With Stranger of Paradise, there are several things to look out for and keep in mind as you go through the various missions. Below you will find some tips that will help you survive tough battles and defeat enemies quickly, and a couple of things to know of for leveling and exploring.
Missions and Exploration
If you’re below max MP, break destructible objects like vases and boxes as you make your way through the mission. This will give you small amounts of free MP.
All Missions have a chance of a Cactuar appearing somewhere within the level, so be on the lookout for them.
Try to listen to their distinctive sound — you will start hearing it when you’re close to a Cactuar. If you defeat it before it runs away, you will get a lot of loot and EXP.
Always use the Cubes you find. They will fully restore your HP/MP and any of your missing Potions. On top of this, you will be able to access your Job Trees from here (it’s always a good idea to check in to learn new Abilities and Passives).
Keep an eye open for breakable walls and hidden ledges as you explore. Many of these will contain extra treasure, and some will even lead to hidden documents and unlock extra Missions.
Another helpful thing to be on the lookout for throughout Missions are shortcuts to previous Cubes.
While Side Missions are not required to complete the story, they will give you more gear (to help boost your Average Item Level), more Anima Shards, and some will even unlock new features for the Smithy and your allies.
Learn Command Abilities and Combo Abilities from every Job. Command Abilities can be equipped regardless of your Job once you learn them, and Combo Abilities can be equipped as long you’re using the weapon it’s associated with.
Likewise, spend Anima Shards on the Jobs that you don’t plan on using much, so you can still learn all of their Command and Combo Abilities, as well as unlock higher tiers of Jobs through their trees (and then level and learn from those Jobs as well).
Having Affinity will allow you to gain EXP for a Job even if you’re not using it. Take advantage of this whenever you can to level multiple Jobs at once.
Swordfighter is a very useful Job if you’re having trouble surviving, even after you unlock Advanced and Expert Jobs. This is because of their Action Ability, Interception, which will automatically block and counter the next blockable attack that hits you.
Almost every enemy in the game (including many of the bosses) will have a weakness to an element and/or physical damage type. Learn these weaknesses and how to exploit them, and you will notice yourself taking out enemies very quickly.
Always try to go for the enemies with magic or ranged attacks first.
Keep an eye on your Break Gauge at all times. If you see it getting close to being fully depleted, switch your Battle Set with , as each set has its own Break Gauge.
Attacking an enemy from behind will automatically make your attacks deal critical damage. This will deal greater Break damage, allowing you to Soul Burst quicker.
You will want to try Soul Bursting enemies over simply killing them. Soul Bursting will grant you MP, increase your max MP, and send a shockwave that will damage and knock back nearby enemies. You will also be invincible during the animation.
Destroying a Dark Vent will automatically defeat any enemy that it spawns.
Many tougher enemies will have a weak spot on them (for example, the whiskers on a Coeurl) If you attack that weak spot enough, you will stagger the enemy and make it easier to break their Soul Gauge.
Take advantage of your surroundings. Many levels feature elements like traps or electrical walls that can be exploited to get free damage on enemies. However, be careful, as these can damage you as well.
You can also use things like pillars or ledges to help avoid damage, as they can block magic projectiles or keep enemies out of reach.
If you need to take a breather during a fight, make use of your allies’ Resonance. This will make them more aggressive with Abilities, and likely cause enemies to target them. This could be especially helpful when fighting a tougher enemy or bosses.
Clear out your inventory at the Smithy periodically to avoid it getting too cluttered. Clearing it out every 2-3 Missions is recommended.
You can filter out the rarity of items you automatically pick up to further reduce the clutter. You can do this by going to System Settings>Basic Settings>Item Pickup.
The rarity you choose will be the highest rarity that WILL NOT be picked up. For example, if you set it at 2-star, no 2- or 1-star equipment will be picked up automatically.
Any pieces not automatically picked up can be picked up manually by pressing the touchpad.
You can Dismantle all of your weapons or pieces of armor at once by pressing in the Dismantle menu, then selecting ‘Select All.’ None of the characters’ starting armor, or anything they currently have equipped will be Dismantled.
It is not recommended that you do this with weapons — you can benefit from having at least one of every weapon type ready in case you need it for a Job.
You don’t really need to Upgrade any of your equipment at the Smithy while still going through the story, as you will generally be replacing your gear pretty frequently.
We strongly advise you to NOT use the ‘Optimize’ option in the Battle Settings. This will automatically equip every slot with the piece of gear with the highest Item Level. However, it is very likely you have significantly better gear in your inventory even if its Item Level is lower. Some gear may have significantly better stats or have a better Affinity for your build.
Raising your Luck stat will give you a higher chance at finding better equipment.
If your Average Item Level is below the Mission Level, you can still go into the mission, run past enemies, and simply open chests to collect gear and quickly get your Item Level up to par.
If you like seeing your characters’ faces, there is an option within the Basic Settings to hide headgear.
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