Who is the Best Starting Character to start with in Octopath Traveler II?
Octopath Traveler II brings back much of what made its predecessor so refreshing - which includes gorgeous art and a truly open-ended game structure. That means, once again, you’ll be faced with a choice of which starting character to choose.
You won’t even have the ability to pick a familiar face, as all eight of the protagonists of Octopath Traveler 2 are newcomers - meaning you’ll truly be in the dark as to the best starting character choices - unless you read up with us, of course. On this page:
Best Starting Character Choices for Octopath Traveler 2
As you’d expect, each playable member of the cast of Octopath Traveler II has their own unique abilities, fighting style, and background. So, while we do have thoughts on the best starting character - recommendations, if you will - the first thing you’ll want to do is learn a little about each character to see if one jumps out to you.
Each character in Octopath Traveler II features key skills in a few key areas. Specifically:
- Class & Fighting Style: Each character will begin with a specific manner of fighting. The secondary classes and job system will let you break out of this, but not for a while - you’ll initially be stuck with their basic style.
- Path Actions: Special actions you can perform in the overworld, outside of battle. These can reveal things in the world or offer items or skills that’ll make your life much easier, but they’re not made equal. There’s a few different types of these, with a bit of overlap between some characters.
- Talents: Each character will have one or two of these - unique skills that no other character can use at all.
- Latent Power: Think of this as being like an ultimate move or Limit Break - it’s a skill you can trigger in battle to really power up the character, and is unique to each of them.
Ultimately you'll end up with all characters anyway, and they'll even end up teaming up in pairs in the new Octopath Traveler 2 crossed paths storylines - but you still have to choose who to go for first.
With these elements in mind, we do have a couple of recommendations of characters we think you should start out with.
Whos hould you start with in Octopath Traveler 2?
There is no absolute right or wrong answer to the best starting character to choose in Octopath Traveler II - but these are the ones that we’d suggest picking:
Throne is absolutely the best starting choice, hands-down, for our money.
A Thief might not seem the best place to start on paper, as in RPGs they tend to be a bit more squishy, but a Thief as a leading man didn’t do Final Fantasy IX any harm. In Octopath Traveler 2, Throne is a versatile Thief, too - able to use Swords and Daggers from out of the gate, as well as some dark magic.
She can handle herself well in battle - in fact, her only real initial shortcoming is the lack of an area-of-effect attack, which makes it difficult for her to take down multiple enemies at once.
Throne’s Steal ability will keep you stocked up on healing items to keep her healed until you recruit a native support party member, and it’ll also give you a good selection of armor from the outset, not least because her story begins in a well-populated city with many unsuspecting targets carrying armor, accessories, and restoratives.
Finally, her map location is fortuitous, too, with only a relatively short distance between her and two mages to fill in your offensive and defensive magic capabilities. If you do that, your only issue will be having a real, true physical tank character - which requires a deeper trip into the map. On that topic…
Ochette feels like the obvious starting character choice. She might not look like a leading lady, but she’s got all of the right skills.
In the previous Octopath, the Hunter character was a great beginner starting point as capturing beasts was extremely helpful for the early-game combat encounters. Ochette even has a skill to turn captured creates into items - you can’t do that in Pokemon!
With the ability to use Axes and Bows, too, this feral thing can be a great starter if you want to focus on raw physical power - arguably better, in fact, than some of the more typical and traditional warriors in the game.
Her ability set will vary a bit based on which of the Ochette Comanions you choose - and which animals you recruit from then on in. Regardless of the choice you make there, though, she's good.
Osvald is the only real choice if you want to initially focus on magic. He’s Octopath 2’s main mage.
Osvald starts out with powerful Fire, Ice, and Electrical element attacks, and he’s the inverse of Throne - not exactly proficient or survivable in the same way, but able to mop up whole groups of enemies quickly thanks to AOE spells.
Combine that with his skill that can reveal enemy weaknesses, and he can rip through early battles until your first recruitment quite handily. The only catch, of course, is that he’s not got any real melee options at all.
Agnea is a great off-beat choice for a different experience.
Our final recommendation, Agnea might seem like a terrible choice because she’s a Dancer - a class primarily focused on buffing party members. But early on, you’ll have no party. But wait!
