Arcana Tactics is a tactical RPG developed by Tikitaka Studio set in the land of Ortegia, which has been ravaged by demonic invaders. You, a lone summoner, are sent back two years before Ortegia falls to unite its people and stop the attack before it is too late, with the assistance of the goddess Asteria. Summoning forces to aid your quest and battling your way to victory is the order of the day, along with the ability to equip Tarot cards and Relics to further buff your team and improve your odds.
Arcana Tactics sports an assorted cast of scoundrels, spellcasters, and soldiers to unlock and rank up, allowing you to mix and match your soldiers on the fly during the main quests. The game will test how well you can adapt with what you have, and what the missions will reward you as you progress through them. The Heroes each have their own combat specialties and elemental affinities, on top of challenges to complete to really keep yourself on your toes even when replaying missions.
As the game was released fairly recently as of this writing, not all of its features are currently available and are expected to be added in the future. Regardless, there are enough things to explore and play around with. Stay with us and check out our Arcana Tactics beginner’s guide, learn the ropes of the game and discover what it has in store!
1. A Destiny To Overcome
When you first start Arcana tactics, you will be asked to input your name and birthday. Your name can only consist of letters and numbers, so no spaces or special characters are allowed, and believe us when we say that it threw us off the first few times we wrote our chosen name down. As for your birthday, it will influence what Major Arcana you will receive down the line, but that will not come into play until you go a little further in the campaign.
The game’s tutorial begins on a rather sour note, with the remainder of Ortegia’s defenders in a last stand against the demon hordes before you are sent back in time. Any given mission in the main campaign is broken up into at least ten waves, and each battle in turn has two phases: a Set-up Phase, and a Battle Phase. During the Set-up Phase, you will be tasked with arranging your heroes in a four-by-four grid, up to four of them at the start, dragging them from your inventory at the bottom of your screen.
During this phase, you can also use items to influence the outcome of the battle, ranging from food that grants buffs to your team to scrolls that increase the overall difficultly of the coming fight in exchange for rewards. You can purchase additional Heroes items via the Pop-up Shop, spending either Gems or Cubes.
Both Gems and Cubes can be spent to purchase a randomized set of Heroes and Items, but Cubes can be used to increase the maximum cap of Heroes on your grid, up to a maximum of eight. The Set-up Phase lasts for at most sixty seconds, and if you run out of time or pre-emptively press the Start button the wave will begin.
During the battle phase, both your heroes and the opposing forces will move to the center of the battlefield and behave automatically, engaging each other once they get in range. Some missions may have modifiers that can increase the difficulty for both sides (such as the periodic spawning of poisonous puddles that affect both friend and foe).
Even if some of your summoned Heroes fall in battle, as long as you beat the given wave, any defeated heroes will be revived for the next one. Should you lose all your heroes however, you lose a life, and you only have three lives in any given mission before you fail it.
Completing a wave rewards a small amount of Gems and Cubes, a random one-star Hero, and occasionally a Summon Scroll that can be used to summon another one-star Hero of your choosing. You can also sell unwanted Heroes for Gems, typically going for half their price in the Pop-up Shop. This should NOT be confused with the in-game Shop you can unlock later on, which is only accessible through the main menu.
The last wave of a mission is typically against a boss, with the game helpfully displaying a warning at the start of the last Set-up Phase. Once you beat the boss and his cohorts, the mission is complete and you are rewarded based on your performance. Rewards are split into two groups;
• The first group of rewards is listed on the mission tab itself, and consist of resources such as Gold (the game’s standard currency), Soul Stones to unlock or upgrade Heroes, and Experience to level you up. These are awarded simply by beating the mission.
• The second group of rewards are Challenges that require a bit more work to accomplish, such as getting a set number of Heroes on the grid or completing the mission with a certain Hero on the field. Rewards from these challenges are generally more lucrative, namely Soul Stones for higher-rarity heroes and Crystals (which are used to summon more Heroes in the game’s gacha). These particular rewards must be collected manually, and can only be acquired once.
There is also a grading system based on your overall performance during the mission, represented by three stars. The first star is rewarded simply for beating the mission, while the other two stars have requirements such as beating the mission in a given amount of time or making sure none of your Heroes die throughout the whole run.
Aside from the game’s achievement system, collecting all these stars may be part of the challenges mentioned above. Successfully completing a mission also consumes Stamina, limiting the amount of times you can play in a given session until the Stamina regenerates.
After completing Chapter Two of the campaign, you gain access to Wipeout Mode, which lets you automatically resolve a mission without having to run it manually, making it much easier to farm resources. You will need to spend Wipeout Tickets which are an occasional offer from the menu shop, and is also unlocked after beating Chapter Two. There is also an alternate Hard Mode for the campaign after beating Chapter Six, offering better rewards in exchange for increased difficulty.
