Persona 5 Strikers is rounding up the old gang for more high-flying, monster-slaying action. Things are a bit different this time around — Strikers trades the series’ celebrated turn-based combat for Musou-style hack-and-slashing, but this unexpected pairing of forms is a match made in heaven. The over-the-top style and flashy abilities of the original Persona 5 are well-suited for the hard-hitting, real-time action we get in Strikers, and it’s both a blast to play and a sight to see.
The game is currently available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch as well as PC. Honestly, Persona 5 Strikers is not one you would want to miss out on, being a cross between Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors and Persona 5 itself!
Persona 5 Strikers is so different from any other game in the franchise that even series veterans will need a little time to get accustomed to the new systems. Here’s a quick Persona 5 Strikers beginner’s guide with all the important stuff you need to know to hit the ground running.
If you’re unfamiliar with Musou games, combat in this type of genre revolves around performing combinations of sweeping melee attacks to deal damage to crowds of enemies. When performed in the air, these melee attacks will launch enemies skyward, allowing the opportunity for aerial combos.
You also have a secondary attack button. When pressed, this will cause your character to fire his gun at a target, allowing you to deal damage to targets from a distance. More importantly, the gun also serves as a combo modifier — you can perform various combos by stringing together different sequences of your primary and secondary attacks.
If you end a combo sequence with your secondary attack button, you will perform a finisher that deals a huge amount of damage in an area.
One of the more interesting mechanics in Persona 5 Strikers is the skill system. Pulling up the skills menu will cause the time to stop. When performing a skill, a blue box will appear indicating where your skill will land.
You can also see whether a target within the area of effect has a natural weakness to that skill, and you can take this opportunity to adjust where you want to perform your skill. Magic skills cost SP, while melee skills cost HP.
Eventually, you gain the ability to use the Skills of any of your party members, making your party effective against a greater range of enemy types.
Exploiting enemy weaknesses is the key to success in Persona 5 Strikers. Hitting an enemy with a skill that exploits their weakness will give you the chance to follow up the skill with a powerful “All-Out Attack.”
This is particularly important in boss battles where you’ll go toe-to-toe with enemies that have much larger HP pools. You can’t stun or knockdown these guys with a combo, so perform skills that exploit their weakness to temporarily disable them. This gives you a few precious moments to pile on the damage with an All-Out Attack.
The series’ Social Links (or Confidant) mechanic is absent in Persona 5 Strikers, but it’s replaced by a new system called the BOND system. The BOND system works similarly to EXP points — completing milestones, progressing in the story, or defeating enemies in Jails earns you BOND experience; once your BOND experience meter is full, you earn a BOND point.
You can spend BOND points to unlock BOND skills, which provide passive boosts to your character or party’s combat abilities.
The simplest way to collect BOND points is by entering a Jail and defeating the enemies within. Your BOND meter will slowly increase with each enemy you strike down. While this method is consistent, gathering enough BOND points to unlock all of the important skills can be quite the grind. There are a few ways to get a quick injection of BOND points:
Visit the Shrine in Mt. Aoba Park for a quick BOND boost in exchange for 100 yen. The amount of BOND experience you receive is randomly given at 1%, 10%, or 20% of your BOND meter. Interestingly, if you leave Mt. Aoba Park and return, you can draw from the fortune machine again.
This can be done repeatedly to get as much BOND experience as you need. Mt. Aoba Park is available from Chapter 2 onwards, so you can use this trick to get your hands on some key BOND skills quite early in the game.
You can learn new recipes by speaking to friends, completing side quests, or buying them from a shop. Each recipe provides a temporary boost to your party’s combat ability, and you get a ton of BOND experience every time you cook a new dish for the first time. Cook every recipe at least once to get the most BOND experience possible.
Completing Requests will also give you a hefty amount of BOND experience. Speak with your friends and they’ll occasionally have a request for you. Fulfill the request to receive an injection to your BOND meter.
It’s important to note that most Requests can only be completed once. However, completing the main story grants you free access to the final dungeon where you can find unique requests that are infinitely repeatable.
There are 30 BOND skills you can obtain in Persona 5 Strikers. You won’t need all of them to complete the game’s main quest, but there are a few key BOND skills that we recommend for any playthrough. If this is your first time playing Persona 5 Strikers, you should prioritize getting these BOND skills:
Bondmaker should be the first skill you go for. It accelerates the rate that your BOND level increases, meaning you’ll get BOND points (and new skills) much earlier. Upgrade this skill whenever possible.
Oracle Recovery costs a hefty 15 BOND points to unlock Rank 1, but it’s worth it. This skill fully restores your party’s HP and SP after every battle. Investing the points into this skill as soon as you can will save you a lot of money in consumables in the long run, and it will help you stay alive during long Jail runs.
Extortionist increases the money earned after a battle. You’ll need currency to buy new recipes, items, and pay for the BOND boost at Mt. Aoba Park, so the sooner you get this ability, the better.
Treasure Hunter is a must-have skill for the same reason as Extortionist is — it helps you farm currency faster. This skill increases the likelihood of encountering a Treasure Demon, which is a rare type of monster that you can encounter in Jails. Treasure Demons drop large amounts of experience and currency, and they also have a chance of dropping items and Persona skill cards.
That was a quick overview of the mechanisms and features any new player should know before jumping into Persona 5 Strikers. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the different features you’ll encounter in the game (there are way too many to cover here!), but it’s enough to give you a headstart in the early game. If you need further information about the mechanics in the game, you can find an in-depth tutorial in the System menu.
How are you enjoying Persona 5 Strikers? How does it rank in your list of Persona titles? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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