Get to grips with Persona 5 Royal using these tips

Persona 5 Royal is now available with Xbox Game Pass, bringing almost one hundred hours of epic RPG action to your Xbox — here’s some advice to get you started

Persona 5 Royal is a behemoth of a game. We’re not saying that lightly either — this RPG from genre aficionados Atlus can easily take you over one hundred hours just to clear your first playthrough, provided you take the time to explore everything it has to offer.

That may sound like a big time commitment, but it could well be the best one you ever make. Persona 5 Royal is filled to the brim with wonderful characters, strategic combat, and a sprawling recreation of Tokyo that will leave you feeling like you’ve really visited. Oh, and a winding narrative where a small squad of teenagers jump into the metaphysical manifestations of the hearts of corrupt authority figures, of course.

If you’ve never played Persona 5 Royal before, then the prospect can seem a bit daunting at first. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you along your way to becoming the ultimate Phantom Thief, so that you can make the most of your time at Shujin Academy and in the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo.

These tips may also give you an edge over the competition in the TrueAchievements achievement challenge, happening right now! You can win a free Xbox Game Pass subscription or even a $100 gift voucher for a custom Xbox controller. All you have to do to enter is unlock certain achievements in Persona 5 Royal that you’ll earn through natural progression in the game. Head over to the TrueAchievements competition page for the full terms and conditions, and then jump back here to help you on your way to victory.

Control the flow of combat

Persona 5 Royal is a game of many components, but one thing you can be sure of is the need to engage in combat. Progressing through the game’s dungeons, also known as Palaces, is a lot easier when you know how to crush every enemy you come across in the fewest number of turns.

The first step to taking on powerful Shadows is controlling the flow of the battle. You won’t have complete control over this – the turn order is determined by the Speed stat, and there are always going to be some enemies that are faster than someone on your team — but there are ways to ensure you stay on top of the situation even when things don’t look like they’ll go in your favour.

Controlling the flow starts before combat even begins. As you’re exploring a Palace, the enemy Shadows will appear, and start chasing you if they spot you. If you sneak up from behind and trigger an Ambush attack, you can guarantee the first strike in battle, allowing you to set the tempo of the fight ahead.

The right move at the right time

The next step is to take advantage of attack types. In Persona 5 Royal, each enemy you encounter will have different strengths and weaknesses to certain types of attacks — for example, they may be strong against Bufu but susceptible to Agi. Using an attack or skill that an enemy is weak to will knock them down and instantly give your party member another turn (known as 1 More). Keep going down the line of enemies and you’ll eventually trigger a Hold Up, which can then lead to an All-Out Attack for massive damage or the chance to Talk to these creatures.

Knocking down enemies to score a 1 More is essential to controlling the flow of combat. Even if you can’t go all the way to triggering a Hold Up, Shadows will be more vulnerable when they’re in the Down state, so the rest of the party will be able to dish out additional damage as well. Plus, if you get a Hold Up and want to end the fight quickly, an All-Out Attack can often wipe out a group of enemies at the press of a button.

If you don’t think an All-Out Attack will cut it, then you could try breaking up the Hold Up and hit the enemy with another skill that it’s susceptible to. Doing this will stun them completely, causing them to miss a turn in combat, which can be hugely advantageous if you know that you’re in for a long one.

There are some more things to take into consideration. For one, you don’t know what an enemy is weak to or strong against until you’ve actually hit them with an attack, or secured them as a Persona. If it’s your first time facing a certain type of enemy, your first step should be to try out every single type of attack you have in your party until you find their weakness, then exploit that weakness in every fight after that. Don’t forget, your basic attacks and guns can also be an enemy’s weakness, so if none of your elemental skills work, try hitting them with a physical attack instead.

You’ll also need to keep an eye on your SP bars across your party. You’ll drain a lot of SP going from battle to battle, and unlike HP, there are very few ways to replenish it without completely exiting the dungeon and going to bed to advance to the next day. Persona 5 Royal expands on the original Persona 5 by adding hidden Will Seeds in Palaces which do replenish some SP, and you can make coffee with Sojiro back at Leblanc cafe to replenish SP in the Palace (at the cost of one of your daily activity slots), but that’s about it. Careful use of skills and hitting your 1 More attacks will help keep your SP costs down, as well as spreading your attacks out across your party.

Let’s have a party

The party you take into a Palace will also have a significant effect on your progress. Unlike the protagonist, your party members can’t swap their Personas, and will therefore have a limited set of skills that they can use, most of which will be attributed to one attack type. Ruyji, for example, has a lot of Zio-based attacks, while Ann focuses on Agi attacks. So if you’re traversing through a Palace and find yourself facing many enemies weak to Zio, it may be your best bet to add Ryuji to your party

It’s also best to treat the protagonist like a party of his own. You can have up to eight Personas in your roster at a time, and can swap your active Persona once at the start of your turn without losing an attack, so if your current Persona doesn’t have a skill that your enemy is weak to, you can quickly change to one that does. Make sure your Persona roster has a wide variety of skills to cover all scenarios – with strategic Persona selection, you can easily clear some battles without any trouble.

As for levelling, you should make sure to swap out your other party members regularly to ensure that they all stay at a similar level – you never know when you might encounter a Palace full of enemies that your favourite Phantom Thief is weak to. Levelling your Personas is less critical, as you mostly just need them for their skills, and you can always get newer, higher-level Personas in later Palaces by persuading them to join you during a Hold Up.

Explore Tokyo

Clearing Palaces is just one slice of the enormous pie that is Persona 5 Royal. If you’re itching for more combat, then jumping into Mementos at every available opportunity is essential. Not only is it a great spot to level up, but there are also treasures and side quests aplenty that you can only find in Mementos, so it’s definitely worth diving into right before you tackle a new Palace.

There are more ways to get stronger beyond just fighting. Persona 5 Royal’s Tokyo is absolutely enormous, and full of activities you can partake in that can help you along your way. One key activity is spending time with your Confidants, characters who have long-running quest lines that can only be advanced by regularly spending time with them.

Each member of the Phantom Thieves also acts as a Confidant, and if you want to make the most of them in combat, you’ll need to spend time with them. Your party members unlock additional combat abilities as their Confidant rank increases, including the useful Follow Up mechanic, which can help knock down an enemy if Joker fails to do so during his attack. Maxing your Confidant rank with party members can take a long time, but the reward is a new, more powerful Persona for them, so it’s worth taking the time.

Outside of your party, there are plenty of other Confidants to engage with, some of which you can potentially romance if you’re so inclined. Even if you choose not to pursue a relationship with any of these characters, the skills they possess are still worth utilising. Some may open up some free time during the day that can be spent preparing for a Palace run, or give you boosts to your skills and stats.

Along with the time needed to hang out with these Confidants, some characters also require you to reach certain social stat levels to progress their storylines. These stats are separate from your combat level, and can only be increased by doing other activities in your free time, like watching DVDs, reading books, and working part-time jobs. These activities don’t have a direct effect on your combat capabilities, but they’re still essential if you plan on getting the most out of the game.

Take your time

As you might have gathered, time management is another important skill in Persona 5 Royal. We weren’t exaggerating about it being a massive game! You only have a few moments of free time each day, and you aren’t necessarily free to do everything during them — Confidants might not be available, if it’s raining some activities will be off-limits, and more. Using these fleeting moments effectively will make all the difference later down the line, and open up more opportunities than if you just fritter them away.

Your first stop should always be your Confidants. If any of them are free, go hang out with them. Prioritise the ones who are going to rank up immediately after you hang out with them — you’ll get a message telling you that your bond might be strengthened before you commit to spending time with them. This may require a bit of meandering around Tokyo, but it’s worth it for the immediate rewards, and time doesn’t progress until you’ve committed to an activity. Be sure to also have a Persona in your roster that matches the Confidant’s Arcana, as you’ll get a boost in friendship points if you do.

Once you’re feeling happy with your Confidants, then you should prioritise social stats. As mentioned, these are especially useful for progressing Confidants, so you should look to level these up when you’ve hit a wall with your social links. Social stat gains can be affected by other factors — if it’s raining, you may want to drop everything and go study instead, as you’ll get bonus Knowledge points for doing so.

Still overwhelmed? You can also use the Assist option in the game to help you make your choice. Don’t forget that shopping is a free action, so be sure to manage your items and splash some cash before you commit to an activity. Even when you’re stuck in your room at night, watching DVDs or playing games bought at stores during the afternoon can help boost your social stats.

There’s a lot to dig into in Persona 5 Royal, and if you want to win some great prizes over on TrueAchievements, you’ll need to get started right now. Luckily, with Persona 5 Royal being available on Xbox Game Pass, you can go ahead and download it now as part of the subscription and start playing today! Make sure to check out the TrueAchievements competition page for all the information, and use our tips to help you power through the Palaces and potentially score some prizes. Good luck!

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