The most realistic online hunting game ever produced. Experience the thrill of the hunt in huge realistic environments using everything from crossbows to state of the art bolt action rifles.
User reviews: Mixed (6,930 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 3, 2014

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Play theHunter

Free to Play

Recommended By Curators

"This game is for these who love to hunt animals, kinda simulator game, its great that steam made it for free. You can play for fun with friends."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (21)

October 9

Status Update 9th October 2014

Hello hunters,

It’s status update time and today we're happy to tell you that the Expansive Worlds' crew has grown, again! Three new team members have joined us to work on a side project, not related to theHunter. What's it about, you'll all find out when the time is right, as for now – please meet our new artist Simone, animator Dick and client programmer Anders. You can get to know them in the intros in our blog and say ”Hi” in the forums.

The new .22 ”Grasshopper” Pistol

Today we released a new weapon that has been suggested and requested by the community for a long, long time – the .22 ”Grasshopper” pistol, specially designed for hunting birds and small game. Following the introduction of the ”Grasshopper”, the ethical animals list for .357 revolvers will be adjusted. From now on it won't be permitted for mallards, geese or pheasants, since, as many of you have pointed out in the past, it's too large a caliber for birds. The reason why birds were on the ethical list before is that we simply didn't have a handgun option for them, which has changed now. Enjoy “grasshopping”!

Val-des-Bois will be less full now

Many players have touched on the fact that the new reserve seems to be more densely populated than the rest of the EHR. Following this discussion, we've made some re-evaluation and slightly lowered the numbers of Roe Deer, Red Deer and Red Fox on Val-des-Bois due to overcrowding in the lower part of the reserve. The narrow shape of the valley pushed animals together too much which indeed resulted in a less realistic animal population, compared to other reserves.

TheHunter went viral

Recently theHunter has been enjoying a lot of attention on Twitch and YouTube, which is really cool! In the last week a bunch of popular gaming channels have made videos of theHunter with total combined views of almost 3 million. You can check some of the videos on these channels: SergeantMerrel, TheDevildogGamer, jacksepticeye, SeaNanners Gaming Channel, CriousGamers, TheRPGMinx.Thanks for spreading the word about theHunter everyone, we love what you do!

That's it for today, happy hunting!

12 comments Read more

October 2

Status Update 2nd October 2014

Howdy hunters,

It’s been a week since Val-des-Bois was released and from the feedback we’ve gathered so far you seem to love it, and so do do we! There have been lots of nice videos and live streams shared in the forums and social media, thank you everyone for doing a great job showing the beauty of Val-des-Bois. Here are a couple of our favourite community videos:

By Aryvuel

By yakuza8183

Ask me Anything with Andrés and Danny

It’s been a while since our last AMA session with NAOutdoors, so now, when we’ve come down from our Val-des-Bois release madness, we thought it’s time to to do it again, since you’ve probably built up lots of new questions for us. This time it will be a double AMA with our client programmers Andrés and Danny – don’t miss your chance to pick their brains with tough questions about the physics, performance and logic of the game, as well as other trickeries. Andrés is also one of our team veterans and has been working on theHunter the longest, he allegedly has heaps of secret game knowledge, so make sure to ask the right questions ;) Please note that, although Andrés and Danny are our ”bug fixers”, they will not be able to reply or comment on specific bug reports and questions like: ”Why isn’t X bug fixed yet?”, please use our bug forums for such queries.

Andrés and Danny’s AMA thread will be unlocked for 48 hours, starting at 9:30 CEST on October 3rd. All the questions will be moderated and supervised by the moderation team, the standard AMA rules apply.

All theHunter goodness in your inbox

This week we’re launching our own newsletter. It will be sent out weekly and will be packed with news and updates, special campaigns and promotions, interesting tidbits from our community and other goodies. If you want to keep up to speed with everything going on about theHunter but don’t have time or energy to regularly check our news feed, forum and social media, this is definitely something for you. To receive our newsletter, enter your email in this form and hit ”Subscribe”. You can unsubscribe any time and we promise not to send you any junk, only great stuff!

Happy hunting!

6 comments Read more


“The Hunter offers the most compelling hunting experience ever offered by a PC game.”
MMO Reviews

“This game looks incredible, the graphics are simply astonishing”
90% – Retro Game Shelf

“The complete experience of tracking and hunting an animal is highly-rewarding and simply not found in other games.”
88% – Gaming Nexus

About This Game

The most realistic online hunting game ever produced. Experience the thrill of the hunt in huge realistic environments using everything from crossbows to state of the art bolt action rifles. Realistic animal behavior and persistent online features provides a living world where you can roam casually or compete with other players for glory and fame.

Go hunting with your friends in multiplayer with up to 8 players - or explore the seven diverse and immersive hunting reserves in the ever evolving world of theHunter by yourself.

Key Features

  • Hunt 20 different species including Black Bear, Brown Bear, Moose, Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Pheasant, Coyote, Red Fox, Roosevelt Elk, Wild Boar, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Mule Deer, Blacktail Deer, Feral Hog, Mallard, Canada Goose, Cottontail Rabbit, Reindeer & Alpine Ibex.
  • Explore 8 different huge environments with state-of-the-art graphics, complete with day cycle and weather effects.
  • Co-op multiplayer with up to 8 friends
  • Extensive online features. Increase your skills, see statistics and trophy shots. Participate in competitions and leaderboards or take on challenging missions and achievements.
  • theHunter is continuously updated with new species, environments, equipment and features.

Progression & Acquiring Items In The Game

Two huntable species (Mule Deer, Cottontail Rabbit), a weapon (.243 Bolt-Action Rifle) and a bunch of additional equipment are available for free when first entering the game. Additional items such as weapons, species licenses and ammo can be acquired with gm$, the in-game currency that can be earned through play, or em$, the in-game currency that can be earned through winning competitions or purchase for real money.

There are several different types of skills in the game that increase when players use items & hunt various species. As these skills increase, more abilities get unlocked, such as the ability to tell weight & gender from animal tracks and steadier aim for weapons.

Achievements can be earned through diverse in-game activities. Each achievement adds to your HunterScore, which can be used as a progression comparison vs. other players. Additionally, increasing the HunterScore unlocks upgrade items such as pouches & holsters.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows ® 8/7/Vista/XP
    • Processor: Intel 2 GHz or AMD Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia GeForce 8800, ATI/AMD Radeon HD 2400 (NVidia GeForce 8800, ATI/AMD Radeon HD 2400)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 7 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
Helpful customer reviews
115 of 135 people (85%) found this review helpful
33.3 hrs on record
Day 1 of the hunt: I left my log cabin with a sniper rifle and 10 bullets. I tracked a deer for 372 miles, and yet I can not find him

Day 2 of the hunt: I saw the deer. I named him Willy. I can never seem to get a good aim at Willy because he never stops moving. Ever.

Day 3 of the hunt: I have been tracking willy for over 900 miles now, and yet he shows no faults in his actions.


Day 44359803849539583290485039285039458309512903125102 of the hunt: FINALLY. I AM RIGHT BEHIND WILLY, MY SCOPE POINTED AT THE BACK OF HIS HEAD. THIS WILL END NOW. AS I BEGIN TO PULL THE TRIGGER stop, you have attempted to kill a white tailed deer. you do not have a licencse to hunt this animal. you are not permited to kill it.

Day 928488349894823942903509825092840958092834095725928509280928359823095823095820985092850948235947360720967357637563908650927609576872094976072906730976093760972697096702976027602967934709376093760 of the hunt: I am alone in my cabin. I now know the truth. Willy will never die. Willy cannot die. And untill Willy dies, I cannot die.

Day 27598275981982748237412748127489123749812734982734982153451265819658736458713658197456983756948756187456978345671836578146871345691347519378456783651987568745198756198576187345697834651785678916947856178569178651378561987651987561983756934857618379456837456917384567834561837456378643786153785693638475671935 of the hunt: Willy taunts me. He danses around my cabin. No matter how hard I try I cannot kill Willy. This is it. This is my hell. This is: The Hunter
Posted: October 8
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70 of 97 people (72%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Took an hour to find an animal. Once I did, I took the shot, I was ready to finally get me some game, but all of the sudden it says YOU NEED A LISCENSE TO KILL THIS ****ING BIRD. Guess what? You have to pay 15 bucks for those liscenses. Real money. Very realistic. 10/10.
Posted: September 27
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28 of 30 people (93%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Just like real life you need to spend real money to get a gun.
Posted: September 27
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
This game could have gone somwhere, but seeing as the devs just want you to pay every few months or so to hunt all the animals I don't think it is going anywhere. If you just jump in you only get to hunt 2 animals, from what I have seen there is no tutorial to help new players out. Animals very rarely spawn in the time I have played 2 animals spawned and I coulnd't hunt eitehr of them because I'm not going to pay like $10 for 3 months to hunt animals.... The map is very bad it doesnt even tell you what the places are, most of the time I played it I was trying to figure out what the "!" sign on the map was :/ I do not recomend this game to ANYONE even if you love hunting games it would cost less just to buy like a $20 hunting game and hunt ALL animals instead of paying $10 for 3 months of hunting all the animals. If you want to even have a little fun in this game you HAVE to pay...

