This page covers the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the game.

Memberships / Licenses / em$ / gm$

  • Can I play this game for free?
    • Yes you can. Install the game, create a hunter profile and get going! As a guest, you have some limitations.
    • You have a license to hunt Whitetail Deer, Pheasant and European Rabbit. Two additional species are free to hunt, they change once a week.
    • You get a .243 Bolt Action Rifle (Wood) and a Single Shot Shotgun for free.
    • You get free ammunition for the two weapons above.
    • As a guest you are free to explore any reserve you like in single player mode.
    • You may also join multiplayer games, but you will be unable to shoot any animal you do not have a license or weapon for.
    • As a guest you cannot host multiplayer parties. See section Multiplayer below.
    • Guests cannot take in-game profile shots (avatars). They are limited to the standard avatars.
    • Guests have a limited trophy shot functionality. They cannot pose the animal's body, and they cannot pose their hunter character along with the animal.
    • You can however participate in Competitions and complete Missions.

  • What is a membership? What are the benefits?
    • theHunter is a free to play game, but by buying a Membership you can hunt all animals and get free ammunition for all Weapons.
      • Ammunition is refilled to the predefined number of bullets/arrows at the start of every hunt.
      • Premium ammunition is not included, see Weapons / Scopes / Ammunition below.
    • Members can host multiplayer games. See section Multiplayer below.
    • Members can take an in-game profile shot (avatar).
    • Members have extended trophy shot functionality. They can pose (move, lift, etc.) the animal, and they can place their hunter character in the picture along with the animal.

  • I have bought a membership bundle (e.g. Trailrunner). Do I need to buy Trailrunner again after my membership expires?
    • No. Only buy a simple membership.

  • How much do I actually get extra when buying a membership bundle?

  • I have bought a membership. Can I now shoot all animals?
    • A membership includes the license for all animals.
    • However you will still need to use the correct weapons for each animal. See here.
    • If you have not bought the membership through a bundle, you need to purchase the weapons separately. Consider a bundle for your first membership purchase.

  • I bought a boxed version (e.g. theHunter 2013). Is theHunter 2014 a new game?
    • There is only one version of theHunter available.
    • The game is updated on a regular basis, and the updates are pushed to all players.
    • Every player will have the very same version of the game running at any given time.
    • Any new boxed version sold on the Internet includes theHunter game with a more recent release number. After installing, the game will automatically download all updates since the DVD was released, and bring your game to the latest version.
    • If you have the game already installed on your computer, there is no need to re-install the game, for the reasons above. Just enter the activation code. See the next question how to do this.

  • If I buy the game on a foreign web shop, can I still play in my own language?
    • Regardless of what country you buy the game from you will still be able to play it in your native tongue if supported by the game.
    • To see what languages are supported, go to Settings - Language.

  • How do I redeem a registration, discount, promotion or gift code?
    • HowToRedeem

  • My membership is still active for a while. Can I renew my membership before it expires?
    • Yes. You can buy and activate a new membership at any time. The number of months that you purchased will be added to the current expiration date.
    • You cannot lose any days by activating a membership too early.

  • How can I get em$?
    • Purchase them with real money.
    • Most competitions award Em$ to the first three players on the ranking sheet. Some reward the first 10 players.
    • You can earn them by clicking on Earn em$ in the top navigation of the website. Note that the offers on this page are not under the control of EW. If you are having trouble receiving em$ that you feel you are entitled to, contact the according companies offering the deal.
    • See also Em$.

  • What is gm$ and how do I earn them?
    • Visit the Gm$ page.

  • Will I keep my purchases after my membership runs out?

  • Is there a way to hunt only certain animals without having to buy a membership?
    • Yes. You can buy animal tags, i.e. licenses for single animals, for a limited time.
    • There are 1 day, 7 day and 28 day passes.
    • Note that you will still need a permitted weapon to hunt the animal you bought the license for.
    • For animal licenses visit the store here.

  • What kind of equipment should I buy with my em$?

  • Is there a way to sell or gift equipment?
    • No. All equipment you buy in the store cannot be returned or passed on to anyone else.


  • Which animals can I hunt with a membership?

  • Do all animals in the game make calls?
    • Alpine Ibex and Bighorn Sheep make no calls but other sounds that can be detected by the Huntermate, i.e. falling rocks and fighting.
    • The following animals do not call:
Brown bear male common
Black bear male common
Alpine ibex male common
Bighorn sheep male common
Pheasant female common
European rabbit male common
Cottontail rabbit male common
Snowshoe hare male common
Brown Bear
Black Bear
Alpine Ibex
Bighorn Sheep
Female Pheasant
European Rabbit
Cottontail Rabbit
Snowshoe Hare

  • An animal did not get attracted by my caller, scent spray or baiting station. Why?
    • There is a small chance by design that it will ignore the call.
    • The animal was approaching the maximum Render Range when you called. Before it could react, it left the rendering space.
    • The animal is trotting to catch up with the rest of its herd.
    • The animal is nervous from smelling, seeing or hearing a player, of after being spooked by a player.
    • It is also possible that your animal was scared by another animal.
    • There is a baiting station near that the animal is attracted to.
    • Another player in a MP game has lured your animal before you to a different place.
    • The animal is going to sleep momentarily.
    • The animal tries to come but is stuck behind an object.

