In this Phantasy Star Online 2 Gameplay Features & Beginner Tips article we will be taking a look at the Online RPG title developed and published by SEGA. The game is Free to Play and was recently ported from Japan to America. It is currently is available on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Steam.
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Phantasy Star Online 2 Features Overview & Beginner Tips
What is Phantasy Star Online 2?
In Phantasy Star Online 2 you play as an ARKS Operative, a member of an elite task force that explores planets in search of the Falspawn, a corruption that threatens all life around the universe.
The game boasts 4 different races and 9 Classes, each of them with their unique Weapons, Features and Skills. Also each Weapon has its own unique Photon Arts which act as special abilities or techniques.
Combat is fast and engaging, putting a heavy emphasis on player skill. There are plenty of playstyles and you are encouraged to try out more than one class, which provides hundreds of hours of gameplay.
The game has incorporated many different systems over the years, which can be a bit overwhelming at first. This Guide will help you understand the basic game concepts and mechanics so you can get a much better start.
- Name: Phantasy Star Online 2
- Platforms: Steam, Windows 10 and Xbox one
- Developer: SEGA
- Publisher: SEGA
- Release Date: 5 August 2020 (American Version)
- Genre: Online RPG
Character Creation & Game Server
Selecting a Ship (Server)
The first thing you’ll need to do while creating your character is decide which Ship you are going to select. Ships are essentially Servers, and you’ll only be able to interact and play with players that are in the same server as yours, so if you are going to play with friends, make sure to select the same server. There’s a way to transfer your character to a different server, but you’ll need to use premium currency to do so.
Once you’ve selected your ship, you’ll be thrown into the Character Creation screen. Here you’ll be able to select your Name, Gender, Race and Class as well as creating your physical appearance.
Phantasy Star Online 2 features an incredibly deep character creation system, allowing you to fully customize how your character looks and making every player character unique. The Basic system provides a huge number of pre-sets, while the advanced customization allows you to manually control even the smallest details of your character’s face or body. You can select your character’s body shape, height, voice, eye color, hair type, body paint and more.
In addition, there is a huge variety of accessories and outfits that you can wear, further increasing the customization options. Many of these accessories and outfits are free, while others can be purchased using premium currency or earned by completing different challenges.
If you want to jump right to the action, you can always visit the Salon later on to change how your character looks. To do so, you’ll need to use a Salon Pass, which can be acquired by playing the game, or by using premium currency. The only things that you won’t be able to change are your Race and Gender, so make sure to select what you want during Character Creation. If you want to experience other races, you can always create a new character.
There are 4 different Races that you can select from: Human, Newman, CAST and Deuman. The main difference between the races is how they look, but they also have slightly different stats. This, however, has a very little impact during gameplay, so I strongly recommend that you pick a race based on what you want and not based on their stats.
Regular human beings make great Ark Operatives due to their versatility and adaptability.
Stats: Humans are great all-rounders and are fit for all classes. They have a great balance between Physical Strength Endurance and Photon Arts.
Aesthetics: Humans do not have any particular aesthetics
The result of genetic manipulation of select humans to create a race that excelled in Photon aptitude, Newmans are easily identifiable by their sharp and pointy ears
Stats: Newmans are masters of the Photon Arts, making them the best choice to both use and resist Photon Techniques. They have lower health and dexterity than other Races, making them more vulnerable in combat.
Aesthetics: They have distinctive pointy ears, just like elves.
Formerly Humans or Newmans with weak constitutions but strong Photon aptitude, CASTs are the result of the transplant of doomed individuals into stronger artificial frames to enable their survival
Stats: They excel at ranged or close-quarter combat, but they have lower Photon Powers.
Aesthetics: They are mostly robotic and can use unique Cast Parts which look awesome
Deumans are members of an artificially created race with high potential for the manipulation of Photon Arts.
Stats: They have the highest attack values and the lowest defense values, making them sort of a glass cannon.
Aesthetics: They are distinctive for both their Horns and Dichromatic eyes.
Classes & Skills Trees
Class is the most important choice that you will make for your character, as it determines your Weapons as well as your Skills.
You can have many weapons equipped at the same time, and quickly swap between them during combat, providing you a lot of flexibility. Each Weapon type has its own unique fighting style, range and Photon Arts, creating a lot of variety between the different classes.
Each class has its own unique Skill Tree that can be unlocked as you level up. Skill Trees are mainly composed of passive abilities, but there are also some Active Skills as well. Remember that you’ll need to visit the “Class Counter” NPC to assign your Skill Points when you level up.
Make sure to plan ahead on how you will invest your points, as resetting the Skill Tree will require you to spend premium currency.
Later in the game, you’ll also be able to select a second Class that acts as a Sub-Class providing you access to its Skill Tree. However, you’ll only benefit from its passive abilities, so make sure to select something that synergizes well with your main class.
