If you go into Triangle Strategy thinking that it’s going to be like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics, then you’re in for a rough time. The latest turn-based strategy game from Square Enix is actually neither of those. It takes heavy inspiration from Tactics and Octopath, but Triangle is solidly its own beast. If you’re thinking about trying out the game, here are some tips to get you started.
Anyone who’s played the old Fire Emblem games knows to instantly reload when one of their units falls if you’re playing on permadeath. Turn-based tactics games have tons of chapters, and losing even one character can lead to significant pain on harder maps.
There is no permadeath in Triangle, and the game is scaled harder for it. So don’t punish yourself by reloading immediately when one of your soldiers bites the dust. They’ll be okay, so long as they weren’t a key character that you needed to protect during specific maps.
You can take extra backstab damage in this game. If your character is surrounded by one enemy on each side, then they can get backstabbed and attacked twice. You don’t want that to happen. When you end your turn, you can pick what direction to stand in. Ideally, you want your back to be facing a wall or another ally.
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A word of warning: you can still get backstabbed by archers from above. Use this weakness to your advantage, but also don’t assume that your back is always safe.
Look at the bar at the bottom of your screen and check the order numbers on units frequently. I know it’s annoying to keep track of 20 or 30 people at once, but it’s important to your army’s survival. It doesn’t matter if your tank has very high defense if there are 10 enemies attacking before your healer can get to them (sorry, Erador…).
If you’re in a tough spot, then use either Serenoa or Jens to delay enemy turns. Alternatively, you can use Benedict’s ability to have an ally move immediately.
As a general rule of thumb, attacks will deal more damage if you’re on a higher elevation than your opponent. But be careful: if you’re too high up, then certain attacks and abilities won’t be able to hit the enemy, even if your character is right next to an enemy unit.
I’ve had really bad luck with maps where faster enemies would critically damage my characters before they even have a chance to move or self-heal. You can fix this by giving Erador the Vanguard Scarf, which ensures that your tankiest character has the first move in battle. Once he taunts the closest enemies with his modest AoE, you can move the rest of your army without worrying that they’ll all get picked off immediately.
Benedict is the protagonist’s responsible steward. I was annoyed at him for the longest time because his advice was never fun, but it was always correct. He also has a very short attack range and no offensive abilities to speak of. Yeah, I didn’t like Benedict at all.
It was only in the later maps when I realized that I was wrong for overlooking him. This man is one of the tankiest core characters in the game. He has to be, since he’s the party buffer. Need more movement range? More damage? Defense? Need a specific character to move immediately? This man can do it all. The battlefield conditions are constantly changing, so you need his buffing abilities to adapt to every situation. Did I mention that he’s unkillable? Yeah. Even if you’re not using Benedict now, you should keep him leveled in case you need him later.
Anna is the party’s spy character. She can poison enemies at range, and then disappear into stealth within the same turn. Be sure to use this tactic judiciously on dangerous maps.
Medina is one of the healers that you can pick up during the story, and Picoletta can extend the range of your offensive items. The only problem is that there’s not a lot of money available in this game (or at least on the first run). I found myself spending most of my gold on weapon upgrades, and healing items were an afterthought. Besides, I’m miserly. If you’re going to tell me that I need to pay money in order to use a character to their fullest potential, then … I’m just not going to use them.
If you’ve been slogging around several chapters wondering why it feels like you’re underleveled all the time, it’s probably because you are. If you go to the Encampment menu, you can speak to the bartender in the upper right corner. There, you can play “Mental Mock Battles” where you try out strategies against fake enemies. And yes, imagining fake battles nets you EXP and loot.
In Triangle, you can sway your party members’ opinions by talking to them before major story votes. Be warned–the right answer isn’t always the last one. Or the answer that just unlocked. You need to actually listen to each character’s concern and consider what their values are. You know, just like you do with your real friends.