster.
You will need to get a Fire type, an Earth type (though, you might be given a Shrubtooth early on), a Storm type (which comes in the form of a Zapcat that you’ll catch soon after), a Light type and a Shadow type. Eventually, you’ll unlock all the other slots in your team as you play through the game’s main story.
Your team’s maximum number of members is 16 and the reason behind that is because you can only have a total of 4 active monsters on the field at once. This is usually the first four monsters in your lineup. The other monsters are reinforcements that will jump in to help the team when any of their friends fall in battle. If any one side is all out of monsters, the battle’s over! Having some powerful monsters in your team rather than a full team of weak ones could play more advantageously in your favor.
Another way you can build your team is to build it around the way that each monster plays. Let’s talk about special attacks!
5. Work with Special Attacks
Special attacks—unpredictably powerful or powerfully unpredictable?
You’ll notice that some elemental standard attacks are present: Flame, Stone, Bolt, Splash, Lux, and Blight. These may appear stronger (or weaker) when given suffixes like Mini, Mega, or Giga. They’re all quite impressive, especially when they start attacking all enemies on the opposing team, but what about those that don’t appear elemental at all? We’re talking about the likes of Timestrike, Bloodcrave, Survivor, Last Stand, and the like. These are what you might call special attacks.
These attacks exist to become extremely powerful or effective when certain conditions in battle are fulfilled. Let’s take Bloodcrave, for example. When used plainly, Bloodcrave will not have any special effects during the battle.
However, if the monster that owns Bloodcrave has scored any kills during the round, using Bloodcrave on an enemy may inflict critical damage, in some cases, allowing it to instantaneously kill any new monster that pops up.
This can be done repeatedly, however, it won’t work if the monster has the passive skill called Hold Ground wherein they’ll retain at least 1HP in their health pool regardless of how much damage they received from a single attack.
Passive skills work greatly in any situation as well. Some monsters have passive skills such as Revenge Skills (e.g. Poison Revenge, Stun Revenge, etc.), Auto Protect, or Stunning Entrance. Revenge Skills only activate when the monster that bears them is defeated, but let’s talk about the Auto Protect passive skill.
This grants any monster bearing it the high chance of blocking an attack meant for another monster. For instance, if your monster has the Auto Protect passive, there is a high chance that any attacks that are sent to other members of its team are directed towards the monster with the Auto Protect. However, this skill cannot protect others from attacks that hit all members of your team.
If you’re unsure of the capabilities of certain monsters, you may also try paying a visit to the Monsterdex. The Monsterdex is where all the data of the monsters you’ve encountered and captured are recorded. If you happen to see a monster at its final evolution, you will notice that it will have the Analyze Button activated. This button is rather nifty since it tells you what the monster can do for your team. If you can study this, you might even be able to get ahead of your other opponents.
That said, because we mentioned Auto Protect and Protectors in general, we highly recommend that you…
6. Get a Protector Killer
Those pesky, pesky protectors!
You think you’ve got the killing blow for one monster, but another monster just happens to block it! And even worse—the monster protecting its buddies is just as tanky as they look with a naturally high defense. What should you do? The best way you can counter any protector is to have a monster with the Protector Killer attack on your team. Thankfully, there are a few good ones that are easy to find.
Plainly speaking, the Protector Killer will deal critical damage to any monster with Protect skills or defensive moves. This means that any target monster with abilities like Auto Protect, Auto Protect Plus, Protect Teammates, Protect Focus, Stealth Teammates will take a great deal of damage from this particular attack. This attack will certainly come in handy since many monsters have defensive moves and sometimes, your monster with the Protector Killer might just be the one to clinch victory for your team.
“But where can you get Protector Killer?”, you might ask. In the beginning of the game, you may be asked to draw a couple of Gold Eggs. If you’re lucky, you might get the Flameclops which has a Protector Killer. If you didn’t get this monster, then there will be another chance.
When you start exploring the Central Island, there is a temple in the forest somewhere that has the rare Catoblepup monster. Capturing this one will net you a solid Protector Killer that’s easy to train. Not to mention, it’s got some really good speed on it.
Once it evolves into a Catobledus, it will become even more powerful. If the Catoblepup is a little too difficult for you to capture at first, then you might want to try the Smokepup instead which can be found in the Central Island as well.
This monster’s another early Protector Killer that you can gain and it has two more evolutionary forms as opposed to the Catoblepup’s single evolution. On the very west side of the map is a thin bridge. Right across, on any of the grassy tiles, you may encounter a Smokepup. Good luck!
There’s one more thing we need to address in terms of battle, and it’s one of the most important things, too.
7. Understand the Time System
Turn-based combat is a system that’s existed for as long as RPGs have.
Certain stats like speed would often determine the order of which a character goes in battle. While that happens here in Neo Monsters as well, there’s another factor that needs to be understood while combat is ongoing—its unique time system.
As opposed to simply following the monsters’ speed stats, combat in Neo Monsters instead follows the flow and timing of whenever a monster has performed an attack. Strong attacks would often have longer waiting times whereas weaker attacks are much shorter. This can be taken advantage of in certain situations in battle.
For example, using attacks that attack all enemies would often take a long time for your monster to be able to perform their next move. But some attacks that hit singular targets may cause the monster to perform their next move sooner than those that hit all monsters on the enemy team. There are, however, certain attacks that can take advantage of the game’s time system, and they’re called Timestrike and Faststrike.
Timestrike is a powerful skill that allows its user to inflict critical strike on opponents that have a lot of seconds on them. To further elaborate, if the opposing monster had just used an attack with a lengthy waiting time, a monster using Timestrike can easily eliminate that slowed-down monster.
This can further be abused if the other monster has been stunned since stunned monsters generally have even longer waiting times than after they’ve executed a powerful attack. If you’re looking to get an early monster with Timestrike, try looking for a Breezeling or a Jerbo, both of which are found in the Central Island.
Living in the Central Island is also the elusive Voltyke which can evolve into 2 more forms. These monsters will certainly come in handy as you progress through the game since a well-placed Timestrike can easily turn the fight in your favor.
A similar attack, Faststrike, also exists but this works on monsters that are about to have their turn. The only downside to this is that the monsters that possess this attack are found much later on, as opposed to those that have Timestrike who are easily more available. Progress through the game, and you’ll eventually come across them.
At the end of the day, Neo Monsters is still a monster-raising simulator of some kind. How about training your monsters?
8. Train Your Monsters Whenever Able
Each of your monsters have levels and EXP.
They don’t gain these through standard battle, no, they actually gain them from training. Training isn’t just through fighting in the League Tryouts, it’s actually done when you’re back at your ranch—specifically, the main menu. You can start training your monsters by tapping the Trainining button below the Explore button.
Training in Neo Monsters is an interesting, board game-esque mechanic wherein you have cards that dictate where you want your trainer to land. To play any card on your hand, you will need to spend Training Points which you gain from battle. The color of the card denotes the quality and amount of points that the monster will receive to any of its stats.
For instance, you’ll get the smallest amount of points from a bronze card, but you’ll get the highest from a gold one. The number of steps your trainer takes doesn’t affect the number of points your monsters receive, only the next card that they receive.
You’ll notice that each card has a small icon on its corner—this will denote which stat will be increased from playing it:
- Boot — Increases Speed, the monster’s likelihood to go first in a fight
- Heart — Increases HP, the monster’s total amount of health
- Shield — Increases Defense, the monster’s ability to withstand damage from the enemy
- Sword — Increases Attack, the monster’s overall damage that they inflict
Playing cards of the same type (e.g. Sword – Sword) will result in a combo, granting you bonus points added to that specific stat. If you break the chain, the amount of points your monsters receive from the stat boost will be brought back to normal.
Do note that each of your monsters have a limited number of training sessions. This means that you can only spend so many Training Points on them. This means that if you’ve depleted all of the training sessions on your monster, they will not gain anymore EXP from training after this. You can add more sessions to them by using De-Aging Fruits that you gain from playing other modes.
Feeding De-Aging Fruits to your monster through the Monsters tab (in the main menu—the icon of which looks like a red, ferret-like monster called a Nilo) can be done by pressing the Add Training Sessions button. Just be sure you have enough money and De-Aging Fruits to do this!
Speaking of other modes, let’s talk about two important modes that you might want to try out firsthand!
9. Visit the Trainer’s Dojo
Fancy yourself a bit of a challenge but also want to learn how to play the game a little bit better? How about heading to the Trainer’s Dojo?
In the Trainer’s Dojo, which can be accessed in the Explore Menu (a circle directly above the Central Island) you will be given varying scenarios through a series of lessons. Each lesson will give you a couple of battles to fight in using a preset team of monsters (you can’t use your own) and you’ll be put in situations where you have to work with the attacks that your monsters come with.
Many of them, in particular, are rather tricky, but this is the type of game mode that should keep you on your toes and help you understand how a battle works. Additionally, you’ll also learn the mechanics of a fight that you’d think would have a small impact overall but actually do the complete opposite.
Many of these focus on special attacks, and you’ll get to know so much more about them whilst earning a ton of Training Points and a couple of De-Aging Fruits from the final lessons. Mind you, you can grind for Training Points here if you are lacking these!
Lastly, there’s one more mode that you should try out since it ultimately tests the team you built…
10. Try Out the Side Quests
There’s more to just playing the main story.
Wouldn’t you want to know how Randolph runs the ranch? Do you want more one-on-one training with Makisa? How about understanding a bit more of the world that you live in? This is where the Side Quests come along. But they’re not just full of lore—you can also test the might of the team that you put together yourself by playing these!
Much like the Trainer’s Dojo, this can also be accessed through the Explore menu. This button is right next to the Trainer’s Dojo. Upon accessing this, you’ll be able to play through different battles of increasing difficulty wherein you will fight all kinds of different monsters, some of which you might not even encounter in the regular campaign, Unlike the Trainer’s Dojo, however, fighting in any of these battles will require you to spend Tickets.
While these are limited, you can regain them just by playing the game or by waiting a certain amount of time. Playing the Side Quests will reward you with Training Points as well as EXP and money. Ultimately, the last battles in Side Quests will give you the game’s premium currency, Gems, so get going!
That said, don’t be afraid to explore the rest of the game. Neo Monsters is full of secrets for you to discover. There are even more missions to try out, and there are also other modes wherein your monsters can be pushed to their limit (yes, even more than the Side Quests). Only if you check these out yourself will you find something truly golden.
As you can see, the road to being a master monster trainer is a long one. All you need to do is remember what we’ve taught you in this simple list:
- Leave no stone unturned regardless of which island you’re on. Explore, explore, explore!
- Find ways to capture rare monsters. Most of the time, these monsters are the members that will make the backbone of your team.
- Play with the elemental system to your advantage. Off monsters that have elements weaker than the ones you have on your team!
- Your team needs to be diverse. If you vary in elements and roles, you’ll have a better chance of winning a battle.
- Special attacks are the spice of battle. Using these whenever the time is appropriate for them could really change the outcome.
- Protector Killers are quite important, especially in the beginning. Find yourself one right away!
- Remember that turns in this game operate based on a time system. That said, skills like Timestrike are also quite powerful in picking off enemies that have been slowed down.
- Your monsters need to be constantly trained to be in tip-top shape. Bring the best out of them whenever you can!
- The Trainer’s Dojo rains Training Points onto those who participate. Give it a shot when you’re in need of these precious points.
- Side Quests are a great way to test the team that you built. Think that your team might be strong? Do a Side Quest today!
And that covers our beginner’s guide for Neo Monsters! Catch ‘em, train ‘em, battle ‘em—the strong will be in your hands very soon. Get out there and become your uncle’s successor!
Are you a fabled trainer that’s worth their salt? Have you any mythical monsters under your belt? Do you know things that we haven’t mentioned in this guide? Leave your thoughts in the comment section down below!