For many people, Valkyria Chronicles 4 may be their first foray into the franchise. Thankfully it’s actually designed to support that, with a storyline that runs parallel to the original game. But for newcomers there’s still plenty to learn about the actual mechanics. The game’s tutorial does a decent job wading you in, but there’s a lot we wish we knew when we were starting out. Here are some tips to keep you alive on the battlefield.
BRING A MEDIC AND SAVE OFTEN
Valkyria Chronicles 4 has permadeath. Seriously. Your best sniper goes down, and they could be gone for the rest of the game.
Thankfully, there are ways to prevent that. Medics are predictably awful at combat, but they can revive downed players with zero health, bringing them back from the brink. They’re also good at topping off injured soldiers, making them a great addition to your second wave. Just keep in mind that you’ll only have a few turns for the medic to reach a dying soldier before they kick, so be mindful of placement.
If you’re really worried about making a permanent mistake, keep in mind that you can save after every turn. Unlike Fire Emblem, which requires you to restart a battle from the beginning, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is much more forgiving. So if you can’t stomach the loss, save scum to your heart’s content.
SNIPERS ARE YOUR ALL-STARS, SO KEEP THEM HAPPY
There are plenty of helpful units on the battlefield, but none more so than the sniper. As you’d imagine, they can attack at wicked ranges, providing critical damage so long as they can get a decent angle for a headshot. Even elevated mortar and enemy snipers are usually no match for your own deadeye, so keep them safe and handy.
The downside to using snipers is their ammo capacity. They basically can only fire off a few shots before needing to refill their supplies. That’s where engineers come in. These units can fill ammo reserves of friendly units as much as they want, so pairing an engineer with a sniper is always a good tactic. You can always send the engineer away for a turn to fill up other soldiers, but you’ll want them back next to the sniper before too long.
KEEPING FRIENDS TOGETHER
Keep an eye on your unit list. It’s easy to miss, but you’ll actually be able to tell which units are fond of one another. If you keep a duo next to each-other during a battle, you’ll occasionally see them perform dual attacks, increasing their collective damage.
For example, Kai the sniper is fond of Riley and Raz, so make sure you keep them close to one another.
This isn’t Fire Emblem Awakening, though, so don’t expect time-traveling super babies to pop out and join your squad anytime soon.
ALWAYS USE YOUR HEROES
Even if you don’t plan on using one of the main heroes in a mission, it’s always a good idea to bring them along. As you’ll quickly learn, CPs (Combat Points) a life in Valkyria Chronicles 4. Which is to say it gives you more moves per turn.
Having a hero join on a mission will increase your total CP, but if they manage to get knocked out, you’ll lose that CP boost, which can be pretty crippling.
So, if they happen to be one of the more fragile heroes, just keep them in the back lines. You’ll get the CP boost no matter where they are, and you won’t have to worry about them getting plugged.
Interesting side note: The enemy will have its own set of heroes. Taking those heroes out will actually remove CP from the enemy’s running tally, giving them less of a chance to turn the tide. So if you have the option, aim for these enemy heroes first.
GET TO KNOW YOUR GRENADIERS
The new class in Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the grenadier, and they are massively handy to have around. They bring with them a comically large mortar cannon which they can set up in a defensive position and rain hell on the enemy.
Grenadiers are great for taking out enemies who are high up or in cover. Before attacking, you’ll be able to aim your shots to land right on the head of a hidden enemy. Even if this doesn’t kill them outright, they’re liable to be knocked out of cover, making them an easy target for your sniper.
Like the sniper, Grenadiers have terrible ammo capacity. Make sure your engineer isn’t too far away and you should be golden.
LEAVE A FEW SLOTS OPEN
Each mission has a maximum number of units you can bring along. It’s always a good idea to leave one or two of those slots empty. Don’t worry: We’ll be filling them in a bit.
Capturing an enemy encampment will allow you to bring in friendly units directly to that spot, without requiring that they hoof it from where the mission started. This is especially useful if you’re not sure if you’re going to need a lancer, and then a giant tank shows up. Leaving a few slots open will allow you to be a bit more reactive, changing your strategy for whatever the enemy throws at you.
Those tips should get you started in Valkyria Chronicles 4, but it’s always a good idea to try new strategies and pairings. There’s no one single way to win each mission, and experimentation can lead you to some pretty interesting outcomes.