Tip #1 Look out for loot
Rule 1 of any (J)RPG: search every nook and cranny. While playing Tales, you'll find your mini-map in the top left corner. Make sure you search every single crevice of that mini-map, because there are a myriad of useful items to find that will aid you in your adventure.
Shiny dots are random items, such as cooking ingredients or valuables that can be sold at shops. Pick them up by walking close to them and tapping X (controller) or Enter (keyboard).
Floating purple orbs/Katz Spirits are 'souls' that you will find all over the place. They're literally everywhere, and they respawn. This is good news for you seeing as you'll be traipsing through familiar areas quite often. They are used to open Katz chests.
Red shopping bags indicate shops where you can buy, sell, dismantle, or enhance items.
Chests: there are four categories of chests, each with different types of loot:
Herbs are probably the most important consumable in the game. They are used to increase certain stats, for example, sage increases max HP by 10. You can give herbs to any member of your party lacking in a certain stat to boost their chances of victory in battle.
tip #2 Cook your heart out
Cooking is a means of giving you an extra edge in battle, and increases certain stats depending on the dish, as well as who prepares it.
You earn new recipes by sending your ships on expeditions to places throughout the world. Each expedition takes place while you play and lasts around 30 minutes in real-time. Along with recipes, you will need ingredients (again, search everything!).
Due to the fact that it becomes boring to prepare dishes before every battle, the game offers the ability to auto-prepare certain dishes after every battle, ready for the next one to begin.
Characters improve their cooking skills by… well… cooking. By levelling up a character's cooking level, you gain two types of abilities: either that certain character can add a character-specific secondary stat to the dish (meaning that in battle, you receive the standard stat from the dish, plus the character's secondary stat as a bonus), or, you can gain the ability to preserve items and ingredients by not having to consume them when making the dish (so you save ingredients that can be used in other dishes).
tip #3 Alternate your characters
Velvet is not the only character in the game. In order to ensure that all of your characters level up, you need to alternate them in battle.
Every gamer has their own play-style, and Tales of Berseria has cleverly taken this into consideration: every character plays a different 'role' – you could play the mage with Magilou, the healer with Laphicet, or the tank with Velvet.
Additionally, each character has a specific skillset and different artes. If you wish to level up a character (or the weapon they are wielding), you should routinely swap them out between battles in order to allow everyone to earn XP. Similarly, it gives you a chance to test out different artes, see which are the best, and which work best together. This knowledge could prove invaluable later in the game.
tip #4 Equipment: Dismantle or sell?
Almost every victory against an enemy ensures a new piece of equipment dropped. Silver chests contain equipment, and you can also buy new equipment from shops.
It is easy to forget to change your equipment regularly, but it is essential. If an enemy drops a sword or bracelet, you can compare it to the one you're currently wielding/wearing to see if you should change the equipment, or keep it to sell or dismantle later.
Obviously you'll never need to use every piece of equipment – you may loot or pick up a piece of equipment that is far below anyone in your party's current weapon stats. Most people may be tempted to sell their equipment, but there is a much better alternative, which will also boost the level of the shops (for every level he shop increases, the larger the discount offered).
Should you find that you no longer need a weapon, you can dismantle it at shops (which contributes to the shop's levelling) to receive items that can be used to enhance the gear you're currently using. The rarer the equipment you dismantle, the rarer the materials received that can be applied to increase the stats of your current gear. Enhanced gear is in essence levelled up through this process. Level 10 is the highest equipment level, and it offers a 100% increase in whichever stat it is catered for.
tip #5 Run if you must
There's no shame in hauling ass if you come across an enemy you simply cannot kill. If you find yourself outnumbered or under-levelled, you can escape combat. All you need to do it run past the blue line surrounding the battle area.
There's one little catch though: When trying to escape and running against the blue line, there will be an escape gauge on the top left of your screen, indicating how far you are from escaping. If the enemy hits you while the gauge is filling, it will be pushed back slightly, and you will have to run to another section of the battle ring to try to refill the gauge once more.
When the gauge is full, you have successfully escaped! Now level up, get some better equipment, and show that enemy what you're made of.
Everyone loves money. Even in games. Here are some tips for getting loads of gald to buy, dismantle, or enhance equipment, or to spend the night at an inn.
Fighting monsters and other enemies always results in gaining a varying amount of gald. If you're low on cash, go find some monsters to kill and you'll eventually have enough to buy that awesome blade you've had your eye on. Note that the higher the level of the enemy, the more gald you'll earn from defeating it.
Search and Sell
As already stated, it is essential that you search your entire mini-map thoroughly to find any items lying around. You will come across many junk items that can be sold to shops, which obviously increases the size of your purse.
The best way to get gald is to participate in hunts that you can learn about in taverns. The monster you must hunt and kill is obviously slightly harder to defeat than your regular enemy, but killing it and returning to the tavern will net you a tidy bounty fee of a few thousand gald.
Should you need any more help through the world of Tales of Berseria, leave a comment below, or check in on KeenGamer.com regularly for more useful guides and tips.