Persona 5 tips. Based on my own mistakes. Seems like I suck even in cyber social life. : (
(April 2020: Updated for Persona 5 Royal!)
1) Be a Bookworm
Books are incredible ways to power-up social stats, in addition to unlocking new locations or quick travels. You wouldn’t get the opportunity to read very often, but you certainly do not want to be without a book when these occasions come.
In other words, always have one unread book checked out from the school library with you. You can also pick up books at different locations, or buy a couple from the bookstore at the start of Shibuya Central Street.
The summary, be the nerdy student who always carries a LIBRARY of reading materials everywhere. Be aware that the library and book shop progressively introduce new titles too.
2) Palaces Takes Several Days to Clear
Palaces need at least three days to clear. Even if you could rampage your way from start to end in one run, you’d still need to send calling cards and re-infiltrate the palace on another day to complete the story arc.
On top of certain story arcs requiring multiple visits to their palaces. The second palace gives you a “tutorial” i.e. a taste of this.
In short, don’t leave everything till the deadline. You don’t want to be caught in the situation of being unable to restock your inventory or level-up because you have no days left! My suggestion is to do everything ASAP.
3) Check the Calendar
Events like examinations massively disrupt your schedule because they remove choice of activities and require specific actions to reap maximum benefit. Adequately prepare for them by always checking your calendar. On the bright side, the game doesn’t inflict important deadlines during these important days, so you do not have to worry about that.
4) Get a Job, You Bum!
For some reason, I was adverse to part-timing (LOL) till I discovered they provide social skills boosts. Later, I realised you also need to work in order to advance certain confidant ranks.
Set aside time for arubaito regularly. Aim to do different ones too.
Like how it’s portrayed in Anime, the diligent student who regularly part-times always ends up being the better person. There are many benefits to reap from part-timing in this game.
5) Have a Backup Healer
This is more of a strategy thing, which means you can ignore this if you’re that good a player.
SP depletes really quickly in Palaces and Mementos. One way to limit this is to place a secondary healer in the backup team. I.E., this secondary healer performs healing outside of combat.
Understandably, this is not always possible for various reasons, in which case, you might like to consider making Joker the primary healer. As in, just so as to have a spare one.
6) Don’t Splurge Every Yen on Gear
Like I would for other RPGs, I headed immediately to the shop after each Palace visit to upgrade gear. Twice, my team then wore their flashy new purchases for 48 hours, before finding equivalent or better ones in Mementos.
I even found the same gear. Bah!
Tip. Don’t be so quick to splurge after earning cash from Palaces. Give Mementos a run first. Gear is very expensive in Persona 5. Do note too that some social links require massive amounts of cash too.
7) Don’t Neglect Mementos
Mementos is the P3 Tartarus-like, free-roaming dungeon of Persona 5. Its gloomy tunnels might turn off those who dislike hard-core dungeon crawling, but please, don’t ignore Mementos.
It’s a wonderful place to grind, be it for money or gear or personas. Going through Mementos is also faster than you would expect since you’re driving Morgana Bus. Suggestion, give Mementos a run before hitting a palace. It makes things way easier subsequently.
8) Don’t Enter Palaces or Mementos without Lockpicks
Locked chests offer superior inventory and gear. It really sucks if you come across one and cannot open it.
This is especially so for Mementos, which overall, feels to have more locked chests. (Try re-visiting levels)
My suggestion, bring at least three lockpicks with you for all palace infiltrations or Mementos run. Note that the time to make these wouldn’t be wasted too, since you gain proficiency points.
9) You Don’t Need to Kill Everything
Like all dungeon crawlers, you’d regularly encounter the situation of combat not exactly being a breeze, but not worthwhile for experience too.
You know, when combat becomes a draggy sequence of hitting the same old weak spots and so on.
When this happens, demand cash from enemies instead of slaughtering them. You’d be surprised how much money you can get. Actually, I found this to be the best way to farm cash.
10) Have a Proper Mix of Skills. The most important Persona 5 tip for combat
Veteran Persona and Shin Megami Tensei players know this. The right mix of elemental skills is a game-breaker. Correspondingly, never enter dungeons with a skewed mix of elemental spells.
The game also makes it easy as far as this is concerned. Your companions have distinctive affinities. Whatever is missing, use Joker i.e. the Wild Card to supplement.
In turn, be mindful during fusion and inheritance of spells too. The silliest fusion mistake is naturally going to end up with a set of personas with the same family of elemental spells.
Suggestion: Make elemental and forces sets at night to supplement whatever you are missing. You gain proficiency in the process!
Additional suggestion: Don’t simply aim for hold ups; this doesn’t work well with physics resistant enemies. Instead, use the right follow-up spells. A snoozing enemy will have a really bad day if you follow up with a psychokinetic blast.
11) Be Mindful of Arcana When Fusing
Fusing personas with arcanas you have confidants for not only gives you experience boosts, possession of these personas also improves your social interactions. With so much to do in Persona 5, you truly need to maximise every activity.
Correspondingly, you should also schedule your social interactions based on the personas you are holding. This calculative move takes some fun out of the game; maybe you just wanna chill with Ryuji all the time. But if you want to achieve a splendid end-game build …
12) Return Your Rental DVDs, or Not
I shuddered when I realised I was late in returning my P5 DVDs. (Happens a lot to me in real life). After which I moaned at the late fee quoted.
And then I discovered, there’s such a thing as a waiver.
Don’t make it a habit though! Dropping by the DVD shop doesn’t expend time; do it when you head to the gear store. It also pays to regularly check out the DVD store and WATCH those DVDs you rent. Like books and movies, they are a flexible and convenient way to boost lacking social stats.
13) Train! Juice Up! Yeah!
Like part-time work, I avoid training and the Shibuya juice shop for over twenty hours in Persona 5. It changed after I discovered training boosts your HP.
With juice also helping you to juice up thereafter …
In short, be a healthy young man! Exercise regularly and eat healthily! You are going to need all the boosts you can get with latter palaces and bosses.
14) Take Note of Special Days and Conditions
Morgana will endlessly remind you about this when entering Mementos. Weather makes your Mementos run really easy. Likewise, studying on rainy days provides better boosts, and so on.
In addition, shops also sell special items, or provide discounts, on certain days and timing. Whatever’s sold might not feel worthwhile early in the game, but you bet game-breakers would spring up in latter story arcs.
15) The Most Important of All Persona 5 Tips. Focus! But Don’t Get Obsessive
I think the best part about Persona games is that they offer such a unique blend of fantasy and reality. The reality part requires you to plan carefully if you want the most out of the game. But seriously, there’s little need to be obsessive.
I mean, how many perfect students are there in Japan? In the world? Are you a perfect student?
To put it in another way, have fun! Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you need to cramp before exams because you forgot about them. Or when you realise someone will never be your confidante because you ignored said person for weeks.
In my opinion, this is the best part of Persona 5. Facing your weaknesses, remember, is the first step to having a real persona.
Update April 2020: Additional Tips for Persona 5 Royal
P5 Royal not only enhanced graphic elements, a slew of new mechanics and activities were added too. Fortunately, overall gameplay strategy largely remains the same.
A. Save Your Game Before Hanging Out With a Confidant
My biggest gripe with the original game is that it’s nigh impossible to complete all confidant ranks without reading a walkthrough.
Make the wrong conversation choice, or bring the wrong gift, and there it goes. Goodbye to Hifumi or Iwai, or whoever, ever becoming your soulmate.
Not to mention some arcanas begin really late. Or are “limited offer” only. (Think, the Sun).
P5 Royal makes everything slightly easier by offering you another round of conversation after each confidant interaction. In other words, you have more opportunities at getting those blue quavers.
That said, it’s still a tricky game and besides, there are now two ADDITIONAL buddies to work on. The short of it, cheat a little if you’re not into reading walkthroughs. Save before each session. Redo if necessary.
(Spoiler: Confidants are really important to get the true ending)
B. Baton Pass
The Baton Pass system has been reworked in P5 Royal and it is now an absolute KILLER.
In essence, striking a weakness allows you to pass the baton to another party member. Whoever receives it gets a stat boost.
It’s like having an instant Tarakuja. One that works for healing too!
With this new system in place right from the first palace, you should plan all your major battles around it. Executed properly, even bosses could be a breeze. (I wiped Madarame all over the floor)
Needless to say, having an extensive mix of elemental spells is now doubly as important, as you wouldn’t be able to do any passes without that.
C. Flowers and Games for Jose
Jose, the new oh-so-adorable NPC, is one of the biggest changes to Mementos in P5 Royal.
You can collect flowers for him in exchange for healing stuffs. You can also collect stamps, much like at an actual Japanese train station, in exchange for experience/money boosts in Mementos.
The latter is useful, since the effects are persistent i.e. they remain active in subsequent runs. On the other hand, those flowers might not be worth it, useful as Jose’s items are. Because you may have to backtrack to find the kid.
In other words, revisit earlier Mementos floors till you reach one that Jose is on. In some situations, this could double the time spent on your mission and use up your other items. If you do want to look for the kid, take note, there will always be a cutscene whenever you reach a floor he’s found on. Lack of which, move on quickly.
D. Will Seeds
Will Seeds are a major and important change to palaces in Persona 5 Royal. Essentially, all palace rulers have three and whenever you find one, you replenish a small amount of SP. Find all three and you’d get a useful accessory.
A useful accessory that could further be morphed by Jose into something even more powerful.
Locating Will Seeds take a bit of work but they aren’t that difficult to find. Frankly, you very often walk into them. Morgana will also prompt you.
Still, a few require you to be on the lookout. If Morgana has blabbed something and you can’t find any secret entrances, use your Third Vision and thoroughly scan your surroundings. Don’t forget to look up too since some would require you to grapple to an upper floor. Just exert a bit of patience and it should be obvious.
E. Kichijoji Zone
This gorgeous, brand-new zone isn’t just there to justify you buying the game again. It’s full of beautiful sights and REALLY POWERFUL upgrades. Upgrades that some reviews have complained about, because they make your party way too powerful.
Yeah. “Normal” mode becomes “Easy,” according to some. To be fair to Atlus, though, the upgrades are optional. You could forsake them if you feel they are taking away too much of your fun.
Playability aside, there’s something here that’s necessary to get the true ending of P5 Royal. Not going to give it away, all I’d say is, don’t ignore Kichijoji.
Lastly, the darts game is pretty challenging and fun! You can earn some decent cash here too. The whole zone, seriously, is worth a few hours of your time.