The Persona series is full of incredible mainline entries, as well as many notable spinoffs. There are the rhythm games: Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, Persona 4: Dancing All Night, and, Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight; The Persona Q first-person dungeon crawlers; and even a Dynasty Warriors-style game with Persona 5 Strikers. All of these games are amazing in their own right, but none of them pit your favorite characters in head-to-head, fast-paced fights full of special moves and flashy counters. That distinction is held for the Persona 4 Arena games, and this year, we finally have the modern console release of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax after 8 long years. If you didn’t play the game upon its original release, you have some catching up to do, and I have a few tips in this Beginner’s Guide that will hopefully get you up to speed.
Take Time To Select Your Main
Much of your time in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will be spent getting comfortable with your main character, learning their ins and outs, and what they are capable of. To do that, you might have to go through the whole roster of over 20 characters to find someone who jives with your personal style.
It’s recommended that you do this first before getting too invested in the game, as each character is wholly unique, and things you learn with one character won’t necessarily carry over to a different character.
Once you find your main, you will be able to get a better understanding of the game’s many systems as they relate to that specific character you chose.
Get Comfortable With Blocking
If Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is your entry point to fighting games, you may be behind the rest of the pack as far as knowledge on fighting game inputs. If this is you, I’ll save you some trouble right off the bat: hold back to block.
“Back” is in relation to your character, so if it is facing right, you’ll hold left on the D-pad and vice versa.
Holding back is your neutral position block, which will protect you from high attacks. To block low attacks, you will hold the down button on the D-pad.
You will be able to block the majority of attacks, but there are a few attacks that are unblockable. For these attacks, you will have to get out of the way quickly to avoid taking that damage. You will know when an unblockable attack is coming when your character has two exclamation points over its head as your opponent winds up its attack.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a fairly complex game with many mechanics and systems working and playing off of each other at all times.
At first, you shouldn’t get too overwhelmed by everything happening on screen. Over time, you will begin to understand everything and how to deal with certain mechanics.
To start off, you should know a few basic offensive options. These will get your foot in the door and allow you to be competitive while you’re still learning.
First, you have your normal A and B attacks (the actual buttons for these will depend on your platform). A attacks are weak and fast, and B attacks are strong but slow. If you tap A quickly, you will be able to do Auto Combos.
If you press A+B in a neutral state, you will do an All-Out Rush attack. You can also mash A+B during the attack for extra hits.
If you hold down on the D-pad and press A+B, you will do a sweep attack that will knock enemies off their feet.
Use Your Persona
It wouldn’t be a Persona game without the titular spirit warriors to aid you in fights, and thankfully Persona 4 Arena Ultimax makes excellent use of Personas.
Each character has access to Persona attacks, and they are tied to your C and D inputs. You can use these attacks at any time, but they use your Persona Gauge. When this gauge runs out from use or from your Persona taking damage, you will need to wait for it to replenish before you can use it again.
Each Persona and its uses are as different as the characters themselves, but Persona attacks are typically long-range and used to keep your opponent at a distance.
Utilize Challenge Mode
The game has a Lesson Mode and a Training Mode for teaching you the basics of the game and how things work. These are incredibly useful for new players, and I recommend going through them at least once.
But, because of its name, many will skip over the Challenge Mode, thinking it’s just for pros. This is not the case. Challenge mode can be just as helpful in helping you to become proficient as both Lesson and Training Mode. Think of it as level three of your training.
I hope the tips in this guide help you on your way to becoming a Persona 4 Arena Ultimax pro. Then, you can take your skills online and show everyone how far you’ve come!