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Combat and free actions – SMT V guide

Understanding Press Turn Icons and getting extra attacks in Shin Megami Tensei V combat system

Combat – Shin Megami Tensei 5 guide Image: Atlus/Sega via Polygon

Shin Megami Tensei V’s combat system takes a little to get used to. You’ll be managing the actions and attacks of every member of your party, enemy weaknesses, and trying to earn extra actions. In this SMT V combat guide, we’ll explain the how Press Turn Icons work and how they interact with Affinities to get those extra actions in Shin Megami Tensei 5’s battle system.

Attack demon Weaknesses to earn extra combat actions

For every round of combat, each side of a fight has a number of Press Turn Icons — basically, the number of actions that the party can perform per round. The number of Press Turn Icons each side has is shown as icons across the upper right corner of the screen. By default, you’ll have one Press Turn Icon for each member of your party — one action per party member. But there’s a way to get extra attacks.

Combat is about exploiting weaknesses
Mandrakes are weak against fire and resistant to electric damage.
Image: Atlus/Sega via Polygon

Every enemy (and member of you party, for that matter) has a series of weaknesses and resistances to types (Affinities) of attacks and skills. These appear as icons under the types of damages. Every enemy has a line (no change), exclamation point (Weak), shield (Immune), or half-shield (Resistant) to melee, Fire, Ice, Electric, Force, Light, and Dark damage Affinities.

In the image above, you can see that Mandrakes are Weak to Fire damage. When you perform an attack that the target is weak to — like the Agi (Fire) skill in the image above — the attack doesn’t consume a press turn icon.

This means you can get a free action once per party member per round of combat. Ideally, you’ll string together a series of attacks from each party member that exploit weaknesses so that everyone in your party goes at least twice per round of combat.

Since each type of demon has different resistances and weaknesses, it’s important to make sure each demon in your party (and your protagonist) have a variety of different attacks with different Affinities.

Just as importantly, the same mechanic is true for enemy demons, so if they exploit your party’s weaknesses, they’ll get extra attacks, too. If you’re struggling with a weakness to a specific attack or enemy, you’ll need to use Essence to transfer new skills and attacks to your party or new resistances to your protagonist.

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