- Utilize Enemy Weaknesses And One-More Attacks
- Use All-Out Attacks Liberally
- Sneak Up On Shadows For An Advantage
- Have Ways To Replenish Your HP And SP
- Pay Attention To Status Ailments
- Stay On Top Of Your Velvet Room Fusions
- Prioritize Your Party’s Social Links
- Control Your Party Members In Important Fights
Persona 4 Golden drops you into the shoes of Yu Narukami and tasks you and your ragtag group of friends with saving the sleepy town of Inaba from the ominous fog and series of murders by which it’s been plagued. No pressure though, right?
In order to get to the bottom of things, you’ll need to battle your way through dungeons, fighting shadows to save your friends from themselves. And with combat such a central mechanic in P4G (and the Persona series as a whole), we wanted to give you some tips to help you make the most of your battles.
Utilize Enemy Weaknesses And One-More Attacks
One of the most important tips we can give you is to be sure you’re exploiting weaknesses.
If you analyze an enemy in battle, you’ll be able to see to which elements or skills it’s weak, allowing you to make ample use of attacks of those elements or types.
When you exploit enemy weaknesses and the attacks land, the enemies are downed.
Downing an enemy in P4G by exploiting their elemental weakness will reward you with a One More attack. This allows whoever dealt the damage that downed the enemy will get to attack a second time.
This pattern of earning another attack continues until you stop using super-effective moves.
If there are multiple enemies on the field, plan your attack pattern carefully to exploit the One More attacks as much as possible to make quick work of the fight.
Use All-Out Attacks Liberally
Following the method above of exploiting enemies’ elemental weaknesses, you can set your party up to do a massive amount of damage all at once.
When you’ve downed each enemy on the field, your team will trigger an All-Out Attack.
These see your entire party attacking every remaining enemy at once, combining their strength into a huge, simultaneous attack and usually dealing massive damage to whoever remains.
Depending on where you are in the game and how strong the shadows are, this may be enough to end the battle outright! Unless you have a different idea of how you’d like the fight to go, it’s typically a good idea to seize the opportunity for an All-Out Attack (almost) whenever possible.
If an enemy survives the All-Out Attack, they will re-enter the battle no longer downed.
If you’re not confident that the All-Out Attack will finish the fight, it may be best to decline to use it and continue exploiting elemental weaknesses.
Sneak Up On Shadows For An Advantage
The game tells you about this during your first dungeon-crawling expedition, but it’s a tip you really ought to keep aware of throughout the game: sneak up on shadows from behind to gain an advantage in battle.
If you successfully attack an enemy from behind, you enter the battle with a player advantage, which means your team attacks first.
However, the inverse can also be true – if a shadow attacks you before you can hit it to trigger the battle, you’ll instead begin with an enemy advantage, allowing the shadow a free shot at your team.
It’s always a good idea to guarantee you go first by sneaking up on shadows. These enemies grow quite powerful by the end of the game, so it’s a good idea to prevent them from taking a free shot if you can sneak up on them beforehand.
Have Ways To Replenish Your HP And SP
There are two meters in Persona 4 Golden to which you really need to pay attention when going through dungeons: HP for your health, and SP for your magic.
But the two are not created equal, and there are more ways to replenish HP than SP.
Your teammates are able to learn skills and spells that can be used in and out of battle to help heal the team back to good health.
Skills like Dia or Media can heal the party in the middle of battle if you have a Persona that knows them, but you’re also able to ask your teammates to use them between fights to top off when you’re not in immediate danger.
However, SP is harder to replenish, but the good news is that there are some items you can buy, find, or even grow around Inaba.
Buy Drinks From Vending Machines
By visiting the vending machines around Inaba, you can purchase drinks that replenish small amounts of SP.
Dr. Salt Neo, Second Maid, and The Natural will all give 5SP, while TaP Soda gives 10SP.
These will all cost ¥120 each, (even though TaP Soda has double the SP yield, making it an even better value). You can purchase five drinks from each machine before it’s “sold out.” The machines are restocked every Monday, so make visiting them a habit.
You’ll occasionally receive a second drink for free, and doing so is one of the game’s achievements.
However, there’s no pattern for when it happens, so you’ll just have to keep trying your luck.
Grow Veggies In Your Garden
You can also grow Tiny Soul Tomatoes, which replenish 20 SP to whoever eats them, as well as Bead Melons, which fully replenish the HP and SP of whoever eats them.
These can all be grown in your garden at the Dojima Residence. For more info on gardening, check out our Gardening Guide for P4G.
