Fanboy's Guide to Beginners
"Newmans and beasts and CASTs, oh my! Newmans and beasts and CASTs, oh my! I don't think we're in Algol any more, Myau..."
So, you just picked up Phantasy Star Universe, and now you're drowned in a sea of information that just seems, well, too much to take in. And not to mention, a lot of the information is sadly out of date, penned by players who've passed on to other games and have never looked back at what they wrote here.
Never fear, Uncle Fanboy is here to walk you here through the vital information. For those of you coming from Phantasy Star Online, or those entirely new to the game, this guide is here to tell you what the in-game instruction doesn't!
This also has an EXTENSIVE NPC shop price guide to tell all the people just opening shops which of their items are waaaaaaaay overpriced. Basically, if you can buy it from the NPC for 7500 and someone's selling it for 15000... well, no one's going to buy from you, and you'll languish in poverty forever.
Note: This guide is now updated for AotI. Mostly.
THE FIRST THING
The first thing to do is do the basic Tutorial that your PM offers, all the way through. If you skipped over it, go to your floating round ball, hit P. Machinery Function -> Talk -> Play Tutorial -> Mission Tutorial.
It'll explain how to link Photon Arts, how to use them, give you the Partner Card of an NPC and explain how it's used, give you a free copy of Rising Strike (a great Photon Art for getting monsters out of your face) and also get you up to level 4-5 at least. Do it with each of your characters as well; each race gets a different NPC. Humans get Hyuuga Wright, Newmans get Maya Shidow, CASTs get Lou, and Beasts get Leogini S Berafort (call him Leo ). The nice thing about NPCs is that if you're alone, or in a small party, you can call them to fight alongside you. While Maya is pretty useless, the other three are quite nice. When you advance through the Episode 2 and 3 story missions, you can get the Partner Cards of other NPCs; Laia Martinez, Leo, and Tonnio Rhima, are considered the best NPCs overall.
"I apologize for my friend. We are not yet used to your citified monkey ways..."
Need some help with this part, of course. Anyone got any more basic terms to add?
AotI or AoI: Ambition of the Illuminus, the first expansion of PSU.
Area of Effect (AoE): A Photon Art or Technic that affects a circular area, either around the caster (Gi-technics, Tornado Break), or around another given area (Ra-technics).
Bullet: The Photon Arts you learn to use with your gun. Some of them allow you to go into first-person perspective, while others do not.
Damage over Time (DoT): An SE that deals damage based on the HP of the monster it's inflicted on.
Damage Per Second (DPS): How much damage your character can inflict, on average, per second; many players stupidly obsess over this number.
GUARDIAN: Us, the players, working as sort of a roving, mercenary police force.
Just Attack: Timing melee attack combinations perfectly after one another, allowing each successive one to deal critical damage. Accompanied by a small animation and a 'power-up' sound familiar to anyone who's used a PSO Heavy Attack.
Just Counter: After performing a blocking animation, moving into a melee attack that performs exactly like a Just Attack. Can be used with regular attacks and Skills.
Partner Machinery (PM): Your helpful little buddy next to your bed. Can make items, weapons, and armor via synthing. You can feed items to them and eventually they grow up into little helper bots that can fight alongside you as an NPC - but unlike other NPCs, the more you use the PM in battle, the stronger it becomes.
Photon Arts (PA): Used as a general term encompassing all of the abilities you learn from disks: Skills, Bullets, and TECHNICS.
Planet Abbreviations: Neu=Neudaiz, Moa=Moatoob, Par=Parum.
PSOW: PSO-World (www.pso-world.com), the other big PSU forum, though it was originally for Phantasy Star Online (hence the name). Source of as much LOLDRAMA as the official forums, but usually with a more crotchety-old-guy bent. "You call thish a game! Why, in my day, all we needed were Charge Mechguns with 50% hit, an' we were GLAD ta shee 'em becaushe it meant that the cheater with the duped TJS never got exp!"
Skill: The Photon Arts one uses with melee weapons.
Status Effect (SE): a negative or positive extra effect other than damage inflicted by some Technics, a few melee weapons, and almost every Bullets. See the Status Effect section later on for more information.
TECHNIC: the PSU version of spells; operates via Clarke's Law ("Any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic.")
Type: The PSU word for class. It can be changed on the 5th floor of Clyez Station, in the GUARDIANS HQ.
"Everyone's a little bit racist, sometimes... doesn't mean we go around committing, hate criiiiimes..."
The first step is, of course, deciding what race you want to be for your character. By the time you read this you've probably made one character already (at least), but you probably weren't aware of the stat difference between some of the racial choices.
Each of these thumbnail sketches includes a stat list showing how they rank, like the weapons, from S-C. Don't take it to heart too much, however; no race is 'gimp' in comparison with another. Also included is a list of what Types the individual race gets a bonus to; essentially playing a bonus Type raises your stats by 3% all around.
Humans are the basic race in Gurhal, and the other three races are descended from them. Because they are the starting point, Humans tend not to excel at any particular Type.
Starting Type: Hunter
Bonus Types: Any hybrid (Wartecher, Guntecher, Figunner, Acrotecher, Acrofighter, or Protranser)
Newmans were engineered generations ago by Humans in an attempt to cultivate psychic powers. They succeeded, and Newman are THE race to use if you like Forces a lot. However, they have lower strength and HP than all of the other races, making them... not so good at Hunter or Ranger Types.
Starting Type: Force
Bonus Types: Any Techer (Guntecher, Fortetecher, Wartecher, Acrotecher) and Figunner
Beasts come from Moatoob, and there are hints that they were engineered for a much darker purpose than the Newmans. They have the highest HP and strength of any of the Types, making them a cinch for Hunter types - and they also make excellent Rangers as well, despite their low accuracy, because the Ranger types give good bonuses to that stat. At level 20, they can also use a Nanoblast to transform into a monster capable of tearing apart enemies easily.
Starting Type: Hunter
Bonus Type: Fortefighter
CASTs are the robotic masters of Parum, and though they pretend to be unemotional, they have a contempt for the 'weaker' races. There may be some measure of truth to that, because overall they are the race with the fewest weak spots. They make excellent Rangers and Hunters, but despite stubborn folks like Deja the Cast Fortetecher (:P), they make :):):):)poor Forces. At level 20, they can equip SUVs; weapons they call from orbit to do a great deal of one-time damage to a group of enemies.
Starting Type: Ranger
Bonus Type: Fortegunner
Unlike most MMORPGs, PSU allows you to swap freely back and forth between the Types available, while still keeping to your same race. There are restrictions however, so some explanation first.
Your Types level up separately from your character's level; how fast they level is based upon the MP you get from successfully completing missions. Each race has a base set of stats that increase every time your character level goes up; for example, at level 60 a Human Female has base HP of 1300.
Each Type modifies your base stats by a percentage value, and that percentage value goes up every time your Type levels. For example, Fortefighter 1 has a HP modifier of 100%, so a level 60 Human female FF 1 has 1300 HP. If that person were to level all the way to Fortefighter 10, however, their hp would go to 1690! Fortetecher 1, on the other hand, has a modifier of 60%, so if that person switched their type to FT 1, they'd only have 780 HP. There's a sidebar on PSOW where you can check out what race will have what stats at which level.
At first, you only have the basic Types to choose from: Hunter, Force, and Ranger. I won't say much about the basic Types, because, well, they don't matter too much. You graduate from them quickly enough, but I also use the terms Hunter/Ranger/Force to refer to the advanced Types as well as a generic area. For example, if people say Ranger, they generally include Fortegunner, Guntecher, Figunner and Protranser in the statement.
In the each of the advanced Types are notes for which Skills/Bullets/TECHNICs you'll want to focus on as your basic Types before upgrading.
Hunters hit things. Hard. With melee weapons.
A required Type for Fortefighter, Fighgunner, Wartecher, Acrofighter.
Forces use Technics, both to attack and to support through buffing and healing.
Required Type for Fortetecher, Guntecher, Wartecher, Acrotecher.
Rangers use guns to shoot things. A valuable Type because there are many flying monsters, and they are the Type that inflicts Status Effects most easily.
Required for Fortegunner, Guntecher, Fighgunner, Acrotecher, Acrofighter.
And all three Types are required for Protranser.
The requirements to level up to each Advanced Type are these:
I won't go into any great detail on the advanced types; there are plenty of threads around that talk about them. Instead, I'll hit the high points, and mention what Photon Arts you should focus on at lower levels if that given Type is your goal.
My recommendations are NOT meant to say that any other weapons or PAs are useless; there's no such thing as a useless PA or weapon in this game. Rather, my recommendations are meant to be easy skills that you can pick up right from the start and keep leveling all the way through to your advanced Type. Heck, my recommendations don't even cover ALL of the choices you have; just the ones that you probably should get. If you like the looks of a weapon, feel free to ignore my advice.
Also, all the advanced Types have increased PP regeneration in their basic Type's weapons. Hybrid Types have regen in both weapon classes their Type came from. Fortes have regen in only one, but also get a discount for using the PAs that they're specialized in, adding up to a pretty significant advantage.
The Weapons that each Type can use, as well as the class of the weapon, are:
Fortefighter (abbv. fF)
The ultimate version of Hunter, Fortefighter is heavily focused on melee. They have the second-widest spread of S-rank weapons and can use almost all of the melee weapons; however, they sacrifice ranged damage for it.
Recommendations: Dus Daggas (Spear PA) for pure damage, Rising Strike (Single Saber PA, which you get for free), and Tornado Break (Sword PA) or Renkai Buyou-zan (Twin Dagger PA) for AoE damage.
Fortegunner (abbv. fG)
The refined version of Ranger, Fortegunners use almost all the guns with awesome expertise. They're no slouches in the damage department either, with a good ATP modifier. Considered the strongest Forte Type, because of the wide variety of enemies that are vulnerable to bullets and Status Effects. Have full Trap usage as well, aside from EX Traps.
Recommendations: Either Burning Shot or Dark Shot for rifle PAs. Dus Daggas for the enemies that are strong against bullets, and some bosses, or stick with Rising Strike to pair with your single-handed guns. Get Twin Handgun bullets for all the other elements.
Fortetecher (abbv. fT)
The ultimate version of Techers, Fortetechers have the most raw power when it comes to using Technics. A little-noted side of this Type is that they are also fairly decent ranged weapon users, with access to SE4 through their Bows, and OK damage-dealing with Cards.
Recommendations: Foie, Diga, Rabarta, Razonde at first... one of my guides is a Fortetecher guide; if you're interested in Fortetecher you should check it out for more information - it's old (because I don't play FT any more) but still has many good points in there. Get the fire or dark bow, and the ice and light cards at the least.
Fighgunner (abbv. FG)
A Hunter-type that can used ranged weapons as well, Figunners are the most popular hybrid Type (and once the most popular Type overall). With a versatile range of weaponry, including the Type-exclusive Double Saber. With limited trap usage as well, Figunners are a force to be reckoned with. Generally considered the strongest of the Hunter-Types because of the sheer versatility.
Recommendations: As a Hunter, get Tornado Break or Renkai Buyou-zan, Rising Strike, and Dus Daggas. As a Ranger, get all the Twin Handgun skills, and one or two Mechgun skills - you can also level those Mechgun skills while you level up Hunter.
Wartecher (abbv. WT)
The hybrid Type of Hunter and Force, right now it's bomb at both. It's fairly weak until about WT7, but well worth the climb, with HP that comes close to a FF's, a weapon spread that covers ranged and melee well, and high levels of Attack Technic usage (with OK, if not great, support levels).
Recommendations: Dus Daggas, Renkai Buyou-Zan, Rising Crush, Rising Strike, Gravity Strike as a Hunter. As a Force, Gizonde, Gidiga, Diga/Foie, and Bow usage.
Guntecher (abbv. GT)
Guntechers are the hybrid Ranger/Force Type. They are the second-best supporters in the game (and arguably could be equal to Acrotecher). Unlike Wartechers (who have to switch between wands and weapons in order to support) or Fortetechers (who sacrifice elemental strength on their rods/wands to include Resta), Guntechers have one-handed guns AND a wand with resta/reverser in the same palette slot, meaning they can attack AND support at the same time.
They have better trap access than Figunners, but not as good as Fortegunner or Protranser. The only real weakness of the Type is a lack of melee strength, but in a party you've got all the big, dumb Hunter Types for that...
Recommendations: Well, once again, I have an entire guide devoted to GTs. If it sounds good to you, go check it out!
Protranser (abbv. PT)
The ultimate hybrid Type. Protransers get the heaviest of the weapons: Swords, Spears, Grenade Launchers, Bows, Laser Cannons, Axes... which helps make up for their lack of ATP compared to other Hunter Type.
However, they have very high HP and in the hands of a good player can fill any role that the party might need. Also, if you want to be an S-rank snob, this is the Type for you - every weapon they use they get S-ranks in!
The other thing to note is that PT is the only Type with access to EX traps, which work wonders. More on traps later, however.
