I like writing guides, as I’ve discussed before, so instead of making some “hilarious” walkthrough of my tedious daily routine as I’ve done in the past, I thought I’d write something actually useful to someone: a guide on what I’ve learned about the game Brave Frontier, which I’ve talked a little about recently, and which isn’t entirely forthcoming with all the information you might need to get the most out of it during play. Without further ado, then.
What is this game?
Brave Frontier is a free-to-play mobile RPG from Alim and Gumi. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices. There’s a linear story to follow, but it’s mostly a game about collecting and upgrading “units” — various heroic characters and monsters whom you can recruit into your team, level up and evolve into more advanced forms of themselves.
Do I have to pay to play?
Brave Frontier has an energy system that depletes as you take your party on quests, with later quests or those with larger, more significant rewards costing more energy to take on. If you have insufficient remaining energy to take on a quest, you can either use a “gem” to restore it completely to its maximum level, or wait for it to regenerate at the rate of roughly one point per three minutes. As you level up, you’ll gradually gain more maximum energy; one point every few levels, and a more significant jump every five levels.
Gems are also used for “rare summons” — immediately acquiring units of higher rarity levels — and restoring the separate, much shorter energy bar for the player-vs-player Arena mode.
Depending on how casually you play, you’ll probably find there is no need to pay for gems — especially in the early levels, when you level up quite quickly and your energy bar is fully restored on each level-up.
How do I get gems?
You can pay for them, but you also get one free every so often; specifically, for completing an entire area in the main story campaign, sometimes as a daily login bonus reward if you play for several days in succession, sometimes as a “Brave Points” bonus for earning points by completing daily objectives.
How do I get units?
There are three ways of acquiring new units:
1) Receiving them as a drop from a quest. With the exception of daily and special event dungeons, these are usually very low rarity units.
2) Acquiring them through “Honor Points”. You receive honor points when you borrow another player’s character to fill the sixth slot in your party, with 5 points awarded if they’re a stranger and 10 points if they’re on your friends list. You’ll also receive honor points when other people borrow your character to use in their party in the same way. 100 honor points equates to one “free” summon, but again, these tend to be quite low rarity for the most part. It’s usually best to save up your honor points until there’s a special promotion on promising specific units you wouldn’t normally be able to get through these means; the game will make you aware of this when it’s available.
3) Acquiring them using gems. 5 gems equates to one “rare” summon, which will net you a unit of three-star (“Rare”) or higher rarity. These units will probably form the backbone of your party, but note their “cost” value; when building your party, the total cost of all the units you use cannot exceed your current cost cap. Cost cap increases with your player level alongside your maximum energy.
How do I make units better?
There are three things you need to do to improve a unit: level it up, level up its Brave Burst, and evolve it.
Levelling it up requires you to “fuse” it with other units. Each unit fused to the base unit gives you a particular amount of experience based on what it is, with slightly more experience being given if its elemental type matches that of the base unit. More valuable, rarer units are worth more experience. The most experience can be acquired from units that drop in the “Metal Parade” dungeon in the Vortex Gate; keys to unlock this are issued in the Administration Office in Imperial Capital Randall every weekday except Wednesday, so be sure to go and pick them up as often as possible. Note that when you unlock it, the Metal Parade only stays open for an hour, so only unlock it when you have enough energy to make the most of it!
Levelling up a unit’s Brave Burst — its unique special move — relies a little more on randomness than standard levelling. A unit has ten levels of Brave Burst, with some more powerful and rarer units able to acquire a Super and Ultimate Brave Burst after this. To level up a Brave Burst, perform fusion, and look for material units that say “BB UP?” or “BB UP!” on them. “BB UP?” units give a small chance of levelling up the base unit’s Brave Burst when fused, while “BB UP!” units will guarantee an increase in Brave Burst. Generally speaking, units that are appropriate to use for levelling up a Brave Burst can be identified by the type of Brave Burst they use. Healer units require other healers to level up their Brave Burst, for example, while attacking units require other units with offensive Brave Bursts.
Evolving a unit is the process you perform when a unit reaches its level cap. The level cap is determined by the number of stars the unit has, or its rarity. Three-star units have a level cap of 40, for example, while five-star units can be levelled to 80. Note that there’s a “Zel” (currency) cost every time you perform fusion, and this gets more expensive the higher level a unit is. There’s also a Zel fee to pay at evolution time.
To evolve a unit, you must collect the required additional units. These are usually found in the Tuesday daily dungeons in the Vortex Gate. For lower-rarity units, you’ll need Nymphs; as you progress through the tiers, you’ll need Spirits, Idols, Totems, Pots and Mecha Gods. Initially you won’t know exactly what evolution materials are required for a unit, but once you’ve encountered or acquired the units in question once, they’ll be revealed for your reference. Refer to the Brave Frontier Wiki to find the specific units you need if you get stuck.
Keep an eye out for special units such as Frogs — these provide significant, one-off bonuses when fused without requiring a level-up. Some increase attack power, some defense, some recovery power, some HP. Some even open up a second slot for equipping Spheres.
How should I build my party?
It depends how much effort you want to put in. I use a single standard setup for everything I do; it has a mix of different elemental types, a healer unit, a unit who can boost the acquisition of Brave Burst crystals during battle and a unit that can boost attack power. This is good for most situations.
