Tales of Arise is finally here, and it may very well be the best the Tales franchise has to offer. The gameplay is just such a joy to experience, especially if you’re an anime aficionado as it’s able to replicate almost all the highs of an awesome anime series. Now, there have been many Tales games released throughout the years but, given the new adjustments to presentation, combat, and more, Tales of Arise is the perfect entry for the vast majority to get into especially for those who have never played a Tales game previously, such as myself.
We noticed, however, that there are a lot of mechanics that the game doesn’t quite explain clearly that we kind of wish they did as they do affect your overall gameplay. That’s where this video comes in. Here we run down some of the things we wish we knew when we started the game and hopefully it help you have a smoother experience as you take part in this wonderfully awesome RPG.
1. DLCs can affect Difficulty
In addition to the Standard Edition, you can also get the Deluxe or even the Ultimate Edition. Each of these contain some awesome DLC outfits for your characters such as really fancy headgear, body, and weapon skins. However, this is where we would like to caution you.
These special DLC packs not only come with alternate aesthetics, but they also have item packs that have huge effects with gameplay. Some packs contain upgrades like 30% off on purchases from the General Store. Some even give you free SP to level your skills. Next, you also get special Emblems (which is Tales’ version of Skill Trees) that you are free to learn for each character
It may not sound like much, but using all of these can really mess with the game’s difficulty. If you don’t mind that and you’re just after the story elements of Tales of Arise, then by all means, go ahead. However, if you want to experience the game in the level of difficulty the devs intended (which we highly recommend), consider being very careful of the DLCs you activate and stick with the aesthetics… and maybe even ignore the special Emblem Skills the skins give.
2. Semi-Auto / Manual is the way to go
In the beginning of the game, you’ll be prompted about how you can choose between AUTOMATIC, SEMI-AUTO, and MANUAL for battle, but it doesn’t really go at length as to what those mean.
After trying all modes out, we saw that Semi-Auto and Manual would be the best options for if you wanna experience the amazing rhythm and pace of the Tales of Arise combat system. The difference between Semi-Auto and Manual is that Semi-Auto will make your active character walk towards the enemy until you’re in range while Manual leaves it totally up to you on how to maneuver around the battlefield. Your teammates will still move on their own but you will definitely want to choose either of the 2 especially when you want to be able to freely adjust to how the fight is going like when you want to move to another target, etc.
Automatic is a good choice if you just want to let the AI do the fighting for you, which is great if you want to do that while juggling other things with your play. So if you’re grinding, this may be a good option to do. Otherwise, Auto is just VERY AGGRESSIVE and if you try to move while its on auto, you’ll feel the AI fight your inputs and commands.
3. Resources and Monsters respawn fairly quickly
Speaking of grinding, it’s actually a great idea to stock up on cooking ingredients and materials as these make fetch sidequests a breeze since you’ll already have what they’re requesting for. Plus, you will want to have a surplus of materials for when you’re crafting or trying out new recipes.
If you’re in a grindy mood, it’s good to know that monsters, ores, herbs, and the like will indeed respawn fairly quickly. Sometimes, all it takes is sleeping in camp and the whole map would’ve replenished its stock for you to harvest.
4. Yes, Grinding is a good idea
If the previous 2 points haven’t made it clear, Tales of Arise is a game that actually encourages grinding. Of course, there is still such a thing as OVER GRINDING but making a 2nd or even a 3rd pass of a map you’ve already explored and cleared but has repopulated due to you resting is definitely a good idea.
While doing our playthrough, we tried to make it so that we would give a map around 2-4 clears before moving on to the next. In other RPGs, doing this would definitely overpower you and make bosses trivial but we can confirm that even after doing this, there were still quite challenged with boss and sub boss fights.
5. Conveniently switch characters by using L1 + DPad
With so many members in your party, it’s only fair that you would want to play as them. But with the Tales of Arise’s battle system plus how the game teaches you to switch characters, you will most likely gravitate to just sticking to one character per battle. This is because the game says that to switch characters, you will need to open your menu in the middle of battle and switch to the character you want from there. This doesn’t feel natural though since opening the menu kind of cuts the battle momentum and will kind of feel like a chore to do.
