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‘Onmyoji’: A Beginner’s Guide and How to Save Money

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NetEase doesn’t just spend its time on Rules of Survival. It’s also responsible for Onmyoji (Free) – one of the biggest games in Asia, and it’s finally made its way to a global release. Set in a world where demons and humans coexist, a battle between good and evil is the core of this game. With turn based strategic combat, a surprisingly extensive story, and plenty of gacha style elements, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into. That’s not forgetting its freemium roots, meaning there’s a fair share of pay-to-win moments. Things can get a little confusing with some hidden away menus and options too.

With the following tips, we’ll focus on how to get started, as well as how to maximize your time with limited cost to your bank balance.

Know your characters

Like with any team building based game, there are a ton of different characters to discover and collect. Crucially, these are divided into two different types.

Onmyodo are the main characters or leaders of your team. There’s relatively few of these, given their significance to the game. At all times, you only take one with you anywhere, starting out with Abe no Seimei. As you unlock more of the story, more Onmyodo become available. Chapter 3 unlocks Kagura and so forth. You can always check out the Onmyodo selection screen at the start of the game to see what Onmyodo are available to you right now, as well as when they’ll be unlocked. Once you have more, you can work on figuring out which Onmoyodo best matches your play style.

Shikigami are available in far larger numbers. There are hundreds of these available. They form the base of your team. No man is an island and you’re going to want to work on your combination of Shikigami to back up your Onmyodo’s abilities. Most of the time, you’ll be bringing in three Shikigami to any battle but every once in a while, a mission might allow you to use more. These should always be your main focus when it comes to levelling up and upgrading.

It sounds like a get out clause, but it’s tough to recommend what combination you want to go with as it really does depend on how you play the game. I quite like using characters that have area damage attacks as you can attack en masse that way, but it’s not a foolproof plan. A weakened enemy still hits just as hard as a full strength one, so sometimes it’s best to just focus on one at a time.

Most of the time, a balanced mixture of offensive and defensive characters are best, but if you’re more prone to being aggressive, for instance, you want to take that into consideration.

Shikigami Management

With so many different Shikigami to collect, Onmyoji likes to dish out some freebies your way. That means that not all Shikigami are going to be worth keeping. Onmyoji highlights which of them are rare and therefore better, so you have a rough idea of what’s worth keeping hold of.

The rest? Well, you can ‘feed’ them to other Shikigami in order to boost your favorite’s abilities. Yup, cannibalism works pretty well here.

It’s a slightly tricky thing to commit to early on because you’re still figuring things out. Don’t rush into anything otherwise you might find yourself burning up a character you wanted later on.

If you want to make sure you definitely don’t accidentally ‘feed’ a Shikigami, there’s a small lock button near their name in the Shikigami menu. Hit that and you can’t mess up.

There’s also the issue of Shikigami quests. Each character comes with their own set of three quests that you should complete in order for some useful bonuses. To find out more about each of them, dive into their Bio section that’s contained within the Shikigami Details menu. Remember what we said about some of the options being a little hidden away? This is the perfect example.

Each Shikigami quest can take a while to complete but they’re worth doing, given the rewards involved.

Developing your Shikigami

Each Shikigami can be made stronger through the use of Souls. It’s a pretty complex area but you can get the hang of the basics relatively quickly.

Each Soul offers a different form of bonus. For instance, some boost your Shikigami’s offensive powers while others will enhance their spell or skill power, defense, or HP.

Once you have sufficient Souls available, you can spend considerable time working out exactly how you want your Shikigami to be powered up. It’s possible to tweak things so that you end up with a powerful tank character or one that provides powerful magic spells, but is a little weaker when attacked. It’s all a balancing act.

Ideally, you want to focus on whatever strengths your Shikigami already provides. If your character already dishes out a decent amount of damage, lean into it and enhance their offensive powers further through the relevant Soul. There’s no point boosting a Shikigami’s skillset when it’s already fairly low as it’s just not as productive. At least not while Souls are limited.

An additional benefit comes from when you equip two or more of the same Soul, providing you with further bonuses in terms of their relevant powers.

Jade is pretty important

Jade is one of the game’s key currencies. Used to purchase additional Souls, it’s gained through completing achievements or by purchasing it in the shop. It can all get a bit expensive so stockpile your Jade every time you complete an achievement.

Once you reach level 15, you can purchase an item that gives you five Jade every six hours, up to a total of 30. It’s a convenient way of gathering more Jade without much effort.

The Mall is worth visiting

The Mall is where all the shopping within Onmyoji takes place. It’s an attractive looking place rather than just being menu after menu. You can purchase a lot of stuff here, including extra Souls to boost your Shikigami.

There’s also the Jade Trader that offers S-Jade and regular Jade. S-Jade can be purchased with real money, but you can mostly circumvent this if you look after your regular Jade like we just discussed.

Complete the Quests

The Quests tab offers up some fairly straight forward quests that provide you with free stuff. Starting out, it works as a kind of tutorial, guiding you into checking out things like The Demon Paradise or even just certain menus within the game. It’s one of the easiest ways to gain stuff for free, as well as that smug sense of satisfaction that you’re doing things right.

Onmyoji doesn’t really make a big deal out of when you complete a quest so make sure you dive into the Quests tab often to do so manually. Particularly early only you’ll fly through a bunch of quests in no time. Besides winning coins, you can also unlock new skills for your Onmyodo. It’s a great way to boost your abilities fast.

Join a Guild

Like with so many pay-to-win games, safety in numbers is a big thing here. If you join a guild, you can complete specific guild related missions, exchange shards with other players, and have someone to talk to. You can go it alone but it’s so much easier to get the good stuff if you work together.

Guilds are also a good place to make friends and add them. You can receive more help this way, even with stuff like The Demon Paradise mini game.

Eventually, you can create a Realm and participate in Raids via your guild, but this takes a while to unlock early on. It’s worth chipping away beforehand though, and becoming more respected within your guild.

Play The Demon Paradise

The Demon Paradise sounds incredibly exciting but it’s actually a fairly dull mini game. It is, however, perfect for a quick and easy way of gaining Shikigami shards to help boost your team.

Effectively, it’s like target practice at a fairground. Pick from one of three Shikigami then start tapping on everything that wanders past you. Whichever Shikigami you pick, there’s an increased chance of gaining shards specifically for them. Also, flying characters can help you out by slowing things down or giving you extra beans to throw at the other Shikigami.

Other than that, it’s a fairly long winded way but simple enough way of gaining some easy free stuff.

It’s worth doing any time you have a ticket to the game available to you, and they tend to come through reasonably often.

Tackling the Story

The key to progression in many different ways is to delve into the Explore feature. That’s where the story progresses. Tap on the three dots above a character’s head and check out what’s going on. There’s always the skip button if you want to focus on the action.

Once you’ve completed a story mission, you can always go back to harvest Souls which can be pretty useful if you’re working on boosting your Shikigami characters.

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