In any Persona game, cultivating relationships with your confidants is of paramount importance. The relationships you forge with these people will shape your entire play through experience, providing you with countless benefits to make your journey through the twisted hearts of your opponents smoother. Outside of victories in combat, they’re the most important part of Persona 5 Royal and indeed any modern title in the series. They’re also the focus of our article today, as we settle down to put every single confidant to rights in our own Tier List. We’re going to focus on their overall usefulness, be it in battle or otherwise, so don’t be too angry if your favourite is found a little too far down – this list is all business, not personal.
- Tae Takemi – (Death Arcana)
- Sadayo Kawakami – (Temperance Arcana)
- Ryuji Sakomoto – (Chariot Arcana)
- Chihaya Mifune – (Fortune Arcana)
- Kasumi Yoshizawa – (Faith Arcana)
Despite the fact that updates from the original P5 make your SP easier to manage, the Doctor remains one of the absolute best confidants to level up. Her stock of healing items still manage to make all the difference, especially on higher difficulty levels, and those SP restoring accessories continue to hold tremendous value. Gaining levels with her is easier than ever too – she’ll constantly request your time in the early game, more so than in the original thanks to the compression required to fit more confidants in. Her story arc is actually quite interesting too, which is a nice bonus.
Look, we love Maids in our JRPGs as much as the next person, but we’ll be the first to admit that this confidant relationship was a little off. The way she continued to speak as a maid despite the revealing of her identity didn’t quite sit with us right. Perhaps this was a translation issue, or perhaps they just wanted to have a teacher talk like a slave throughout, who knows. Either way, Kawakami is an excellent confidant to level up because she embodies efficiency. Judicious use of her skills will see you free up plenty of time to get other things done, which is invaluable in a game that has a lot of things to get done.
It’s hard not to like Ryuji really. He’s been designed to be your bro, and he achieves this to great success by always looking out for you, generally being around when you need him and by not dying to an explosion whilst escaping a boat. That last one might be a bit of a spoiler. In terms of actual usefulness as a confidant, he’s essentially a normal party member – Harisen Recovery, Endure etc. – but he comes with the Insta-kill ability, which allows you to run through a lower level enemy and completely skip the battle whilst still receiving some experience, loot and money. In a game filled with dives through Mementos, it’s a godsend.
Admittedly, the addition of Chihaya does seem to be a bit of a concession, specifically to those that struggled to get everything done in the original game. Her story arc feels a little tacked on for us, which we suppose it is, but its entertaining enough for a side piece. The real value here comes from two things: Firstly, increasing your relationship with a confidant of your choice is always a nice thing, especially during your first play through. Secondly, you can force Fusion Alarms to happen, which is nigh on essential if you want to craft the absolute best end game equipment.
Cards on the table here, we really did not enjoy the story that goes along with Kasumi’s addition to Royal. It feels so unbelievably forced, needlessly thrown in your face at every turn and feels like an excuse to push a ‘female Joker’ into the game. Her twisted past and background really didn’t work for us, and whilst we appreciate her design and performance in battle, the whole thing didn’t quite fit. What did work for us however, was the Chaines Hook, her level 4 confidant ability that lets you hook onto enemies from afar. It’s entirely unnecessary and it adds even more whimsy to an already firmly tongue in cheek game, but it makes us feel even more Phantom Thief-y and we love it, so there.
- Shinya Oda – (Tower Arcana)
- Sojiro Sakura – (Hierophant Arcana)
- Yusuke Kitagawa – (Emperor Arcana)
- Futaba Sakura – (Hermit Arcana)
- Dr. Maruki – (Councillor Arcana)
- Hifumi Togo – (Star Arcana)
- Toranosuke Yoshida – (Sun Arcana)
- The Twins – (Strength Arcana)
- Ann Takamaki – (Lovers Arcana)
Our A Tier begins with Shinya Oda, which roughly translates to ‘That cheeky lad in the Arcade’. His usefulness however, is more than just giving you an excuse to play the crane machines for decorations. The advent of Gun attacks getting more love in Royal means that they’re better than ever, and the extra abilities that Shinya gives you are fantastic. The ability to knock down any enemy, especially once it’s upgraded to three per infiltration, is a fantastic addition and the main reason for him placing so high. He can be a pain to level up at times, especially when it comes to unlocking him, but it’s certainly worth the effort in the end. Even if he does start out a little too cheeky for our liking.
Having already completed the original Persona 5 on multiple occasions, we came into Royal expecting to view Sojiro and his confidant abilities an absolute necessity. His Coffee and Curry making abilities were fantastic in the original, and helped smooth out an early game that found us struggling for SP towards the end of palaces. Royal has changed this a little, which is why he finds himself down in our A Tier. The consumables are still fantastic here, and the man himself still has a wonderful story arc, but Royal does find him a little less essential.
Not only is our favourite painting lad high on our party member list – on top, in fact – but he’s pretty damn high up on our confidant list too. This all comes from his ability to craft skill cards out of blanks that you’ll often get your hands on. This is nigh on essential if you’re looking to fully optimise end game builds, allowing you to craft your perfect stack of Persona, modifying those that aren’t quite right. His story is an odd one we’ll admit, but it’s worth it to get yourself these abilities.
Futaba is a strange confidant. The story arc is obviously fantastic, and gaining her levels by effectively increasing her confidence is a satisfying endeavour. Initially unlocking her too is a joy, having her randomly interject to give you heals or buffs feels like a nice freebie. As the difficulty ramps up into the late game however, these random interjections never seem to make the difference at the right time. It’s RNG of course, and having her reveal a whole Mementos floor is nice, but she’s just not reliable enough to rank higher.
Well now, isn’t he an odd chap. Maruki is another new confidant added to Royal and aside from his story line role, which we’re not going to spoil here, he doesn’t bring a great deal to the party. Until you reach his Flow ability, which randomly super powers your entire team. Much like Futaba above he’s RNG again, but the sheer power that this ability gives you – for free we might add – is not to be underestimated.
We love board games as much as the next person, but we’ll admit that the inclusion of Hifumi felt a little… Unusual. It’s not that we dislike her, far from it, and we appreciate that the church setting was brought into play with other side stories, but she just felt a little superfluous. Still, there’s no denying that her skills are useful, particularly the ability to switch characters in and out during in battle, which is a godsend on higher difficulty levels.
Tora’s stock has certainly fallen a little during the upgrade to Royal. It’s not that his abilities aren’t good, centred as they are around making negotiations easier, they’re just less spectacular when compared to the others here. You’ll also have to go out of your way to get him started, using a method we’d wager those playing without any kind of walkthrough won’t really appreciate.
The Strength arcana falls into a rather strange category, almost entirely of its own. See, it’s not entirely necessary to get you through the game, but you’ll be missing out on quite a bit if you choose not to. The ability to fuse numerous Persona together is not one to be missed and it’s the only way you’ll get your hands on some of the best the game has to offer, so whilst it’s not up there with the best of the best for us, it’s certainly good. Even if levelling them up can be a bit of a pain at times.
So how does Ann find her way into our top 5 party members, yet find herself languishing at the bottom of the A Tier? Well, like any other member able to join you in battle, she only really comes with one or two differentiating features. In Ann’s case, she’s able to save you from compromising situations during battle by either posing in an attractive fashion or crying. It’s hard not to be underwhelmed by yet another RNG addition, but the influence they can have on a battle is merit enough to keep her here.
- Makoto Nijima – (Priestess Arcana)
- Iwai – (Hanged Man Arcana)
- Mishima – (Moon Arcana)
- Haru Okumura – (Empress Arcana)
- Goro Akechi – (Justice Arcana)
- Ohya – (Devil Arcana)
Look, we agree with you OK? It’s a huge shame that Mokoto finds herself wallowing in the pits of B Tier, but we can’t in good faith position her any higher when her confidant kit is so lacking. Again she is a true party member and as such she’ll only contribute a few differentiating aspects. In her case, she’ll assist you by revealing Null, Repel and Drain when you’re targeting an enemy, whilst also occasionally stepping in on a negotiation to prevent failure…. As you can see, she’s not exactly setting the world on fire. Useful, but nothing special.
Much as we enjoyed the random, criminal infested story line that took place with our resident gun shop merchant, his relevance as a confidant will forever be relegated to one thing: That guy who let you make your guns a little bit more accurate. Yes, we’re aware that he offers more than that, but we’re all friends here so let’s skip the indignant bit and accept that at the end of the day, we all just made our guns a little bit more accurate and moved on.
He’s a strange lad is Mishima. The first half of the game is spent trying to build him up, yet the second half seems to focus on bringing him back down to earth. Thusly, we really enjoyed his early arc but were left a little flat by the subsequent ego trip he went on. Speaking of which, we’re left a little flat by his contribution to our cause: More EXP is always nice, but it sure is bland.
This one really make us sad. Haru was one of our favourite characters after a few play throughs, especially once we took the time to notice her awesome battle power, but her confidant abilities just don’t work in Royal. Yes, it’s possible to restore a huge amount of SP with her cultivations, but by the time this is unlocked the game has thrown so many more options at you that it really isn’t necessary. It’s a shame because it’s entirely worth discovering more about Haru in the process, but alas we’re all about business here, and her skills just aren’t a requirement.
Like many, we really enjoyed the character of Akechi. His chopping and changing story and personality really kept the game flowing, and whilst we did feel like he was shoehorned into the final act of Royal, the addition was both welcome and necessary. Things that aren’t necessary however, are his confidant skills. Yes, he gets the usual Endure and such, but there’s nothing special to push him up the list, aside from occasionally revealing enemy weaknesses.
Absolute bottom of the barrel has to be our erstwhile reporter. She’s probably our least favourite confidant in both usefulness and actual character terms if we’re honest. She’s not that annoying or offensive, she’s just so… Needless. Her alarm reducing skills are almost entirely useless, even on difficulty levels where they start higher. The only part that’s slightly useful is the reduction of security level when you complete an ambush, but even then we’re clutching at straws.
- Igor – (Fool Arcana)
- Morgana – (Magician Arcana)
- Sae Nijima – (Judgement Arcana)
We’re not going to waste time waxing lyrical about the non-optional confidants available in Royal. You’re going to level them up whether you like it or not, and outside of Sae they’re generally useful. Certainly something like Infiltration Tools would rank very highly were we to do so, but alas these things are necessary and automatic.
Thus we bring our tier list to a close! No doubt plenty of you disagree with our choices, and whilst we cannot guarantee your that you’ll escape unscathed, throw a comment down below and strike up some conversation. Maybe you really, really like useless reporters? Stranger things have happened.