The life of a Phantom Thief is full of unique challenges, both on and off the battlefield. While cultivating your Personas is crucial to your success, the most powerful mask will be of little help in passing your exams or asking your crush on a date. In order to excel at all facets of Persona 5, you’ll have to spend time improving your social stats to make it through the struggles of daily life.
While there are lots of little ways to gain experience in these stats, this guide will take a look at some of the more efficient and useful ways of boosting your character to successful heights.
The Skinny on Social Stats
Bringing up the Stats page and viewing the Social tab will present you with a diagram of a five-pointed star. Each arm corresponds to one of the five social stats, and the more filled the arm is, the further you’ve progressed. There are five levels to each stat, starting at 1 and capping at 5.
The five stats are as follows:
- Knowledge: The results of studying hard and improving your intellect.
- Guts: The courage to face some very intimidating (or awkward) scenarios.
- Proficiency: A catch all term for dealing with handiwork.
- Kindness: How well you can relate to people and empathise with their issues.
- Charm: Having people like you — particularly the opposite sex.
So what’s the purpose of these skills? Veterans of other Persona games are probably familiar with many of these, but newcomers might be wondering just what’s the point. None of these social stats equate directly to combat power, but indirectly? They’re the cornerstone of everything.
Simply put, most of the Confidants in the game will require you to reach certain levels of these stats before you’re able to even start them, let alone advance. Increasing the rank of your Confidants grants access to a number of abilities that will make progressing through the game much smoother. The primary use of this is dramatically improving the power of your Personas obtained through fusion correlating to the arcana of the Confidant; other uses include in-combat effects like unlocking the Baton Pass mechanic, or even providing new store items or experience boosts.
In order to advance through the game, you’ll have to juggle management of your time between clearing dungeons, improving your social stats, and ranking up these Confidants. We’ll be covering Confidants in another guide — let’s look at how best to maximise your time spent raising skills.
How Best to Improve the Stats
In general, you can see how big of a gain you’re making by observing the musical notes that appear over your character when you complete an activity — the more that appear, the bigger the gain. As such, you can get a fairly good idea of what has the best impact through that, but here’s some tips to make sure you’re using your time efficiently.
How to Increase: Study at the Shibuya Diner (bonus during rain), study at the school Library, study at the booths at Leblanc (bonus during rain), correctly answer questions in class, play shogi with the Star Confidant
Required for: Doing well in school exams, attaining the Priestess arcana (rank 3)
The most important stat for any budding student, Knowledge is arguably the easiest to raise as it has the most options available for it. Your best option is to study at the dinner in Shibuya – in addition to earning a flat 2 points, you’ll get a bonus point when it’s raining, plus an additional other stat point depending on the food item you purchase.
You’ll also periodically be asked questions in class, and correctly answering will give you a point as well. Check our guide to the classroom questions if you need a hand with them.
How to Increase: Drink coffee at the Shibuya Diner, participate in clinical trials with Death Confident, study at the school library (chance)
Required for: Attaining Death, Temperance, and Hanged Man Confidants
Guts is a tricky stat to improve, as there’s no really good grinding method, but it’s also crucial for earning some of the better early game Confidants. The “safest” option is participating in trials with the Death Confidant, but that requires Guts level 2 to unlock, so until then it’s best to study at Shibuya Diner and buy the coffee.
You can also partake in the Big Bang Burger challenge — more on that in general activities.
How to Increase: Crafting thieves tools at your desk, working at the Beef Bowl Shop, playing the Batting Cages minigame (depending on performance)
Required for: Unlocking the Beef Bowl Shop and Crossroads Bar jobs, attaining Sun Confidant
You’ll pick up two or three points in Proficiency every time you craft at your desk, so if you’re stocking up on Lockpicks (and you really should) then you’ll probably get your first point in this quickly. Once you do, working the Beef Bowl Store job at night as the best way to power this up and earn some decent money to boot.
How to Increase: Feeding nutrients to your pot plant every 16 days (influenced by quality of nutrients), working at the Flower Shop, eat steak at the Shibuya Dinner
Required for: Attaining Lovers Confidant
Once you clean up your room and discover the pot plant there, you’ll want to feed it nutrients whenever you get the chance. This doesn’t consume time, so it’s effectively free points. You can pick up the nutrients from the Flower Shop, which coincidentally is where you’ll want to work in order to power up this stat when your plant is fed.
