What we have learned about Persona 5: The Phantom X mobile game so far

The Persona series has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, and is set to make its move to handheld devices as Perfect World, the developers behind Tower of Fantasy, are tackling the series with Persona 5: The Phantom X. The game recently saw beta access open in China over the Summer (March & August), however for those outside the East there may be a bit of confusion about exactly what the game is and what it offers. So here’s everything we know about Persona 5: The Phantom X so far.

The very basics

Persona 5: The Phantom X is an RPG with social elements where players explore a local world, interact with characters and battle it out with mysterious, often supernatural enemies. From what we’ve seen in gameplay trailers and the like, the actual core concepts look to be pretty much the same as the original Persona 5, albeit with added gacha elements, of course.

It was almost inevitable that, given Persona 5’s status as arguably the most popular entry in the series yet – and one partially, alongside Persona 4, responsible for elevating the series from cult classic to mainstream success – this is the title Perfect World would choose as inspiration for their game.

Perfect World is reportedly developing the game under the close auspices of original developer Atlus. Pans have however noted some changes to the designs of certain returning Personas, likely to comply with requirements in the Chinese market, but otherwise, the game seems to be a fairly faithful recreation of the mainline entries.

What exactly IS a Persona?

The central conceit of the Persona series is that each character has a unique embodiment of their personality or core traits which accompany them, akin to a spirit guardian. This takes the appearance of a fantastical being with a variety of unique powers. Mostly only a player character can actively switch their Persona, while supporting characters have a set one. Think of them as classes or special attacks with their own unique abilities outside of the character.

An original story and a cast of characters

Despite the name, Persona 5: The Phantom X is not a straight mobile adaptation of the console game, rather it is one inspired by the setting and story. Given that many of the Persona games share little between them except the titular personas, this is not unusual. But we do know that the Phantom Thieves – the player and supporting characters from Persona 5 itself – appear as summonable, supporting “Phantom Idols” they are not playable themselves.

Rather, the game will feature a whole new cast, including the protagonist code-named “Wonder” (each Persona game has a technically ‘canonical’ character name but players can select their preferred name). As with other games in the series the focus is squarely on a group of high-schoolers at Kokatsu Academy in modern-day Tokyo that come into contact with the mysterious alternate world called the “Metaverse” (no, not THAT Metaverse) and are granted the power to use Personas as a result of their experience.

Wonder will also be accompanied by classmates Motoho Arai (Closer), Shun Kanou (Soy), the slightly less known-about Riko Tanemura, and a cuddly mascot character in the form of the transforming owl Ruferu (Cattle). As with other games in the series it looks as if the social link system – where players can form stronger bonds with supporting characters to unlock unique interactions and increase their abilities – will make a return.

New combat mechanics

The game is also set to see the return of mechanics from the past games, such as the All-Out Attack and One More, which allows all teammates to attack at once and players who land a critical hit to gain an additional turn respectively. A feature from Persona Strikers, where enemy characters must be weakened before an All-Out Attack can be launched, is included in Persona 5: The Phantom X.

Western release date?

Sadly, there’s no given date for a Western release of the game. However, given the recent crop of games being released outside of China this year which were previously assumed to be eternal exclusives – such as Street Fighter Duel – it’s certainly not out of the question. It all depends on how the game is received and whether the mobile gaming situation in China, which has been a bit sticky lately, improves or worsens.

According to recent reports by outlets such as Gamerant referencing a known – and reputable – leaker, it’s most likely that the first international release we’ll see will be in the series’ home of Japan. It’s certainly more likely than not especially as the currently released trailers feature Japanese voice-overs with Chinese subtitles. Although with the caveat that said release may take some time, so if Persona 5: The Phantom X is set to come West, it won’t be before Japan.

But is there a fishing minigame?!

Yes, fishing enthusiasts need not worry, there is a fishing minigame. As well as other minigames it seems, that should allow Perfect World to flesh out the landscape of Tokyo that players will want to explore.

But, aside from that, that’s all we know about Persona 5: The Phantom X. So are you hotly anticipating the day this comes to an app store near you? Or not bothered at all? Let us know!