Persona 5 has arrived, and it’s one of the best games we’ve played this year! (And that’s saying something when Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out in March.) Check out my Persona 5 review to see all the details on what makes it worthy of our highest score, but I realized that such a long-running series might confuse folks. Even with all the critical buzz, the basics of the Persona series might seem obtuse to newcomers. So consider this your Persona 5 starter tips to comfortably get into this magnificent game.

The most basic information about Persona 5 is that it's a turn-based role-playing, somewhat similar to older titles like Final Fantasy. You explore dungeons, you level up characters, you fight bosses and all the other tropes of the Japanese RPG genre. But Persona 5 is also a lifestyle sim of experiencing every day of a high schooler's year, meaning you've got to balance all those aspects of your life in a limited amount of time. Here are the best ways to enjoy all Persona 5 offers right from the outset.

Be Patient With The Opening

Persona 5 review

 

There's an action-packed opening to the game, but after then things slow down a bit. The first six to eight hours you spend in the campaign will be spent learning about the real world and the dungeon-filled Metaverse, along with meeting more than a dozen new characters. It's a lot of world-building, but Persona 5 is so dense that it needs to explain so much valuable information. Just be patient with all the explanations, because I promise they're all useful. When the game finally lets you loose to experience everything, it'll be all the sweeter.

Live Each Day to the Fullest

Persona 5 Cooperation

You spend time in and out of dungeons, but you only have so many afternoons and evenings on your calendar. Many of your activities, including dungeons, hanging out, part-time jobs, studying, and more take up your limited amount of time to do activities and level up your characters. Spend your time wisely, and never head to bed until you've done something that either boosts your stats or grows your relationships. Use your phone to keep track of the best times and places to hang out with your Confidants (formerly Social Links) to earn stat boosts. Just plan what you do carefully because some bonuses are only available on certain days of the week.

Make the Most of Your Dungeon Time

Each time you enter a dungeon, whether it's a story-focused palace or the more sprawling Mementos, that's the only thing you can do that day. When you leave, you can heal your team and buy items, but you lose another day that could be spent on other stats or relationships. Try to go as far as you possibly can every time you enter a dungeon, and only leave if it's an absolute MUST. If you save often enough in a dungeon and arrive prepared with some healing items, you should be able to complete a Palace in two in-game days on Normal difficulty -- and maybe even in one day if you're real good.

Keep Watch of Your Cash

Persona 5 City Setting

Cash rules everything around me, and that includes your Yen in Persona 5. You earn money mainly in dungeons through combat and collecting treasures, but you also can do part-time jobs if you're low on funds. Spend that cash carefully though and don't immediately spend it all on new weapons and equipment for your team. Always try to keep a few thousand handy because you'll often be faced with a random offer to buy something rare for ¥2000, or you'll need to pay ¥5000 to get closer to a confidant. Be ready to make a big purchase if the opportunity arises.

Weaknesses Are Your Strength in Battle

persona 5 review

Every demon and shadow you come across in a dungeon have a specific weakness. Hitting them with a spell or attack they're weak to will leave your enemy dazed and you'll get a second attack, CRUCIAL to winning some battles. The game keeps track of any discovered weaknesses, and a quick press of R1 in combat will immediately bring up the best attack. So, every time you meet a new enemy, try out every type of spell and attack available until you find that weakness. Even if you forget, the game won't. And whenever you can recruit a new Persona, it's even better because you'll instantly learn their weakness.

Don't Be Scared to Make Mistakes

Persona 5 Starter Tips Protagonist

Ultimately, unless you read a FAQ, you won't find the "perfect" way to experience Persona 5 and do everything possible. Don't sweat about that though. Just live your life the way you want in the game, and as long as you follow these tips, none of that will be wasted. Just live your digital life how you want. And hey, if you miss something, all the more reason to play a second playthrough on a harder difficulty.

Henry Gilbert
Henry Gilbert is Senior Games Editor at Fandom. He's worked in the gaming press since 2008, writing for sites as diverse as GamesRadar, IGN, and Paste Magazine. He's also been known to record a podcast or two with Laser Time. Follow him on Twitter @henereyg.