The only race/Type combo I would recommend avoiding is Newman PT, however. The lack of ATP on both sides leaves the newman PT struggling to deal damage.
Recommendations: Dus Daggas, Tornado Break, Bogga Danga, Rising Strike as a Hunter. Rangers should use Shotguns and Handguns exclusively. Forces should use Bows exclusively. Those first few PT levels are a pain, but hang in there!
Acrotecher (abbv. AT)
Acrotecher IS the support Type. While they have decent Attack Technic access, can use melee weapons (including the S-rank Whips and the marvelous Vish Adac) and have a decent spread of guns, the Type really shines with level 40 Support Technics and improved casting speed - an AT can whip out a Giresta in the same time as it takes an FT to cast regular Resta. They have high EVP as well. If you loved FOmarl in PSO, you'll love AT.
The only downside to AT is the... odd... trap spread. Without access to any of the DoT traps, most ATs neglect their traps.
Acrofighter (abbv. AF)
Acrofighters are THE kings of single-handed weapons, and have increased attack speed as well. While their spread of two-handed weapons may be lacking, they more than make up for it with their speed and power using those single-handed weapons. Also have access to the best Shadoogs, the S-ranks, which inflict excellent SEs, and have decent trap access as well.
The only downside is their high EVP - when you're trying to finish a melee weapon combo the last thing you want is for it to be interrupted by a blocking animation. Usually you'd rather just take the damage and kill the monster.
Skills are PAs that you can equip to your weapons to do special attacks, Bullets are PAs that you can equip to your guns to inflict more elemental damage and SEs on your enemy, and Technics are PAs that you can equip to cast spells, which deal damage and cause SEs. You can buy most of them from the stores on Parum, Neudaiz, and Moatoob; but there are some rarefied ones available only from obtaining special items called PA Frags... but that has its own section.
PAs level up the more you use them, and when they reach 11 and 21, they get more abilities. Melee PAs add combos after you finish the first part of the attack, letting you deal more damage and doing other special effects. Single-handed melee weapons only get two-part combos, but double-handed weapons get three parts to a combo. Bullets do more elemental damage and add a bit of range. Technics do more elemental damage, add a bit of range, AND add more area effect - but are slower to cast after 11 and 21.
A generally accepted way to level up PAs quickly is to buy many cheap copies of a weapon from the NPC and spamming it constantly on enemies; this works especially well with Yohmei brand weapons because they have the largest PP pool and the lowest ATP.
The Photon Arts levels for each Type are:
Generally speaking, there are knockback PAs, like Rising Strike, that focus on putting the enemy on the ground from the first part of the combo; AoE Skills like Tornado Break, and pure damage Skills like Dus Daggas.
Every melee weapon has two Skills available from the NPC shop, so if you prefer one type of weapon over any other you can specialize in it without impairing your combat effectiveness too much.
There are essentially two different kinds of Bullets: first person capable (heretofore abbreviated FP) and non-first person (NFP).
FP Bullets are with guns that you can go into first-person mode with to hit flying enemies with. These are Handguns, Twin Handguns, Rifles, Bows, Laser Cannons. EVERY PLAYER SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE AIMED BA OF EVERY ELEMENT. This cannot be emphasized enough for beginners. Too many of the bosses fly out of reach of melee weapons to not have something to shoot at them. Note that you don't have to go into first-person to use them; in fact, twin handguns are pretty nice in either mode...
NFP Bullets... well, it's pretty self-explanatory. But in exchange, they do a LOT more damage than the aimed ones. Crossbows, Shotguns, Cards, Grenade Launchers, and Mechguns are unaimed.
Laser Cannons & Grenade Launchers
Of special note are Laser Cannons and Grenade Launchers - you won't be able to use them until later, but laser cannons penetrate enemies, and Grenade Launchers send them flying, has an area of effect, and travels in a small arc - it won't ever hit right in front of you.
Technics are, like Bullets, divided up by element. Unlike Bullets, they can be divided into 6 categories. Also, not every element has a Technic for each category; for example, there's no Damzonde.
Line Technics move in a straight line. They can hit multiple enemies, like Barta, Zonde, and Megid, or stop at the first enemy hit, such as Foie and Diga.
Ra-Technics target an enemy within a certain distance and hits up to three targets. Can be frustrating to use, especially early when the radius is small, because sometimes it seems as though there's a minimum distance necessary for it to target an enemy.
Dam-Technics affect a cone in front of the caster, and last until you either stop holding the button down or the duration runs out. At level 21+, it hits 6 times and has a large range of effect. PROTIP: Autofire controllers and Dam-Technics don't mix; you'll keep restarting the casting animation.
Gi-Technics hit up to 6 enemies in a defined radius around the caster. Can be unsafe to use with a Fortetecher.
Nos-Technics are PA-Frag only. They home in on an enemy in range and hit hard.
Support Technics include healing (Resta, Giresta, Reverser), buffs (Shifta/Deband/Zodial/Retier), and debuffs (Jellen/Zalure/Zodeel). Debuffs are of marginal use at this point in the game (enemy stats are simply too low for them to be useful), but healing and buffs are always welcome. Also, it doesn't hurt to have debuffs handy if there are enemies around who cast buff spells on themselves...
PA Frag Photon Arts
For each weapon, there's a number of Photon Arts that cannot be purchased in the stores, only in special missions in the various GUARDIANS Branches on each planet. It doesn't matter too much when you're just starting, because you have to so S-rank missions to get PA Frags, and you have to have PA Frags to trade for the special PAs. By the time you can afford one, you'll probably have some friends you can ask for advice - or you can always PM me, or look elsewhere on the forum, or even post a new topic if you want to know more about them! We won't bite... honest.
You can buy Skills in the GUARDIANS Dagora Branch (from Tonnio), Bullets in the GUARDIANS Holtes City Branch (from Lou), and TECHNICS in the GUARDIANS Ohtoku Branch (from Maya).
This tape will self-destruct in five... four... thBOOOMM!"
Missions are the bread and butter of this game - unlike other MMORPGs where you go wandering off into the woods and fight whatever you find, in PSU your character is taking on jobs to go out and kill monsters. In theory.
In reality, it works out to about the same thing, with one added benefit: You get Meseta and Mission Points for completing them successfully. The more monsters you kill, the better your score; dying and then fleeing to the lobby instead of letting your friends revive you reduces your score.
This is also important later on, because you can get PA Fragments from S and S2 missions. PA frags help you get the special Photon Arts mentioned above.
One important thing to note: NPCs do not count against the final score, no matter how much they die. So if you're short on people, go ahead and let them be your meatshields!
ELEMENTS"Earth... Air... Fire... Water... HEART!"
-incantation to summon the foulest of hellspawn
One of the biggest things to learn quickly is how elements work in this game. It affects almost everything in the game! There are 6 different elements in the game.
Dark is opposed to Light
Fire is opposed to Ice
Lightning is opposed to Ground
And the reverse also applies.
Every enemy in the game, aside from Neutral humans like the Rogue (Jasse), is one of these elements. What's the upshot? Well, if you're using a weapon element that the enemy is weak to, you do more damage - in some cases, a LOT more damage. Also, if you're wearing an armor of the same element as the enemy attacking you, they do less damage - in most cases, a LOT less damage.
Here's a list of how common each elemental-type enemy is in the game
1) Fire (every planet)
2) Dark (all of it in just one place, however: The colony and LL)
3) Lightning (Parum and some on Moa)
4) Light (small enemies on Par, large on Moa, two entire entire areas on Neu)
5) Ice (some on Neu and Moa)
6) Ground (Moa)
Also, two bosses are Fire-based, and two are Lightning-based.
Rangers have it easy, as far as exploiting elemental weaknesses; all a Ranger Type needs is one FP Bullet of every element (Rifle, Twin Handgun, Bow) and one NFP (Shotgun, Crossbow, Card, Mechgun). Realistically, that's only 12 slots.
Hunters that are middle of the road here. Unlike the other two basic Types, in order to get elemental weapons you have to synth them (except in a few cases where the NPC sells them), and it's very hard to get a decent % weapon - horror stories abound in the forum where people have dropped millions of meseta into synthing 9* weapons only to come out with terrible %s.
Fortunately, with AotI it's easier to synth a higher % weapon - the average is about 20-30% now, but if your luck isn't decent you can still be stuck with nothing. Search player shops for cheap weapons that you can use until you get your own synthing machine up and running.
It's Forces that get the short end of the elemental stick. Oh, sure, their individual Technics get hidden elemental % bonuses that increase along with their listed Tech. %, but in order to fully exploit an elemental bonus they have to fill every slot on a Wand/Rod/Tech-mag with spells of the same element, limiting their ability to cast Resta even to heal themselves. Still, what's a game without a little challenge, eh?
Armor is also brutally expensive - for everyone. But enough of that; for beginners the NPC sells very nice armors of every element in both C and B rank. Buy those and use those, until you get any A-rank slot items... but by then, you should know what you're on about, eh?
Weapons and Armors with elements in the NPC shops
If you go to the second floor of Clyez Station, the third store on the left carries every C and B-rank armor sold by the NPC that comes with an inherent element. At this point in the game, slot units matter very little when compared to how much elemental protection an armor offers - so buy the armor that is the same element as the enemies you're fighting.
The following lower-rank weapons have inherent elemental %s - look for these and save for them, it's well worth the extra damage you deal to enemies weak to that element.
G.R.M. (the store on Parum)
Gigush (2* Sword) 20% Ice
Breaker (3* Sword) 20% Earth
Calibur (5* Sword) 25% Ice
Dual Slasher (5* Twin Sabers) 22% Ice
Twin Knife (2* Twin Daggers) 23% Ice
Brand (2* Single Saber) 21% Ice
Durandal (5* Single Saber) 26% Ice
Dagger (2* Single Dagger) 24% Ice
Yohmei (the store on Neudaiz)
Halbenata (5* Spear) 28% Fire
Ryo-Sagazashi (4* Twin Dagger) 30% Fire
Ripa-Zashi (5* Single Dagger) 31% Fire
Tenora Works (the store on Moatoob)
Gudda Greta (6* Knuckles) 23% Light
Mukrudi (5* Spear) 24% Lightning
Aldaga Steg (3* Twin Dagger) 21% Lightning
Daga Steg (3* Single Dagger) 22% Lightning
JUST ATTACK & JUST COUNTER
"In comedy, timing is everything."
-L. Ron Hubbard
Just Attack (JA) is a mechanic added in AotI where, if you time your melee combos correctly, the next part of the combo will come out as all critical.
Needless to say, this is a marvelously handy thing (50% more damage? Yeshplz) but it can be tricky to pick up, especially for some weapons. The rule of thumb is that you have to press the button for the next part of the combo at the last possible moment. Which weapons a person finds hard varies from player to player, so just find the weapons you're comfortable with and go from there!
Just Counter (JC) is like a Just Attack - but only after you perform a blocking animation. I'm still not very good at them, so I hesitate to offer advice.
PROTIP: Autofire controllers make it even harder to perform JA and JC than it usually is. Be aware.
"When you become a Guardian, you take classes in post-kill puns."
"Yes, ironically, death actually softens the blow of the pun!"
-Crow T. Robot & Mike Nelson
Status Effects help you do your job more easily, either by not letting the monster attack (Shock and Freeze), reducing their HP over time (Virus and Burn), or debuffing them. These are the Ranger's bread and butter, because Traps and Bullets are the easiest way to inflict them, but Forces can also use them to good effect.
PSUpedia has a picture of each SE, and a description of what it does, here:
Of course, the ultimate SE is Stun, but it's also the hardest to get access to. It works like Freeze, except it lasts for longer, and doesn't go away if the Stunned enemies are pummeled.
"It's a trap!"
Traps are a quick, convenient way for Rangers to slap
an SE on enemies. There are three kinds of traps. Basic traps trigger when an enemy steps on them, and only affect one enemy at a time. G traps trigger when you hit the trigger button, affect up to 5 enemies, and last longer. EX Traps trigger like G traps, but last for lots longer, going off over and over again to deal more damage and keep the enemy frozen/stunned for a lot longer.
The chart showing the spread of traps is:
For solo and small parties, traps are invaluable. Use Burn G and Virus G traps to deal damage to Large-sized enemies like Kog Nadds, Bil De Vears, Jarbas, or the like. Use Confuse G or Freeze G to muddle dangerous medium-small enemies and get them off your case.
Of the non-DoT SEs, I personally believe that Confuse is superior. It doesn't go away if you hit the enemy (like Freeze or Sleep), and completely nullifies their attacks instead of just half their attacks (like Silence or Shock). Not only that, the enemies will attack each other; nothing shows lovin' like a Gazoran foie killing a Delsaban.
"YOU... GAVE ME... A DIMATE????"
-choked cry of Fanboy after trying to pull out his first Hirokteri
Synthing is the process of getting new weapons and armor with elemental %s that aren't available in the stores. In the beginning, you can synth C-ranks quite easily, but you might want to save your photons and sell them in your store (more on that later) or keep them for yourself later. Still, it's very exciting to synth something, and hope it's going to be a 50% weapon!
