Persona 5 Tactica: Everything We Know About the JRPG Spinoff

Persona 5 Tactica takes the beloved Phantom Thieves on a tactical strategy adventure. Here's everything we know about it.
Persona 5 Tactica

Persona 5 Tactica is the latest spinoff title from Atlus that features the beloved cast of characters from Persona 5. Since their debut in the original 2016 RPG, the Phantom Thieves have been dungeon crawling, dancing, and fighting in massive, real-time battles, Now, in Tactica, they’re off for a chibi adventure in turn-based tactics.

Announced at the Xbox Games Showcase 2023 (but not before being accidentally leaked by Atlus beforehand), Tactica is notable for being the first Persona spin-off title to be developed internally at P-Studio, which handles the mainline Persona RPGs. Given that the Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) series has often dabbled in excellent turn-based tactics games (SMT being the RPG series which Persona itself is a spinoff from), there’s naturally an extra degree of anticipation within the Persona community.



Story and Setting

Persona 5 Tactica screenshot
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Like the other series spinoffs, Persona 5 Tactica takes place during the events of the Persona 5. The Phantom Thieves find themselves whisked off to a French Revolution-themed Metaverse called The Kingdoms, and encounter a new antagonistic group called the Legionnaires, led by a woman named Marie.

All the group members are brainwashed, with the exception of the player character (Joker) and talking cat Morgana, who are rescued by an opposing faction called the Rebel Corps and their leader Erina.

When Erina takes Joker and Morgana back to the Rebel Corps headquarters, they’re shocked to find that it looks exactly like Café Leblanc in the real world – the curry and coffee house owned by Sojiro Sakura, where Joker also resides.

In addition to a French Revolution-themed world, one based on mid-1800s Feudal Japan has also been detailed. Here, the Phantom Thieves will run into a woman called Yuki, who purports that the Kingdom’s ruler, Yoshiki, is not the warm, loving leader he claims to be. Yuki reveals that the kingdom is a fascist police state under constant surveillance, the team promises to help its citizens (with the help of some stealthy disguise work).

And so, the thrust of Persona 5 Tactica revolves around rescuing your fellow Phantom Thieves and uncovering the mystery of these strange alternate universes.


New Characters

Marie

Image: P-Studio / Atlus

The primary antagonist of Persona 5 Tactica, Marie rules The Kingdoms and oversees the military organisation, the Legionnaires. According to Atlus, her primary motivation is to… get married.

Early on, Joker and Morgana meet a character called Toshihiro Kasukabe, a real-world politician who find himself in The Kingdoms, but has no idea how he got there. Atlus has insinuated that it’s him Marie wants to marry – but to what end?

Erina

Persona 5 Tactica screenshot
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Erina is the leader of the revolutionary Rebel Corps, an organisation working to fight against Marie and her Legionnaires. She rescues Joker and Morgana, and strikes a deal to worth with them to take Marie down.

Atlus describes her as a confident and gung-ho personality who rushes in to destroy justice, at the cost of caution. Her English voice actor is newcomer Leeanna Albanese.

Toshiro Kasukabe

Kasukabe is a young and rising member of the Japanese government, supposedly pitched to be the next Prime Minister of the country. However, he finds himself in the Metaverse without any knowledge of how and why he is there. He’s quickly rescued by Joker and Morgana early on, and tags along at the start of their adventure.

Atlus describes him as hyper-rational, objective personality, which feeds into his traits as a strong but risk-averse strategist.


Combat Mechanics

Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Persona 5 Tactica is a combat-orientated RPG, with its battles being turn-based, taking place on grid-based maps, with the player’s party being restricted to three characters.

Firearms, melee attacks, positioning, and cover all play an integral part of the strategies at play here, as do the traditional elements of Persona RPGs like elemental weaknesses, and the ‘Press Turn’ system, which rewards you with extra actions for exploring weaknesses.

Elevation plays a big part, as being above your enemy will give you an advantage, including the ability to knock them down if you perform a melee attack. Additioanlly, if you knock an enemy into one of your teammates, they will deal extra damage.

Another key consideration is the fact that you can switch between characters during each turn, meaning you can move freely within your character’s range, and set up attack orders, executing it all when you finalise your turn.

All-out attacks also make a return in the form of Triple Threat attack, wherein you position your 3 characters to create a triangle, and deal damage to all enemies within it.

However, there are some new concepts at play, too.

Cover

Persona 5 Tactica screenshot
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Like a lot of modern turn-based tactics games created in the wake of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) by Firaxis Games, Persona 5 Tactica utilises a cover system.

Having your characters take cover behind obstacles will reduce the potential damage they can take during the enemy faction’s turn to move and attack. Tactica appears to use half-cover and full-cover systems for varying degrees of protection.

If a character or enemy gets attacked while they are not in cover, the aggressor will gain a ‘One More’, allowing them an extra action. Needless to say, cover is very important.

Using melee attacks against enemies can knock them out of cover, leave them vulnerable to more damaging attacks, and allow extra actions. Some characters like Morgana also have special abilities that can force enemies out of cover.

Elemental Effects

Persona 5 Tactica screenshot
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Like other SMT and Persona games, the magical abilities in Persona 5 Tactica all play host to elemental damage and have the potential to inflict useful status effects on enemies.

Ones that Atlus have shared include using the fire spell Agi to cause Burn on enemies, which will see them take damage at the end of their turns. In a similar vein, casting the lighting spell Zio has the potential to shock enemies, and make them unable to move for one turn.

Voltage

Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Voltage is a new concept for Persona 5 Tactica, and serves as a meter that you charge during combat in order to utilise character-specific skills.

