Persona 5 Strikers: Complete Controls Guide for PS5, PS4, and Gameplay Tips

Persona 5 Strikers is one of the free January games for PlayStation Plus. Here’s your complete controls guide with tips.

A sequel to the highly popular Persona 5, Persona 5 Strikers picks up after the events of the prequel yet adds new gameplay that separates it from its predecessor. After an initial global console release in February 2021, PlayStation Plus (PS+) subscribers can add the game to their library as one of the three free monthly games for January 2022.

Read below for a complete controls guide covering the overworld and battling. A few gameplay tips will follow, targeted at those new to the series and new to action RPG games.

Overworld gameplay controls for Persona 5 Strikers (PS5 and PS4)

The crew waiting for you, the main character, in one of the anime cutscenes.
  • Move: L
  • Rotate Camera: R
  • Jump and Double Jump: X (tap in midair for Double Jump)
  • Interact: Circle (when prompted)
  • Ambush: Triangle (when prompted)
  • Baton Pass (change character): D-Pad Left, Right, and Up (after unlocking in story)
  • Phantom Dash: Circle (when prompted)
  • Dash: R2
  • Third Eye: L2 (hold)
  • Gun: L1 (hold)
  • Summon Persona: R1 (hold)
  • Map: Touchpad
  • Menu: Options

Battling gameplay controls for Persona 5 Strikers (PS5 and PS4)

The Phantom Thieves at the old hideout – the MC’s upstairs bedroom above Leblanc’s.
  • Move: L
  • Rotate Camera: R
  • Jump and Double Jump: X (tap in midair for Double Jump)
  • Attack: Square
  • Special: Triangle
  • Gun: L1 (hold)
  • Summon Persona: R1 (hold)
  • All Out Attack and 1 More: Circle (when prompted)
  • Showtime: Triangle + Circle (with full Showtime meter)
  • Baton Pass (change character): D-Pad Left, Right, and Up (after unlocking in story)
  • Dodge: R2
  • Lock On: R3
  • Interact: Circle (when prompted)
  • Recover from Status Ailment: L (rotate)

Note that the left and right analog sticks are denoted as L and R, respectively. L3 and R3 indicate needing to press the analog stick. Also, while you can attack enemies from the overworld, read below to see why it is best to avoid doing so as much as possible.

Particularly if you’re inexperienced with action RPGs in the vein of the Dynasty Warriors games, the below tips should be particularly helpful for a successful gameplay experience.

Difficulty doesn’t affect the story of Persona 5 Strikers

There are three difficulty settings in Persona 5 Strikers: Easy, Normal, and Hard. This is a change from the prequel, though Merciless difficulty can be obtained by finishing the game and unlocking New Game+.

Luckily, the difficulty setting has no bearing on the story events. Difficulty will affect how much damage enemies can both inflict and sustain. They will also be smarter and use more of their skills. If you’re a veteran of Dynasty-type games, then playing on Hard is likely to be the only difficulty that presents a challenge.

While Normal is probably doable even for beginners, if you want to save yourself stress and take your time learning as you play, or just have a fun time playing, then play on Easy.

There are also no trophies affected by the difficulty setting. The only trophy with a difficulty requirement is a hidden trophy that you are rewarded for simply starting a New Game+ on Merciless.

Also, refer back to the Tutorial in the menu whenever needed. It will have all of the tutorials you’ve unlocked thus far, so it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the mechanics.

Calendar progression system is tweaked in Persona 5 Strikers

The calendar progression system in Persona 5 was both unique and, depending on your style, anxiety-inducing. In Strikers, the system returns with one big caveat: there are no more time-restricted tasks.

Whereas in Persona 5, you would hit a Game Over scene for failing to clear a Palace by a certain date, in Strikers, the days pass only after you’ve completed everything necessary for that day; basically, it’s automatic.

The game takes place over the summer vacation month for the Phantom Thieves, so that should give you an idea of how long the game will take complete, give or take several hours for a completionist run.

With that in mind, explore to your heart’s content! Fight as many battles as you want to level up! Switch between characters and Personas to find your ideal party and Persona pairings!

Utilize checkpoints liberally while in the Metaverse

While in the Metaverse, you will find circular blue portals throughout the maps. These are checkpoints where you can save, visit the Velvet Room for Personas, access Sophie’s shop, warp between checkpoints, or return to the real world.

It’s a good idea to train near a checkpoint. Exit an area and return and the sentries should have respawned. The more battles you fight, the more experience, items, and money you receive (read further below for battling tips).

If you’re running low on items, accessing the shop will be vital. However, the beauty of the checkpoints is that there is no penalty to exiting and returning. Further, you will regain all Hit Points and Skill Points when returning to the real world. If you’re struggling, use this option and regroup.

There are also several treasure chests that will respawn with new items after a period of time. Chests are marked on your map after finding them, a white one indicating one not yet looted and a grey one that is empty. Check these areas once you return!

Whenever possible, ambush your enemies!

Preparing to fight Bicorn.

After you voluntarily enter the Metaverse for the first time from the hideout, you will be informed on how to ambush opponents. Basically, get in behind or above enemies and, when prompted hit Triangle to launch a surprise attack.

This will automatically set enemies for an immediate All Out Attack (hit Circle when prompted) and at times, wipe out an entire swarm of enemies, ending the battle just like that. It is the best way to both quickly end battles and avoid damage or spending SP.

If you don’t ambush enemies and they see you (aside from things like boss battles), then you will be ambushed! You will have to rotate the left stick to recover from being staggered, all the while susceptible to damage.

Most times, you can just trail behind patrolling sentries and ambush them. However, certain flying sentry bots can be ambushed from a cover point or Phantom Dash spot. It won’t necessarily matter if you’re above them unless you’re in one of these spots, which will then indicate if you can ambush with Triangle.

For flying bots, you can ambush them by shooting them with your gun. Hold L1 to bring up your gun and if not already aimed at a bot, use R to aim. Note that you cannot aim down, but straight ahead and up. Once locked on and close enough to hit, trigger R1. The only issue is depending on the distance, you may have to hurry over to defeat the swarm.

Side note: certain Phantom Dash areas that you can rest on and ambush from can be used to inflict damage on enemies. You could spin down a light pole, attacking any in the way. You could cut down a heavy object, landing on those below. Keep an eye for this in these spots.

Showtime attacks can quickly end battles in Persona 5 Strikers

Landing a Showtime attack.

As you battle, you will fill up your Showtime meter. Once filled, this will allow you to unleash a powerful attack with your partner Persona. Showtime attacks have their own cutscenes.

It is best to save these for large swarms. As they are so powerful, using a stored Showtime attack at the beginning of a battle may wipe the enemies entirely. In boss battles, these attacks will take a chunk of their life bar depending on their defense and HP.

Once your meter is filled and you see Showtime on the bottom left, hit Triangle and Circle together to activate the attack. Depending on your chosen Persona, the cutscene and attack will differ. For example, the pictured attack with Arsene is filled with red slashes, while doing one with Bicorn results in a green pulses descending onto enemies.

Switch Personas to fit the situation

Persona menu in the Velvet Room.

Each Persona has its own stats and abilities. Like in Persona 5, you can level up your Personas through battle as well as spending points in the Velvet Room through Persona Enhancement.

There are two other important functions here: Register/Summon Personas and Create New Personas. Anytime you receive a new Persona or level one up, it is recommended to register them, overwriting their previous registration. This way, you can purchase that Persona again at their highest level should you lose them.

To create new Personas, you will have to sacrifice two Personas to fuse into another, essentially. You choose two for “execution” who go into what amount to the medieval Iron Maiden devices. Their deaths bring about a new Persona – that’s how you obtain Bicorn, a forced sacrifice of two Personas in the story.

This is why it’s crucial to register your Personas before creating new ones! Say you really like Pixie or Bicorn, but had to sacrifice them to create new ones (Pixie is needed for Bicorn, by the way). By registering them, you can summon them again for a price.

In battle, hold R1 to bring up your equipped Persona’s skills. There will be a circle representing the area of effect for their attacks. Scroll between them with and hit X to perform that attack.

You will also see if there are any enemies weak to a certain element (their bodies will flash red). Fire is particularly effective early on, so keep that in mind.

There you have it, the basics for getting started with Persona 5 Strikers. Get in there and familiarize yourself and then wreak havoc on the enemies in the Metaverse.

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