There is, however, a way to switch characters faster than that. Simply hold the L1 button to enter a targeting mode screen which also happens to stop time in battle. While holding L1, you can use the Directional Stick to cycle through the targets that you want to lock on to. Additionally, if you use the D-pad while on this screen, you get to pick the character that you want to actively control which will be marked with the flag icon on the bottom left of the screen. Just also remember to choose the enemy you want to lock-on to once you’ve switched characters as each one will most likely have their own target in battle.
6. Attack as a group for better combo stacking
One of the fastest ways to kill enemies is to build the combo gauge and then finish them off with a strike. Now, you can do this on your own by doing fancy combos but you’ll, at times, fall short and the gauge will reset. It’s easier to keep the guage up however when you’re being backed up by your teammates.
So unless you need to attack a specific enemy for strategic reasons, I suggest holding the L1 button to check who your other members are targeting and go after that enemy instead as it will most likely result in dispatching that certain enemy quicker or maybe even end the battle itself as Strikes are AOE.
BONUS TIP FOR THIS POINT: Be sure to always be ready to press the Strike Button as those prompts can easily be missed
7. Save your CPs and Rest Frequently
Tales of Arise features a CP system which is something you will really need to be smart with. To summarize, you have a CP gauge that your entire party shares and can only be refilled via items or by resting. CPs basically dictate how much healing and buffing you can do in combat via spells as, every time you do use such a spell, it consumes an amount of CP. If you run out of CPs, you won’t be able to heal and will have to resort to using items as restoratives but… healing items are quite pricey so it’s best that you just properly manage your CP by:
- Using healing magic only when you need to
- Using support spell buffs sparingly
- And well, getting good at not getting hit
So if there’s an option for you to rest, I strongly suggest that you do so.
As an added caveat, you also want to keep CP-restoring items handy and not use them all up because field actions like healing injured NPCs to gain rewards or using specific actions to unlock certain paths also do cost CPs so you’ll most likely want to use those during those times so as you don’t miss out.
8. Camp and Cook often
Jumping off from the last point, you really should camp often as it has way more benefits than just replenishing your CPs. At camp, there will be times that you will see certain skits play out which really adds to the story and world building of Tales of Arise.
Camping also allows you to cook which you should definitely do often as the buffs you get from meals can really help out as you explore and grind.
Lastly, camping also allows you to spend time with one of your party mates at a time which can strengthen your bonds with each other which unlocks even more skits.
9. Save to check on the level of Giant Zeugles
Early in the game, you will be introduced to Giant Zeugles and the game will even tell you that you should stay away from these creatures. The very first Giant Zeugle in Calaglia will easily wipe the floor with you as it’s level 40+ but other Giant Zeugles may just be possible for you to defeat.
This is why we suggest that when you encounter a Giant Zeugle to save your game and then fight it just to check if its level is something that you can conquer. Because if it’s a doable fight, we highly recommend that you beat it as Giant Zeugles will reward you with an item that raises your Max CP. Definitely worth the hard-fought battle.
10. Prioritize learning AG-boosting Skills
We mentioned earlier that battles are made so much smoother by filling combo gauges and the key to doing that is to chain attacks and artes together effectively. The more moves you can do in a sequence, the better the battle will be for you. This is why you should prioritize skills that either give you more AG or makes you recover AG faster.
We understand that there are so many skills to learn and it may be tempting to just learn more new artes but those should come secondary to getting these AG passives. Trust us. You’ll be glad you did.
11. Regularly check your Skill Panel for Unlockable Emblems
Even when you’re not looking to learn any new skills, we do suggest that you open up your skill panel from time to time just to check if there are any Unlockable Emblems. These are emblems on the skill panel that don’t have any nodes yet but are already visible to you.
If you check on them with your cursor, these unlockable emblems will tell you what exactly they need to become accessible and sometimes they’re simple actions like Cooking a certain number of times, or downing enemies with boost attacks. It’s best that you’re aware of these requirements so that you can actively take steps to unlock them ASAP. Not only will unlocking an emblem give you a free skill or passive but it will also give you more options for skills to learn.
12. Play with Japanese Voices with English Subtitles
Finally, this is a personal preference tip but I would strongly suggest that you play the game using Japanese voice with english subtitles. Simply because I found that some characters, especially Alphen, seem to deliver their lines better this way.
And that’s it for our list of tips. So, get going and play Tales of Arise now on PC or consoles!