Creating a Party
A party of units can be assembled in the Team tab. There are 9 empty slots, which can be filled with nine units the player has. If the player fills less than 9 units, the remaining empty slots will be filled by a Soldier with the HP, ATK and RCV stat of 100. Thus, the player's party will always have nine units.
Leaders and Sub-leaders
The first three units in the player's party have special significance.
The first unit in a party is the leader. This unit is the only unit in the party whose leader skill will take effect. Leader skills provide a boost to the stats of the party, some boost specific types, some boost units on specific tiles, and others have boosts when the player's HP is within a certain range. It is recommended to ensure that the leader skill affects most or all units in the party, so careful consideration should be taken to pick units that benefit from the leader skill.
The next two units in the party are called sub-leaders. Leader and sub-leaders are the only units in the party that can use their active skill. Active skills have many different effects and can change the tide of the battle. They require LC to use, which is acquired by linking tiles (one LC per tile) in battle. When enough LC is accumulated, the unit's image will glow. The active skill can be used on any turn before linking the tiles, so long as there is enough LC accumulated. There are many different active skills, so choosing carefully the three units' active skills the player will bring into battle is key to victory!
Before going on a quest, players will have the option to pick either a Friend or an Adventurer to go with their team. The Friend's or Adventurer's leaders and sub-leaders will join the player on their quest, though only the leader's active skill will be available. The two sub-leaders' active skills will not be available.
Both Friend and Adventurer leader skills apply to the player's party, combining with the leader skill already present, which makes choosing matching or at least complimentary leader skills a valuable tactic. These leader skills are multiplicative, for example if the player's lead boosts health by 1.5 and the player's friend lead does the same, it is in total a 2.25 boost rather than a 3.0 boost to hp. Compared to an adventurer, a friend can be more reliably selected since the game will display them more often.
The player's party and the friend units puts the minimum unit count at 12.
Guest units are units tied to specific quests. When the quest is selected, the guest unit will automatically join the player's party. Their leader skill are not applied and their active skill will not be available.
Tiles and Links
Five different types of tiles can appear on the battlefield.
|Heroes on these tiles will attack when linked, dealing damage according to their ATK stat.|
|Heroes on these tiles will heal for the displayed amount according to their own RCV stat.|
|Linking at least 4 of these tiles will give the next incoming non-heart unit an aura.|
Tiles of the same type that are adjacent to each other can be linked together, allowing more units to move in a single turn. For each subsequent unit after the first, a multiplier is applied to the relevant stats. The more tiles linked together, the greater the multiplier on each units ATK or RCV stat will be and the greater the final attack or heal will be.
If all nine tiles are linked together as heart tiles, HP will always be recovered to full regardless of the link's total healing value. For a link of nine attack tiles, an Overlink Arte will activate, multiplying the final hero's attack by an additional 1.5x and damaging all units. If the ninth unit, the finisher, has a Mystic Arte equipped and Mystic Artes are available, they will glow red and the Mystic Arte's multiplier will be used also. Depending on the rarity of the Mystic Arte, the damage can be multiplied immensely. For more information on Mystic Arte damage and Arte Souls, see this link.
When tiles are used, existing tiles shift rightwards where there is space and new tiles enter from the left side to fill those gaps. The type of tiles that appear are random, but a player can see the next three tiles by looking at the "Next" display in the top left corner. The order in which heroes come onto the battlefield is shown below:
- If a unit is already on a tile, then the next unit will appear on the next lowest numbered tile.
More information on how to manipulate tiles can be found in the Tile Management Guide.
Artes are activated randomly in battle in most instances by each hero, determined by the arte activation percentage of the particular unit.
See the section regarding Artes for more information.
Every unit in Tales of Link comes with a hidden element. Despite being random, the element is very important, as most enemies also have a specific elemental affinity.
Guardians of the same element as the unit—regardless of whether they are attack, defense, or support guardians—activate a unit's element. The unit's element determines whether it is strong (1.5x) or weak (0.75x) against another elemental foe, both in damage taken and damage given.
Weapons may also come with an element and are always active, so choose wisely in a battle! Keep in mind that bonuses or penalties gained from elemental weapons are only given once. Equipping two weapons of the same element does not give an additional elemental multiplier. A bonus and a penalty from two weapons of two different elements will apply (in which case the multiplier is 1.5 x 0.75 = 1.125x). Equipping weapons does not make a unit take more or less damage from an elemental foe.
