Gaming giant Bandai Namco Entertainment, Inc. has been home to a plethora of huge titles and largely successful hits. From homegrown originals down to licensed franchises, Bandai Namco’s games have populated many players’ PCs, consoles, as well as mobile devices for several generations.
With a solid fan base for a good number of its releases, Bandai Namco’s performance in the mobile gaming industry goes well beyond its 100 million aggregate downloads for all its releases on the Google Play Store alone. The company holds 68 games under its massive app portfolio and One Piece Bounty Rush, Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare, and Digimon ReArise are just some of its most popular titles.
Sword Art Online Unleash Blading (SAOUB) is Bandai Namco’s latest RPG title on iOS and Android platforms and within a week after its launch the game has already amassed more than 100 thousand downloads from the Google Play.
More than just riding on the popularity of the Sword Art Online franchise, SAOUB is in itself a very impressive game, with high quality anime-style graphics and a great mix of mechanics and features that will both be fun and addictive not just to fans of Kirito, Asuna, and the rest of the crew. Even if you belong to the few who may not necessarily be a fan of the series, but enjoy turn-based strategy RPGs with a lot of depth, don’t be left behind and dive into the world of SAOUB as soon as you can.
Sword Art Online Unleash Blading may revolve largely on the fourth and latest story arc in the anime but it also holds original content that deviates from the events in the manga, novels, and anime. As you progress through the story chapters and earn resources to scout for more allies, you will come across a lot of familiar faces from different story arcs in the Sword Art Online universe.
While each battle you engage in is an eye candy on its own with flashy sword skills and destructive spells, what sets the battle system apart from most RPGs is the depth of strategy you can employ in combat, especially with link skills and incarnation attacks in play.
With a gacha method of acquiring new characters to join your roster, you can expect some of your favorites to be a little more challenging to recruit than others. In any case, team battles are not entirely about power as sound strategy and team synergy can very much tilt the scales of battle in your favor.
Sword Art Online Unleash Blading may present some game mechanics that seem a little too complex for total beginners as well as players who have not played a good number of strategy RPGs before. While the introductory phase of the game may seem overwhelming at first, paying good attention to every step of the tutorial will help you a lot once you are free to venture into the game all on your own.
Beyond the tutorial, though, you can also tap on the menu icon at the upper right side of the home screen and click on the “help” button for some information you may have missed or need to review. With earlier stages of the quest being very easy to accomplish, you will have a lot of time to prepare yourself for the much tougher challenges ahead.
The game is relatively easy to pick up and play but if you are encountering hardships on some battles, or simply looking for more efficient ways to level up your account and characters, then check out our Sword Art Online Unleash Blading beginner’s guide. So let’s delve into our guide, as we are going to share with you a bunch of useful tips, cheats and strategies to jumpstart your adventure!
1. Progress Through The Main Quest
Like many RPGs that contain a story to follow as you embark on your adventure, Sword Art Online Unleash Blading offers a unique yet familiar take on the series’ plots through the main quests in the game. On top of immersing you into the world within the game as well as re-introduce you to the colorful cast of characters within it, the main quests stand as your primary source of experience points to level up your account and characters as well as the basic items and materials you will need to make your team stronger.
Every battle you engage in requires a certain amount of Action Points (AP) to initiate and while you will more likely clamor for more APs later in the game, you will have more than what you need for the first hours of game play. Essentially, you would want to deplete your AP as much as you can before leaving the game and before you engage in other game modes, it is best to push as far as you can through the main quest so as to unlock all other features in the game and earn a lot of items you need to enhance your characters.
The main quest chapters and stages are categorized into 3 types. Some are simply story narratives that offer rewards once you go through it the first time. The next one sends you directly into battle and winning against the opponents unlock the next stage. The field maps offer various areas to explore and oftentimes leave you with plenty of battles to engage in prior to encountering the stage boss.
Be sure to take note of the stage type in the main quest before going through it by looking at the upper left side of its window. For the latter two types, click on the info icon at the top right corner to view the bonus missions that determine your clear rating. Take note that some bonus missions require you to not consider a supporter in combat.
We mentioned earlier that earning experience points is important not just for the characters you have on your team but for your account rank as well. Whenever you rank up, your max AP also increases leaving you with more to fill up from your time away from the game.
Ranking up also increases the maximum number of friends you have which leaves more opportunities to earn friend points as well. More importantly, ranking up will occasionally boost your maximum party cost, enabling you to consider more powerful units for your team and at certain points, a rank up will also increase the number of parties you can set-up.
Once you clear an entire chapter, you will unlock hard mode for that chapter. To access it, simply tick on the difficulty level located at the upper right side of the chapter picture on the home screen. Take note that each stage in hard mode can be twice as hard as its normal counterpart.
Bonus quests as well as rewards are different and are often at par with the difficulty gap compared to normal stages. In any case, pushing forward with hard mode should be a considerable option if you are stuck on a particular stage with normal mode and have AP to spare.
2. Consider A Well-Rounded Team For Starters
As you complete the tutorial, you will be left a couple of starting characters as well as a free 11x scout to obtain the first of characters to choose from to form part of your team. Soon enough after progressing through the initial stages of the main quest, you will have enough diamond cubes to purchase yet another 11x summon. While securing 4-star rarity characters would instantly make you want to include them in your team, there are also other factors to consider in forming a balanced, all-around team.
One factor you need to consider is the character’s elemental affinity, which can be seen at the upper left corner of the unit’s portrait. There are basic elements that follow the “rock-paper-scissors” method of gaining an advantage over a particular element as well as a disadvantage against another element.
Considering these 4 elements, fire is weak against water but strong against wind. Water has an advantage over fire but is disadvantaged against earth. Earth beats water but is weak against wind. Wind is very effective against earth but is disadvantaged against fire. Dark and holy are special elements that are only strong against one another and have no advantages or disadvantages against the basic elements. Lastly, there are non-elementals that are totally unaffected by these mechanics.
On top of elemental affinities, enemies are also prone to specific attack types based on weapon type damage. Weapon characteristics may either be slash type, pierce type, strike type, or even magic type. While these traits may not necessarily be embedded on each unit per se, it is also a point of consideration when building your team.
Another important consideration, as far as team composition goes, comes from the availability of various skills that each unit possesses. There are six types of sword skills in Sword Art Online Unleash Blading and having a good mix of all these skills in your party makes for an effective team. Sword skills may either be assault, break, charge, heal, enhance, or debuff.
Assault skills deal the greatest damage among the types of skills and strategically, using these skills when the team’s incarnation reaches 100% or during a switch combo is the best way to go. For starters, you may want to consider this type as among the priority pick when choosing party members.
As enemies also gain incarnation points in combat, break skills are important to prevent their incarnate gauge from filling up. As you would want to avoid being on the receiving end of an incarnate skill, you should pay attention to enemies that have 100% incarnation or close to doing so. Its either you get rid of them quickly or use break skills on them to simmer them down.
On the other hand, filling up your team’s incarnate meter at the soonest will leave you at an advantage in any battle and as far as filling it up is concerned, that is precisely where charge skills come into play. Charge skills are essential to boost your allies’ incarnate meter and unless it is already at 100%, then using charge skills to stay ahead of the enemy is a good overall strategy.
Heal, enhance, and debuff skills all categorically fall within the usual support skills in conventional RPGs. Heals are undoubtedly a must-have for any team. As there maybe a wide variety of buffs and debuffs available for your team and the enemy team, be sure to consider testing what you have out on the battlefield.
Last, but not the least, pay attention as well to each unit’s respective cost as dictated by their star-rank or rarity. As it will take some account rank ups to increase the team cost limit, be sure to pick characters for your team with each attributable cost in mind.
3. Be Very Selective When Upgrading Your Units
Moving forward with the main story as well as partaking in a series of other game modes absolutely comes with the need for higher overall combat power. While you will secure the initial materials from quests easily at first, there will always be a need to save every bit of resource for the characters you will be using for a long time.
As your initial team will most likely be a temporary one given that you will acquire more powerful ones as you make progress, be sure to always be critical of each enhancement you do. While experience points and levelling up comes relatively easy especially for newer recruits that need to catch up, all other enhancement modes should be made following a lot of consideration revolving around each units long-term value.
For starters, as the initial chapters of the main story as well as the first levels of events are very easy to accomplish, you can always maintain focus on the 4 main members of the team while “carrying” 2 others. The amount of experience points you can secure given the plethora of AP you will be having at the early stages of the game should keep you within what is needed to move forward relatively easily.