Taking the form of a star-shaped gauge, the Voltage meter fills up every time you hit an enemy or get hit yourself. Once it’s full, you can choose to execute a powerful ability, which can have effects ranging from damage to supporting abilities – like knocking enemies out of cover, and area of effect attacks.


Additional Gameplay Mechanics

Skill Tree and Growth Points

Persona 5 Tactica will utilise a skill tree to unlock abilities for each character as you progress through the game’s battles, with each character having their own unique skill tree with various branches you can pursue.

Overcoming battles or participating in social events will unlock Growth Points (GP), which can be used to spend on the skill tree to enhance HP and SP, character damage, or Persona abilities.

Additionally, GP usage can be reset for free at any time, so you can build your character differently if you’ve made a mistake or need to change your strategies for an upcoming battle.

>Persona 5 Tactica screenshot
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Talk Events

Social interactions are a major part of the Persona series, and Tactica takes a similar approach to the other Persona spinoff games by separating conversations into ‘Talk’ events, which can be instigated when your party is at the hideout.

Atlus promises new topics and situations that have never been explored with these beloved characters, who Persona fans already have very intimate knowledge of.

You can, of course, also get to know new character Erina in a similar fashion, and completing Talk events will earn you Growth Points to spend on skill trees.

Persona Fusions

Of course, no Shin Megami Tensei game is complete without the ability to fuse Personas. Tactica is no exception.

As you collect new Personas throughout the game, you’ll be able to fuse them into each other to both grow their power, and carry across skills and abilities.

The Velvet Room returns as Persona’s place of fusion, and the attendant is Lavenza (from Persona 5 Royal), who now sports blacksmith attire for some unknown reason.

Difficulty Settings

Turn-based tactical RPGs are usually notorious for their high levels of challenge, but Persona 5 Tactica looks to incorporate a number of difficulty features that can scale up and down. A big one in the Baton Pass, allowing you to immediately sub in a downed character with one from your reserves.

In total, there a 5 difficulty settings – Safety, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Risky.


Release Date, Platforms, DLC, Editions, and Pre-Order Bonuses

Release Date

Persona 5 Tactica will be released on 17 November 2023.

Platforms:

Persona 5 Tactica will release on all current platforms, including:

  • PC
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PS4
  • PS5
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X

The game will also be made available on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on release.

Editions

Persona 5 Tactica will be available in 3 editions

  • Standard Edition Package (USD $59.99)
    • A physical retail edition that comes with the base game.
    • Only available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
  • Standard Edition Download (USD $59.99)
    • The base game in digital download format.
    • Available for all platforms.
  • Digital Deluxe Edition Download (USD $79.99)
    • Includes the base game in digital download format and three DLC packs:
      • Repaint Your Heart Challenge Pack
      • Picaro Summoning Pack & Raoul Persona
      • Weapon Pack
    • Available for all platforms.

All DLC packs will be available for individual purchase.

DLC Pack Details

Here’s what’s included in every DLC pack currently announced for Persona 5 Tactica.

Persona 5 Tactica – Repaint Your Heart Challenge Pack

Persona 5 Tactica DLC - Picaro Summoning Pack & Raoul
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

The Persona 5 Tactica Repaint Your Heart Challenge Pack features new game modes and additional characters, along with ‘new battles with dynamic stages’.

Goro Akechi (Persona 5) and Kasumi Yoshizawa (Persona 5 Royal) return in this story, which involves tracking down an anonymous graffiti artist who somehow knows about the existence of Personas, and Arsene specifically.

The official Atlus description also describes the content as featuring:

  • Brutal Challenge Stages with exclusive clear conditions.
  • Unique unit formations added to subsequent playthroughs.

Persona 5 Tactica – Picaro Summoning Pack & Raoul

Persona 5 Tactica DLC - Picaro Summoning Pack & Raoul
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

The Persona 5 Tactica – Picaro Summoning Pack & Raoul provides ‘Picaro’ versions of a number of key Personas in the game. These Personas will be free to summon within the game for the first time once purchased, though it’s not clear what advantages Picaro versions of these Personas offer.

The pack includes:

  • Persona: Thanatos Picaro
  • Persona: Orpheus Picaro (female)
  • Persona: Athena Picaro
  • Persona: Messiah Picaro
  • Persona: M. Izanagi Picaro
  • Persona: Kaguya Picaro
  • Persona: Izanagi-no-Okami Picaro
  • Persona: Ariadne Picaro
  • Persona: Asterius Picaro
  • Persona: Tsukiyomi Picaro
  • Persona: Raoul

Persona 5 Tactica – Weapon Pack

Persona 5 Tactica DLC - Weapon Pack
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

The Persona 5 Tactica Weapon pack comes with a collection of unique weapon skins. They include:

  • Picaro Sand Hawk
  • Picaro Levinson M31
  • Picaro Slingbow
  • Picaro Machine Gun
  • Picaro Assault Rifle
  • Picaro Revolver
  • Picaro G Launcher
  • Picaro Machine Pistol
  • Two additional weapons

Pre-order Bonuses

Persona 5 Tactica Pre-order Bonuses
Image: P-Studio / Atlus

Those who pre-order Persona 5 Tactica will be given two additional Personas within the game: Orpheus Picaro and Izanagi Picaro. Notably, these are the two Personas wielded by the protagonists in Persona 3 and Persona 4 respectively.


Trailers

Persona 5 Tactica – Announcement Trailer

Persona 5 Tactica – Character Spotlight 1

Mona Character Trailer (Japanese)

Elle Character Trailer (Japanese)

Skull Character Trailer (Japanese)

Panther Character Trailer (Japanese)

Toshiro Character Trailer (Japanese)

Promotional Video #2 (Japanese)

Fox Character Trailer (Japanese)

Yoshiki Kingdom + Repaint Your Heart DLC Deep Dive (Japanese)

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran