Shin Megami Tensei V is a tough JRPG for people who are new to the series. Here are a few tips and tricks for beginners to ease you into the series.
The Shin Megami Tensei games are exactly what everyone who complains about Pokemon being too easy want. But it’s not a hand-holdy game and it can get frustrating if you’re not sure how the game’s systems work. One bad luck battle can set back quite a bit of progress, so here’s how to navigate this demon-infested Tokyo.
Most games have an autosave feature that you don’t have to think too much about. Unfortunately, SMT V is not one of those games. The game’s difficulty even on normal can be brutal for JRPG beginners, so you’ll want to make frequent use of the game’s save system. Any time your party is wiped, you are booted back to the title screen and must load your last save.
Always take the opportunity to save frequently, since you are always one party disadvantage away from a wipe. Nothing hurts more than finding a rare item or recruiting a new demon only to lose them after being surprised in a fight. Save early, save often, and have at least five slots you rotate between.
How the SMT V ‘Press Turn’ System Works
The battle system of the Shin Megami Tensei series uses what’s called a ‘press turn’ system. That means you have as many turns as you have party members (full party is 4) and there are chances to gain extra turns through crits. But you can also bungle your turn by missing your own hits and losing further turns. This system is what makes the game so great to play, but it is also what lends the game it’s brutality.
You should know that in the case of a miss and a crit in the game, a miss always overrides a crit. For example, using an area of effect ability on multiple monsters may crit against one, but completely miss another. In these cases, the negative outcome always outweighs the positive. That means you should be aware of enemy resistances and avoid using area of attack spells (Mabufu, Mazio, Mazan, Maragi) in those instances.
- Blocked | Lose two turns
- Missed | Lose two turns
- Absorbed | Lose three turns
- Repelled | Lose three turns
- Resists | No turn loss
Since status conditions matter so much in SMT V with the press turn system, you’ll want to know what you’re up against. For beginners, that means a lot of checking out the weaknesses and resistances of the demons you’re fighting. Here’s how you can see if demons are weak to status conditions like poison and confusion.
- Wait for your turn.
- Press the ‘Y’ button to bring up the demon’s stats.
- Highlight the demon you want to examine.
- More detailed information will appear.
Note: Status conditions like Charm and Confusion are great, but only have a 50/50 chance to be effective. Even if the status effect lands and the demon is affected, it only has a 50% chance to be affected by these. Seal, Poison, and Sleep all work 100% of the time as long as the attack lands.
Careful Where You Pause
Pausing and unpausing the game seems to produce a minute amount of lag. It’s usually just enough for enemies in your area to see you and start battle before you can do anything. Try not to pause the game in unsafe areas to avoid being able to get away from these encounters, especially if you are under-leveled.
Don’t Hoard Items
You may be tempted to hoard your items like in other RPGs, but SMT V really encourages you to use your items. Using items in a fight to stay alive or in negotiations with demons should always be your priority. Gustave adds new stock to his store after every boss you defeat, too.
Party Arrangement Matters – Shin Megami Tensei V Tips
You always act from left to right during your turn, starting with the Nahobino. Try to stack demons that are guaranteed to land crits against the current enemy by placing them first. Every attack you do eats up a potential extra action until you land a crit. Landing crits early and often is the key to pressing the battle in your favor.
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