There are six playable characters in Tales of Arise, each with their own distinct fighting style. It’s easily possible to get through the game only controlling Alphen, but each character has different strengths and weaknesses, so it is certainly worth having a try at everyone’s unique play style.
Here’s our full explanation of how to switch characters in battle in Tales of Arise, as well as how to switch them outside of battle.
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How to switch characters in battle
Switching characters in Tales of Arise during battle is far easier than previous games in the series, even if it is only briefly mentioned during the tutorials and not explained all that well.
The quickest way to do it is to press and hold L1 to effectively pause the battle. Here, you can switch over the targeted enemy with the analogue stick but it’s also where you can quickly change your playable character.
Note the little red flag which appears on the picture of one character in the bottom left-hand side of the screen (where the boost strike gauges are shown) – this denotes the character manually being controlled by the player. Whilst the battle is paused with L1, press the corresponding button on the D-pad to switch the flag over to a different party member.
For instance, in the above picture the flag is on Law, but if you pressed Up on the D-Pad it would switch to Alphen. Left would switch to Shionne and Right would switch to Rinwell. When the flag is placed on another character, let go of L1 and when the battle restarts you will now be controlling them instead.
There is something else to note here – this change is not permanent. Switching quickly during battle will not change your default playable character indefinitely. When the next battle starts, you’ll be back controlling the character you started with last time.
If you want to change your default starting character for battle, you need to do this from the menu. When the battle is over, access the menu and enter the ‘Edit’ section. Press square until the red flag is on the character you wish to control, and they will now become your default controllable party member until you switch it back.
Can you substitute support party members during battle in Tales of Arise?
Though there are six playable characters, obviously only four of these are allowed on the battlefield at a time. Once you have recruited all of your party members, two of these will be left on the sidelines.
The good news is that you can swap support members into the team whilst in the middle of a battle. This one is explained very poorly within Tales of Arise, but there are two ways to do this.
A quick swap can be done by holding L2 and then holding the corresponding D-pad button for the character you wish to swap in until you see two blue arrows appear on their picture (see below). Let go of L2 and then hold the D-Pad button of the active character you want to swap out.
Alternatively, you can open the menu during battle and enter the Edit section. Here, select the party member you want to change on the left-hand side and simply highlight the character you want to swap in from the right-hand side of the screen. When you return to battle, they’ll enter the fray instead. This may be preferable in manic battles where you can’t afford to waste time holding the buttons.
The Edit screen can also be used outside of battle in the exact same way to change the four characters who will be in your active party for the next battle.
Remember that support members can still use their Boost Attacks even if you leave them on the sidelines. Do this by holding L2 and pressing the corresponding button on the D-Pad when their boost gauge is charged.
How to switch characters outside of battle
If you want to run around the field with a different character, this is also easy enough.
Enter the menu and elect to ‘Change party leader’ with the square button on Playstation or X on Xbox. Every time you press the button, you will see a green flag cycle through the list of characters on the left-hand side. Your party leader is denoted with the green flag, so keep pressing the button until it lands on the character you wish to control and then exit the menu.
Also, your party leader on the field doesn’t necessarily have to be a character who is in your active battle party. Changing party leader will not mean you are controlling this character in battle by default. This would be done in the Edit section, as explained above.
A different party leader doesn’t actually change anything about the gameplay at all and is purely a cosmetic preference of which character you want to watch running around.
- Switch playable character during battle: hold L1 and use the D-pad to change to a different character
- Swap support characters into battle: Quick swap with L2 and holding the D-Pad buttons, or open the menu and use Edit screen to switch a support character for an active character
- Switch playable character outside of battle: Open the menu and press the ‘Change party leader’ button (Square on Playstation; X on Xbox) until the green flag is on the character you want to use
This should be everything you need to know about how to switch party members and characters in Tales of Arise.
If you found this short guide helpful, check out some of our other Tales of Arise guides and tips: