Thursday, July 19, 2012

Phantasy Star Online 2: A Quick Start Guide

Recently I was turned on to an online RPG by the name of Phantasy Star Online 2.  Now I am familiar with the Phantasy Star series (only the ones on Genesis really) but I never really made an attempt to play the original Phantasy Star Online.  I've always been weary or the Phantasy Star series as it always seems a little too Sci-Fi and over the top exaggerated robot for me, so when I heard that it was only released in Japan (until 2013) and completely in Japanese, I was even more skeptical.  However, after playing ~20 hours of the game, I could not be happier with my decision to give it a try.  As good as the game is, the problem of the language barrier still remains.  As my knowledge of the Japanese language is poor at best, I found getting started incredibly difficult.  Because of this, I've combined translations I've found with my own personal experience to bring you this quick start guide that I hope will help you on your way to getting your first Phantasy Start Online 2 character started.

We'll start by getting you signed up and downloaded.  This is probably the most difficult part of playing PSO2.  Rather then me just completely rehashing what the community over at has put together, I recommend you use the registration and download articles they already have published as they are very well written.  The process can be very confusing but I assure you, playing the game is not nearly as difficult.  A couple recommendations for the signup, download and install process...

1.  Use a browser with auto-translate, like Chrome, to sign up for a SEGA ID.  This will make the registration process a bit easier as it will translate all the form information for you.

2.  The whole download and patching process takes about 5 hours so if you decide you want to play, make sure you download, install and patch in advance. 

Now onto the last really difficult thing.  Signing in for the first time.  This is something they also have on Bumped and you can see their guide here, but I think some of their steps lack detail.

 1.  Open the game by clicking the big button in the launcher.

2.  Once all the cut scenes and company logos are gone, hit enter or just click the "Push Enter" button on the title screen.  (That's in English, easy to figure out :P)

3.  Hit the big button in the next window you see appear.  This is some kind of end user agreement.

4.  Select SEGA ID from the window at the top left.

5.  You'll be asked to select a "Ship" which is essentially a server.  Pick any you'd like, but I believe Ships 1-5 have the highest population of English speaking players.  However, at the time of this guide, they've stopped allowing new characters to be created there, so you may not be able to create a character there depending on when you're reading this.

6.  Put in your SEGA ID and password in the login Window that appears and click the left button.  You can checkoff the option under the SEGA ID field if you'd like it to remember your SEGA ID for future logins.

7.   As this is your first time logging in, the game will ask that you create a Player ID.  This is something that is used to associated your account with the game servers.  This is NOT your character name nor does it have anything to do with your SEGA ID.  Be sure you don't put your password in the field provided by accident.  Put in whatever you'd like to use as a Player ID and click the left button.

8.  You'll be asked which control type you'd like on the next screen.  You have the choice between keyboard (left button) or gamepad (right button)...

Take your pick and move on to...

9.  Creating your first character!  Click the only option available to you on the left side and a cut scene will play.  Watch the scene or skip it by right clicking and selecting the left button in the window that appears.

10.  Once the scene is over, you're presented with your standard character creation screen. 

You'll see several options available to you on the left side of the screen.  This is a list of the three possible races with both male and female genders available to you...

Now which ones are which is easy enough to figure out visually, but the options from top to bottom are...

Human Male
Human Female
Newman Male
Newman Female
Cast Male
Cast Female

Each race has their own benefits, but for the sake of this guide, we'll skip the details. Click the race you'd like and be brought to the next screen.

11.  You'll get to pick your Class now...

This screen is similar to the last in that you're given a couple options at the top left.  These are your available classes...

In order, from top to bottom you have...


In PSO2, Hunters are your tanky melee Class, Rangers are your ranged DPS and Forces are you magic/healing class.  Note that in PSO2, you can change your class at any time, so your decision here is not permanent if you do not want it to be.  Select whichever you'd like and click the button available at the bottom of the window. 

12.  Now you'll get to select your character's style...

I call this style as it has more to do with the colors your character sports than anything.  Select your desired look and click the button.

13.  Now we enter an area where my minimal knowledge of the Japanese language is very noticeable.  It's all easy enough to figure out by clicking around, but this is the appearance section and I have no idea what any of the options on the left translate to so you can use this guide if you'd like.  Click the button at the bottom left of the window when you're done.

14.   The moment of truth!  Naming your character!  Pretty straight forward, select a name and click the button...

15.  Hit the left button on the next screen to confirm your characters name, class, race and appearance...

16.  This is the last window you'll see before you enter the game.  Picking the left button will allow you to skip over the intro Chapter and allow you to play right away without any tutorial.  I'd recommend the left option as the tutorial is, of course, in Japanese and will not be very helpful if you're not familiar with the language.  

If you do get put into the first chapter, you'll be asked to do the tutorial once you're in the field.  If you select the bottom option in the window you'll see, that will skip the tutorial and you can just play the level normally.

It's game time!  I hope this guide on getting started with Phantasy Star Online 2 has helped!  You're now ready for my Quick Reference Guide!

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