I would probably give it a 2/10 and thats because I'm feeling nice today....
Posted: September 28
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Don't bother downloading this game unless you are hardcore right into hunting sims. Hunting sims, not games..

So this is not an arcade hunting game whatsoever. You will spend a lot of time running around tracking or even trying to find anything moving at all. The graphics are actually pretty nice looking, and the game runs very smoothly.

The main problem with this game is that it is listed as Free to Play. It should really say Demo with paid content. or Pay to Play.

You start out being able to only shoot mule deer. Doing this will earn you points (that don't actually do anything, it seems). There are quite a few animal types in the game, but if you want to go after anything other than mule deers, (oh yeah, rabbits too) than you have to get a license to hunt them. How do you get a license? Well, by spending in game money. How do you get in game money you ask? Well, you can do missions... 3 of them. Once these 3 missions are done you will get a small portion of in-game money, however, not enough to actually buy anything. These are not daily missions either. They don't reset ever, once they are done they are done. The only way to unlock more missions is to buy a license to hunt a new animal.. So how else can you get in-game money then? Well, the only way is to buy it with real money. This is not free to play... this is actually more expensive a game than most AAA big name games.

If you want to play the full game expect to pay a ton of cash, and then, only for whatever time limit you have bought for your licenses, then you have to rebuy them again. Lol

Terrible terrbible terrible pay model. One of the worst I have ever seen. I'm not saying it should be totally free, but this is absolutely just not the way to do it.

I don't recommend this game at all.
Posted: September 25
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
To get any weapons and to be with any chance of actually finding something that can be killed you must pay a small subscription fee of £15.99 a year. After hours of searching I finally found a rabbit. I tried to shoot it in the head only to be told that I am not permitted to kill it. I moved on and found a small bird. I tried to shoot it. The game crashed. 10/10
Posted: September 28
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
110% pay to win.
Posted: September 29
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
This game is perfect for the adventurous gamer who enjoys spending real money on memberships, buying virtual items and buying the privilege of clicking on things that look different from other things. It comes with a decent selection of weapons - all you have to do is buy some ingame cash with your actual cash. Is a bear threatening your backside? No problem - just buy the bear hunting licence for a few dollars and he'll be toast. Wanna play with friends? That's great - slap some more dollars their way and you're good. As a free-to-play character you get one rifle and you get to hunt a whole two animal types.

The visuals are fantastic for the year 2004 - I especially enjoyed having the animal I was watching at one point twist its head around and give me the bedroom eyes from behind before it vanished into the ether. Then my buddy sank into the river, where his eyes separated from the rest of his head.

The F2P experience is, in short, a complete waste of time.
Posted: September 28
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
It may be free to play but you have to pay for a subsciption (example: xbox live) to be permitted to hunt certain wildlife, tags for said wildlife can purchased with in game money but it's expensive, and certain wildlife can only be killed by permitted weapons (example: rabbits may only be killed by a .22, shotgun, or bow) . Weapons and equipment can bought as well but the points to buy the items can only be bought with money in real life making it more difficult for the player to enjoy the game, if there was starter items such as tags for animals or in game money i would recomend it to friends.

4/10: score will change if listed above have been altered or more store options have been added
Posted: October 10
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Everybody,first of all,this is not "free to play" (It's Fee To Play),it's a pay to play game.You have to pay to actually get to the good stuff and worse of all,buy a membership and dont get items...
Oh and also,this "adults" that are protecting this game with things like "It's a game for adults to get away from stupid kids like you!",they are just protecting a game that they can't get they're money back.
Posted: September 28
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Spent 20 minutes wandering the wilderness, which to be fair is quite immersive and beautiful, and finally found a deer. I laid down, aimed my shot, and took the shot. Except instead of firing I was told for the first time that I needed a hunting license for that specific animal and that I had to get one before I could hunt that deer.
Posted: September 28
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
I am sorry to anounce that I have changed my oppinion on this game. After playing for a while, I realised there were no animals and that you have to pay for most things.
Posted: September 29
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
this hunting simulation is very good, provided that you are capable to immerse in the sneaked slow pace of the prowling tasks

it is perfect with 3D vision

I have played an enjoying one-year/50€ "tour of duty" (about 170 hours) when the game wasn't yet on Steam, yet I discover that the pricing policy is the same: there is to periodically pay for almost everything, just like it were a real hunt (I don't know you, but I cannot roast and eat digital boars)

will the publisher ever sort something out from all these negative feedbacks and transform this "tax" in a normal basegame+DLCs?
Posted: October 3
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Not truly F2P. You have to pay to do anything worthwhile.
Posted: October 3
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
I have not played it very long.
But the game is laggy, and crashes (i can run skyrim on ultra).
There `r not many animals, so it is really boring. And also u have to pay some top $$$ to play this game. I understand that the dev. have to make money, but this really annoys me.
Posted: September 27
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
I have a pretty good computer, and even with all the graphics turned to the lowest, it was still unusably laggy.

1/10, realistic hunting sim? huh, I must have missed it when hunting irl had lag...
Posted: September 25
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
10/10 To mess around with Friends.
Posted: October 19
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
65.4 hrs on record
This review mostly discussed the main issue the game has for most people – the pricing model. If you are looking for a gameplay or more balanced review, please Google for a “Let’s play” video or read another review instead. The positive recommendation only applies if you deem the pricing model as discussed acceptable.

First things first - This title is not Free to Play.
If you are looking for a free to play hunting title i have to start this review with some bad news: this game is not free to play by most interpretations of "Free to play". As a limited member you can do the following:
  • You can enter all the reserves and wander around.
  • You receive one basic rifle, a scope and unlimited ammunition refills for that rifle. You will also receive a deer caller.
  • You can only hunt Cottontail rabbits and Mule Deers. Hunting all other animals is prohibited in the sense that you cannot do so at all. You can see them, but shooting them is not possible.
Unlike other free to play games you cannot feasibly unlock new content by playing the game a lot or by being good at it. You are stuck with what you have and that is it – and it’s admittedly not much.

The pricing model.
So, you made it past the initial post explaining the game is not free to play and might be considering picking the game up? In that case, let us talk about the games pricing model and what it entails. The games pricing model is twofold: there are both subscriptions and items purchases.

Subscription: Subscription starts at 9.99 for a 3 month period which is arguably quite good compared to most MMO's. In exchange for your subscription you will receive unlimited ammunition for all the weapons you own, and a license to hunt all species of animals in the game. It is also possible to buy ammunition and animal hunting licenses as separate items though the monetary exchange rate for this is fairly bad in comparison. (But perhaps worthwhile if you are a very casual player)
Items: Buyable items cover a broad range of possibilities. There is weapons, scopes, clothing, deployables (Hunting towers), utilities (Animal callers, storage increasing backpack) and temporally power-ups (Wind indicators, facial paint et cetera).

Except for the power-ups all items are permanent once bought, with the caveat being that you will need an animal license and ammunition to hunt specific animals. There is an additional caveat as well: Each weapon can only be used on a subset of the animals in the game - you cannot use a pistol on a bear or a rifle on a pheasant for example. If you want to hunt all animals you will need to buy multiple weapons. The utilities sold are somewhat more optional though a huge convenience: callers enable you to coax animals them out of hiding or locate them, while specific clothing will provide superior camouflage thus fewer running animals as you try to sneak upon them.

Bottom line? Expect to buy a membership and - depending on playing preference - one or more weapons, scopes and clothing if you wish to fully enjoy everything the game has to offer. Do some research and you may find a relatively cheap combination of items that allows you to hunt virtually everything. Still, don't be surprised if you end up forking 20-30 bucks over initially (that figure includes a 3 month membership).

Final thoughts.
Still reading? I suspect you may be one of just a few people to reach this section after having read through the pricing model. Despite the games price model arguably being overpriced I personally find myself enjoying the game quite a bit, so for me it is well worth the triple-a equivalent price I spend on it so far. Considering my current time invested, the subscription fee and my lack of a need to buy new items the game will be cheaper than a regular subscription MMO if I keep playing it another month or two, while spending a similar amount of time on it.

That said: I can only advice the game to people who – like me – enjoy hunting simulations quite a bit. If you plan on picking up the game you should be able to live with the thought of having to do a relatively sizable investment initially, followed by a fairly mild recurrent billing scheme. It is definitely not a good pickup for people looking for a decent free to play or people who don’t (strongly) enjoy hunting simulations. If that doesn’t put you off pick up the trial and give it a whirl, and keep in mind that trial its quite limited in scope.
Posted: October 23
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Turn speakers all the way up, Bass too if you have it.... Shoot.
Posted: October 18
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