Beyond that, you can use water and holy water to provide your units with extra experience points. While every character can consume all varieties of water, having them consume the water aligned with their elemental affinity grants them even more experience points.
As such, be sure to follow what is recommended for each character if you choose to consume these items. At the character screen, you can simply click on the enhance button and then tap the “recommended” button to automatically select all water and holy water that will give extra experience points.
Beyond levelling up, each character, regardless of rarity holds a variety of active and passive skills to unlock as well as enhance. While there are event dungeons that provide these resources within limited attempts daily, it will definitely be a challenge on its own to farm even exclusively for your main characters.
Another point of consideration is, again, obtaining better characters you would want to invest in more as you make progress. In any case, be sure to browse through each skill of your main characters thru the third tab of the character screen and view the missing materials you need to farm as well as other requirements.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of strengthening your characters in Sword Art Online Unleash Blading lies with the limit break feature of the game. At the character screen, you can see this option via the Limit Break button just below the Enhance button. Limit Breaks do not by itself increase the stats of the character, but it raises the unit’s level cap by 5 and can be done up to 4 times.
Limit Breaks require evolution crystals and these resources are very challenging to come by. Whenever you scout for more units and doubles come up, each duplicate is automatically converted into evolution crystals of their respective element. There also exists a universal “Almighty Evolution Crystal” but this rare resource can only be obtained from difficult event quests.
4. Equip And Invest In The Right Gears
Like most conventional RPGs, each character can be equipped with a weapon, armor, and accessory and each one caters to a specific set of stats. Weapons naturally relate to offensive strength and affect attack, magic attack, and critical hit. Armor is swerved more towards defense and impacts HP, defense, and magic defense. Accessories are a bit tricky as it affects MP, speed, and other stats.
While weapons can be obtained from the Weapon Scout, all types of equipment can also be obtained from select quests as rewards or exchanged from the Exchange Point. While you may not have a good selection of gears at the early part of the game, you will soon have more than enough in your hands and choosing which ones to equip to which character as well as which ones to invest in becomes a constant decision point.
Take note that equipment, much like characters, have elemental affinities as well. As such, equipping a unit with a gear of similar elemental affinity is the strategic course of action in most cases as this will result in acquiring elemental bonus for the unit. Each piece of equipment can have rarities as well and can be enhanced using shia much like heroes. When it comes to using Limit Breaks on weapons, each one requires sacrificing a replica of the weapon being enhanced.
Considering the limitations of shia as well as the challenge itself of acquiring gears, always exercise caution when choosing which gears to invest resources in. With rarities between 1 to 3 stars, at least consider 2-star gears for starters.
5. Expend Attempts On Limited Events
As you will naturally hit a wall trying to progress through the main story at some point, or need specific items to enhance your team, there are various events in Sword Art Online Unleash Blading that provide specific materials in abundance. Given that some of these events are locked behind meeting a certain progress level in the main story, these events serve as yet another motivator for you to push forward with the story campaign.
Events in SAOUB are categorized under 3 groups: Event, Evolution, and Special. For starters, you will be farming for what you more specifically need in the Evolution Dungeons. These dungeons or events typically have varying levels of difficulty that can be unlocked after completing the previous one. Take note that while you are not required to meet the recommended level for each battle, you should consider taking on enemies that are at least at the same level as your team or somewhere close.
The EXP Blessing Collection event is where you can obtain huge amounts of experience points and materials for giving your units additional EXP. There is also an Evolution Plant Collection where you can obtain materials needed to enhance the skills of your units. Different materials are available each day and these materials are difficult to obtain anywhere else in the game. Both these dungeons only allow you 5 attempts daily. With that, you can be sure that every AP spent on each attempt is well worth it.
More so, of course the higher the level of the quest stage you are spending your limited attempts on. The other 2 dungeons under the evolution group are areas where to farm for shia and materials for enhancing equipment. As both initially have higher levels of enemies, both will become available only after you finish chapter 3-3-1 of the story campaign.
Time-limited events often provide a big challenge that you can most likely accomplish a little later on in the game. These events offer great rewards but are often difficult. One of the main reason you would want to push through progressing in the game and enhancing your team is to be able to partake in these events while they are still available. Regular Events, on the other hand, work very much like an extended tutorial session and are very easy to accomplish. As soon as one becomes available, you can always rush through it and just follow the in-game directions.
