NieR: Re[in]carnation is a new mobile game based on the world of the Japanese hit saga NieR. For this latest installment, which happens to mark the NieR series’ 10th anniversary, developer Square Enix has teamed up with Applibot to bring it exclusively to iOS and Android devices.
While it might feel unusual to see a NieR game land on mobile, Square Enix is by no means a stranger to the sphere of mobile gaming. The studio is behind a number of games on mobile including a reimagined Final Fantasy series, as well as the acclaimed action RPG, Secret of Mana.
True to its predecessors, Nier: Re[in]carnation delivers a truly gorgeous visual and audio experience which is wonderfully complemented by a gripping narrative. The game is set in a mysterious and seemingly abandoned place called “The Cage” and stars a strange mute girl who is walking around with a harness and a bandaged leg.
She is guided through the peculiar landscape by an enigmatic ghost-like creature called “Mama” who wears a sheet that covers most of her floating body but fails to hide her two spindly black legs. Together they set out to travel the Cage in the search of black Scarecrows which are occult statues that have memories trapped inside them.
In addition to this, if you’re looking for a bit of action, the good news is that each memory is filled with enemies that will challenge you into battle. Other characters will join you on the way and provide assistance as you step into fights.
NieR: Re[in]carnation doesn’t take too long getting used to, as your main focus will be to guide the girl and Mama throughout the Cage, but things gradually grow more complicated once combat becomes a regular staple of your journey.
If you’ve already ventured inside the Cage and want to jump start your exploration, we have you covered with our NieR: Re[in]carnation beginner’s guide which contains a bunch of tips, tricks and strategies to help you unravel the mysteries of this eerie world faster.
1. Follow The Path Laid Out Before You
Start your incursion into The Cage by guiding the girl and Mama through the megalithic columns and abandoned halls. Simply follow the path, it will lead you to your first Scarecrow. There’s no danger of getting lost or sidetracked while playing NieR: Re[in]carnation as your course is clearly laid out for you. There are a few instances where you will have to choose in which direction to go, but this doesn’t really complicate matters for you in terms of exploration.
So go ahead, take the beautiful sights and landscapes in, as you navigate the peculiar world that is the Cage. Listen to Mama as the reveals subtle clues about your past and current purpose. She might even ask you a questions occasionally which we encourage you to answer the best you can, and not at random.
As you explore, your job is to locate all the Scarecrows and travel inside the memories they’ve preserved in order to release new characters and weapons. These recollections consist of stories starring different characters which are somehow pieces of the larger puzzle that is The Cage. Join them in combat and gradually unfold their tale.
Following the main quest is encouraged as clearing battle after battle will also unlock resources for you, among the most important being Gems. You’ll need them in order to perform summonings and unlock better characters as well as weapons. In addition, through fights you’ll obtain critical resources including weapon and character enhancements which are essential for making heroes stronger and more deadly in battle.
Resources aside, just wondering around The Cage and uncovering each new story in part is truly a lyrical experience which you shouldn’t miss. The narrative is full of depth and is woven around a lot of philosophical points such as the concept of free will. If, however, you’re more of an action type, there’s the option to Skip all that and go directly to the fighting scenes.
2. To Reroll Or Not To Reroll
The allure of adding the best characters to your team quickly is surely present in a game like NieR Re[in]carnation where there’s a bevy of heroes to collect and upgrade coupled with a gacha system that obtains them at random. However, as the in-game guide states, it’s not really necessary to have the best heroes onboard, as you will do just fine using the characters you unlock simply by playing the main quest.
The idea is that you can skip rerolling and do summons intermittently whenever you have the resources for it. As you would expect, fights and monsters get increasingly harder as you progress in the story, and so you will obviously find yourself in need of more powerful allies to get you through the trails.
That’s all very well, since the game is relatively generous when it comes to allowing you to collect Gems. Just make sure to check the Gifts section frequently and redeem the available stuff.
On the other hand, if you want to have powerful heroes in your lineup from the get-go, you can always apply the reroll method. What this entails is players starting a new game and progressing it up to a certain point where they perform a free summoning (in Nier Re[in]carnation free is paying with the Gems (in-game currency,) but a premium options is also available which involves spending real world money). Once the player has performed a summoning, it can go two ways.
Either they are happy with the result and choose to continue playing using the new character they just unlocked or they wish to try their luck again. This means they will have to repeat the process just outlined above until they come across a character that they like. To do so they’ll first have to go to their Android device settings menu and delete the app’s local files to reset the progress and then start the journey all over again.
