Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner’s Guide

Knowledge is important, so you’d best amass as much as you can!



Shin Megami Tensei V is finally here, and boy is there a lot to do in this game. However, while more content is definitely a better thing, SMTV boasts so much that you might find yourself a little lost at first. If so, there’s no need to start worrying—it happens to the best of us, and you’ll surely gain your bearings in no time. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of help from time to time, and on that end, HPP’s got you covered with our Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner’s Guide. So, if you’re looking to brush up on some knowledge before diving into Da’at, then read on!

Note: This guide will be written in such a way that no major plot points are spoiled.


More to Explore



Shin Megami Tensei V brings about a lot of changes to the series, but the biggest change is the game’s approach to exploration. Though still a JRPG to its very core, SMTV places heavy emphasis on exploring large areas and, for the first time ever, platforming. It’s a lot to take in, even for the most seasoned of MegaTen fans, so the first section of this guide will offer a few helpful hints that will, hopefully, make the transition into SMTV‘s wide, wide world a little bit easier.


Tip #1 – Don’t Be Afraid to Wander

The first tip in the Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner’s Guide might seem a little bit obvious, but it’s important enough that I’ll risk sounding silly in order to reinforce just how important exploration is in this game. Though most of SMTV is, in a technical sense, linear, there are still plenty of opportunities to explore your surroundings—and it’s incredibly important that you do just that. New treasure chests, Artifacts (items which can be sold for Macca), Miman (collectibles), and demons are tucked away in just about every corner imaginable—so get exploring!


Tip #2 – Memorize those Mitama (Locations)

Like others before it, Shin Megami Tensei V features a race of demons called “Mitama.” Modeled after the four aspects of the human soul in Shintoism, Mitama are simplistic, teardrop-shaped demons that each sport their own unique facial expression and color. Mitama are pretty terrible at fighting—in fact, the only two things they do when encountered are cast Debilitate or flee. However, if you can kill them before they make their getaway, they’ll drop some pretty primo loot. Be careful, though—each Mitama is only weak to a single element will be immune to all others. On top of that, their weakness will change every time (and they boast resistance to Almighty), so be sure to scan them before attacking!

Here’s what each of them drop:

  • Saki Mitama (Yellow) – Artifacts (items that can be sold for a large amount of Macca)
  • Kusi Mitama (Grey) – Gospel (items that can be used to level up the Nahobino)
  • Ara Mitam (Red) – Grimoire (items that can be used to level up demons. The level cannot surpass that of the Nahobino’s by this method, however.)
  • Nigi Mitama (Blue) – Small/Large Glory Crystal (items that, when used, grant the Nahobino 10 or 100 Glory, respectively)

Normally, Mitama are encountered at random during a normal battle. There are a few places, however, that are guaranteed Mitama spawn spots throughout Da’at. While it takes them a while to respawn once defeated, they will come back eventually—so memorize their locations when you find them!


Tip #3 – Miman Are Mighty

Early on in the game, you’ll be asked to look out for small creatures known as “Miman.” Totaling at 200, these little guys are scattered all throughout Da’at and are generally tucked away in easy-to-miss or hard-to-find places. Of course, you’ll still want to collect them, as Gustav will give you a reward for every five that you collect. And trust me when I say that you won’t want to miss out on the rewards.

On your own, you’ll probably have a really tough time. Fortunately, that won’t be an issue! Toward the end of each area, you will find a small, white, fox-faced demon called Cironnup hanging around. If you’re willing to shell out a little bit of Macca, Cironnup will mark every single uncollected Miman in the area that you’re in. Once marked, the Miman will be visible indefinitely and can be collected at your leisure.


Fights of Fancy



Fighting has always been a core component of the MegaTen franchise, and Shin Megami Tensei V isn’t an exception. For the most part, SMTV‘s turn-based fighting is the same that it’s always been. There are a few things to look out for, however, and that’s what we’ll be taking a look at in this section!


Tip #4 – Their Weakness, Your Strength

Shin Megami Tensei V uses what are known as “Press Turn Icons” during battle. While these mostly work in the same way that a normal turn would in any other turn-based RPG, there are a few caveats when it comes to PTIs—especially when it comes to the game’s element system. Hitting an enemy with an element that they’re weak to will only cause the player to expend one-half of a Press Turn Icon. Conversely, hitting an enemy with an element that they’re immune to will expend two Press Turn Icons. The same thing also applies to enemies that dodge your attack. And if you hit an enemy with an element that they reflect or absorb, you can basically kiss your entire turn goodbye. Naturally, all of this applies to the enemy, too, so pay attention to what your party is weak to when heading into battle!


Tip #5 – When In Doubt, Talk It Out

The main point of talking to demons in Shin Megami Tensei V is to recruit them to your side, but did you know that talking has other uses as well? Whenever you talk to an enemy demon that you already have in your party, the battle will automatically end! You won’t get EXP or Macca from any of the demons that you didn’t kill, but it’s a great way to get out of a battle that you don’t think that you’ll end up winning!


Tip # 6 – Buffs are King

Shin Megami Tensei V‘s buff/debuff system is incredibly simple. It’s also incredibly important. Buffing your party and de-buffing opponents can massively turn the tables, especially considering that they can be stacked. Be warned, though, as buffs and debuffs will expire after three turns under normal circumstances!


Getting Good With Your Goods



Items have always been an important mechanic in MegaTen, but I feel as though I was a bit more reliant on them in Shin Megami Tensei V than I have been in previous games. Because of that, I feel like it might be useful to talk about a few things that I learned along the way!


Tip #7 – Short on Skill Slots? Use an Item, Instead!

Let’s face it—you’re never going to have enough skill slots. There are a ton of good skills in SMTVboth active and passive—and, unfortunately, you’re going to have to pick and choose when kitting out your team. Fortunately, you can lighten the load a little bit by making use of items. To that end, shards and gems make excellent replacements for elemental spells that you might not have! Similarly, recovery items like Beads are great for healing HP. Just be careful, though, as top-tier recovery items are hard to come by (although they’re not an inexhaustible resource)!


Tip #8 – Hoard Your Level-Up Items Until Late-Game

As discussed in Tip #2, Shin Megami Tensei V features two, unique level-up items; Gospel and Grimoire. The Gospel item will instantly give the Nahobino enough EXP to level up after the next battle. The Grimoire item will do the same for demons in your stock, but cannot be used to level demons past the Nahobino’s current level.

While it’s mighty tempting to use these EXP boons as soon as you get them, I’d advise that you hold onto them until late-game. Getting the last 20-30 levels is a bit of a grind on its own, but, if you’ve been good about hoarding these items, you can max your party out in no time flat.


Go, And Claim Your Ideal World!


That about wraps things up for HPP’s Shin Megami Tensei V Beginner’s Guide. Hopefully, you found something helpful while reading through it! If you did, let us know in the comments down below!

Starting out with nothing more than a Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Kenny has happily been gaming for almost his entire life. Easily-excitable and a bit on the chatty side, Kenny has always been eager to share gaming-related thoughts, opinions, and news with others and has been doing so on Hey Poor Player since 2014 and has previously worked with both PKMNcast and SCATcast. Although his taste in gaming spreads across a wide number of companies and consoles, Kenny holds a particular fondness for Nintendo handheld consoles. He is also very proud of his amiibo collection. You can also find him on Twitter @SuperBayleef talking about video games and general nonsense. Some of his favorite games include Tetris Attack, Pokémon Black Version 2, The World Ends With You, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Yo-kai Watch, Donkey Kong Country 2, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Kirby's Dreamland 3, Mega Man X, and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (among many others).

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