Let’s get this out of the way right at the start: There’s no single, correct answer to this question. Octopath Traveler allows players to select whichever character they prefer at the start of the game and the rest can be added to the party at a later point. That said, there are some consequences that come along with selecting the starting character, so Octopath Traveler players should keep all of this information in mind.
The primary consequence is that the starter character will remain the main protagonist for the rest of the game. All other character can be swapped in and out of the party throughout the adventure, but the starter isn’t going anywhere. Because of that, players should be sure to pick a character that is useful and suits their play style at the beginning of the game.
The other primary consideration when selecting a starting character is thinking about which abilities you may not be able to acquire for a while. For example, only the Thief character, Therion, can open locked chests. That means players who are going to be annoyed at leaving behind chests until they add him to the party may want to consider starting out with him.
Keeping in mind that the answer to this question will vary from player to player, here are our recommendations for the best characters to start with in Octopath Traveler…
For players who might be new to the JRPG genre, the Warrior class is always a good place to start. He is a strong attacker, has reliable defense, and is a pretty forgiving character for players who are adjusting to this style of combat. That said, for more experienced players, he might feel a little bland.
Although it’s usually wise to steer new players away from a healing class, Ophilia is actually a very easy to learn Cleric. Her strong healing and protection abilities make her a valuable asset during the early portion of the game, while the party is a bit weak and still needs all the help it can get.
Tressa and Therion
The Merchant and Thief class are both smart choices for players who want to feel rich or thrifty. Each of these characters have special abilities that make it easier to come by (or save) money, which makes resource management a lot less stressful during the game.
This Dancer class has the very useful ability of being able to recruit temporary allies, though she does bring some risks along with her benefits. The danger is that she opens the player up to the possibility of losing reputation in town. Because of this risk, we recommend players new to the genre add her to the party a bit later.
This Hunter class character is an excellent starter choice due to the variety of skills she brings to the table. She has multiple weapons, a companion she can summon, and the ability to capture weakened enemies. That may be a little too much for new JPRG players to keep track of at first, but if you’re up to the task, we highly recommend getting H’aanit into the party from the start.
Alfyn and Cyrus
The Apothecary and Scholar class are both very interesting, and a ton of fun, to play; but do require a more experienced hand behind the wheel. These characters will likely play a key part of your strategy towards the later hours of the game, but their complicated abilities will likely be too much for most players to unpack as they are first entering the world.
If none of this advice really speaks to you, then go with whoever looks coolest and has the most interesting backstory! After all, every character will be an option eventually.
Regardless of who players end up starting with, the game is sure to provide lots of opportunities to switch around the party and keep things interesting during the campaign. Keep an eye out for more tips and guides after we have a chance to spend more time with the title.
Octopath Traveler launches July 13, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
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