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The Best PSO2 Builds - Classes and Character Guides

The Best PSO2 Builds - Classes and Character Guides

A complete list of the best character builds for PSO2 with an in-depth comparison of all available classes

Phantasy Star Online 2

Races, Classes, Subclasses, and Builds Explained

 

Introduction

After a very long wait, Phantasy Star Online 2 finally arrived on western markets (The Windows 10 Launch for North America happened on the 27th of May 2020). The very long gap between Japanese and Western releases means that we should get a thoroughly polished and mature product that should conquer the Western MMORPG market (almost 8 years of post-launch development ensure that the game is balanced, content-abundant, and well-optimized). Now is the best time to start your adventure with this famous eastern MMORPG. This means that it is about time we introduced you to PSO2's Races, Classes, and Class/Subclass systems! 

 

List of the best PSO Builds

Bouncer Bouncer Builds:
  1. Jet Boots Bouncer/Hunter Build - beginner-friendly Bouncer build based on Jet Boots Attacks and Techniques which appears to be one of the best starter builds for new PSO2 players
Braver Braver Builds:
  1. Braver/Hunter Beginner's build - Braver/Hunter is one of the most durable Melee class combinations in the game making it a perfect build for beginners
Fighter Fighter Builds:
  1. Fighter/Hunter Max DPS Build - the highest Melee DPS spec in the game which literally allows you to go Berserk mode with the Overload Skill 
Force Force Builds:
  1. Force/Techter Best DPS setup - one of the most powerful Spell Caster build with insane Skill diversity and complex and challenging playstyle
Gunner Gunner Builds:
  1. Gunner/Hunter DPS Build - Gunner offers the highest DPS in PSO2 and by utilizing the Hunter Class you gain extra defensive capabilities for your character
Summoner Summoner Builds:
  1. Summoner/Fighter Pet DPS build - the optimal setup for Pet DPS in PSO2 based on the Summoner and Fighter as a Sub-class. This build offers great flexibility thanks to the wide variety of Pets you can use

 

Scroll down for more in-depth Classes/Races description and comparison

 

PSO2 Races

There are four races to choose from in Phantasy Star Online 2; Human, Newman, Dewman, and Cast, all of which have two genders, male and female. Like in some other MMORPGs Races differ in not only appearance but also stat distribution, however, in PSO2, these stat differences are a bit higher than in other similar titles (high enough to make minmaxers smile, but also low enough to be ignored by more casual players and people who don't care about ~1% differences). Moreover, not only Races differ in stat distribution, but genders too. For your convenience, here is a spreadsheet shows the differences: 

  Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
CAST♀️ High Average High Low High High High Low
CAST♂ High High Average Low High High High Low
Dewman♀️ High Average Average Average Low High High Average
Dewman♂ High Average Average Average Low High High Average
Human♀️ High Average Average High Average Average Average Average
Human♂ High High Average Average Average High Average Average
Newman♀️ Average Average Average High Low Average Average High
Newman♂ Average Average High Average Low Average Average High

Spreadsheet Key: High - High, Average - Average, Low - Low, 

  • Dexterity (Dex) - Decreases damage taken from all attacks and increases damage done with all attacks. Dex improves Technique, Ranged, and Striking Attacks. 
  • S-Def (Striking Defense) -  Decreases damage taken from almost all Striking Attacks. 
  • R-Def (Ranged Defense) - Decreases damage taken from almost all Ranged Attacks. 
  • T-Def (Technique Defense) - Decreases damage taken from almost all Technique Attacks. 
  • Health (HP) - Determines how much punishment can a Character take before being defeated. 
  • S-Atk (Striking Attack) -  Stat used to calculate almost all Melee Damage. Striking Attack is the main stat of all Fighters and Hunters, but some Bouncer, Braver, and Techter builds also stack it. 
  • R-Atk (Ranged Attack) - Stat used to calculate almost all Ranged Damage. Ranged Attack is usually stacked by Ranger and Gunner; classes who use ranged weaponry. 
  • T-Atk (Technique Attack) - Stat used to calculate almost all Technique Damage (the equivalent of magic damage in other titles). Technique Attack is the main stat of the Force Class and some Techter builds. 

Note1: We didn't use the exact base stat values because not only Races but also Classes determine them and the differences are much easier to see when shown as above; spreadsheets for each of the Classes can be found further in the article, in Class-specific chapters. 

Note2: As we mentioned earlier, the differences are very minor (the difference between Human's "High" base T-Def and CAST's "Low" base T-Def is only 7, for example. 

