Be brave, not stupid.
I mean, I’m sure you’re super excited to get your hands on Bravely Default, the new Japanese role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS (which we liked quite a lot). But don’t just jump into things without a little preparation. Bravely Default is a complex game filled with unique mechanics and a lot of customization.
So, GamesBeat has put together this little guide to help you get started. Again, Bravely Default is a huge game that allows for a lot of strategy, but these tips should get you through the early parts of your adventure.
Grinding is that love-it/hate-it RPG chore of engaging in battles solely to gain experience, money, or other in-game currency. In Bravely Default, you don’t just receive experience points from fighting, but you also gain job points which level up your jobs. This makes grinding doubly important (triply when you consider all the money you also earn). Besides, you’ll have a damned difficult time if you try to get by with just the battles you’re forced to fight by completing the story.
But while grinding is a necessary evil (unless you’re a sick freak like me who actually enjoys it), Bravely Default has a lot of options that makes the task easier than it is in most RPGs.
Find a place filled with monsters you can beat in one turn
Don’t forget: You can use Brave four times for each character during the first turn, which means each one can attack four times at the start of a battle. Now, if you somehow don’t clear all the enemies after that first turn, then you’re vulnerable for three more rounds while you regain your Brave Points.
Make sure you’re in an area where you know you can win a fight in a single turn. Sure, you may not get as much experience per fight, but you’ll make that ground up with the number of battles you’ll quickly beat. You also earn a little more experience when you win a fight in one turn.
Speed up those battle animations
Those battle animations are pretty and all, but they’re a bit slow, especially when you have to see the same ones over and over while grinding. Luckily, you can push the right button on the d-pad to speed things up. Push it twice to run all animations at four times their normal speed.
Increase the enemy encounter rate
Not running into enemies fast enough? Go into the menu, select Tactics, then Config, and finally Difficulty. You’ll find an option to increase or decrease the enemy encounter rate. Bump it up to +100 percent, and you’ll run into fights twice as often as before. Also, resist the urge to turn it down to 0 percent. Yes, you’ll run through areas faster, but you’ll regret missing out on that experience.
Pushing the Y button makes your party repeat the same actions they did the last turn. It also toggles auto-battle on, meaning you’ll automatically do that round of actions at the start of a battle. If you have a set of moves that you know will take out any group of enemies you’ll come across, then turn auto-battle on.
Don’t grind before you have a full party
You start Bravely Default with a single character before slowly filling out your four-person party. Try to limit your grinding before those three others join you, otherwise you’ll have a level and job disparity between your characters. Don’t worry, it won’t take too long before your party fills up.
Jobs are classes in Bravely Default. They dictate what special abilities your character can use, and your base stats also change depending on which job you have. Jobs level up independently of your character, and each one maxes out at level 14. You’ll either gain a new move or a passive ability each time your job rank increases.
While you’ll eventually have 24 jobs to choose from, these tips will help you get along early in the game, when you don’t have as many choices.
Do sidequests as soon as you can
Sidequests show up on your map as blue speech bubbles. Do them as soon as you can and before you do the available main quest. In the first half of the game, the reward for completing them is always a new job. More jobs means more options, and you’ll want to eventually unlock every single one of them.
Get your bases covered
One of the first jobs you’ll get is the White Mage. This class can heal characters, revive the dead, and cure status ailments. These are incredibly important things. Make sure you have someone leveling up this job as soon as possible.
You’ll also soon gain access to the Black Mage job. Black magic can exploit enemy weakness to deal massive damage (go ahead, make your giant enemy crab joke). If you have someone with the Freelancer job ability Examine, you can find any enemy’s elemental weakness. Do this and exploit it.
Speaking of Freelancer, the base job that every character starts out as, don’t abandon it too quickly. Sure, those new, flashier jobs seem inviting, but the Freelancer learns some nice skills that are especially useful for dungeon exploration, like one that shows you how many treasure chest are left in your area.
Don’t change everyone’s job at the same time
Your stats depend on your job, but they also increase as you level your job up. So when you switch from one with several levels earned to a new job, you’ll see a massive loss to your attack, speed, magic, etc.
You’ll gain most of that back pretty quickly after you gain a few job levels, but don’t make your party vulnerable by switching everyone to a new job at the same time. Make sure that your other three character can pick up the slack while the other one is learning those early levels.
Using your friends
While Bravely Default is a single-player game, your friends can help thanks to online support and Streetpassing.
Early on, you’ll have the ability to rebuild the village of Norende. You can do so by assigning villagers to rebuild shops, which will then send you periodic gifts and unlock new items, weapons, armor, and special moves that you can buy. Obviously this is all very useful.
You can gain more villagers to help speed the building via Streetpass, the 3DS feature that lets you share data from any other system you come into close proximity with. Getting a lot of villagers fast means you can get access to some great items fairly early in the game.
And if you don’t have anyone to Streetpass with, you can still add a few villagers a day to Norende simply by updating you data at any save location.
You can also summon a character from a friend you’ve Streetpassed in battle to use a special move. These attacks are often powerful — sometimes even more than any move you could do. Don’t be shy about summoning, especially early in the game when you may need some extra help during boss fights.
Also, just like with the Norende villagers, save points will grant you some random friends once per day with characters you can summon.
You can register a friend and then link one of your four characters to him or her via the Tactics menu. This gives you access to abilities that they’ve earned that you haven’t yet unlocked. If you have any friends who are further along than you, make sure to use the Ablink ability to give your characters a healthy boost.