There are 9 classes that you can select from, but during Character Creation you’ll only get the option to select from 6. Don’t worry if your desired class is not among the starting ones, as the 9 classes become available as soon as you create your character. You can change your class as many times as you want at the main hub by talking to “Class Counter” NPC.
Scion Classes will become available once you reach lvl 75 with two different classes and complete a special quest. These Classes use the same weapons as other classes, but have a unique set of Photon Arts only available to them. In addition, if player is using a Scion Class they won’t be able to use a Subclass.
I strongly recommend that you complete all the Class Practice Quests that can be found in the Quest Menu or by talking with Rebecca at the Main Hub. They don’t take long and will allow you to understand how each class works and what they are good at.
The classes available during character creation are: Hunter, Ranger, Force, Braver, Bouncer and Summoner. While the Fighter, Gunner and Techer are only available from the Class Counter once your character is created. I personally recommend Braver or Bouncer as your starting class, as they are very flexible, fun and forgiving allowing you to quickly learn all the basic mechanics without any issues.
Weapons: Katanas and Bows
The Braver acts as a hybrid class, allowing you to quickly swap between melee and ranged attacks. Katanas can be used for fast paced melee combat, while the bow excels at single target burst damage from a safe distance.
Weapons: Jet Boots and Dual Blades
Bouncer is also a hybrid melee class. The Jet Boots allow you to deal with multiple enemies at once applying elemental damage, while the Dual Blades high DPS is perfect to deal with single targets.
Weapons: Assault Rifles and Launchers
The Ranger is a ranged class that allows you to damage enemies from a safe distance. They can use assault rifles to deal with individual targets, and launchers that deal AoE damage to deal with groups of enemies.
Weapon: Twin Machine Guns
The Gunner is a ranged class that focuses on close range combat. They use Twin Machine Guns, which are best used against single targets, but they also have enhanced dodging abilities allowing them to quickly disengage from big groups of enemies.
Weapons: Twin Daggers, Double Saber and Knuckles
The Fighter acts as a melee Glass Cannon allowing you to deal very high damage at the expense of taking high risks such as low health or being afflicted by status ailments. They use Twin Daggers, Double Saber and Knuckles.
Weapons: Rods and Talises
Force act as Mages or Wizards and can use a variety of Techs (Spells) to either deal damage or inflict status ailments. They can use Rods which allow them to attack from their current position or talises, which can be thrown to a location, and then be used to cast Tech from that location.
Weapons: Swords Partisans and Weird Lances
The hunter is a tank melee class that uses Swords, Partisans and Weird Lances. Their attacks have good reach but are rather slow. The Hunter Class is usually selected as sub-class due to its survivability-oriented skill tree.
Techers act as support class and specialize in AoE melee attacks. They use Wands as weapons and their support skills can greatly increase the combat capabilities of other players as well as healing them.
The Summoner invokes pets to fight for them in battle. There are many different Pets that can be summoned, each with their own respective Playstyle, Strengths and weaknesses. Pets are highly customizable, allowing you to modify their stats depending on their equipment.
Weapons: Sword, Twin Machinegun and Talises
The Hero Scion Class was introduced during Episode 5. The class has a heavy focus on weapon swap allowing you to deal very high DPS and adapting to any situation on the fly. The Hero class also has access to Techniques providing even more versatility. Hero cannot be selected as a Subclass
Weapons: Katanas, Rifles and Rods
The Phantom Scion class was introduced during Episode 6. It acts as a hybrid class allowing the user to deal with enemies both with melee and ranged attacks. Its unique photon arts allow it to buildup marks on enemies and then releasing them dealing very high damage and restoring some resources. Once unlocked, Phantom can also be selected as a Subclass
Weapons: Wands, Double Sabers and Dual Blades
The Etolie Scion Class was introduced during Eposide 6. Etolie is a melee Class with a heavy focus on survivability and support. It can reduce the Cooldown of party member’s active skills as well as increasing their resource management. They have a unique Skill that allows them to fully heal and become invulnerable for 5 seconds when they are about to die. This class does not have acess to techniques, but can be selected as a Subclass
There are different types of Missions or Quests that can be accessed at any given time from the ARKS Mission menu. Here you’ll find the Main Missions, Daily Missions, Weekly Missions, Limited Time Missions, Tier Missions and Urgent Quests.
Once you accept a quest, you’ll first board the Gateway Ship before reaching the actual mission. This acts as a small hub where you can prepare for the mission, recruit Allies, store and withdraw Items as well as purchase consumables. There’s a special Drink Menu where you can spend Meseta to acquire a special boost that will be available for this mission only. These are relatively cheap, so I highly recommend you take the one that is best suited for your build before you embark on the actual mission.
