You’d be forgiven for getting a headache when opening up SINoALICE for the first time, especially if you’re new to gacha games. Plenty of players will be joining the free-to-play mobile game purely because it was designed by acclaimed director and scenario writer Yoko Taro. As is typical for his games, SINoAlice is a dark RPG filled with strange and clever writing.
But it is still a gacha game. In case you didn’t know, gacha games are games that are built around loot box mechanics. The bulk of the game is free-to-play, but you can pay to get randomized items and equipment. In SINoALICE, the loot boxes are called Grimoires, and you will get a Grimoire for free right when you first login to the game. You will have the option to re-roll and get better items from a new Grimoire, but the game does not tell you what you should be aiming for. Here, we hope to fix that.
What you want from a re-roll
The Grimoire will give you 11 randomized items. Each will essentially be a weapon, but they are not all created equally. High ranking weapons will have an SR label next to them (as opposed to an S, an A, or a B). You are going to want to re-roll for a new Grimoire until you get at least two SR ranked weapons, as this will give you a big advantage when it comes to getting a head start in the game with powerful weapons. What would be even better is if you re-rolled until you received a Grimoire with two SR ranked weapons that were the same type. This will allow you to work toward upgrading the path for that weapon type faster.
Another angle for re-rolling is to try and get a weapon that unlocks a job. You’ll know you’ve gotten the right thing if a Grimoire opens and you see a character first before seeing the weapon. Jobs in SINoAlice are essentially classes for specific characters. If you unlock a job, you’ll be able to specialize in a specific weapon type for a specific character. By leveling up that job, you will unlock benefits that you can then use for all your characters. It’s a complicated system, but with how rare jobs are in the outset, it is worth re-rolling your first Grimoire set until you unlock a job (character and weapon) regardless of weapon type, since it will have long-term benefits down the road.
What to do after you get a good Grimoire
After you’re happy with the Grimoire set you received, wading into the game can be another set of complications. For new players, it is recommended to get set up and head straight into the story. In the Gear tab at the bottom of your screen you can auto-select for recommended equipment. Do this to quickly give yourself the best set-up you can—you won’t have many options to start with anyway—and then head into story stages.
Beyond all the gacha mechanics, SINoAlice is also an RPG. Stages play out in waves of enemies, and combat happens in real time. Keep in mind when fighting that each of the weapons you can use will cost SP and comes with elemental bonuses like fire, water, and wind. Many enemies will be an element-type, so use the appropriate attack to get at their weakness.
Keep an eye on your SP as each attack will deplete the meter. SP will regenerate over time, but combat in SINoALICE is mostly about strategizing when to use the best attacks and when to wait. It’s a lot to take in from the get-go (so much so that the game actually received a patch to direct new players around more easily), but playing through the story chapters before delving into the rest of the game will get you some valuable items and give you a sense for what the game actually is.