Monster Hunter World's The Witcher quest is something a little different to the game's other crossover events - such as Final Fantasy XIV's Behemoth.
Not only does it introduce the Lishen to hunt, but you'll also be doing some detective work as none other than Geralt of Rivia himself.
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How to start the Monster Hunter World The Witcher event quest
To start this questline, you must be Hunter Rank 16 - the same rank as it is to start Iceborne.
Head to Astera and talk to the Felyne near the Provision area. Head on over to the Research Base and talk to the Lynian Expert, who will alert you to a 'strange creature' that followed the Tailrider Safari back to the base.
The creature is revealed to be a Nekker, which the Handler has deduced is from another world. Before you get too far into figuring out where the Nekker came from, though, a portal opens up and spits out Geralt of Rivia.
After a quick debriefing, Geralt will go and investigate the Ancient Forest for traces of the monster he was hunting and how to get back to his world.
Trouble in the Ancient Forest quest steps explained
For this Assignment, you'll be playing as Geralt, who has a few differences from your normal Hunter. First, Geralt has higher max health than your Hunter, which is helpful as Trouble in the Ancient Forest can only be completed solo.
Also, Geralt has the ability to cast Igni, a fire spell that will be important throughout the Assignment.
Begin by walking up and talking to the Apprentice Smithy. Geralt begins by having a Sword and Shield equipped, but if you're more familiar with another weapon type you can change your gear here. This is not an easy Assignment, so pick whatever weapon you're most comfortable with.
Afterwards, you'll notice two quest markers on your mini-map, one for meeting up with the Chief Botanist and one for the Endemic Life Researcher. You can tackle these in any order, but we'll start with the Endemic Life Researcher.
Head to the quest marked in Area 3 to talk to the Endemic Life Researcher. Inspect each area of the body to learn more about the Aptonoth and how it was killed. Geralt will deduce that a flock of birds killed it, which is extremely unusual for the Ancient Forest ecosystem.
After the cutscene, head a little ways away from the Aptonoth to find some bird feathers. Follow the feathers and new quest marker to Area 2, where there's a flock of Revolutures attacking another Aptonoth. They'll end up turning their attention to you instead, though. Use Igni up close to scare the flock off.
Talk to the Endemic Life Researcher again and exhaust all the dialogue options. The researcher believes the Revolutures are being controlled.
Once you're done with learning about the Aptonoth and Revoltures with the Endemic Life Researcher, it's time to head to the other quest marker in Area 11. What you'll find when you get there is not another Commission member, but instead a discarded journal.
Geralt will use his Witcher Senses in order to find footprints of someone running away. Follow the footprints and quest marker back to Area 2 to find another journal.
Continue onto Area 10 to find some roots that are unnaturally jutting out. Geralt determines it was done by magic.
Follow the roots to Area 8 to find a dead Pukei-Pukei, strangled by the roots. A bit beyond them is the Chief Botanist, thankfully not strangled, but just stuck.
Use Igni to free the Botanist from the roots and get some information from him. Exhaust the dialogue options. Geralt has figured out what monster is wreaking havoc on the forest--A powerful Lishen.
At this point, you can go and hunt the Lishen. However, there are two sidequests you can also do.
Pukei-Pukei in Peril quest steps explained
Before leaving the area with the Chief Botanist, head over to where the dead Pukei-Pukei was tied up in the roots. Check behind the dead Pukei-Pukei to find another one wrapped up in the roots, but still alive. Use Igni to free it.
This Pukei-Pukei will re-appear during the last part of the Lishen part and help you fight the monster. If you manage to keep the Pukei-Pukei alive and kill the Lishen, you'll get an extra Attack Gem as a reward.
You can use Lifepowders to help the Pukei-Pukei star alive. In addition to your own stock, there are EZ Lifepowders in the Supply Box, so make sure to grab them.
The Chief Issue quest steps explained
Note: You will automatically fail this quest if you haven't completed all the Grimalkyne quests and gotten the Meowlotov Cocktail.
To start this sidequest, you'll need to find a Gajalaka doodle. There's one in Area 11, but the one you'll probably find naturally is in Area 7, while walking to the Lishen's relic.
With a doodle collected, a ! will appear in Area 6.
Head up there and talk to the Lynian Researcher. If at this point you haven't finished the quests for him, the researcher will start he won't have enough data to decipher the doodle, failing the quest.
If you've completed these quests, then head to the Rathalos nest in Area 16. Use the camp in Area 17 to get there easily. Head over to the nest and the Gajalaka will attack. Eventually, the Lynian Researcher will show up and explain to the Gajalaka that you're not the enemy.
The Gajalaka will explain that their chief is missing, and the only clue to his whereabouts is the message "Supreme Healer, Tree Abyss". Head back to the Southwest Camp in Area 1 and talk to the Handler about this mysterious message, and she'll mention the Giant Vigorwasp that's in Area 13, hidden in a tree hollow.
Head there and you'll find the Chief and two bodyguards. Subdue them until the Lynian Researcher shows up and explains the situation. The Chief is under a curse, but the Vigorwasp won't be able to help--only killing the Lishen will.
The Chief will agree to help, completing the sidequest. Now, when fighting the Lishen, there's a higher likelihood of the Gajalaka showing up and assisting with the fight.
With both sidequests completed, it's time to fight the Lishen.
How to beat the Lishen in Monster Hunter World
Head to Area 12 and follow the quest marker to Lishen's totem. Take down the Jagras that attack, then burn the totem in order to draw the Lishen out, starting the fight.
The Lishen is a dangerous beast, and for this Assignment, you need to fight him alone. The Lishen has four main tricks up its sleeve. First, it will use Revolutures to shield itself and attack you. Using the Igni sign will thin the bird crowds and stun the Lishen temporarily.
Next, the Lishen has the ability to teleport around. The teleportation ability doesn't do damage and you can track where he'll appear via the black mist, but it's a troublesome tactic if you're trying to time Igni correctly. Also, Igni, as well as slinger shots, will stun the Lishen when it's trying to teleport to stop it.
Other than the Revolutures, the Lishen's main form of attack is shooting up roots from the ground, and is definitely the moveset you'll want to watch out for!
The roots can appear directly around him, or he can send the roots coursing through the ground towards your location, so it's important to read its attacks and get out of the way. Thankfully, these attacks have a big tell on what the Lishen is going to do, so after seeing it a few times it'll become easier to dodge.
When the Lishen starts to get weak, it'll summon Jagras to the fray to help fight. They're annoying and get in the way, as Jagras do, but if you can get them all together one Igni use will knock them all down.
Essentially, you need to use Igni at every opportunity to help stun Lishen, and otherwise be careful as you go in for attacks. The Lishen can do a lot of damage in no time, so make sure to keep an eye on your health and retreat back to camp if you need more items.
Monster Hunter World The Witcher quest rewards
For completing the main Assignment, you can now hunt the Ancient Lishen, a more powerful Lishen, with up to three other Hunters. The materials you gain from the Assignment can be used to create the Witcher's Silver Sword, a rank 7 Sword and Shield that can be upgraded to rank 8.
You can also create the Geralt Alpha Armor Set, and by finding Mutagen from Ancient Lishen fights, the ability to create Geralt and Ciri Layered Armour.
If you completed both sidequests, you'll also receive the 'Wild Hunt' title to place on your Guild Card.