Top 10 mistakes to avoid when starting out in Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal
(Image credit: Windows Central / Atlus)

Persona 5 Royal is one of the biggest JRPGs to hit the Xbox platform in recent times. This game features a lengthy and unorthodox gameplay loop of balancing the double life of a Phantom Thief stealing the selfish desires of criminals and that of an ordinary high-school student. As such, it is easy for new players unfamiliar with the Persona series to be confused about how to approach this unconventional gameplay structure and make tons of mistakes.

Fortunately, we have you covered as we have prepared a list of rookie mistakes to help you avoid when starting Persona 5 Royal for the first time.  

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t neglect these Confidants

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One of the main goals of Persona 5 Royal is to establish connections with party members and NPCs scattered throughout the city of Tokyo so they can become your Confidants. Confidants offer interesting side stories and grant various passive bonuses to help the player overcome the game’s many challenges.

However, there are three Confidants you must prioritize above all others; Goro Akechi (Justice Arcana), Kasumi Yoshizawa (Faith Arcana), and Dr. Takuto Maruki (Councillor Arcana). Maxing out these Confidants will unlock the “Royal” portion of Persona 5 Royal, which includes new storylines, dungeons, and bosses not found in the original, vanilla version of Persona 5.

Without getting into important major spoiler details, these Confidants become critical players in the new storylines mentioned above. If you don’t max out your Confidant Rankings with them before specific deadlines, you will get the default endings from the vanilla version of Persona 5 and lose access to the “Royal” content.

The deadlines and Confidant rankings you must meet are as follows:

  • Achieve Rank 9 with the Councillor Arcana before Nov. 18.
  • Achieve Rank 5 with the Faith Arcana before Dec. 18.
  • Achieve Rank 8 with the Justice Arcana Rank 8 before Nov. 24.

You can speed up the process by equipping Personas related to the Confidants’ Arcanas so you can gain extra relationship points when interacting with them. That way, you will be able to complete these Confidants early and have extra time to spare to work on your other Confidants.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Save time with these Confidants.

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While we’re on the topic of obtaining Confidants, here are some that, while optional, can be a great asset in time management in Persona 5. Forming a bond with Sadayo Kawami, (Temperance Arcana), will allow you to call upon her services during the night after school. She can brew coffee or cook curry items to help you recover SP during dungeon excursions and will sometimes let you skip a lesson during a class so you can read books, study, or craft infiltration tools.

If you max out your bond levels with her, Sadayo will offer to massage your back after you come home from exploring a Palace or Mementos. Normally after returning from infiltrating a Palace or Mementos, your character will become too exhausted to perform night-time activities. However, with Sadayo’s massage service, you will be to recover and gain extra time to complete extra tasks during the night like finding night-time-exclusive Confidants or leveling up your social stats.

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Another Confidant that can help you save time is Chihaya Mifune (Fortune Arcana). Acquiring her fortune-telling services is a long process but will be worthwhile in the long run.

Chihaya’s Confidant has all sorts of useful skills like earning extra money in battle or temporarily increasing the growth rate of one of your Social Stats. But her most useful abilities are granting free extra relationship points with any Confidant of your choosing and predicting which dialogue options give the most relationship points when interacting with Confidants.

Chihaya Mifune’s power, when used efficiently, will let you strengthen your bonds with Confidants faster, and leave you with spare time for other activities. If used in conjunction with the Sadayo’s max-level Confidant abilities that let you go out during the night after a dungeon crawl, you can potentially acquire and achieve the maximum friendship rankings with every Confidant in Persona 5, in a single playthrough.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t neglect your Social Stats

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As you progress through the game, you will discover that befriending Confidants is harder than looks. Some of them require you to build up your main character’s (Joker) Social Stats to interact with them, or so they trust you enough to let you in on personal affairs. So in between dungeon crawling, it is best to find time to level up your Social Stats by visiting facilities, working part-time jobs, spending time with Confidants, and doing all sorts of activities like watching films at the movie theatre or purchasing and playing videogames at home.

Here are some examples of how you can level up specific social stats:

Knowledge

  • Studying at Café Leblanc, Bikkuri Boy Diner, or Shujin Academy library.
  • Answering questions correctly during class.
  • Solving crossword puzzles at Café Leblanc.

