With the release of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory a lot of new players will be trying out this Persona inspired subseries of the Digimon franchise, whether it be with the first or the second entry. While at a glance there’s plenty that would appeal to avid Persona and Pokemon fans, there’s a lot of complexities in the game that may confuse and even turn away newcomers. With that in mind, this guide will go over some critical tips and tricks any new player should know to both understand Digimon Cyber Sleuth and fully enjoy it. Oh, and be ready for plenty of Pokemon and Persona comparisons, because that’s where I feel a lot of expectations, from new players, are going to derive from.
#1: Don’t be afraid to de-digivolve!
Quickie: You need to de-digivolve in order to raise the ABI needed to reach higher Digvolution forms.
In Pokemon, evolution is a linear path, with most Pokemon following just one path, and a few having some branching options based on controllable variables. Digimon, however, are far more complex in how they approach changing into a new form. Most notable is the fact that Digimon can de-digivolve, meaning they revert to a previous form. It’s counter-intuitive to revert your Digimon, especially since it takes them back to level 1, but it’s a required tip to take a Digimon all the way to a Mega form.
The reason it’s important is de-digivolving increases the Digimons ABI stat. ABI will be discussed more later, but for now what you need to know is that later Digimon forms often require the ABI to be set at intervals of 20, 40, 60, and 80. Leveling does not increase the ABI stat, only digivolving and de-digivolving. The reason de-digivolving is important is you only get around 10 ABI for digivolving, but you can receive around 20 for de-digivolving. Be sure to level up a bit before de-digivolving and digivolving, as the higher level your Digimon is before changing, the more ABI it gets.
Furthermore, by de-digivolving into a form different than what you had before, you can learn new moves that will be inherited by all subsequent forms. Using the field guide will show you just what moves and at what level a Digimon learns, so use this resource to map out the perfect moveset for your Digimon.
#2: Type is More Important than Attributes
Quickie: Virus > Data > Vaccine > Virus, Fire > Grass > Water > Fire, Lightning > Wind > Ground > Lightning, Light > Dark > Light, Free/Neutral don’t counter anything.
Much like Pokemon, Digimon have types that factor into a game of rock-paper-scissors. In Digimon, there are four types: virus, vaccine, data, and free. Virus (spikes) counters Data, Data (cube) counters Vaccine, Vaccine (teardrop) counters Virus, and Free counters, and is not countered by, anything. A Digimon with a countering type will do 2x damage to the defending Digimon, and a Digimon with a countered type will only do half damage to the defending Digimon.
In addition to Types are Attributes, which are a bit more familiar to Pokemon veterans. Attributes are based on elements, and they enter their own rock-paper-scissors triangle, two in fact. Fire (red) counters Grass, Grass (green) counters Water, and Water (counters) Fire. Easy enough to remember, right? Let’s not forget the second triangle. Separate from the Fire, Grass, Water diagram are three more attributes: Lightning (yellow) counters Wind, Wind (light blue) counters Ground, and Ground (brown) counters Lightning. But then there’s still more! Two more attributes, Light (white) and Dark (purple) both counter each other, dealing 2x damage to each other. And then there’s Neutral which is acts like the Free type.
Like Types, Attributes affect your damage, but only in the positive. Fire attacks will deal 1.5x damage to a Grass Type Digimon, but Fire attacks will deal normal damage to a water type, rather than half damage like with Types. The Attribute of the Digimon itself does not affect its outgoing damage, only the damage it receives. So, a Fire Digimon does not get boosted damage for doing a regular attack against a Grass Digimon (assuming their types do not counter one another).
So, what does this mean for you? It means that Types are more important than Attributes, as they affect both incoming and outgoing damage; they’re also easier to remember. Type advantage will be a critical tip to your success in Cyber Sleuth, as past the early areas, Digimon start getting a lot more resilient. So always keep at least one of every type of Digimon on your team. In fact, have two, maybe even three, and you can sit comfortably against any opposition. Any Digimon can learn any attack, regardless of their Attribute and the attack’s own, so give the Digimon some variety there, as well. If you manage to counter the defending Digimon’s Type and Attribute, you’ll do 3x damage!
Type/Attribute Advantage is vital for speeding battles along, especially against boss Digimon. There are situations in which you’ll be facing against a Free, Neutral, or Free/Neutral enemy (like the Eaters). While a Free/Neutral Digimon is not common, it’s the only kind of Type/Attribute for Eaters, one of the stronger enemies in the games. Dealing with this high DEF and high INT creatures can be tough, as they shrug off damage easily. So what can d you do? Simply ignore their high stats!
