Persona 5 Strikers shares a lot with its source material, from weaknesses and technical hits to fusion in the Velvet Room. Still, Strikers is its own game. The mechanics are familiar, but Strikers changes, removes, and adds to the formula in multiple areas. We’ve rounded up the best tips and tricks for combat, exploration, the Velvet Room, and more in this Persona 5 Strikers beginner’s guide.
There are some new mechanics you need to worry about, but Strikers simplifies the many systems in Persona 5 overall. Time doesn’t automatically progress, for example, and the Confidant system has been replaced by a streamlined Bond system. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Persona pro or just dipping your toes in; our tips will make your romps in the Metaverse a little easier.
Learn your stats
Persona 5 fans should already have Persona stats down. If it’s been awhile or if you’re brand new, it’s worth brushing up on the various stats Personas have and what they do. Strikers still ties stats to social skills, making the vague abbreviations for each stat confusing. Here’s what they all do:
- St — Physical attack damage
- Ma — Magical attack damage
- En — Defense
- Ag — Critical change/auto-evade
- Lu — Critical evasion/status ailment rate
Revisit jails for loot
Jails have loot and treasure chests. Somewhat counter-intuitively, loot items are valuables you can sell for cash while treasure chests usually contain skill cards or recovery items. Treasure chests don’t respawn when you revisit a dungeon (for the most part), but loot does. If you’re strapped for cash, you can easily get whatever you need by running through a jail again to pick up loot.
Talk to the Phantom Thieves
Outside of jails, you run around different locations in Tokyo to pick up items. The Phantom Thieves will hang out at various different locations. Most of the time, talking with them will reward you with a little bit of dialogue. Sometimes, however, they’ll give you a request.
Requests are basically side quests, tasking you with doing everything from using certain Persona skills to buying items around the city. We recommend doing the rounds whenever you’re exploring the city to see if your friends have any requests. Like any side quest, you’ll earn rewards for completing requests including recovery items and high-level gear.
Jails are basically palaces in Persona 5 Strikers, and just like palaces, jails have a threat level. Whenever enemies spot you, the threat level goes up, and whenever you defeat enemies, it goes down. If the gauge ever fills, you’ll be booted out of the jail.
Not that you should ever get close to that point. In addition to raising the threat level, enemies that spot you get a preemptive attack. You can avoid the whole mess by finding a cover point and ambushing from it.
Ambushing doesn’t raise the threat level at all, and it’s enough to knock most low-level enemies down and trigger an all-out attack. This is the best way to enter battle, ambushing and then executing an all-out attack. This pattern will take out most mobs in a matter of seconds, allowing you to focus on tougher enemies.
Trigger a technical
Persona 5 Strikers has technical hits just like Persona 5. Technical hits deal bonus damage, which can be very useful for taking down an enemy without targeting their weaknesses. You can trigger a technical hit by using certain skills while an enemy has a status ailment. For example, nuclear and wind abilities will trigger a technical on an enemy inflicted with burn.
You don’t need to study the particular combinations, but make sure to look out for “technical” next to any of your Persona skills during battle.
Pass the baton
You have the full crew of Phantom Thieves available to you from the start of Persona 5 Strikers, giving you control over how you build your team of four from the start. During battle, you can use the directional pad to perform a baton pass to one of your teammates. Switching off is necessary for hitting enemy weaknesses, but it also temporarily boosts how quickly the Showtime gauge fills.
More importantly, switching off gives you experience with other characters. Each character has four master arts that they learn through combat. These master arts make your standard combos more powerful, and they’re easy to unlock. As long as you frequently switch between characters during battle and swap characters in your party before battle, you’ll shouldn’t have any problem unlocking all of the master arts.
Save your SP for difficult enemies
Weaknesses play a big role in combat, but you shouldn’t spam your Persona skills from the start. You only have a limited amount of SP, and it will take quite a few hours in the game before you can make SP recovery items at Leblanc. You can use a few skills, but it’s best to let your blade do the talking until you come up against a difficult enemy.