The main quest is split into dungeons that tend to be centred around a single elemental type, so if you want to optimise your party you may wish to build a full party of each elemental type, then choose the appropriate complementary element to the enemies you’re facing. Remember, elemental weaknesses are a one-way circle for the most part: fire beats earth beats lightning beats water beats fire (and so on). Dark and light have a reciprocal relationship, meanwhile; they both beat each other.
Special events and daily dungeons are often more challenging than the main quest, so you’ll want to bring along your best units for these. For the Metal Parade, you’ll want to bring units that hit a lot of times, since the most damage you can do to a Metal unit with a single hit is 1 point.
Pay attention to the unit you choose as Leader, too. Not only do you get the benefit of their Leader skill, which is usually a passive buff of some description, this will also be the unit you loan to other players. In other words, you want your Leader unit to be as attractive as possible (stats-wise or, if you’re feeling shallow, the prettiest girl) to encourage people to use it and provide you with Honor Points.
Note that different instances of the same unit can have different “types”, so be sure to pick one that you’ll find the most effective. “Lord” type units are balanced. “Anima” type units gain more HP than usual when levelling up. “Breaker” type units gain more attack power than usual. “Guardian” type units gain more defense power than usual. “Oracle” type units gain more recovery power than usual.
How do I fight?
Fighting is a simple case of tapping the unit’s status bar to cause it to attack; there’s no need to wait for one unit to finish its turn before triggering another one, either. In fact, if more than one unit hits something at the same time, a “Spark” is triggered, increasing the amount of damage by a significant amount.
After all your units have taken a turn, you’ll receive Brave Crystals (BC) and Heart Crystals (HC). The former are randomly distributed throughout your party and increase their Brave Burst gauge. The latter are likewise randomly distributed and restore hit points. After this is done, the enemy gets a turn. Note than many enemies — particularly bosses — have more than one action per turn, some of which can hit your whole party at once.
You can use items to turn the tide of battle; remember to acquire these from the Town before you leave, and use them before triggering any attacks, since you can only use them at the start of your turn.
Use Brave Bursts wisely. Although you get a bonus to the amount of BC and HC dropped if you “overkill” an enemy, there’s little sense in unloading everyone’s BB on a single fairy. If you can dispatch a group with normal attacks, do so and save your BB for larger groups or bosses. Also make sure you familiarise yourself with your units’ Brave Bursts before you get into battle; not all of them are offensive in nature!
How do I level up quickly?
Remember you level up separately from your units. Benefits of levelling yourself up include a higher energy cap, a higher “cost” cap (allowing you to include more, rarer units in your party) and a full restoration of your energy bar and arena orbs.
You get experience for every “Quest” you complete, whether it’s in the main quest or the Vortex Gate. Vortex Gate quests are usually worth more experience than you’d usually get for that amount of energy spent in the main quest, but they’re often tougher — and you get nothing if your party is defeated before you beat the boss.
The fastest way to gain experience is with the weekly Karma dungeon on Mondays. Not only does this drop absolutely tons of Karma, a currency used for upgrading the Town and unlocking more effective equipment and consumable items, but also provides a significant amount of player experience. There are three “levels” of this dungeon; start at the bottom and work your way up. You will require some seriously powerful units to be able to defeat the boss at the end of the level 3 dungeon, so don’t jump in there unless you’re absolutely prepared.
How do I get more money?
Two ways. Firstly, there’s a weekly dungeon at the weekend that drops a lot of Zel. Secondly, every Wednesday you can pick up a Jewel Key from the administration office in Imperial Capital Randall. This can be used to unlock the Jewel Parade, which works in the same way as the Metal Parade: it stays open for an hour, after which you’ll need another key to get back in, so only open it up when you have the energy to use.
Jewel Parade drops Jewel-type units, which are completely useless for anything other than selling, so take full advantage of this. Acquire as many as you can before the Parade closes, then sell them off for vast profit.
How do I win in the Arena?
You don’t have direct control of your units in the Arena, so all you can do is make sure you send your best possible units for the job: it’s a good idea to have a healer unit of some description, as this can turn the tide of a battle in your favour. It’s also a very good idea to take units with powerful Brave Bursts that can attack the entire enemy party at once, and any units that can provide buffs or increases to BC drop rates are useful, too; generally speaking, whoever gets to Brave Burst first will usually be the victor so if you can push yourself into a position where that’s more likely to be you, you’ll be golden.
What do I do in the Town?
Three things: acquire raw materials, upgrade the town’s facilities, and buy/craft things. The Synthesis shop sells consumable items such as health potions and temporary buffs; remember to “equip” these to your hotbar before entering a difficult quest, as they will make a huge difference. The Sphere shop, meanwhile, allows you to create equippable items that either add special effects to your attacks or increase stats and resistances. Don’t neglect these; they can make an otherwise seemingly weak character into a valuable member of your party.
Should I play this game? It sounds stupid.
It is kind of stupid and ultimately fairly pointless — but if you’re someone who enjoys collecting things, making them fight other things and making on-screen numbers gradually get bigger over time, you’ll probably have at least a bit of fun with it. It has some lovely art and great music, too.
Can I add you as a friend?
Sure. Type in my ID — the easy-to-remember 9630492642 — and we’ll both get happy nice things to share.
Where can I find out more?
The Brave Frontier Wiki is a terrifyingly comprehensive resource of information for this game.