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Altiea
Nov 9, 2016, 04:01 PM
Hello! If youíre a Phantasy Star Online 2 fan like me, you probably saw this game and said ďHey, itís like PSO2! I bet itíll be fun!Ē. You might have thought it would basically be PSO2 with a few new tricks up its sleeve. You may have thought that you can go into this with all of your PSO2 gameplay knowledge and clean house on Machia. You may have bought this game because you have nothing better to do with your Vita.

Well, youíre mostly wrong on all counts. There are many good Vita games, go buy them.

Nova, while based on PSO2, is a very different beast entirely. The classes you know look familiar and use very familiar equipment, but how you handle them is radically different than how you would play PSO2. TMGs are average? Swords are shit? Forget all that, TMGs and Swords kick ass! Force top tier? Not in this game, they arenít!

Thatís why this guide is here for you. Is it late? Of course. But is it helpful for all those PSO2 players who want to get into it because of the upcoming English patch? If I put enough work into it, sure!

Note: This guide does not explain gameplay elements or how to play Nova. This guide only covers classes and weapons. If you want to know how the game functions mechanically, check Bumpedís guide.

Note Note: Text in bold denotes content that is Nova-exclusive.

Class Overview

Hunter
[SPOILER-BOX]Difficulty: Easy

Weapons: Sword, Partizan, Knuckles, Double Saber

Good old Hunter class. Hunter is the bread and butter melee class, with pretty solid choices in way of weapons. Hunters are an amalgam of PSO2 Hunter and the Fighter class. They combine the best of both worlds by giving them powerhouse Fighter gear such as Knuckles while retaining the strengths of the PSO2ís Hunter, such as high HP and good DEF stats. If you want to mow down your foes with brute force, pick this class.

Notable Skills
Priority: 3.5/5
Usefulness (Main Class): 4/5
Usefulness (Other Class): 3/5

Hunter, naturally, is a fantastic option to shoot for if you're flying solo. HP up the wazoo, backup survival skills such as Iron Will, etc. What's not to love? If you care about not getting your face shoved inside out, toddle towards Hunter first.

Lv. 1 - 100

HP Up 1/2/3: MOAR HIT POINTS. If you plan to main a squishier class in the long run, shooting for HP Ups isn't such a bad idea. Especially when used in tandem with each other to get Combos, you can really make that number skyrocket.

S-ATK Up 1/2/3: Raw stats are good in this game! In Nova, percent damage bonuses stack additively instead of multiplicatively. This means that it's very worth your time to add straight stat bonuses instead of blindly stacking percents on each other. As with all "Up" skills, these can be used in tandem each other to gain a better boost.

Stances (Fury/Guard/Brave/Wise): While irrelevant in the post game, Stances are handy to keep around pre-Lv. 100. A PSO2 player knows exactly what these Stances do, so apply as you see fit. Each one has a specific Skill it can Combo with to unlock its Advance variant.

Equip Weapon (Sword/Knuckle/Partizan/Double Saber): The quintessential skill that allows any Class to use those weapons as long as the appropriate Skill is equipped. It's rather pointless to tag all of them at once, so just stick to your favorites when switching Classes. Each can be Combo'd with a specific Skill to unlock its Mastery, which boosts damage and reduces Variance.
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Ranger
[SPOILER-BOX]Difficulty: Easy

Weapons: Assault Rifle, Twin Machineguns

Donít really like getting into your foesí faces, but still looking for a hands-on approach? Look no further than the Ranger class. Rangers are an amalgam of PSO2 Ranger and the Gunner class. One would expect that Nova Ranger wouldnít provide as much support to TMGs, but they actually pair very well with Rangerís strengths. The lower S-ATK is slightly problematic for TMG mains, but otherwise both can be handled with relative ease.

Notable Skills
Priority: 2/5
Usefulness (Main Class): 4/5
Usefulness (Other Class): 1.5/5

Ranger is probably the least compatible of the four classes in terms of skillset; all it learns is boosts to Ranged damage. It does learn a few GP recovery manipulation skills, but otherwise it's mostly a Main Class-focused set.

