Serving as a direct sequel to Persona 5 Joker and the Phantom Thieves of Heart are back trying to save Japan once more in Persona 5 Strikers. A new threat has shown up in the metaverse called Jails, where a monarch steals the desires of those around them, for returning Persona fans there will be a lot of familiar aspects to the game, but with developer Omega Force behind the wheel, there's also more than a few differences in this sequel.
The biggest difference, and one that many might have conflicted feelings about, is that there aren't any of the traditional Persona life simulation and relationship goals. In Persona 5 Strikers the story progresses as you complete objectives in Jails, or visit marked locations on the map as relevant to the goals of the Phantom Thieves. This freedom of movement will also mean you'll not only be able to spend time exploring the Jail that you're currently in but you can also travel back to any previous Jail that you've had access to. Many might see this as Strikers losing an important part of the formula but if you ever felt the pressure of the time crunch in Persona this might be a welcome change.
Choose your favorite tunes in Persona 5 Strikers
Depending on what system you purchase Persona 5 Strikers for when you load up the game you might find that you immediately unlock some additional audio. These unlock are to allow you to change out the Persona 5 Strikers audio with the soundtracks from Persona 5 or Persona 5 Royal.
- Once you complete the game once you'll unlock these optional audio tracks
- If you have saved data from Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo Switch you'll unlock this as soon as you start the game
What is missable in Persona 5 Strikers?
Through your journey you'll begin receiving Requests, these side missions have you traveling to different Jails or working with your fellow Phantom Thieves to complete a goal. Due to being able to travel to previous Jails at any point in time the only thing that's missable in Persona 5 Strikers are requests that take place in a real-world location. You can recognize the real-world requests by knowing they're the ones that Joker will get a text about. Before you move on to the next area if one of these kinds of requests is open then you'll also be warned about moving on.
While not missable it is recommended that you purchase recipes as soon as you encounter them otherwise they'll have a severe markup price in Sophia's Store later. A recipe that would cost ¥1,000 can cost upwards of ¥20,000 if you miss buying it at its normal location.
What are Persona 5 Strikers BONDs?
BONDs are skills that apply to all characters and also have a variety of effects in and out of battle. Some of the BONDs are quite basic like a +1 to a character stat, but you can also unlock BONDs that increase your ammo count, give you discounts at Sophia's Shop, or increase the Persona drop rate. Each BOND has multiple levels, and some upgrade levels are locked behind request clears or game progress.
There are a few BONDs that are highly recommended to pick up, the first of which is Bondmaker. This skill simply means that the rate you accumulate BOND experience is increased. Bondmaker is available from the first time you get access to the BOND board. Early in the game while you're cash and item poor it's also highly recommended to unlock the Ambusher and Oracle Recovery BONDs which will allow you to regain health with a successful ambush, and after winning a battle.
You will get BOND experience for a wide variety of things like defeating Shadows, progressing through the story, completing certain Requests, and for your first time cooking a meal.
How many Jails are there in Persona 5 Strikers?
Unlike Persona 5 where the Phantom Thieves dive into Palaces the dungeons in Persona 5 Strikers are called Jails. Across the length of Persona 5 Strikers, you'll encounter seven different Jails. There are a few that are definitely shorter than the rest but the Jails are as follows:
- Shibuya Jail
- Sendai Jail
- Sapporo Jail
- Okinawa Jail
- Kyoto Jail
- Osaka Jail
- Tokyo Jail
Persona 5 Strikers Combat Tips
After the setup/tutorial of Persona 5 Strikers, you'll have access to all of the Phantom Thieves in combat (Besides Futaba who retains her support role) and newcomer Sophia. Each of these characters plays very differently and it's well worth testing out different styles. Playing around with different team dynamics is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- Getting used to each character playstyle
- Unlock each character's four Master Arts. These are advanced techniques that make the individual character more powerful in battle. For each character whose Master Arts you completely unlock you'll earn a Trophy/Achievement.
- Keep all characters leveled close to one another. There is one late-game battle that will require you to use all of the Phantom Thieves, keeping them all near each other in terms of ability will give you more options
- You'll be able to play to Jail's weaknesses. Each character has their own elemental affinity that can allow them to deal more damage against Shadows weak to their type
During combat you'll also need to be versatile as the "One More Time" prompt will allow you to get an additional strong attack in but will change which Phantom Thief you're in control of. You can purchase a BOND to increase the rate of the Showtime gauge when you swap between characters. The Showtime attack is your character's Ultimate move dealing high damage to a wide range of enemies, the faster you can build this up for each of your characters the better.
When fighting a boss or powerful Shadow it's worth keeping an eye on how many shields they have under their health bar. You can chip away at their shields with powerful Persona attacks or critical hits. Once the last shield has been broken the Shadow will be stunned and the player will be prompted for an All-Out Attack. Don't use the All-Out Attack immediately. As the Shadow is stunned their shields will slowly start to return, the prompt for All-Out Attack will only disappear once their last shield is back. If you know the boss has seven shields then you can spend six of those absolutely wailing on him, or healing up. In some of the late-game battles, this extra time to deal damage is a fantastic break from the frantic action.
When is the point of no return?
There is a point of no return in Persona 5 Strikers. But it’s not where you’d expect. As you travel through Japan you’ll always be able to return to previous Jails, this is necessary for all of the requests in-game. After defeating the final boss you’ll be able to reload your save from right before the final battle and continue playing as you normally would.
After completing the final request of the game “Knocking on Death’s Door” and collecting the Key Item from Lavenza your save file will be marked with “MASTERED.” The next time you load the game you’ll be prompted to start New Game+. It’s recommended that you create a second save file before completing the final request if you want to continue playing with your progress at the end of the game.
Is there a New Game+ in Persona 5 Strikers?
Yes, there is a New Game+ but you need to defeat the hardest super boss in the game.
What carries over to New Game+?
- Character Levels and Stats
- Current Persona’s, Persona Bestiary, and 3, 4, and 5-way fusions
- Save game clock
- Consumable Items, Skill Cards, Ingredients, Materials, Key Items related to Recipes and fusions, and equipment
- BONDs and BOND points
Features only available in New Game+ include:
- Merciless difficulty
- Lucifer becomes unlocked for fusion
- Incense can be purchased from Sophia’s Online Shop
- Characters that unlock abilities or join later in the story will be playable from the very beginning
- Certain Key Items and the completion status of requests DO NOT carry over
What is Merciless Difficulty?
Merciless is the hardest difficulty available and can only be selected upon starting a MASTERED save file. There are increased battle rewards and extra content but there is no additional story content. Once selecting Merciless you WILL NOT be able to change the difficulty later.
This difficulty is NOT a joke. With characters strong enough to pretty handily defeat the final super boss the Lv. 2 Jack-o-Lanterns were practically one-shotting Joker in the opening battle...