6. Basic Battle Tips And Strategies
Consider having a well-rounded team with a fair amount of combat power relative to the challenge at hand as half of the requirement for winning that battle. The other half, and particularly more critical one, lies with your strategic skills every step of the way. While auto-mode is as cool as it gets as you enjoy watching battles much like the action part of the series’ episodes, it is not as effective against more challenging enemies especially in the Ordinal where you are pitted against teams of other players.
For starters, learn how to play manually and study how each of your characters synergize in combat. Even if you are a total beginner in the game and have not played other strategy RPGs before, simply understanding the basic concepts behind the battle mechanics will give you an advantage over any A.I. any time. The key is having the patience and confidence to do better in important battles given that auto mode should be left for ones that you certainly can beat.
At this point, we would like to stress out that while some characters are better than others, lumping them all together just because of that reason may not be effective at all. As we mentioned earlier, having a good mix of different attack types is key to forming an effective team and beyond that, choosing which type of skill should be activated when all comprise of a general strategy you should use in each battle.
Buffs and debuffs go well at the start of battle followed by charge skills to boost your team’s incarnate meter. Depending on how fast the enemy’s incarnate meter grows, you can squeeze in some break skills into the mix. While assault skills work well as finishers in tandem with incarnation skills, having more units that have such skills leave you to a variety of choices as to when you should use them.
You should also pay attention to what each member of your team is saying while in battle. It may all seem like random dialogues but a lot of them actually guide you towards what is effective and what is not. Occasionally, allies also give you advice as to when you may have to heal or switch members.
Considering everything, much of the advanced strategies will come naturally to you with some practice. While auto mode may save you some time and effort in the earlier challenges, opting for manual controls in combat will fast-track your learning curve to be a combat expert in Sword Art Online Unleash Blading.
7. Aim To Accomplish Missions For Extra Rewards
On top of the immediate rewards you receive for every stage or quest you accomplish, more are in store for you via the game’s missions. You can quickly access missions through the notepad icon at the upper right side of the screen. Take note that missions have multiple tabs so when an indicator appears on it, there are rewards for you to claim.
You should primarily focus on the first two tabs of the missions as these will house most of your accomplishments especially at the early stages of the game. The first tab is the regular missions tab, which serves as the milestones you need to meet as you normally make progress through the game whether through completing quests or meeting enhancement levels of your units. For the most part, these missions offer one-time rewards in the form of diamond cubes or other valuable items and unlock higher level missions once accomplished.
Daily missions, on the other hand, present objectives that you need to accomplish within the day that typically form part of your routine as you regularly play the game. As much as possible, you should let the list serve as your guide in checking for activities you may have forgotten to participate in for the day.
Likewise, be sure to take note of Time Bonuses that provide extra AP for you if you log into the game within the specified time. Both these types of missions will be your usual source of diamond cubes and you will constantly be aiming to obtain these premium currency to scout for more allies.
Be sure to head over to the gift box after claiming rewards from missions as most of them will not readily form part of your inventory and will instead wind up within the gift box. Once you have progressed enough through the campaign as well, check missions relative to time-limited events via the tabs within the missions window.
8. Always Check Your Inventory For Consumable Items
Through the menu button at the upper right corner of the screen, you can visit your items as well as all other features of the game. As there are no indicators of any sort to lure you into checking some of the items you have collected so far, make it a habit to visit your inventory from time to time.
For the most part, you can discover a wide variety of consumable items here that you might not even be aware of. While some of these items such as scout tickets are best used sooner than later, browsing through each one and reading through their description will help you understand more about each one’s respective value.
One particular item of value that you may want to keep an eye on is the AP Recovery Bread. Sooner or later you will want to have more AP than what you have, this item will be very valuable. You may also have some boosters in your inventory which, when used, can double the experience points, shia, or items you obtain from battle. While it can be very tempting to consume these early on, saving them for when you unlock higher level versions of the event dungeons will be worth the wait.
That very much sums up all we have for you on our lengthy, yet simple Sword Art Online Unleash Blading beginner’s guide. We hope that reading our guide leaves you with little to no questions about the basic mechanics of the game and have given you a better sense of direction on how to proceed with progressing through it moving forward.
Be sure to keep an eye out for some other helpful tips and strategies that we may have missed in our guide and if you have discovered something we haven’t yet, let us know about it via the comment section!