One of the biggest aspects of Persona 5 is spending time and improving your relationships with your confidants. These confidants can be party members or just non-playable characters that you run into out in the world. Each confidant has a corresponding Persona Arcana, and leveling them up grants you bonuses to Fusion, as well as many other things.
Most confidants hang out somewhere on the map, whereas a few are story-related only. When looking for someone to hang out with, you can pull up your map and look for the blue tarot cards around the areas (press square over an area if you want to see who is available there). Different confidants will also send you texts every day asking to hang out. Not every confidant is available to talk with every day. It varies constantly.
SPOILER WARNING: The list of confidant and their descriptions could be considered as spoilers.
Confidants - Arcana
Igor - Fool
The creepy man who runs the Velvet Room, Igor is your warden throughout the game. He is also one of the first confidants you meet. You will not be able to rank up his confidant level by speaking to him. It will happen over the course of the story. That said, you can always find him (and speak to him about Fusion) in the Velvet Room.
Morgana - Magician
Your faithful friend and cat, Morgana becomes available fairly early on in the game, around the time of the Kamoshida Palace. Morgana is also not a traditional confidant, meaning that his level ups will be automatic over the course of the story. He does however hang out in your room every day if you would like to chat with him.
Makoto Niijima - Priestess
Makoto is the student council president at Shujin and is the brains of the Phantom Thief group. As smart as she is deadly, Makoto will take some time to open up, as she comes off as rather stiff at first. She loves learning and experiencing new things, so take her places that she has never been before. Makoto becomes available around the time of the third palace, in June. You can find Makoto in front of the Shujin gates on days off and standing by the library after school.
Haru Okumura - Empress
Haru is the daughter of the Big Bang Burger owner, President Okumura. She is quiet, considerate and loves growing vegetables on the roof of Shujin (where you can find her). She is kind-hearted and loves things that grow, so take her to the park or help her grow vegetable. While Haru enters the story fairly late and will not become available to acquire as a confidant until late October or early November.
Yusuke Kitagawa - Emperor
Often refereed to as an eccentric (a mild term for him at least) Yusuke is larger than life in so many ways. He is kind and more than anything. He is passionate about his art, about his friends and about you, his leader. He loves people watching or anything beautiful, so hang out with him in the subway station or at the planetarium. Yusuke is available fairly early on, becoming a party member about halfway through Madarame’s Palace and a confidant the month after it has ended. You can find him standing around the Underground Walkway in Shibuya.
Sojiro Sakura - Hierophant
Sojiro is the crusty old man that becomes your guardian at the beginning of the game. He may seem a little hard on the outside, but at heart he is a lovable softy who just wants to see you succeed. Get to know him by talking to him in Leblanc early on. You can’t go with him anywhere, and he never moves.
Ann Takamaki - Lovers
Ann is caring with a fiery personality. She loves two things more than anything in this world: talking and food. As such, she enjoys spending time just chatting in the diner or hanging out at the park. Ann becomes available once you begin taking on Kamoshida Palace officially, after scoping it out with Morgana and Ryuji a few times. Once she is available to hang out, after the Kamoshida Palace ends, she can be found in the Underground Mall in Shibuya.
Ryuji Sakamoto - Chariot
Ryuji is crass, to be kind. Originally introduced as "Vulgar Boy" (an apt title), he becomes the first of your friends to awaken to his Persona. Ryuji is with you from the beginning, and he is your best bud throughout the game. He loves food, especially ramen. Take him out to eat or hang in the arcade. Once the tutorial section of Kamoshida’s Palace ends, Ryuji will awaken to his Persona and join your party. He is also one of the first confidants you get. Ryuji is standing by the stairwell outside of your classroom on school days or chilling in the arcade on your days off.
Goro Akechi - Justice
Goro Akechi does not make the best first impression. Only a year older than you and unbelievably full of himself, he is painted as somewhat of a villain due to his opposition to the Phantom Thieves. That said, he eventually proves himself to be hard-working, thoughtful and thorough. Throughout the game, his confidant level will grow naturally and automatically. You will first meet him in early June.
Futaba Sakura - Hermit
Futaba is a bit of an odd duck. When you meet her, she has been in Sojiro’s house for quite some time. She is your guardian’s adopted daughter and the target of your fourth palace infiltration. Futaba loves tech and video games. As such, take her to Akihabara. She is only kind of a party member, as she provides random, passive buffs to your group throughout battle but doesn't fight on her own. She will become available as a confidant in very late August. You can find Futaba sitting/squatting outside of Leblanc.
Chihaya Mifune - Fortune
Chihaya is the fortune teller in Shinjuku. She is kind and a little unsure about the mysteries of the universe. She will become available to talk to in the middle of June, when you first gain access to Shinjuku. She spends all of her time sitting at her stand and you can’t really take her anywhere. She is there most days. However, to start her confidant, you must spend 100,000 yen on the spirit stone that she is selling. Once that is done, you also have to complete a Mementos request first.
Justine & Caroline - Strength
Justine and Caroline are the twins that work for Igor. They keep watch over you in your cell. They have conflicting personalities, with one looking to chastise and the other reform. They are the good cop/bad cop of the Velvet Room. You will unlock this confidant in the middle of May. These two do not level up in any traditional manner. They instead ask you to fuse very specific Personas with specific skills. It is a difficult confidant to level up, so check out our Persona 5 strength confidant guide for tips and a list of fusions.
Munehisa Iwai - Hanged
Iwai is the owner of the gun shop on Central Street. You meet him very early on in the game, but you are unable to make him your confidant until your guts reaches Dauntless (level 4). As such, you will probably deal with Iwai many times before you start unlocking benefits from him. He likes bold answers to his statements — anything that makes you sound cool or badass. He is available in his shop at all times.
