Remember these words every time a mission ends: ‘explore the HQ’
Astral Chain is a Platinum joint, and that means there’s a lot of stuff to memorize.
But like many Japanese action romps, a lot of the complexity lies in your ability to micromanage all of the game’s upgrades and systems, which feed into your combat performance. Here’s a few tips for beginners to help break that all down.
also read: Astral Chain Difficulty Settings Tips
- If you’re overwhelmed, you can always change the difficulty setting on your main PC (in the HQ) between missions. Ramping down will make things easier in general and grant you more continues (which are basically defibrillator charges).
- Check the challenge menu frequently and claim those rewards! Each time you finish a specific task (like attacking with a certain Legion companion or beating a chapter), the game will reward you with items or bonuses. Press start, go to status, orders, locate the red presents, and open them all. Clicking in the right analog stick sorts your gifts to bring the available ones top the top.
- Speaking of rewards, diversify your Legion use to get more of them. Try to swap to each Legion once in a mission, even if it’s just for a minute. Everyone is going to have a go-to Legion, but unlocking those rewards will help you buff that ringer.
- Use field medical items first before you dip into your stock. Field items are denoted by a flower icon in your inventory, and can only be used in that specific mission: once that mission ends, field items are discarded. You can change what item is selected in your quick menu by holding down the X button.
An easy way to stock up on field items is in the HQ before the mission starts. Comb the two main floors first!
- Although the medical supply shop is right next to where you begin each chapter (File), the weapon and Legion upgrade vendor is hidden away in the basement. Don’t forget to go there and upgrade! After the tutorial mission early on I completely forgot it existed and didn’t return until File 08.
- You can wrap your chain around patrolling enemies in stealth sections to stun them. Just get close enough so it reaches: they can’t see the Legion.
- Keep rumble on! I know some of you might want to play in bed next to your spouse, but if at all possible, rumble helps cue you in on when to press ZL for strong Legion attacks.
Astral Chain combat, chain attacks Legions, items and more explained
You’ll need some Astral Chain tips as you face a constant onslaught of weird Chimeras and monsters, so you’d best be prepared if you want to survive and hit that S Rank. Astral Chain is the latest game from Platinum, and while it might not be as hard as some of their other titles, it still helps to know what you’re doing, so to help you along here are some Astral Chain tips to help you get good fast.
1. Time your dodges
Dodging at the last second gives you the chance to perform a powerful counterattack and, later on, allows you to use your Legion to counterattack and reposition too. Dodging in general is useful of course, but timing it at the last second also slows down time temporarily, so learn to read enemy attacks to get the most out of it.
2. Use your chain for free hits
You learn early on that you can use your chain to attack in two ways. The first is to use it to rebound charging enemies; the second is to wrap the chain around enemies and bind them. Both of these let you get some free hits in, so make the most of it. Speaking of which…
3. Aim for the head or back
You deal extra damage when attacking an enemy’s head or back. You can use your chain to set this up with ease or use your Legion to distract them. That way, one of you will always be dealing extra damage. Think of it like having a very easy to control co-op partner.
4. Use the training area
Often the training area is a bit pointless in games, but that’s not the case here. There are a bunch of tricks you can learn by going through the programs there. You’ll need to visit it a couple of times in order to learn all of the skills, but it’s well worth it.
5. Visit Tabitha often
Tabitha is near the training area in HQ and while some of the shops feel almost optional thanks to the constant supply of health items, Tabitha is very much a necessity. She can upgrade your X-Baton and Legions, so make sure you pay her a visit whenever you’re in the HQ and upgrade your gear. It’s worth doing the X-Baton first, as it unlocks new attacks or forms for you weapon up until around level 5.
6. Scan bosses with IRIS to see health
This isn’t essential, but it can help you alleviate some of that fear when fighting a big boss. If you jump into IRIS, you’ll bring up their health bar. It doesn’t have to be for long either, so drop straight back out of it once you’ve looked at them. It works with regular enemies too; it’s just that they often don’t last long enough to matter.
7. Look for the bright light and hit ZL
You’ll learn about sync attacks early on. When a bright circle appears near your weapon during combat you can hit ZL to attack in unison with your Legion. As you upgrade your Legion you’ll find these prompts popping up when you dodge, when you summon at the right time, and even after certain special attacks. So make sure to hit ZL whenever you can to get in more powerful attacks. Also, don’t be afraid to then hit ZR to continue the attack, some of these attacks can turn into combos, allowing you to keep an enemy stunned and taking huge amounts of damage.
8. Explore everywhere for items, Gels, and missions
This one is fairly obvious, but make sure you explore everywhere. It’s not essential by any means, but if you want to get the best items, then you’re going to need to do so. You’ll find hidden cases, items, extra corruption to clear away, and occasionally special Gel enemies. These enemies run around a lot, but if you can kill them, you’ll get some great items. They often appear in areas you’ve come from but aren’t expected to return to for story reasons, so backtrack if you get the chance.
9. Upgrade your Legions and check your status
The micromanagement in Astral Chain is relatively limited, but what is available is worth doing. You have to upgrade your Legions in the menu, which is also where you equip the skills you unlock for them and equip special ability items you find as you journey around. The tab next to this one shows your the status of your missions – you’ll get rewards for hitting certain milestones, and this is where you claim them. They tend to be useful upgrade items, so make sure to do it after every mission.
10. Finish off enemies
When an enemy gets low on health, you’ll get the chance to ‘Finish Off’ them. This is a stylish way of ending fights, but it serves a much more useful function too: it allows you to heal. Many of the bosses you fight will have little minions around them, and it turns out they are less to annoy you, and more to help you stay alive. Simply beat one up when you notice your health getting a bit low and finish them off (you hit A when the prompt comes up) this will restore your health and leave you fighting fit.