It is possible to max all Persona 5 Royal confidants without a New-Game run.
(All Screenshots Belong to Atlus)
Back in 2017, I felt the hardest challenge of Persona 5 “Vanilla” was completing all confidant ranks. I ended up with less than half done with my first complete.
With Persona 5 Royal, I assumed it would be much easier, with the additional semester and boosts and all. Turns out not to be the case! I fared better than my original complete, but I still had to replay the game from October to get everything done.
Replay from October, NOT as a New Game +, to be clear.
Looking back, I realized my mistake was forgetting important boosts and spending too much time doing things that were meaningless. An example of the latter being reading certain books at night.
Or washing sooty armour, or heading to Mementos when there were minimal targets.
To put it in another way, the Persona 5 Royal confidants game is an unforgiving, complicated time management challenge. You can beat it, but only if you are conscious of the repercussions of every action taken. You must always remember what and what not to do.
1. Always Bring the Right Persona to a Hangout
This is the P5 Royal basic must-know. So I’ll keep it short.
Bring a corresponding persona to all hangouts. A hermit for Futaba. A Priestess for Makoto. Etc.
Doing so boosts your points gain.
Note: The exception is the Twins i.e. Strength.
2. Knowing Who Would Be Available at When
Using various online resources, I’ve complied the following table to give an idea of P5 Royal confidants availability. Within the table, I’ve also highlighted important requisites and missions for ranking up. For example, the minimum Guts required when working with Iwai i.e. the Hanged Man.
Please note, from my experience, availability isn’t ironclad. Events in the game can prevent a confidant from appearing. Once you’ve achieved a rank-up, it also takes a while before the same confidant is available again. To give an example, I couldn’t “work on” the Death confidant twice within the same work week. (She told me she needs time to analyse results)
3. Persona 5 Royal Confidants Necessary for the True Ending
In summary, it’s Akechi (Justice) and Maruki (Councillor).
You must complete Rank 9 for Maruki by November 17 to unlock the true ending.
You must also complete Rank 8 for Akechi by November 17. Not doing so wouldn’t prevent the true ending, according to some FAQs. But you’d definitely miss out on some juicy additional scenes.
My recommendation is thus to immediately head over when they message you to hang out. For that purpose, always carry a Justice and a Councillor persona in your free time too.
PS: There is conflicting information online about Kasumi i.e. the new Faith arcana. Some FAQs state that you must hit Rank 5 by December 18 in order to access the third semester. Personally, I do not know. I suggest not taking the risk.
4. The Time Saver
While her story might not be the most interesting, or even fully make sense, Kawakami (Temperance) is an absolute must for time saving.
From lower ranks onward, she helps you save time by:
- Creating free time in school for you to read or make infiltration tools.
- Helping you wash sooty armour, or make coffee and curry.
- At max rank, she enables you to hang out with others even after a Palace or Mementos infiltration.
This hardworking gal is literally your best friend when it comes to superior time management. You’d do well to get her fully on your side ASAP. Note too you can’t hit her highest ranks without being in school. Without giving away spoilers, let’s just say there are various “lock-out” periods throughout the year.
5. The Confidant Booster
Chihaya (Fortune) has a pretty high monetary requirement for starting her story. However, you will not regret splurging on her. (You also get the money back later)
In a nutshell, she:
- Enables Social Stats Boosts.
- Enables More Money from Loot.
- Enables Confidant Boosts.
Each effort by her costs 5000 yen, and the truth is, her boosts might not always help avoid the “I don’t think my bond will deepen …” message.
That said, sometimes all it takes to avoid that hated warning is one blue quaver. In this case, Chihaya is absolutely invaluable.
PS: Chihaya’s most useful ability for levelling confidants is available at Rank 5. The rest of her abilities, on the other hand, focus on Velvet Room benefits. You might thus wish to set aside her, for the time moment, after Rank 5.
6. Money! Money is Absolutely Necessary for Deep Friendships!
It’s awful to say, but money is an absolute must for the P5 Royal confidants game.
Chihaya needs payment for her services. Kawakami demands the same fee too, even for just washing clothes.
Certain other hangouts that assist ranking up needs payment as well. Summoning Personas, so necessary for the Strength arcana, is extremely expensive .
It’s a tough game, especially with there being the concurrent need to buy gear and recovery items. I can only suggest the following to maximize money gain.
- Loot everything in Palaces. EVERYTHING.
- As much as possible, do not avoid combat.
- Spend your Mementos stamps on money boosts. As in, with Jose.
- Sell lower level sooty gear. The game helpfully tells you which gear is intended for which level. For example, “covered in space dust” means that particular gear is for Okumura’s palace. Sell everything that is low in rank at the Kichijoji second-hand shop. Sell everything that is low in rank at the Kichijoji second-hand shop. Use the bonus points to buy superbly useful “sprays” too.
- With Persona 5 Royal’s emphasis on strategy, there is actually no need to hit Palaces while decked out in the best gear available. Frankly, I’ve never done so and I cleared everything without difficulty.
