Persona 5 Royal: How to unlock the new semester, end game prep, and more tips
Persona 5 Royal has a lot of new content, but most of it is kept till the end of the game. That being said, there is a lot more game here than there was in the original. Depending on what you did over the course of the game proper, you will have quite a bit more to do after taking down Yaldabaoth.
How to unlock the new semester
If you play through the game normally, things will transpire the same way they did in vanilla Persona 5. To unlock the new content, you will need to get several confidants to effectively max level before completing Sae Nijima’s palace. Luckily, those confidants are all the new confidants the game has to offer, so if you were interested in seeing new content you will likely just stumble into it.
Anyway, here are the requirements to unlock the new semester:
- Yoshisawa Kasumi’s faith confidant needs to be at level 5.
- Goro Akechi’s Justice confidant needs to be at level 8.
- Takuto Maruki’s counselor confidant needs to be at level 9.
Once you have achieves those prerequisites just play through the game as normal and appreciate the subtle differences. Then, once you have taken out Yaldabaoth at the end of the vanilla game, the new semester will start.
The start of the new semester is actually the roughest part. You won’t have access to your party, any stores, or the Velvet Room, and you’ll have quite a few battles and palace segments to go through before you gain access to them again, including a few challenging boss fights.
What this means is that you’ll have to prepare for your new semester before the final battle with Yaldabaoth. Here are a couple things to keep in mind.
You will gain access to two new party members at the beginning of the new semester, one male and one female. You should have equipment waiting for them in your inventory before the Yaldabaoth fight.
Your two new party members will have access to Curse and Bless skills, but you will be responsible for literally every other elemental affinity for quite some time. Make sure your persona roster is fleshed out with personas that cover all the bases, including one that is dedicated to healing.
It also makes sense to dump a bunch of cash into fusing a high-level persona during a fusion alarm. You get the ability to spend cash to break your level cap if you level up the strength arcana. Shoot for a persona of level 99 with powerful attack skills. You’ll probably want to fuse a persona with both a boost and amp skill and a top level spell that matches the boost and amp’s element.
You will actually be forced to infiltrate a palace several times before you gain access to your party, stores, and other things you had access to in the vanilla game. You’ll know that the new semester of content has truly begun when you see the “mission start” dialogue.
Once you gain the ability to freely roam Tokyo a few activities will open up to you. First, you can continue to raise the confidant levels of any confidant you hadn’t maxed by the end of the vanilla game. Second, the final five ranks of the faith confidant become unlocked. Finally, there is a new “rank 11” confidant event for each member of the Phantom Thieves.
You can and should max every other confidant before the new semester even starts. It’s very possible to do so with time to spare. All the advice from the original version of Persona 5 applies here. Always talk to confidants while carrying a persona of the same arcana. Quickly raise the fortune confidant to level 5 so you can use “affinity reading” to boost confidant levels without spending time. Consider maxing it to you can use the “special bond reading” to ensure you respond correctly during confidant events. Max the temperance confidant ASAP so you can spend free time on nights you go into palaces or mementos. Other than that, just spend every single day of your calendar raising a confidant rank if possible and you’ll get there.
You have very limited time in the new semester, but there is quite a bit you can do. First, you should prioritize maxing the faith confidant. This is a very important confidant for the events of the new semester, and is likely the only confidant you haven’t maxed at this point.
After that, spend a day each talking with each of your party members. Note that you can only spend daytime hours doing this, so at night either focus on darts to rank up your baton pass, the jazz club to raise your party members’ stats, or the gym to raise your max HP and SP.
If you maxed out all other confidants before the start of the new semester, you should be able to see all these events with about 6-8 days left on the timer to spare.
Each “rank 11” Phantom Thief event will unlock a third persona evolution for that character, along with a stat boost, a powered up trait, and an ultimate ability for them to learn. The only two characters you can’t get rank 11 events with are Akechi and Yoshizawa, however, If you max the faith confidant before the end of the semester, both these characters will get their third persona evolutions and ultimate abilities automatically as part of the story.
Mementos and end game preparation
The new semester unlocks a new section of Mementos which needs to be cleared in order to complete the game. While you may want to hit up Mementos early in the new semester, don’t. Wait until just before the deadline to make your Mementos dive (give yourself like 3 days of leeway). New Mementos requests open up as time passes and they have some hefty rewards attached, so you’ll want to be able to do them as you plumb the new depths.
At this point, there are a few things you really should do in Mementos. Maxing your level is probably the most important task.
Visit Jose and use stamps to turn up your XP bonus to max, followed by your money bonus. Then, just wander around the last section of Mementos, right before the Holy Grail area. Dash into enemies and you should kill them without even getting into a battle.
Do this until The Reaper shows up. The flu season despair trick doesn’t work anymore but if you are around level 75-80, you should be able to kill The Reaper the old fashioned way. With Jose’s XP boost, you will only need to beat The Reaper 5-ish times to get your whole party to level 99.
Then visit Jose again and take off your XP boost, since you won’t need it anymore. Instead, turn up your money and item boosts to max. To be fair, you probably won’t need either as you will one-shot most enemies at level 99 without a battle unless you are playing on the highest difficulties, but it’s still worth it.
Once you’ve gained enough cash through insta-win battles (it doesn’t take very long, but make sure to grind them instead of The Reaper because The Reaper grants you far more XP than money) head back to the Velvet Room during fusion alarms and itemize some of your more powerful personas for important equipment and armor. You should have more than enough money to just withdraw whatever you want from the compendium at this point. Your main party, at the very least, should have top tier weapons, armor, and guns. Note, that some of the best guns in the game will increase your base stats, which Is really important in this phase of the game.
After that, the only thing left to do is fuse your final roster of Personas and with all this extra money that shouldn’t be hard at all. It’s also worth noting, if you are going for 100 percent compendium completion, that certain personas only become available to be fused and captured during the new semester. So if you were missing gaps in your compendium, that’s why.
The final palace
It is nearly impossible to tell you what to do in the final palace without spoiling the end of the game heavily, and I’ve made it this far with minimal spoilers so I’m not gonna start now.
Instead, I’ll just give you a few tips.
If you are looking for will seeds, the first is in a cargo area, the second is in an area with spiral staircases, and the third is behind a color based bridge puzzle.
If you took my advice and leveled to 99 before entering the palace, you don’t actually have to fight at all. Just hold the run button and run into enemies to insta-kill them.
In the middle of the dungeon you will encounter a few q uiz based puzzles. You can get some items for answering these quizzes correctly, but they aren’t that great and in general the only penalty is fighting rather easy battles. So if you want to move forward, just choose whatever.
The final battle is an absurdly multi-form battle. In the final boss’s first two forms, he will summon tentacles to attack you, each with a different affinity. DO NOT simply use an AOE ability to get rid of them all at once. Instead, target each one by one to build up your Baton Pass and then let your final character, after several successful Baton Passes, fire off their most powerful attack. This is the only reliable way to deal damage that will outpace the boss’s healing, even better if you can manage to do this with stat ups/downs/charges in effect.
After you triumph over the final battle and sit through some very awesome end of game cutscenes, you’ll be treated to a similar end of game to the original, with just a few extra events. You’ll gain items for every confidant you maxed, allowing you to head into New Game + with hefty bonuses.
Enjoy your new semester with all the extra plot and bonuses that it has to offer, and if you are up for investing another 200 hours into a single RPG run-through, maybe start up New Game +!
Also… where the heck do you get all this time?