The Main Missions cover the main story of the game and teach you the core mechanics. I strongly recommend that you start off with these missions as they will not only provide you with some tutorials, but they will also give you very good rewards that will help you to quickly boost your character.
Daily Missions & Daily Orders
Daily Missions reset each day and usually consist of simple tasks that can be completed without much effort. If you complete all your daily quests, you’ll earn additional rewards, so make sure to check them each time you log in.
You can also get Daily Orders by talking to the Daily Order Officer and from many NPCs around the main Hub. The Daily Orders rewards will vary depending on the NPC that provides them.
Daily Orders acquired from Fina will grant you Meseta (the in-game currency) and Daily Boost. Daily Boost is a passive that increases your Experience and Meseta gain, as well as increasing the chance of acquiring rare drops. You can stack up to 50% of Daily Boost and it will decay at a rate of 5% per day.
When you are starting out the game, you should start by completing the Daily Orders from Cofy, who can be found at the main hub. Completing her Daily Orders will unlock a great part of your character progression including your Level Cap, Access to certain areas, the Mag acquisition and Subclass.
Weekly Missions restart each week and usually require a little more work to complete but provide a lot of Meseta.
Limited Time Missions
Limited Time Missions are special missions that can only be completed while an event is running. They usually offer very good rewards and will sometimes require you to cooperate with other players.
Tier Missions can be completed to increase your Mission Pass tier and they restart weekly. The Mission Pass provides a variety of very good rewards and this is the main way to acquire them.
While you are playing the game, you’ll sometimes get an alert about an Urgent Quest. These are special limited time quests that will require players to work together to complete.
When an Urgent Quest is announced, the ceiling of the ship will become red announcing the quest is being prepared. When the quest is ready, a percentage bar with a timer will be displayed on your screen indicating the amount of time remaining to complete the quest. You can join the Quest by talking to Rebecca at the main floor.
Each Urgent Quests has its own level requirements as well as different difficulty levels. Some of the best loot can be found during these missions, so make sure to participate each time you can.
You can also check the official pso2 website and under the “News” section you’ll find a calendar including the schedule for each Urgent Quest, allowing you to organize with your friends ahead of time.
Equipment, Loot & Inventory Management
Weapons and Units
There are two types of equipment: Weapons and Units (Armor)
Weapons determine your damage as well as your fighting style and Photon Arts, while Units act as Armor providing defensive values and sometimes greatly increasing your character’s stats and offensive capabilities
Both Weapons and Units can be enhanced to further increase their effectiveness and unlock their Potential, a special Perk. To do so, you’ll need to spend Grinders and Meseta by talking to the Item Scientist located at the Shopping Plaza of the Main Hub.
Photon Arts and Disks
Photon Arts are special Abilities or Techniques that once learned can be used during combat. In order to learn a Photon Art, you’ll need to find the disk containing it.
Once you learn a Photon Art, you can assign it to the Sub-Pallet to be quickly used during combat.
Disks are usually found during missions or while exploring locations and they can also be purchased from other players. There’s a Disk store located on the Shopping Plaza of the main hub, but it will only sell you basic Disks.
A Mag acts like a passive equipment that floats next to you and aids you in battle. It will greatly boost your attack stats and will evolve depending on what Items you feed it. I highly recommend that you read a guide before you start feeding items to the Mag, as wrong feedings can greatly dimmish the MAG performance. You can use an item to reset your mag, but this will require you to spend premium currency.
To acquire a Mag you’ll first need to talk to Alfin on the Main Floor of the Ship and then talk to Cofy to access the Daily Order called “Mag Licence Trial”. Once the quest is complete head into the Mag menu to equip it.
In addition to equipment, you’ll also find Consumables, Disks, Materials and more Items during your adventures. Your inventory space is limited and you’ll run out of space really fast unless you are careful.
You can access your storage by interacting with the green console located at the main hub. Here you’ll be able to deposit and withdraw Items and Equipment. If you are on a mission and you run out of space, you can send an Item you are about to pick up straight to the storage. To do so, click on it and select “Send to Storage”.
You can also set auto-pickup options from the in-game options, allowing you to focus on fighting without needing to worry about what you are picking up.
If you are having troubles managing your inventory or find it tedious, you can further expand your character inventory by spending premium currency.
Ship Tour (Main Hub)
After you finish your first mission you’ll reach the ARKS ship which is the main hub of the game. Here you can find NPCs that provide you merchant services and quest starters. You can also interact with other players to form parties or trade. I will run you through all the important NPCs and places you should find when getting started.
Alfin can be found walking around the main floor of the station. Talk to him to access beginner Client Orders which will teach the basic mechanics of the game.
