Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet does a decent enough job of introducing you to its many systems and gameplay mechanics, but there are some finer points that it never really covers. When it comes to surviving in Gun Gale Online, your chances will increase significantly once you understand the ebb and flow of gunplay, enemy behaviour, and other smaller details.
With this hopefully helpful guide, we're going to run through some hints, tips, and tricks that should assist you on your way to becoming a top player.
Automatic weapons are best for beginners
There are a bunch of different weapon types to try out in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, but when you're just finding your feet, we'd recommend sticking with automatic guns. They don't require precise aim, they can dish out constant damage, and they come with a large ammo count.
With a good automatic weapon, you can quite easily run-and-gun, dodging enemy attacks while dealing good amounts of damage. Staying mobile can be key to survival -- especially against enemies who rely on close range combat -- so having a gun that you can continuously fire even when you're moving to cover can prove very valuable.
Don't always aim down the sights
In Fatal Bullet, you can either shoot from the hip or aim manually using L2. When shooting from the hip, you have the option of using assist mode, which makes your bullets track. Assist mode can be toggled on and off by pressing up on the directional pad.
Assist mode is one of the most effective tools at your disposal. It allows you to keep track of fast-moving enemies as long as they stay in your sights, and it's usually the best way of dealing guaranteed chunks of damage to any opponent that isn't standing still.
This is because when you're aiming down your sights, there's no aim assist. As alluded, many enemies in Fatal Bullet move quickly, so actually keeping your crosshair on an enemy that's darting around is incredibly difficult. In these situations, you're probably better off shooting from the hip with the help of assist mode. If an opponent is knocked down or is standing still, that's when you should be aiming manually.
Stay near cover if possible
Fatal Bullet isn't really a cover-based shooter, but cover is still part of the equation. Although you can dodge roll and dash to avoid some incoming fire, effective use of these evasive moves requires timing and a bit of practice. What's more, some attacks can only be avoided if you're sitting behind cover.
Get into the habit of staying near cover when you can. Sometimes, this isn't possible due to how open an area can be, but having a solid wall to dive behind when the going gets tough can easily save your life.
Your dash is as important as your dodge roll
If you're looking to evade incoming fire and there's no cover to hide behind, you have two options: you can either dodge roll, or you can dash. To roll, click R3. To dash, hit circle.
Rolling may seem like the best way to avoid attacks, and that's true in some cases (like when an enemy is winding up for a big melee attack), but no matter how many times you roll, there are some projectile-based attacks that you simply won't be able to dodge. These can include shotgun blasts and gatling gun barrages.
If you see that an enemy's targeting you, try dashing instead. When you hit the circle button, your character will perform a quick dash that then becomes a sprint. When sprinting, you can actually outrun your foe's ability to target you, meaning that their shots will miss. Dashing and then sprinting is great for retreating to cover, or you can even use it to close the distance between you and your foe if you're feeling aggressive.
Always bring a healer
Fatal Bullet may not be your typical role-playing game filled with swords, magic, and monsters, but your party members still have roles to play during combat. And, as with almost any RPG team, you're going to want to bring a healer along for the ride.
There are several healing skills in Fatal Bullet. Some directly restore your health, while others can cure status ailments. Several of Kirito's friends have these skills (namely Sinon and Asuna), so if you're finding progress difficult, it may be worth considering these party members so that you can keep your health topped up.
It's also worth mentioning that your own character can learn these skills as well, as can ArFA-sys, your custom companion.
Use ArFA-sys to complement your style of play
ArFA-sys is yours to command and shape. From its looks to its abilities, you're free to tweak your AI companion however you see fit. As such, it's a good idea to transform ArFA-sys into a reliable party member who can complement your own style of play.
For example, if you enjoy fighting on the front lines as an all-out attacker, you may want ArFA-sys to focus on healing and support skills. If you like to snipe from a distance, maybe you could turn ArFA-sys into a tank and have them draw enemies away from your position. There are countless possibilities.
Remember to check in on side quests and bounties
Whenever you unlock a new area to explore, remember to check your available side quests and bounties. More missions appear as you progress through the game, and accepting them before you head out on your adventure can save you a lot of time.
It's best to get into the habit of calling in at each quest giver's station before you get down to business.
Repeat bounties to get extra cash
Standard hunting missions -- which task you with defeating a certain number of enemies -- can be undertaken as many times as you like. With this in mind, it's a good idea to pick these missions up whenever you're about to go adventuring, killing the required enemies while you work on other, more important objectives.
Completing them all over again will net you chunks of currency, and you can quickly rack up extra cash by repeating this process whenever you're planning to head out on your next main mission.
Fast travel can streamline the experience significantly
From the map screen on your main menu, you can fast travel to any previously visited location. This includes specific areas within the home hub as well as dungeons and remote locations out in the wilderness. Because of how Fatal Bullet is structured, fast travel can save you a huge amount of time.
Fast travelling allows you to bypass the game's teleport gate system entirely. Instead of having to go pick up a quest and then head to the nearest teleporter, simply grab your quest and fast travel straight to the location. When you're done, fast travel right on back and pick up the next mission.
If you've having trouble finding the location that you want to move to on the map screen, try hitting the circle button. Doing this will eventually bring up a list of all the main areas so that you can easily select your destination.
Trade medals for skill points and money
Medals are collected through performing various acts during battle. You acquire them quickly and constantly, and before long, you'll be sitting on a nice little pile of them. But what can they be used for?
In the lobby area of the main hub, you'll notice four girls standing on the central platform. Talk to the girl with blue hair and you'll be able to trade in your medals for various things like outfits and weapons. Keep in mind that some items are quite expensive.
However, she doesn't just deal in equipment -- she'll also grant you skills points and money in exchange for medals. If you're ever short on either, this can be a quick and easy way of stocking up. Skill points in particular can be hard to come by -- especially later on -- so always keep this method in mind.
Invest in banking to get rich quick
A little while into the game, ArFA-sys will gain the ability to look after your money. You can set it so that a percentage of your earnings are transferred directly to your bank account, and we recommend taking full advantage of this.
You see, you can earn interest on the money that you have banked. Over time, your savings will generate more and more money as they grow, meaning that the more you bank, the bigger the payout over time. This can be a very effective way of making a massive amount of money while you get on with the game.
Our advice is to place a large amount of money into your account as soon as you have access to it. Add some more whenever you've got cash to spare and you'll quickly see the benefits. Once you reach the later stages of the game, you'll be drowning in dosh.
Status effect build up can be key
Status effects are only applied in Fatal Bullet once the target has been hit by one enough times. It may just take one status attack to do the trick, or it could take three or four -- it all depends on the target's resistances.
There's at least one skill dedicated to each effect, from poisoning and burning to stun. The higher ranks of these skills provide more "build up" upon impact, which basically means that they get the job done quicker.
Since there are few highly damaging skills in Fatal Bullet, inflicting status effects can often be the key to taking down tough enemies quickly. Blaze, for example, sets the target on fire, causing it to take continuous damage. Combine this with the damage that your party's dealing and it quickly adds up.
As such, it's good practice to hit your opponent with a status skills whenever you get the chance. Every time it hits, you're making it more and more susceptible to that effect. Bring along party members who share the same status skill and you'll inflict it even faster.
Do you have any tips for rookie Gun Gale Online players? Share your knowledge in the comments section below.