2. Heroes For Hire
Obviously, you will not be able to save the world on your own, which is where your Heroes come in. At the start of a mission, you are given three one-star Heroes either to place them on the grid, or risk fusing two of them for a higher-tier Hero in their stead, a mechanic we will discuss later. There are eight one-star Heroes available, with their names also doubling as their class type;
• The Swordsman – For Heroes who rely on swords or similar bladed implements. Heroes of this class generally focus on their Physical Defense.
• The Archer – As expected, Heroes of this class wield bows, crossbows, or even guns, and specialize in pelting enemies from a distance.
• The Rogue – For dagger-wielders and general sneaks. Rogues are built for scoring critical hits.
• The Wizard – Throwing magic down range and dealing area of effect damage, Wizards are great for dealing with crowds.
• The Cleric – Clerics trade out damage for healing their allies, and while they do not monopolize this role, a lot of their abilities revolve around keeping everyone in shape.
• The Warrior – Brawlers and Barbarians abound, Warriors offer a fair balance between Offence and Defense.
• The Lancer – For fighters who use long pointed sticks. Lancers have the best range compared to the other melee-oriented classes.
• The Spirit – Otherworldly beings abound in this class, as are Heroes with close ties to magic. Spirits specialize in dealing elemental damage.
Aside from their Class, all Heroes also have an elemental affinity that influences how much damage they can deal against certain enemies and how much punishment they can weather from them. There are six elements to take note, with the following interactions:
• Nature-based Heroes have an advantage against Ice-based Heroes; Ice-based Heroes in turn have an advantage against Fire-based Heroes, and Fire-based Heroes have an advantage against Nature-based Heroes.
• Light-based and Dark-based Heroes are mutually weak to one another, but do not interact with the other elements.
• Iron-based Heroes are weak only to themselves, gaining no advantage or disadvantage against the other elements.
Your one-star Heroes will fall off the longer a mission progresses, which is where Fusion comes into play. During the Set-up Phase, you can merge two to three Heroes to create a new Hero with a higher rarity. This hero is generally greater than the sum of its parts and gains an ability they can use.
For example, we have selected the Rogue in our inventory and can fuse her with the Rogue currently on the field to create an Assassin, who unleashes a powerful attack every few seconds that also silences her chosen target. Fusing the Assassin via the Rogue in our inventory will place the Assassin there as well, while choose the Rogue on the field will instantly place the Assassin where the Rogue once stood.
Ability triggers vary from passive effects, to a percentage chance when performing an attack, to setting off the ability after attacking enough times. The higher a Hero’s rarity is, the more abilities he or she will have. Players can view Fusion recipes via the Fusion Index, viewable either through the Heroes tab in the main page or just below your user name during a mission.
Heroes will be arranged based on their class and listed from left to right, in order of increasing rarity. As a general rule, to get to the next tier of Heroes you need to fuse Heroes from the previous rank. Four-star heroes and onwards will also require Cubes to fuse them as well, which can impair field expansion.
Not every Hero is available to you at the start. Some of them are unlocked by beating certain missions, but the fair majority of heroes are unlocked via the Revolver, an artifact graciously gifted by Asteria which also doubles as the game’s gacha. The Revolver is rolled by spending either Crystals collected from missions or by finding elusive Hero Summon Tickets in their stead, which can also be found in the Shop.
The Revolver can be rolled once or eight times in one go, spending the required amount of resources, and players are awarded the Soul Stones of a given Hero. If it is a Hero you have not unlocked yet, a short cutscene will play where the Hero is introduced. If it is a Hero you have unlocked, their Soul Stones are saved to level them up.
Due to the way the Fusion system works, it is entirely possible for you to unlock a high-ranking Hero without gaining access to their prerequisites, effectively preventing you from using that Hero until that issue is resolved. Luckily, Soul Stones can also be found in the Shop, and can be bought with Crystals.
Levelling them up consumes a set amount of Soul Stones and Gold while increasing their stats, with every third level up offering a more sizeable bonus. If the selected Hero has an ability, then that third level up will buff said ability instead. Levelling up a Hero also increases your Resonance Level, which gives more bonuses after passing certain thresholds.
You can also manually view a Hero’s stats and backstory by selecting their portrait at the Hero tab, as well as any future level up bonuses they can get down the line. There is even a Reviews tab that showcases what the community thinks of a given Hero, and you can write your own review provided you have the Hero in question unlocked. You might also notice a couple of slots to equip relics. Relics confer more buffs to any Hero who has them equipped, but they will take some time to unlock so for now you can ignore them.
3. Fortune Telling
The game is called Arcana Tactics for a reason, and completing Chapter Two unlocks access to the game’s Arcana system. There are three categories of Tarot cards;
• Major Arcana – These Tarot cards provide the heftiest of buffs to your forces, and are the rarest to collect.
• High Minor Arcana – Tarot cards serve as a middle ground between the effects of the Major Arcana and the Low Minor Arcana.
• Low Minor Arcana – These are the most common Tarot cards you will find in the gacha, and provide minor bonuses to your forces as well as influencing wave rewards.
After unlocking it, Asteria will provide you with a choice of two Major Arcana. The first card is your so-called “Birth” Arcana first displayed after you inputted your birthday, while the second card is an alternate Arcana of Asteria’s choosing. In our case, we had the Emperor, which reduces the duration of crowd control effects on our Heroes, and Temperance, which gives our Heroes a chance of activating a stat buff upon entering the Boss wave.
We opted for the latter, but in the end it is your choice to make. Some Tarot Cards even provide buffs exclusively for the game’s PvP mode, which we have yet to access as of writing, making them inoperable outside of it. Conversely, some Tarot Cards are designed in regards to campaign enemies and are situational at best when dueling with other players.
Once you have selected your first Major Arcana, you will be given a free roll of the Arcana gacha. You can either roll it once or ten times in one go, spending either Arcana Summon Tickets, which are even harder to find than Hero Summon Tickets, or Rubies, the game’s premium currency.
You can also watch up to two ads for a free roll, but rolls using Summon Tickets or Rubies will count towards a gauge that, once filled up, will guarantee a Major Arcana on your next Tarot roll.
From there you can equip up to three Tarot Cards in a Spread, providing their effects for future missions. You can unlock two more Tarot Card slots by completing later missions, but for now those three slots will have to do. Initially, you can only save one Spread of Tarot Cards but you can spend 10,000 Gold to unlock a new Spread slot for later use.
Spreads are not just used to dictate what buffs your team will get; after using a Spread for the first time your last team composition is saved along with the Spread, and this team will be used in other game modes you can unlock later on.
You can augment the effects of your Tarot Cards in two ways. The first method is by enhancing a selected card by spending excess cards in its stead, consuming them and a set amount of gold to do so and directly improving its stats.
The second method is awakening the card by using duplicates of the card in question. Awakening a Tarot cards allows you to slot an additional boon to the card in question, and this process can be repeated up to five times.
4. Changing Your Fate
Now that we have the basics of Arcana Tactics nailed down, here are some tips to keep your forces in the game:
• Positioning is Key: The last thing you want is your squishy ranged units and healers eating damage they should not, so make sure your melee units are up front to keep them safe.
• Elemental Advantages: The bulk of the enemy forces are Fire-based? Have Ice-based Heroes as your frontline while your ranged forces support and pummel from afar. Unless a mission’s challenges say otherwise, take full advantage of the elements. This can get a little tricky with Light, Dark, or Iron enemies, but one way to easily deal with this is to use Nature, Ice, or Fire-based Heroes, especially ones with defensive abilities, to guard the front as they will not take additional damage, while your rear forces consist of the appropriate element to finish the enemies off.
• Attack Speed is Vital: Remember, some abilities trigger after a Hero deals enough hits, so boosting your team’s Attack Speed whenever possible will allow these heroes to fire off their abilities more often.
• Do not forget about Upgrades: Have a lot of gold but have little idea what to do with it? Check out what Heroes and Tarot Cards are due for a level up.
• A Deal’s a Deal: Gems are more than just gacha fuel. Sometimes Soul Cubes can be found that can be purchased with Gems, so check the store out first before you consider visiting the Revolver.
• Some recommended Fusions: Here is a small list of Hero Fusions you should consider aiming for early into a mission;
1. The Druid (Cleric + Wizard): This support unit has a reasonable chance of healing the ally with the lowest health on the field, and she does that job well until you can summon more potent healers.
2. The Guardian (Lancer + Lancer): This man sports heavy armor and has the defenses to match, and periodically buffs his defenses to further tank incoming attacks.
3. The Spell Sword (Swordsman + Lancer): This lady has a chance of throwing an attack powerful enough to hurt one enemy close to her chosen target, potentially taking down two opponents in one swing and clearing out waves faster.
4. The Sniper (Archer + Archer): Trading out Attack Speed for more Damage, the Sniper has a chance of firing a deadly shot at an enemy with the lowest Physical Defense, making her great for taking down the enemy’s own ranged troops be it Wizards or other Archers.
5. The Monk (Spirit + Warrior): A complement for your frontline forces, the Monk can heal himself and one ally when he is attacking someone. Combining him with another tank is guaranteed to keep your ranged team safe against early threats.
Thank you for reading our Arcana Tactics beginner’s guide! We hope that our guide provided all the help you need in saving Ortegia from ruin. If you guys have any tips we may have missed, please let us know in the comment area. Have fun and game on!