Lv. 1 - 100

R-ATK Up 1/2/3
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Force
[SPOILER-BOX]Difficulty: Hard

Weapons: Rod, Talis, Wand

Prepare your Gran, itís the casting class! Force is just as versatile as ever, wielding a multitude of weapons to channel Techniques. Force is an amalgam of PSO2 Force and Techer. However, Forceís skills typically support Force itself; Wand gets very little by way of support skills, and due to a lack of Wand Gear, it may not be your first option. Nova balances Force around actual casting as opposed to Techerís more melee-oriented approach, so think carefully about maining Wand. Force also has an advantage in being proficient with Halos, this gameís version of the Gunslash.[/SPOILER-BOX]

Buster
[SPOILER-BOX]Difficulty: Medium

Weapons: All + Pile

Did you expect a Jack of all Trades class? While not available immediately from the outset, as you progress through the game, you will unlock the Buster class, a versatile class that only appears in Phantasy Star Nova. Busterís Skills are sort of an amalgam of Fighter, Gunner, and Techer. Buster also learns Average Stance, which first appeared as a skill for PSO2ís Braver. In addition to having balanced stat growths, Busters can wield every weapon in the game. Want to wear a Knuckle in one hand and a Talis in the other? Sure, why not? Busters also have access to their own weapon, the Nova-exclusive Pile, an anti-Gigantes weapon developed by Delta Valiant.
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Weapon Overview

Sword
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Medium

Power: 5/5
Range: 3/5
Speed: 2/5

Weapon Action: Guard: Block enemy attacks.

Sword is the quintessential ďheavyĒ melee weapon, and the starter weapon for the Hunter class. Unlike their PSO2 counterpart, which is relatively lacking compared to its Fighter counterparts, the Sword is a perfectly viable weapon, boasting a load of buffed Gran Arts and new GAs that cover the bases that are left uncovered in the PSO2 version.
Gran Arts:

Rising Edge
Utility: Launching, Interruption

Twister Fall
Utility: Damage, Combo

Nova Strike
Utility: Approach, Damage
First thingís first: this GA is GOOD. Remember how good Nova Strike was in PSO2 as a damage Art? Take that, buff it to remove the charge time, combine it with Guilty Break approach power, and boom, you get this form of Nova Strike. Regardless of where you are in the game, Nova Strike is a fantastic gap closer; the damage outpaces that of Fang Assault, sacrificing speed for raw power. You can even juggle enemies that you throw with the opening animation of this GA. This GA is very solid for chaining into other GAs, especially Tornado Meteor.

Sonic Arrow
Utility: Ranged DPS
Sonic Arrow has always stuck out like a sore thumb in Swordís arsenal. Ranged Striking attack that inflicts DPS? Itís no different here, but the damage is better. No Gear Skill makes Sonic Arrow sad, though, and really, itís easily replaced by other Gran Arts.

Over End
Utility: Damage
Everyone knows Over End. The de-facto nuking Art for Swords. It makes its grand return from PSO2-verse, but itís gold now! Itís a little faster than its PSO2 counterpart, and in later game, itís a decent damage option when youíre chaining from Tornado Meteor and the enemy is disabled.

Fang Assault
Utility: Approach
The first new Gran Art for Swords, and a very solid gap closer. The user rushes forward while teleporting, then smashes an enemy overhead with a cleaving strike. The execution speed is abnormally fast for such a slow weapon, and functions like a Guilty Break that doesnít require charging. The damage is alright, but donít rely on it repeatedly for big numbers.

Tornado Meteor
Utility: DPS
The second new Gran Art for Sword, and one of the powerhouse Gran Arts for the weapon. The user rises into the air while performing a spin attack, then flies towards the ground with blade outstretched, inflicting multiple hits of damage. This Art is effectively a reskinned Twister Fall with DPS attributes with the damage of Over End, put very simply. It is a very viable chain-into with other Gran Arts such as Fang Assault and Nova Strike. Once you gain TAJA from Buster in the post-game, Tornado Meteor becomes one of the best melee GAs for Sword.
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Partizan
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Medium

Power: 3/5
Range: 3/5
Speed: 3/5

Itís balanced! Thatís pretty much the Partizan in a nutshell. Blade on a stick thatís functionally decent on all counts. Lack of a Gear Skill can put a damper on Partizan mainsí parades, but fear not, they get a neat new Art that makes it all worthwhile.

Gran Arts:

Slide Shaker
Utility: DPS

Speed Rain

Rising Flag
Utility: Approach, Launch

Slide End
Assault Buster

Bandersnatch

Over Slicer
Utility: Damage
Guess what, Partizan got their own Over End! This is the new Gran Art for Partizans. The user coats the blade of their Partizan with a Gran blade and executes three powerful swings that crush foes. Unlike Over End, Over Slicer is largely focus fire with no concern for AOE, and like Partizans to Swords, it sacrifices strength for speed. Add this to your palette for an extremely worthwhile single target damage option.
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Double Saber
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Hard

Power: 3/5
Range: 2/5
Speed: 4/5

Weapon Action: Guard: Block enemy attacks.