Guts

  • Taking on the Big Bang Burger Challenge at Shibuya’s Big Bang Burger fast food restaurant.
  • Visiting Tae Takemi (Death Arcana Confident) for a clinical trial.
  • Studying in the Shujin Academy library while students are there, talking behind your back.
  • Going to bed early and having a random chance to experience nightmares.

Kindness

  • Nurturing your houseplant in the attic of Café Leblanc with plant nutrients.
  • Spending time with Sojiro Sakura (Hierophant Arcana Confidant) or Shinya Oda (Tower Arcana Confidant).
  • Working a part-time job at the Rafflesia flower shop in the Shibuya Underground Mall. You can sign up for it and other part-time jobs by reading job magazines found in the Shibuya Underground Walkway.

Proficiency

  • Crafting infiltration tools in the attic of Café Leblanc.
  • Playing baseball at the Yongen-Jaya batting cages.
  • Fishing at Ichigaya, a location that is unlocked by reading Fishpond Spotter or being invited by Ryuji (Chariot Arcana) to visit it on July 6.

Charm

  • Brewing coffee at Café Leblanc after unlocking Sojiro Sakura (Hierophant Arcana) as a Confidant.
  • Taking a bath at the Yongen-Jaya bathhouse at night.
  • Spending time with Ichiko Ohya (Devil Arcana Confidant) or Toranosuke Yoshida (Sun Arcana Confidant).

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Purchasing and reading books from shops in Shibuya will also help you level up your Social Stats. You can sometimes read them while riding the train on the way to school, or you can read them manually by sitting on a stool next to the yellow telephone in Café Leblanc. On a side note, if you read the "Speed Reader" book found in the Shujin Academy Library, your reading speed will increase and save you precious time reading the larger textbooks.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t forgot to explore the city.

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Finding Confidants and improving your Social Stats aren't the only reason to explore Tokyo. There are dozens of shops and vending machines where you can purchase healing items to help you in combat and recreational facilities where you can upgrade combat gameplay mechanics.

For example, there's the Sniper Penguin Club found in Kichijoji. You can invite party members here to play a darts mini-game with them to upgrade their Baton Pass Ranking, increasing their stats when you perform a Baton Pass with them during battle.

(Image credit: Windows Central / Atlus)

You can also play Billiards in the Sniper Penguin Club to gain points towards a random Social Stat and increase the damage you deal when landing a Technical hit. However, if you purchase the "Jump Cue" item, read the "Expert Billiards" and "Billiards Magician" books found in Underground Mall Sports Store and reach high enough Proficiency Social Stat levels. You can upgrade the Technical mechanic even further the next time you play Billiards.

(Image credit: Windows Central / Atlus)

Do note that while areas in Tokyo are unlocked naturally as the story progresses, some can be unlocked early through reading magazines or through socializing with your Confidants. For example, the Jinbocho bookstore can be unlocked by reading the "Musty Pages" magazine found in the Taiheido bookstore, reaching Confidant Rank 4 with Hifumi Togo (Star Arcana), or through an invitation by Makoto Niijima (Priestess Arcana) on Aug. 15.

Reading all the books available in this shop will unlock new ways to trigger Technical hits during combat, which can prove useful during certain boss fights and random encounters.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t forget to visit Mementos

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In addition to infiltrating the Palaces of the Metaverse, you will also be tasked with exploring Mementos. This is a constantly-evolving dungeon where the layout of each floor is randomly generated and is filled with dozens of enemy Shadows. This place can be used as a training ground to strengthen your party’s Personas, earn items and loot to sell, and acquire new Personas for Joker.

As you progress in the game, new areas of Mementos become available after clearing Palaces. It is advised that you take the time to explore these areas once they’re unlocked and locate the fast-travel checkpoints for them. This will make future treks into Mementos go faster, especially when completing side-quests that require you to hunt mini-boss Shadows lurking within its depths.

