Is Persona 5 A Turn-Based Jrpg? A Close Look At The Game’S Combat

With its slick aesthetics and smooth jazz-inspired soundtrack, Persona 5 brings some fresh style to the tried-and-true Japanese RPG formula. But does this stylish game stick to old-school turn-based combat or modernize with a real-time system?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Persona 5 utilizes a turn-based combat system, with some real-time elements mixed in.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll take a close look at how combat works in Persona 5 to help you understand if its gameplay matches what you’re looking for in a JRPG. We’ll break down the turn-based structure, explain how turns flow in and out of battle, discuss tactics and strategy, and compare Persona 5’s system to other JRPG franchises.

Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or veteran Persona fan, read on to learn everything you need to know about this signature blend of combat, demon collecting, and high school hijinks.

The Core Turn-Based Combat Structure

In Persona 5, the combat system revolves around a traditional turn-based structure, which is a hallmark of JRPGs (Japanese Role-Playing Games). This means that each character, including the protagonist and their party members, takes turns to execute actions during battles.

Party setup and actions

Before engaging in combat, players have the ability to strategically choose their party members and their respective roles. Each character possesses unique skills and abilities that can be utilized to gain an advantage in battle.

Some characters excel in dealing heavy damage, while others specialize in support or healing. This allows players to tailor their party composition according to their preferred playstyle and the challenges they anticipate.

Once the battle begins, players can select various actions for each character, such as attacking with their equipped weapon, using skills or spells, defending to reduce damage taken, or using items to heal or buff party members.

The careful selection of actions for each character is crucial in maximizing the effectiveness of the party’s overall strategy.

Enemy turns

In Persona 5, enemies also follow the turn-based system and take their actions after the player’s party members have made their moves. The enemy AI is designed to provide a challenge, often employing different tactics and strategies to disrupt the player’s plans.

This adds an element of unpredictability to the battles, requiring players to adapt their strategies on the fly and think strategically to overcome their opponents.

How weaknesses and criticals factor in

One of the unique aspects of Persona 5’s combat system is the emphasis on exploiting enemy weaknesses and landing critical hits. Each enemy has specific elemental or physical weaknesses that, when targeted, can lead to additional damage or even knock them down, granting the player an extra turn.

This mechanic encourages players to observe and exploit enemy weaknesses to gain a significant advantage in battles.

Additionally, landing critical hits by targeting an enemy’s weakness or hitting them when they are down can result in increased damage and other beneficial effects. Critical hits can turn the tide of battle in the player’s favor, allowing for swift victories and efficient resource management.

Understanding and utilizing weaknesses and critical hits effectively is essential for success in Persona 5’s turn-based combat, as it opens up opportunities for devastating combos and enables players to dispatch enemies efficiently.

For more information on Persona 5’s combat mechanics, you can visit the official website of Atlus, the game’s developer.

Flow Between Exploration and Turn-Based Battles

One of the key aspects that make Persona 5 such a captivating game is the seamless flow between exploration and turn-based battles. The game strikes a perfect balance between these two elements, creating an immersive and engaging gameplay experience for players.

Transitioning between exploration and combat

In Persona 5, players spend their time navigating various locations, such as bustling city streets, mysterious dungeons, and even surreal dreamscapes. These exploration segments allow players to interact with NPCs, uncover secrets, and progress the game’s intriguing story.

However, at any moment, the tranquility of exploration can be shattered by a sudden encounter with enemies.

When enemies appear, the game seamlessly transitions into turn-based combat, where players must strategically choose their actions to defeat their foes. This seamless switch between exploration and combat keeps players on their toes and adds an element of surprise and excitement to the gameplay.

Discovering enemies and getting surprised

One of the thrilling aspects of Persona 5’s combat system is the element of surprise that comes with encountering enemies. While exploring dungeons or other locations, players may stumble upon enemies lurking in the shadows.

These surprise encounters can catch players off guard, forcing them to think quickly and adapt their strategies on the fly.

The surprise factor not only adds a sense of urgency to the gameplay but also keeps players engaged and invested in every step they take. It encourages players to be vigilant and observant, always ready for a potential battle.

Turn initiative after ambushing foes

Another interesting mechanic in Persona 5’s combat is the turn initiative system. When players successfully ambush enemies, they gain a crucial advantage by starting the battle with a preemptive strike.

This allows them to act first, potentially incapacitating or weakening their enemies before they even have a chance to retaliate.

The turn initiative system adds a layer of strategy to the game, as players must plan their ambushes carefully to gain the upper hand. It rewards players for their stealth and tactical thinking, making each encounter feel rewarding and satisfying.

Combat Strategy and Maximizing Turns

One of the key aspects of combat in Persona 5 is developing a solid strategy to maximize your turns and gain the upper hand against your enemies. By utilizing different tactics and understanding the mechanics of the game, players can effectively navigate through battles and come out victorious.

In this section, we will explore some key strategies that can help players excel in combat.

Exploiting enemy weaknesses

One of the most important strategies in Persona 5 is exploiting enemy weaknesses. Each enemy has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and by identifying and targeting these weaknesses, players can deal massive damage and gain extra turns.

For example, if an enemy is weak to fire, using a Persona with fire-based attacks will not only deal increased damage but also grant an additional turn. This allows players to chain attacks and potentially wipe out an entire group of enemies in one go.