Tae Takemi - Death
Tae is a very early confidant. You will have to visit her for a quest, and if you come back and talk to her you will unlock her as a confidant. You will then be able to go to her clinic (which is in your neighborhood) and become her guinea pig for new drugs. It is pretty shady, but it comes with some nice benefits in terms of medicine.
Sadayo Kawakami - Temperance
Kawakami is your homeroom teacher, and her introduction as a confidant is odd. In late May you will be able to join Ryuji and Mishima on an adventure to hire a maid to ... clean your room … and nothing else. The boys get scared when the doorbell rings and run away when the maid walks in. (It is Kawakami moonlighting for extra cash.) In exchange for your secrecy, you will be able to call her over to Leblanc on certain nights to hang out with her. Call from the yellow phone on the counter.
Ichiko Ohya - Devil
Ohya is a reporter who also happens to be somewhat of an alcoholic. She hangs out in the Crossroads bar in Shinjuku. You will meet her around the time of the third palace, in late June. She usually wants you to be flirty and open to fun. She will usually text you when she is in the bar.
Shinya Oda - Tower
Shinya is a punk kid who loves the Phantom Thieves. How lucky for you that you know them very well. You will encounter Shinya when on the hunt for The King, a gaming legend who can help you defeat an unkillable enemy in a Mementos request. He will teach you some cool gun skills, allowing you to defeat the Mementos boss in exchange for some information about the Phantom Thieves. He will not come into the game until at least the middle of September. Once you meet him, you can find him in the Akihabara arcade in the afternoons.
Hifumi Togo - Star
Hifumi is a professional Shogi player who hangs out in a church. She is rather timid at first, so she requires you to have at least level three charm before she will talk to you. Once you establish a relationship, she will revel in teaching you how to become a Shogi master. She isn’t there every night, but when she is available she will always be in the church, which will be marked on your map in late June.
Yuuki Mishima - Moon
Mishima is kind a of weirdo kid who is mildly obsessed with you and your crew. He runs the Phantom’s aficionado website and will send you on Mementos requests. He is not very confidant, so your journey with him should be about trying to encourage him as much as possible. Deep down, he is a sweet kid, but a little odd. He is one of the only kids that you can hang out with in the evenings, and he will become available soon after you crush Kamoshida in the first palace. Mishima also likes to move around a lot as the game progresses. He starts by hanging out in on Central Street in Shibuya, and then he moves to Shinjuku before finally ending up in Akihabara. He just hangs out on the street in the evenings, so walk up and talk to him.
Toranosuke Yoshida - Sun
Yoshida is a politician that you will meet early on in the game. He stands in the Station Square and shouts at people as they walk by. He is hard to miss with his sash and ugly green suit. Getting him as a confidant takes some work. You will be able to talk to him in early May, and he will mention that he frequents the beef bowl shop on Central Street. Now you need to get a job there by reading one of the job magazines in the subway station. Work there twice, and he will approach you and talk to you for a bit. Now you can return to him on his (literal) soap box in Station Square and he will allow you to assist him. He won’t ask for help every night, but he will always be in Shibuya.
Sae Niijima - Judge
Sae is Makoto’s older sister and the prosecutor who is interrogating you throughout the entire frame narrative of the game. While you will talk to her many times throughout the game, she will not actually become your confidant until early July. All of her level ups will happen as the story progresses, and you can’t find her in the game.
Tips for raising confidant levels
Grow your bond
Your bond will only grow with your confidants when your bond is close enough. You strengthen your bond through a hidden point system that is not entirely different from leveling your social stats. Whenever you say something that a person likes, little blue music notes will pop out of their heads, a visual indication of a strengthening bond.
Different confidants want to be spoken to in different ways. Learn their personalities as you talk to them. Most of your friends just want you say the nicest thing you can, as long as it is sincere. Show that you are listening to what they say and respond appropriately.
If your bond is at a high enough level when you hang out with someone, Persona 5 will tell you that you feel like your bond with that character will strengthen soon. When that happens, you know that this hangout session will end in a level up. If it says it won’t happen yet, it means that you need to hang out with them and raise the bond a little more first.
When you hang out to raise a bond, you can often choose the location yourself. These include the park, a ramen shop and various different locations that you will discover throughout the game (or by reading certain books). When a bond will level up, your confidant will decide what will happen, as these are structured story moments.
Doing additional events with your confidants (like going to the movies or attending a festival) are opportunities to raise their bond points without actually leveling up confidant. This is basically doing the legwork now so that you don’t have to spend a session watching a canned animation of Yusuke staring at a bunch of strangers as they walk by. These opportunities are pretty frequent and give big boosts to points.
Bring the right Arcana
Your confidant levels will grow faster if you are currently carrying a Persona with their corresponding Arcana. You will be alerted to this when speaking to them. For example, when talking to Ann while holding the Pixie Persona, the game will let you know that your bond will grow faster. The Pixie Persona is part of the Lovers Persona, and Ann is the lovers confidant.
This will require some upkeep on your part, but it is fairly simple to do. Just make sure that, before you hang out with someone, you visit the Velvet Room. Pull a Persona from the registry that matches your companion, and then head out to talk to them. This will assure that your time is spent efficiently.
You will be able to buy various items from various stores that are described as good gifts. You can only give these items to female confidants to raise your bond with them. Pick up gift items whenever you see them. Even if they seem a little weird, you never know what your friends might be into. For example, you can buy a little motorcycle figurine in Akihabara that Makoto absolutely loves, as it matches her Persona.