WIP – This article is a work-in-progress. Mistakes will be made, those responsible will be sacked, and then those responsible for the sacking will be sacked. Please let us know if you’re aware of improvements that need to be made, although, fair warning, that may result in your sacking.
Also, while our guides are generally designed to help make the grind shorter, and get you to the best parts of the game faster, you can still play how you want to play. Games are meant to be fun, and if you want to ignore our advice, as long as you’re having fun, more power to you!
So you’re about to jump into PSO2 (or you’ve already jumped in) and would like some tips on where to start. We’ve got a few pointers that helped us get going (or get going on a second or twentieth character) that might be useful for you as well.
Ships are servers, and, as with many online games, the ship you pick determines with whom you’ll be able to play. Yes, there are a few cross-ship activities, and yes, there are ship transfers (which cost money and only happen once every two weeks), but if you want to play with friends, you’ll want to make sure you’re on the same ship together. Right now the North America/Global version of PSO2 has four ships available, the most recent opened when the game became available on Steam in early August with the release of the first batch of Chapter 4 content.
When you start PSO2, or start a new character, you’ll need to go into the character creator. The only permanent parts of this process are your character’s race and sex (these only offer minor stat differences, and are primarily cosmetic). Everything else, from physical attributes, character voice, and your class can all be changed later on, relatively easily, and generally for free. We’re not experts at all the sliders, shaders, and other customization options, so we’ll leave further detail for more qualified folks out there.
When you first load into the game, you’ll see a cutscene explaining the difference races in PSO2, as well as a bit of what’s going on within the game world. After that, you’ll be put into a tutorial mission that explains more about what the game is about, and does some basic movement and combat training. (Hint: when you fight the spider, shoot it’s four main legs. Attacking and destroying enemy weak points are a major aspect of combat in PSO2).
Assuming you have friends who already play PSO2, you’re free to join their alliance at any time after this point. Unless you have friends who are starting new characters as well, I would strongly advise against playing together (or even doing missions at all) until you finish a the rest of the early tutorial mini-quests. They don’t take long to do, but will give you loads of experience, gear, and help you (hopefully) understand what you’re doing in the game. Once you hit around level 15 or 20 (which, again, goes really really quickly if you follow our suggestions), then you’ll head out on your first mission.
TUTORIALS & STARTERS
Tutorials are generally skippable in this game, but with how complex PSO2 is, we wouldn’t recommend skipping too many of them. Partly because the information is useful, but also because many of the tutorials give you great early-game experience to level up, they unlock vital gameplay features, and also give you helpful items to use. Here’s our suggested method of clearing these quickly, easily, and in an order that should hopefully save you some time.
NOTE: While you’re doing these, they’ll complete some of the background missions you probably didn’t know you had. It’ll also complete some you haven’t even picked up yet. With that in mind, you’ll occasionally want to go to your ARKS Mission Rewards and accept the rewards for completed missions.
- If you want to change your main class (easy and free, and you can choose to level up all of the classes on a single character, if you please), now is the best time to do it, so that all the XP you’ll get will be going to the right place. Speak with the Class Consultant Bhea, who is kind of behind where you loaded into the ARKS lobby, in a circular area. WARNING: While you can level up now, it’s not easy to change your skill tree. We strongly recommend looking at some class guides before putting points into your skill tree, unless you don’t mind either waiting a couple of months until you get a free skill tree reset, or spending real money on one.
- Do the marked story quest, which can be accessed by speaking to Rebecca (or any other Quest Counter Clerk), then accept your rewards.
- Listen to Astarte’s information and watch/skip the pop-up video.
- Speak with Cofy (behind the counter, to Rebecca’s left, your right. Complete her Mag License Trial quest, and pick up her Practice Quest Certification Quest.
- Speak to Afin (shuffling around near you). Pick up and complete all of his missions EXCEPT for The Outbreak’s Aftermath. The last one you’ll pick up for now will be PSE Burst 101, but you’ll just hold on to that for now and complete it later. If you need help figuring out how to complete these, we’ll be adding a sub-guide for that later.
- Speak with Echo. A blue quest marker should have popped up above her head after you completed the Mag License Trial quest. WARNING: Do not complete her quest, and DO NOT FEED YOUR MAG until you have a clear understanding of what mags do, and what type of mag you want to raise. It’s really painful to try to fix a mag you’ve messed up, and so much easier to just do it right the first time.
