Octopath Traveller is a beautiful homage to 16-bit JRPGs that adds a few wrinkles to the standard formula we all know. Instead of following a linear story, you’ll get to choose between eight different protagonists — and that’s just the first complication in a game that’s full of strange choices that just might confuse a try JRPG purest. This is a unique game in design, and we’re going to try to break down everything you need to know about this weird little game.
Seeing as this is Octopoth Traveller, let’s limit this list to 8 handy tips you should know before getting started in Octopath Traveller. So much can change per playthrough, depending on your decisions, that we can’t possibly cover every permutation of the game’s story. Everything depends on your first choice — and let’s get started with the first simple tip — you can give the game a try, free of charge.
#1: You’ll Keep Your Demo Progress
The free demo for Octopath Traveler is still available on the Nintendo Switch, and it is a full-featured early-game experience. You’re not missing anything, and you’ll be able to select any of the eight characters. You can enjoy up to three hours of game time, and transferring your save file to the full game is incredibly easy.
- To Transfer Your Demo Save File: In the main menu, scroll down to the bottom option. You can select to import your demo save file into the main game. Octopath Traveler will also detect any demo save file on your Nintendo Switch, and ask you if you’d like to transfer the save when starting up for the first time.
Basically, if you’re curious and want to give the game a try, just download the demo and see if you like it. After unlocking a second party member, you should have a good idea what the game is like.
#2: Your First Character Is Your Main Character
Octopath Traveler has a strange progression system. Instead of one overarching story, there are eight character-specific stories. Depending on which character you select first, that will be the “main” story you embark on, but you won’t miss any content — the first character you select will also join the other eight, and you’ll be able to share your stories between every hero.
Each character starts at Level 1, and begins in a tutorial Chapter 1 scenario that sets up their quest, and shows you their Path Action. You’ll get a chance to learn what motivates them, then they’ll join your team, and you’ll be able to work together and solve each story in any order you want.
#3: You Can Unlock Characters In Any Order
This is where things get complicated. Your first character starts at Level 1, and the rest of the characters (the other seven) will appear on your World Map. To unlock another character, simply travel to their location and talk to them in the town where they reside — there’s a green text bubble over their heads. Talking to them will begin that character’s Chapter 1 scenario — which you’ll relive as a flashback.
After completing the flashback, you’ll be able to join that character on a small dungeon quest where you’ll defeat a boss. This follows for every single character, and for each character you unlock, the level requirement for everyone else will increase. It sounds complicated, but in general, the level requirements for collecting additional party members will increase as you add more members to your party. That should be your first goal after embarking on your quest.
#4: Use Path Actions On Everyone — Just Don’t Let Your Reputation Get Too Low
Path Actions are unique abilities that every single character possesses. Sometimes, they can be used to solve sidequest — which you can learn about by talking to the barkeep in a tavern — or they can be used to get rare weapons or armor. Path Actions can be used on any NPC, and it’s always best to use Path Actions in the hero’s starting town.
There are multiple path actions — such as Steal, or Provoke. Steal lets you take items from NPCs, while Provoke begins a battle. If you fail a Path Action, you’ll lose reputation in the town. Every town has its own Reputation Level. Completing sidequests will improve your reputation, while failing Path Actions will lower it. Eventually, merchants will stop selling you items entirely if your reputation is too low.