Tales of Arise is a Japanese role-playing game, and the latest instalment in Bandai Namco's long running Tales series. It's available on both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, and features a long, character-driven story as well as action-based combat.
In our detailed Tales of Arise PS5 review, we gave the game an 'Excellent' 9/10 score. Here's what we wrote: "Tales of Arise went above and beyond our expectations. With its picturesque landscapes instilling a real sense of adventure, it's easily one of the strongest, most cohesive Tales games to date. Dramatic cutscenes and memorable character moments help sell an intriguing story, while a satisfying combat system becomes more and more engaging as your party powers up. A fantastic, modernised journey with all the rewarding qualities of a classic JRPG."
Overall, Tales of Arise is a relatively straightforward game. Map markers tell you where you need to be while also tracking side quests and other gameplay opportunities. However, there are still secrets to find, and optional challenges to undertake. What's more, combat can be tricky at times — especially on harder difficulties — and so our hope is that this Tales of Arise guide will help you get the most out of the game.
Tales of Arise Guides
As mentioned, there are a number of optional activities in Tales of Arise, and the following guides should help you complete them.
Tales of Arise Owls
This guide contains information on where to find all of the owls in Tales of Arise. Owls are essentially hidden collectibles scattered across the game. Finding one gets you a cosmetic reward, and finding certain numbers of owls unlocks cosmetic costumes for your characters.
Tales of Arise Outfits
This guide includes all of the outfits that you can find in Tales of Arise, and information on where to find them. Outfits can be equipped at any time, and are purely cosmetic, meaning that you can wear your favourite costumes without having to worry about stats.
Tales of Arise Best Equipment
This guide has information on all the very best weapons and armor in the game, and includes details on how to get them. If you want your party to be as powerful as possible, we'd recommend reading this guide when you're nearing the end of your adventure.
Tales of Arise Weapons
This guide contains a list of every weapon in Tales of Arise, complete with screenshots and details on how to acquire each weapon. Finding and crafting the best possible weapons is crucial to winning battles, and you can even customise the look of your characters with different weapon skins.
Tales of Arise Devil's Arms
This guide contains information on the Devil's Arms, recurring, super powerful weapons in the Tales series. It includes screenshots as well as details on how to acquire them.
Tales of Arise Artifacts
This guide includes a list of every Artifact in Tales of Arise, complete with information on how to get them. Artifacts are key items that impact various gameplay elements, permanentmy increasing things like earned EXP and SP. They're well worth collecting, and they can be carried over into New Game+.
Tales of Arise - Tips, Tricks, and Combat Help
If you're just starting out with Tales of Arise, these tips and tricks may help you get to grips with the game, and give you some advantages in battle.
Fully Explore Each Map
Each and every map in the game has its secrets. Whether it's treasure chests that contain useful items and equipment, or a carefully hidden owl, it's always worth opening your map and checking to see whether you've investigated every dead end.
Fortunately, when you do find something of note — be it an ore deposit or food that you can harvest — a specific icon is permanently added to your map. This should help you work out where you have and haven't been.
Don't Worry About Crafting Accessories Until Late in the Game
Accessories can be equipped to characters in order to increase certain stats or take advantage of special bonuses. Accessories can be found in treasure chests throughout the game, and once you've found one, you can then craft more of that accessory type at merchants out in the field, or at engraving specialists found in towns and cities.
The thing is, an accessory's power is based on the ore that's used to craft it — and ores are randomised to some extent. Whenever you mine an ore deposit out in the world or in a dungeon, you get an assortment of ores based on the location. However, the effectiveness of these ores increases as you progress through the game. Later on, you'll be able to mine Level 5 ores (the maximum level) from any deposit in the game, and this makes crafting accessories much more efficient.
Of course, having a good accessory equipped is always going to help — but our advice is to not get hung up on crafting accessories at every opportunity. They'll soon become obsolete as you continue your adventure, and saving ore can actually be a boon later on, as it can be used to level up high tier accessories. In short, feel free to craft some accessories when you feel like it — but it's not worth breaking your back until you're much later in the game.
Save Your Game Before Taking on Optional Boss Enemies
Tales of Arise has loads of optional boss enemies for you to fight — particularly later on. These opponents can be deadly if you're not prepared, and while being defeated in battle usually just drops you straight back to the map with minimal HP, some side quest bosses will give you a game over. To make matters worse, you can't tell how high level an enemy is until you're in combat — and you can't run from boss fights once you've activated the battle.
As such, you should always make sure to save your game before running headfirst into one of these fights, just in case.
Weapon Crafting Is Easy, and Don't Sell Your Old Weapons
The vast majority of weapons in Tales of Arise must be crafted using materials dropped by defeated enemies. Thankfully, the process of crafting a weapon is simple. All you need to do is find a merchant out in the field, or a blacksmith in towns and cities, and select the weapon that you want to make. As long as you have the materials (and money), you're good to go.
However, there will be times when you won't have the materials needed to craft certain weapons — and if you've fought every enemy up until that point, you'll wonder where the hell you're supposed to find them. The good news is that you probably haven't missed these materials. It's much more likely that they actually come from enemies that can be found beyond this point in the story. Once new areas open up, chances are that you'll find the materials that you need out there in fresh locations.
