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How to Get Started in Dragalia Lost

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If you haven’t been playing Dragalia Lost, Nintendo and Cygames’ excellent mobile action RPG, now’s a great time to start. We’re right in the middle of a huge Fire Emblem Heroes crossover event, which means there’s a great spread of quests, special characters, and free goodies. Dragalia Lost has a great reputation for being one of the best free-friendly gacha games out there, and it’s even better during big events.

At Siliconera we’ve done several “how-to” guides on starting mobile games we like, Dragalia Lost is absolutely worthy of a spot. So if you’re curious about this game and would like some tips before you dive in, look no further. As a day one fan, here are what I think are the most important tips for how to get started in Dragalia Lost.

Abuse Those I-Frames!

First and foremost, Dragalia Lost is a real action game. By that, I mean unless your team is overpowered, you’re going to have to pay attention and play actively. I know it’s weird to have the phrase “i-frames” as a starter tip, but hear me out: avoiding damage is crucial in Dragalia Lost. Healing is limited and character-specific, and you’ll run into DPS and HP checks as you climb this content ladder. In Dragalia Lost, using systemic verbs to avoid damage is more upfront compared to other games.

And that’s why enemy attacks are color-coded. If you see a red area of effect on the screen as a mob readies an attack, you can actually sit in that area safely… if you have a move of your own ready. Activating a skill comes with brief invincibility, which totally nullifies damage even in co-op fights. If the AoE is purple however, you better run for your life as those are unavoidable. Sometimes, shape-shifting to take that hit is a legit strategy, but only in specific battles.

In short, red = i-frame, purple = dodge and/or run. A single player doing the skill dodge correctly will save the whole squad from damage.

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Learn Your Combos

More fighting game-like lingo for a mobile RPG? Madness! As an action game, Dragalia Lost features simple button-mashing combos, but there is important nuance to them. Each weapon has its own combo, with very different properties. Weapons also have Force Strikes, which are moves you have to sit and charge. The trade-off is that while normal attacks do fast damage, Force Strikes hit the Overdrive meter, leading to precious Break time. Each combo has natural pause periods that make for great Force Strike windows, and figuring out what those are will help you maximize your contributions in multiplayer.

Stockpile Precious Resources

Like every other gacha on the planet, Dragalia Lost has you juggling multiple resources in order to get stronger. Once you get strong enough, you’ll almost never run out, but it’s a good idea to be more conservative when you’re a newbie. This is particularly the case for Mana and Eldwater, key resources for promoting adventurers. Mana powers the Mana Circle, which adds new skills and permanent stat boosts to each adventurer. Eldwater kicks in at the end and is required to promote smaller units to higher star ratings. You don’t want to just dump those into any new toon you get, because that’s a way to run out just before you get someone you really like. In a similar vein, Champion’s Testaments are hard to come by even for veterans like myself, so don’t use those unless you’re sure about it.

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Don’t Stress the Meta

It’s super fun, once you get rolling, to optimize your teams as much as possible. The team at Cygames continues to add new options and customization tools, which is a good way to handle power creep. But when you’re new, you don’t need to worry about catching up. Dragalia Lost is all single player and co-op, and most characters are viable for all but the toughest boss battles. Instead of worrying about gacha pulls, it’s totally safe to hoard until a limited banner or character you love comes out, while you focus on clearing stages and building your Halidom base in the meantime. There’s always something to do, and important progression-adjacent content stays put. An event compendium was even added recently, so you can catch up there at your leisure.

Color is Key

Finally, speaking of teams, Dragalia Lost’s biggest tool for success is color synergy. Like many games, there’s a weakness and resistance circle based on color-coded elements. 90% of Dragalia Lost’s content is color-coded, and the game makes every effort to help you jump in at an advantage. To that end, it’s important to worry less about a character’s individual power early on and more on filling empty slots for color set teams. You’ll absolutely need a team for each color, and you’ll have plenty of time to figure out which roles you like best. As an added bonus tip, healers are a bit less color-sensitive early on—-healing is healing. They’re squishy either way, so one filling in for another color while you’re still building your stables up is totally viable.

Break the Dang Parts

Eventually, you’re going to participate in raid fights. Events rotate in style, and raids can be some of the most challenging, but also the most rewarding. And if you want all the rewards and fewer headaches, make sure to focus on breaking parts. Raid bosses are often powerful enough to one-shot heroes, but breaking their listed parts also inhibits their powers. Breaking parts also nets bonus rewards at the end. It’s a win-win strategy, especially since hitting parts does damage to the bosses anyway. You can also help yell at teammates with a targeting mechanism, to try and get everyone on board and smacking the same part.

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It’s easy enough to figure out the small stuff when you’re getting started in Dragalia Lost or any mobile game, for that matter. Don’t overspend (or spend at all, natch), clear the task lists, show up for holidays, and so on. But Dragalia Lost has a lot of nuance for a wallet-threatening gacha, and Cygames really gets a lot of gaming mileage out of its little action RPG. The dope soundtrack and fun localization help as well, but over a year later I’m still having fun just playing Dragalia Lost‘s many challenges. Hopefully this Dragalia Lost guide proves useful if you haven’t played yet, and feel free to hit your boy up on Twitter for more tips.

Dragalia Lost is available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store for Android and Apple iOS devices.

Lucas White
Lucas writes about video games a lot. Sometimes he plays them. Every now and then he enjoys one. To get on his good side, say nice things about Dragon Quest and Musou. Never mention the Devil May Cry reboot in his presence. Backed Bloodstained on Kickstarter but all his opinions on it are correct regardless.