Do You Need to Play Persona 5 to Understand Persona 5 Strikers?

Persona 5 Strikers is only a few weeks away, so it’s time to rally the Phantom Thieves together for one last adventure. Developed by Omega Force and P-Studio, Strikers is a radically different style of game than the smash-hit JRPG Persona 5. Combat is no-longer turn-based, but a mix of the army smashing battles of the Dynasty Warriors franchise and the strategic combos of Final Fantasy VII: Remake. This title is also far more linear than the original game, with time only passing at pre-determined moments in the story. Yet, Strikers still retains the sharp writing, great music, and sense of style that has defined the Persona games for years.

This can lead many to wonder if they even need to play Persona 5 to enjoy Persona 5 Strikers. Here’s what you need to know before you pick up this game!

Do You Need to Play Persona 5 First?

Yes.

Despite not following the game gameplay design as the core entry, Persona 5 Strikers is a direct sequel to Persona 5. This is not a random one-off arc that takes place sometime during Persona 5’s story, but a continuation of the character’s arcs, relationships, and the world itself. While I won’t be getting into almost any details about Strikers’ story here, I can say that there are numerous references to previous events and people from the RPG. Even major aspects of Persona 5’s world such as the Metaverse, Shadows, and Palaces are given a very, very brief explanation.

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy Strikers without having beaten Persona 5. There is just enough world-building information offered to make this title less confusing for newcomers. However, don’t expect to have any backstory information on the core cast revealed. Additionally, for anyone who has played Persona 5 Royal, don’t expect to see Kasumi, Dr. Maruki, or Akechi make an appearance. Strikers follows the vanilla story, not the expanded Royal version which has a completely different ending. If you only played Royal, Strikers picks up right before the third semester (and final Palace) begins.

This makes playing Persona 5 Strikers a little tricky since Persona 5 is not available on PC or Nintendo Switch at the time of writing this. If you have access to a PS4/PS5, I strongly suggest that you play Royal first before diving into Strikers. Not only is it a terrific game, but you will a have much deeper understanding for the characters and even some of the mechanics such as enemy weaknesses. For those on platforms wheres Persona 5 is not available, there is a good summary of the game’s event done by Youtuber FirstPlace. Yes, it’s a little over twenty minutes long, but Persona 5 Royal is also about 120 hours so this is saving you a lot of time.

As for you Persona 5 players, you should be totally fine going into Strikers even if you haven’t played Royal. Plus, we get to spend time with Ryuji again and isn’t that worth the price alone?

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Collin MacGregor

Collin MacGregor is the Guide Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He's also the person who willingly plays the support class (you're welcome) and continues to hold out for an Ape Escape remake.

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