Fusion is vital in Shin Megami Tensei V. Here's how it works.

Shin Megami Tensei V Fusion Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Fusion is vital in Shin Megami Tensei V. Here's how it works.

Shin Megami Tensei V fusion is the game’s foundation, and you’ll need to use the system frequently if you want to survive. Fusion turns your old demons into something new and, ideally, more powerful. However, you’ll need to pay more attention to what you’re doing here than in previous SMT games thanks to demon affinities and the newly added essence system.

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Our Shin Megami Tensei V fusion guide walks you through the basics to get you off to a strong start.

Shin Megami Tensei V Fusion: The Basics

Fusion unlocks almost as soon as the game begins, though you’re limited in what you can do with it until you reach Tokyo Tower in the Netherworld. By that point, you’ll have access to enough demons that you should be able to get a few good fusions in, and it’s worth experimenting for a bit. 

SMT V is similar to Pokemon in that even at the same level, demons obtained through fusion are stronger than demons picked up in the wild. The resulting demon might have boosted stats if you fuse during the full moon, but even if not, this system lets you add new skills it might not have learned otherwise.

There are four options:

  • Dyad fusion — Basic fusion of two demons
  • Reverse fusion — Lets you see all available fusions based on your current party
  • Reverse compendium — Shows all available fusions based on the demons in your compendium and party
  • Special fusion — It’s a special fusion

You must be at least the same level as your target fusion, though if you have the Unforgotten Memories Miracle, the experience boost it provides can push the bonding result past your level. 

Don’t waste your Macca on summoning demons from the compendium. Even with discount Miracles, Sophia charges far too much to make it a practical way of getting demons. Just fast travel back to the area where your target demon roams, and negotiate to recruit it again.

When to Fuse in SMT V

So when do you fuse in SMT V? The answer depends on your playstyle and what’s in your stock at a given point. Fusion in SMT V is more situational and less “fuse it or lose it.” For example, even if a demon learns all its skills, it might have an elemental resistance you need to deal with a difficult foe or boss.

In that case, it makes more sense to keep it and maybe boost its stats with some incense than it does to fuse something with a pesky weakness. This was particularly common for me in the first Netherworld region and the early part of Shinegawa, where the variety of available bonds were still scant.

You’ll know it’s time to ditch your demons — or at least start trying — when there’s a level gap of five or more between them and you. No resistance will make up for the fact that they just won’t be useful in combat anymore at that point.

Special Fusions

You’ll recognize Special Fusions if you’ve played Persona. These mash two or more demons together to create a more powerful being that’s usually unavailable through normal bonding event.

When do Special Fusions unlock? Special fusions unlock after meeting certain requirements, such as defeating a boss or completing a specific side quest. However, they’re often at a much higher level when you unlock them, so it’ll take a while before you can actually fuse them.

Affinities: What Does +1 Mean?

Sophia is less than forthcoming about the numbers next to your skills, and +1 in SMT isn’t code for a thumbs up. Your demons’ affinities and your own influence how much MP a skill costs, and that’s very important. SMT V’s more intense fights require plenty of spells and careful MP management. The higher an affinity, the more MP you save.

The opposite is also true. If a demon has negative numbers in a given area, MP costs increase.

In short, pay attention to affinities in the fusion results screen before starting the ritual. It’s often best to wait until you have a more favorable combination so you don’t end up wasting time and demons on a fusion that ultimately hampers you in battle.

Apotheosis: SMT V Essence Fusion

Apotheosis is fairly straightforward and something you should make part of your normal fusion routine. If you’re exploring or doing side quests, you’ll run across several high-level essences with spells that would normally be off-limits for a while.

Obviously, you should use these on your higher-level demons with favorable affinities, though it’s also a handy way to teach the Nahobino some extra skills.

Only use Aogami essences on demons if you’ve either already taught the Nahobino its unique skill or don’t want it. Nahobino skills such as Holy Water and Sakanagi are too good to waste otherwise.

We touched on how essences and affinities work with the Nahobino in our tips guide, but the brief version is that you should use unwanted essences to bolster the Nahobino’s weak points before a major fight.

For example, the second boss uses dark spells. If you’ve got a spare Baphomet essence (or anything else with dark resistance), using it gives the boss one less chance of scoring a critical hit and getting an extra turn.

Gustave sells essences if there’s a specific one you want, but they’re ridiculously overpriced. Your demons will randomly give you their essence after leveling up as well. Either way, you shouldn’t be short of essences to tinker with.

That’s all you need to know about Shin Megami Tensei V fusion, but make sure to check out our other Shin Megami Tensei V guides for more tips and tricks.

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Josh Broadwell
Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.