Bet you didnít expect them to give DS Guard, huh? There are no Gear Skills in Nova, so naturally, the Kamaitachi action would be functionally useless. So now they have Guard. Double Saber also gains nice approach options like Knuckle did, so you can compensate for that crappy Range stat. The GP recovery per hit is also really good for DS, allowing you to constantly alternate GAs and normal combos.

Gran Arts:

Scissor Edge

Rumbling Moon

Illusion Rave

Surprise Dunk

Deadly Archer

Acro Effect

Moonsault Rush
Utility: Approach, AOE DPS
The new Gran Art for DS, and it has a cool name, to boot. The user leaps forward, then performs an inverted spin with the Double Saber, hitting all enemies nearby. The spin portion can be controlled with the analog stick.
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Knuckle
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Medium

Power: 5/5
Range: 3/5
Speed: 4/5

Weapon Action: Sway: Duck to avoid enemy attacks.

You may be looking at that Range value I just gave it and wonder ďWait, donít Knuckles have the shortest range in PSO2?Ē Thatís technically true here, too. But Nova was good to Knuckles. A lot of Arts such as Straight Charge and Pendulum Roll have been super-buffed to be powerful gap closers, so Knuckles have a lot of powerful chasing tools that they can use to flash forward to foes and whack them with a solid, close-range Art.

Ducking Blow
Utility: Damage, Evasion

Flicker Jab
Utility: Approach, Damage
The PSO2 version, but the user does a short hop forward before executing. Can be used to close a small gap to quickly rack up damage.

Slide Upper
Utility: Approach, Launch
You might be noticing a trend here. At any rate, itís vanilla Slide Upper from PSO2, but the Art opens with an advancing motion that closes in on the target. Use this to jump into the heat of battle and interrupt your target.

Straight Charge
Utility: Approach
This is a fun Gran Art. Unlike its PSO2 counterpart, Straight Charge is instant-cast, no waiting required. Also unlike its PSO2 counterpart, itís BLAZING fast. One push of a button on a locked-on enemy sends you half the distance of the maximum lock-on distance in under half a second. You fly forward so fast, the camera has to catch up to you. If that werenít enough incentive, enemies you charge through even get tossed if possible. It only deals two hits most of the time, though, and the damage is pretty bad, so just use it to get close to pack in some pain.

Pendulum Roll
Utility: Chase, Damage
This Gran Art is pretty interesting. While itís functionally similar to its PSO2 counterpart, the actual range is significantly buffed. Each swing of the fist sends you sliding forward about a meter or two, which gives this Gran Art extremely powerful approach and chasing potential. Itís not as efficient or as fast as Straight Charge, but it packs on way more damage.

Surprise Knuckle
Utility: Approach, Damage
Again, basically the PSO2 version, but you move forward about three meters with each swing. Excellent for beating back opposition that seems to have gotten a bit too close for comfort.

Hell Crush
Utility: Damage
The new Gran Arts for Knuckles in Nova. The user punches five times while gathering energy in front of them, then lets it loose with a powerful backhand smash. Thatís right, itís this gameís version of Backhand Smash, because BHS didnít exist when this game was made. However, itís not nearly as fast as BHS, but because of the opening strikes, it has extremely high DPS. Nailing the timing to combo is tricky if youíre using Straight Charge to approach, but this is your de-facto damage tool. Use it wisely.
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Assault Rifle
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Easy

Power: 2/5
Range: 5/5
Speed: 4/5

Differences from PSO2: Normal attacks fire slightly faster. Different types of normal attacks are included.

Single Shot: Fire one bullet, then reload. Deals the highest damage per bullet. Great for getting quick Just Attacks.
Semi-Auto: Default type. Fire a three-bullet burst. Chain up to three times, then reload. Deals average damage per bullet. Balances damage with speed.
Full Auto: Unload the entire nine-bullet clip on a target, then reload. Deals the least damage per bullet. Takes time to get the JA circle, but deals good DPS.


Gran Arts:

Penetrating Bullet
Utility: Damage
Practically identical to the PSO2 version, but the charging mechanic is removed. There is still a wind-up period however, so make sure youíre locked on to your target. Otherwise, very plain, deals decent damage.

One Point
Utility: Ranged DPS
Everyone loves One Point. Bread-and-butter DPS Art. Virtually identical to the PSO2 version, so not much mention other than the Power. At later levels, One Pointís damage tends to drop off a little, so it might take a little work to reach the same results.

Sneak Shooter
Utility: Single Target Damage
Sneak Shooter was in dire need of a buff in PSO2. In that game, it still hasnít gotten it yet. But in Nova? Itís pretty good. This Artís power has been greatly increased; it now deals extremely high single-target damage for one bullet. If you can nail the headshot, it does even more damage. Mostly usable to pop off quick, high damage hits. You can still crawl around with it, but donít use it for that.

