Friday, September 30, 2022
HomeGameplayGame Guide – Shin Megami Tensei V (SMT 5)

Game Guide – Shin Megami Tensei V (SMT 5)

With the recent release of Shin Megami Tensei V (SMT 5), MGN has been putting some serious hours into the game and we’ve come across certain elements that we feel will aid you in your playthrough, especially if this is your first entry into the series.


Saving often is the key to preventing massive losses to your progress and the immense frustration that comes from having to trudge through the same content that you’ve already mastered after getting a game over with no save.

SMT 5 is available on the Nintendo Switch now!

SMT5 is not like some of the more forgiving RPG games wherein you get kicked from a fight if you lose and you can just try again. Oh, no. Here, you won’t even be kicked to the most recent inn or town you slept in or whatever the Tensei equivalent is, if you die, that’s it. Game over. Load your last save.

Leyline Founts are what you’re going to want to keep your eye out for as they enable the player to access a number of must-use facilities, including saving.

Saving is also a good practice before investing in demons or fusing them. If you happen to get an unfortunate and unexpected result, load your most recent save and try again! Or don’t. I’m not your boss.

Game Over

Your entire party doesn’t need to die in order for you to receive a game over, though you will if they do. In fact, only your controlled player character needs to die for the game to be over.

As such, it’s always worth ensuring that the main character is the highest priority for healing and clearing status conditions. It doesn’t matter how healthy your demons are if your main character dies. In true protagonist fashion, everyone but you is expendable.

Investing in vitality is always a wise decision to prevent this, and there are even damaging abilities that have their damage scaled from your health and vitality, making the stat even more crucial and useful!

Don’t forget, just like your light and dark attacks have the chance to insta-kill those that are weak to the elements, so can enemy attacks! Switch up your resistances!

Items are Power

The general consensus for SMT5 is that items are more powerful than ever before. Examples:

  • The spyglass for checking out a foe’s weakness and resistances to build up your turns.
  • The powerful all-ailment curing items.
  • Elemental shards that allow you and your demons to inflict bonus damage regardless of whether they have an appropriate attack.
  • Elemental dampening items that give your entire field resistance to whatever damage type a boss might use.
  • And more!

Don’t be afraid to spend large amounts of your money investing in items; they’re worthwhile and are extremely useful and potent. You can even invest in a Miracle that will allow your demons to use items as well so that you’re never caught out!

Buffs and Debuffs are Power too

Applying power-ups in the form of buffs to your characters, and debuffs to enemies, can turn the tide of a difficult fight into one that you can roll over with your Super Saiyan-like character and demons. The buffs you can apply will also stack up to three times so that you can really boost the output of a specific character, or drain an enemy of all their potential damage or damage mitigation.

It cannot be overstated how influential this can be in battle. If you’ve played DS: Hacker’s Memory, buffs work in a very similar fashion and will likewise become a necessity on the higher difficulties.

Essence Fusion

Unlike the demons that you can recruit, your character will not automatically learn skills as they level up. So, you’re going to need to fuse your player-character with the essences that you obtain in order to learn the moves of the demon whose essence you’re consuming.

This method can be applied to demons as well to give them moves they would not otherwise be able to learn. Have a demon that has a specific proficiency that you need for your team composition, but their attacks in that affinity are somewhat lacking? Infuse them with the essence of another!

You can also use essences to change the elemental resistance affinities of your player-character as well. This can be used to counter a pesky boss who specialized in, let’s say, the force element. Change your resistance to force and you’re on your way!

Skill Proficiency

Aligning your skills with proficiency is the easiest way to ensure that you and your demons are dealing the most amount of damage you possibly can.

When analyzing yourself or your party, you will notice along the top right-hand side each of the affinities in the game. There will either be a plus or minus with an associated number to each of the affinities. Using those that align with the plus will mean that skills of that type will deal more damage and cost less MP to use. If you use a skill where the affinity is in the minus, then the opposite will be true.

Your player character will start out with no plus affinities, but as you collect glory during your playthrough you can augment your affinity with Miracles. Love dark skills and want your character to follow that path? Buy the dark affinity with Glory and use essence for dark skills!

Leveling Up Stats

Each time you level up, you’ll notice that you gain between three or more points that are automatically allocated to stats. Beyond this, you’ll have the option to decide where the remaining one to two points are allocated. Demon allocations are all automatic based on their type and proficiency.

This is where the role-playing kicks in for your main character. You can specialize in learning a large variety of magical spells and invest heavily in magic. You can learn defense-raising buffs and pump into vitality. You can go for physical skills with strength. You can go for critical builds with luck. The world is your oyster!

But remember: there is no respeccing. Once a stat is locked in, there is no changing it.


This is essentially your ultimate attack. Similar to building your “Q” ability in Overwatch before unlocking the potential to release a devastating ultimate attack. It’s the same thing here but it’s called Magatsuhi.

You build the gauge above the turn-counter, the red meter, by dealing and taking damage and just general combat. Once maxed, you’ll have access to the Magatsuhi skills at the bottom of your skill list.

You start the game with one such skill which enables every attack performed thereafter to become a critical hit for a turn, regardless of whether the attack is physical or magical. This can build your bonus turns and damage insanely fast!

As you play through the game, you’ll discover through enemies, NPC characters, and quests, that you can obtain items that unlock and enable additional Magatsuhi skills.

Demons and Fusion

That’s right. Jogress is in SMT5 – you can fuse two of your favourite little demon critters together to create a powerful amalgamation with skills combined from both their fusion materials. Each demon will have a family that precedes its name, and these families are what determine the resulting demon from your jogress.

There are a few different methods for using jogress:

Dryad Fusion:

Allows you to choose one of your current demons, then provides a list of potential results based on the other demons in your party.

Reverse Fusion:

Reveres Fusion is simple in that it will give you a list of the demons that you can currently obtain through fusing members of your existing party.

Reverse Compendium Fusion:

This method will tell you all of the demons that you could possibly make from those in your party and those registered in your compendium. This method can be expensive on the macca, but is handy for creating specifically what you want.

Special Fusion:

Special Fusions are obtained through side-quests and are unique. They require specific fusion materials and will always result in a special and unique fusion demon. They can be a pain to obtain but are quite powerful.

Leave us a Comment!

Found a really cool fusion or want to leave us a question or comment? We’d love to hear from you on the blog, our YouTube channel of course, the new MGN twitter @MGN_TV, and our Discord.


ProgramFounding Writers
AuthorLuke Cowling
GameShin Megami Tensei V (SMT 5)
L. P. Cowling
L. P. Cowling
Luke Cowling was born in beautiful country New South Wales, Australia. And now lives in rural Victoria with his wife Rosemarie, four boys, two cats, and their dog. His debut novel, Owenoak, brought together Cowling's love for the fantasy genre, mixing with his passion for the written word. Their byproducts, The Notes Series, brings this universe alive in a library of creatures and critters. Some of Cowling's inspirations include Mark Lawrence, J. R. R. Tolkien, G. RR Martin, And Phillip Pullman. Lovers of these authors will find Cowling's work teaming with likeness! The latest Cowling novel 'Gearpox' on sale now!


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