Tips for Combat
Below are some tips for fighting various Noise and Player enemies in NEO: The World Ends With You, including information on basic combat mechanics, Pins, building Groove, using Mashups, and adjusting game difficulty.
Initiate Chain Battles.
Touching multiple Noise symbols lets you begin Chain Battles. This pits you against a series of enemies back-to-back with no downtime to heal or switch up your Pins. Beginning Chain Battles, however, increases the drop rate of Pins, making it useful for farming them.
Learn to avoid enemy attacks with movement and dodging.
Taking as little damage as possible increases the amount of Pin Points (PP) you get after battle (taking no damage at all maximizes your PP gain). Try to observe your enemy’s behavior and attack patterns to know where to position yourself or when to dodge. Once your foe misses you, you will have an chance to pummel them with your own attacks before they can recover.
Use Pins and experiment with different combinations.
Each character will be able to use different actions and abilities by equipping a Pin. Note that there are no character-specific combat abilities in NEO: The World Ends With You and all members of your four-man party share a common Team HP. You can think of your Team as one coordinated unit with access to up to four abilities granted by each ally’s equipped Pin.
Try to collect and use as many Pins as you can in combat to learn their strengths, weaknesses, and synergy with other Pins. You will likely be changing up your loadout often as you go through the main story, especially against bosses with very specific mechanics and weaknesses that you can exploit.
Consider each Pins assigned button.
All Pins you obtain in the game have a fixed button assigned to them. For example, Pin A can be activated using the L1 button while Pin B uses the R1 button. This means that you will not be able to use two Pins that have the same button input in battle, at least during the early stages of the game. The more you collect Pins, the more combinations become available to you when taking on different enemies.
Be mindful of the Pin usage gauge.
During combat, a Pin’s usage gauge will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Using a Pin will deplete it at a rate that varies between different Pins. When the Pin’s usage gauge hits 0, the equipped Pin will enter a Reboot or cooldown state before it can be used again. Be mindful of your Pins’ remaining uses at all times to avoid being unable to act during crucial moments in battle.
Build Groove and unleash Mashups.
Whenever you land a heavy attack or full combo on an enemy, “Drop the Beat” will appear on the screen. Perform a follow-up attack from a different member of the Team to increase the Groove meter displayed at the top of the screen during battle. Once your Team’s Groove is at 100 percent, press A to unleash a powerful Mashup ability that deals massive damage to enemies or grants useful effects for the Team.
After using the Mashup ability, your Team’s Groove gauge will return to 0. Because of this, it is highly recommended to use Mashups against tough enemies, particularly bosses.
As you progress through the game, the maximum Groove will be increased to 300 percent, allowing you to pull-off even more devastating Mashups.
Escaping from Battle
If you want to escape from battle, simply press the directional pad to pause the game and select the option to flee. Note that most regular battles in NEO: The World Ends With You are initiated by the player so just avoid using Scanning if you do not intend to fight Noise in the first place.
Adjust the difficulty and team level.
Pressing the Options button outside of combat allows you to adjust the game’s difficulty and your Team’s level. At higher difficulty modes, Noise enemies encountered are more powerful but will yield more PP when defeated and drop rare Pins. Lowering your Team’s level, meanwhile, reduces your Team’s maximum HP but increases Pin drop rate.
If you intend to farm for specific Pins, you can tweak these settings to your liking, though other difficulty modes can only be unlocked by playing through the game’s main story.