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Persona 5 guide: Walkthrough and tips for making the most of your school year

Our complete walkthrough to surviving student (and supernatural) life.

After what feels like an eternity, the next game in the Persona series has arrived. Persona 5 offers the same unique blend of day-to-day social sim elements of life as a Japanese student, combined with travelling to alternate dimensions to do battle against bizarre creatures.

It's a huge adventure, and while its structure breaks up its dungeon crawling into manageable chunks, deciding what to do and when can be in an intimidating prospect.

Our Persona 5 walkthrough will highlight everything you should look out for on the critical path, while this Persona 5 guide page as clue you in on the many side activities and social interactions you may want to make time for throughout the year.

Persona 5 walkthrough

How Persona 5 works is the game follows fixed timetable, and although you are largely free to come and go as you please, the major story elements occur at specific points in the calendar, and failing to complete certain objectives on time will result in a game over.

You get a reasonable amount of time to complete them, but it's important to note that the deadline is a deadline, so while you need to spend time talking to people, taking a part time job, engaging in leisure activities, etc., never take your eye off the clock!

The below has a list of every month and Palace bar their character name or setting (depending on which is less of a spoiler). In general, we've tried to keep spoilers to a minimum throughout every page, but be wary certain names and settings are unavoidable, so be wary of looking ahead where possible.

We've created a path that, if followed correctly, should allow you to maximise all the "social links" with the game's confidants, max out your overworld stats, and see the bulk of the game's content in a single playthrough.

If you're already part way through then we'll still give you pointers to some efficient levelling opportunities, as well as ways to tackle each Palace and more.

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Other Persona 5 guides

Like any role-playing game worth its salt there's plenty of side-activities and depth to its combat, and this 100-hour long adventure doesn't disappoint. Here are guides to some of the game's most popular systems, such as answers to those troublesome class quizzes.

Persona 5 tips for making the most of your school year

For those of you who have played a Persona game before most of the mechanics will be familiar - there have been a few tweaks, but broadly speaking it offers no surprises.

If, however, this is your first Persona game, there are a few things it's handy to know before embarking on your journey.

How do stats work?

Stats are broken into three areas - Overworld, Confidant, and Metaverse.

  • Overworld stats are broken up into Knowledge, Guts, Charm, Proficiency, and Kindness, and while they have no direct effect on combat they do impact your ability to do certain things in the overworld which in turn will effect your readiness for battle. These stats are levelled up through a variety of means - watching a movie, eating a hamburger, taking a bath, pretty much everything you do will have an impact - so make sure you explore everything the world has to offer.
  • Confidant stats affect your ability to craft Personas, your squadmates' passive abilities in combat, and options for romance. These are levelled up by interacting with people in the overworld, but some interactions will require a particular level in one of the overworld stats.
  • Metaverse stats affect the HP and SP points your character has as well as the performance of your Personas - each Persona you use has its own independent set of stats that affect its abilities and other facets of combat.

What are Personas, Arcanas, and Confidants?

We'll cover the intricacies of Persona Fusing on its own page, but for the purposes of overworld exploration they hold an important function - each Persona belongs to an Arcana (like a suit in a deck of cards), and each character you encounter in the overworld will have an affinity for a particular Arcana.

Carrying a Persona of a matching Arcana when you interact with a character will increase the effectiveness of your meeting, requiring fewer interactions to increase your standing with that character, so it pays to check you're carrying an appropriate Persona before talking to anyone - the stats menu lists all your Confidants, their Arcana, and their current ranking.

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Palaces and dungeon tips

Palaces are the game's main plot dungeons, but unlike previous instalments in the series they're not randomly generated, and it's not possible to finish them in a single sitting.

Most will require at least three visits - an initial investigation, a full exploration, and a return for the boss fight - but some may require more. Once one is completed you can't revisit it, but you can return as many times as you like before then, so make sure you get everything you need!

There are also Momentos, which are bite-sized, random and optional dungeons which are useful to get extra EXP, items and more.

Combat tips

Combat in the game is turn based, and turn order is determined by the Speed attribute of the characters and enemies.

Each member of your party has a basic melee attack and a ranged attack with a limited number of shots, and the damage deal by these is dependant on the characters level and the weapon they use. New weapons can be purchased from Untouchables in Shibuya or occasionally located in treasure chests.

In addition to base attacks, each character has special abilities tied to their person. Your team mates have a fixed pool of abilities available, with new skills added as they level up, but the main character has the capability to swap ability sets in and out each turn by switching Personas.

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Special attacks are mostly elemental in nature - fire, wind, ice, lightning, radiation, bless, and curse - and most enemies will be weak to at least one of these. Tougher enemies may have no weaknesses, though, and may also be resistant or immune to certain types of damage and in some cases may even reflect the damage back.

Hitting enemies with an attack based on their weakness will knock them to the ground leaving them open to follow up attacks, and if you can manage to get all enemies on the floor at the same time you can opt to unleash an "all out" attack to deal massive damage, or bargain with the enemies to get more loot, items, or even take their Persona.

Crafting

As well as activities such as fishing, baseball and other Social Stat boosters, you can craft tools at your workbench for dungeon crawling after April 17th.

Ingredients for crafting can be purchased from various shops around the overworld and will be randomly dropped when defeating shadows.

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While there are quite an array of items available, as a general rule we'd recommend sticking to just crafting standard lockpicks: you can easily make enough to open every locked chest you'll come across and each crafting session will earn you 2 or 3 proficiency points, so it's worth taking the time rather than opting to craft the Eternal Lockpick once it becomes available.

It's worth nothing on July 25th a second set of recipes will be added to your arsenal, and getting Kawakami to rank 5 will occasionally allow you to craft items during school hours, and at rank 7 you can ask her to craft items for you, both of which can save you precious time.

How New Game+ works

After reaching the true ending and watching the credits you're given the option of saving your clear data, and doing so allows you to start a new game that carries over some perks from your previous playthrough:

  • Your stats and levels (both overworld and combat) will be retained, and you'll keep all money and equipment, including weapons, items, armour, and accessories, gifts given to you during the final moments of the game, and skill cards.
  • Your Persona compendium will also carry over.
  • Arcana ranks won't be carried over and the overworld map will return to default, but retaining your other stats will free up a lot of time to concentrate on ranking everyone up if you didn't manage it first time around, and you can spend more time on secondary activities such as reading or fishing without worrying that you're "wasting" time.

One thing to note is that enemies don't scale so combat may prove to be a little too easy a second time around, but you'll be given the option of selecting a new difficulty during the initial interrogation if you want to up the challenge. There are, of course, new bosses to fight, Personas to fuse and Trophies to unlock for doing said bonus challenges, so for completionists it's a must.

Additional reporting by Matthew Reynolds

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