5 Tips for Surviving Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Etrian Mystery Dungeon is an awesome 3DS title that takes the best of the Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon series and brings them together in one package. Just like Persona Q before it, Etrian Mystery Dungeon proves to be a mash-up that works really well. Spike Chunsoft and Atlus have outdone themselves with this one.

The game can be a bit brutal sometimes, though. If you get wiped out in a dungeon, you get sent back to town. Normally that wouldn’t be too bad, but if that was the only consequence for death, it wouldn’t be a Mystery Dungeon game. When your party is sent back to town, you also lose all of your money and items. Needless to say, each floor is a bit more stressful than usual when death carries such a high cost. To help you out, we’ve pulled together a few tips to staying ahead in Etrian Mystery Dungeon.

1. Leave No Stone Unturned

Sometimes, it’s tempting to race to the bottom floor of the dungeon. Usually, there are a few different paths that players can use to reach the final floor. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, the game gets a lot easier if you explore every single floor in every dungeon you explore – every time you play through it. Each dungeon is randomly generated, and that means that no two excursions are alike. Every floor holds different enemies and different items, so exploring every part of every floor is a must for leveling up and making money. This also makes quests much easier, as you’re much more likely to run into the items and enemies you need to find. Exploring everything might seem obvious – even the tutorial encourages you to do this – but after dozens of hours of dungeon crawling, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation to rush through a dungeon. If you find yourself feeling this way, try exploring another dungeon or take a break from the game. When you do reach that bottom floor, you’ll be glad you took your time getting there: the bosses in Etrian Mystery Dungeon are no joke.

2. Stay at Home

If you’re anything like me, you get attached to the first character you create or play as in an RPG. In Etrian Mystery Dungeon, your first adventure is a solo effort, and it really solidifies your relationship with your first character. However, to really make your guild as strong as possible, it’s a good idea to leave yourself at the Explorers Guild once in a while. If you keep switching out your other members but you always keep your first character in your party, that character will end up over-leveled and might not work well with your other party members. Not only will this help you level up all of your guild members, but it’ll also make you feel more of a connection to your other characters, which is always fun.

3. Leave Behind Classic JRPG Party Formations

After you’ve played a few JRPGs, you’re usually locked to a certain formation. For me, I always have a melee attacker, a high-defense tank, a healer, and a mage. No matter what the game, that’s usually what my party is going to look like. And, usually, it works. I played through Bravely Default in its entirety like this, and it went smoothly. However, Etrian Mystery Dungeon challenges this style. You might find that your preferred formation doesn’t really work. That’s okay! Don’t be afraid to try new combos – leave your tank at home in exchange for an extra offensive character, try a few floors without a healer, or even try a few floors solo! Some quests, particularly at the Amber Restaurant, will require you to take certain classes into certain dungeons, either by themselves or with other characters. Changing up your party after every dungeon makes gameplay more varied and fresh, and it also helps keep everyone leveled up and well-equipped.

4. Redevelop Everything

The redevelopment feature feels silly at first. Why would you want to spend your hard earned cash expanding the town when you could be restocking on items or getting new equipment? Well, in Etrian Mystery Dungeon, redevelopment directly affects you and your party. Developing the market unlocks new equipment, developing the eatery unlocks new quests and dishes that can give you stat boosts in dungeons, developing the hotel gives you more inventory slots, and developing the guild unlocks new abilities and more members for your guild. If you don’t redevelop the town, you’re going to find yourself with weak equipment, a lack of quests, and just general JRPG awfulness. Though it might seem expensive at first, exploring a few floors of a dungeon to rack up the cash to develop the town is a small price to pay for what you’re getting.

5. Save Money

Saving money in real life is hard enough, but saving money in video games can be even harder. There are so many things to buy in Etrian Mystery Dungeon! Chano Retail has a lot of awesome stuff, and the dishes at the Amber Restaurant can make or break some adventures. Even with all of the great ways to spend your hard earned money, it’s a good idea to deposit some at the Inn once in a while. Since dying in a dungeon really hits your wallet hard, you’re going to want to have a sizable savings account to rely on. If you find yourself unprepared for a dungeon and you lose all of your money, you’re either going to miserably try over and over again to win where it’s almost impossible or do a tremendous amount of grinding. While grinding is still going to happen, having money saved at the Inn can help you effectively reevaluate your equipment before returning to the dungeons after a defeat.

These tips are going to be most useful for those of you who either haven’t started the game yet or are only a few hours in. If you’re an Etrian Mystery Dungeon expert and you’ve got some tips that I didn’t mention, leave them in the comments below! For more ways to get the most out of your games, keep checking back with LoadTheGame!