But there is another thing you need to be aware of: it's probably not a good idea to sell your old weapons. As you progress further into the game, you'll be able to craft weapons that require lesser weapons as a material, and if you've sold them, well... You're going to have to craft those old armaments all over again. Fortunately, there's no inventory limit — so you don't have to worry about all of your old equipment taking up valuable space.
Try Out Different Party Members in Battle
You start the game as Alphen, and he's probably the easiest party member to use in battle. His attacks are fast, he has a good dodge roll, and his combos are accessible. You can play through the entire game as Alphen if you want, but, there's no harm in trying out other party members as your team grows.
The game does a decent job of introducing each party member's unique fighting style, and giving them a shot can actually provide you with a better understanding of how combat works. You never know — you might find some characters to be much more fun than others.
Dodge, Dodge, Dodge
What's the most important battle action in Tales of Arise? Normal attacks? Artes? Boost attacks? Instant kills? Nope — it's dodging. Dodge rolls are your one and only defensive action, and using them well is crucial to success — particularly during boss fights, where you won't be able to lock your opponents in place with combos.
Dodging can be the difference between life and death. Whenever you feel like you're even in the slightest bit of danger, hit that dodge button and get out of there. But don't spam it! To make the most of your dodge, you need to time it against the enemy's attack. Get it just right, and you'll give yourself a moment of invincibility, and once you've unlocked the skill, you can even launch a counterattack (which usually staggers the opponent).
Give Different Artes a Chance
Feel like your special attacks — your Artes — aren't really getting the job done? Then you should definitely give other Artes a chance. Each character unlocks new Artes as they level up, and to begin with you can assign six Artes (three for use on the ground, three for use in the air) to your controller. Later in the game, you get to assign a second set — but when you're just starting out, we'd recommend experimenting with all the Artes at your disposal.
Why? Well, the best way to get a feel for a certain Arte is to actually use it. Some are fast, some are a bit slower. Some are easy to use in combos, and others knock the enemy away. The Artes menu does give a brief description of each attack, but these explanations skip the finer details.
It's also worth noting that you can equip different Artes in battle, by opening the menu. This means that you can easily swap between Artes in order to try them out. Just try not to experiment during important battles...
Boost Attacks are More Versatile Than You Think
Boost Attacks are when you use the different directional buttons to call in your allies for a quick attack. Each party member's Boost Attack is completely unique, and each is particularly effective against a certain type of enemy. For example, Shionne's Boost Attack will knock flying enemies out of the air, leaving them wide open.
But using Boost Attacks on specific, pesky opponents isn't all that they're good for. There are two other important points to consider:
- Boost Attacks can be used in combos. While it's probably a good idea to save Boost Attacks for when you need them during fights with tough enemies, it's always worth keeping in mind that they can greatly extend your combos. So, for example, if you need to make quick work of a regular monster, weaving a Boost Attack into your combo could be the best way to stagger them, and open them up to an instant kill Boost Strike.
- Boost Attacks can be used to reposition party members. In battle, you control one party member, while the computer controls the others. You have very little say over how your allies behave in combat — but you can actually use their Boost Attacks to get them out of danger. For example, if an enemy has them cornered, or they've somehow managed to get themselves surrounded, you can hit their Boost Attack to immediately teleport them out of harm's way. After performing a Boost Attack, characters are temporarily invincible, so this is actually quite an effective tactic when used correctly.
Adjust Your Party Tactics, the AI Can Be Really Stupid
We highly recommend taking a minute to check out the Strategy menu. If combat feels difficult, or if it feels like your computer-controlled allies are being really bloody stupid, the solution may lie in the Strategy menu. Here, you can tweak how party member intelligence works.
While you can't make any significant changes to how characters attack, you can make them much harder to kill, and give them a better idea of when to use their healing or support Artes.
The Strategy menu can be a bit daunting if you're a new player, so it's probably best to get a feel for the game before tweaking things too much (just stick with the default tactics until you're comfortable). But when the time comes, you should definitely make sure that one of your tactics tells characters to distance themselves from the enemy when their HP is low. Without this setting, your AI party members will continue to throw themselves at monsters even when they're at death's door.
In short, making good use of the Strategy menu can increase the survivability of your party dramatically.
Difficulty Settings are There for a Reason
When it comes to combat, Tales of Arise can be a tricky game to get used to. While it is a lot more accessible than previous Tales games, there's still an emphasis on specific mechanics, like combos, which differentiates the game from other modern action titles.
If you're having trouble wrapping your head around Tales of Arise, we recommend going into the settings menu and switching the combat difficulty to 'Story' — even if it's just while you find your footing. There are no Trophies or in-game challenges tied to difficulty, so you can switch whenever you like.
The Story difficulty doesn't make Tales of Arise a walk in the park, but it does let you learn the ins and outs at an easier pace. It can be a great way to get a feel for the flow of combat.
Likewise, if things are a bit too easy for your tastes, then try the Moderate, or even Hard difficulties. Both provide a rewarding challenge when you're not fighting enemies way below your current level.
Do you have any Tales of Arise tips? Begin your adventure in the comments section below.