As is the case in most JRPGs, winning battles in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is dependent upon several factors. Equipment is one; strategy is another. Both of these can only carry one so far though. There’s a third leg holding up the stool of victory and that’s a well-developed party. It’s not exactly difficult to build a team capable of getting the job done, but it’s also not terribly hard to develop a team that’ll struggle against bosses and Savage Enemies later in the game. Fortunately, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore makes it easy to guide the development of every character in the player’s party, meaning that everything will turn out just fine so long as one follows a couple of important guidelines while making their way through the game.
Do Every Side-Story
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore isn’t an RPG on the scale of something like The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt; its map is relatively small, its side-stories are short and everything is contained to its own chapter. All this is to say that it’s easy to get through all the game’s side-stories, which is a good thing since these are essential to every character’s growth. Through advancing and eventually completing their side-stories, characters gain new special skills and powerful performances which will greatly increase their value in combat.
Some of these stories are advanced by advancing the main story, but some also require the player to complete a number of smaller, mini-quests called “Requests” before they’ll advance. Requests never take more than a few minutes to resolve, so one might as well do whichever ones are available in a given chapter. Indeed, it might be better to just aim to do everything rather than try to stick only to the main mission and side-stories since it all pays-off well in the end.
Unfortunately, characters cannot hang onto every skill they earn over the course of the game. Skill slots are finite, meaning one has to fill them with the best possible skills they can. This could potentially make for a tough decision every time character unlocks a new skill, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. All offensive spells have only two variants: single-target and multiple-target. Since all enemies have resistances, immunities and even the capacity to repel certain damage types, single target attacks are generally safer and are thusly more valuable.
Attack spells are also generally more valuable than support skills. It’s not that support skills aren’t powerful and effective in their own right. Rather, it’s because items exist in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore that accomplish the same effect. Some of these can only be carried in limited quantities true, but not so little that one would miss having the corresponding skill taking up a valuable slot. Most of these items are extremely easy to acquire too; all one has to do in most cases is pick them up at the Hee Ho Mart. So if choosing between skills is proving difficult then follow this rule: Attack > Support and Single-Target > Multiple-Target.
If the active skills mentioned above represent one half of the character-building equation, then passive and session skills represent the other. Choosing among these isn’t quite so clear cut as their effectiveness depends heavily on each character’s class and their role on one’s team. Rather than worrying about min-maxing though, one can generally do fine so long as they stay consistent with their choices. For sessions, covering as many attack types as possible is usually a good idea since it allows most party members to join in on a wide range of sessions. Alternatively, one could build each character to chain off of only magic or only physical attacks. This would allow one to see different kinds of sessions more often, but there’s also potential for more short sessions since everyone’s more specialized.
Passive skills can also be set up in any number of ways depending on what the player wants, but it’s generally effective to favor defensive skills over offensive ones. Skills that grant resistances and increase evasion against a character’s weaknesses (physical attacks especially) should be favored over those that enhance certain attacks or stats. Of the latter two, stat-affecting skills should be the lowest priority. This is because character stats increase with level-ups anyway and can already be enhanced through accessories; there’s no good reason to waste a slot on them unless one is going for a specific build.
Building defensively and generalizing each character’s list of session skills isn’t the only way to go of course, but it’s a method that will serve new players well once they hit the mid-to-later portions of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. One need not even stick to it if they feel like making their characters more specialized. Re-doing one’s builds in the late game can be kind of a pain, but it’s going to be much more doable now that the bonus dungeons (aimed specifically at helping players level-up quickly) are going to be included as part of the base package. So don’t be afraid to experiment if aggressive builds sound more exciting!