Yakuza: Like a Dragon has stormed onto PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 4, and it’s a big game with lots to do. It might be a bit overwhelming at first, especially if this is your first time diving into this series.
There’s a lot to learn here. Between the turn-based combat and plethora of side activities, you’ll have your hands pretty full after the first couple hours of narrative setup. If you’re feeling a little lost, we’ve got you covered with these Yakuza: Like a Dragon beginner tips.
Unlock Fast Travel in Yakuza: Like a Dragon
By the time you hit Chapter 4 in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, you’ll start having more free reign on the streets of Ijincho, and there’s a lot to explore. The district is nearly three times bigger than Kamurocho from the previous games, which means a lot more running around.
You can use taxis to fast travel around the map, but there’s a little catch to them: You need to access each taxi to unlock them as a destination. The game doesn’t make this clear, so make sure you check out each yellow cab you pass by. Toward the second half of the story when you have more disposable income for fast travel, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is All About Your Personality
After you start rolling in some cash, we recommend hitting up the Ounabara Vocational School to improve Kasuga’s personality traits. You can find it on the corner of Daikokuten Street and Breakwater Drive, in East Jinnai Station.
It’s never too late to go to school, and these personality traits can come in handy in combat and in Kasuga’s love life. All you have to do is answer some questions above various topics, including sports, math, and Yakuza trivia. You can buy some expensive tools to help your chances, but we recommend saving your yen by saving before every test. If you fail, you can always reload.
In combat, the effectiveness of certain skills scale off certain personality traits. For example, Kasuga’s Hero skill called Fearless Command buffs all your allies’ Attack, and that buff gets stronger the higher Kasuga’s Passion is. If you’re looking to experience some romance, these personality traits—and a couple dozen bouquets—will be vital to landing your first date.
Protect Kasuga at All Costs (and Save!)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is one of those JRPGs that prioritizes the protagonist above all else. If your other teammates go down, you can revive them with a First Aid Kit or with a handful of revival skills. If Ichiban goes down, however, it’s game over. So make sure he’s always ready to take a big hit, especially in some of the later boss fights.
If you hit game over, you can pay a pretty hefty fee to restart the fight, but that isn’t exactly kind to your wallet. The alternative, however, is loading back to your last save. The loading screen isn’t kidding when it says that saving is the wise thing to do!
If you stay on Kasuga’s Hero job path, you’ll unlock a skill called Peerless Resolve at rank 16. This recovers some of his HP and gives him a buff that lets him survive one fatal hit. It’s good insurance, especially when the going gets tough.
Set Your Combat Shortcuts
Each job in Yakuza: Like a Dragon comes with a lot of skills, some of which stick with your character after a job change. After a dozen or so hours, you’ll be sorting through a lot of skills with each character, and it can slow down the pace of combat a bit. Improve your quality of life by setting skills you frequently use to the D-pad, which gives you quick access to your favorites.
Granted, this is something we only recommend doing after a few hours of play. At first, it’s easy enough to sort through the smaller inventory of skills you’ll have. Additionally, going through them manually will help you learn the combat system a bit more. This gives you more context when you eventually decide on what to add to your shortcuts.
Visit Survive Bar Frequently
In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, your party members are the most valuable allies you’ll find, so keeping them leveled is crucial. Despite referencing Pokemon, this game doesn’t have an EXP Share. Instead, you’ll want to build your bonds with your teammates at the Survive Bar.
Not only will this flesh out your party members’ stories, you’ll also unlock EXP boosts for them when they’re on the sidelines. Furthermore, this will unlock more jobs for them, opening up your team’s versatility. Amid the various other things to do in the game, it’s easy to forget about Survive Bar, so be sure to check in frequently to stay on top of your bonds.
Save Your Yen for Chapter 12 of Yakuza: Like a Dragon
We won’t spoil the story here since that’s so integral to the Yakuza: Like a Dragon experience. However, for certain narrative reasons, you’ll want to start saving up your yen ahead of Chapter 12. Because of [redacted], you’ll need to pay three million yen to progress the story. If you don’t play your cards right, you’ll be pretty out of luck and find yourself needing to grind for hours on end.
Be sure to visit the pawn shop and sell off anything you don’t need—you might find some valuable junk that sells for a high price. For more tips on how to make some cash money, check out our money-making guide.
Grind the Arena to Boost Your Stats
During Chapter 12 of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, you’ll unlock the Arena. It functions a lot like arenas in other JRPGs, like Final Fantasy X for example. You enter the battlegrounds, fight a wave of enemies, and collect your rewards.
The Arena is introduced around the time the difficulty spikes considerably, which is perfect timing. The rewards for completing each floor include valuable, high-power gear that really comes in handy.
Arguably the most valuable reward, however, is the EXP that comes with it. Just an hour or two in the Arena will shoot your average party level up by 10 or so. This will very much come in handy, as the rest of the story-related bosses don’t pull their punches from here on out.
With these tips, you’ll be in a pretty good spot to enjoy the streets of Ijincho in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. With the right party formation, sound combat decisions, and some extra yen in your wallet, you’ll be on track to see this winding narrative through to the end.