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Rune Factory 4 Special: Combat Tips

Quick Links

  • When To Upgrade
  • Don't Ignore Cooking
  • Experiment With Weapons
  • Use Object X
  • Utilize Your Valuable Allies
  • Staff Upgrades

Rune Factory 4 does really well at balancing the calmer, more serene aspects of farming with the rough and tumble of an adventurer's life. As a result, it has a pretty robust combat system that manages to be both challenging and fun to play.

The game has eight distinct weapon types to try, more monsters than you could ever hope to beat up, and a gameplay loop based around grinding. If you like the game's combat, you're in for a fun, long game. We've got some tips and tricks for you, in case you ever find yourself struggling.

When To Upgrade

There are a few markers that imply that now is an excellent time to upgrade your equipment. The first is obviously that you start doing very little damage to your enemies, and they do a lot of damage in return. This is the prime time to stop banging your head against the wall, Escape home, and start leveling up your stats and equipment.

Not only will this increase the stats from your equipment, but your skill levels will increase as you farm, forge, craft, and cook your way through a significant upgrade. All of your skill levels contribute to your base stats in one way or another, so doing this is key to progression.

Another good sign that you should set aside some time for upgrades is coming across new materials. Specifically, items of the Minerals classification are precious indicators as weapon upgrades overwhelmingly utilize them. They act rather like material tier indicators.

So, when you start encountering Silver, or Gold, or even Orichalcum for the first time, you know it's time to farm up a bunch of it and get decked out in a set of shiny new armor.

Don't Ignore Cooking

Further on in the game, you will find yourself being attacked by powerful monsters, and you might not have the health pool to spare. Inevitably, you'll be relying on spells like Cure All to survive, and these eat up a lot of RP.

Eating dishes in the middle of a brutal battle is risky, so prioritize your healing spells for mid-battle panic and use RP-healing dishes once you have some breathing room.

Speaking of healing, the Cure spell that you pick up early on is fantastic for healing both yourself and your allies. You do have to be close to your partner to heal them, though, so make sure you're not trying to heal them from far away, wasting RP.

Experiment With Weapons

With eight different weapons to try, it's very tempting to try them all out, have one of each type in your backpack, and try to use them all equally to diversify your skill gains. While this is perfectly fine, it does take up a lot of backpack room.

Instead, it is recommended to focus on three weapon types that have considerable advantages over the others.

  • Spears are very powerful thanks to their long reach and their overpowered Charge Attack, which can really dish out the damage if you mash the attack button rapidly.
  • Staves are useful when dealing with highly defensive enemies. They deal magic damage which difficult enemies like Ghosts and Tortas will melt against.
  • Either Short Swords or Dual Blades are good for dealing a lot of damage quickly. They are speedy weapons, and their attacks can often be broken by dodging in case of emergencies.

The other weapons just don't compare in usefulness. Long Swords, Hammers, and Axes are pretty clunky and slow, while Gloves are quick but require you to be far too close to your target for comfort.

Use Object X

Object X is an item you'll find in your inventory if you fail at using the Chemistry Lab, similar to Failed Dishes and Scrap Metal.

When consumed, Object X has the nasty effect of inflicting every status effect in the game. Obviously, this isn't something you want to have on your person… in normal situations. Object X has two potent utilities:

  1. Consuming Object X and taking every status effect will increase your Status Resistance skills. Get around the riskiness of this strategy by only doing this right before you're about to go to sleep for the day. Increasing these skills will not only help you resist status effects in the field, but it will give your stats a boost, too!
  2. Throw Object X at very tough foes. Status effects don't just affect you, after all!

An effortless way to gain lots of Object X is to craft with a single Scrap Metal at the Chemistry Lab.

Utilize Your Valuable Allies

You have two slots that you can fill with party members when leaving town. These can either be NPCs from town who all have their own strategies, equipment load-outs, and behaviors, or they can be monsters that you've tamed.

Taking NPCs Out

  • Most NPCs will only join you on an adventure once you have reached friendship level three with them. Forte is an exception and will join you from the beginning of the game.
  • Some NPCs will throw food at you if you haven't eaten that day to give you a stat boost. If you manage to dodge the food, you can pick it up to eat at your leisure or sell it. The dish chosen is random and may be worth a lot of money.
    • Forte and Kiel are two romanceable NPCs who will do this.
  • NPCs will eventually leave when it gets late. To avoid this, raise their friendship level – they will stay out later.
  • An NPC's equipment will not upgrade on its own – you will need to craft weapons and armor to keep them up to date. While this may seem like a downside, it means you can customize your favorite characters to your own tastes.
    • As a corollary to this, since updating NPC equipment is a costly process, make sure you're only taking a few of them out with you. Focus on your favorites.
    • Taking Monsters Out

      • Monsters will mainly act like they do when they are untamed – you can gauge a monster's potential by facing them in battle. If a monster is very aggressive when fighting against you, it will be very aggressive when fighting alongside you.
      • Since you are limited in your ranged offense options, taking ranged monsters into battle is a very good strategy. They can still contribute a lot to fights without putting themselves in harm's way.
        • Some great early-game options for this are Orc Archers (Yokmir Forest/Cave), Fairies (Selphia Plains), and Spirits (Obsidian Mansion).
      • All of your tamed monsters will gain experience when you defeat a monster. Those with you will receive 100 percent of the experience earned, and the monsters back at the farm will acquire 50 percent of the experience gained.
      • Staff Upgrades

        An elegant quirk of the Staff weapon type is that when they are upgraded with certain materials, they receive new Charge Attacks to suit the item's properties. This can be used to alter a powerful staff's element if you need to.

        However, if you use a boss item, the staff's attack can change drastically to match that boss's attacks. For example, if you upgrade a staff with the Ambrosia's Thorn item, charging it up will now perform some of Ambrosia's attacks. Other bosses whose items you may wish to consider for your staves include Chimera, Marionetta, and the Dragon bosses.

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