FAQ and General Information

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Anything on this page which refers to buttons is based off the Switch controller. PC will have equivalent key bindings available.

Getting Started

A common question new runners have is...

Which character should I run?

All the single story runs are fairly easy to pickup, but if you want a little more information on each character:

Character Notes
Ophilia Easy to follow and all fights except Ch4 are scripted. A lot of good luck is required for an optimized time.
Cyrus All fights except Ch3 are scripted and a detailed route is available for easy learning. Most optimal route requires using Bewildering Grace for JPx5 on Ch2 boss.
Tressa The shortest run, several routes available, and the most popular single story.
Olberic The longest single story run due to the number of fights and resources needed, but the run has unique strategies to conserve resources.
Primrose Generally agreed to be the hardest single story run. Ch4 bosses requires some luck and improv to succeed, but it is very rewarding once you get it.
Alfyn Has the longest time without Evasive Maneuvers, but is otherwise a straightforward run.
Therion It's the run with the required 3% steal. That aside, all fights are scripted.
H'aanit All fights are scripted except Ch4 and can easily transition into a Cait run without much effort.

Now that you've decided which run you're going to learn you must be wondering about...

PC and Switch Version Differences

PC and Switch versions are separated on the leaderboards. Switch has more competitive times at the moment.

These are the key differences:

  • PC has faster loads, less lag, and runs at 60 FPS instead of 30.
  • PC can copy and transfer save files, as well as being able to edit save files for easy practice and memes.
  • Switch has access to the exclusive Home Buffer Glitch. The Olberic and Therion route use it and the PC Olberic route is significantly different without the glitch.
  • Digital version on Switch has faster loads than Physical.

Game Options

Set your game options to the following:

  • Use Japanese voices except for Olberic Single Story. Fights do not begin until characters stop talking and some go on forever in English (H'aanit).
  • Set text speed to Fast.
  • Save and Reload uses Save Slot 1. If you have a casual playthrough file you want to keep, move it to a different slot.
  • After starting the game, load an existing save before starting a run. This will reduce the load time when starting a New Game.

Game Mechanics

Step Counter

Like other JRPGs, Octopath has a step counter. Once you take so many steps in an area you get an encounter. The step counter is only updated with distance traveled, running into a wall or getting stuck on an object will not increase it.

The following situations reset the step counter:

  • Reloading a Save
  • Cutscenes
  • Provoke/Challenge fights
  • "Sense of Danger" Prompts
  • Encounters
  • Screen Transitions
    • This does not apply to transitions which have the same name and danger level as the previous room. This is most common with mansions.

Evasive Maneuvers is a Scholar Support Skill which increases the amount of steps you can take before getting an encounter. Every run grabs this.

Running increases the step counter more quickly if you do not have Evasive Maneuvers. If you do have Evasive Maneuvers, there is no difference between running and walking.

Fleeing from Combat

You can freely run away from fights under the following circumstances:

  • Provoke or Challenge fight
  • All enemies are inflicted with Break
  • Enemy is caught by surprise
  • All enemies are asleep
  • It is your 5th attempt at fleeing

Below are flee timings for one party member fighting one enemy. Switch will add a little more time due to loads and lag, but the rankings are the same.

Situation Time (sec)
1st try Flee 7.6
You surprised your foe 9.6
Break then Flee (Weapon) 11
2nd try Flee (Going 1st T2) 12.9
Break then Flee (Skill) 14.2
2nd try Flee (Going 2nd T2) 14.3


  • Hold B to skip cutscenes. B can be held down prior to the cutscene starting.
  • Running into a cutscene and keeping B pressed will maintain your run.
  • Some cutscenes only have 1 or 2 text boxes. The following cutscenes are faster to skip it instead of mashing through the text:
    • Tressa Ch1 outside Caves of Maiya

Menuing Tips


  • Pressing X will close the menu. This does not apply to the shop menu.
  • Pressing left or right on a list will move your cursor to the top or bottom of of the current list, respectively.
  • Yes/No prompts do not have an option selected by default. Mashing A then pressing a direction is a fast way to get through these.
  • OK prompts can be cleared by pressing A or B.

Fast Traveling

  • Pressing - will open the Map.
  • Holding down R while the map is open will increase your cursor speed.
  • The d-pad is faster for moving the cursor diagonally.
  • Press down on the right analog stick to zoom out on the map. This can be done twice.

Jobs / Skills

  • Pressing L or R will change the current character you are working with.
  • Skills can be taught from the Jobs menu by pressing A while hovering on a currently equipped Job.

Evasive Maneuvers Grind

All runs try to get Evasive Maneuvers (EM) as soon as possible. EM is a Scholar Support Skill which increases the amount of steps you can take before getting an encounter. Most runs pickup Cyrus early because of this.

