Phantasy Star Online 2 released its PC client to the West yesterday on the Microsoft Store. Prior to its debut, an English client was also available on the Xbox One. Featuring crossplay and phantastic space aesthetics, Phantasy Star Online 2 is an action MMORPG with heavy character customization.
Of course, like many MMOs, PSO2 features a race and class system. A character's race and gender, coupled with their class, affects their stat growth. While this can be important when it comes to min-maxing endgame top-tier content, a sub-optimal racial and gender stat adjustments generally won't be much of a hindrance. Most of the time, it amounts to a small amount of damage and waiting a few extra levels to equip certain gear. Skill accounts for a lot more than raw stats when it comes to success in Phantasy Star Online 2.
Key stats, and their effects, are as follows:
HP: Hit Points. Punishment the character can take.
MEL: Melee Attack Power.
RNG: Ranged Attack Power.
TEC: Tech Attack, used for Techniques and "magic" weapons.
DEX: Minimum damage character does with all attacks.
MEL-DEF: Melee Defense.
RNG-DEF: Ranged Defense.
TEC-DEF: Tech Defense.
Race and gender affects the character's base stats. As a general rule, males have higher MEL and females have higher TEC. RNG tends to be the same, but female characters also have a slight edge in that department if playing a CAST or Deuman. PP and PP generation is not affected by a character's race or gender. Players can change their class at any point in the ARKS lobby at the class counter, though they will need to level each separately. The community has compiled a number of viable builds in a Google Doc. Resetting skills at this point in time does cost real money.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Races
Races and genders can be organized into a simple chart. The highest stat multipliers for each race/gender combo are in, with the lowest possible in . At the level cap, however, players will have enough supplementary gear to render any statistical disparities moot.
Race (Gender) | HP | MEL | RNG | TEC | DEX | MEL-DEF | RNG-DEF | TEC-DEF | Average
Human (M) | 105% | 104% | 103% | 100% | 100% || | 100% |
Human (F) | 104% || 103% | 104% | 101% | | | |
Newman (M) | 95% || | 108% | | | | 100% |
Newman (F) || | | | | | | |
CAST (M) | 95% | 101.75%| 105% | 104% | | | | |
CAST (F) | 106% | 104% | 95% | 101.63%| | | | |
Deuman (M) | 96% || 104% | 105% | 100% | | | 100% | 101.50%
Deuman (F) | 95% | 106% || 105% | 101% | | | 100% | 101.50%
Standard, everyday humans. Humans have no particular stat deficiencies and above-average HP growth. Humans can fill any class well, thanks to their well-balanced stats. Humans are a great choice if you aren't sure which class you want to play or want to play multiple classes.
Elf-like genetically altered humans. They're well-suited to the Force and Techter classes. Both male and female Newmans have below-average HP, but a 108% and 110% boost to TEC, respectively. These are the highest multipliers out of any of the races. This comes at a price, however, meaning that many Newmans get pigeonholed into Tech-based classes. Newmans possess the lowest average stats overall.
This incarnation of CASTs comes from sickly humans or Newmans with good Photon aptitude. CASTs make for formidable melee and ranged combatants. Their high MEL and RNG, coupled with good HP and DEX, makes them great for a variety of classes and roles. Their below-average TEC, however, makes leveling TEC-based classes a bit of a struggle.
Artificially created horned humanoids, Deumans (particularly the single-horned men) take some slight inspiration from Japanese oni. Deumans make for great glass cannons, with diminished HP and average defenses but great offensive stats across the board. Males boast the highest MEL, at 107%, and female Deumans tie with female CASTs for highest RNG (105%). Deumans can fit into most classes, but will need to play with a bit more caution than humans.
Classes also possess stat multipliers. At character creation, characters can select from any of the basic classes except for Fighter, Gunner, and Techter. Those classes can be accessed at the ARKS Lobby after completing the tutorial by speaking to Bhea. Phantasy Star Online 2 lacks the holy trinity of Tank-DPS-Healer. Forces and especially Techters tend to slot buffing and healing abilities in addition to their offense.
Weapons: Swords, Wired Lances, Partisans, Gunblades
A close-range fighter with high HP, MEL, and M-DEF. Hunters are great options for new players, with straightforward gameplay and high durability. They have the highest stat average, buffered in part due to their 118% HP adjustment. While there isn't a traditional tank role in Phantasy Star Online 2, Hunters make fantastic melee subclasses because of their passive offense and defense boosts. Hunters tend to subclass into Fighters (HuFi).
Weapons: Assault Rifles, Launchers, Gunblades
Rangers specialize in mid-range combat. They have increased RNG and R-DEF, letting them safely plink away at enemies from a distance. Rangers provide sustained damage, able to swap between assault rifles and launchers for single-target and AoE, respectively. Like most classes, Rangers tend to subclass Hunter (RaHu).
Weapons: Rods, Talises, Gunblades
Phantasy Star Online 2's equivalent of mages. Forces use a variety of long-range techniques to change the tide of battle. Despite their frailty, they can provide support and utility alongside their respectable TEC and T-DEF. Forces possess the lowest average stat multiplier, along with Techters. Forces almost always sub Techters (FoTe) to make their PP usage more efficient. Since they're so frail, Forces are typically recommended for more advanced players.
Weapons: Katanas, Compound Bows, Gunblades
Suited to both melee and ranged combat, Bravers make for great first characters when learning how combat works. Katana builds can capitalize on a long invulnerability window, giving players a safety net. Most of the gameplay comes down to timing and perfect guards, blocking enemy attacks at the last second before countering. Despite otherwise above-average stats, they have a poor TEC. Hunter is the clear subclass winner here, meaning you'll see a number of BrHus running around.
Weapons: Soaring Blades, Jet Boots, Gunblades
Weak RNG aside, Bouncers boast above-average parameters. They are effective at both close and medium range combat, using a combination of flowing melee strikes and Tech attacks. Bouncers, like Forces, try to exploit elemental weaknesses for massive damage. Yes, Bouncers also sub into Hunter (BoHu).
Weapons: Harmonizers, Gunblades
In a radical departure from normal Phantasy Star Online 2 gameplay, Summoners are a pet class. They order their pets around to fight for them. They're quite versatile, with summons for every situation. The more passive play style and need to acquire their pets means that this class is better left after learning how combat works. Many Summoners dip Fighter (SuFi).
Weapons: Twin Daggers, Double Sabers, Knuckles, Gunblades
Close-range attackers, Fighters use flashy attacks to quickly take down enemies. They are more fragile than Hunters when it comes to HP, but much faster at single-target damage. This results in a high-risk, high-reward play style. Again, Hunter (FiHu) is a winner here when it comes to subclassing.
Weapons: Assault Rifles, Twin Machine Guns, Gunblades
Like Rangers, Gunners focus on medium range combat with their light projectile weapons. Twin Machine Guns, however, mean they will move a lot closer to the front of the party. Gunner gameplay involves dodging attacks and leading into big Chain Triggers before using a Finisher Boost. Their evasive abilities give them huge invulnerability windows, making them somewhat of an evade tank. Gunners, yes, dip into Hunter (GuHu).
Weapons: Wands, Talises, Gunblades
Techters are as close as you can get to a support class in Phantasy Star Online 2. They trade away RNG for MEL and T-DEF for M-DEF, using wands to close in and attack enemies. Techters buff themselves and the party using Shifta (offense) and Deband (defense) before wading into combat. The mini-explosions from their wands make for decent AoE. Their skill trees tend to make wand combat and support spells more efficient. Most take Hunter for a subclass (TeHu) to increase their melee survivability.
That's all she wrote! Phantasy Star Online 2 is free to play and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Be sure to set your computer's region to the U.S. first, though, otherwise you cannot access the download. If you are encountering other problems with installation, however, take solace in the fact you aren't alone. TechRaptor's own Joseph Allen compiled some links and resources to try and get the game running.
For those of you playing now, have you settled on a class? Did you transfer over from the Japanese client? Let us know your Phantasy Star Online 2 story below!