Octopath Traveler has been on many RPG enthusiast’s radars over the past few days. Since Friday, it has basically consumed my life as I’ve been playing it, reading every article and tweet about it, as well as talking and writing about it. If you haven’t played Octopath Traveler yet, it should be noted that it’s a very story/character drive game. But perhaps one of the best parts of the game is the combat. It’s fun, strategic, the battle theme soundtracks are amazing, and leveling up characters is fun. Although, like most RPGs there is a way to be more efficient at combat and like games with a large party of characters to play as, some characters are better than others.
In Octopath Traveler, there are 8 characters to play as (what a surprise!) as well as 8 jobs that the characters can play as. Each character has a starting job that they’re stuck with the entire game. They can however, also acquire a subjob that they can switch between at any point, given they have gone to all the shrines and gotten the job they want to change to. Each character is also naturally better in some stats than other characters are. For example, Alfyn has very high health while Ophilia has high SP. Olberic has high physical attack while Cyrus has high elemental attack. You get my point. There are also different stats and variations of weapons, armour, and accessories that do more than boost defense and attack, so I’ll have to incorporate that as well. Also, as a disclaimer, just because a character isn’t on this list, doesn’t mean they aren’t good, they just may not be as good, versatile, or as helpful.
This Scholar is a must have on any team right off the bat. Due to his job being the “Black mage” of the group, he has access to 3 different types of elemental magic, can decipher one of the enemies weaknesses right at the start of battle, and has very high elemental attack and defense. His spells also target every monster on the battlefield right from the start, so he’s good at taking out multiple enemies at once. His passive skills also compliment his already high stats, such as Elemental Augmentation, which increases his elemental attack by 50. Also since Cyrus is a weak to physical attacks, Vim and Vigor is a great touch since it allows him to continuously regenerate health. Some drawbacks he has is that he does have low physical defense, doesn’t have the greatest amount of HP and he can’t hit very hard and is locked to staffs until you get side jobs. He’s your typical mage character, what can I say?
For a side job, I definitely recommend Cyrus being a cleric. It compliments his already high elemental statuses as well as giving his access to light magic and healing spells. It also gives him a higher pool of SP, and due to Cyrus being a mage character, as well as basically being useless in the physical department, he will pretty much only be using spells and some of them take a lot of SP, so more of it isn’t going to hurt. You also get access to some pretty good passive skills, Inner Strength, again lets you boost your maximum SP which will only further compliment Cyrus. Saving Grace also lets you heal your characters past their maximum health which really helps out Cyrus considering he has low physical defense and it gives you some extra hits before you die.
Overall, Cyrus is a great party member. His magical abilities will help you out a lot when trying to stun enemies, while also figuring out their weaknesses. He’s great at dealing a lot of damage which is good for ending fights soon and killing powerful bosses. Being a magical wall and cannon has its drawbacks, however. That canon turns into more of a glass canon when it comes to physical attacks. He also can’t deal a lot of physical damage himself and if you make him into a cleric, he is locked to only staffs. Using some accessories to increase his HP or SP pool is recommended but even still, he is almost necessary for many fights.
This legendary swordsman is basically the exact opposite of Cyrus. He has fantastic physical attack and defense, and also has the second best natural health stat in the game. Although he’s the warrior class, he’s much more akin to a paladin. His personal skill is “Bolster Defense” which lets him use his boost points in order to … boost his defence His warrior skill set also provokes enemies into attacking him, boosting his defense even more. His actual attacks are absolutely devastating and deal a ton of damage. He also has the Level Slash move from the beginning, which lets him attack all enemies; Again, killing and stunning enemies a lot quicker. His Abide skill also lets him do even more damage. They call this guy the “Unbending Blade” for a reason folks. His passive skill, Cover, can also be a huge life saver to some of your weaker units because it allows him to take the damage for them whenever they might be dealt a death blow. Again, more of a paladin than a warrior.
Olberic’s path action, Challenge, lets him fight most of the NPCs in the game. It means that, if you want, you can easily level Olberic up, compared to other units. His fights are also incredibly fun considering you have to do them with just him and not your full party. Fighting some NPCs can also lead to some great weapons or treasure, so it’s nice to have Olberic when exploring towns. God damn, those old ladies blocking doorways, I’ll beat the shit out of them.
When it comes to side jobs, Olberic has two pretty good options. The first is apothecary. He would get a pretty fantastic 20% boost to his health while also becoming even more of a physical tank due to using axes. The Last Stand skill will also be incredibly powerful, and allow Olberic to attack all enemies with an axe. This would also mean you have another character in your party who can heal, which is never a bad thing; Plus that 500 point boost to your health, because of the Hale and Hearty passive skill, it will make Olberic unstoppable. It would also give him access to at least one elemental skill, ice, even though he isn’t that powerful of a magic user.
The other good side job option for Olberic is thief. It gives him access to another weapon type as well as some good debuffs like armour corrode. Armour corrode is incredibly helpful for a character like Olberic who deals a lot of physical damage, which makes the thief job better for him. It would also give him better speed, which Olberic can suffer from if not given the right accessories. Perhaps the best part would be the HP Steal move that comes with the job. It deals a lot of damage while getting health back to its user, meaning Olberic won’t have to be healed as often. It’s really up to you which character gets what side job, but I believe Olberic would be even better being an apothecary or a thief.
Overall, Olberic is probably the greatest physical unit in your party. His high HP, attack and defense make him a force to be reckoned with when you use your BP correctly. His path action is both very useful for grinding levels and getting better weapons and equipment. Giving him accessories that boost his speed or evasion, and would really help him not get hit as often. His Bolster Defense move makes him incredibly hard to kill so you don’t have to worry about healing or reviving him often. Some of his downsides are that he has no magical abilities until he gains access to side jobs. Even when he does gain access to said abilities, his elemental attack is pretty low, along with his elemental defense. He also isn’t very fast compared to some other characters. Like I said, he’s pretty much the opposite of Cryus, a physical wall as well as a cannon. This unbending blade is necessary for any good party.
This sweetheart of a cleric is a great addition to any party. She is your main healer and is great at dealing a large amount of elemental damage. Her elemental defense and SP pool are the best in the game, which is good considering most of her abilities are quite expensive when it comes to SP. She’s a much better healer than Alfyn is because she can target all of the party, as well as revive multiple characters at once. She, like Cyrus, is locked to only staffs until you unlock some side jobs so she isn’t going to be hitting very hard. She’s essential for hard boss fights that will be beating down on your party members quite regularly because of her great healing qualities. She is also the only character that can cast light magic at the start of the game, and those light magic attacks are quite strong, due to her good magical stats.
The dancer job is pretty much made to complement Ophilia’s stats. She is never really going to be a hard hitter, so a support job like dancer only further compliments her. It allows her to boost ally’s strength, elemental attack, and even defense. This, along with Ophilia’s persistence skill could also be a great boost to her own stats. The dancer job is further boosted by The Show Goes On passive skill. It gives any buff you apply to an ally, an additional turn to persist. Second Wind also lets the user recover SP every turn, which for Ophilia, would be fantastic for her, due to all of her moves requiring SP and her large pool of SP. Scholar would also be a nice pick for Ophilia, but that would mean you have 2 party members that are pretty similar, and another character locked to just staffs. With dancer, at least you get access to daggers and dark magic, which gives you more options for stunning enemies.
Ophilia is easily the best healer, can take a ton of magical damage, and also has the best SP pool in the entire game. She is however, bogged down by a low health meter, low defense and physical attack. Her path action, guide, can be a great help in battle if she finds powerful allies. Her allies can also take damage for her which really helps if she’s about to be killed. She can be a great support unit as well as a great magic damage- dealer with her light magic. Maybe give her some accessories that boost her health or physical defense so she doesn’t get killed as often. She’s your best option for a healer which has earned her a spot as one of your best party members.
This wild huntress is very versatile in battle which makes her incredibly valuable. She’s a much more a physical unit but compared to Olberic. She’s much better at stunning enemies due to all the weapons she can use. Perhaps her greatest asset is her talent. She can capture monsters in battle to than use them herself against enemies. These monsters can be counted as different weapon types, as some of them count as swords, javelins, or any of the other weapon types. They can also do things like heal or provide buffs so she’s pretty good across the board. The huge downside, is that when you summon these monsters, you cannot target certain enemies on the field of battle; they either attack everyone, or just a random enemy. It really sucks when you’re trying to stun a certain enemy and your captured monster attacks the wrong person on the battlefield. The same goes for healing, as well. If you, for some reason, use H’annit to heal someone and you use a monster you have captured, there a 75% chance that it won’t heal the right person.
This huntress also has some other impressive stats to compliment her versatility. She has an incredibly high critical stat, which will allow her to land critical hits very often and do more than her normal amount of damage. She also has pretty decent speed and evasion and has access to lighting elemental attacks. She’s much more of a physical unit, but she has good stats all around. Her Eagle Eye and Second Serving skills will make her critical stat even higher, and allow her to sometimes attack twice. H’aanit is one hell of a party member.
As for a side job, H’aanit has two great options, thief or warrior. They’re both great because they give her access to 2 more weapon types. Thief lets her use another kind of elemental attack, fire. And would mean she could take more of a support role with Armour Corosse and SP steal and share. It would also compliment her already good speed and evasion. HP Thief is a very good move because it does a lot of damage, while also giving health back to its user. Warrior is the other good option because it gives H’aanit better health, attack, and physical defense. It would mean she only knows one type of elemental attack, but she could attack every enemy on the battlefield with level slash. Summon Strength and Surpassing Power will mean H’aanit is easily doing massive amounts of damage and ending battles pretty quickly.
H’aanit’s only real downsides are that she doesn’t have a lot of SP, and her magical abilities. She great makes up for these flaws by being incredibly versatile and by doing loads of damage. Her capturing talent means she can have a great variety of monsters that do many different things. It only sucks that she cannot target certain enemies. Her critical stat however, is the best in the game and means she will be doing a ton of damage. I’m sure she will be a great addition to your party.
Now obviously every character in this game is good at something and they are all useful. But due to their different talents, path actions and natural stats, some characters are better at things that others. Alfyn has fantastic health and is still a decent healer. Therion is incredibly fast and can do a decent amount of damage. Primrose is a fantastic support character and Tressa is a great damage dealer. All of these characters bring a lot to the table and they are all incredibly fun to play as. If you guys agree or disagree, let me know who your favorite party members are down in the comments! Remember to stay savvy!