EM requires 2 Scholar Skills (130 JP) to unlock.

The Whistlewood

This area is the most common method to get the JP required for EM. In a typical run where you pickup Cyrus he will have 30 JP after completing his Chapter 1, so you will need an additional 100 JP from The Whistlewood.

Below are the possible encounters you can get. It's also possible for a single enemy to be replaced by a Cait in the encounter.

Encounter JP Notes
5 Spud Bugs 135 (+13)
4 Howlers 108 (+10) Need to break with Lightning first
2 Froggen V + 2 Spud Bugs 96 (+9)
2 Froggen IV + 2 Spud Bugs 94 (+9)
2 Froggen V + 2 Froggen III 68 (+6)
2 Froggen IV + 2 Froggen III 66 (+6)
Froggen V + 3 Froggen III 60 (+6)
Froggen IV + 3 Froggen III 59 (+5)
Froggen VI + 2 Spud Bugs 95 This is a very rare encounter and you can't kill it. Better luck next time.

Optimally you want to get the Howlers encounter or one with Spud Bugs in it, excluding Froggen VI. If you don't get the encounter you want you can opt to flee/die and try again or kill the encounter and grind the rest of the JP outside of Whistlewood. If you get ideal Atlastdam encounters you can often get 100 JP with any killable Whistlewood encounter + 2 Atlasdam encounters.

Atlasdam Flats have the following encounters if you have 2 party members:

Encounter JP
3 Aggressive Ants 18 (+1)
Meep + 2 Aggressive Ants 17 (+1)
3 Froggen I 12 (+1)
Froggen II + Froggen I 10 (+1)
2 Froggen I 8 (+1)

Grinding outside of Whistlewood with only one party member takes a lot longer since less enemies spawn.

Whistling Cavern

This section only applies to Olberic Single Story.

By the time you get to the EM grind in Olberic Story you will have a minimum of 35 JP (Olberic Ch1 + one double encounter). Optimally the encounter you get in Whistling Cavern will give you enough JP to learn two Scholar skills (130 JP).

Below are the possible encounters you can get. It's also possible for any one enemy in an encounter to be replaced by a Cait.

Encounter JP Notes
5 Antagonistic Ants 110 (+11) Pink Ants
4 River Fly 88 (+8)
5 Dire Army Ant 75 (+7) Blue Ants
5 Skull Roller 75 (+7)
4 Killer Bug 56 (+5)
3 Giant Scorpion 114 Giant Scorpion does not die to Soulstone (M)
Horse Fly + 3 River Fly 98 Horse Fly does not die to Soulstone (M)
Slayer Bug + 3 Killer Bug 84 Slayer Bug does not die to Soulstone (M)
Dark Roller + 3 Skull Roller 84 Dark Roller does not die to Soulstone (M)

Optimally you want the Antagonistic Ants or River Fly encounter. If you don't get the encounter you want you can opt to flee/die and try again or you can grab the Fire Soulstone (M) in the back left of Whistling Cavern and hope for getting a second killable encounter.

On the way to Scholar Shrine in Olberic's Story you need to kill one double encounter. The encounters which Olberic can easily kill are listed below.

Encounter JP
2 Flying Fish (Rippletide Coast) 10
2 Sea Birdan I (Rippletide Coast) 4
2 Ratkin I (Cobbleston Gap) 4

Killing multiple Flying Fish encounters on the way to Scholar Shrine will make more encounters in Whistling Cavern acceptable since you will need less JP.

Killing a Cait

Caits are a rare encounter which gives $3000, 1000 XP, and 150 JP. Depending on the route or when you kill the Cait, this can allow you to skip the EM grind entirely. Refer to Single Story Routes for more details on Cait specific routes.

Caits only have 4 HP but they receive 1% damage from all sources and have extremely high evasion. Their evasion is so high that even Hired Help can miss. Caits are weak to Sword, Dagger, Axe, and Staff, which notably skips multi-hit attacks like Thousand Spears and Rain of Arrows.

These are common methods for killing Caits:

  • Multi-hit attacks, spells, or summons (Ophilia, Cyrus, Olberic, Primrose, H'aanit)
    • Thousand Spears, Rain of Arrows, Lightning Blast, Flurry Summons, etc.
  • Soulstones (varies)
    • 2 Small or 1 Medium will kill.
  • Hired Help (Tressa)
    • Bandits will kill regular Caits in one hit
  • Concoct (Alfyn)
    • Alfyn needs two turns and some luck, but Concoct is guaranteed damage
  • Get lucky (Therion)
    • Therion is the worst at killing Caits, good luck!