Bravely Default 2 is a very deep RPG, with over 20 different jobs that can be mixed and matched with each character. It can be daunting to figure out what jobs to use, and the challenging combat encounters don’t pull any punches. After putting a few dozen hours into the game, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to get out of the first chapter on well on your way to becoming the Heroes of Light.

Grind the Freelancer Job for JP Up

You’ll start the prologue with only two jobs available, the Freelancer and the Black Mage (courtesy of Elvis). The Freelancer is a generalized job that can use any weapon (though none higher than a B) and a few low-cost skills like Treat for early game healing and Purge to remove nasty afflictions like Charm and Dread.

It’s not the most exciting job, and it’s tempting to ditch it as soon as you unlock better jobs. However, take a look at two of the unlockable Support abilities: JP Up (level 9), and JP Up and Up (level 12). The first increases earned job points by 20 percent, and the second by 50 percent – and they can be stacked together! Since JP is how you level up jobs, it’s a great way to speed up the grind. It’s also easiest to grind while you have powerful NPC allies, such as Sir Sloan. Just remember to actually equip the JP Up support skills in the Attributes screen!

Level Jobs to Earn Helpful Support Skills

Characters can only ever use two different Job skills: their Main Job and Sub Job. The big exception are Support Skills, which are the green-banded skills that provide passive bonuses, like the above mentioned JP Up for Freelancers. These skills are equipped separately on the Attributes screen, and everyone can equip up to five of them, regardless of their Main and Sub job.

Check each new job you earn for these support skills, as many can be useful for multiple character builds. The earliest combo tip is to level a spellcaster in both White Mage and Black Mage to at least level 5, in order to equip Solar Powered and Lunar Powered. That way, the mage will restore MP every turn, regardless of the time of day.

The Beastmaster is a great example of a Job with useful Support skills for other classes. Raw Power (level 7) increases physical damage every time you Brave, a large boost for a physical damage character with big turns. MP Saver (level 10) reduces MP consumption by a whopping 20%, which comes in very handy for spellcasters.

Sail Away

One of the earliest side quests you can complete unlocks Bravely Default 2’s pseudo-multiplayer feature. Boat Exploration is basically an idle mobile game that operates as long as the game is running (including sleep mode). Once you complete the quest, talk to the boat clerk in any town (marked by a boat icon), click Start Exploring, and you’re done. The boat will explore the world and meet other players, and occasionally find an item, for up to 12 hours. All you have to do is return to the clerk to collect your items.

These aren’t just run of the mill potions you’ll be collecting either. You’ll discover two main kinds of items: JP orbs and booster buns. JP orbs provide a one-time boost to your JP, with large ones granting 750 JP with a single item! Booster buns provide permanent stat increases, from HP to physical defense and restorative power. Both kinds of items are extremely helpful throughout the entire game, making the boat a must-stop every time you boot up the game.

Pay Attention When Enemies Default

One of the earliest concepts you’ll learn is Brave versus Default. Default is the awkward term the game uses for guarding or defending. Doing so earns a Brave Point, which you can expend later to take another turn. Up to 3 BP can be stored, potentially unleashing four actions in a single turn.

Enemies can also use Default and Brave. Pay close attention, as attacking a defaulting enemy will significantly reduce the damage. Many bosses will Default for several turns before unleashing a devastating series of attacks. A good rules is to Default whenever an enemy does, or focus on non-Defaulting enemies. Certain class skills, like the Monk’s Qiyong Wave, can penetrate an enemy’s defenses while they’re Defaulting.

Examine Their Weakness

All enemies in Bravely Default 2 have at least one element or weapon they’re vulnerable to. The Freelancer’s very first skill, Examine, reveals all vulnerabilities for a single enemy type (or you can use a Magnifying Glass item). Once you learn their weaknesses, you’ll know them forever just by tapping the X button during combat.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to have a variety of weapon types and elemental damage at your disposal. You don’t just have to rely on the Black Mage for elemental damage either. In the first chapter alone, the Vanguard can deal earth damage, the Monk fire damage, and the Thief wind damage.

Note that enemy resistances are not shown, however. You’ll have to discover them the hard way. Some enemies take only half damage from certain attacks, others are immune, and still others may absorb certain elemental damage entirely.

Always have a Healer Handy

You’ll earn two very useful jobs early in the game from the first major boss encounter, the White Mage and the Vanguard. The White Mage is one of the more critical jobs in the game, capable of healing the entire party, curing status effects, and reviving downed characters.

You’ll want to max this job ASAP on at least one character, and it’s not a bad idea to have a second healer, at least as a Sub Job, for certain boss fights. The White Mage’s first Specialty, Angelic Ward, has a chance to reduce incoming damage by 30%, and seems to trigger quite frequently. White Mages can also use bows, which is a common weakness for many enemies.

You don’t have to remain a White Mage once maxed, but consider at least leaving it as a Sub Job on one character for most of your adventuring career early on.

How to Defeat the Berserker Boss

Without going into spoilers, one of the final bosses you’ll face in Chapter 1 possesses the Berserker asterisk. They represent a significant difficulty spike, even if you’ve been judicious about leveling your characters and classes.

The Berserker uses Vent Fury to increase their physical damage, at the cost of lowering their physical defense. It’s best to exploit the boss’ weakness for daggers using the Thief job, which happens to be unlocked right before this boss. Make sure your Thief is at least level 5 to unlock the Sky Slicer ability, which deals wind and dagger damage for 1 BP (assuming you have a dagger equipped – and you should). The boss happens to be weak to wind as well, making this a devastatingly powerful ability. If you’ve unlocked the godly Godspeed Strike (level 9), even better.

You’ll still need to keep your party alive, and for that reason we recommend two White Mages and a Vanguard to round out the party. The Vanguard should focus on tanking using Aggravate and Enrage, as well as using Defang to lower the boss’s damage. If you’ve leveled your Vanguard enough, you can also use The Gift of Courage (level 11) to transfer BP to your damage-dealing Thief. One of the White Mages should have the Bard sub job (or main job). The very first song, Don’t Let ‘Em Get to You, reduces physical damage by 15% on the whole party. For the Thief, the Monk sub job helps increase damage via Invigorate (level 8).

Using these job combinations and skills you should be able to come up on top, and earn another job asterisk for yourself.

Bravely Default 2 is available on Nintendo Switch. It’s rated T for Teen.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.