- Speak to Rebecca (Quest Counter Clerk) and then select and run the Practice Quest, which will complete the mission you picked up from Cofy. That’ll give you a really good starter unit (units are your armor pieces), which can be put in any of your armor slots. If you don’t have sufficient units to complete Afin’s related quest, you can put this one unit in your back slot, then move it to your arms slot, then your legs slot to complete that quest.
- Every class in PSO2 has a class trainer. Those class trainers will be in various locations in the circular area. Speak with the NPCs in that area until you find the one for your class, and then pick up the missions which apply to that class.
At this point, you should be momentarily finished in the ARKS lobby, and can proceed through the round elevators to the Shopping Plaza. Behind the circular fountain there *might* be a seasonal event NPC named Xia. If she’s there, talk with her, and see what quests she’s offering. You’ll want to do those eventually, but not necessarily now. Whether she’s there or not, there are a few things to do next.
- Go down the slight ramp behind the fountain and speak with Jan, and then pick up and complete all of his quests, except A Primer on Partner Cards, and Enhance Your Favorite Gear. You won’t be able to complete A Primer on Auto Chat yet, but you can pick it up, and go into your Chat Settings (Settings tab underneath Symbol Art), and set your auto chat for quest completions. WARNING: While auto chat can be a lot of fun, and you can make your character say all sorts of cool/sexy/funny things, just don’t. Keep your auto chat limited and helpful, or you’ll find yourself booted from groups, and blocked by other players for being a spammy jerk. You’re not a jerk, so don’t do that to yourself or others.
- To Jan’s left, your right, go back up, past the NPC Franca, to Franca’s Cafe. Watch or skip the cutscene, then speak with Gathering Guro Sophia, and pick up her quest, Gathering Some Fun. NOTE: Yerkes is a little bit behind Sophia, and later on you’re going to be getting lots of money from him. Don’t pick up his quests now, but maybe take a look at them.
At this point you have two choices, and the order in which you do them doesn’t matter tremendously.
- Go to the Casino (through the door/elevator in most areas, or the big door in the Shopping Plaza) and do a bunch of Allin’s quests. While these will give you some XP and fun rewards, unless you manage to get to level 20 (to unlock the Sub-class Permit Trial mission from Cofy), there’s no real benefit to going here now as opposed to later.
- Speak to any Quest Counter Clerk (there’s one in Franca’s Cafe, there’s one in the Casino, and two in the ARKS Lobby), and complete the Forest Exploration.
After that, you have a little bit of freedom to do whatever you want, but here’s a few more guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Do your ARKS daily and weekly missions as often as you can (real life matters, too, but yeah).
- The Daily Order Officers (one in the ARKS Lobby, and one in Franca’s Cafe) have three marked missions which can help you get an extra boost to EXP earned, Rare Drop Rate (RDR), and meseta earned (main in-game currency). They also have a bunch of other quests which can help you progress as well, but generally the tri-boost ones are the most relevant.
- Once you hit level 20, you’ll unlock the Hard difficulty, as well as several new quests from Cofy (ARKS Lobby, next to Rebecca). One of which will allow you to unlock a subclass, which you absolutely want to do. For that, you’ll just need to kill the specific enemies listed on the mission, one of which is in the second area of the Forest Exploration, and the other is in the second area of the Volcano Exploration. The other noteworthy quest she’ll give you allows you to have an Auxiliary, which is basically like a little minion to send on fetch quests for you. They do other things too, but that’s another topic for another day.
- When you hit level 30, your class trainer will have some new quests to kill the final bosses of the Forest Exploration and the Desert Exploration (it’ll still count if you off the foes in a different mission, but they’re guaranteed to appear in those areas). That mission grants you five extra skill points for your class.
- At level 40, you’ll unlock the Very Hard difficulty, as well as Advance Quests (a great way to level fast, if you’re in a group).
- At level 45, your class trainer will have another mission, to kill the final boss in the Tundra, Underground Shafts, and Floating Continent Explorations. Again, you can kill them elsewhere if you manage to come across them, and it’ll be another five skill points for that class.
- At level 50, you’ll unlock Super Hard difficulty, as well as getting the top-tier daily and weekly missions/rewards.
- Before Chapter 4 released, sub-classes would stop gaining experience at level 55, and could only grow beyond that by using them as a main class. That appears to have changed, but I don’t know exactly how it’s currently working.
- At level 70, you’ll unlock Extremely Hard difficulty, as well as Ultimate Quests.
- Chapter 4 raised the level cap from 75 to 80. On the Japanese edition (JP), you used to have to upgrade a weapon to level 35 to unlock this for the class or classes that use said weapon. That appears to not be the case for the NA/Global version of PSO2.