Buffing and debuffing

Another effective strategy in combat is buffing and debuffing. Buffing refers to enhancing your party members’ stats, such as increasing their attack or defense, while debuffing weakens the enemy’s stats, making them more vulnerable to attacks.

By utilizing buffs and debuffs strategically, players can tip the scales in their favor and gain a significant advantage in battles. For example, using a skill like “Tarukaja” to increase a party member’s attack can greatly increase their damage output, while “Rakunda” can lower an enemy’s defense, allowing for even more damage to be dealt.

All-Out Attacks and Baton Pass

All-Out Attacks and Baton Pass are two unique mechanics in Persona 5 that can turn the tide of battle. All-Out Attacks are powerful team attacks that can be triggered when all enemies are knocked down.

By successfully exploiting enemy weaknesses and knocking them all down, players can unleash a devastating All-Out Attack, dealing massive damage and potentially wiping out all enemies in one fell swoop.

On the other hand, Baton Pass allows players to pass their turn to another party member after landing a critical hit or exploiting an enemy weakness. This not only grants an additional turn but also increases the damage of subsequent attacks.

By strategically utilizing Baton Pass, players can chain attacks and deal even more damage to their foes.

By mastering these combat strategies and understanding the intricacies of Persona 5’s combat system, players can greatly enhance their chances of success in battles. So, get out there, exploit those weaknesses, buff your party, and unleash powerful All-Out Attacks to emerge victorious!

How Personas Impact the Turn-Based Combat

In the world of Persona 5, the combat system revolves around the use of Personas, which are powerful manifestations of a character’s inner psyche. These Personas play a crucial role in shaping the turn-based battles that players will encounter throughout the game.

Understanding how Personas impact the combat is key to success in the game.

Collecting and fusing Personas

One of the main mechanics in Persona 5 is the collection and fusion of Personas. Players can acquire new Personas by negotiating with Shadows during battles or by obtaining them through other means. These collected Personas can then be fused together to create even more powerful and unique ones.

This aspect of the game adds an element of strategy as players must carefully consider which Personas to collect and fuse in order to have a well-balanced and effective team.

Passive skills and resistances

Each Persona in Persona 5 comes with its own set of passive skills and resistances. These skills can greatly impact the outcome of battles. For example, a Persona with a resistance to fire attacks will take less damage from enemies who use fire-based abilities.

On the other hand, a Persona with a weakness to a certain element will be more vulnerable to attacks of that type. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each Persona is crucial in order to exploit enemy weaknesses and protect your team from harm.

Utilizing Personas mid-battle

During battles, players have the ability to switch between Personas, allowing for a wide range of strategies and tactics. Each Persona has its own unique set of abilities and skills that can be utilized in different situations.

Some Personas excel at dealing damage, while others may have healing or support abilities. By strategically using different Personas throughout a battle, players can adapt to the ever-changing situations they encounter, increasing their chances of victory.

Persona 5 vs Other Turn-Based JRPG Battle Systems

vs Final Fantasy’s active time battle system

When comparing Persona 5’s combat system to the iconic Final Fantasy series, one notable difference is the active time battle (ATB) system used in Final Fantasy. In Final Fantasy games, players have to wait for the ATB gauge to fill up before they can take their turn.

This adds an element of real-time strategy to the battles, as players need to carefully time their actions to maximize their effectiveness. In contrast, Persona 5’s combat is turn-based, allowing players to take their time and plan their moves strategically.

👍 While the ATB system in Final Fantasy games adds a sense of urgency and excitement to battles, Persona 5’s turn-based combat allows for more strategic thinking and planning. It gives players the opportunity to carefully consider their options and make calculated decisions.

For more information on the active time battle system in Final Fantasy, you can visit the Final Fantasy Wiki.

vs Pokémon’s simple but strategic combat

Pokémon, another popular turn-based JRPG series, offers a different approach to combat compared to Persona 5. Pokémon battles are known for their simplicity, with players selecting moves for their Pokémon to execute. However, beneath this simplicity lies a deep strategic element.

Each Pokémon has its own unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and players must carefully consider these factors when choosing their moves.

👍 Persona 5’s combat system also incorporates strategic elements, but in a different way. Players must exploit enemy weaknesses and use their own party members’ abilities to their advantage. The game’s “Persona” system, which allows players to summon powerful beings to aid them in battle, adds another layer of strategy.

For more information on the strategic combat in Pokémon, you can visit the official Pokémon website.

vs Dragon Quest’s traditional turn-based battles

Dragon Quest, a classic JRPG series, is known for its traditional turn-based battles. In Dragon Quest games, players take turns with the enemy to select their actions, much like in Persona 5. However, Dragon Quest battles often focus on traditional role-playing elements, such as leveling up, equipping weapons and armor, and managing resources.

👍 Persona 5, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on the “Persona” system and the social aspect of the game. Players can build relationships with other characters, which can enhance their abilities in battle.

This unique blend of turn-based combat and social simulation sets Persona 5 apart from Dragon Quest and other JRPGs.

For more information on the traditional turn-based battles in Dragon Quest, you can visit the official Dragon Quest website.


With its blend of demon collecting, high school bonding, and slick turn-based combat, Persona 5 modernizes the JRPG formula without losing the genre’s roots. The turn-based structure with extra real-time elements creates dynamic battles full of strategy.

So if you’re a fan of classic menu-driven JRPG combat, rest assured Persona 5 delivers a fresh take while sticking to the format you love.

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