Tips For Playing Dragon Quest 11

It’s understandable if Dragon Quest 11 is your first Dragon Quest — there hasn’t been a new single-player home console entry in the series since 2004. It’s equally understandable if the ocean of old-fashioned menus and battle mechanics crammed into this 100-hour game terrifies you. Well, I’ve been loving Dragon Quest for 30 years. I’m here with a video full of 11 tips.

That’s one tip for every 2.727 years!

For example, you can pretty easily build a party of four dual-wielding physical attackers in order to maximise the odds of defeating Dragon Quest’s notoriously slippery, infamously experience-pointy Metal Slimes super-early in the game.

Two of your characters (Jade and Rab) are able to equip claws from the moment you meet them, meaning they can hit twice per round instead of once. Unlock the “dual-wielding” skills for the hero and Erik, and that’s eight attacks per turn.

More attacks is better, because Metal Slimes tend to dodge one in three attacks. They only have four hit points, and you can only give one damage at a time, so you definitely want to game those odds.

I have 10 more tips like that — because only 11 would be enough for Dragon Quest 11, of course.

Maybe this is the only tip you need, though: Just chill with it. I played Dragon Quest 11 over the course of a year, about a half an hour at a time, after taking a shower and before going to bed. I have played many Dragon Quest games this way, and I’ll keep playing them this way. They’re bedtime stories.

Hey, that’s how I described the game in my review!

Dragon Quest 11: The Kotaku Review

Dragon Quest 11 is the best game in the 32-year-old series.

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  • …there hasn’t been a new single-player home console entry in the series since 2004. There have been numerous DS, 3DS and mobile releases since then though…

  • Cliff’s notes, paraphrased from the video because the ‘author’ really just wants you to help him break out into being a YouTube star.

    1) You don’t need to have played any other Dragon Quest games to enjoy this one. It’s self-contained, but if you’ve played the others, you’ll get some nods and references.

    2) Interact with everything. Bookshelves, pots, and shiny sparkles especially. Standard JRPG operating procedure.

    3) Make notes on everything you see but can’t open/access, because you’ll probably be able to, later. Special red doors will helpfully turn up on the map, at least.

    4) Do sidequests. (Duh.) They are marked by purple dots on the map, and you can accept as many as you like. Some sidequests become unvailable if you advance the main story.

    5) Use auto-battle. (Tactics.) It’s actually well-designed, and meant to be used. Also, don’t worry about the moving around in combat – that’s just cosmetic for setting up screenshots etc, and has no impact on gameplay. (An in-game hint card will tell you this, too.)

    6) Grinding shouldn’t be necessary, but if you really want to, wait til you have all 7 characters, otherwise your starting characters will outlevel the others forever. Every battle distributes exp to all characters you have recruited, so ‘catch-up’ probably won’t happen.

    7) Use the character board to spend your skill points (acquired with every level and from some items) on abilities and buffs. There’s not much point to saving them, so spend ’em when you’ve got them. Gold can be spent to re-spec if you have regrets, but it’s fairly pricey.

    (My own tip that Tim didn’t mention: question marks on the skill board require you to nearly surround them–not completely, just like 3 or 4–to unlock. I note that Tim also didn’t mention whether it’s possible to eventually unlock everything or if you’ll hit a cap first.)

    8) Metal slimes are great for grinding. (Mentioned in the article.) High exp reward. Immune to magic, dodge 2/3rds of the time, only allowed to receive 1 damage per hit.

    9) Every party configuration is viable. You can even swap out the hero. Party leader will generally be attacked more. Mini-tip: first monster you target with a boomerang takes more damage than the others the boomerang will hit.

    10) If you want hard mode, it’s available through the ‘draconian’ settings when you first start a new game. You can pick and choose which modifiers you want, and they do what they say on the box. You can turn them off at churches.

    11) It’s OK to take your time. Loading a save will give you a ‘story so far…’ recap while it loads, and pink dots on the map are NPCs who will always tell you what you should be doing to advance the story.

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