Impact Slider
Utility: Approach

Glory Rain:
Utility: AOE DPS, Headshots
Identical to the PSO2 version, but its Power has been greatly increased. It does huge DPS, especially if the headshot connects. If an enemyís head is exposed, whip out your Rifle and Glory Rain their face for easy damage.

Reflect Aegis
Utility: Defense
The new Gran Art for Assault Rifles. For 100 GP, the player fires a bullet that summons a shield made of Gran. As long as an attack is facing your front, its damage and knockback will be completely nullified. However, if it takes too much damage, the shield will shatter. The shield will also shatter after a period of time. While extremely costly, as it typically swallows your entire GP gauge at once, itís a pretty decent way to get out of trouble in a pinch. It also helps retain Standing Snipe bonus without the fear of getting knocked away by a wayward attack. The shield has a fair amount of durability, and as long as youíre facing your target, the threat will be neutralized until the shield wears off. Still, consider your foe before adding this to your Palette.
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Twin Machineguns
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Medium

Power: 4/5
Range: 3/5
Speed: 5/5

Weapon Action: Stylish Roll: Flip out of the way to evade enemy attacks. Perform three in a row to evade in slow-motion.

Differences from PSO2: Normal attacks fire at double speed.

Twin pistols! Who doesnít like more dakka? Their range isnít like that of the Assault Rifle class, but it makes up for it in raw strength. This, combined with melee strikes, makes the Twin Machineguns a formidable weapon on the battlefield. In addition, they possess a single new Gran Art that entirely changes the way that Twin Machineguns are played.

Gran Arts:

Aerial Shooting
Utility: Approach, Combo
Did you like T Machinegun S Charge? Then youíll like Novaís take on Aerial Shooting. No charge time, and it gains outstanding gap closing properties on the ground. Add this to your palette to quickly get into enemiesí faces to start a Dancing Sweep combo. The damage is okay, and you can use it to clean out early game trash mobs, but after that, keep this as an approach trigger button while saving Reverse Tap for actual approach damage.

Bullet Squall
Utility: None
Same thing as vanilla Bullet Squall in PSO2. Not really any point in using it, especially when you canít really strike Gigantes overhead. If it could move, it might be useful, but otherwise, just skip.

Satellite Aim
Utility: Ö Damage?
Every PSO2 Gunner out there knows about this monster. Unfortunately for those people, Nova tamed the monster quite a bit. This is partly due to Novaís mechanics and no Chain Trigger. Itís identical to its PSO2 counterpart, but the Power stat is abnormally low. The damage is okay if you strike headshot, but at a 25 GP cost, itís extremely GP inefficient.

Infinity Fire
Utility: Ranged DPS
Basically the PSO2 version, but without the charge time. Nothing much to say about it besides the fact that itís an okay ranged option. However, itís lacking in the Power department.

Elder Rebellion
Utility: Ranged Damage
Identical to the PSO2 version, but a bit faster. Itís about as effective in that game as it is in this one, so choose your battles when using it. Thankfully, you donít have to worry about sustaining ZRA in Nova, so feel free to spam Elder Rebellion to oblivion.

Reverse Tap
Utility: Damage, Approach, Stun
OH BOY, IS THIS GA GOOD. Remember how shitty Reverse Tap is in PSO2? Forget that crap, this should always be on your Palette, no question. Not only does it retain the stun attribute, it gets a huge damage buff, and IT MOVES. Combine Reverse Tap and Grim Barrage, and you get this thing. Itís an excellent combo starter for pretty much everything, and is an amazing gap closing option to deal high damage quickly. Not only that, but it chases in the air, unlike Aerial Shooting. This is a solid endgame Art for when you need to take care of trash mobs or hit multiple parts of a Gigantes.

Dancing Sweep
Utility: DPS, Invulnerability
The new Gran Art for Twin Machineguns, and boy, is it a doozy. Take Messiah Time, make it stationary, increase its damage to Infinity Fire Type-0 levels, and this happens. The player performs an aerial slow motion backflip while firing bullets, then lands on the ground and performs a slow-motion low spin while shooting. Both slow-mo segments have invulnerability, and the Power of this thing is obscene. You can use it to get out of tight spots while staying in an enemyís face and blow them to pieces. In addition, it retains Standing Snipe bonus if performed repeatedly on the spot, allowing you to pack on extra damage.
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Halo
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Easy

Power: 3/5
Range: 5/5
Speed: 2/5

Itís this gameís Gunslash! Halos are an All-Class weapon developed by Delta Valiant. They are units worn by the hand encircled by rings of light. They are Tech weapons that are used for support, but they have a few damaging Arts as well. Donít shy away from whipping them out because theyíre All-Class.