  • What are the best tactics for each animal species?
    • Most hunting is really learned by spending the time, taking your own notes and making your observations.
    • Many tips can be found on dedicated Youtube videos.
    • Check the forum for existing topics, or simply ask on there!
    • See also Hunting Tactics.

  • Can animals attack you?
    • Yes, certain animals attack you when you come to close.
    • See Player Hurt.

  • What are rare animals?
    • In very rare cases you can see animals with a special fur/skin.
    • Rare animals are just that: rare! You can regard them as special trophies because of the very low chance for finding them!
    • See Animal Fur Variations for rares and other variations of fur/skins.

  • How many animals are there in a reserve?
    • Official numbers are not known.
    • From early Forum posts and community initiatives it can be said though that there used to be approximately 200-300 animals in each reserve in the early days.
    • With the addition of new species and the improvements of a player's standard computer's capabilities, these numbers are certainly higher now.
    • If you do a day of duck hunting you might get just 200 ducks alone, yet there are still many other animals in the reserve.

  • Do animals re-enter the map after being killed?
    • Animals are not being replaced during a hunting day.
    • If your session hits the night and a new day starts, dead animals are replaced.
      • Note that there is an issue with these animals may show the wrong tracking and spotting information, or cannot be harvested when shot.
      • It is advised to start a new hunting session when the day ends to avoid such issues.

  • Is there a trophy animal in every session?
    • Every session holds low, medium and high scoring animals of each species in the reserve.
    • You cannot expect however to have a trophy animal in each session.

  • What is considered a trophy animal?
    • Check the game leaderboards ( to see the best animals found in the current season.
    • An animal that is just 5-10% below the best animal of that species is certainly a trophy animal.
    • An animal that you are proud of regardless of score is also a trophy animal! ;-)

  • Do animals spawn in specific locations, or anywhere on the map?
    • See Spawning
    • On each reserve page you can also find maps where animals spawn predominantly.

  • What happens when animals spook?
    • When you scare an animals by your movements, scent or noises, it will run away.
    • Other animals seeing the spooked animal(s) also start running.
    • A third 'generation' will not spook by the second. Only animals spooked by players can spook others.
    • Recovery times are different for every species and also for males vs. females.
    • Once an animal has returned to the normal state, it can again be attracted and it will (most likely) return. It will not remember you and that it ran.

  • Why do animals run away from me? What am I doing wrong?
    • First of all, the animals in the game are a lot less scared that they would be in real life, except a few of the large species. Nevertheless, animals are always alert and react to player noises, scents and movements.
    • Certain species are scared by other animals, see here.
    • Pay attention to the wind. Animals will smell you much sooner if they are downwind from you. As a general rule, the Wind is usually from South-West to North-East. Use Wind Indicator to check for the exact direction.
    • Use the appropriate clothes for each reserve and species you hunt.
    • Use Scent Eliminator to reduce your smell.
    • Do not run, unless you need to quickly go to a place without the intention to hunt anything on the way.
    • You are fine walking around for the most part. There is no need to constantly crouch. Animals will call from far away.
    • While you can use scent sprays and Callers to take advantage of the animals alertness, you need to keep your movements to a minimum around an animal that has you in sight, in order not to spook it.
    • It is best to crouch when you are very close to animals.
    • Lie down when the animal is very scary and very close, such as turkeys, coyotes, foxes or bobcats.
    • Over time you will learn how close you can get to animals and which stance works best at which distances.
    • Turn on Contextual Help in the game to better understand what might be happening.

  • Can I kill multiple animals with one shot?
    • Yes, but only with Buckshot or Birdshot ammunition due to the spraying of their pellets.
    • Bullets and arrows do not pass through an animal and do not cause damage beyond it.

  • Do animals follow certain patterns during the day?
    • Animals have a roaming behavior based on their interests.
    • There are certain times in the day where the animals will sleep, feed or roam.
    • The animals will walk to certain spots (attraction maps) to satisfy their interests.
    • You can lure animals even if they have an interest on their mind. When the luring effect stops they will likely return to their former interests.

  • How do animals behave in herds?
    • Every herd has a leader.
    • The leader is not necessarily the highest scoring animal in the herd.
    • When you call herds, if the leader responds then the rest of the herd will respond also. If the leader does not respond, chances of another member of the herd responding are small.
    • Herds tend to regroup after they were spooked. If they get completely separated (running away in a star pattern), they won't be able to fully regroup and continue as loaners or in smaller groups.
    • Reindeer herds can only be lured if there is a male in it.

  • How do I take a trophy shot from an harvested animal?

Weapons / Scopes / Ammunition

  • How much ammunition do I get for free?
    • With any type of membership, you are entitled to 3 full boxes of ammunition for all the weapons you own.
    • As a guest you are only entitled to refills for the .243 Bolt Action Rifle (Wood) and the Single Shot Shotgun.
    • At the beginning of every hunt, your ammunition is replenished so that you have the 3 full boxes. Do not pay attention to the "You own" numbers in the Ammo section of the Store. Ammunition you used during your last hunt will be missing there.
    • You can buy additional ammunition at any time, and can bring as much ammunition to a hunt. Any ammo that exceeds the 3 boxes will not get replenished though.
    • Note that Tracer Arrows are exclusive items that also need to be purchased by members. These arrows do not replenish at the start of your hunting session. They are marked "Premium" in the store.

  • Can shot arrows be retrieved / reused?
    • No.

  • What weapons / ammunition are permitted for each species?

  • Is there a best weapon in the game?
    • Rifles are the weapons with the best range performance. There is not one single rifle though that can be named as being the best. While some have a better stoppage power, others have less wobble. Some rifles are single shot, while others have a magazine and can be reloaded faster.
    • When buying a weapon, consider the following
      • Do I like the look of it? Remember the gun can be seen by other players in an MP party.
      • Can the Scopes for the gun be shared with other guns?
      • Is is single shot or does it have a magazine for faster reloading.
      • Do you like the iron sights? Check with other players or on Youtube, or ask in the Forum for pictures.
      • Do you like the sound? Check videos on Youtube (ask players for hints to videos featuring the firing sound).
      • What animals are permitted for the weapon?
      • Is the gun often required for Missions or Competitions?
      • Does the weapon share the Shooting Skill with any other? This is usually the case for premium items.
      • Ask in the Forum about other people's experience whether a weapon is worth the money?
    • Maybe you prefer stealth hunting, in that case a Bow or Crossbow will be your preferred weapon.
    • Your choice will also depend on your hunting style. See Buying Guide.

  • Do wind and ballistics have an effect on bullets/arrows?
    • Yes. See Ballistics.
    • To understand the drop of bullets or arrows, can either shoot at distant targets that will show the impact (shooting downhill into water works well) or at Deployable Targets.

  • How many shots are required to go to the next Shooting Skill level?
    • You level up when reaching the following numbers (this is hits, not kills):
      • Level 2: 14 hits / 3: 44 / 4: 89 / 5: 149 / 6: 224 / 7: 314 / 8: 419 / 9: 539 / 10: 674 / 11: 824 / 12: 989 / 13: 1169 / 14: 1364 / 15: 1574 / 16: 1799 / 17: 2039 / 18: 2294 / 19: 2564 / 20: 2849
      • Formula used to determine the required number of hits: level * (level -1) * 7.5 - 1


  • How is the Score of an animal determined?

  • How is the Harvest Value of an animal determined?
    • Visit the Harvest Value page.
    • The harvest value has no effect on the animal's score.
    • This value was introduced Nov 14, 2013 and is only displayed on hunt histories from that date forward.

  • What do the letters "T" and "W" mean next to a feral hog or wild boar score?
    • Go to the Animal Scoring overview and scroll down to the feral hog and wild boar.
    • Open a score sheet of a feral hog for a detailed explanation for hog scoring. The explanation also applies to wild boars.

  • What do the letters "A" and "G" mean next to a bird's score?
    • The score qualifies as "A" if shot in air or as "G" if shot on ground.
    • Only A scores count for competitions and leaderboards.

  • Why aren't my all time bests scores displayed anywhere?
    • Over time many changes were made to existing animals, in order to better reflect the real world.
    • Especially the antlered species have go through many changes, one which was "TruRACS", a system providing realistic randomly generated antlers and other animal properties.
    • For more information you may check out the Animal Scoring History.

Tracking / Spotting / Luring

  • I have received a message in the game that I can now identify the gender when reading tracks. However when I read the next track, there is no gender information. What am I missing?
    • Your new skill level only applies when you start a new hunting session.

  • How many trackings are required to level up my Tracking Skill?
    • The exact numbers are not known.
    • All clues (tracks, calls) that you identify help to improve your skill level.
    • The first three tracks award a progress bonus.
    • On certain weekends it was/is possible to gain double tracking points. Look out for the according announcements.