Partner Machineries are very important for synthing. Each PM has 4 stats that govern how well it synths a particular item: Striking, Range, TECHNIC, and Armor. These stats all add up to 100, which is the max level a PM can have. The closer to 'pure' (ie, having 100 in one and only one stat) the better it is at synthing that particular item.
Fortunately, now you aren't locked into a specific type of PM to get a specific Synth stat, but more on that in the next section...
"Lolibot, lolibot, oh loliloliloli..."
Raising a PM is probably going to take a lot of your money and time early on, but it's well worth it. Once a PM reaches level 80, it evolves into a little lolibot that will give you its NPC card - and you can call it to fight alongside you. Also, the higher its Level, the better it is at synthing the items that stat governs.
It's very much worth the time and effort it takes to get your PMs pure, if you plan to do any amount of synthing. So far, I've used PM Zero on two of my PM's to get their stats as pure as possible - and that's just taken more time and effort that really wasn't necessary.
Unless you really need the money, save any 2-3* weapons for your first Striking PM, rather than selling them (as described below). EX Traps are the fastest way to get a Ranged PM. Sadly, there's still no cheap way to raise a Technic PM.
One thing of note: With the new PM EX Devices, you aren't stuck with, say, a 430 if you want to have a Ranged Synthing PM. You can change to whatever PM you want, once you get the Battle Stat of the PM up to a certain level. Battle Stat is raised by it being in Missions with you; if you're rasing B. Stat you'll want to Srank as many missions as possible.
PSUpedia, once again, has in-depth detail about these things:
"But you said we'd level together!"
"I just played a little while you were at work."
"What level are you ON, now?!"
"I'm afraid that I've moved beyond your terrestrial numbers..."
Um. I honestly have little idea what to say here. I would LIKE to say Valley of Carnage C, once you get some decent equipment (a fire Perpaline, a couple of cheap Dark % spears, a decent Ice and Fire sword/twin daggers) would be a good place to go for character levels - you can rack up about 5k experience each run, and it's not too long. Also, there's the chance of getting Forest of Illusion in the next lobby, which is about the best experience you can get at any point in the game. It isn't hard to get to either, like Sakura Blast, because it's right there from the Dagora lobby.
Lightning Beasts is another good possibility; because the enemies are all Lightning element all you have to do is buy a Lightning armor, some Earth weapons, and get an Earth bullet for the Jarbas and Shagreece.
Unfortunately, I have no real way of testing how dangerous these ideas are because I don't have any characters of that level. If any player on here could offer more wisdom in this regard it would be appreciated.
"Hey, that says Z-ray!"
"Z is just as good!"
Well, most beginners will, in the course of running around, get a healthy heaping of beginning cash from some more experienced player. (Peanuts to us, but when you're just starting out 50k is a LOT of moneh!) The first thing - the FIRST thing - you should do with that cash is go to Floor 2 of the Clyez Station, go in the first shop on the right-hand side, talk to the guy in the center, and look for the Open Shop item.
Having a shop means that you can sell the items you find, and many of them command decent prices. Right now some of the hot stuff a low-level character can get their hands on are the Truffles (Mad/Moatoob/Rotten/Balji) people trade for Mushroom Lights in the Trade Mission (more on that mission later), Spicia (not Burning Spicia mind), and Omega Acids.
Also, you can trade any Copernia or Olpads you get for Grinder Base S's - which sell decently. Most of the holiday enemy stuff sells nicely as well.
HOWEVER - and this is IMPORTANT - you do NOT want to sell items for more than the NPC does. It really :):):):)es people off when you price Nanoresin, say, for 10k meseta if the GAME sells them for 7500! If it's a weapon or armor and has a 44%-50% rating, it's perfectly acceptable to sell it for quite a bit, but stuff sold by the NPCs? Big nono.
For equitable prices, try 50% of what the NPC sells. If the item isn't listed in the NPC shop, use the Search By Condition and try to price it lower than the lowest price - not much lower, but lower.