Pay The Fox To Heal You
Finally, early into the story of Persona 4 Golden, you’ll meet a Fox that lives at Tatsuhime Shrine.
The Fox will appear in the TV world to heal you and the party occasionally once you’ve begun its social link, but the service isn’t free.
It starts off quite expensive, but the closer you become to the Fox as you progress its social link, the less it will charge you.
Therefore, we recommend making maxing the Fox’s social link a priority, if only for the healing powers.
Pay Attention To Status Ailments
While the majority of combat is a straightforward exchange of magic or physical damage, you’ll need to be wary of status ailments when they’re inflicted on the party.
Each one will do something different, but they’re all a detriment to your battle, as it limits or even restricts your use of Personas during the fight.
Below, you’ll find a full list of status ailments in Persona 4 Golden, as well as what their effect is during battle.
Status Ailments In P4G
Each ailment has at least one spell or item to cure it. Your party’s healer ought to have a handful of these moves in their arsenal, just to play it safe.
However, there are also items that you can use during battle that have the same effect. These can be found around dungeons, so be on the lookout and keep a small stock on you, just in case.
Stay On Top Of Your Velvet Room Fusions
While we know exactly how it goes, getting attached to Personas in your stock that seem like the heroes of your team, it’s always a good idea to keep your Compendium current.
By registering the Personas you find in Shuffle Time throughout your dungeon-crawling, you’ll log them into your Compendium and be able to pay to get them again.
This allows you to save your Personas as they are, before using them to perform fusions to create even stronger Personas.
The level of Persona you can fuse is limited by your protagonist’s current level. For example, if you’re Lv. 20, you can fuse any Persona that’s Lv. 20 or lower.
When you fuse new Personas, the new result will obtain a few skills or attacks from its parent Personas.
Fused Personas will gain additional power based on where you are in the social link of the character whose arcana corresponds with the Persona you’re about to make.
The closer you are to said character, the more additional power Personas of their arcana will become upon fusion. Keep this in mind when performing fusions, as it may be beneficial to wait a moment until you’re closer to the character for that arcana, for sake of earning more power post-fusion.
It’s usually a good idea to assemble your party, and then let Yu cover the elemental gaps with his wild card ability.
For instance, if you have Yukiko with fire and healing, Kanji with electric and physical, and Naoto with light and dark, then you’ll want to give Yu Personas that know ice, electric, and wind moves, so your party can cover every affinity!
Prioritize Your Party’s Social Links
Persona 4 Golden has a total of 24 arcana, all of which are represented by someone you know around Inaba. When you’ve unlocked a social link, you form a bond with them that you can then work on by spending free time with them.
And while growing closer to all characters will reward you with the ability to fuse stronger Personas of their corresponding arcana, it’s wise to prioritize the party members you use the most.
As you become closer to your teammates, they will learn additional skills or abilities to use in battle.
These will start small, with the ability to wake a fallen ally, but will finish with their Persona transforming into a secondary, stronger form.
We’ve got full social link guides for every character in Persona 4 Golden, so find your teammates and be sure to make them a priority during your free time.
Once you unlock the ability to ride your scooter, you can begin inviting teammates on bike rides. Doing so will imbue them with additional skills that they normally couldn’t learn by leveling up.
We also have a guide to how best to use your bike skills, so be sure to check it out to help your Investigation Team friends become even stronger!
Control Your Party Members In Important Fights
While it’s definitely kind of fun to let your party members act autonomously, making Persona 4 Golden feel more like an adventure with your friends than like you’re commanding a squad, the AI behind how your teammates attack makes it so that they aren’t always reliable.
However, you can prevent this from happening by assuming direct control of all fighters in the party. It does remove a bit of the spontaneity of battle, but it allows you to tell each party member exactly what to do and when.
This isn’t always necessary, especially as your level increases or your difficulty setting decreases, but in important battles, it might be smart to take control.
Be it mini-bosses, boss shadows, or just when the party’s health is low, you can prevent your teammates from making useless or harmful moves on their turn by controlling them yourself.
You can change this in the Change Battle Tactics option in your submenu. Each party member's control can be set individually, and you can instruct them to do things like focus on healing or channeling all their energy into offensive moves.
This further allows you to make use of your wild card stock, as it gives you new elements to play with without saddling Yu with another Persona.
Test it out and see how it works for you! Some people enjoy the freedom to let their friends do as they wish, but when it comes down to the wire, it’s not a bad idea to take control yourself.
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