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Who should you start with in Octopath 2? Well, it’s complicated

Which character should you start with in Octopath Traveler 2?

A group of travelers at a campsite in a screenshot from Octopath Traveler 2 Image: Square Enix
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Octopath Traveler 2 features eight new characters, but the jobs they sport are the same as the previous game, with a few tweaks. If you’re not sure who to start with or what each character and their primary job does, we break it down for you.

The new additions in Octopath Traveler 2 are latent powers, special abilities the characters can use in battle once a gauge fills up, similar to Final Fantasy’s famous limit break function. Octopath Traveler 2 also adds a daytime and nighttime system, giving characters two Path Actions instead of just one.

Path actions are non-combat skills that characters can use on NPCs. There’s lots of overlap between path actions, as they mostly result in knocking somebody out, getting information, or getting an item from an NPC. However, the method the characters go about it are different.

You can also add secondary jobs down the line, but these are the ones you will start with and keep. Secondary jobs will give you stats and skills, but you will not be able to do everything that a character with that primary job will be able to do. For example, Ochette is a hunter who can capture and use animals to fight for her, but a character with a secondary hunter job cannot possess that skill.

You might be wondering which character is the best to start with, and for that, the answer is: Well, it kind of depends. How you want to play is entirely up to you, and you can unlock all of the characters pretty soon after starting. The only reason why your first pick matters is that you cannot swap them out of your party until you beat their final chapter. You’ll want to take everything into account when selecting your first character: their passive skills, latent ability, weapons and elements, path actions, and just how they play generally. Below, we talk about the eight characters and explain how useful (or not-so-useful) they are in the early game.

Ochette and Castti from Octopath Traveler 2, drawn with sepia tones. Castti is mixing up medicine in a bowl as Ochette watches Image: Square Enix

Ochette (Hunter)

Ochette captures monsters and then can either summon them for her own use in battle or turn them into items, like HP-restoring Jerky. Her latent power gives her access to special skills that deal massive damage, hit multiple targets, or buff her up. She uses an axe, a bow, and electric magic.

During the daytime, Ochette can Provoke people into battle, while at night, she can Befriend NPCs using items they like in order to get them to follow her. These NPCs can then be used in battle.

Should you start with Ochette?

While her animal companions can give her a wide-range of attacks, she’s pretty dependent on having strong monsters on her side. Her latent power isn’t anything particularly thrilling, though the debuffing and shield-breaking ability is strong. She can, however, provide a plethora of healing items by sacrificing her captured animals.

She does start between the two continents, giving you early and quick access to the other characters quickly.

Castti (Apothecary)

Castti concocts items together to deal elemental damage or apply status effects to enemies. She can also mix items to heal her party mates. Her latent power allows her to concoct without using any items. She uses an axe as a melee weapon and ice magic.

Castti can Inquire people during the daytime for info and Soothe people at nighttime to put them to sleep.

Should you start with Castti?

Castti’s bread-and-butter skills involve having lots of ingredients to deal massive damage. Without them, she’s not great. However, apothecaries do have a cheap heal that also doubles as a revive, which can be extremely useful in the early game.

Castti is unlocked on the western continent, near Hikari, and south of Agnea and Partitio.

Throné (Thief)

Throné is a sneaky thief with sticky hands, as she can steal from enemies. Her latent power allows her to have two actions in one turn. Throné uses a dagger, a sword, and dark magic.

At nighttime, she buffs up the party at the start of battle.

During the day, Throné can Steal from NPCs; at night, she can Ambush them, knocking them out without need for a battle.

Should you start with Throné?

Full disclosure: I started Octopath Traveler 2 with Throné. Her Steal ability is extremely useful early, as being able to swipe items and equips from townspeople helps you save (and make) money. She has reliable damage, and as a thief, she has lots of useful debuffs. Most importantly, her nighttime buff is not to be overlooked. It gives you (essentially) three turns of disgusting levels of damage at the start of each battle, making each boss a breeze. Paired with Temenos’ debuff at the start of battle, you can obliterate enemies no problem.

Throné is on the eastern continent, close to Temenos and Osvald.