INT and DEF penetrating attacks will ignore an enemy’s INT and DEF values, allowing you to do more damage with magic and physical attacks, respectively. There are also fixed-value attacks that deal a set amount of damage, no more no less, but they aren’t as valuable as penetrating attacks. If ever your Digimon learns a penetrating attack, be sure to slot that into their active move pool (you can change which moves the Digimon has in the Settings menu under the Digimon menu).
#3: Use the DigiLab for Cheap Heals and Directions
Quickie: DigiLab offers cheap healing and Mirei can tell you where to go next for the story.
Scattered throughout every dungeon are the terminals that take you to and from the DigiLab. While you’ll usually go there to Digivolve your team and check on your farm, it can also be used as a place for cheap heals and directions. The terminal on the far left will heal all your Digimons’ HP and SP to full, for between 100 and 600 yen. It’s like a Pokemon Center, but a private instead of a public version.
Getting lost in Cyber Sleuth is easier than you think, especially when your next story progression point is not related to a Case. With a Case, you can always go to the character screen and check where to go next. If you’re not on a Case, then it’s easy to forget where to go after not playing for a bit, or even completely miss where to go because it was buried in Cyber Sleuth’s rambling dialogue. Thankfully, Mirei, the purple-haired attendant of the DigiLab, will always be able to tell you where to go next in case you get lost.
#4: Personalities, Enhanced Stats, and You
Quickie: Digimon and Leader Personalities determines which enhanced stat grows on the farm
On the Digimon’s stat screen, just below their four combat stats, is their Personality. The Personality of your Digimon will affect which stat will become Enhanced after spending time on the Farm. The Personality types and their respective stats are:
|Durable: HP||Lively: SP||Fighter: ATK|
|Defender: DEF||Brainy: INT||Nimble: SPD|
|Builder: Development/All Stats||Searcher: Investigation/All Stats|
As a Digimon spends time on the Farm, whether it be Training, Developing, or Investigating, their personality-determined stat will become enhanced. You can tell a stat is enhanced by the number in parenthesis next to their name. This becomes vital in getting to those stat thresholds needed for certain Digivolutions.
It’s not just their Personality that determines the growing stat, however. The Leader of your farm also affects their enhanced stat. Like the individual Digimon’s Personality, the Leader’s Personality will affect which stat get enhanced while on the farm. So a Lively Digimon on a farm led by a Brainy Digimon will have its SP and INT enhanced. This is important because a Digimon has a limit to their enhanced stats.
ABI, the annoying stat that determines whether you’ll be making it to Mega status, also affects enhanced stats. A Digimon with an ABI of 0 can only receive a max of 50 enhanced stat points. A Digimon with an ABI of 100 can have up to 100 enhanced stat points. Finally, if ever you feel you made the wrong choice in which stat to enhance, or you don’t like the personality of your Digimon, there are ways to fix this. Restraint Chips will reduce the appropriate enhanced stat, making room for points in another stat. Personality Disks will change the personality of a Digimon, simple as that.
#5: Pay Attention to ABI, CAM, and Max Level
Quickie: CAM and Max Level need to grow in order to reach certain Digivolution forms.
We’ve talked a lot already about ABI, so there’s no reason to retread that road too much. It’s a stat that determines your max enhanced stat points, and acts as a gatekeeper to higher forms of Digimon. It also can’t be raised by leveling, only by Digivolving and De-Digivolving. There are two more numerical values on your Digimon worth paying attention to: CAM and Max Level.
While the highest level a Digimon can reach is 99, that won’t be true at first. In the top left corner of a Digimon’s stat screen, just above the Digimon model, is their current and max levels. Unless you’ve Digivolved and De-Digivolved a Digimon many times, that max level number will not be 99. The max goes higher the further along the Digivolution chain the Digimon is. It also increases each time you Digivolve and De-Digivolve. This is another reason you want to Digivolve, because soon enough you’ll find a Digimon has, say, a max level of 25, but all its next forms require at least a level of 30.
Finally, there’s CAM, the stat that measures how in sync your Digimon is with you and your other Digimon. Like ABI, CAM can act as a requirement to reach certain Digivolution forms. It also determines how often you’ll execute a team-up attack, which are very handy for dealing with bosses.
CAM takes a while to raise, going up by only 1% or so for every battle the Digimon participates in. It’s not enough to just have them on the bench, they must at least make it to the battlefield to have their CAM raised. A faster method is to feed the Digimon meat while they’re on the farm. The cheapest meat will only raise CAM by 1-2, with a slight chance to fail to do anything, but bigger meats exist that raise it faster. In addition, whenever a Digimon calls you on your DigiLine, if you reply, their CAM will go up by 1%. It’s not much, but it’s free, so always answer your DigiLine.
#6: PlatinumSukamon + Tactician’s USB = Fast EXP
Quickie: Have two PlatinumSukamons, both with Tactician’s USB, on the field for major EXP boost.
This trick is the one you’ll likely use the most often, once you get into the grove of Digivolving and De-Digivolving your team. PlatinumSukamon is an early Champion level Digimon you can get with a very important Special Skill. PlatinumSukamon has the Platinum Service SS, which increases the EXP you earn in battle. I’m not sure the exact amount, but it’s a lot. So long as you have PlatinumSukamon on the field when you finish a battle (doesn’t have to be there for the whole battle, just the end), you will get a lot more exp.
PlatinumSukamon also has two equipment slots. The best use for these slots are the Tacticians USB, a piece of equipment that also raises your EXP earned. You can have upwards of three (though it’s recommended you use only two, along with a super strong Digimon to do the heavy lifting, when farming exp) PlatinumSukamons, with two Tactician’s USBs on each. That’s a lot of EXP! There’s also PlatinumNumemon, who has the same SS but with the added benefit of three equipment slots instead of two. However, PlatinumSukamon is easier to get, especially early on.
The easiest way to get PlatinumNumeron is with the following Digivolution line:
Tsumemon -> Keramon -> PlatinumSukamon
Now getting the Tactician’s USB is a bit trickier. If you carried over data from Cyber Sleuth into Hacker’s Memory, you’ll already have a Tactician’s USB for free. If you want more, or you didn’t have data to carry over, you’re going to need a Builder personality type Digimon, yen to burn, and patience.
To get the Tactician’s USB, first you’ll want to set a Builder-personality Digimon as the Leader on your farm. The more farms, the better. You’ll also want to put the Developer-Know-How farm good on the farm. You can buy this item at the DigiLab store (far right side). Also, the more Digimon on the farm, the faster the process will be. Command the farm to Develop and invest 1,000 Yen. Not 100, and not 10,000. Just 1,000. There’s a lot of items that can be Developed, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get the USB any time soon. What you can do is save the game just before time is up on Development. Then check the results, and if they aren’t to your liking, reload the game.
You can farm for EXP anywhere, preferably in the most recent area you’ve cleared so you’re facing against higher level Digimon, thus more EXP to be gained. You can also get a lot of EXP by battling in the offline arena, found on the fourth floor of the Nakano Mall, in the back of the arcade. Each time you clear the final trainer, you open up the arena to the next cup, which may also be locked behind where you are in the story. It’s recommended you not advance past Platinum Cup. Platinum Cup gives a lot of EXP, with Digimon that aren’t too difficult to take down with a reasonably strong Digimon. Legendary Cup is well beyond normal limits, so you don’t want to beat Platinum and get stuck with that line up.
#7: Don’t Digivolve Too Much, Too Early
Quickie: Higher Digimon forms take up more party space, and you can run out of room early.
With these tips in mind, you may be eager to use the them to power level your way to stronger and bigger Digimon sooner rather than later (especially with #6). However, restraint should be exercised. While the number of Digimon you can have on hand at one time is always 11, the party size starts off small and grows as you progress through the game.
Party Size is a sort of power limiter. Each Digimon has a numerical size, and the total size of the party cannot exceed the size limit. This limit can be raised by Memory Up and Memory UP DX, but these items are only found in chests and from boss drops. No farming up Yen and buying them all out of a store, I’m afraid.
It can be tempting to keep growing Digimon as much as you can, but you’ll quickly be hitting that ceiling if you get ahead of yourself. If that happens, feel free to De-Digivolve back to its previous form, or to a new form for new moves to learn. The benefits of De-Digivolving have already been spelled out, and you’ll likely be doing it a lot anyway, so why not start early?
As you can see, Cyber Sleuth and Hacker’s Memory are more complex than one might assume at first glance. Hopefully with these tips, however, you’ll navigate through those complexities with ease and come out the other end as a Digital Master!
What are some other tips you can think of for these games? We’d love to hear them, so feel free to leave them in a comment below!