It’s been a long time since we’ve had a proper Digimon game. In fact, it’s been so long that you might not know how to start collecting and training Digimon. Don’t be ashamed. It’s quite different than Pokemon and other games. There are many delicate nuances to grasp in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth.
First, capturing Digimon is nothing like collecting in Pokemon or its clones. You get to choose Hagurumon, Palmon, or Terriermon as your first, so it’s just given to you. All subsequent Digimon are acquired by battling them in the field. With each fight, the data capture on them increases. Once it reaches 100%, you can spawn one in the Digilab. Though, waiting until it’s reached 200% is best, since the Digimon you’ll generate will have better potential. To be more exact, it’s starting ABI and level caps will be higher.
Second, don’t feel like you have to level grind to get doubles of every Digimon or boost your own characters’ levels. In fact, I’d advise against level grinding of any kind before Chapter 2. Here’s why. Characters level up incredibly quickly in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, due to creatures who aren’t in your active party still gaining experience, the Digifarm offering tons of experience, and characters having minimal digivolving requirements. You’ll hit those level 5, 10, 15, and higher level caps without even thinking about it when dilly dallying. Since memory limits how many Digimon you can have with you at a time, and you don’t start getting memory boosters until Chapter 2 and its boss fights, you’ll be severely limited if you grind.
On the plus side, it isn’t like you really have to collect every Digimon you meet in the field. While characters in the Digimon anime series have set evolution patterns, that isn’t the case in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. There will be at least three evolutionary paths for each Digimon’s current state of being. You can de-digivolve at any time, as long as you know the prior evolution, and you can digivolve as long as you meet level, stat, and held item requirements.
Though, when it comes to digivolving or de-digivolving, it’s best to go for those level caps. ABI ends up being a pretty major requirement when it comes to evolution. Other stats can be influenced by training at the Digifarm, but it can only be increased by maxing out level caps, devolving, evolving, and combining the character with other Digimon to make sure it’s at its best.
Not that you really need to worry about maxing things out. From what I’ve seen, it’s possible to have all of the characters from the original Digimon anime series before the second chapter without much trouble. Maxing stats is really only a necessity if you plan to participate in competitive play.
Which means you’ll need to spend some time at the Digifarm. You can have up to 10 Digimon on the farm, with one set as a leader. Training regimens can be set to increase stats, at the cost of camaraderie, characters can be fed to make them like you more or increase stats, and it’s possible to give them assignments. The key here is to observe the Digimon’s personalities. You want to set a Leader character with a disposition that matches the activity at hand. Any Investigation assignments should have a Searcher character as the leader, to shorten the time. Development of items needs a Builder. The other character types are all linked to stats like health, skill points, attack, intelligence, defense, and speed; those characters should be Leaders while training. Items can be purchased to change personality types, so don’t worry when a character you like doesn’t have the attitude you need.
The only really annoying thing about the Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth evolution process is the need to be in the Digilab. You can’t handle evolutions in the field. You have to find a phone to head to the lab and address all needs there. Which can be rather frustrating when you find out multiple characters on the farm have reached level caps. Phones are everywhere in the real world, thankfully, and most of the dungeons are small enough where backtracking to one isn’t a big deal.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is immediately available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.