Persona 3 Portable: 9 Beginner Tips
- Save Often – Both Quick And Manually
- Watch TV On Sundays For Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities
- Focus On Your Schoolmates' Social Links While School Is In Session
- Some Social Links Have Skill Locks
- Grind Between Full Moon Operations
- Equip Your Party At The Police Station
- Take Velvet Room Requests, But Be Mindful Of Their Due Dates
- Make Use Of Teleporters On Mini-Boss Floors In Tartarus
- Fuse Often And Keep Your Compendium Current
Persona 3 Portable was the first game to bridge what was the Shin Megami Tensei series into the modern Persona we all know and love. And while most games see players going through chronologically, the smash-success of Persona 5 Royal has brought many players back to three for another taste of the franchise they adore.
But with P3P being the bridging game, it’s got a lot of elements with which modern fans of the series may be unfamiliar. For a list of tips and tricks to keep in mind as you dive into Persona 3 Portable, we’ve got you covered.
Our guides try to avoid them where possible, but they may still contain spoilers for the story of Persona 3 Portable.
Save Often – Both Quick And Manually
In the original Persona 3, players were often stunted by how few options they had for saving the game.
Now, with Persona 3 Portable, not only do you have more manual save options than the vanilla release of the game, but you can also quick save as well.
Manual saves are the safest way to be sure that your data is secure, as quick save data can be erased. Nothing sucks more than losing a few days of progress to power outages or technical hiccups, so it’s always better safe than sorry!
You can manually save from a few places:
- The sign-in sheet on the front desk at Iwatodai Dormitory
- The clock at the entrance to Tartarus
- Your desk in your classroom at Gekkoukan High
Quick saves can be performed from the submenu. They’ll save your data and bring you to the title screen, so use them in a pinch and be sure to manually save when you come back into the game.
Watch TV On Sundays For Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities
President Tanaka is easily one of the shadiest people in the entirety of the Persona series, but god-damn it if he’s not kind of charming.
Among other things, he’s the host of Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities, a home shopping program that airs every Sunday. You can order from President Tanaka by watching television on Sunday morning.
His show often features items you’d not find anywhere else, larger quantities of good dungeon-crawling items than you can't buy around Iwatodai, and he stocks everything from snacks to weapons.
However, you may receive a phone call from a friend on Sunday morning, since you don’t have school.
In order to watch Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities, you’ll need to turn down your social link invitations. If you agree, you'll leave the dorm immediately and cannot watch the program that morning
Focus On Your Schoolmates' Social Links While School Is In Session
With 24 arcana to cover, Persona 3 Portable offers a buffet of options for you when it comes to making friends and spending time with social links.
Your social links will be with people all around Iwatodai, both Gekkoukan students and residents alike.
Everyone has a prescribed time during which they’re available, but you’ll notice that, when school isn’t in session, your classmate social links are harder to find.
You’ll have a summer break, like high school students do, in which you’re not going to school. For the most part, your social links with other Gekkoukan students will be largely unavailable during this time.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to work on your classmate social links early. They’re around multiple times a week, and if you’re about to rank up their social link, they’ll find you during lunch to ask you to hang out with them after school.
This is a good way to know who will rank up without running around checking, so keep it in mind when planning your schedule.
Your SEES teammates and the non-students you’re getting to know around Iwatodai don’t have the same schedule limitations as your other classmates.
And with them having open schedules, save them until school isn’t in session!
Some Social Links Have Skill Locks
And while there are an impressive number of social links to spend time with, keep in mind that not everyone begins their social link immediately. There are characters you’ll come across who won’t hang out until you hit a social skill requirement.
This can be a pain, as your social links are how you fuse even stronger Personas according to your ranking with that arcana. And without the corresponding social link started, Personas of that arcana gain no additional points upon fusion.
Therefore, it’s important to at least get your social links started quickly to maximize the points you can earn. You then gain more points toward your fusions in that arcana for every rank the social link advances throughout the game.
However, there are a number of characters who won’t hang out with you before one of your three social skills are at a certain level.
Additionally, the characters’ social skill requirement will sometimes be different between the two protagonists.
Social Links With Skill Locks In P3P
Earliest Social Link Start Date
Andre Laurent Jean Geraux (Bebe)
Rank 6 (Max)
Male Protagonist: Rank 4
Female Protagonist: Rank 2
Male Protagonist: Rank 6 (Max)
Female Protagonist: (no skill lock)
Male Protagonist: Rank 6 (Max)
Female Protagonist: Rank 2
Female Protagonist: Rank 6 (Max)
Rank 4 Courage
Male Protagonist: after Rank 4 of the Strength social link
Female Protagonist: after Rank 3 of the Chariot social link
Grind Between Full Moon Operations
While a lot of what you’ll do in your free time in Persona is every bit the slice-of-life story we know and love in JRPGs, battling in Tartarus is the central mechanic in the series. After all, that is where you guys are using your Personas.
But players expecting a cakewalk through the imposing 264 main floors of the tower are in for a shock, since the enemies get harder as you go up.
Because of this, we can’t recommend enough that you spend time grinding in Tartarus between your central Full Moon Operations.
Boss shadows attack on each full moon, but before that date, you’ve got time to train up your team to fight back.
Before going into Tartarus, though, be sure you check your teammates’ conditions, as lower condition hinders their performance in battle.
For more info on Conditions in Tartarus, check out our Complete Guide to Conditions.
Equip Your Party At The Police Station
If you head to Paulownia Mall and head into the police station, you'll find you can purchase all sorts of great new equipment for your entire team.
For each member of SEES, you can give them a new weapon, armor, or accessory, all of which offers a sprawling list of benefits in combat.
Check what each item does before deciding on what to use, as items with lower stats may also have some awesome additional benefits.
And while it’s exciting when a new person joins the party, before you bring them into Tartarus, it’s incredibly important to equip your new party members before you use them.
Everyone joins your team wearing their general outfit, so it’s up to you to give them the best weaponry and armor. It’s irritating to get into Tartarus and realize someone is taking massive damage because everyone else is wearing armor while they’re wearing a school uniform!
While you can find these items throughout Tartarus, the police station usually has the best stuff you can currently use.
The station has a sale every Monday that slashes Officer Kurosawa's prices. If you can wait to shop on sale days, it's a great way to save cash!
New items become available in one of two ways: when you pass a certain calendar date, or when you reach a certain player level as you grind in Tartarus.
And while weapons and armor have the most immediate effect, be sure to check out Officer Kurosawa’s impressive list of accessories as well. They can do things like offer elemental boosts, extra HP or SP, or even help you dodge certain elements entirely.
Always be sure your team is fully equipped before heading into Tartarus!
Take Velvet Room Requests, But Be Mindful Of Their Due Dates
Regardless of which of the Velvet Room assistants you chose to be with you throughout your adventure in Persona 3 Portable – Elizabeth or Theodore – they’ll both routinely offer you requests if you speak to them in the Velvet Room.
Some have strict deadlines which can and will lock you out of completing a request, while others are open-ended and can be completed at any point before the end of the game.
The deadline for each request is displayed when you claim it. You can take three requests at one time, so plan carefully which ones you’re currently doing.
If you accidentally select a request or find you’re unable to complete it, you can cancel the request, but it will cost in yen to do so.
However, for all the stress, there is always a pretty sweet reward. The rewards for the requests can be anything from yen to armor to skill cards, and the reward is shown at the bottom of the request screen. If there’s something you’ve got your eye on, be sure to take on that request!
The requests are a great way to obtain new items, some of which you can’t get otherwise, and most of the requests will be for things you’re already doing anyway. Make smart use of the requests to earn yourself some sweet rewards.
Make Use Of Teleporters On Mini-Boss Floors In Tartarus
With Tartarus as massive as it is, Atlus would be silly to make you run through every floor each time you wanted to go into the Dark Hour. So, they gave you a shortcut: teleporters.
On the floors on which you encounter mini-boss fights throughout Tartarus, before you begin the battle, be sure to activate the teleporter on that floor first, even if you don’t intend to use it right then.
You can’t use teleporters until they’ve been manually activated, and they serve essentially as an elevator to take you as close to where you’re trying to go in Tartarus as possible.
The access points on normal floors are not the same thing as teleporters.
If you leave via an access point, when you return to Tartarus, you’ll need to take the teleporter to the floor closest to where you’d been and work your way back.
The teleporters are spread pretty evenly throughout Tartarus, so be sure to activate any you see.
There’s a lot to do at the entrance – using the Velvet Room, the clock, or even switching out your party-members mid-adventure if need be – so it’s better to have the option to quickly jump back than to not. Use them to go back if you need!
Fuse Often And Keep Your Compendium Current
It should come as no surprise that your impressive stock of Personas is the main focus of the game, and to keep them all straight as you welcome more and more into your heart, you’ll need to fuse new Personas relatively often.
Your stock expands as you get stronger until eventually, your protagonist can hold 12 unique Personas. But with so many in the Compendium – 173 total, to be exact – you’ll need to cycle out the old to make room for the new.
Thankfully, not only do you use Personas to battle, but they’re also the ingredients to make new Personas. Visit your Velvet Room attendant and tell them you’d like to fuse Personas, and they’ll help you through the process.
And as you’re creating and finding new Personas, and leveling them up as you ascend through Tartarus, be sure you visit the Velvet Room to register your Personas to the Compendium.
As your Personas learn new skills and abilities, you’ll need to update their registration if you’d like to withdraw them again knowing that new skill.
If you don’t, the Compendium will default to the last Persona of that kind you registered, even if you’ve evolved a different one and used it in fusion or threw it out for a new card before registering it.
Not registering a strengthened or leveled-up Persona will essentially erase your progress with that Persona, so be sure to always register before fusing!
After you’ve used a Persona as an ingredient, you can also withdraw the Personas from the Compendium.
This will cost you in yen, with stronger Personas becoming more expensive pretty quickly, but it’s a good way to keep your roster current.
When getting Personas that match the arcana of social links you're spending time with, their level doesn't matter.
If you don't intend to use the Persona in battle, there's nothing wrong with grabbing a cheap one for the express purpose of earning bonus affinity with social links. They don't care about the level, just the arcana, so save yen where you can.
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