Valkyria Chronicles 4 marks a triumphant return to form for Sega’s tactical anime shooter and its blend of beautiful hand-drawn battlefields, colourful characters, and real-time combat system have never been better. While Valkyria Chronicles’ world may be bursting with colour and warmth, it doesn’t pull any punches when dealing with the harsh realities of war. In fact, keeping your squad-mates alive and healthy can be particularly difficult, especially if you’re a new recruit who’s getting to grips with the game’s unique tactical gameplay. Valkyria Chronicles 4 may not be the hardest game in the series, but you’ll need to have your wits about you if you wish to defeat the ruthless soldiers of the Imperial army.

There are a total of 18 chapters to play through in Valkyria Chronicles 4 and each one ramps up the pressure, especially in battles towards the end of the game which can prove difficult for even the most experienced of troopers. To help minimise Squad E’s casualties and keep the Imperial threat at bay, we’ve put together a handy guide that provides you all the tips and tricks you need to give you an advantage when playing through Valkyria Chronicles’ campaign.

Keep an eye on your Action Point meter

Valkyria Chronicles’ unique blend of tactical and real-time combat can be a little tricky to get used to at first, but mastering it will be vital to your victory over the Imperial Empire. Every class in Valkyria Chronicles 4 has an Action Point meter that determines how far a unit is able to move in a given turn. For example, Scouts have the biggest AP meter in the entire game and can travel long distances, while defensive classes like Grenadiers and Lancers have a much shorter travel distance. It’s important you remember the movement capabilities of each class and pay close attention to AP meter before you consider diving into combat. Try to constantly move your troops into cover or areas where you can team up with other squadmates as this will allow you to receive various squad-based buffs and defensive bonuses.  

Pick your characters carefully

Rushing into battle with a squad filled with battle-hardened Shock Troopers may sound like a fantastic idea on paper, but in reality, it’s a sure fire way to lose a mission. Having a balanced squad made up of nimble Scouts, long-range Snipers, destructive Grenadiers, supportive Engineers, lifesaving Medics, and tanky Lancers will greatly increase your chances of securing that all-important victory over your Imperial enemies. Each class has their own individual strengths and weaknesses. For example, Shock Troopers have the potential to kill multiple enemies with a single round from their machine guns, but they suffer from low mobility and weapon accuracy. Meanwhile, anti-armour units like Lancers can make short work of enemy tanks, but their low accuracy, low rate of fire, and inability to counter-attack makes them incredibly susceptible to enemy infantry. As a result, it’s often best to take a look at the enemy troops on the battlefield and then round out your squad with troops from the appropriate class. 

Lastly, consider leaving either one or two unit slots open before embarking on a mission. This may seem like a counter-intuitive idea, but it will allow you to quickly spawn in any troops when you capture an enemy command point. There will be times where your AI opponents will suddenly spawn in armoured vehicles halfway through a mission that appeared to be an infantry only affair. This sudden change in tactics can leave you high and dry if you’re not careful, so it’s always a good idea to leave a few unit slots open. By using this tactic you can quickly spawn in armoured units and instantly deliver a swift counter-attack to the enemy’s game-winning plan.

Don’t forget to eat breakfast

Ok, this point may seem rather daft but breakfast really is one of the most important meals of the day – in fact, Valkyria Chronicles 4 goes as far as to lock certain conversations and orders behind this all-important meal. Head over to the Mess Hall during your downtime and you may be treated short cutscene followed by the option to learn a new order. Orders are special abilities that you can use to boost your units’ combat capabilities or hamper your enemy when things get a little dicey. However, not all of Valkyria Chronicles’ orders are useful and it’s likely that you’ll never use most of them, but there will be times where they can potentially swing things in your favour. For example, the medic request order allows you to pick up any fallen comrades without sending valuable troops into the firing line. Orders can be on the pricey side and you’ll need to do a few skirmishes to get them all, but if you wish to absolutely obliterate your foes, then it’s well worth the investment. After all, the saying “an army marches on its stomach” has never been truer.

Upgrade your equipment and troops

Remembering to spend your hard-earned winnings is vital to your troops’ success and it can be all too easy to forget, especially when you’re busy blowing stuff up on the frontlines. However, it’s important that you get into the habit of heading back to HQ after major battles or skirmishes, as you’ll likely be able to upgrade your existing classes and kit them out with shiny new weapons and defence boosting apparel. Valkyria Chronicles’ enemies don’t pose too much of a threat in the early chapters, but the difficulty does spike considerably in the late-game, and you’ll be thankful for the added damage and buffs that you receive from the various weapon and class upgrades. Try to level each class up evenly and consider giving an extra amount of TLC to those that are struggling out in the field. An upgrade or two can greatly increase the overall impact and efficiency of a given class, so make sure you visit HQ whenever you’re feeling on the weaker side.

Never leave a soldier behind

If the idea of losing your favourite characters in the heat of battle leaves you feeling somewhat anxious, then you may want to consider bringing a few Engineers. Valkyria Chronicles’ permadeath feature adds a great deal of weight to your in-game actions, especially in later missions where even the smallest mistake can have a cataclysmic effect on your battle-hardened buddies. If you’ve have played the likes of Fire Emblem and X-Com, you will know just how painful it can be to lose a character that you’ve grown particularly attached to. Thankfully, Valkyria Chronicles’ Engineer class can help lessen this sting by keeping the icy clutches of permadeath at bay. Engineers may not be as strong as Valkyria Chronicles’ other gun-toting troops, but they make up for this with their ability to repair vehicles, resupply weapons, reconstruct sandbags, remove landmines, and revive allies who are in a critical condition. While every soldier has the ability to save their downed comrades, it’s almost always better to get your troops back into the action as quickly as possible.

Battle it out in Skirmishes

Tired of getting pushed around by your Imperial enemies? Consider grinding some extra experience and ducats in skirmish missions. Skirmishes are a great way of levelling up your classes and can give your troops the fighting spirit they need to take down even the hardiest of soldiers. Late-game upgrades and items are extremely useful and can greatly impact how effective your troops are, but they do come at a high price. As always, try to finish each skirmish mission in as few turns as possible to claim the maximum amount of experience and money as possible. The harder you fight, the better the reward. Simple.

Get to know your troops

Before you decide to recruit a soldier, take a quick glance at their potential skills. You can access all your troops’ individual stats by visiting the Command Room, so try to pick those that have favourable potentials. Potentials are bonuses that activate when certain conditions are met out on the field, and they can either help or hinder an individual’s combat ability. For example, potentials like Deadeye and Inventor drastically raise a unit’s accuracy, while also giving them the ability to recover ammo after their initial action. Similarly, skills like Empty Stomach and Poor Visibility have a detrimental effect on a unit’s HP and accuracy. As you progress through Valkyria Chronicles’ story, you’ll unlock squad story missions that will allow you to obtain powerful new potentials for your troops. These skills are usually incredibly useful and can turn even the lowliest of grunts into lethal killing machines.

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