Because of the importance of this, I'm including the prices as a part of the guide itself. Don't let yourself be ripped off, and don't try to rip off others! Here's the list:
1 star - 350
2 star - 800
3 star - 2000
4 star - 8600
5 star - 18500
6 star - 35000
7 star - 90000
8 Star - 165000
1 star - 180
2 star - 350
3 star - 1000
4 star - 4300
5 star - 9250
6 star - 23400
7 star - 60000
8 star - 110000
9 star - 165000
1 star - 1000
2 star - 2400
3 star - 6000
4 star - 18000
5 star - 45000
6 star - 95000
7 star - 210000
8 star - 360000
1 star - 400
2 star - 960
3 star - 2400
4 star - 6000
5 star - 15000
6 star - 31500
7 star - 52500
8 star - 90000
9 star - 130000
El-Photon and Im-Photon: 200
C (Silica): 500
B (Carbon): 2500
A (Resin): 7500
C (Wood): 150
B (Ash): 1000
A (Ebon): 4000
1 star - Acenaline 50
2 star - Wenceline 100
3 star - Aporaline 300
4 star - Dianaline 600
5 star - M:):):):)line 1200
6 star - Upteline 2000
7 star - Kerseline 4000
8 star - Vestaline 6000
9 star - Vulcaline 8000
Note: Weapons with good elemental %s (like if you pick up a Pike with 50% dark or whatever) don't obey this chart. Anything over 30% is reckoned good.
Please, PLEASE pay attention to this part of the guide, if nothing else.
"Uuhhhh... wtf? You can DO that?"
In the Parum West district, behind the Juice Counter, is a woman who's looking for all sorts of weird items that are pretty much just junk in your PM. The upshot of this is that you can get some stuff to sell quickly, transfer your room to another planet, or even get a Garment Aura!
A quick link to the current trades available from The Collector is:
You may not know it, but you can warp to most spots on a Planet immediately. All you have to do is visit every area on the Planet at least once, and then whenever you select that planet you can warp to the Shop of the planet and the Guardian Center, without ever having to walk there again! Nifty, eh?
Also, the woman standing next to the Flyer Bases can warp you to any lobby you've previously been to, for a small meseta fee. If you're in a party and you've got a member already in that lobby, you can use Special Flight to get there for free!
In your subscreens, you can sort your Weapons, Armor, Items, Clothes, and Synth/room items by hitting Square. The upshot of this is that if you're switching around various weapons very fast (as some Types have to) then you can put the weapons you're using the most right at the top of the menu so you don't have to go scrolling.
In the farthest reaches of Moatoob lies hidden a marvelous place... a place of legalized gambling!
Every day at 4 PM PST (7 PM EST) you can go there to pick up 1 Silver coin. You can trade the Silver Coins for various Room decorations, Music Disks for My Room, outfits, special weapons, and even an SUV (but it's mostly a joke one XD).
Now, you could just play it safe, save your silver coin each day, and wait patiently to have enough to buy whatever you want... but where's the fun in that? Also, a lot of items are seasonal; if you don't get them fast you might not be able to get them for another year!
The Slot machines work like Slots anywhere: you put your coin in and take your chances. If you get the three highest-payout items in a row, you trigger a Fever where every spin of the slot will result in a reward. If you get three Rappies while in a Fever, you win the Jackpot and you're set for coins for a while... unless someone won a Jackpot just before you did!
The Roulette's a bit trickier; there are guides around on how to maximize the chance of winning though.
Casino Voyoval is the lobby AFTER the Awakened Serpent mission; to get there you have to get to Galiganare Lake, take the Tunnel Recovery mission, take the Caves of Ice Mission, and then finish Awakened Serpent. A long trip, but you only have to do it once...
Up-to-date Casino prize information lurks here:
In the game there are spawns of enemies that only occur when certain conditions are right. Often, they give a ton more EXP than normal enemies, as well as dropping rare items which can be sold or kept.
The way it works is that there are (usually) 3 different map setups for each mission, and each map setup has 4 different patterns of enemy spawns. Out of those 4 patterns, one has rare monsters lurking in it somewhere. You can manipulate this by going to psupedia and looking for the rare spawns of a given map, if you want to find the rare enemies.
Also, during Valentine's Day, White Day (a Japanese holiday that takes place on March 14th, where men give chocolate to women), Easter, Sonic's Anniversary (in early-mid June), Halloween, and Christmas there are rare versions of Rappies or Jaggos which drop EXTREMELY valuable items (well, not so much Love Bows any more, but...) as well as holiday-oriented room decorations such as a Christmas Tree or a Easter Egg.
PSUpedia has info on all the various rare spawns and charts. If you have patience, it can be rewarding. If you don't, well then, just ignore it and wait for the enemies to show up on their own.
Anything else I should add?