This can become a tedious task in Nier: Re[in]carnation, especially if you’re super curious and eager to know discover what The Cage is all about. This is because of how the game is built – the Mama menu which hides the summoning option isn’t available right away and even after it gets unlocked, you’ll need to fully complete Chapter 1 to be allowed to make more rolls. This takes about 10 minutes, and once Chapter 2 starts you can take your chances and see if you can get something worthy. If you’re not happy, you’ll have to go back to playing Chapter 1 again, and again and again…
As a result, unless you’re willing to invest hours and hours to get the characters you crave, we don’t encourage you to reroll in NieR: Reincarnation. At least initially, it would probably be best if you could focus on improving the characters you’ve unlocked through the natural progression of the game and simply start doing summonings as things become more challenging.
Alternatively, you can use up all the Gem gifts the game puts at your disposal (which are quite plentiful) in the beginning and pour them into a summoning session. This will ensure that you’ll get your hands on some higher-end weapons, and a better hero at lot more quickly.
3. Increase The Force Of Your Characters
Like in any RPG game you need to make sure you’re constantly upgrading your characters and their weapons in order to prepare them for the progressively harsher battles ahead. In NieR Re[in]carnation players use items such as character and weapon enhancements to upgrade their heroes. These come in different tiers ranging from Small to XL.
You can get these upgrade materials by clearing battles or by completing quests and visiting the Missions tab and redeeming your prizes. If you find yourself short of enhancement materials, make sure you prioritize the missions which offer these rewards and try to complete them at fast as you can.
Characters and weapons come in different tires and in an ideal scenario you should have only 4-star heroes and weapons in your party, but that won’t be possible from the get-go. Unless, you’re willing to engage in rerolling. Every hero and weapon can be upgraded up to a certain point, depending on the number of stars attached to it.
To further increase the strength of your characters, you can also equip additional weapons (2 more) for your heroes, as well as memories and companions. Each of these can be upgraded with varying costs. For instance, memories can boost your heroes’ force and cost gold.
4. Bring Companions Into Battle
Especially in the early stages of the game, companions can be quite useful. They are tiny creatures which attach themselves to your heroes and can help in time of need.
Companions are able to strike the enemy only once, but their blow is particularly strong especially if you’ve upgraded them. Not to mention that these creatures remain active even if their corresponding hero has been obliterated. So we encourage you to equip companions as soon as you’re able.
You can unlock companions by playing the main quest, but also through the subquests or by visiting their respective shops.
5. Keep An Eye Our For The Black Birds In The Cage
Pay very close attention while you’re exploring The Cage and you might spot little black birds that appear to be randomly popping up here and there. When you see one, be sure to tap on it in exchange for a nice little gift. Most of the times it will an enhancement material (character or weapon), so especially in the beginning these rewards will come quite in handy.
6. Sell Lower Tier Weapons
As you make some progress in the game, it will become apparent that 2-star weapons aren’t particularly helpful even when upgraded to the max. Your best bet would be to hold on to 3-star and 4-star weapons and equip your party with them. As for the remaining 2-star gear, you can sell them for extra gold.
You’ll collect a large number of weapons throughout your explorations, even doubles, so at one point your inventory will get so cluttered that you’ll have to get rid of some stuff just to make some space. The fact that the game offers the chance to sell these extra weapons in exchange for coin is super useful, so make sure you take advantage of this option by visiting the Enhancement tab.
7. Use Duplicate Weapons To Upgrade Other Weapons
As we already explained in the previous section, it’s no use holding on to duplicate weapons. If selling them for coin doesn’t appeal to you, after all the sums are pretty meager, you could instead put them to another use.
As it turns out, you can use weapons to enhance other combat tools you have in your inventory. Instead of using enhancement materials, select duplicate lower-tire weapons to upgrade the more powerful weapons.
8. Play The Exploration Games To Increase Your Squad’s Level Fast
Now, while you can upgrade each of your characters individually, your squad also has a rank that can be increased collectively. This can happen organically simply by playing the game, entering fights and winning them.
Alternatively, you can play the mini games available in the Exploration tab through the Mama deck in the lower right side of the display. You can play once every 8 hours, so make sure to take up the opportunity every chance to get. Increasing the rank of your team makes them even more powerful in battles, so don’t neglect this aspect.
9. Later On: Evolve, Ascend And Add Extra Skills To Your Weapons
In Nier Re[in]carnation is possible to evolve your weapons in order to make them even more destructive. This will unlock a second ability and make your weapon a lot deadlier. The only problem is that the materials needed to unlock these weapon evolutions are extremely hard to get.