  • Can I turn off the tracking and spotting glow?
    • Yes. In the options menu under Gameplay, set "Track color" to Off.


  • Where do I see if my feeder is active?
    • On theHunter website go to Settings - Game Management - Bait Sites.

  • Do I have to walk to the feeder to refill it?
    • This is certainly the more immersive way of doing it, however you can also refill your feeders on theHunter website. Go to Settings - Game Management - Bait Sites. Select the amount of bait that you want to fill and click Refill.

  • A piece of equipment is no longer on the map. What happened?
    • Most equipment will be fine once you set it up, however sometimes the game engine may find an inconsistency and remove one of your items.
    • You will receive a message in the game from Doc such as:
      • "A beaver has felled the tree your stand was in, but Doc has kindly taken it back to the lodge for you."
    • Your equipment will be back in your inventory and you will have to deploy it again.


  • Do reserves undergo seasons?
    • No. Every reserve is set in a certain season. The according season is stated at the top of every reserves page.
    • Your clothes should ideally be matched to the season and the species of the reserve you are visiting.

  • Do all reserves have the same size?
    • No, there are noticeable differences.

  • What are the exclamation mark ([!]) icons on the maps supposed to mean?

Competitions / Missions

  • Why did my animal not register in the competition?
    • Single player and multiplayer competitions are separate. Check which mode is required.
    • You might not have activated the competition.
    • You might have deactivated the competition while playing the game. You cannot reactivate such competitions while still playing.
    • You might have run out of attempts.
    • You might have started your hunt before the competition started.
    • The competition may not yet be active. Check date and time.
    • The competition may have ended already. Check date and time.
    • The competition might require more than one animal and is using the average or the total weight/score. In this case you will only see a result as soon as you have harvested the last required animal. The game will however notify you after the harvest that the animal has counted for competition XYZ.
    • You might have used the wrong weapon. Check the competition details again.
    • You might have missed a required organ (heart, lungs, etc.). Check the competition details again.
    • You might have a better animal listed in the competition already.
    • You might not have met very specific additional requirements such as a minimal distance, no usage of scope or stand, etc. Check the competition details again.

  • Why can I not start a new mission?
    • Make sure you have the correct license for the animal you want missions for.
    • Make sure you have completed a current mission that will trigger a new active mission. You can check this on the Missions page. Check the "Active" section and "Available" section.

  • I cannot complete a mission. What can I do?
    • In general for any difficulties, check the tips on the Missions page. Some of the missions have videos or tips.
    • Check the mission details and make sure you have correctly followed the instructions.
    • Travel missions may require you to stay in the designate area for about 5 seconds before the game acknowledges your presence.
    • Certain missions are almost as old as the game, and changes over time might have made certain animals harder to find in the required locations.
    • Search the Forum or ask in a new thread.


  • Can guests host multiplayer games?
    • Guest members cannot start mutliplayer games.
    • In order to host multiplayer games as a guest, you need to upgrade to a membership.
    • Guests can however join any existing game if they meet the requirements set by the host.

  • I am having trouble with my connection when playing multiplayer parties. What can I do?

  • Can I use other people's equipment?

  • Can I set up my own equipment in a game hosted by someone else?
    • Yes, this is possible for many Deployable Items.
    • It it not possible for baiting equipment.
    • When the session ends, your equipment in someone else's game will be removed and returned to your inventory.

  • How does the in-game chat work?

General Gameplay

  • How do I make a new avatar from an in-game picture?

  • The game pauses when I switch to another program or the desktop. Can I keep the game running in the background?
    • All multiplayer games will continue to run even if you switch away.
    • If you want a single player game to keep running in the background, turn off "Fullscreen". This is done in the settings of the launcher.

  • I can only see the animals up to a certain distance before they disappear. Why can some players shoot them from much further

  • How do seasons work?

  • What happens when the day ends?
    • At 19:00 / 7pm you are forced to end your hunt, but you can stay in the game.
    • The map is shown with all locations. Clicking on one will send you to this place and the clock will advance to 5:00 / 5am.
    • All animals will respawn, i.e. you get a complete new load of animals.
    • Any killed animal will be wiped from the map. You can no longer claim it.
    • In your hunt history, the hunt will show as one session, even if your session includes multiple days.

  • Does rain have any effect on the hunting?
    • Rain dampens your walking / running noise and animals can hear you less.
    • Loud rain can make it harder for you to hear animals calling or walking.
    • The way the rain changes the game colors, animals on the ground can be seen better during the rain.
    • Birds in the air can be seen less in rain.
    • Rain limits the long range view. Animals near the maximum rendering distance can no longer be seen.

  • What are the mushrooms and artifacts for?

  • I think I found a bug in the game or the web site. What should I do?

Technical Matters

  • How is the game played through Steam?

  • Where do I change the settings of my graphics?