- On the above point, if you do need good gear, it might be a good idea to hit Mementos before “doing” a Palace. Lots of chests and red shadows there. (Red shadows drop sooty gear)
- Only do part-time jobs when there is promised bonus payments. For example, only work at the convenience store on days with a number 7. (Not always feasible though, if you’re in need of Social Stats)
- An upgraded gun could actually be far more powerful than a newer, higher-level one. You don’t always have to buy something new.
- Itemize Personas for powerful melee weapons. (The resulting weapons are even deadlier during an alarm) If it’s a Persona you can’t spare, compare the cost of re-summoning the Persona versus buying a new weapon.
- Treasure demons! They are a nuisance but all give a lot of loot i.e. money.
- Hifumi’s Narikin ability (Rank 7) is a powerful money boost, especially when combined with other boosts.
- If you have it, equip the S.E.E.S armband. Some players claim it works even with Futaba.
- After my first complete, I noticed I barely used the recovery items bought from Takemi and Jose. Most of what I used, such as Beads, were found.
- Unless you want the achievements for Thieves’ Den purposes, some books and retro games can be ignored.
7. On Social Stats
Social Stats are extremely important in Persona 5 Royal. They are also the single biggest reason why you wouldn’t have enough time to work on your confidants.
Many confidants also have Social Stats minimum requirements before you can rank up. Making things more complicated is the fact that certain confidants give Social Stats boosts post interactions as well.
It’s complex, and I admit I barely have everything work out. (There are too many variables) I can only suggest:
- Use my table above to know who needs what and at when.
- Know which confidant gives Social Stats boost. For the sake of time-saving, it might be worth hanging out with these buddies, instead of studying or working. (Sometimes)
- Awful as it is to say, I find there isn’t a real need to regularly study …. Choosing the right answers in class gives you small regular boosts.
- Watch the Leblanc TV! There are free Social Stats giveaways!
- Doing part-time jobs on certain occasions, such as when the shop messages you, gives additional benefits.
- Don’t skip the Big Bang Burger challenge! Even if you fail, you get significant boosts.
- If you’re unaware, using the school toilet gives you an idea of your Social Stats progression.
- During summer, when party members come over to LeBlanc to hang out, ENTERTAIN them. There are multiple benefits.
- Needless to say, Chihaya and Kawakami are your best friends in this Social Stats game too. Get close to them ASAP.
8. On Books
I wasted a lot of time reading books that open up new hangout spots, before I realised many such places are unlocked during group outings.
For example, Meiji Shrine. Or Harajuku.
Now, you might need these locations for other purposes, such as hot dates. But if you believe you’re running out of time, I suggest you at least finish the summer season, before buying and reading location-unlocking books. (Morgana will tell you which ones to skip)
9. The Darts and Billiards Bar
This exclusive location, found in Kichijoji, is invaluable. Other than enhancing baton passes and technical hits, playing billiards gives every party member confidant a +1 gain.
Sounds measly, but do it with the right frequency, and you might entirely avoid “I don’t think my bond …” situations with party members.
10. Meiji Shrine
Here’s one location you might want to consider unlocking early. It takes up an afternoon, but a full donation at Meiji Shrine gives up to 3 points (quavers) gain for any confidant. Technically, very useful when a confidant is not available on a particular day.
I’ve mentioned this above. When you’re invited to one, DON’T MISS IT. Typically, you get a range of benefits.
12. Clear Palaces and Mementos Requests Efficiently
This is elementary for Persona 5 gameplay. Palaces typically require at least two days to clear. Don’t spend more time than necessary on them. Strategize your combat and recovery. Bring enough recovery items, equip auto SP recovery accessories, etc.
When a party member is running low on SP, swap them into the background. Futaba’s SubRecovery ability will slowly, SLOWLY, refill their SP.
Mementos is a different business. As much as possible, try not to enter Mementos when you have 1-2 targets. Ideally, wait for 3 or more.
Now, I know this isn’t always possible. When you linger too long, the Reaper appears too. Do note, though, that you can temporarily flee from the Reaper. By escaping combat and immediately heading to another level.
13. Choosing the Right Responses During Hangouts
I hesitate to recommend this, thus why I placed it last.
It’s paramount to always choose the best responses when interacting with confidants. It is a difference of no gain versus a +3.
There’s also a plethora of resources online to help you with the best responses.
And yet, doing so removes the fun of the Persona 5 Royal confidants game. It also cheapens “friendship,” don’t you think so?
If you don’t want to “cheat” in this way, I have the following to suggest.
Spend a bit of time understanding the personality of each confidant. Doing do doesn’t reveal the best responses, but in most cases, it at least gives an inkling.
For example, Haru appreciates guys who speak their mind. Read deeper into her personality and you’d know she’s actually a pretty hardened, worldly, even ruthless character.
Iwai, like Haru, also expects guys to be frank and gutsy. But not overly.
Kawakami, well, she typically expects you to sympathise with her. To comfort her too.
Takemi, arggg!!! I never seem to get the right responses with her! On hindsight, it seems like she’s the elder sisterly sort who feels she can joke with you, but not the other way around.
The short of it, it takes time and effort. But it works once you get the hang of it.