Osvald (Scholar)

Osvald is a master of casting area-of-effect spells. His high mana costs are there for a reason: When he casts a fire-spell, it’ll hit every monster in the fight. His latent power allows him to channel that energy into one target, hitting that target very hard. He uses a staff as weapons and uses fire, ice, and electric magic.

Osvald can Scrutinize people for information during the daytime and Mug them for items at night. In battle, he can reveal a few enemy weaknesses immediately once the fight starts.

Should you start with Osvald?

Osvald does a ton of damage, but is limited by his mana pool in the early game. He doesn’t have much, and his skills are expensive to use. That said, he’s quite good at taking out many enemies at once. His ability to reveal weaknesses at the start of battle is also great, so you don’t have to spend a few turns guessing.

Osvald starts at the northern part of the eastern continent, near Throné and Temenos.

Partitio (Merchant)

Partitio is a merchant from the west. In battle, he can use money to hire people to fight for him. His latent power allows him to instantly restore BP. He uses a polearm and bow as weapons and uses fire magic.

During the daytime, Partitio can Purchase items from NPCs, and at nighttime, he can Hire NPCs into follow him. Just like Ochette and Tenemos, these NPCs can be summoned into battle. His hired NPCs can also help him get discounts and other benefits from shops.

Should you start with Partitio?

Partitio is more of a support, but he can help you make lots of money early by using the merchant’s Collect ability on weakened monsters, along with his money-boosting support skills. He can also help supply your team with BP, as he can donate his to party members, allowing them to keep flinging attacks.

Partitio starts on the western continent in the northern area, near Agnea.

Agnea and Hikari as seen in Octopath Traveler 2. Agnea is dancing while Hikari is holding a lantern behind her. Image: Square Enix

Agnea (Dancer)

Agnea specializes in buffing up team members, including the NPCs that she can summon to her aid. Her latent power spreads single-target buffs to the whole party. Agnea uses a dagger and wind magic.

Agnea can use her Allure ability to get townspeople to follow (and fight for her) during the daytime and Entreat NPCs for items at night.

Should you start with Agnea?

Agnea, like Partitio, is more of a support character, but she’s still quite useful. Her Entreat ability allows her to kindly ask NPCs for their items, which is extremely useful early. Her damage is lacking, but she can buff up your team’s attack and bump their turns up in battle, allowing you to get some extra powerful hits in.

Agnea starts on the northern part of the western continent, near Partitio.

Temenos (Cleric)

Temenos casts holy magic and casts party-wide healing spells. His latent power allows you to deplete enemy Shield Points even if they’re not weak to his attack type. He uses a staff and holy magic.

When you use Temenos at night, enemies will start with debuffs at the start of battle.

Temenos can Guide NPCs around during the day and Coerce people at night to get information from them. In order to successfully Coerce them, you’ll have fight them and break their shield in a battle.

Tenemos’ guided NPCs can be summoned into battle to help you fight as well.

Should you start with Temenos?

Temenos’ partywide heal is useful and his holy magic does a ton of damage. His latent ability guarantees that he can break shields, making him a boss-destroyer. His nighttime ability that debuffs enemies also makes killing bosses a breeze. Pair him with Throné (who is nearby!) to really destroy enemies in the starting turns at night.

Temenos is on the eastern continent below Osvald and above Throné.

Hikari (Warrior)

Hikari is a warrior prince fighting for his kingdom. His latent power allows him to unleash extremely powerful attacks. He uses a sword and polearm. Natively, Hikari doesn’t do magic.

During the daytime, Hikari can Challenge NPCs to knock them out and learn new combat abilities from them. At night, he can Bribe people for information.

Should you start with Hikari?

Hikari is a traditional JRPG warrior through and through. He deals massive damage and can protect your allies by taunting the enemy. His ability to learn new skills from NPCs is valuable, but in general, he’s a reliable tanky boy who can dish what he takes. His lack of magic makes him hard to start with, as you’ll only be sporting two ways (sword and polearm) to break shields early.

Hikari starts on the southern part of the western continent, near Castti and below Agnea and Partitio.

For more help with Octopath Traveler 2, check out our guides on the best job combos and secret job locations, and learn how to farm EXP more effectively.

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