Kingdom Hearts 3 Guide: Useful Tips To Help You Become A Keyblade Master
It’s hard to believe but the launch Kingdom Hearts III has finally arrived. This long-awaited adventure has a lot going for it that’ll please fans, while also potentially attracting folks who may have avoided the series and its myriad spin-offs over the years. Regardless of your background, there are several tips you’ll need to know should you decide to embark on this magical Disney-filled adventure.
The tips below will help prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead in Kingdom Hearts III. For others, these tips will reinforce and refresh your memory of the general habits to follow around getting the most out its well-established mechanics. We even included a fair amount on some of the new things you’ll encounter--without spoiling too many of the surprises, of course.
If you’re looking for more Kingdom Hearts III guides, be sure to check back often as we’ll be posting several more in the coming days. Perhaps most notably, we have a guide that will help you to locate the Lucky Emblems, which are what you'll need to find in order to unlock the secret ending. If you haven’t read our review yet, be sure to check it out for our full thoughts about the game.
In our Kingdom Hearts III review, GameSpot Editor Tamoor Hussain gave the game an 8/10 and said: "[T]he story of Keyblade wars, time-travelling villains, body-hopping also-rans, and world-ending darkness isn't what I'll remember about Kingdom Hearts III or the series as a whole. What sticks with me is the exciting battle against elemental titans with Hercules, taking Rapunzel out into the unfamiliar wide world for the first time, snapping selfies with Winnie the Pooh, and going toe to toe with Davy Jones. In 2002, as Sora, I left Destiny Islands to travel across the universe and make new friends. In 2019 I brought old ones home, and I had so much fun doing it.”
What are you most excited to see in Kingdom Hearts III? Got any additional tips or insight that you’d like to offer about the game? Let us know the comments section below.
Check Abilities Often
As you progress, your party constantly learns new abilities--most of which you have to activate manually. Take time to jump into the Abilities screen to activate them so you don't miss out on the useful perks they offer. In some instances, you might even learn an ability that's required to progress further, so don't neglect it. Just make sure you're properly managing your abilities and setting up the ones you're more likely to use, as each ability does have a cost that takes up your overall AP threshold.
Swapping Special Attacks
The more you wallop on enemies, the more special attacks you can use during a fight. You might not know it, but you can actually cycle through which attacks you trigger by simply pressing L2/R2 or LT/RT. Make use of this to open up your strategic options in a fight, reserving special attacks for the moments where they matter.
Always Be Eating And Cooking Foods
Once you're able to prepare meals with Remy, be sure to cook up one of each dish type. This allows you to eat a full course in the Cuisine menu, which gives you a temporary special ability bonus alongside a buff to your stats.
To ensure you have enough to cook with, always scour the environment for potential ingredients. Break open boxes, shatter lanterns, or raid some leftover chinese takeout; do whatever you gotta do. You can also buy ingredients at the Moogle Shop, and Sora, Donald, and Goofy will even inform you whenever there's ingredients around; as long as you're paying attention, you should be well-stocked before long. Check up on the menu frequently, as more recipes will unlock as you gather more ingredients.
In addition, if you keep cooking, Uncle Scrooge will give special item rewards for completing dishes on the menu.
Diversify Your Keyblade Roster
You can equip up to three Keyblades in Kingdom Hearts III (fitting). As you unlock more, make sure to mix and match to see which combination works best for you--or for the enemy types you're fighting in a particular world. It's typically smart to equip Keyblades with contrasting Formchanges in order to give you more options. For example, the Favorite Deputy's varied close-ranged attacks meshes well with the projectiles of Shooting Star.
This is more of a personal preference, but we recommend always having the Kingdom Key in your loadout, as it provides the best balance of them all. Its Formchange, Second Form, is also useful given its extended combo. That and if you're a classic Kingdom Hearts fan, it doesn't make sense being without it!
Use the Moogle Shop’s Workshop
Always check in at the Moogle Shop--not only to purchase potions, ethers, and equipment, but also to upgrade your Keyblades and synthesize materials. You need the proper materials to upgrade a Keyblade, so make sure you're constantly collecting enemy drops and scouring the environment for treasure chests. It's a lot of effort, but worth it to enhance the magic, strength, and abilities of your weapon.
On the other hand, synthesizing materials is useful for a variety of reasons. While you can utilize this feature to craft healing potions and other power-ups, you'll generally want to use it to craft armor, accessories, and valuable materials for upgrading Keyblades. If you lack the Munny to purchase equipment, there's typically a lot of powerful pieces you can synthesize that'll either close the gap or help you specialize your stats further.
The Moogle Shop frequently accompanies save points for a good reason, so make a habit of checking it to see if you can upgrade Sora and company.
The Moogle Shop may have plenty of items and accessories to synthesize, but there’s several that aren’t made available to you unless you complete the Moogle’s Photo Challenges. These mini-quests require you to take photographs of specific locales and enemy types. Check in every once in a while to see what snapshots the Moogle needs, as you’re often rewarded with new synthesis recipes upon completing them—usually for accessories that are far better than the standard ones listed.
The Photo Challenges are fairly easy to complete. But if you’re having trouble with the enemy-focused Photo Challenges, don’t be discouraged; these ones are a bit finicky and tough to get since you’re usually surrounded by a ton of enemies getting in the way of your shot. We recommend focusing your attention on your target’s friends, taking particular attention to launch them away. Go at it long enough and before long you’ll get a confirmation of a successful photo.
Use Your Item Boosts!
This should be a given, but make sure you’re jumping into the Items screen to use all the Boost items for your stats you earn throughout your adventure. These allow you to enhance your party’s stats further outside of simply leveling up or enhancing their equipment. We generally recommend handing off all the AP ones to Sora as he gets access to far more abilities than Donald and Goofy, while with all the rest you can divvy up based on how you want to build your party’s stats. Avoid giving these boosts to temporary party members for obvious reasons.
Always Search for Lucky Emblems!
You learn early on in your adventure about Lucky Emblems, which are Mickey Mouse symbols that you’re encouraged to photograph with your Gummiphone. The reward for photographing Lucky Emblems isn’t made entirely clear at first, but know that doing so will net you the secret ending. If that entices you, then we encourage you to always be on the lookout. Sora, Donald, and Goofy often note when a Lucky Emblem is nearby, so take the time to investigate. They’re usually hidden behind objects, on walls, or somewhere up above. If you’re struggling, check back often as we’ll be putting up a guide soon detailing all the Lucky Emblem locations we’ve found so far.
Feeling Lost? Use the Memory Archive
We’re not gonna lie; Kingdom Hearts has a wacky story that’s sometimes difficult to understand. And if you’re someone who missed out on a few of the spin-offs over the years, you might feel lost at times playing Kingdom Hearts III. Luckily, the game has story summary videos that offer a crash course on everything you need to know before playing, including details on the major players, conflicts, andhistory. Access these videos from the Memory Archive option in the main menu. We highly recommend giving them a look, so that you understand its story beats and characters better.
Give Battlegate the Time of Day
If you're a longtime fan of Kingdom Hearts, you'll want to partake in the Battlegate mode that unlocks towards the end of the game. It's an optional mode where you take on difficult combat challenges. Each has a star difficulty rating ranging from 1-3 and can be pretty tough. But we recommend doing these challenges, as completing them earns you special reports--much like the Ansem reports from the first two Kingdom Hearts games--that flesh out the story further. In addition, you get new selfie poses! If that doesn't entice you, then we don't know what will.