Gran Arts:

Ring Field
Utility: Gigantes
Youíll be using this one a lot. For a small GP cost, the user summons a Ring Field if a Gigantes is present. Vital for directly attacking Gigantes, so keep this around at all times unless you bought Ring Field Generators.

Protection Wall
Utility: Not Dying
The user punches the ground with their Halo, summoning a field that negates damage against allies. The slow cast speed makes it difficult to use against quick bosses, but you can break this out if you smell a one-hit kill coming.

Aggressive Cage
Utility: DPS
The user punches twice, then throws out a bit that explodes repeatedly, dealing multiple hits of damage. Rings summoned by Satellite Bit are consumed to increase explosion size and damage. Very solid ranged DPS option, but requires Satellite Bit to function effectively.

Snare Gate
Utility: Anti-Mob
The user punches the ground with their Halo, summoning a field that inflicts Bind on enemies. Useless on bosses, but has applications against large crowds of enemies. GP cost isn't bad as well.

Upper Beat
Utility: Damage, Approach
The user teleports towards a target and delivers a swift uppercut. Rings from Satellite Bit are consumed to perform consecutive punches. Solid chase damage option for flighty targets, but relies on Satellite Bit for maximum utility.

Satellite Bit
Utility: Support
This Gran Art summons five rings to surround you. The Rings automatically fly out towards targets to damage them. They even stick around if you switch weapons. This Art affects the GAs Aggressive Cage, Upper Beat, and Resonance Cannon.

Resonance Cannon
Utility: Damage
The user fires a beam of concentrated Gran. If you have Satellite Bits active, the Bits will be consumed and the range and damage of the beam is boosted. Haloís de-facto damage art, but a bit tricky to grasp. The most obvious combo is Sat Bit > Resonance Cannon. This Art only hits grounded targets, so make sure whatever youíre fighting is on the same plane as you.
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Pile
[SPOILER-BOX]Ease of Use: Medium

Power: 4/5
Range: 4/5
Speed: 2/5

Weapon Action: Guard: Block enemy attacks.

What happens when you cross a Launcher, a Sword, and Weak Bullet? This thing! The Pile is a weapon developed by the Delta Valiant designed specifically for defeating the Gigantes. Its large spears can embed themselves into enemies; by striking these spears, you can deal double damage. If you have a spear stuck in a Gigantes, you can even cast Ignition on it to catch it for your Gigantes Blast! Gotta catch Ďem all! Balance between its striking attacks and ranged spears for maximum output.

Gran Arts:

Pile Shooter
Utility: Pile

Pile Rush

Pile Storm

Boost Dunk

Boost Blitz

Rising Impact

Burn Smash
Utility: Knockback
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A Note About Techniques
[SPOILER-BOX]Techniques function pretty much the same as in PSO2, so thereís no need to mention them. However, Techs must be charged to cast them. There are no uncharged variants. Do note that Shifta and Deband are only two ticks for 30s per tick; Resta and Anti are the same.[/SPOILER-BOX]

Sakarisei
Dec 4, 2016, 04:37 PM
The guide is good. I won't say not. However, I think you should explain about how the classes affect the others. Mainly because people won't know about... for example, giving the element weapon skills of FO (Fire/Ice/Thunder/Wind/Light/Dark weapon) from lvl 101-120 or... for example, explaining about how the huge ammount of HP in the HU class thanks to the skills

Altiea
Dec 10, 2016, 09:52 AM
The guide is good. I won't say not. However, I think you should explain about how the classes affect the others. Mainly because people won't know about... for example, giving the element weapon skills of FO (Fire/Ice/Thunder/Wind/Light/Dark weapon) from lvl 101-120 or... for example, explaining about how the huge ammount of HP in the HU class thanks to the skills

Duly noted. I had a feeling I left the class sections a bit bare; I'll work on that as soon as possible.

ZeroViral
Sep 19, 2018, 09:02 AM
Awesome job Bro/Sis. J enjoyed reading this, I was planning on making one but you beat me to it. You should include bare hands for weapons, sure it's movesets is Knuckles without the weapon and you have no access to other GAs and skills. However, it's attacks are faster than knucles and staggers more than it. Aw my cute little Female Force Newman taking down Gigantes with just her bare fists, so much fun.

PS A shame they didn't include Gunblade. It was my weapon of choice for my Female Newman Hunter alongside Bare Hands in PSO2. Before SEA were bannex in the JP Game.