This feature is still under development, as the game is just out.
Don’t act too shocked: the latest game from the Bravely Default devs is knee-deep with systems and complex bits that you’ll figure out after the first 5 to 10 hours. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Who Should You Start With?
Just a heads up: once you pick your starting character, you cannot back out of it. Sure, you can recruit the remaining 7 heroes, but your starting character will be the main guy/girl in your story. As such, here’s our advice.
For JRPG beginners, pick Olberic, Tressa, and Therion. The first pick is a warrior, meaning that he solves all his problems with fighting, duels, and killing things until they’re dead with regular and SP attacks. If you want to be a bit rich, Tressa’s Haggle and Therion’s Steal can make you deal with resource management and money matters in the game with little hassle.
For those feeling a little confident, go start with H’aanit. She is a jack of all trades kinda Hunter, with her Beast skills (you can recruit beasts you fight by weakening them and capturing them) and her Arrow/SP skills.
If this isn’t your first rodeo, just go straight to the spellcasters like Alfyn and Cyrus. They have the tools to deal with any situation, and money for SP-replenishing potions are easy to come by if you don’t mind the JRPG grind, so go nuts with the spellcasting and levelling up.
You will eventually recruit every character if you feel like it, so we recommend you get all of them to mix up your jobs and skillset.
Combat in Octopath Traveler is turn-based and random. When you walk around in dungeons and overworlds, you’ll get attacked. Whether you get surprised or you ambush enemies first is up to the RnG gods.
As soon as combat kicks off in Octopath Traveler, you’ll be presented with a series of options. Firstly, you can see the order of the combat turns on the row at the top of the screen. This is going to tell you who’s going to attack, both from your own party and the enemy party and when. You will always have the opportunity to go first in this system unless your party gets jumped by an enemy group while you’re standing still.
When it’s one of your characters’ turn to attack, you will need to pick a weapon. There’s the conventional choice of attacks, including bows, swords, spears, and daggers, and then there’s the ‘character skills’ group of attacks.
Under each enemy on the screen, you’ll see a number within a blue orb. This number indicates how many critical attacks this enemy can take before it “breaks” and is stunned out of a turn. Whenever it’s your first time fighting an enemy, there’ll be a series of blank question marks just to the right of this number, which hides the type of weapons that this enemy is weak to.
It’s up to you to experiment with different types of weapons from all your different characters, in order to determine which enemies are weak to a particular type of weapon. If you successfully attack with the correct weapon, a ‘Weak’ sign will flash up next to the enemy, with the weapon type filling in one of the blank question marks, and the number in the blue orb ticking down by one.
Once the number within the blue is depleted, the enemy will be stunned, and won’t be able to attack for another turn. At this point, you want to lay into that enemy with all attacks possible, as all damage they receive is now boosted since they can’t properly defend themselves. This is the basic loop of combat in Octopath Traveler, and it’s one that’s not too hard to get to grips with.
As for the special character skill attacks, this is where you find a lot more variety. There’s an SP meter for each of your characters in Octopath Traveler, and you spend points from this meter to execute special skill attacks. These special attacks are varied in their abilities—they could deliver multiple hits to a single enemy, or deal out elemental damage all across the battlefield.
It is important to remember that these attacks can still damage the Break meter of an enemy, so keep this in mind when selecting which special skill attack to use on which enemies.
If you want to power up a character’s attacks, then you’ll need to active Boost mode. Next to the name of each character on the battle screen, you’ll see a number of blank orbs, which turn gold when filled in. Each character always begins a battle with one orb filled in, and it’s this currency that you use to Boost your attacks.
Whenever it’s one of your character’s turns, and then have points from the Boost meter to spend, you can press R to Boost their attacks. You can spend a maximum of three Boost points in one turn for one character, and for each point you spend, they perform multiple attacks in one go. For example, if you boost Olberic by two points and then have him attack an enemy with his sword, he’ll perform three sword attacks in one go—one as standard, and two from being Boosted.
Not only can you Boost standard attacks, but you can also Boost special character skill attacks in Octopath Traveler. For example, you could spend two boost points for H’aanit and then let loose with her True Shot ability, to triple the total damage dealt. This can lead to some devastating attacks, and you should always remember Boost attacks for whenever you want to Break an enemy quickly or deal huge damage to a boss.