The four basic elements of fire, water, wind, and earth, all work in a circular fashion of strength and weakness as shown beside and below. Light and dark elements have different properties, and are strong against each other: these two will always do more damage to the opposing element. However, the player's light and dark heroes will not take extra damage when hit by the opponent since the version 3.5.3 update on 25/1/2017.
|D E F E N D E R|
See Guardians for more information on Guardians!
Sometimes, an enemy's attack may also afflict units with an ailment. Support guardians and armors may be used prevent an ailment, but in most cases the only way to deal with negative ailments is to wait a certain number of turns until the effects clear indicated by an icon above the afflicted unit. Finishing a battle (a wave of enemies) also automatically removes all status effects.
- The unit cannot attack or heal until it is attacked or the effect expires.
- The unit is damaged each turn until the effect expires.
- This status will only bring the player down to 1 HP.
- The unit cannot attack or heal until it is sent off-screen or the effect expires.
- The unit is damaged slightly each turn until the effect expires.
- The unit cannot act and is damaged each turn until the effect expires.
- The unit cannot be used in links until the effect expires.
- The unit cannot act until the effect expires.
- The unit cannot be used in links until the effect expires.
- The unit is unable to use its active skill until the effect expires.
- Note that artes still activate normally.
- This effect only applies to enemies, and increases their "Next" turn counter by a specified number.
- When multiple delay artes proc in the same chain, the highest turn delay takes priority.
- Delays cannot be stacked or overwritten.
Note: Certain guardians can prevent the sleep and poison ailment. See Guardians for more information on these support type guardians!
Occasionally, an enemy will appear with a hexagonal-shaped barrier acting as a shield. This is called an Iron Stance and it reduces any damage taken by 80%. To break through the Iron Stance, use a tile of the same color to break down the shield. Each shield icon shown denotes a layer of protection, so only when all shields are destroyed will the player be able to damage the enemy normally. Breaking the Iron Stance also extends the turn counter, allowing the player more turns to defeat the enemy. However, if the enemy is not defeated when their Iron Stance is broken, on their next turn, the Iron Stance will return and further extend the battle.
- Note: When a multi-hit arte on the relevant tile procs, it may or may not remove multiple shields. Current data seems to suggest that ranged multi-hit artes, where the unit does not move in to attack the enemy, will break multiple shields while melee multi-hit artes will only break a single shield.
Beginning of Battle Boss Effects
Some boss battles will have a special effect which activates before the player can start their first turn.
Notable ones are as follows:
LC Drain: Bosses will drain LC in two ways. The first will drain a set number of LC indicated. For example, the initial attack will indicate - 15 LC, where the player's initial LC is drained the amount shown. The second type of LC drain removes LC proportional to the maximum LC the player has from the current LC. For example, if the drain indicates 10%, and the player has 150 LC, 15 LC will be removed from the player's current LC count. This effect is primarily a concern for those with units that have the Link Boost passive unlocked, which is currently the only means of beginning a battle with LC.
Arte Sealing: Unlike the namesake, this does not seal unit artes, but rather it seals all the active skills of units on the board at the turn of the arte sealing. Thus, if the player's leader, friend leader, or subs are on the board, they cannot use their active skills until the effect expires, or equipment or passives are used to avoid the seal.
Status Ailments: Some bosses have status ailment effects that occur during the beginning of the battle.
Boss "Desperation Attacks"
Many of the harder bosses of the game have a special named attack, sometimes referred to as a "desperation attack," which is triggered when the boss gets below a certain HP threshold. These attacks are incredibly powerful and can instantly deplete the player's entire HP bar in one go for an instant game-over. The boss sometimes gives the player a turn countdown as a warning. The threshold is commonly around 50% HP, but can be much higher. See boss details of each event to know specifically when the attack may occur.
A strategy that many players choose is to deplete the boss's HP just enough and well before this threshold so that a fully boosted or buffed Mystic Arte kills the boss in one go, allowing the player to avoid the desperation attack. The picture below shows an accurate percentage meter of an enemy's HP bar to help with this strategy.