Octopath Traveler has quickly become an incredibly popular game for gaming fanatics and casual gamers alike, and when you start playing the game you will quickly understand why. However, before you can get into the incredibly addictive storyline and combat style, you will need to choose 1 of 8 characters, also known as travelers, to be your main character.
The game gives relatively little information about each character in the start, just enough to give you a brief overview. We hope to give you a little bit more information to make a well informed decision about which character is the best for you to start with, rather than just choosing the character who appeals to you most on a visual level (not to say that this isn’t a tried and true method of choosing characters!).
Don’t stress too much about your initial traveler. Over the course of the game, you will encounter each of the eight characters and add them to your party. However, at any time you are only able to have 4 characters active. This means that as you encounter new characters, you will need to make characters inactive depending on your party’s needs.
It will be important to regularly switch out characters to prevent an inactive character that is useful in certain situations become too weak to be useful against higher level enemies and bosses. Additionally, your main character will always be with you, so he or she will be the highest ranking, and therefore usually strongest, character on your team.
Warning: This overview does contain brief spoilers.
Character History: Alfyn Greengrass is a young man living in Clearbrook, Riverlands. He works treating the injured and ill in his town. According to his biography, Alfyn was sick as a young child and nursed back to health by a strange traveler passing through. As a way to give back, he took up apothecary.
Initial Character Journey: When we first meet Alfyn, we also meet his childhood friend and fellow apothecary Zeph. Zeph quickly learns that his little sister has been bitten by a poisonous snake. Alfyn then makes the dangerous journey to the Rhiyo Cave to find the necessary ingredients to make a healing potion to save her life. From there, this Apothecary has the drive to aid others outside of his town and sets off to help.
Path Action: Inquire. By hitting Y, you can learn information about the townspeople that you encounter. This can be particularly helpful during missions to find out information that others may not offer up willingly.
Talent: As an apothecary, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Alfyn makes potions for himself and his fellow travelers. Use materials found in the inventory section to make potions that can either deal damage to your enemies or aid your allies by restoring SP and HP.
Our Take: Alfyn is a great healer right off the bat, particularly when given the correct materials to work with, and that ability only gets stronger in time. For us it was a mildly interesting storyline, but this genuinely nice character is a good way to start the game.
Character History: Cyrus Albright resides in the town Atlasdam and works as a professor, teaching Princess Mary and Therese. Without a doubt, this traveler is incredibly dedicated to continuing his education and learning everything he can.
Initial Character Journey: When we first meet Cyrus, he is granted permission to go into the closely guarded archives to continue learning. He quickly notices some key texts are missing and realizes keys have been stolen. His quest takes him to confront a fellow scholar who stole one of the texts. Upon defeating the other scholar, Cyrus is able to bring the ancient book back to the archives where it belongs. Upon returning, Therese accuses Cyrus of an inappropriate relationship with Princess Mary. Due to this, Cyrus jumps at the opportunity to find the missing text and travel the world in search of further information.
Path Action: Cyrus’ path action is Scrutinize, which is the same as Alfyn’s Inquire. This allows you to gain information about fellow townspeople you encounter.
Talent: Study Foe. This talent allows you to know the weakness of an enemy you haven’t encountered before. This is incredibly useful as it allows you specialize your attacks early on in the battle.
Our Take: Cyrus has an engaging backstory and an exciting initial journey. Additionally, right away Cyrus quickly does a good deal of damage to enemies in a variety of different elements. This traveler is a solid choice to start with, though make sure you have plenty of SP replenishing materials with you when you go into battle.
Character History: H’aanit is a huntress who lives in the S’warkii, and is among the last of a powerful clan of hunters and huntresses who call the forest their home. This huntress is particularly skilled with the bow and arrow.
Initial Character Journey: We meet H’aanit as she awaits the return of her mentor, Z’aanta, who left the village to hunt Redeye, a dangerous beast. During his absence, she is asked to defend traveling merchants from a beast who is hunting for sport. After defeating the beast, Z’annta’s wolf companion returns to the village, obviously in distress. From there, H’aanit sets off in pursuit of finding her mentor.
Path Action: H’aanit’s action is provoke, which allows you to challenge any town person to battle. This can come in handy initially to help you level up quickly for higher damage, as well as HP and SP levels.
Talent: Summon. During a battle, H’aanit is able to summon previous enemies that she has captured to use in battle. These creatures are only available for a set number of times, with the exception of Linde, her leopard, who can be used repeatedly.
Our Take: Many people complain about this traveler’s accent, but in our mind, this is not a big enough detraction to avoid using this character. We chose this character as our main traveler, partially due to her artwork, and her evolution of skills in battle has not disappointed us. Additionally, Linde is a huge benefit during battle as it does a significant amount of damage to enemies without losing SP. The Pokemon trainer aspect of her Summon talent is a definite benefit for us as well.
Character History: Olberic was once an extremely brave and important knight in his realm. However, during an important battle, another knight, Gaston, who Olberic considered to be trustworthy betrayed Olberic and his entire army and slew the king. In embarrassment and despair, Olberic hid his identity and retired to train young men in his village how to fight.
