Tales of Arise Beginner's Guide - Everything You Need To Know
Whether you're new to the Tales series or you've been playing for years, here are some tips to make the most out of your journey.
So you’ve begun your journey into Tales of Arise. Liberating the Dahnan people is no small task, and your success will depend entirely on how well you can navigate the game’s world and combat. But fear not, brave freedom fighter--we’ve assembled a list of tips to help you hone your skills for the starting hours of your long journey.
Whether you’re a newcomer to the Tales series or a seasoned veteran, this advice will help you start off your adventure on the right foot. Don't forget to also check out our Tales of Arise review while you're at it.
Hoarding Is Good, Actually
As you wander around the fields and caverns that make up the world of Tales of Arise, you’ll undoubtedly see lots of collectibles, indicated by shining sparkles, purple rock formations, or treasure chests of varying forms. Is it worth your time to go off-path to grab these items? The answer is almost always yes, absolutely!
While amassing a huge amount of wheat, mushrooms, and random rocks might not seem like it’s worth the trouble at first, once cooking and crafting open up, you’ll understand why having a variety of ingredients on-hand at all times is a solid idea. We’ll discuss cooking more in a bit, but with accessory crafting in particular, you’ll want to have lots of cheap, low-rarity ores alongside the top-tier stuff, as the lower-grade ores can be used to unlock the extra skills on each customized accessory. If you’re lucky, you’ll also discover various special herbs that can give characters permanent stat boosts.
There are also a fair few sidequests where folks will request ingredients or items. If you’ve been hoarding items from the field and from fights and already have what they need, you’ll be given an option to hand over the items as soon as they ask for it. This will save you the time and effort of hunting stuff down again and complete the quest immediately. Finally, if you’re ever in desperate need of cash, you can always look through your stash of materials, see what you have a lot of, and offload some of it--though it’s not recommended unless you have a lot of a particular material or you’re really in a bind.
ABC (Always Be Cooking)
Veteran Tales series fans know that collecting recipes and cooking up food is a key element to success, but if Arise is your first Tales adventure, you might not quite grasp what the big deal is at first.
At camps and inns throughout the game, before you rest, you’ll be presented with an option to cook a meal for the party using the ingredients you’ve collected. You can pick from the recipes you’ve learned and collected so far, provided you have the proper ingredients on-hand. Each recipe grants a different effect for a certain amount of time.
There are lots of different effects food can grant you: EXP boosts, attack and defense buffs, increased item drops or ore collection, and so on. You can only have one recipe active at a time, so choosing a meal with a good effect for what you’re going to do next in the game is key. Are you going into a long dungeon? A meal that restores HP after each battle can help you conserve your precious CP. Planning to take on that big monster-hunting subquest? An attack or defense buff can help. Need to farm dropped items from enemies? There’s a meal for that, too. You can keep an eye on the effect’s duration by watching the little silverware icon in the upper right area of the screen. If it’s almost empty, then your meal’s effect is about to be cut short.
Choosing who makes the meal is also important, as they’ll change up the effects slightly. For example, when Law cooks, he’ll reduce the duration of the meal’s effect, but also increase its potency. Eating a new meal also resets the effect time (rather than adding onto it), so if you’re still pretty full and want to keep the current meal effect around, it might not be a good idea to cook again so soon.
What's Beyond The Wall?
Throughout the game, there will be several spots in fields and dungeons where you can spend CP to clear or create a path. It usually costs a good amount of CP to open up these areas, so you might wonder if it’s worth your while to do so. The overwhelming majority of the time... yes, absolutely!
Usually, if a barrier that requires CP to clear is present, it’s blocking one of three things: a crucial area to progress, an extremely valuable treasure, or a shortcut that allows you to bypass dangerous foes. You’ll obviously need to clear the progress-impeding barriers, but those aren’t quite as common as barriers blocking treasure. Oftentimes, these barriers will be blocking off high-quality weapons and armor, valuable healing items like Gold Gels, Treats, Elixirs, and artifacts that give long-lasting permanent effects. Even if it costs a lot of CP, the reward is usually worth it, so don’t be hesitant to bust down a few barriers to get some top-class loot.
Use Frequent Fast Travel
Tales of Arise has a very robust fast-travel system. You can go almost anywhere from anywhere else in the game: all you need to do is open the map screen, find the area where you want to go, highlight the fast travel waypoint, and hit the confirm button. You’ll be quickly whisked away to wherever you want to go without needing to spend any additional time or resources. The only times you can’t use fast travel are when the story restricts you to certain areas.
This system is a welcome convenience that will save you plenty of time and headaches, especially if you’re planning on doing sidequesting. Need to beat enemies or grab something from a specific area? Just warp on over there, then zip yourself back over to the quest-giver. It also makes returning to previous areas a cinch--which helps when you want to backtrack and see if any new sidequests have opened up, or if you want to take on that big bad Zeugle who was too tough for you a few hours ago but seems more on your level now. (In particular, if you’re diligently hunting for hidden owls, you’ll want to fast travel to the Owl Forest frequently to claim your rewards.)
Hold Onto Your Old Weapons
Money can be scarce at times in Tales of Arise, especially in the earlier parts of the game. Healing items are pricey, and the costs of crafting weapons and armor can really start to add up. But as tempting as it might be to offload your old weaponry once you’ve got your shiny new gear from the blacksmith, don’t do it!
Yes, you can sell your old armor, but weapons? Hold onto those. As you play further into the game, you’ll be given a lot more weapon crafting options--many of which include gradually upgrading your old weaponry. And if you’ve sold all your old weapons, well… you’re going to have to spend time and resources crafting them again just to apply all of those upgrades. And sometimes to do that you’ll need materials that you’ll have to go out of your way to re-obtain. It’s easier just to hold on to your old armaments until you have the opportunity to upgrade them.
There’s also a sidequest for Rinwell where she will be tasked with showing a character the various books she uses as her primary weaponry. If she doesn’t have a specific book, she’ll have to obtain it again--usually through crafting. So why not save yourself the hassle? Hold onto those weapons as long as you can.
Big Game, Big Rewards
From very early on in the game, you’ll notice that there are some Zeugle enemies that are extremely nasty. Did you make the mistake of trying to engage that mantis in Sandinus Ravine with just Alphen and Shionne? Then you know what I’m talking about. These enemies are absolutely brutal, and oftentimes when you see them, it’s not a good idea to take them on right away. (You’ll usually hear your party members comment if you’re really under-leveled before you engage them.)
That doesn’t mean you should just leave them be, however. Many of these big foes have sidequest bounties attached, and will give rewards when you report their deaths to the quest-givers. They also yield a particularly valuable item when defeated: a flower that permanently adds 10 CP to your maximum. More CP is always a crucial good thing to have, so killing these beasts is a worthwhile endeavor in many ways.
But before you take these monsters on, you’ll want to be prepared. Many of them are just as difficult as the game’s story bosses--and sometimes even harder. It’s usually not the best idea to take them on right away unless you are feeling extremely confident--building up a few extra levels before engaging will help out a lot. You’ll also want to eat an appropriate buff-granting meal beforehand to give yourself a leg up.
Add To Your Title Collection
Collecting titles for your characters is another long-running Tales series tradition. In Tales of Arise, titles are especially valuable, as unlocking them will grant one permanent new buff or skill for each character along with four other optional enhancements you can spend SP on. Unlocking all of the skills a title grants also gives a permanent stat boost to that character.
Many titles will be unlocked over the course of the game’s story, but there are many optional titles that you might miss out on if you’re not paying attention. There are many ways titles can be unlocked: completing sidequests, using certain Arte types, crafting weapons and accessories, even by cooking specific meals. If a title is available to unlock, you can go into the Skill Panel to see the requirements needed. Highlight the center of the empty circle, and you’ll see what you need to do in order to activate that title and gain access to the skills contained within.
By checking these requirements regularly, you’ll be able to unlock lots of titles that you may have otherwise missed, making your party members even more formidable.
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