Bandai’s highly-anticipated JRPG, Scarlet Nexus, is finally out, which means you can now venture into an alternate futuristic “brain punk” world and defend humanity from grotesque alien creatures. Your battle companion? Your own extra-sensory psionic abilities (hence the phrase, brain punk) and other trusty party members.
On top of a compelling narrative and an authentic JRPG experience, it also brings to the table stunning visuals and immersive gameplay.
Every journey, however, has to start somewhere. If you’ve bought Scarlet Nexus and are looking for some tips before you dive into it, this is where you can take those first steps. We have cobbled together a beginner’s guide to share several quick tips so you can kickstart your experience and breeze through the enemies.
If you’re looking for a more complete guide on what exactly Scarlet Nexus is about, our What the FAQ guide will help you understand and decide if Bandai’s latest JRPG title is right for you.
Picking Your Character in Scarlet Nexus
To get started, you’ll be able to pick two characters for your playthrough: Yuito Sumeragi and Kasane Randall. We won’t go too much into detail regarding their campaigns and storyline but each character will offer different move sets and party members.
If you’re a fan of melee attacks, Yuito Sumeragi would be the ideal route. His party members include Hanabi Ichijo, Gemma Garrison, Tsugumi Nazar and Luka Travers, who are armed with the powers of pyrokinesis, sclerokinesis, clairvoyance and teleportation respectively.
Kasane Randall, meanwhile, will have a ranged projectile attack on top of the base psychokinesis ability, with Shiden Ritter, Arashi Spring, Kyoka Eden, and Kagero Donne serving as her party members. Their powers include electrokinesis, hypervelocity, duplication and invisibility respectively.
While the team configuration is fixed for each protagonist, selected characters from the other party might pop by to join you on certain quests along the way.
Exploration and Items
Scarlet Nexus isn’t an open-world RPG, but you’ll still be able to explore quite a bit of its available map. This is extremely helpful because as you progress throughout the areas, you’ll be able to pick up random drops (they look shiny and green) along the way. These items consist of environmental data points and resources including money and potions. The former, in particular, can prove useful as they can be used to exchange for items later on in the game.
The drops you pick up will respawn after a certain amount of time in randomised new locations, so make sure you don’t miss out on them, because nothing helps more than having an abundance of health pots for boss fights.
Here’s a bonus tip: If you’ve played the demo, don’t forget to unlock and collect two of your cosmetic attachments and wearable plug-ins for additional stats! While you can sell these off for 3000 gold, we feel it’s unnecessary as the in-game gold is not that difficult to come by – you’ll just have to grind a little more if you want the extra moolah!
Combat in Scarlet Nexus
When it comes to combat, Scarlet Nexus’ battle mechanics are similar to most JRPG titles, so the experience won’t be extremely new if you’re familiar with the genre.
Most of the early game monsters are relatively easy to beat, but there are a few challenging ones, such as the flying Plateau Pendu and the charging Wither Sabbat, that pose a challenge with their specialised move sets. These monsters will make it harder for you to focus your hits and stack your damage because of their evasive nature, so you’ll have to stay patient and go for the kill when they’re open, instead of smashing the attack button.
Since blocking isn’t featured in the game, dodging is the only move you can rely on to avoid being attacked. After gaining some levels, you’ll be able to unlock more skills like double jump or mid-air dashes.
With Yuito’s and Kasane’s psychokinesis abilities, making full use of your environment holds the key to victory. As there will be plenty of objects lying around during combat, you’ll have to pay more attention to surrounding objects that are strategically placed, especially in the case of boss fights, where brute force may not necessarily be enough.
The game revolves heavily around you and your squad, so it’s clear that you’ll have to pick two of your companions wisely.
Depending on who you choose, they’ll bring along different techniques and abilities which will impact your fights significantly. Early game Hanabi Ichijo, for example, offers great fire prowess and damage while Gemma Garrison provides the ultimate defence. Kagero Donne, meanwhile, gives you invisibility to deal a huge amount of backstab damage to your enemies.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to rotate your members around to get a gist of what their attacks are before deciding if they’re suitable for your play style. If you want a more brief explanation of your party’s skill and some of the special environment objects in the game, here’s a clear breakdown for your reference.
One other key point that helped us to fully utilise our party members is setting up their instructions under the party menu. By selecting “target same enemy”, you’ll be asking your party to focus their attacks onto a single target, thereby raising your maximum damage output. This is handy in situations where you want to finish fights more efficiently.
Outside of combat, Scarlet Nexus also features a bonding system that lets you advance your relationship with your party members through a mix of cutscenes and gameplay fights. By increasing your relationships with these characters, you’ll unlock even stronger character abilities to use in your fights.
We would recommend you to pick up these bonding quests as much as you can whenever they’re available – besides improving your relationship, they also offer you an interesting slice of the character’s development and story within the grand scheme of things.
Levelling through the game comes naturally like any other JRPG, and so far, there doesn’t seem to be a need to go the extra mile for additional experience points. However, if you do find yourself facing certain challenges early on, Scarlet Nexus allows you to explore unlocked areas over and over again to grind those levels you need.
While exploring through the city of New Himuka, you’ll find opportunities to talk to non-playable characters (NPCs), some of whom will offer side quests, so you can earn bonus experience points and items. As such, do keep a lookout for NPCs with speech bubbles on top of their heads.
Now go forth and save humanity from these brain-eating monstrosities – we hope that some of these tips will be able to help you with your starting journey into Scarlet Nexus. From game lore to side character stories, there’s plenty of content laying in wait for adventurers, and the only way to unlock them all is to take that first step and fulfil your destiny as the world’s hero.