How to Increase: Bathe at the Yongen Bathhouse at night (bonus on Monday and Thursday), drink tea at the Shibuya Diner (not available early)
Required for: Unlocking the Flower Shop job, attaining the Star Confidant
This is a pretty simple one to level. Just visit the Yongen Bathhouse that’s directly opposite from Leblanc at night, and net yourself a couple of points. It’s best off waiting for Monday and Thursday for this, but if you’re diligent about going on those nights you’ll have this stat up in no time.
As well as the specific increases listed above, there are a few methods that can also net you more stat points. What stat these offer changes depending on the date or your selections, so they’re not ideal to plan on grinding around, but are worth doing nonetheless.
Books: Sometimes in your morning train rides, you’ll get a chance to read a book that you have in your inventory. Depending on your choice, you can get a chunk of stat points to the book’s related stat after two reading sessions. Always keep an unread book on hand for these events! Note that DVDs or playing video games affect your stats in much the same way.
Juice in Shibuya: Every Sunday, you can drink juice at the stand in Shibuya Underground Walkway. The stat affected changes regularly, but doing this doesn’t take up any time so it’s good to supplement your activities with.
Watching Movies: Visiting the cinemas in Shibuya and Shinjuku will let you watch a movie, which gives a sizable chunk of points for their respective stat the first time you watch them. The movie rotation changes every so often, so keep an eye on these. You can rewatch a movie once, but you only get one point. However, you can also get invited by a Confidant to see these, which nets you the stat boost and improves that relationship – try and use these opportunities when you can.
The Big Burger Challenge: Taking the burger challenge at Big Bang Burger in Shibuya will net you a guaranteed points in Guts. If you manage to win, you’ll also get an additional point in ALL social stats aside from Kindness, as well as net an accessory. It’s a good way to fill time and cover lots of stats if you have the chance. Note that it’s cheaper to take this challenge at Night, but you can do so in the Afternoon too.
Early Game Stat Priority
To close out the guide, let’s look at some of the priorities you’ll want to focus on in the early stages. These aren’t crucial to follow, but it can help you figure out break points that you might want to aim for.
- Prioritise Guts early! With no highly effective means of gaining points but a number of powerful Confidants gated behind levels 2-4 of it, getting points in Guts whenever you can should always be at the forefront of your time management. Getting this to level 2 for the Death Confidant will help you massively in the early game.
- Having Knowledge at level 2 by early May will improve your ranking in your exams drastically, getting you a boost to Charm. There are a lot of days spent on unavoidable plot events leading up to the exams, so the time you have for this is deceptive. Get studying!
- Trying to fit in the Bathhouse every Monday and Thursday night for Charm points is a priority. This will get you the level 2 requirement for the Flower Shop job in no time; in turn, working the Flower Shop to get level 2 Kindness will help you advance the Lovers Confidant early.
- Proficiency to level 2 is easily obtained by crafting the Lockpicks you’ll need for Palaces. Doing this early will net you the incredibly useful Sun Confidant as well as the high paying Beef Bowl Store job, which in turn levels your Proficiency higher. After level 2, the need for this stat drops off until July, so you can relax afterwards.
- A number of Confidants become available in Late June. To maximise these and get started early, you’ll need Knowledge at level 3 to advance the Priestess, and Charm at level 3 to begin the extremely powerful Star Confidant.
- Again, prioritise Guts! In late May, you’ll gain the ability to advance the Temperance Confidant at level 3, which will get you a lot of extra time to work with. You’ll also see the prompt to begin the Hanged Man Confidant, but this requires level 4 so don’t expect to rush this. It’s worth working towards these however.
Trying to get everything to level 2 and not neglecting any stats will be crucial to your success in the long run, but there’s no hard and fast rule about advancing and there are multiple routes to success. With luck, this guide will help you find your preferred play style.
And with this, you should hopefully have a better idea of how to proceed with the Social stats in Persona 5. We’ll be putting out more guides for other areas of the game soon, so stay posted! Feel free to let us know in the comments if we’ve missed something or if you have a different tip, and we’ll be sure to note it!