Square Enix’s latest (localized) mobile game is out, this time based on one of its more underappreciated series. I’m talking about SaGa of course, which does have enough of a following to keep it going (unlike so many Square Enix one-shots), but is inherently more divisive thanks to its long history of deliberately unfriendly mechanics and less straightforward storytelling. I’ve become a big fan in recent years, and figured a Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe guide would be a fun way to evangelize for a cool series that isn’t in the news often. And, you know, give a little life support to our “How to get Started” guides. So if you’re curious about giving this game a whirl but find it a bit intimidating, I got you.
Stats, Styles, and Sparks
A wise man once said, “you gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket.” If you wanna play a SaGa mobile game, it helps to know the basics. Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe isn’t the best teacher, which is part of why I thought this guide would be a good idea. Three core mechanics govern this game, two of which will be familiar if you know SaGa.
Stats – Much like Final Fantasy II (whose game design lead Akitoshi Kawazu went on to direct nearly every SaGa), characters don’t level up traditionally. Instead, stats go up randomly after every battle. There are other ways to boost them here, but this isn’t one of those mobage in which you just dump exp items into your roster. You gotta put the work in. Part of that means leveling up your Styles.
Styles – This is what you’re pulling for. Like in most gacha you’re pulling different variants of characters, ranked and color-coded to indicate rarity and steer whales to their wallets. But the pulls are called Styles here, because despite the rarity value, the different versions of each character offer both alternative stat growth, play style, and more. If you level these up from exp you earn in battle, the percentage of stat increases goes up.
Sparks – Each Style has a list of moves it can learn. But again, SaGa wants you to work hard for your progress. Skills are learned at random through “Sparking,” which basically interrupts what you chose as your character figures out a new move. Moves you already have also Spark and rank up, of course getting stronger the more you use ‘em.
So you know the Nouns, but what do you do with them? Styles are connected to each other, but they’re different! They don’t share stats, but they do share skills. It’s a grind, but you’ll have to take the “weaker” style into combat too, because you want those Sparks. Each Style has its own skill set, but one Style can equip a skill from its counterpart. So if you enjoy one Style but like a specific skill the other one has, you can just… grab it! Because of different status effects and elemental properties, getting your connected styles powered up is crucial. Some styles are connected but totally different characters, which is weird but helps the more obscure fighters contribute.
A.B.E. – Always Be Exploring
As soon as expeditions are available, drop everyone you want to use in there and keep ‘em running. Expeditions are free, and don’t “use up” your characters so you can still have them for regular content. When they come back (or you use a ticket – and you get hella tickets), they get free stat points. Having your crews on expeditions as constantly as possible can make the difference when it comes to clearing a difficulty hump. And you’ll need all the help you can get, because some of those events can be vicious.
That’s the main stuff worth covering, as far as a “how to start” Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe guide could possibly go. Everything else is pretty boilerplate for gacha titles: smash your weapons together, only do multiplier pulls, get your daily freebies, so on and so forth. More features such as guilds will eventually make their way in, but for now it’s just the beginning. As we learned in our recent interview, Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe is not like most gacha games in that it demands all of your time and dollars. Don’t expect much in the way of PVP or recurring demands (and the pull rates are pretty good!), and instead have fun diving into the story and character-building. That’s exactly what SaGa is all about.
Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe is available for compatible mobile devices.