Bravely Default II, the latest entry in the Bravely series of JRPGs released on the Nintendo 3DS , released Friday on the Nintendo Switch and I’ve been putting considerable time into it over the weekend. If you can get past (or appreciate) the game’s chibi art style, BD2 is a great classic JRPG with dozens of hours of content to keep you busy. These are some tips to help you get started.
Anyone Can Be Anything
The Bravely games feature job systems similar to classic Final Fantasy games such as Final Fantasy V or Final Fantasy Tactics and all characters can utilize the jobs you unlock as you progress.
What’s different in BD2 when compared to some other games that offer job systems like this is that each of your four characters has the exact same stats and there are no job stat growths when leveling. Gloria isn’t a better healer than Seth, and Elvis isn’t a better Black Mage than Adelle. Characters won’t diverge in their stats based on which jobs they have equipped while leveling, etc.
In short, design your party however you like and don’t stress about it at all. Pro tip: if you like a job but not how it makes your characters look, you can disable job appearances in the settings menu.
The Brave and Default system is the secret sauce of this JRPG series’ gameplay and it shouldn’t be neglected. Using Brave in battle allows you to take multiple actions in a single turn in exchange for Brave points. If you don’t have enough BP, you’ll go into the negative and you’ll have to skip turns to pay the debt.
Default, on the other hand, will skip a turn (and increase your defense) in exchange for granting you a Brave point. You can stack up to three BP doing this and if you do you can unleash a full set of actions in a single turn without going into the negative and skipping a turn.
You can gain BP in a number of other ways, as well. Some abilities will allow you to donate BP from one party member to another, for one. Another method is to slash an enemy when aggroing it in the overworld. This will start your entire party off with 1 BP.
Knowing when to Brave and when to Default is key to success in the game, especially when fighting some of BD2's harder enemies and bosses.
If you pay attention to side quests (blue speech bubbles over NPC heads), you’ll unlock a boat early on in the game. Using the boat, you can set sail for up to 12 hours while your switch is in sleep mode. This feature allows you to earn money , experience and JP orbs, and other treasures while you’re away from the game. It’s a useful feature, especially for those of us with limited time to play.
If you like to grind experience like I do and want to master the initial set of jobs you acquire early on in the game, then be sure to do so before you head for the second town. Sir Sloan is an incredibly useful companion who will deal tons of damage, heal, and resurrect your party members while he’s with you, but he leaves once you complete the prologue.
The easiest method to grind in the prologue is to head north east towards the Hydrangea Hills dungeon and farm the two Vesp (bee) spawns near the waterfall. The Vesps will drop monster bait called Insect Nectar, which you’ll want to use while farming them. Monster bait will allow you to chain consecutive waves of battles when fighting the bait’s associated enemy type and you’ll gain up to 2X JP at the maximum of five waves.
I recommend leveling your entire party as Freelancers until you unlock both the JP Up and JP Up and Up passives, which when equipped will allow you to stack an additional bonus of 70% JP on top of the bait bonus when grinding. I maxed out all of the available jobs before leaving the prologue doing this and it only took a few hours.
Freelancer is Overpowered
Initially, I wanted to max out Freelancer first to get the aforementioned JP passives, but once I did I also unlocked the job’s hidden passive, which gives it a bonus to stats based on how many other jobs you’ve mastered. This bonus, even with just the initial set of available jobs mastered, is absolutely massive. It’s so significant I’m finding it difficult to justify setting other jobs as a main job right now. I’m not super far into the game, but I’m hoping the inherent passives offered by other jobs later on justify equipping them as main jobs, but I can only see this imbalance worsening as more jobs are mastered.
Forage, a skill available to the Freelancer, is another ridiculous aspect of the job. Forage will allow you to search for items in battle and the items you find are based on your job level. With a party of maxed out Freelancers you can just sit in combat and forage for tons of items, including experience and JP orbs, that can be used to level up your party.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Do you have any tips for Bravely Default II? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!