Phantasy Star Online 2: Picking the Best Race and Class
Phantasy Star Online 2 officially kicks off its Closed Beta test for the West today! Starting at 5:00 p.m. PST and lasting until February 8, 11:59 p.m. PST, players that signed up in the Xbox Insider Hub will be able to set out on their journey in this long-awaited MMORPG. Since many will be wondering about the best races and classes, we've put this best race and class rundown together.
Even though the Closed Beta is painfully short, there is solace in the fact that progress will not be erased once the testing period ends. This means that once the Open Beta opens up, and then eventually full launch, all of your data is still there, and you won't even have to re-download the game. All you'll have to do is patch it.
For more details on the Closed Beta period, we've got you covered right here. But now, let's focus on race and class choices because there's a lot to go over in a short amount of time.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Races
There are four races in Phantasy Star Online 2: humans, newmans, CAST, and deumans. Each class has its own pluses and minuses and even the gender you choose will affect some stats to a certain degree. This makes some races better suited for some classes than others.
These are the standard race in PSO2 and are the most neutral in terms of stats and appearance. Ears are normal, skin color is mostly neutral, and stats are balanced in comparison to other races. They're a good choice for any class, especially if you want to be versatile or switch classes often.
Think of these as the elf equivalent in PSO2. They've got pointy ears that can be adjusted for sharpness and height and typically have lower health with higher special attack stats. Specifically, both HP and DEX are lower while R-ATK/T-ATK/R-DEF/T-DEF are all higher than humans. This gives them a vast aptitude for photon arts with strong mastery of photon powers.
Defining the CAST as its own race is a bit odd according to the fiction of PSO because they're technically more like hybrids of weak Humans or Newmans mixed with robotic parts for strength. As a result, they resemble mini mechs. Since they mostly look like robots physically, not all cosmetic items can be applied.
However, they also get their own batch of exclusive cosmetics for some slots. They can also be any color. Typically they have lower T-ATK/T-DEF but higher HP/S-ATK/R-ATK/S-DEF/R-DEF/DEX.
The final race in PSO2 is basically the "evil" version of humans and newmans; they're kind of like a dark elf/demonic variant. The big difference here is that they have horns, pale skin, and dichromatic eyes, meaning eye colors don't match. They've typically got lower HP and DEF but higher ATK and DEX.
All this being said, don't give too much stock to the race you pick if you plan on investing much time in PSO2. The reality of it is that by the time you reach the end game, it won't really matter which race you picked anymore because your gear will be so advanced and optimized it can make up for any offset in stats.
And since PSO2 isn't a PvP-focused game at all, you won't need to worry as much about the meta against other players. Pick what you want and adapt accordingly!
Phantasy Star Online 2 Classes
Once you pick a race in PSO2 and decide your physical appearance (the character creation system is actually quite in-depth), you'll be able to pick a class, which is a much more important decision. But if you don't like what you picked, don't worry: you can change your class between missions in PSO2.
There are nine distinct classes to pick from that all play dramatically differently:
This is your standard melee class. It's got a good balance of offense and defense and is extremely solo-friendly with options split up between large swords, lances, and bladed spears called partizans.
Similar to Hunter, the Fighter is another melee-focused class, but the Fighter is built around extremely close-quarters combat delivered at blistering speed while landing frequent critical hits. They use twin daggers, double sabers, or knuckles as their weapons of choice.
This is one of the most versatile classes in the game that's balanced between flashy short-ranged and precise long-ranged combat. It can utilize both the katana and the bullet bow.
Perhaps the most distinct and unique class in PSO2, the Bouncer is another melee option that mixes physical attacks with Technique abilities seamlessly. Its dual blades are deadly and the inventive jet boots add significant flair to combat.
As the name suggests, this is a standard ranged damage class. They specialize in using assault rifles and rocket launchers, as well as the gunsblade as a last resort. This class is great for ranged DPS in a group setting or an offensive-minded support role.
As the name suggests, the Gunner is all about guns making it a powerful ranged single-target combat class. Twin machine guns are a go-to option for weapons, but the Gunner can also use assault rifles and gunblade as well.
Think of this as your standard caster class in PSO2 with a heavy focus on Techniques rather than raw physical damage. They can buff and heal allies as well, so they're key to a successful party but can be a bit squishy for solo content. They rely on rods, talis casting devices, and the gunblade.
This class was named "Techer" in the Japanese version, so I'm not sure why they added an extra letter for the full North American release. At any rate, this is almost entirely focused on fulfilling the support class role using wands, talis casting devices, and the gunblade.
Finally, the Summoner is in a category of its own as its the only dedicated pet-based class in PSO2. This class relies on, you guessed it: summoning creatures to fight in its stead while relying on baton-like takts and the gunslash as last resorts.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Subclass System
In addition to picking a main class, you also get to choose a subclass in PSO2 once you hit Level 20 and obtain the "Sub Class License" from the appropriate NPC.
Your main class continues to earn 100% of all earned XP, can use all of its inherent weapons, photon arts, and techniques, as well as receive all of that class' stats and skills. But your subclass contributes 20% towards your stats, earns 25% of XP up to Level 70, and all skill not marked as "main class only" in the skill tree.
Understanding class synergies and which classes pair well with others is important because the combo you pick has a major influence on gameplay and progression over the course of PSO2.
Are you excited for Phantasy Star Online 2's release in the West? Let us know down in the comments below which race and class you plan on picking first!