Initial Character Story: When we are first introduced to Olberic, he is training young men in the village and defending the village from minor disturbances. One day, the town is swarmed by bandits. In an effort to chase them away, Olberic journeys to the cave where they are staying. After defeating the leader of the bandit’s, Gustav, Olberic discovers that Gaston is not far and travels to confront him.
Path Action: Olberic’s action is challenge, which allows you to challenge townspeople to battle. This works the same as H’aanit’s provoke and is beneficial at lower levels when you are trying to level up quickly.
Talent: Bolster Defense allows Olberic to take less damage during battle, which means you have to depend on the healers in your party for their healing powers less.
Our Take: Olberic seems like an obvious choice for the starting character, and is a decent choice. However, we were a little bit bored with the stereotypical wronged hero backstory, and he seems no more powerful than other characters. However, many find him to be a great way to ease yourself into the game.
Character History: As a young child, Ophilia was orphaned and left with the Archbishop and his daughter, Lianna. As the years pass, Ophilia becomes a cleric and a student of the Archbishop, as well as a member of their family.
Initial Character Story: Every 20 years, a member of the chosen family needs to partake on a dangerous mission to Cave of Origin. When the Archbishop suddenly becomes sick, Ophilia takes it upon herself to complete the mission instead of forcing Lianna to leave her sick father’s side. The Archbishop pardons Ophilia upon her return, and she continues on with the pilgrimage to continue bringing the light to the rest of the Kingdom.
Path Action: Ophilia’s action is guide. This allows you to guide townspeople to different area of town, which can help you advance with them finding various items or people.
Talent: Like other characters in the party, Ophilia can summon various characters previous captured for a certain number of turns.
Our Take: Ophilia may not be the best option for your main character, but is definitely a part of your party that you will regularly use. Her attack powers are very limited to specific elements, so it can be tempting to remove her from your party when characters that carry stronger damage come into the picture. However, you will quickly regret the loss of her healing powers. Keep her in your party regularly with other, stronger damaging players will definitely give you a well-rounded party.
Character History: Primrose is a dancer, though she could more accurately be described as a stripper. She is seeking men who are members of the mark of the crow in search of revenge, as they killed her father.
Initial Character Story: When we first meet Primrose, she is definitely in a compromised situation compared to what she was raised in. Forced to entertain men’s more carnal desires, she is entertaining the day that a man that is marked by a crow tattoo comes into her establishment. She follows him to the Sunshade Catacombs, where she is able to defeat him. From there, she leaves her boss’ servitude in pursuit of the other men who killed her father.
Path Action: Allure, like Ophilia’s action, allows you to guide townspeople towards items or other characters.
Talent: Like Ophilia, Primrose’s talent is summon, which allows her to bring previously captured characters into battle.
Our Take: Primrose is the absolute definition of female empowerment, and there is no doubt that video games as a whole need more storylines of females taking charge of their own destiny. Primrose is very definitely in charge of her own destiny, but beyond that she has some pretty fantastic damage powers. Many fans of the game find her to be one of the best characters to keep in the party, as well as a fantastic main traveler option.
Character History: Therion is a thief, as he is well known for his extravagant spending and stealing. Much like Robin Hood, Therion specifically targets the rich. Your main goal is to find a way into a local mansion that is supposed to have massive riches.
Initial Character Story: When we meet Therion, he definitely fancies himself a master thief and master of deception. Therion meets the boss Heathcote, who he defeats in order to return to your home. However, Therion quickly sets out again to find more treasures throughout the Octopath world.
Path Action: Therion’s action is steal, which as a title such as a thief, definitely makes sense. With this action Therion takes items from townspeople that are not normally accessible.
Talent: Therion’s talent is Pick Lock, which means that he has the ability to open treasure chests that wouldn’t normally be opened.
Our Take: Unfortunately, Therion didn’t steal our vote for the best traveler’s to start with- or keep in your party. His story isn’t particularly engaging to begin with, and unfortunately, his skills in battle don’t draw much attention either.
Character History: Tressa lives with her parents and works in their shop as a merchant. However, it is apparent from the get-go that she yearning for travels beyond the village that she lives in, and is ready for an adventure.
Initial Character Story: When Tressa’s village is pillaged by pirates, Tressa quickly goes on a mission to find the stolen goods. With a little help from a famous merchant and former pirate, she is able to retrieve the stolen treasure, defeat the pirate twins, and with her parent’s blessing, continue on to become a traveling merchant on her own regards.
Path Action: Tressa’s action is purchase, which means she can trade and buy additional items from townspeople.
Talent: Tressa’s talent is Eye For Money, which allows her to find gold throughout your travels. Having additional funds is particularly useful when you are stocking up on additional materials for healing, potions, and damage.
Our Take: Tressa is truly a spitfire, and no doubt that while she has some weaknesses in battle, her story is engaging. Having her in your party means you have a very well rounded character.