Clubs, sports or otherwise, have long been a mainstay of the Persona series. They tend to form one of the many Social Links available in the series, giving the protagonist a method for increasing their Arcana levels and, depending on the link, a boost to their abilities. Each and every game advises the player to level these social links in order to receive benefits, and the same is true in Persona 3. They may be somewhat light on the ground compared to later titles, but receiving more fusion EXP and unlocked ultimate Persona is reason enough to keep on top of them, and if you’re playing the portable version then you’ll find even more. All that said, Persona 3 offers you the ability to pick a specific sports club to attend, so which should you choose, and is there a wrong answer?
Is There a ‘Best’ Sports Club?
In truth, there is no best sports club. Unlike some of the later Persona titles, in which physical activities outside of dungeon delving can improve them, sports clubs do not increase any of your statistics. You will be given the choice to join either the Swimming Club, Kendo Club or the Track Club. No matter your choice, you will be introduced to the same character, Kazushi, who will become your Chariot Arcana and social link.
As noted, there are no significant benefits for picking one club over the other. You will interact with the same character, and whilst the scenes and text will be a little different depending on your choice, there is no tangible benefit to either of them. It is worth noting however, that you really should take your time to level this social link up whenever possible. Doing so will direct you towards the Strength Arcana, which in turn sets up the Tower Arcana. Whilst there are no special abilities available through the Chariot Arcana, it’s worth noting that in Persona 3 Portable, the SEES social link, or the Fool Arcana, will give you a small amount of benefits that you may recognise from newer games, such as the ability for party members to take a mortal blow in your place.
Which Sports Club Is Canon?
Whilst it is never clearly defined, most people believe that the Track team is considered canon. This is because the outfits that the students wear seem to be based on this pursuit, and because Yuko, the Strength Arcana, will eventually begin to coach a youth Track team. Similarly, the characters that you interact with will often detail that running is used to warm up, which lends even more credence to Track being canon. Some may argue that the Kendo activity might prepare you for taking on enemies in Tartarus, but the story and accompanying script do tend to push numerous characters towards the Track option.