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8 Issues I Want I Knew Earlier than Beginning Octopath Traveler II

The cast of Octopath Traveler II is seen sitting around a campfire.

Picture: Sq. Enix

In a variety of methods, Octopath Traveler II can really feel like a fairly easy turn-based RPG, however if you take note of its eight characters’ authentic mechanics, its non-linear storytelling, and the way unapologetic it may be about throwing you into the deep finish, there’s a variety of complexity below the hood. Whether or not it’s prioritizing recruiting celebration members early or making essentially the most out of sure techniques, listed here are some tricks to get you began in your Octopath Traveler II journey.

Basic PSA: You gained’t miss out on any content material by beginning with one character

The primary choice you’ll make in Octopath Traveler II is which of its eight playable characters you wish to play first. This has a number of penalties in that it’ll act as an anchor level on your introduction to its world, and can decide the primary set of weapons, skills, and particular abilities you’ll have firstly of the sport. Every character has a narrative introduction that takes about an hour or so to finish, however the first one you play via does set a sure tone for the start of your journey. Nevertheless, as you recruit the opposite seven characters throughout the sport, you’ll have a possibility to listen to their origin tales as effectively. So whereas choosing your first character is a giant choice, don’t fear about lacking out on any story content material alongside the best way.

Agnea's character profile is shown, breaking down her talents and powers.

Screenshot: Sq. Enix / Kotaku

New characters gained’t scale to match the extent of your outdated ones

There’s a variety of facet content material to do in Octopath Traveler II, nevertheless it’s in all probability a good suggestion to prioritize gathering the complete celebration as early as you possibly can. Whereas some RPGs will guarantee your celebration’s ranges are about the identical as you struggle via the world, new characters in Octopath Traveler II will begin out at degree 1, no matter what degree the remainder of your celebration is at. Due to this, it’s value listening to each character’s origin story if you’re prompted to at first assembly, as a result of it provides you with each some context as to who this new celebration member is, and provides you a chance to degree them up a bit in opposition to enemies they’re scaled to struggle. Fortunately, should you make some extent to recruit characters early, they may doubtless degree up pretty shortly and catch as much as characters you have already got with minimal grinding.

Octopath Traveler II – 5 Minutes of Gameplay

The origin tales are each narrative and mechanical intros, so do them as quickly as attainable

After I first began Octopath Traveler II, I didn’t play via the origin tales after I recruited new celebration members, as an alternative planning to play them by visiting a tavern and selecting to hear again to an outdated story later. I used to be busy and had tunnel imaginative and prescient on taking part in via Partitio’s story, who I selected after I began the sport. Nevertheless, after I lastly received round to listening to new characters’ tales on the tavern, it was not solely useful to lastly have funding in a number of tales, nevertheless it helped me contextualize how characters like Agnea and Castti’s authentic mechanics, akin to soliciting for info from an area or charming them into serving to us out, may very well be helpful. So whilst you may not be instantly keen on a personality upon first assembly, it’s nonetheless value interrupting your quest to listen to their story, as it would enrich your general expertise with each story context and information of the sport’s techniques.

A menu in Octopath Traveler II is shown with options to rewatch scenes from Partitio's story from the journal.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Rewatch earlier cutscenes to refresh your memory about the story

Man, more RPGs should let you do this. Because Octopath Traveler II focuses on eight anthology stories, it can be easy to lose track of threads as you’re playing and zigzagging through different characters’ chapters. Luckily, the game has a handy feature that can help you refresh yourself on big events, characters, and motivations: rewatching cutscenes. To do this, pause the game, go to the Journal tab, and find the character whose story you need a refresh on. Here you can read summaries of each chapter’s scenes, or rewatch them entirely. A lot of RPGs keep track of things through quest logs and codex entries, but Octopath Traveler II lets you just rewatch a whole storyline right from its pause menu, and given its structure, it’s a welcome addition worth taking advantage of as you come back to stories throughout the game.

Crank up the game speed

Octopath Traveler II is a gorgeous game, but you won’t lose any of that visual flair by making its battles go by a little faster. During a fight, press the Start/Options/+ button and it will speed up the battle animations. This is especially helpful during stretches of grinding, as it will cut down on the time for each combat encounter, and since it still shows all of its gorgeous animation, you’re not really losing anything by flipping the switch.

Partitio is seen standing with a group of workers asking if he has any work for them.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Prioritize recruiting characters who can fill gaps in your arsenal

When you’re picking your first character, it will not only set you on a specific path for the story, but it will also play a major role in what abilities and weapons you have in the early game. For example, if you choose to start as Agnea, your early fights are going to be with a dagger, and that’s the enemy weakness you’ll most easily exploit. But as is the case with every character, one party member can’t strike every weak point on their own. As you find new additions across the world, you’ll naturally find teammates who fill out those gaps, but some characters can help you make up for those deficiencies by bringing NPCs along for the ride for a limited time. Agnea and Partitio both have abilities that allow you to recruit NPCs you meet in your travels as temporary companions, complete with their own abilities and weapon sets. You can see these before you hire them, so you won’t be going in and using resources merely hoping a potential recruit can accommodate for your shortcomings. It’s a good strategic play to recognize what weapon weaknesses you can’t strike (or can maybe only strike with one character who could use some help covering your bases), and either starting with these characters or recruiting them early on will help you exploit weaknesses you otherwise wouldn’t be able to without party members you have yet to meet.

Ochette and her companion are seen standing over the body of a dead monster.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Take the guesswork out of finding weaknesses

A lot of battles in Octopath Traveler II start with some guessing and prodding as you try to reveal enemy weaknesses across elemental damage and weapon damage. This can take up a few turns depending on which characters you have, and is a game of process of elimination. However, certain characters have abilities that can help you remove some of the mystery. Two characters in particular, Ochette and Osvald, have abilities that can reveal weaknesses early on so you can start using them to do extra damage, tearing down defenses, and stunning enemies. Ochette’s is more precise and a bit limited comparatively, but is still helpful. As a Hunter, Ochette is able to summon a companion that you’ll pick at the beginning of her story. Whether you choose the lājackal Akalā or her malamaowl Mahina, Ochette will have an ability that reveals weapon weaknesses or elemental weaknesses respectively. Osvald’s isn’t limited to either weapons or elements, because as a Scholar, he can use Analyze, which both reveals an enemy’s HP, as well as one weakness. Having at least one of these two on your team at all times will shorten battles because you won’t spend early turns trying to figure out what weak points to strike.

A battle between a group of monsters and Partitio, Hikari, Castii, and Agnea is shown with Agnea preparing to attack.

Image: Square Enix / Kotaku

Stagger your Breaks and use BP strategically

The core strategy in Octopath Traveler II’s battles is to attack weaknesses and take down an opponent’s defenses. These are called Breaks, which will stun an enemy for a turn, and cause any subsequent attacks to do additional damage. Each enemy has a certain defense level shown by a numbered shield icon, with the number showing how many more times you have to strike at a weakness before their defenses will break. On top of this, as each character reaches a new turn, they’ll receive one BP point that allows them to do one more attack in a turn per point used. As tempting as it might be to use several BP in one turn to break an enemy’s defenses, stunned enemies take more damage than enemies do regularly, so sometimes it’s worth it to spend more time using single attacks on a turn to slowly break down defenses and then use BP to unleash several stronger attacks while an opponent is stunned. Breaking defenses is one of the key parts of succeeding in battle in Octopath Traveler II, but doing a lot with the short amount of time it gives you is the difference between chipping away at an enemy’s health for long stretches of time and doing chunks of damage very quickly.



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