Shin Megami Tensei V is now out for Nintendo Switch, allowing fans of the long-running ATLUS series to dive headfirst into a massive JRPG adventure filled with angels, demons, high-schoolers, and a world torn to pieces. For returning fans of Shin Megami Tensei there will likely be a lot that is familiar to you, but also plenty new in this new entry into the franchise. In this Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner Guide, we'll break down some early tips and tricks that you might know or might come as a surprise including the battle system, important items to pick up, and new mechanics debuting in this entry.
Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner Guide - Character Tips
Shin Megami Tensei V Essences | What are they?
One of the new features of Shin Megami Tensei V is the different Essences you can collect. Essence is a part of a demon's strength that you can collect and use to augment the skills or proficiencies of the Protagonist or demons. For example, in the early game if you want the Protagonist to have a healing skill and you happen to have a Pixie Essence you can take the Dia skill from the Pixie essence and apply it to the Protagonist. Using Essences you can even give fire skills to demons that might normally only learn water or support skills.
The use of Essences does add some challenge to the game that you need to obtain these essences, through befriending the demon or finding the essence, but the reward is that you can create an entirely flexible build for your Protagonist or demon allies.
You can obtain Essences by picking them up in the field, they can be given to you by demons, and they can be purchased from the store at the Leyline.
Shin Megami Tensei V Miracles | What are they?
Miracles act as additional skills and abilities that can be used to not only power up the Protagonist and Party through flat stat boosts but also give additional effects. The range of these Miracle abilities is pretty incredible too. Some abilities allow you to charge up your Magatsuhi Gauge faster, some allow you to recharge HP and MP per turn of battle, and it's also through Miracles that you can impart more skills through fusion and expand the limit of your party. As you explore the Netherworld and destroy the Abscesses covering the map you'll unlock more Miracles to purchase in the World of Shadows.
What are the Shin Megami Tensei V currencies?
- Macca - This is the standard monetary currency of the game. You can spend it to purchase items such as healing consumables or battle items, it can also be used to purchase Essences and to resummon demons from your Demon Compendium. You can earn it from defeating enemies in battle, finding it in Treasure Spheres, and by selling items especially the pre-world Relics that can sell for a high price.
- Glory - This currency is used to purchase Miracles in the World of Shadows. You can earn Glory by finding the hidden Miman around the world, finding Glory Cache's around the world, and by using Glory Crystals earned from battling Nigi Mitama and other enemies.
How to earn EXP/Macca/Glory quickly in Shin Megami Tensei V
Obviously, you can earn Macca and Glory through the above methods, and experience by defeating enemies and progressing through the game but there are also special enemies called Mitama that have a low rate to spawn that if you successfully kill them before they flee will earn you items to boost your EXP, Macca, or Glory. If you want to find out how to encounter more Mitama and how to ensure you defeat them before they run away then check out our Shin Megami Tensei V Mitama Battle Guide.
Tip: It's faster to fuse than to level up your demons
A big part of Shin Megami Tensei V is the recruitment of demons, leveling them up, and fusing them to create more powerful demons. Each demon only has the ability to learn a few attacks through level up before only its stats will increase. By fusing together demons you can take the best attacks from them individually and turn them into a demon that isn't just more powerful but also one that has more potential to learn attacks and grow further. When fusing demons they can also come out a much higher level. Doing this is recommended if you find your current team just isn't making the cut in tough battles.
Tip: Be sure to return to areas when you're stronger
Through your journey you'll come across a number of powerful enemies. These will be much larger, normally standing on their own, and will have a larger icon on the mini-map. These demons will start at level 30+ even when you're only level 10-15 so be sure to avoid them for the time being. Returning to them when you're strong enough to fight them will net you a variety of items including Glory Crystals and high amounts of Macca and Experience.
Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner Guide - Battle Tips
It's important to know your enemy
If you've played an RPG before you know how important knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents is, in Shin Megami Tensei V it's even more important due to the Push Turn system. Each round of battle you have as many turns as you do party members, normally 4, but if you manage to hit an opponent's weakness you'll earn additional turns. With a well-rounded team, this means instead of attacking four times in a turn you can instead attack eight times. Attacking an enemy's weakness will do the opposite, you'll end up losing a turn.
Learn enemy weaknesses by befriending the demons, by testing out a variety of attacks, or by purchasing Eyeglass items from the shop.
What does the moon mean in Shin Megami Tensei V?
In the top left corner of your screen, you'll see a moon that alternated between New and Full with a total of eight stages between them. What stage the moon is in can dictate how aggressive or docile demons are. This might mean they're more likely to chase you through the overworld, or are more or less likely to talk with the Protagonist in battle. If you find a situation where a demon flat out refuses to talk with you try waiting for a different moon cycle and trying again.
Recruit powerful demons in Shin Megami Tensei V
Each demon that you find and recruit will surely be a powerful addition to your party. As a demon levels up it will get new attacks and grow in stats but a demon from the beginning of the game will never learn the Heavy or Severe damaging attacks that later demons will pick up. Demon fusion and carrying on important skills is also a large part of Shin Megami Tensei V. Never get too attached to your demons as you'll be wanting to recruit stronger or fuse for better.
With all of the above, you should be in a good spot to not just hit the ground running in Shin Megami Tensei V but be ready for anything that the chaotic world of angels and demons has to throw your way.