Scarlet Nexus is an enjoyable action RPG, which throws a lot your way at a rapid pace. Numerous tutorials cover the new mechanics, but there are some key points that can be easily forgotten or missed amongst such an avalanche of information.
Some things are far more important than others, so we’ve broken down the ones that are most crucial to success. Here are our top 15 Scarlet Nexus tips.
- RELATED: Scarlet Nexus Review
Prioritise the right skills in the Brain Map
Realistically, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to complete the Brain Map in a single playthrough (you might get pretty close). As such, it’s best to prioritise accordingly. Since you can see which skills are found down each path, you can plan ahead and aim for the the best ones.
Early on, make sure you obtain Rebound and Perfect Dodge Attack. If you don’t have Rebound, getting knocked down is enough to do serious damage since your character will stay on the ground for a ridiculously long period of time. As for Perfect Dodge Attack, this allows any perfect dodge to result in a great opportunity to strike back and deal some heavy damage.
As your levels increase, it largely comes down to playstyle but I would strong advise you to prioritise Concurrent SAS Activation and Psy Gauge Boost. These take up two slots each for four in total, and you should try and unlock them all. Grabbing the first Concurrent SAS Activation node allows you to activate two powers at once, whilst the second grants to ability to use four simultaneous powers. As you progress through the game, combining powers together is crucial for the best results.
Since pschyokinesis attacks are bread and butter, you should pursue the two nodes that increase your psy gauge. Similarly, there are two Additional Plug-in Equip Slot skills which will give your chosen character a chance to drastically increase their stats with extra plug-ins.
Finally, joining together follow-up attacks is important, so you should snag the Follow-Up Expand abilities. I’ll discuss this further below.
Master follow-up attacks
The lock-on mechanic isn’t always the most helpful with melee attacks, which is where follow-up attacks come into their own. After landing a regular attack, hold the psychokinesis button (R2 on PS4, RT on Xbox) and your chosen protagonist will jump back and launch a projectile. Just before this hits, there’ll be a brief moment of slow-down. Press the melee attack button again and you’ll whizz right back to the enemy and land another combo at close quarters. Repeat this a few times and you’ll be dealing significant damage, particularly when coupled with the best SAS abilities.
This works great with the likes of Gemma’s sclerokinesis which stops you from being interrupted, or Arashi’s hypervelocity which is hugely overpowered – and at bond level 6 actually gets replenished by landing follow-up attacks!
Keep your SAS abilities in the same place
This is a simple one, but once you’re swapping SAS powers over quickly and activating them concurrently, it’s a lot easier when you don’t need to look at the screen and figure out which is which. Keep them in the same slots which will eventually result in muscle memory doing it for you. Sometimes party members swap in and out, and Scarlet Nexus decides to slightly rearrange your SAS – the best thing to do is put them right back where they were.
The only time you might want to tinker manually is later in the game when your list of abilities expands to full capacity. When this occurs, think about the powers that work well together and keep the best combos on the same pages.
Read from the library
Given the rapid pace of the plot, certain details can quite easily fly over your head. That’s what the library is there for, and it’s an incredibly useful tool that basically contains data of everything encountered during the game.
Found in the menu, this takes note of handy story recaps, as well as character data, enemy analysis and gameplay tutorials. It’s definitely a good idea to use this to familiarise yourself with the jargon, world lore and best practices for each Other.
Use active party members whose SAS you use the most
Though you can share the abilities of characters outside the party, a neat tidbit is that the SAS timer depletes slower if you’re using the power of someone within the active party.
The best powers to use depend on the enemy, but after playing for a while you’ll get a feel for which powers tend to be most useful to you.
On Yuito’s route, I personally found Gemma’s ability very useful. When the psychokinesis gauge is low, sclerokinesis gives Yuito licence to charge in and smash some charge attacks to replenish it. Tsugumi’s clairvoyance also has pretty widespread appeal, given that Read attacks and the boost to crush damage has near-universal application. Meanwhile, Luka and Hanabi’s powers are a bit more opportunistic and the enemies that require them generally don’t take long to defeat.
As for Kasane’s route, I loved Kyoka’s duplication and Arashi’s hypervelocity. The latter is arguably the best power in the game, and whilst I was also fond of Invisibility and Electrokinesis, again I think these abilities don’t necessary need to be used for as long before reaping the rewards of a backstab or shock status.
However, this is a matter of playstyle preference.
Deactivate SAS as soon as the battle is over
Part of Scarlet Nexus’s appeal is its flow. Once you’re in a dungeon, you rarely need to access a menu since equipment can be sorted in the hideout and items and powers are activated in real time. The last thing you want to be doing is standing there waiting for SAS gauges to recharge.
They actually lose a little chunk upon deactivation, but there’s nothing worse than hearing the ‘depleted power’ sound effect and realising you’ve forgotten to switch them off.
Get into the habit of using the button combination to deactivate all SAS straight after winning the battle. However, don’t do this too soon – sometimes the next set of Others will start to materialise, so give it a second for the music to die down, which will indicate you are victorious.
Brain Crush every time you possibly can
There are so many upsides to utilising Brain Crush, especially once certain abilities are unlocked in the Brain Map – a cool finishing visual, replenishing SAS, prolonging Brain Drive, and a guaranteed item drop. Battering the crush gauge is the best route to success in most battles, and can usually be depleted faster than an Other’s health bar.
The moment you hear that shattering sound to signify the Brain Crush opportunity, mash that button, reap the rewards, and continue.
Listen out for your teammates’ advice
Every Other has a ‘best practice’ set of tactics to take them down most efficiently. The library offers some useful data to this end, but once again Scarlet Nexus goes out of its way to keep the action flowing. Accordingly, your teammates offer handy advice that saves you halting momentum in the menu.
Someone will usually chirp up and suggest using their power when you encounter certain Others. The best thing to do is simply listen to them, as they never get this wrong. For this reason, the English language option is preferable.
Use each Standby Phase wisely
Every time you end up back at the hideout, there’s generally one upgrade per weapon available at the shop, and often the next level of each plug-in enhancement. Check out the Exchange section which will have everything you need.
There is no need to waste money or materials on the party members who are not in your active party, as these can be left with low-level equipment. Other than occasional bond events, there are no mandatory requirements to put specific party members in your team.
The great thing about each standby phase is that you can basically take care of everything here, and once you commence the action of the next story phase, you barely have to touch the menu at all – except for spending points in the Brain Map which is always pretty exciting anyway.
Increase Bond Levels as quickly as possible
Like so many modern-day JRPGs, the key to unlocking the best abilities lies in relationship events between the protagonist and their party members.
Powering up the additional SAS abilities is essential for this, and maximum bond levels open up some extremely useful and fun skills. The sooner you level up bonds, the sooner you’ll have access to them, giving you a crucial edge in battle.
In every standby phase, walk around the hideout and see if any speech markers pop up in pink. These denote whether a bond event is available, and should be taken up before commencing the next story phase. It’s a good idea to save your game first as these events very occasionally lead straight into gameplay sections. Check your brain messages as well, and reply to any messages with the bond symbol.
The next thing to do is check in at the shop and purchase/exchange all of the new gifts you can. There’ll generally be a few added in every phase, and you should get your hands on any gifts that don’t have a tick next to them as you’re scrolling through. Ticks denote gifts that are already given, whilst each new one spruces up the hideout a little bit more.
You still won’t be able to level up a bond every time there’s an event, but there is absolutely no downside to getting these done in case you are ready to deepen the relationship.
Don’t buy (or sell) much
Exchanging is far more cost-effective than buying. Once you have a weapon, it can generally get upgraded pretty easily. Hardly any materials are rare, and if you are fully exploring every area and doing the odd sidequest, you will almost certainly have enough to keep your equipment as up-to-date as possible.
In fact, basically the only things I ended up buying in the entire game were jellies. These are cheap, and are worth stocking up on. I personally found light jellies and medium jellies were more than sufficient to get by without having to splash out for any max jellies.
Since money is less important than materials, it’s also worth keeping everything handy rather than selling it. Materials and enemy data will often be exchangeable for weapon upgrades or gifts.
Find all side-quests and accept them
Note that I’m not saying you have to do all the sidequests, but it’s easy to find them – they are denoted on the map with a diamond shape. The quickest way of hunting them down is to simply fast travel to every zone of every residential area (Suoh, Musubi’s, OSF Hospital, Seiran) and quickly open the map. Check the top right corner and see if there is any mention of a quest within the legend. If not, there aren’t any in the area so you can move along to the next one.
Now, the quests are not exactly the most riveting but there is again no downside in finding them all and accepting them. They carry over with no time limit, so you may even find you clear a few of them without trying. The good news is you can report them and obtain the rewards from the menu without having to revisit the place you accepted it.
Save often, and manually
This is an obvious one, but auto-save can sometimes be a crutch that’s overly relied upon in modern gaming. This function isn’t particularly reliable in Scarlet Nexus. It’ll work on boss fights (which tend to have a save point near them anyway), but there are plenty of bog-standard battles that can pose a hefty challenge literally from thin air.
It’s best not to get caught out, and simply save your game manually whenever you have the opportunity. Talking to the yellow guy Satori the Archivist also restores your HP, which is always well worth doing.
Gimmick objects show up on the minimap, and often provide the best, most efficient way to deal damage. These are activated slightly slower than standard psychokinesis objects (using L2 on PS4, LT on Xbox), but as soon as the circle fills and activates the psychokinesis you’ll be invincible whilst controlling the object. Be alert, as you’ll virtually always have to follow this up with a set button combo which will display on the screen. If you don’t press the right buttons in time, you’ll lose control and lose the opportunity.
A few skills in particular make it easy to withstand the charge time – Gemma’s sclerokinesis will keep you invulnerable, and for all intends and purposes so will Kagero’s invisibility and Arashi’s hypervelocity. Use these just before grabbing the object with psychokinesis and you’ll have no problems.
Check the map for items – and listen to your characters
Like the enemy weaknesses, characters are pretty eagle-eyed when it comes to items on the field. These show up on the map when they’re in your character’s field of vision, but the protagonist or one of the other characters will often spot it first.
Acquiring as many environmental resources is usually the best way to exchange for the best items in the shop, so your best bet is to keep a close eye on the mini-map as well as listening out for advice. If someone mentions a “Resource reading”, then there’s something close in the vicinity.
After beating both routes and delving deep into the world of Scarlet Nexus, these are the best tips we’ve accumulated to guarantee success. Hopefully they’ll help enhance your enjoyment of an excellent action RPG.
For some more general advice about Scarlet Nexus, check out the article below that covers some of the most common questions, such as the best route, similar games and much more.