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Skills are the physical culmination of the thoughts of the Espers. There's confirmation of many different varieties of skills, grouped into types and schools. Skills require Cost (a specific amount of Aura) to use and have restrictions on the number of times they can be used. Some skills can be used multiple times, as long as the Esper has enough Aura. Other skills can only be used once, regardless of the amount of Aura the Esper has, and will vanish after use. The specifics of these parameters can be learned by viewing each skill's information.
Combat: Skill Color
During battle, the capsules that spawn can be divided into two large groups: those that contain memories of skills (Skill Capsules) and those that raise your Level so you can use your skills (Aura Capsules). Capsules belonging to others are covered with black particles and basically cannot be captured. The skills that can be captured and their capsule colors are as follows: Aura (White), Attack (Red), Defense (Blue), Erase (Purple), Status (Green), Environmental (Aqua), and Special (Yellow).
Combat: Attack and Defense
In battle, the relationship between Attack and Defense skills is as follows:
STR > DEF: Attack has no effect. Defense skill is destroyed. STR = DEF: Attack has no effect. STR < DEF: Attack has no effect.
When STR > DEF, regardless of the difference, the effects are the same—that is, in most cases.
Combat: Skill Types
Skills are divided by effect into skill types. Currently confirmed, there are only five different types: Attack, Defense, Erase, Status, and Special. Aura Particles do not fit within any of these types and are considered to be a unique and separate skill type.
Combat: Skill Schools
We've confirmed a massive number of different skills, each with different varieties of effects. These skills have been divided into schools, based on the core base power components of the skill. There are a total of five schools: Psycho, Optical, Nature, Ki, and Faith. Aura Particles are a unique skill that do not belong to a specific school.
Combat: Skill Schools-Optical
Optical uses light as its base power. It has many mid- to long-range Attack skills with fast shells. Optical Defense skills have low levels of protection, but they are easy to use and inexpensive. A unique characteristic of this school is its ability to control Level. It is geared toward Espers who appreciate well thought out battles. The Optical school has no effective close-range attacks; therefore, locations that are cluttered and not well suited for mid- to long-range attacks will most likely place Optical skills at a disadvantage. Those who possess a majority of Optical skills have a yellow aura around them.
Combat: Skill Schools-Psycho
Psycho uses the force to move objects as its base power. The majority of Psycho skills have effective close- to mid-range attacks. Their power of attack is high and is optimal for aggressive battles. Another characteristic of this school is the bountiful number of movement control skills. There are a few technical skills in this school, such as Erase or Status skills; therefore, one would be at a disadvantage if engaged in battle against an opponent who has there types of skills. Those who possess a majority of Psycho skills have a red aura around them.
Combat: Skill Schools-Ki
Ki uses your psychological stamina as its base power. It's filled with skills best suited for close-range battle and skills that knock down opponents. In most cases, powerful Attack skills can't be used repeatedly. It will be a long battle when facing an opponent prepared with Defense skills. Also with this school you can use your will against others; You can erase their skills and interfere with strategies. Those who possess a majority of Ki skills have a blue aura around them.
Combat: Skill Schools-Nature
Nature uses the natural surrounding environment as its base power. With close- to long-range attacks and abundant Defense skills, there is no downside to this school. And with the many variations of Attack skills, there's an infinite selection to choose from. If a weakness must be noted in this school, it would be the high cost associated with using Nature skills compared to those of other schools. Few skills interfere with others, but some skills change the status of everyone, including the Esper who uses it. In addition, few skills of the Nature school would take another by surprise.
Combat: Skill Schools-Faith
Faith uses your will as its base power. The many powerful skills in this school have a high Cost or take away Health when used. Shell speed is slow, but homing on these is quite accurate. Many Faith skills can reverse a battle situation, but they are typically difficult to use. Those who possess a majority of Faith skills have a purple aura around them.
A capsule contains a skill that must be captured to a button of your choice in order to use it. The skill type can be identified by looking at the color of the capsule. Each skill type has a distinctive capsule color. Skills can only be captured and identified by the person who owns them. Others, however, can visually see whether the capsule does or does not contain Aura.
Combat: Capsule Spawn
Once a capsule is captured, it takes some time for the next one to spawn. Understanding this timing will allow you to determine the best timing for your next defensive or offensive move. Some say the core of battle lies on how you capture. Mastering the timing of the capture will greatly benefit you in battle.
For an Esper to use a skill, he or she needs to touch a dust medium called a capsule. This will recall the skill and allow you to use it. This is called capture. The basic way to capture a skill is to touch a capsule and press to which you want it assigned, but special circumstances may allow for other methods.
To use skills, you need to have a certain amount of Aura. When preparing to attack an enemy, keep in mind the Cost associated with the skill to be used and allocate accordingly. For example, when using a Defense skill to block an Attack skill, you still need enough Aura to counterattack afterwards to win. Although your Aura recovers over time, it is, of course, never a reasonable tactic to be without any Aura during battle.
Combat: Aura Recovery
When a skill is used, it consumes Aura, which then gradually regenerates to its maximum Level. While it's regenerating, if another skill is used, or a special movement such as Dash is used, then the regeneration stops. Also, some skills cause Aura to regenerate more quickly or immediately, whereas others stop Aura regeneration entirely. Successful use of these skills will be achieved as you become accustomed to using them.
The Aura that exists on the surface naturally surrounds the Esper, but the only way to store Aura is if the Esper increases Level, which allows the Aura to collect. To increase Level, the Esper must use a special skill called Aura Particles. However, Level will drop back to the initial setting upon returning to the underground.
Skills taken into battle can be chosen by altering the arsenal prior to battle. The order in which skills spawn are random; therefore, it is difficult to judge which skills come when, but depending on how your arsenal is altered it can be skewed for the best performance. If a battle does not proceed as planned, in most cases there is something wrong with the arsenal. Incremental changes to the arsenal are necessary to maximize the performance from the arsenal.
Combat: Arsenal Ratio
A maximum of 30 skills can be incorporated into your arsenal, but to raise your Level you need to include Aura Particles to use the skills. To consistently raise your Level, you need to have a lot of Aura Particles in your arsenal, but placing too many of them will take away the ability to place skills into your arsenal. Balancing Aura Particles and skills is a strategic and delicate act; the most difficult task in ensuring success.
Combat: School Restriction
The majority of arsenals can hold a maximum of two different schools. Although rare, there has been some success with arsenals that can hold three different schools, but a side effect is that Aura recovers more slowly than with a two-school arsenal. Unconfirmed information has referred to the existence of arsenals restricted to a single school with even faster Aura recovery speed.
Combat: Acquiring Skills
A skill can be obtained after clearing a mission. To increase your number of skills, it is best to purchase them at the shop. Buying Junk is recommended to maximize the number of skills in your possession. The content of Junk is unknown until after purchase when it is opened. In some cases, this is a cheap way to obtain rare skills. Skills that are no longer needed can be sold at the shop, but not for a lot of credits. This is why most Espers trade them among each other.
Combat: Close-Range Battle
Using Defensive skills is effective to avoid or take on close-range attacks. Simply dodging close-range attacks is also effective, but this takes some practice. From the time the attack is launched, the target can move to avoid the attack, but the attacker can also move to ensure that he or she can continue to trail the target. For close-range battles, you can fight the enemy head-on, but if this proves fruitless there is no need to stay positioned in the comfort range of your opponent. If you don't have a skill with which to counter a close-range attack, run. Running away is a legitimate battle tactic and often essential.
Combat: Mid-Range Battle
Mid-range battles provide the best scenarios for accurately targeting the enemy, effectively using defenses, and successfully dodging attacks. Although it depends on the strength of the attack, most can be avoided if you have a sufficient Defense skill. By mastering how to use the different mid-range attack skills, you can greatly expand your battle strategies. On the other hand, the enemy will also use many different attacks, and one must be prepared for them.
Combat: Long-Range Battle
Long-range skills obviously take longer to reach their target; therefore, they are easier for the enemy to avoid. Also, the trajectory of these skills becomes more difficult to control when the target is at a mid-range or less distance. For there reasons, it is difficult to successfully use long-range skills in an area where it is difficult to put distance between you and your opponent or in a location with a lot of debris. Long-range skills, however, usually have great homing abilities. If the opponent doesn't have any countermeasures for long-range skills, the enemy can be continually damaged.
Combat: Air Battle
Some skills can be launched in mid-air. By using other special movement skills you can attack them from overhead. We have no information, however, about Defense skills that can be used in the air. In other words, you are defenseless while in the air. In addition, not only will you incur the damage from the attack, the drop from the air will add additional damage and might knock you down. When engaging in air battle, remember that you become a prime target for those on the surface.
Combat: Cooperative Play
In cooperative play, it is imperative that partners are aware of the condition of one another. The simplest way to do this is to lock onto your partner. But during battle make sure you don't target your partner, to decrease the likelihood of accidentally hitting your partner as you attack the enemy. In addition, remember that while the enemy is down it is an optimum time to create strategies with your partner to continue with an effective attack.
An Esper can be knocked down after receiving damage from a powerful attack or when attacked in mid-air. After being knocked down, in most cases for the few seconds it takes to get up the Esper cannot be the target of Attack skills. During these seconds, the Esper must decide whether you counterattack or to flee the area. Similarly, when an Esper leaves a designated area, he or she may fall "out" of the area and respawn at the starting point. In such a case, a damage of 3 is incurred, but the Esper will not be the target of attacks while respawning.
When you run out of Health, you lose all power and fall; however, there are times when it's possible for your partner to revive you. To resuscitate a fallen comrade, approach and capture him or her just as you would a capsule. The partner now has qualities similar to an Aura Capsule; press the button and this will resuscitate your partner.
Resuscitation is not limitless. Once resuscitated, Health is only recovered up to half of what you originally had; for example, the second time an Esper is resuscitated, his or her Health is half of half of what they started withthe Esper will only have one-quarter of the Health he or she originally had. If this process is repeated over and over, a time will arise when they can no longer be resuscitated. Also, if a partner is not careful, he or she might miss an opportunity to resuscitate the other. In battle, partners need to be aware of each other's Health.
Combat: Using Terrain
When on the surface, it is imperative that an Esper become familiar with the terrain and use it strategically in battle. The terrain can protect you from enemy attacks and provide an opportunity for sneak attacks. You can use the terrain to your complete advantage by dodging among structures and maneuvering around obstacles, all while locked onto your enemy.
It is possible to incur damage if you are unfortunately hit by a piece of rubble from a crumbling building. Such accidents cannot be avoided with Defense skills. Other types of skills, however, can be used to destroy terrain to inflict damage onto your enemy.
Combat: Running Out Of Skills
In battle, when you have run out of skills and no more capsules are spawning, you are unable to recall more skills and your life is affected, decreasing your Health. It is only a matter of time before your Health reaches 0. Even if you don't lose any Health, when you are left with no skills there is nothing you can do. It's as if you have already lost. On the other hand, you can turn this dire situation into an effective strategy to overthrow your opponent. Once you get used to it, create an arsenal geared toward this strategy.
There are many ways to make your opponent powerless. One way is to erase opportunities for your opponent to use Attack skills. To do this, erase all of the opponent's capsules and make him or her run out of skills. Alternatively, lower the opponent's Level to 0 to prevent further participation in battle. You can also reduce their attacks so you do not incur significant damage. Another option is to freeze the opponent's button presses.
Combat: Special Evironment
Environmental effects will affect players regardless of their location. During a special Environmental effect, an Esper cannot change the effect with use of a skill. When going into a situation, one should bring an arsenal suited for such a condition. Prior to battle, one can try to create an arsenal to counter the Environmental effect, but this is not recommended.
Combat: Evironmental Effects
Environmental crystals have various effects on the battlefield for a certain duration of time. Its characteristics are to change the core concepts of battle, such as changing the rate of recovery or preventing the use of some skill types. Although the effects of Environmental skills are amazing, by using an Erase skill to eliminate environmental crystals or by capturing environmental crystals the effects can be stopped.
Combat: Evironmental Skills
For those Espers who have been placed at a disadvantage after an Environmental skill takes effect, they will most likely become focuses on getting rid of the environmental crystal. By setting a distorted movement environmental crystal in an inconspicuous location, your opponents will try desperately to find it. Another strategy is to deal a double Penalty on the opponent by placing the environmental crystal in a very visible location, but then also setting a trap around it.