10 things to know before you start

A watercolor portrait of Frederica, Gustadolph, Thales, Erika and Geela.

Picture: Square-Enix

If you enter Triangle strategy thinking it’s gonna be like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics, then you are in a difficult period. Square Enix’s latest turn-based strategy game is actually no more of those. He draws heavily from Tactical and Octopathcorn Triangle is solidly its own beast. If you’re thinking of trying out the game, here are some tips to get you started.

Let your allies die

Anyone who’s played the old Fire Emblem games knows how to instantly reload when one of their units goes down if you’re playing permadeath. Turn-based tactics games have tons of chapters, and losing even a single character can lead to significant pain on more difficult maps.

There is no permanent death in Triangle, and the game is scaled harder for it. So don’t punish yourself by reloading immediately when one of your soldiers bites the dust. They’ll be fine, as long as they weren’t a key character you had to protect during specific maps.

Watch your back, literally

You can take extra back damage in this game. If your character is surrounded by an enemy on either side, they can get stabbed in the back and attacked twice. You don’t want that to happen. When you finish your turn, you can choose which way to stand. Ideally, you want your back to be facing a wall or another ally.

A word of warning: you can still get stabbed by archers from above. Use this weakness to your advantage, but don’t assume your back is always safe either.

Pay attention to the move order

Watch the bar at the bottom of your screen and frequently check the order numbers on the units. I know it’s boring to follow 20 or 30 people at once, but it’s important for the survival of your army. It doesn’t matter if your tank has very high defense if there are 10 enemies attacking before your healer can reach them (sorry, Erador…).

If you’re in a tight spot, use Serenoa or Jens to delay enemy turns. Alternatively, you can use Benedict’s ability to make an ally move immediately.

Triangular strategy map with Serenoa's movement range highlighted.

Screenshot: Square-Enix

Pay attention to the height

Generally, attacks will deal more damage if you are at a higher altitude than your opponent. But beware: if you’re too high, then some attacks and abilities won’t be able to hit the enemy, even if your character is right next to an enemy unit.

Laugh Early and Laugh Often

I’ve had really bad luck with maps where faster enemies were dealing critical damage to my characters before they even had a chance to move or self-heal. You can fix this by giving Erador the Vanguard Sash, which ensures your most tanky character has first move in combat. Once he taunts the nearest enemies with his modest AoE, you can move the rest of your army around without worrying that they’ll all be wiped out immediately.

Don’t sleep on Benoit

Benoît is the steward responsible for the protagonist. I was annoyed at him for a very long time because his advice was never funny, but it was always correct. It also has a very short attack range and no offensive capabilities to speak of. Yeah, I didn’t like Benedict at all.

It wasn’t until the later cards that I realized I was wrong to overlook it. This man is one of the most tanky main characters in the game. He has to be, since he is the buffer of the party. Need more range of motion? More damage? Defense? Need a specific character to move immediately? This man can do anything. Battlefield conditions are constantly changing, so you need his buff abilities to adapt to each situation. Did I mention he’s unkillable? Yeah. Even if you’re not using Benedict now, you should keep it upgraded in case you need it later.

Use Anna For Big Chip Damage

Anna is the party’s spy character. She can poison enemies from a distance and then stealthily vanish in the same turn. Be sure to use this tactic wisely on dangerous maps.

Don’t bother with Medina and Picoletta if you’re low on funds

Medina is one of the healers you can pick up throughout the story, and Picoletta can expand the range of your offensive items. The only problem is that there is not a lot of money available in this game (or at least in the first run). I found myself spending most of my gold on weapon upgrades, and healing items were an afterthought. Besides, I’m miserly. If you’re going to tell me I have to pay to use a character to their full potential, then… I’m just not going to use them.

Sir Maxwell and Avlora face off in a duel.

Screenshot: Square-Enix

Play mind games with yourself

If you’ve gone through several chapters wondering why you feel like you’re underleveled all the time, it’s probably because you are. If you go to the Camp menu, you can talk to the bartender in the top right corner. There you can play “Mental Mock Battles” where you try out strategies against fake enemies. And yes, imagining fake battles earns you EXP and loot.

Don’t just choose the third answer

In Triangle, you can influence the opinion of your party members by talking to them before votes on major items. Please note that the correct answer is not always the last one. Or the answer that was just unlocked. You really have to listen to each character’s concerns and consider what their values ​​are. You know, like you do with your real friends.

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