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8 things you should know before starting One Piece Odyssey

How to win the day with Luffy and the Straw Hats

The Straw Hats standing heroically Image: ILCA Inc./Bandai Namco via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

One Piece Odyssey is a love letter to the series with moves, references, characters, and locations from across its 25 year history. It is, frankly, not a very complex or confusing game, though. There are still a few things we’ve learned from our seven (or so) hours with the game that will help you get started faster and have a better time playing.

Our One Piece Odyssey beginner’s guide will help you drop into the game with tips on leveling up, speeding up fights, exploring the world, earning money, and equipping your characters for success.

Leveling up is hands-off

One Piece Odyssey leveling up after a battle.
Leveling up automatically increases all of your stats.
Image: ILCA Inc./Bandai Namco via Polygon

The XP your crew earns from fights levels them up automatically — you don’t distribute upgrade points or anything, all of their stats just go up. Plus, your entire crew earns XP no matter who fights. Everyone won’t level up at quite the same rate, but they’ll all stay close to the same level.

And you level up pretty quickly, growing stronger with each level, which means…

You should turn on Auto Battle and Speed Up

We’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but turning on Auto Battle and Speed Up will greatly improve your experience with One Piece Odyssey. These settings cut down on the time you’ll spend sorting through menus to pick how exactly to punch the baddie you’re facing.

Those choices rarely matter, though. You’re going to level up fast enough that you’ll outpace almost every enemy you face. Beyond that, the Auto Battle AI is pretty good at its job and will pick appropriate attacks, skills, or items for every fight. (We’ve had it on for hours — even for boss fights — and haven’t had any issues.)

Speeding up battles means you can get back to the story and exploration faster. But exploration comes with a caveat.

It’s only open world when it wants to be

Especially when you’re on Main Episodes — critical path main story missions — you’re not allowed to explore much. If you go too far out of the way, you’ll actually get reset back to a more “appropriate” spot and reminded to follow the path.

Luffy trying to explore the mysterious One Piece Odyssey island, but being told by Adio that he’s going the wrong way.
You’ll get scolded if you go the wrong way.
Image: ILCA Inc./Bandai Namco via Polygon

Periodically, though, your main story path will open up a bit and you’ll be free to explore, seek out Side Stories (side missions), and use your crewmates’ abilities to find hidden items in the world. But…

You won’t be switching characters often

Most members of the Straw Hats have a special exploration ability — Usopp can shoot down items that are out of reach, Nami can find bells hidden around the world, Sanji finds buried cooking ingredients, and Chopper can squeeze through smaller spaces than anyone else.

The thing is, that’s just not going to come up often. And when it does, you’ll get a comment from a crewmate or a prompt to change to the appropriate character. It’s not really on you to be proactive about it.

For the most part, you’ll be sticking with Luffy — he’s got better navigation skills, and his stretchy arms make picking up objects easier.

Camps are rare, so stock up when you find them

A party at a One Piece Odyssey camp with the Straw Hats
Throwing a party at a camp.
Image: ILCA Inc./Bandai Namco via Polygon

As you make your way through the world of One Piece Odyssey, you’ll occasionally come across Camps. These are places where your crew can set up a bonfire and recharge. Camps are where you’ll cook meals (usually healing items to use during battle) with Sanji, change outfits, craft Trick Balls with Usopp, or check the encyclopedia.

You’re not going to find Camps as often as, say, save points, though, so take advantage of them as you find them.

Don’t forget to turn in your Objectives

Every Main Episode (main story mission) and Side Story (side mission) has a series of Objectives associated with it. You can find your current Objectives in the pause menu on the Objectives tab — second from the right.

The One Piece Odyssey Objectives menu with four ready to turn in for their rewards.
Reward Available means you have to turn in the Objectives.
Image: ILCA Inc./Bandai Namco via Polygon

Completing Objectives earns you rewards, but you don’t get the reward automatically. Instead, you have clear the Objectives manually through the menu. Any Objective with the “Reward Available” tag is ready to be turned in. You can even hit triangle/Y to turn in all available Objectives at once and collect all the rewards.

Money is no object

As pirates, you’re obviously going to be interested in collecting money (bells). And you’ll spend it at various shops you’ll come across as you play. You’ll find bells in some chests, buried underground (with Nami’s Treasure Sensor ability), or by defeating enemies.

Each fight earns you a couple thousand bells — and you’ll be fighting a lot. We’ve earned well over 500,000 bells in about six or seven hours of playing. But with the rarity of shops and how quickly the crew gets stronger (see the first point above), we haven’t bought anything yet. Every item we’ve used has been found, picked up after battles, cooked, or crafted. All of that money is just piling up.

Revisit your equipment periodically

Aside from leveling up, the other way to improve your crew’s stats is with equipment. You’ll find or loot items like jewelry or rings quite often (or get them as rewards for completing Objectives).

The One Piece Odyssey equipment menu.
Equipment requires a little Tetris-ing.
Image: ILCA Inc./Bandai Namco via Polygon

On the Equipment tab of the pause menu, you can equip these items into each crew member. There’s a bit of Tetris-ing here — each character has a four-by-four grid where equipment goes, and each piece of equipment is a different shape and size.

Since you’ll find new equipment pretty often, don’t forget to come back to the Equipment screen to see if you’ve found anything better recently.

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