You can acquire the precious stones (Rubies, Emeralds, Topaz, etc) needed for weapon evolution by going to the Exchange tab under Shop and spending the appropriate in-game currencies you’ve accumulated so far to purchase them. For example, in the Garden of Benediction Medals you can buy a Topaz for 80 medals. Medals can be obtained by playing the associate event, and you are encouraged to do so if you want to have the best weapons in battle.
When choosing which weapon to evolve, don’t waste your breath on lower-tier weapons. Instead pick one which you know you’ll use for a while.
The same goes for Ascending and adding Skills to your weapon. You’ll need the relevant materials to be able to do so, and usually you can get your hands on them by grinding the subquests/events.
10. Play The Guerrilla Quests
The Guerrilla quests are a fertile ground for farming huge amount of items to upgrade your weapons and characters with. The only problem is that they happen four times a day according to this schedule (all times are in Japan Standard Time, by the way):
- 08:00 to 08:30
- 12:00 to 12:30
- 18:00 to 18:30
- 22:00 to 22:30
Anyway, the game will send out notifications when a new Guerrilla quest is available to play, so make sure you keep your phone close to you. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like you can rely on your phone to send the appropriate notifications in due time, set reminders to alert you when it’s time to visit the game.
11. Grind The Quests
On top of the main quest, players of NieR Re[in]carnation will also have access to a series of subquests including the Daily Quests, as well as a few others which contain side stories of their own like for instance Record: Garden of Benediction.
Sidequests provide you with unique opportunities to grind for materials that you need to upgrade your units, weapons, companions, memories and more. Remember we talked about precious gems like Rubies that are needed to evolve your weapons? One way to purchase these stones is by using Garden of Benediction Medals which can be acquired by playing the sidequests under Record: Garden of Benediction.
Make sure you check out all the subquests available for you and see what obtainable items are available and then play according to your needs. Keep in mind that participating in each of these subquests will cost you a small amount of stamina. This is a resource you usually receive for clearing stages in the main quest, and you should have enough to spare. Stamina also comes in the form of rewards for logging in daily, as well from missions.
If you do happen to run out of stamina at one point, you can use Gems (100x a pop) to fully restore it or you can use the Small Stamina Recovery potions you’ve collected so far by participating in quests. This particular item is also available in the Item Shop where you can get it in exchange for gold coins.
Grinding quests can become quite a tedious experience, luckily you have an Auto mode at your disposal which you’re invited to use while you engage in this activity.
Additionally, you could also join the Arena where your squad will go against other players. Win battles to earn arena medals which can then be exchanged for items in the arena medal exchange shop. Note, the Arena becomes available later on the in the game.
12. Dodge Enemy Attacks By Moving The Main Unit Around
Combat in NieR Re[in]carnation appears quite limited at first glance, but there are some subtleties you might not notice immediately. Battles are turned-based encounters where your characters and enemy attack each other in succession. It’s all done automatically, so you don’t have to worry about tapping on a particular enemy to get your heroes to attack.
What you can do is to manually activate the unique skills of each of your units, so they can hit the enemy with increased force. These skills aren’t available from the get-go, and you’ll have to wait a few seconds until their corresponding gauge is filled.
The combat system in this game boasts a combo feature which lets characters inflict more damage as the player activates a large number of skills in quick succession. This combo can be easily broken, however, if one of the heroes takes damage.
Another interesting point that needs to be made here is that your main unit (you start off with Sickly Exile) can dodge attacks. You can move it around during battle by swiping your finger and have it run around while monsters are trying to attack. Unfortunately, the other two units are fixed.
We should also note there’s an Auto battle mode, which comes extremely helpful when you’re grinding for resources. You can use it in the main quest, as well, of course, especially in the second part of the game where you’re guiding the black monster with insect wings, since the number of combat sessions greatly increases.
However, do keep one thing in mind. While in Auto mode the game will activate your characters’ basic skills, it won’t do so for their main skill or for their companions’ skills. You’ll still have to do that yourself.
That’s it for our NieR: Re[in]carnation beginner’s guide. We hope you’ve found a few valuable tips and tricks you can apply to your own gameplay to speed up your progress. We’re still discovering the game ourselves, so if you’ve been playing for a while on your own and have knowledge of any strategies that haven’t been included in this article, please don’t hesitate and share them with us via the comment section below!