Persona 5 Royal is finally coming to Xbox on October 21st, launching on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. It’s also out on PC, Nintendo Switch and PS5, allowing more people to experience one of the best RPGs ever. Let’s look at 15 things you should know before playing.
Story and Setting
At its core, Persona 5 is about rebellion, freedom and the meaning of one’s existence. The plot sees the protagonist transferring to Shujin Academy in Tokyo after falsely being accused of assault. Things are far from ideal due to a corrupt volleyball coach named Kamoshida. The protagonist eventually enters the Velvet Room, meets Igor, gains access to the Metaverse, and joins up with the mysterious Morgana.
He goes on to awaken his Persona Arsene and form the Phantom Thieves with friends Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki. They aim to steal a target’s “Treasure,” changing their hearts and ultimately battling against the corruption that’s gripping the city. As the story progresses, more characters will join the Phantom Thieves and bolster their ranks.
New Story Content and Kichijoji
Of course, that’s the base game’s story, which can take about 100 hours to beat. Royal adds even more story content with a new semester to play through. There are also new story cutscenes, bonding events, additional character scenes, and new endings. A new location, Kichijoji, has also been added, which is the biggest in the game. It has a club for playing darts and partaking in events with billiards and karaoke, along with shops that offer new services and items.
New Party Member
The new story content involves a new playable character, Kasumi Yoshizawa. Despite being an excellent gymnast, she’s somewhat clumsy but also friendly and cheerful. Initially opposed to the Phantom Thieves, she eventually joins them, adopting the codename Violet. We won’t spoil everything here – and there is a lot to discover – but Kasumi is an excellent addition to the roster, and it’s well worth experiencing her tale first-hand.
New Palace, New Areas in Old Palaces, and Will Seeds
Palaces serve as the main dungeons of Persona 5, each offering unique enemies, mechanics and aesthetics based on the boss. Persona 5 Royal not only adds a brand new Palace to the already-packed roster but also adds new areas to some of the old ones. The player can also collect a new hidden currency called Will Seeds which restores some of the party’s SP. Find three of them in one Palace, and you’ll receive a unique accessory. They offer powerful benefits, from nullifying the wearer’s weaknesses to automatically activating certain skills at the start of a battle.
Persona 5 also has Mementos, a multi-path optional dungeon for leveling up, gathering items and strengthening Persona throughout the story. The Phantom Thieves can also take on Mementos Requests, which involve defeating specific Shadows in Mementos. Royal expands on the location’s size while adding new side quests, flowers that can be exchanged at a new shop, and Stamps which can provide permanent bonuses to EXP, money, and items earned.
Combat in the base game was already pretty good, but Persona 5 Royal ups the ante in numerous ways. Ammo is restocked after each battle, providing more incentive to use guns; Baton Pass has been improved and is available for everyone from the outset; and stats and skills have been adjusted for some Persona. It also adds Ultimate Persona for every party member, new Showtime attacks that two characters can perform to deal devastating damage, new weapons and armor, new Personas, and more.
Of course, those looking to test their skills can try out new Challenge Battles in the Velvet Room. These consist of Trials with different rounds of enemies to earn high scores. Fulfilling bonus objectives adds more points and score multipliers. Perform well enough, and you can earn rewards like Skill Cards, equipment, and whatnot. There are also DLC trials that provide even tougher encounters, including characters from other Persona titles as bosses.
New to Royal, the Thieves Den is your personal hub. You can unlock different items, including statues of Personas, decorate the space, and invite allies that you’ve bonded with. Awards in categories like Confidant, Battle, School, and Other can also be obtained and displayed on the walls. There’s also a Gallery for checking images and sprites, concept art, and promotional art, along with a Movie section for past live concerts, PV trailers, animated cutscenes, and more. Of course, you can also listen to all the music, including the 30 new tracks added in Royal.
New Game Plus Changes
In Persona 5, New Game Plus allowed for carrying over Social Stats, Money, Skill Cards, equipment, accessories, the Compendium, playtime, and any gifts received. Royal expands on this further with HP and SP from training, meditation and leveling Confidants, gun customization, Challenge Battle Scores, Mementos Stamps, boss affinities, and much more also carrying over. In terms of new content, there’s a new super boss to take on in New Game Plus and additional costumes for a fan-favorite character.
On PC, Persona 5 Royal requires an Intel Core i7-4790 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 3.5 GHz, 8 GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2 GB or Radeon R7 360 2 GB. This will deliver 720p/60 FPS gameplay at Low settings, though a CPU with AVX and SSE4.2 instruction set is also needed. For 1080p/60 FPS gameplay at High settings, the requirements are the same, except you’ll need a GTX 760 2 GB, Radeon HD 7870 2 GB or something better. It also requires 41 GB of installation space.
No PS4 to PS5 Upgrades
Persona 5 Royal releasing on PS5 is good news since it allows PlayStation players to experience the game in 4K/60 FPS. However, the bad news is that there is no free or paid option for PS4 owners to upgrade to the PS5 version. If you want to experience the game on PS5, you’ll need to buy it again at full price and start over from the beginning.
Smart Delivery and VRR on Xbox Series X
The Xbox versions support Smart Delivery and cloud saves. So even if you jump into the game on Xbox One, you can transfer progress or upgrade to the Xbox Series X or S without paying extra. Variable Refresh Rate is also supported on Xbox Series X, so the PS5 version will likely offer the same.
4K Ultra HD on Xbox Series X and PS5
Both current-gen versions will also support 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. It’s unknown whether higher frame rates – like 120 FPS at 1440p or 1080p resolution – will be implemented or what other visual improvements Atlus will make. But suffice it to say that the current-gen versions will look very good in 4K/60 FPS.
Includes all Previous DLC
All previous DLC from Persona 5 is included with Royal for free. This means a wide range of outfits and BGM from Persona 2, 3 and 4, along with Persona 4 Dancing All Night and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. Additional outfits like school uniforms, Christmas outfits and more, along with Merciless difficulty (though this is available in Royal by default). Of course, this doesn’t include all of the new DLC introduced with Persona 5 Royal, though prices on other platforms haven’t been announced.
Love it or hate it, Game Pass is proving to be extremely beneficial in providing exposure to developers. Persona 5 Royal will be available on day one of the service when it launches. It’s an incredible deal and also exposes a new audience to the series, hopefully building up a fanbase that will check out Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden when those eventually release.