The main crux of all Monster Rancher games revolve around the ability to aquire monsters by simply inserting any readible CD. Certain CDs would produce unique or "special" monsters which require the user to have a high grade in order to access the creature. The protagonist of the story is a rookie breeder who is determined to prove that they can be a legendary breeder of monsters.
The experience was a mix of RPG and turn based strategy to raise your monster. The Goal of the game was to advance through the ranks of breeders by fighting your monster in tournaments. Each tournament would have a reward(money, items.)
When not fighting in a tournament, the main objective was to improve different statistics or learn skills by working or training. You could only do so much training in one week, however, or your monster would grow tired and disobedient. If worked to hard, monsters could even die.
Monsters could also go on "adventures" in the game, which were a series of tracks with a "choose your path" style of gameplay.
Below is a list of the available monster types in the game. Monsters were a combination of primary and secondary types, with the first determining the shape and moves of the monster, while the second determines the characteristics.
- Ape - a gorilla monster
- Dino - a basic lizard-like monster
- Disk - a monster shaped like the logo
- Doodle - a stickman drawing monster
- Dragon - a dragon-style monster
- Gali - a mask and cape monster
- Ghost - created from a dead monster
- Golem - a humanoid rock monster
- Hare - a rabbit monster
- Henger - a robot monster
- Jell - a liquid slime-like monster
- Magic - a humanoid monster
- Monol - a wall monster
- Naga - a snake lizard humanoid monster
- Nya - a stuffed cat doll monster
- Plant - a vine and flower monster
- Pixie - a winged fairy monster
- Suezo - iconic monster with a giant eyeball and tail
- Tiger - a lupine monster
- Worm - a worm monster
In mid-2019, it was announced that a port of the original PS1 game would be coming to Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. It is expected to have many tweaks to get the product to run on modern hardware, including a way to obtain monsters that does not involve compact discs.