Tips for playing Trials of Mana

10 handy hints that will help you overcome any trials the game puts before you!
By Duncan Heaney

In case you missed the news, the Trials of Mana demo is out now!

Not only does it let you play through the opening sections of the game for all six characters, it also lets you carry your progress over into the full version of the game!

To help you get the most out of this chunky slice of action RPG goodness, we’ve put together 10 top tips, covering everything from combat to Abilities. With this advice, you’ll be ready to take on any challenge the game has to offer!

Take your time and explore!

Trials of Mana is very good at telling you where to go next - the star icon on the map and environment typically points you towards the next destination or story event.

But as enticing as that star may be, don’t bee-line straight there. Take your time, and explore every area thoroughly, because this game is absolutely stuffed with things to find.

That’s true both in towns and out in the wilds. For example, when you’re in the occupied town of Jadd, make sure you take a tour to find all the hidden goodies before planning your big escape.

Or when you’re exploring the Rabite Forest or Cascade Cavern, don’t be afraid to take a few detours - your efforts may be rewarded with lucre (the currency of Trials of Mana’s world), useful healing items, equipment and more.

Check the map regularly

On a related note, if you want a wider view of your current area, you can bring up a full-screen map with a press of a button.

Not only is this very helpful for charting a route to your next objective, you can also use it to scout areas that might be worth poking around in.

For example, if you see a little path off to the side of a clearing, there’s a good chance you might find some valuable treasure there - perhaps money, a seed or even a chest full of health-giving chocolate!

Don’t hold back your special attacks

Every character in Trials of Mana has access to a special attack called a Class Strike. These flashy moves are available right from the start, and deal a tremendous amount of damage very quickly.

Using Class Strikes requires you to spend one of the two gauges underneath your character (they glow blue when they’re ready to use). Considering this cost, you might be tempted to conserve these attacks. Don’t do that.

Whenever you defeat enemies, or even hit them with a strong attack, you’ll collect CS particles that fill the gauge back up. You’ll get it up to 100% pretty quickly, so you should feel free to work Class Strikes into your regular battle strategy.

Watch your position

The combat system in Trials of Mana is fast, fluid and all takes place in real-time. It’s not just what you do that matters, but also where you are.

Positioning in battle is vitally important. While enemies at the start of the game are relatively weak, they soon get a lot stronger.

When they do, they start telegraphing their attacks with glowing red indicators - for example, Batmos in Cascade Caverns will fire a ranged attack in a circle below them, and Mushbooms will release a cloud of nasty spores in a small radius.

Watch out for these attack indicators… and don’t ignore them! If you see a character in the red, dodge roll out of there fast - even if it means you have to break off your current assault.

Attack from behind for extra damage

Another point on positioning - if you can get behind an enemy, your attacks will do additional damage.

That said, getting behind them can be tricky - Trials of Mana’s menagerie of monsters move fast, and will keep their sights firmly on your characters. One way to get around this is to switch characters - while a monster is focused on one of the party, another can swoop in behind them and give them a beating.

Alternatively, you can wait for them to attack - if you avoid it, there’s often a brief window for you to get in behind and deliver some hits.

Bear in mind that while most enemies are vulnerable from the rear, this isn’t the case for all of them. Bosses, for example, have their own weak points, which you’ll have to discover as you play.

You can lock onto enemies

If you want to focus your attack on a single target, you can press R3 on a controller to lock the camera onto them.

This will keep them right in the center of the screen, so you can move and dodge around them, and easily direct any attacks their way. It’s a handy way to deliver a lot of damage on a single target very quickly.

That said, it’s not always a good idea to lock onto a foe. For example, if you’re facing a big mob of enemies, you may find your situational awareness impaired if the camera is laser-targeted at a single one.

Mix up your attacks and use combos

You have two types of basic attacks in Trials of Mana: light and heavy. You can combine them for different attacks.

For example, if you press light attack > light attack > heavy attack, you’ll finish the combo with a broad sweep that pushes enemies back. You can use it to give yourself a little breathing room if you’re surrounded - very handy!

Other combos are in the game, and we’ll let you discover them for yourself. But they’re worth doing because strong attacks result in more CS particles, which in turn lets you use your Class Strikes more often.

Use Abilities to upgrade your characters

The Ability System is brand new for this remake of Trials of Mana - and it adds an incredible amount of strategic depth to the game.

When you level up, you’ll be awarded a number of Training Points (TP). You can distribute these across different categories, granting you everything from strength upgrades to additional HP.

It’s a good idea to take a look through the skills and plan your upgrades ahead of time. For example, after you’ve encountered an Element in the story (you’ll know when you do), you can use TP to unlock new moves for characters. These typically cost MP and can be extremely powerful.

Chain Abilities are also worth watching out for. When one of these is unlocked, every member of the party has access to it, though only one can equip it at a time.

Finally, note that you don’t unlock Abilities individually. Say, for example, that there are two abilities that cost 2TP in the same category. If you invest that 2TP, you’ll unlock both at the same time.

It’s a fantastically flexible system that only gets more rewarding the more you invest into it.

Plant those seeds!

ABP: Always Be Planting.

You’ll find different types of seeds all over the lands of Trials of Mana. If you plant them in a magic pot, they’ll grow into an item, such as health-restoring Candy.

These items are very useful - particularly the healing ones, as you may not have a lot of access to healing moves at the start of the game. But that’s not the only reason you should plant everything.

Whenever you grow something, your botany skills will increase - when they level up, you’ll be able to grow even better stuff.

Also, don’t forget that you can plant multiple seeds at a time, so don’t make the mistake of trying to grow them one by one!

Play the demo more than once

One of the most interesting things about Trials of Mana is how it changes depending on who’s in your group.

When you start the game, you’ll be asked to pick three of the six available characters to participate in the adventure. This decision determines where the game begins, how story scenes and encounters play out and more.

To get a sense of how it all works, we recommend you try playing through the demo more than once. You’ll see each character has a unique tale, with their own dialogue and story scenes.

It will also give you an opportunity to test out different characters and their moves - and when you find the characters that you really respond to, you can carry the progress over to the main game!

Trials of Mana releases for PS4, Nintendo Switch and Steam on April 24, 2020.

Preorder or purchase the game before May 21, 2020, and you’ll get a Rabite Adornment - a special item that allows you to gain more experience from battle up to level 10.

To stay up to date with news about the game - and the Mana series as a whole - make sure you follow on social media: