Tales of Arise juggles many different elements over the course of the epic adventure, and one of these is the inclusion of relationship bonding events. Whilst sat around a cosy campfire, Alphen can instigate brief heart-to-heart skits with other party members, increasing his bond affinity levels in the process.
These aren’t as in-depth as other RPGs with similar mechanics, like Persona or Legend of Heroes, but it’s still nice to expand on the character relationships with some other rewards granted at the same time.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to max all Tales of Arise relationships and bonds.
What are the rewards for maxing bond levels in Tales of Arise?
Firstly, we’ll cover off the benefits of maxing the bond levels, since Tales of Arise doesn’t make this explicitly clear. There are four main benefits that come with the maximum bond levels.
Maxing a character’s relationship unlocks a second mystic arte for them called a Master Arte, with the exception of Alphen whose second mystic arte is unlocked during the story. These are the most powerful moves available, and can be triggered during overlimit by activating a mystic arte after a combo of 5 hits with different artes. The AI is actually not very good at pulling this off, so if you are aiming to use these improved mystic artes it’s a good idea to switch control over to the character in question, and perform it manually.
The master artes for each character are:
- Alphen: Blazing Pillar (this has nothing to do with bond levels)
- Shionne: Explosive Charge (non-elemental attack)
- Rinwell: Aquarius Damnation (water elemental attack)
- Law: Crimson Skies (fire elemental attack)
- Kisara: Final Player (non-elemental attack)
- Dohalim: Epochal Severance (dark elemental attack)
A trophy for each relationship
Completionists in search of the platinum will need to max all bonds in order to acquire it. Every individual maxed bond grants a bronze trophy, with a final silver trophy once they are all completed. In total, maxing everyone’s bond levels will therefore amount to six trophies.
The trophies in question are:
- Intertwining Hearts trophy (bronze) for maxing the bond with Shionne
- An Honest Mage trophy (bronze) for maxing the bond with Rinwell
- Role Model trophy (bronze) for maxing the bond with Law
- A Modest Dream trophy (bronze) for maxing the bond with Kisara
- Drink ‘til You Drop trophy (bronze) for maxing the bond with Dohalim
- Wall Smasher trophy (silver) for maxing all five bonds
Two bond-specific titles
There are also two titles dependant on bond levels. The first is Alphen’s Enlightening Bond, which is very easy to unlock. All you need to do is max one relationship bond. It doesn’t matter whose bond, so it’s likely you’ll achieve this without trying. This title has some handy skills such as increasing max AG, over limit extension and KO prevention.
The second title requiring a maximum bond is Dohalim’s Drinking Buddy title, which requires Alphen to max his bond with Dohalim specifically. If Dohalim is the first person whose bond you max, then you’ll unlock both of these titles at the same time. This is also a decent title, with KO prevention being automatically learnt.
Finally, these events result in some neat skits where we learn more about each character’s backstory. This benefit is less tangible than the others, but it’s always good to explore the cast of characters a little further.
How to max all Tales of Arise relationships
There’s nothing overly complicated involved here, but Tales of Arise doesn’t give you all of the information.
To increase a bond level, you must rest at a camp fire and speak to the characters in your party. A small speech bubble will denote whether a bond event can take place. If a character’s name has a speech bubble next to it, then you should simply select them to view a skit which will increase Alphen’s bond with them.
There are two main caveats to be aware of:
- Bonds can only progress so far until specific story events occur
- A bond event can only be triggered once per hour of gameplay. Therefore, even if multiple speech bubbles are present, you will only be able to progress one bond at a time. Once you’ve spoken to one of them and increased your bond, you’ll have to wait an hour before you can increase the next character’s bond. Honestly I think this is a little nonsensical, but there’s nothing we can do about it.
Each character has five bond events before their bond level is maxed. Once you have maxed it, their name will have a smiley face next to it instead of a speech bubble. However, these bonds can’t actually be maxed until fairly late in the story. They will be capped until a certain point and no further speech bubbles will appear.
NOTE: If you rest at camp and a character doesn’t have a speech bubble next to their name when others do, it means their bond is at the maximum point for this part of the story.
Tips to max all Tales of Arise bond levels before completing the game
Whilst the requirements are simple enough, there is some further information and a few tips to help you along.
Speech bubbles are all or nothing
If some characters have speech bubbles but others don’t, then this simply means those characters can’t raise their bond levels at this stage. To be clear, if there is only one speech bubble available at camp (eg, the image above) then waiting around or making yourself busy for an hour will be a waste of time. You’ll have to progress the story and wait an hour before the next bonds can be increased.
Never speak to a party member who doesn’t have a speech bubble in favour of a character that does – there is no benefit to doing this, and it doesn’t actually get you any closer to their next level. If there are no speech bubbles available at all, then it doesn’t matter who you speak to. All you get are some brief cutscenes where Alphen interacts with the character without dialogue.
Use fast travel to your advantage
If you unlock a new fast travel point that is not next to a campsite, then it’s good practice to fast travel back to a campsite and rest. Not only will this of course restore HP and CP, but it’ll give you a chance to check in on your bonds. Once you’ve camped, simply fast travel back to the point you just unlocked. There is no penalty for this whatsoever.
This is a good tip because some segments of the game may have you playing for a few hours without camping, which wastes precious time that could have been spent ticking towards the next available bond event.
Set a timer of an hour
Another slightly more extreme measure is to set yourself a timer using your phone after the last bond event. You might play through a lengthy dungeon sequence for two hours without resting at a camp, effectively wasting your time. The above tip may rectify this, but having a timer on hand will give you more control. If you have a clearer picture of the remaining time, you can make a decision to wait around before continuing.
For instance, if you unlock a new fast travel point and only have five minutes until the next bond event is available, then it’s probably worth farming some items to eat up the time and earn the bond level before continuing with the dungeon. To reiterate – this is only worth doing if the last bond event had multiple speech bubbles available.
Is it actually worth maxing all Tales of Arise relationships?
Being completely frank, unless you are aiming for the platinum trophy, the rewards for this aren’t enourmously important. Alphen’s Enlightening Bond title is well worth getting, but this is very easy to earn so you’ll likely acquire it without needing to go out of your way.
You don’t really need the second mystic artes to beat the game – especially for the party members you tend to leave on the sidelines. As already discussed, the AI tends to use the first mystic arte anyway, so you would have to control the characters manually to benefit from the Master Artes.
Overall, whilst it’s definitely worth building up your bonds wherever possible I wouldn’t recommend putting off the final battle for hours in order to max them. You can also complete these bond events by loading your game after beating the final boss without having to start a brand new playthrough.
In a nutshell, this is a summary of everything you need to max all Tales of Arise relationship bonds:
- Each character has five bond levels
- These are gradually unlocked at certain points of the story
- After speaking to a party member at camp, there is a countdown of an hour’s gameplay before another will be possible
- Camp regularly, and fast travel to campsites when you unlock new fast travel markers during dungeons
- Always talk to party members who have speech bubbles and never speak to a party member who doesn’t have one, unless there are no speech bubbles at all
With these tips, you should be able to max all bonds and relationships without too many issues, or perhaps even decide that you don’t want to bother. This consideration is most pronounced towards the end of the game, where you may need to waste a few hours in order to reach the maximums.
Check out our Tales of Arise review below, along with a list of games with other relationship and bond events: