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How to Get Started in Fate/Grand Order

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Fate/Grand Order

Now that Fate/Grand Order has debuted its anticipated Cosmos in the Lostbelt story arc, you might be thinking it’s about time to jump in with the notoriously popular mobile game. Siliconera is here for you with our next “How to Get Started” guide. While we won’t be giving you an exhaustive rundown on what it’ll take to forestall the Incineration of Humanity or save the Age of Man, we do have a few tips to help you hit the ground running at the Chaldea Security Organization.

But first, some background for those unfamiliar: Fate/Grand Order is a mobile RPG based on Type-MOON’s monstrously popular Fate franchise. Since launching in Japan in 2015 and 2017 globally, the game has exploded in popularity. Players starting out take the role of the last “Master” at Chaldea, a person tasked with jumping through time and space to take back humanity’s past, present, and future. Along the way they’ll encounter “Servants,” superpowered reincarnations of famous figures from across legend and history.

That’s all explained in the initial prologue chapter and the detailed tutorial, though. Rather than recap that, we’ll lay out a few pointers to keep in mind that will make saving the world across the ages more pleasant.

Fate/Grand Order’s Class Warfare

Every enemy and playable character in Fate/Grand Order has a “class” designation, such as “Saber” or “Archer.” These classes, of which there are thirteen in total, function much like elemental traits in other games. These classes are strong and weak against each other. For example, Saber-class enemies and Servants will deal double damage to Lancer-class opponents and take only half damage from them. However, Archers have advantage against Sabers, and Lancers have advantage against Archers. You can refer to class affinity relationships before and during battle, so you don’t have to memorize them outright, but keeping them in mind when selecting your teams is a critical aspect of Fate/Grand Order‘s combat. Early-game players are advised to field a strong Berserker-class unit as they build up their rosters of Servants. Berserkers deal (and take) 50% more damage against almost every other class, making them versatile, if fragile.

Fate/Grand Order’s Neverending Story Mode

If you don’t know what to do at any given moment in Fate/Grand Order, try to finish the story first and foremost. Told in visual novel style and peppered with battles throughout, Fate/Grand Order‘s narrative is heavy with text and will take weeks or even months to get through at a typical pace. Blitzing the story is also important now that Cosmos in the Lostbelt is out: Participation in future events will have completion of “Part 1” of the main story as a prerequisite.

Fate/Grand Order

A Fate/Grand Order Saint Quartz Fragment A Day

Try to log into the game every day, once you’re committed to playing. Daily login rewards cycle each day and reset weekly, and they’re a prime source of precious Saint Quartz premium currency. Further, playing a little bit each day will help progress towards the weekly Master Missions, which award more fragments that can be traded in for more Saint Quartz.

Tweak Your RGBs

Combat in Fate/Grand Order is framed as a card game. There are three color-coded attack types: The Buster, Quick, and Arts attacks are coded Red, Green, and Blue, respectively. Each attack type does different things. Buster cards do more damage, Quick cards generate “Critical Stars” used to boost the chances of doing critical damage next turn, and Arts cards can charge up the attacking Servant’s “Noble Phantasm” ultimate. Every Servant gets a deck of five cards in varying arrangements. These cards are then pooled, and doled out at random to the player at the start of each turn. Players need to choose three cards each turn to make up the sequence of attacks (there’s no skipping a turn). The cards are reshuffled every three turns. This limited deck allows a player to anticipate what cards are coming next. This kind of card-counting isn’t really needed for most battles, but can be useful as the challenge starts to ramp up.

All Fate/Grand Order Servants are Valid

Fate/Grand Order has no multiplayer component, so any talk of the “meta” you might find is purely about players trying to optimize their personal performance in the game’s toughest content. That said, even the toughest challenges Fate/Grand Order doles out are designed to be tackled with characters that can be obtained for free (or at least cheaply). That’s not to say all characters are equally effective, per se. Some limited units, like Arthurian wizard Merlin, are rightfully revered as “game-breaking”. And yet some low-rarity giveaway Servants are considered among the best in their classes. Even so, consider this tip an advisory that your own feelings about your Servants come first and foremost, and that any Servant can be made to do the work with some TLC. Even Phantom of the Opera.

Feed Your (Heroic) Spirits

Unlike other RPGs, Servants in Fate/Grand Order don’t level up through combat. They need to be “fed” special “EXP cards” earned from combat, daily quests, and purchased with in-game currency from the shop. Servants also have a level cap that can only be raised by feeding them “Ascension” materials dropped from various areas in the game. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s in your interest to level as many Servants as you can to their maximums. For FGO, it’s usually better to focus on one Servant at a time, as a strong Servant can carry a whole team of weaker ones. If you’ve got a favorite low-rarity Servant (say, the 3-star Lancer Cú Chulainn), consider using Palingenesis to force their level cap up past the maximum for their rarity. It’s good advice to try to target having a fully raised Servant or two from every available class, to maximize flexibility when aiming for class advantage.

Event Horizon

Like many mobile games, Fate/Grand Order has plenty of limited-time events. Story events, seasonal events, and more pepper the calendar enough that players have something new to do or look forward to roughly every two weeks. Participating in events is recommended, as they are the few times when Fate/Grand Order pivots away from its typically stingy status quo. “Lottery” events such as Christmas are especially generous, showering players in much-needed materials and goodies. Some events even give away free Servants, some of whom are considered the best in their class or rarity.

Important Interludes

Aside from the main story quests and daily resource farming quests, Interludes, Rank-Up Quests, and Free Quests make up the rest of FGO’s non-event content. Free Quests are just battles in the same locations as the main story. They award Saint Quartz on first completion and some areas later become prime locations to obtain materials. Interludes are side stories, usually unlocked by obtaining or raising certain Servants. They’ve got a narrative, and completing them can award Saint Quartz or even upgrade a Servant’s stats or Noble Phantasm. Rank-Up quests are long chains of high-level battles, the completion of which upgrades or changes a given Servant’s skills. Rank-Up quests in particular are often retroactive “patches” designed by the developers to tweak Servants with sub-par abilities. Complete these as you can, as they award Saint Quartz, as well as have a material effect on various Servants’ combat performance.

Fate/Grand Order

Use Clairvoyance

Fate/Grand Order‘s international edition lags behind the original Japanese release by nearly two years in terms of content. In essence, events and story beats that are new to us today are years-old news to players in Japan. However, that gives international players a distinct advantage: Forward planning. English-speaking players can act with the blessing of foreknowledge, and most importantly, decide how and when they want to roll the gacha for their favorite Servants. Even if you’re spoiler-phobic, I do encourage the use of guides to target your favorite banners. Fate/Grand Order‘s gacha system is notoriously stingy, with few protections against a streak of bad luck. That makes deciding when and how much to roll particularly important, the better to save on precious Saint Quartz and summoning tickets.

These are just a few small tips to help you get started in Fate/Grand Order, and hopefully avoid some of the game’s pitfalls.

Fate/Grand Order is available on Apple iOS and Android devices.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino helped run Japanator as Managing Editor since 2012, before it and Siliconera teamed up. That said, it's been years since he watched enough anime to keep his otaku license valid. Maybe one day he'll see enough of a given season to pretend to know what's hot. Until then, it's Star Trek reruns, gacha games, and bylines at Destructoid and GameCritics.