Battle Strategy Tips For Atelier Sophie 2

Fighting might not be the first thing on Atelier fans' minds, but it still forms an integral part of the RPG series' core gameplay loop. Monsters roam these mystical worlds, and putting them out to pasture isn't just a matter of survival — it's good business sense. The rewards for beating down a powerful fiend can outweigh the dangers, especially in Atelier Sophie 2, but only if you know how to mitigate the pain these monsters dish out while proving savvy in the fine art of offense.

Luckily, success on the battlefield will often come down to understanding a few key fundamentals. Let's survey these all-important lessons so that Sophie and her steadfast allies can traverse the wilds outside of Erde Wiege without perishing in the process.

Background Characters Can Be Brought Forward

Once you've accumulated enough battle companions, you will have three characters in the foreground per fight, accompanied by another three in the background. A common (and understandable) early-game error is to assume that the background characters are stuck there and vice versa.

In fact, characters can swap their position with their specific foreground/background partner via a special move called Support Guard. This costs one Technical Point, but it's often well worth the spend. If a defensive character is in the back and an enemy telegraphs the likelihood of a strong upcoming attack, swap places while you can.

Enemy Auras Have Elemental Weaknesses

It often happens: you're in the middle of a battle, things are going your way to a tee, and then the remaining foes power up an Aura which blocks a set number of attacks relative to the Aura's listed strength number. This can be quite frustrating, as the monsters will continually peck away at you in the meantime. It's not only damaging, but it can lead to a sense of the fight stalling on you just to eat up more of your playtime.

That's not quite the case. Auras are simply another part of Atelier Sophie 2's overarching tactical appeal. Pay close attention to the element of the employed Aura. Check the Aura's details, and you'll see, for example, that an Ice Aura is in effect. Like any other combat aspect involving elements, you'll want to deploy an attack with the element that it's weak against. (In this case, that's Ice.) You'll break that Ice Aura in no time.

Time Cards Follow Their Own Turn Order

Certain recipe-based items can be used in battle to create Time Cards. These curious contraptions are added to the ever-reliable turn order screen rather than instantly activating. Once their turn comes around, their effects will pop, so you'll need to wait until then to see their usefulness in action. Should the battle end before they're up to the proverbial plate, of course, you won't see them at all. (Unfortunately, this does seem to waste the item.)

It may help to think of Time Cards as something akin to Final Fantasy Tactics' summon spells. In that game, and many similar games involving summoned beasts, there's a turn-based timer involved. The power at the end of that timer is generally worth the wait.

Battle Speed and Difficulty Can Be Adjusted

Finding the fights a bit too slow? Or perhaps you're up against tougher-than-usual foes, and despite the turn-based nature of the game, you're still finding attack animations a tad overwhelming whilst you strategize your way through. Either way, you can adjust Atelier Sophie 2's battle speed even within an active fight.

The trouble is, it's not exactly obvious how to go about doing so. On PS4/PS5 and Switch consoles, press the left analog stick down. (In PlayStation terminology, this is known as pressing "L3.") On PC, there's a specific key designated for this, so be sure to check the controls to see where that's landed per your preferred keyboard style.

Once you've pressed L3 or its equivalent, you'll be given three speed options labeled 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0. The former is the slowest; the middle's the default, and the latter is speedy enough to make any level grind a breeze.

Perhaps fighting isn't even your cup of tea. The Atelier series is known for its intricate alchemy system and charming cast of slice-of-life characters more so than its combat, after all. In this case, you'll want to head into your Options Menu and adjust enemy strength accordingly. We can say from experience that the easiest mode, coupled with the fastest tempo, effectively nullifies battling outright.

Don't Ignore the Block Button

It's a common enough trait in JRPGs — the defend command is entirely useless because there's always something better to choose. Without conscious consideration, we can often allow this to seep into other series.

Atelier makes good use of it, however, especially Atelier Sophie 2 (and its predecessor, for that matter). We touched upon this earlier by mentioning that tankier background characters can be brought forward to defend against powerful attacks, but sometimes a monster is able-bodied enough to body you, as the kids say, even when you've swapped characters in preparation.

If you aren't yet familiar with the full force of a foe's telegraphed special attack, always opt to block in case it's downright deadly. This applies less if you've grinded a great deal, but it can be eye-opening at times just how hard a special attack can strike your team even then. Don't risk it.

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