Strangers of Paradise allows you to play most of the game in co-op with up to two other people. This feature becomes available once you complete the prologue of the game and can begin your first Main Mission.
You can access Multiplayer by opening up the Main Menu in the World Map, and switching to the Online section. You can either Host a room or Join one that’s already been created. In the System Settings, you can also choose the range of players you will be able to find: “All” will allow you to connect with everyone, but you can narrow it down to “Same Area” or “Nearby” to restrict it to people closer to your server/location. If you’re experiencing lag while in multiplayer, you may want to consider using this option to help reduce it.
If you choose to create a room, you will be the host of the room and play as Jack. Something important to keep in mind — if you removed your allies from your party before creating a room, no one will be able to join you. You can create a room either from the Main Menu, or at a Cube while in a mission.
When creating a room, the first thing you can do is specify which Mission you will want to make the room for. Any Main Mission or Side Mission that is unlocked will be available to choose from.
You will also be able to choose the Playstyle for the room:
Anyone – Includes all Playstyles
Bronze – Intended for inexperienced players just looking for casual play
Mythril – Intended for players looking to play through the ‘Action’ difficulty
Adamantite – Intended for the more experienced players looking to challenge themselves
You can then choose who will play each of your allies individually.
You can either allow Anyone to join and play as them, restrict a character to Invite Only (meaning you will have to directly invite someone to play as that character), or you can pick No Requests (which will lock anyone from playing as that character, and have them be controlled by AI).
Setting a Password
Finally, you can choose to lock the room behind a 5-digit password, or allow anyone to join.
Once the room is created, you can either wait for other players to join, or just go ahead and begin the Mission. Any allies starting without a player will be controlled by the AI — while the room is open, players will still be able to join you in the middle of action and take over your AI characters.
Joining an Existing Room
If you wish to join a room hosted by someone else, you can choose the option to search for rooms. After choosing to search, you can specify which Mission and which Playstyle you wish to join (listed in the previous section), as well as if you’re looking for a specific Difficulty. The game will then will attempt to find a room matching your parameters.
If the room the game finds for you happens to be in the middle of the Mission, you will get a warning before you join. Otherwise, you will get automatically put in the room.
While being a guest in a room, you will play as one of Jack’s allies. Unlike when you play the game solo, the ally you’re controlling will be fully customizable in Jobs and equipment, as if you were playing as Jack.
Lobby (Multiplayer Room)
Once you find or create a group, you will be taken to the Multiplayer Room.
In here, you can find the Room’s ID in the top left corner, which you can give to people to search for your room. Under the ID, you will see the Mission details, including which Mission you’re doing and what the rewards are (note that guests joining the room will gain more Anima Shards than normal).
On the right side of the screen, you will see all of the players, which character they’re playing as, and what Jobs they’re using, as well as their Job levels and weapons. You can also press while in the room to talk via preset chat messages.
When you’re ready to begin (or join) a Mission, hit the ‘Ready’ option.
Multiplayer Job Combinations
Once you’re in the mission, the game will play mostly like it does while you’re playing solo. But, there is one key difference: each of the members has access to every Job they have unlocked, which allows for some strategizing. Here, players can take full advantage of role mechanics, such as tanking and buffing. This means that more supportive Jobs (such as the White Mage and Knight) have the opportunity to truly excel at their roles in the multiplayer mode.
You may also notice that it’s a lot easier to cast spells as a Mage (for example, a Black Mage) if you have a tank as an ally — when protected, you are less likely to get interrupted while casting compared to solo play.
Shared Phoenix Downs and Assistance
There are also three Phoenix Downs that are shared between all party members (which get replenished when using a Cube). If you are defeated in battle, you can either wait for an ally to revive you (this will cost them one of their Potions), or use a Phoenix Down with to revive yourself. You can also press while downed to call out to your teammates, telling them you need help. Your party will lose if all three party members are defeated, so be sure to keep an eye on your allies’ HP, and revive them if needed.
While in a Mission, you can press to bring up the Chat Menu. This will give you several chat choices to communicate with your teammates.
There are also a few other things to keep in mind while playing through a Mission online:
The benefits of using a Soul Burst will affect all players
When using a Cube (Jack only) or entering a boss room, the other players will automatically be transported to that location
The Cube will only do its normal effects of healing and reviving enemies if Jack uses it
If you wish to skip a cutscene, all players must choose to skip it in order for it to happen
Only Jack (the host) will be able to Soul Burst Dark Vents and bosses. If Jack is down when the boss is ready for a Soul Burst, he will automatically be revived so he can initiate it
Multiplayer is an excellent way to progress through the Stranger of Paradise if you enjoy playing with other people. Completing Main Missions, whether you host or join, will count towards story progress and unlock new missions. Loot is also individual, meaning that anything you find during a mission will be visible and obtainable only to you. Playing as a guest in particular is a great way to level up Jobs, since the extra Anima Shards you will earn this way will help boost your EXP quickly.
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I'm a huge gamer who especially loves the Final Fantasy series. I will play just about any game, especially if it has anything resembling a Dragoon.