Agnea has a trick up her sleeve, where her Allure Path Action allows NPCs to be, well, allured into fighting for you. This is surprisingly powerful, and can get you through the early battles with ease. You can then use her dances to buff your newly-willing allies.
You can make use of Allure and Entreat to keep NPCs under your thumb, and then make a bee-line for characters that Agnea can synergize with well. It’s a different way to play, and is a great starting character perhaps for Octopath veterans.
Octopath Traveler Starting Character Primer: How to choose the best starter
So, you’ve seen our suggestions for the best starting character - that’s all well and good. But, as is often the case in RPGs, there is no outright ‘best’ starter in Octopath Traveler II - so if you don’t like our decisions, you could go a different way!
To do that, however, your best bet is to understand all eight characters. Which this brief primer will help you to do, explaining the skills, abilities, and play-style of each.
The eight leads are as follows. Notice what the first letters of their names spells out...?
- Fighting Style: Physical attacks with Axes and Bows, plus the ability to befriend and then later summon enemy animals.
- Path Actions: Provoke to force NPCs to battle one of her tamed animals and Befriend to get enemies to join your side temporarily.
- Talent: Capture / Prepare, which allows you to tame beasts you face in battle to summon later, or use them for item crafting.
- Latent Power: Animal Instincts, offering a power boost through extra skills.
- Fighting Style: Support Character, mostly via using special items and item mixing to heal, buff, and debuff.
- Path Actions: Inquire to get extra information from NPCs and Soothe to heal and help NPCs.
- Talent: Concoct, allowing you to mix ingredient items mid-battle to create new offensive or defensive effects.
- Latent Power: Every Drop Counts, which buffs Concoct by making it not actually use up any of the items you select.
- Fighting Style: White Mage style Magic, meaning healing spells and light elemental offensive magic.
- Path Actions: Guide to recruit NPCs to follow you for a short while, and Coerce that forces NPCs to battle you in order to make them give up information.
- Talent: Moonlight Judgment, which hits enemies with debuffs at the start of battles that take place at night.
- Latent Power: Judgment, allowing the enemy’s shield points to be lowered even when you aren’t exploiting a weakness.
- Fighting Style: Elemental Magic Spells; a classic mage.
- Path Actions: Scrutinize to get extra information from NPCs and Mug to steal items from them.
- Talent: Study Foe, which works like Scan or Libra in other similar RPGs, revealing enemy weaknesses in battle.
- Latent Power: Concentrate Spells, boosting the attack power of his magical attacks.
- Fighting Style: All-Rounder, with access to a few weapon types and some basic offensive magic - plus he can Hire NPCs to fight for him, as he’s a Merchant.
- Path Actions: Purchase allowing you to buy items from NPCs that aren’t shops/merchants themselves, plus Hire - paying to get an NPC to join your side temporarily.
- Talent: Business Partners, which has different effects depending on which NPC you’ve hired - though broadly, expect it to buff your hire.
- Latent Power: Hoot and Holler, which gives an instant max-buff to your BP.
- Fighting Style: Dancer, with all the RPG tropes it carries with it - an expert at buffing and supporting party members.
- Path Actions: Allure, which allows you to recruit NPCs to join and fight with you for a time, plus Entreat that makes NPCs give you their items.
- Talent: Dance Session, which works to buff the NPCs you’ve recruited through Allure.
- Latent Power: All Together Now, allowing you to buff all allies with single-target skills.
- Fighting Style: Thief in the typical RPG class sense, though her ability to use swords as well as the normal daggers makes her quite hardy in battle.
- Path Actions: Steal to take items from NPCs and Ambush to knock enemies out to open up new areas and such.
- Talent: Blessing of Darkness, which gives a buff to all allies any time a battle begins at nighttime.
- Latent Power: Leave No Trace, allowing for two actions from Throne in one turn.
- Fighting Style: A traditional Warrior specialized in Melee Combat, making use of swords and polearm weapons.
- Path Actions: Challenge to battle NPCs and learn skills from some when you beat them, and Bribe to pay NPCs for information.
- Talent: Learned Skills, allowing Hikari to master even more skills more quickly to diversify his skill set.
- Latent Power: Shadow’s Hold, unlocking even more special skills and abilities.