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When exploring Mementos, make you collect the flowers and stamps scattered through the tunnels. These are Mementos-only currencies that can be redeemed by talking to Jose, a mysterious child exploring Mementos. You trade the flowers for powerful consumables and items, and trading in stamps will allow you to alter aspects of Mementos so that enemies give more EXP, money, or items upon defeat.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t be afraid to fight dirty

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To defeat the evil Shadows of Persona 5 Royal and steal their twisted desires, you must be prepared to fight dirty as much as possible. This includes constantly exploiting their elemental or physical weaknesses to knock them down and trigger the Baton Pass mechanic to give your party extra attacks or the All-Out Attack to beat them all down at once.

If you encounter an enemy with no weaknesses, use status effects to debilitate them and leave them open for a Technical hit. Technical hits allow you to knock an enemy down and deal extra damage by hitting them with attacks that synergize with status effects. 

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For example, if you attack an enemy with a Psychonesis spell while they suffer from the Confusion status ailment, it will knock them down, even if they aren’t weak against Psychonesis-type attacks. So, if you had been upgrading the Technical mechanic through Billiards and reading books, you will unlock more attack+status ailment combinations to trigger Technical hits.

Another tip in mind is to keep your enemies weak by using debuff spells and items to lower their combat prowess while maintaining stat-boosting buffs for your team. This will help improve your survival rate when tackling the more challenging bosses of the game when they pull party-wide attacks or cheap shots. If bosses decide to remove their debuffs and your team’s buffs, it is still beneficial as they will waste turns trying to get rid of the debuff, giving you time to recover and attack.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don't forget to register Personas before fusion

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When fusing and summoning new Personas in the Velvet Room, make sure to register your currently held Personas in the Compendium before doing so. Registering Personas will record all the levels and skills they have obtained while they under your care.

This means that if you want to summon them again through the Compendium, they will retain all their recorded stats. This ensures that you don’t have to waste time leveling them back up again to be on par with the rest of your Personas’ power levels.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Do not use the DLC Personas early on

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When summoning Personas within the Compendium, you may notice that there are extremely high-level Personas in the list that you can summon with no level restrictions or money costs. Most of these Personas were originally from previous games sold as DLC for Persona 5, but have been bundled together for the "Royal" edition.

While it may be tempting to summon Personas from past games immediately, I recommend holding off until later. Not only will you be trivializing the early game’s challenge, but you will miss out on the opportunity to create stronger versions of these DLC Personas by fusing into them naturally. As natural fusions will allow you to give these DLC Personas EXP boosts thanks to leveling up their associated Confidant Ranking and new passive and active abilities.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t forget to stockpile on infiltration tools

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Before you start infiltrating Palaces, it is best to stock up on healing items and equipping your party with up-to-date gear beforehand. You can also craft infiltration tools at home like lockpicks to open locked chests, smokebombs to escape battles, or elemental attack items.

Elemental attack items can be useful in a pinch despite their weak attack power. They can trigger an enemy’s weakness, allowing you to Baton Pass to a different party member capable of dealing more efficient damage or granting the team an emergency heal.

Persona 5 Royal mistakes to avoid: Don’t forget to collect Will Seeds

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While infiltrating and looting Palaces, make sure to be on the lookout for the skull-shaped items called Will Seeds. Each Palace has a set of three Will Seeds locked behind ornate doors guarded by puzzles, obstacles, or a unique mini-boss Shadow. If you collect a complete set, they will combine into crystal accessories that can offer helpful passive traits in combat. 

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When visiting Memento, if you give the crystal accessories to Jose in Mementos, he will upgrade them into ring accessories. Not only do they retain their original passive trait, but they will allow party members to cast powerful support spells.

If you somehow missed grabbing Will Seeds before clearing a Palace for good, Jose will offer you spare ones to purchase, albeit at a steep price of 400 flowers per Seed. So, if you want to avoid paying that amount, you must grab all of a Palace’s Will Seeds before sending the Calling Card to the Palace’s Ruler.

Phantom Thieves make no mistakes

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And with that, you now know which pitfalls to avoid falling into during your first playthrough of Persona 5 Royal. We hope this list will help you become a better Phantom Thief and pull off the greatest heists in one of the best JRPGs available on Xbox.

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Persona 5 Royal

Don the mask of a Phantom Thief and help reform a corrupt society in Persona 5 Royal. This game is the biggest entry in the Persona series yet, packed with a heart-gripping narrative, dozens of hours' worth of polished gameplay, and beautiful anime-style visuals enhanced by next-gen hardware.

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