Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: Beginners Tips

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  • Take Advantage Of Shortcuts While Learning The Game
  • Remap Your Controls For Smoother Operation
  • Use Evasive Actions To Mix-Up Opponents
  • Make Sure You Understand How Character-Specific Skills And Gauges Work
  • Remember What Skills Use HP To Avoid Weakening Your Character

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax can feel overwhelming to play for fighting game fanatics and RPG veterans alike. After all, the game is a reasonably technical fighter that borrows from many games in both genres. Furthermore, the game pays close attention to detail, making every character feel distinctly different to play. Additionally, with a frantic combat pace to boot, P4AU is tough to keep up with initially.

Luckily, once you start breaking the game down, you'll realize that P4AU's fighting mechanics are manageable despite their many moving parts. So the only skill you need to succeed in the P-1 Climax tournament is patience. If you start small, take advantage of beginner shortcuts, and then move on to addressing more complex skills, you'll start relishing in the sound of the victory bell before you know it!

Take Advantage Of Shortcuts While Learning The Game

Let's not mince words. There are a lot of mechanics to keep track of in P4AU. It almost feels like if you combined every fighting game ever made into one. There are chain combos and EX moves, reminiscent of Darkstalkers, Burst and Roman Cancel mechanics akin to Guilty Gear, and super cancels similar to more recent King Of Fighters titles. That's a lot of techniques to learn!

Therefore, when you first start learning the game, we recommend using its shortcuts. The P combo feature, an auto-combo mechanic, is excellent for jumping into the flow of fighting right away. Furthermore, the S Hold feature is an excellent tool for fighting game newcomers who aren't used to the joystick input required for special moves.

We also recommend taking on less challenging AI when picking up the game for the first time. Even for experienced fighting game players, P4AU is incredibly fast. Therefore, you'll need time to get used to the game's rapid pacing.

So, like Persona 5 suggests, "take your time." You'll have much more fun easing your way into P4AU's mechanics instead of overloading yourself with the various aspects of its fighting system right away.

Remap Your Controls For Smoother Operation

Once you work through P4AU's Lesson Mode, you'll realize that many basic commands require pressing two or even three buttons simultaneously. For example, Furious Actions, One-More Cancels, Bursts, Throws, and Skill Boosts require multiple face button inputs.

While these actions are less cumbersome with a fight stick, they can become a real pain playing with a pad. In addition, Nintendo Switch's joy-cons are incredibly frustrating for simultaneous face-button inputs.

Luckily, these inputs can get mapped to other buttons on your controller. However, the default button configuration in the game relegates the trigger buttons to training functions, such as record and play. Furthermore, Burst and One-More Cancel get assigned to the thumbstick buttons.

In turn, the button configuration is not ideal for pad players. It is incredibly frustrating considering that the throw and All-Out Attack inputs have no button mapping, which is a wasted opportunity. Additionally, mapping Burst and One-More Cancels to the thumbsticks introduces the possibility of un-intended cancels.

We recommend remapping your multi-button inputs in the button configuration menu regardless of your personal preference. Doing so will make performing the various mechanics in the game much more accessible.

Use Evasive Actions To Mix-Up Opponents

One of the most helpful mechanics in P4AU is Evasive Actions. Technically, ground dodges, performed with A and C simultaneously, are the only moves labeled "Evasive Actions" in the game. However, in this case, we're also lumping Hops (down + AC) and Aerial Turns (AC in mid-air) under this category.

Ground dodges are a fantastic way to evade enemy attacks and quickly travel across the playfield. However, they cannot dodge projectiles as dashes would in other fighting games, so keep that in mind when employing them. In short, ground dodges are perfect for cross-ups and slightly less ideal for approaches.

Hops are excellent because they allow you to jump-in closer to an opponent without leaving you vulnerable to anti-air attacks. If you want to break through a defense-oriented opponent, taking them off guard with a hop is excellent.

Lastly, a much more advanced technique, Aerial Turns, is an effective cross-up mechanic. Aerial Turns allow you to turn around mid-jump, which is excellent for attacking an opponent from behind.

However, pulling off a successful aerial turn that leads to a rear attack is risky and a much more conditional feature. Therefore we recommend waiting to mix in aerial turns until you feel comfortable with the other mechanics in P4AU.

Make Sure You Understand How Character-Specific Skills And Gauges Work

P4AU's roster is just as colorful and diverse as you remember them from their original games. Many of these characters have additional gauges and features that you'll need to track in battle—usually, these gauges reference specific character traits.

For instance, Junpei Iori has an interesting baseball-themed mechanic that tracks strikes, balls, outs, and runs. Hitting an opponent with your B attack will earn a base hit, missing them will give you a strike, and hitting a guarded opponent will count as a ball. Furthermore, like Inferno Homer, specific SP skills count as a home run.

Then, if you score ten runs with Junpei, you'll trigger the Victory Cry SP skill, increasing his stats and making base hits less difficult to land.

If you consider that Junpei can deal damage whether he activates Victory Cry or not, knowing his baseball mechanic may seem relatively inconsequential. However, other characters in P4AU have gauges that are much more detrimental in combat.

For instance, Aigis has a limited number of bullets available for 7th Gen Gatling Blast and 7th Gen Vulcan Cannon skills. As a result, both of these skills become ineffective after she runs out of ammo. Furthermore, these bullets can only reload through Extreme Orgia Mode, an Awakened SP skill with many pre-requisites. Therefore, you must pace Aigis's bullet use in battle.

Remember What Skills Use HP To Avoid Weakening Your Character

Attacks and skills that cost HP are unique features for a fighting game. However, this kind of attack is much more common in RPGs. For instance, plenty of attacks in the mainline Persona series cost HP. Therefore, the inclusion of HP-costing skills in P4AU makes sense.

There aren't too many techniques that require HP in P4AU. However, the two techniques that do are very significant. Furious Action, a knockback attack that increases the distance between you and your enemy, is one of them. The other mechanic that eats up HP is the ability to super cancel.

You don't need to worry too much about Furious Action's effect on your HP since it's a more specific Hail Mary of a technique. Luckily, you won't use it too often unless you get trapped in a relentless onslaught from your opponent.

However, super cancels are much more common. After all, you'll have a more manageable time connecting an SP skill if you trap your opponent in an ordinary skill first.

Remember that the P combo ends in a super cancel if your fighter has enough SP to activate an SP skill. Therefore, every P combo you pursue to completion will take away from your HP. That kind of HP usage can build up quickly throughout the round of a match.

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