Bosses, mini-bosses, and difficult enemies have a number of shields, and once you break all of them, you can trigger an all-out attack. Wait until the boss is about to cast a skill, then cast a skill they’re weak to during the wind-up animation. This will interrupt the boss, saving you some health, and break a shield. Repeat the process a few more times, then go in for the all-out attack.
If you follow this pattern and don’t get overwhelmed by mobs, you’ll be able to take down almost any enemy with ease.
Don’t be afraid to retreat
Persona 5 Strikers is an action game, but jails play out much like palaces in Persona 5. You’re supposed to make incremental progress, jumping back to the real world to heal and restock on items. The difference is that time doesn’t progress in Strikers when you leave a jail. Unlike Persona 5, you can leave and return to the jail as many times as you like, all without worrying about progressing the story too far.
The Velvet Room
Persona 5 Strikers doesn’t go as deep on fusion as Persona 5, but the mechanic is still present. In short, you can head to the Velvet Room to fuse two Personas to create a stronger one. Strikers only lets you fuse by result, and it doesn’t feature multi-executions or any of the other interesting mechanics in Persona 5. However, random skill boosts are still around.
Without social links, you can’t plan your fusions around skill boosts. In Persona 5, you can trigger a skill boost by fusing Personas from different Arcana based on your social link. That’s not a thing in Strikers, but you’ll still get a random skill boost here and there.
Skill inheritance is a thing in Strikers, however. You can pass a skill along from one of your fusion Personas to the resulting one. Pay attention to what skills have you covered with your other characters and Personas to know which skill to pass along.
Level your Personas outside of battle
You can level up your Personas in the Velvet Room by spending Persona Points (PP). You’ll earn PP just by playing the game, so you don’t need to worry about that too much. Spending those points is a different matter.
Visit the Velvet Room often to level up your Personas. They gain less experience in battle than in Persona 5, so you need the extra boost from Velvet Room leveling to keep your Personas in top shape.
You can only level a Persona up to your current level, and higher levels can get pretty expensive. Because of that, it’s a good idea to invest your points in Personas you’re actually going to use. Don’t worry about low-level fusion fodder like Jack-o’-Lantern and Pixie, instead focusing your points in Personas that will make a difference as the game continues.
The Bond system
Increase your Bond by defeating difficult enemies
Instead of the social link system in Persona 5, Strikers has the Bond system. As you play the game, you’ll level up your Bond with the Phantom Thieves, awarding you points to spend on Bond skills. Defeating enemies is the main way to increase your Bond, and tougher enemies award more progress.
Difficult enemies are the ones surrounded in a red aura when you activate Third Eye. In addition to building your Bond quicker, difficult enemies drop powerful Personas.
You want to take out as many enemies as possible to build your Bond. Even low-level mobs award progress, but tougher enemies are more efficient. Because you can return to jails as much as you want, there really isn’t a downside to grinding your Bond level. It just takes time.
The best Bond skills to unlock first
The best Bond skills in Persona 5 Strikers are either too expensive or unavailable at the start of the game. There are two that you can unlock almost immediately, however, and they make the grind a lot easier. The first is Bondmaker, which simply raises your Bond level faster. A skill that makes it easier to unlock other skills is always great, so dump as many points as you can in Bondmaker.
The other is Joker’s Wild, which increases the drop rate of Persona masks. Fusion is a core mechanic of Persona 5 Strikers, so having more Personas at your disposal is great.
Oracle Recovery is a great skill, too, though it costs 15 Bond points to unlock. You should invest in Joker’s Wild and Bondmaker first, but Oracle Recovery is a great place to dump points later on. With it, Futaba will restore some HP and SP to all party members at the end of battle. The battles are many and the recovery items are few, making Oracle Recovery an excellent skill to have.