Rebecca can be found on the main floor on the north part of the ship. She will give you access to a list of all Quests including Main Quests, Story Quests and Practice Quests. As I mentioned before, completing the Practice Quests is highly recommended to learn the basic mechanics of each class.
Cofy can be found next to Rebecca. She will provide you with a wide variety of Client Orders that you can complete, and most of them are essential for character progression, allowing you to unlock new areas, increase your level cap, unlocking Subclass and even unlock the Mag. Make sure to complete all her Client Orders to further unlock your character progression.
Fina can be found on the north west side of the station, she will provide you with more difficult Client Orders that can be completed to earn Experience, Meseta and Daily Boost.
Lachesis, the Title Keeper, will grant you rewards for achieving certain goals. Make sure to visit her periodically to claim your titles and rewards.
Fahmer, The Alliance Administrator, can be found near the middle of the room and she will allow you to manage your Alliance.
The Green Cube terminals can be used to access your storage. Here you can deposit and withdraw items. You can access further Storage capacity by using premium currency, but there’s more than enough free storage available.
The Pink Terminals called Visphone can be used to acquire Campaign Items, Trade with other players and Search for a Faction to join. Make sure to regularly check the Receive Campaign Items menu, as you’ll often get free goodies that can help you a lot during early gameplay. It’s important to note that if you want to set up a player shop to trade with other players you’ll need to use premium currency.
Shopping Plaza 1st Floor
If you use the elevator located on the main floor you’ll reach the Shopping Plaza. In the middle, you’ll find a variety of shops.
The Weapons Merchant allows you to buy new Weapons and the Tekker next to him can be used to appraise unidentified pieces of equipment to learn their unique attributes.
The item Scientist allows you to upgrade your Weapons and Units by spending Grinders and Meseta while the Pet Lab Technician can be used to enhance your pets or modify them.
The Couturier will sell you different outfits that you can wear to change your appearance, while the Unity Broker will sell you Units.
The Disc Dealer can sell you basic Disks that can be consumed to unlock Photon Arts and finally the Item Vendor will sell you consumables
If you head south you’ll find the Scratch Machines, which can be used to spend your premium currency to try your luck at unlocking cosmetics.
Just after the Scratch Machines, you’ll also find the cosmetic shops for your room decoration as well as the Café.
The room decoration cosmetics provide you with Items that can be placed inside your Personal Quarters.
You can access your Alliance or Personal Quarter room from the quick menu. Here you’ll be able to decorate your room and invite other players, as well as placing some storage items. The room can be further expanded by using premium currency.
Shopping Plaza 2nd Floor
Here you’ll find the Salon where you can modify how your character looks. You’ll need to use a Salon Pass to do so, but you can acquire many of these for free during your gameplay.
On the other side you’ll find the Photon Vendors where you can spend your photon currency. Here you can unlock some unique Weapon Cosmetics, as well as acquiring some unique Consumables and Items.
The Café is where you can get special Daily Orders based around crafting. These Orders will require you to gather resources while you are exploring the different areas. The Café also allows you to craft Rings and create special foods that boost your character’s stats.
The Casino can be found on the north part of the Shopping Plaza. Here you’ll be able to spend Casino Coins and try your luck to earn exclusive cosmetic rewards.
Alliance & Party
Playing with other players provides a huge boost to Experience and Meseta gain as well as Item drop, so players are heavily encouraged to form parties and complete missions or explore locations.
The Alliance system acts like factions that players can join to obtain even more experience and rare drop boosts. You can join an alliance by talking to Fahmer at the main floor, or you can join a faction by using the Visophone Terminals.
While Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free to play game, you can spend real money to purchase premium currencies: Star Gems (SG) and ARKS Cash (AC) which can be used to unlock some special perks. These however don’t provide any unfair advantage and are mainly used to acquire cosmetics or as convenience perks such as expanded storage space or the ability to set up a personal shop to trade with other players.
It’s also possible for players to farm Star Gems by just playing the game without need to spend real money. This is an important aspect as many players may want to use premium currency features without having to pay for it: fortunately you can grind your way to them if you want.
The Mission Pass system acts like a regular Battle Pass providing loot for each level you unlock. There are regular rewards for Free to Play users, and some additional rewards for players that purchase the Mission Pass Golden Ticket using Star Gems. The Mission Pass level can be increased by completing Tier Missions.
Daily Login Bonus
Once per day, players will receive a “Login Stamp” and will acquire an item based on the Login Stamp Sheet. Once all 30 stamps are complete, a new one will appear. This is a great way for free to play users to acquire some free loot.
And that is it for our Phantasy Star Online 2 Beginner Tips article! It is a complex game with deep systems so don’t be shy about going to find more information to avoid making beginner mistakes. Hopefully, this guide has sent you in the right direction, and you’re now well on your way to saving the galaxy.