None of the classes are race or gender locked, which means that all Class+Race combinations are allowed. If you are not a hardcore player, we highly recommend you to not base your race choice purely on stats; As mentioned before, stat disparities between Races are not that high and the biggest difference comes in the form of cosmetics. If you would like to play as a mech/robot, go for CAST as they look like taken straight from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Newmans have pointy ears; if you are looking for an Elf-like race, they will be perfect for you. Humans are, well... humans, they have nothing really special to offer, but are great for normies. Dewmans, on the other hand, have dichromic eyes and horns on their foreheads; if that's your thing, now you know which race to choose. 

 

PSO2 Classes

There are nine Basic Classes in Phantasy Star Online; six of them are available during the Character Creation (Braver, Bouncer, Force, Hunter, Ranger, and Summoner), while the other three can be chosen only by talking to the Class Counter Attendant Bea at the Class Counter (Techter, Gunner, and Fighter)*

*Please note that the 6 Classes, from the Character Creation window, are also available at the Class Counter. 

Note1: As you probably deduced from the previous paragraph, all PSO2 Classes are available to all Characters and you can change them freely at the Class Counter. 

Note2: We strongly advise you to run Class Training Missions, available from the Quest Counter, before switching to a Class. Doing this will give you a general impression of how a given Class works, what are its gameplay mechanics, and what to expect from it overall. These Missions will also teach you how to operate the given Class, which will make your gameplay experience with it much smoother and allow you to avoid unnecessary frustration. 

Note3: The game also features three "Successor Classes", that are unlocked later in the game (Etoile, Phantom, and Hero). We will cover those three Classes in a separate article, or update this one (we have to decide which option will work better), at a later date, as these classes deserve a more in-depth look. 

Important: While your Class can be freely changed, resetting a Skill Tree is associated with a substantial expense (on the Japanese server, the main way of resetting Skill Trees is associated with real-money transactions). Be mindful of that and consult experienced players or check what builds are recommended for your current Class before investing any points into your Skill Trees! 

Bouncer
Bouncer
The Bouncer is a Melee DPS Class known for very flashy Techniques he can weave into his attacks. Depending on the chosen weapon, the Class is capable of dishing out very high burst damage or supporting teammates in combat while still dealing solid DPS, which makes it very versatile. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average Average Average Average Average Average Low Average

Class Weapons

  • Soaring Blades - The more "standard" looking Bouncer weaponry. These are a pair of 1-handed swords that are characterized by a limited range (although, some Photon Arts have surprisingly high strike range), rather low damage per hit, and very rapid attack speed. Don't let seemingly low damage-per-hit fool you; Dual Blades can slice & dice any opponent in seconds. 
  • Jet Boots - The weapon Bouncers are the most associated with and one of the most unique armaments in the MMORPG genre as a whole. Jet Boots give the Bouncer a unique double jump ability and allow him to hover over the ground. Thanks to this, Bouncer is one of the most mobile Classes in the game. Attacks and Techniques performed with these are very appealing to the eye and give a lot of air time. 
If you are looking for a very dynamic Class, able to exploit the enemy's elemental weaknesses, and you like the challenge, Bouncer will be a perfect choice. 
PSO 2 Bouncer Builds
  1. Jet Boots Bouncer/Hunter Build - beginner-friendly Bouncer build based on Jet Boots Attacks and Techniques which appears to be one of the best starter builds for new PSO2 players
Braver
Braver
As one of the most versatile classes in the game, Braver is capable of both long-range and close-quarters-combat, depending on his chosen weapon. While his melee attacks are very flashy, the long-range ones are rather tame (but still very deadly). 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average Average Average Average Average Average Average Low

Class Weapons

  • Katana - A bladed Melee weapon known for its deadliness and elegance. In the hands of a Braver, this is one of the most versatile weapons in Phantasy Star Online 2; it has access to Photon Arts for pretty much any combat situation. While not the strongest of weapons on paper, it rewards good timing, precision, and overall skill level of the player. Attacks and PAs performed with a Katana are among the most eye-catching and spectacular in the game. 
  • Bow - A polar opposite of the flashy show-off Katana; the Bow gets the job done without unnecessary fireworks. It gives the Braver an ability to retreat from melee and spray the target with a hailstorm of deadly arrows. Bow balances the Braver's ability to turn melee combat into fireworks show with a dreary long-range archery contest. 
If you like to take on your enemies up close and personal, but also know when to retreat and resort to long-range combat, Braver is the Class for you. 
PSO 2 Braver Builds
  1. Braver/Hunter Beginner's build - Braver/Hunter is one of the most durable Melee class combinations in the game making it a perfect build for beginners
Fighter
Fighter
As the designated glass-cannon melee class of the Phantasy Star Online 2, Fighter focuses on the raw power of his attacks and disregards any damage he suffers. As a Fighter, you walk a dangerous path of balancing between life and death, but this is your path; enemies unlucky enough to stumble on it will not live long enough to realize their mistake. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average High Low Low Average High Low Average

Class Weapons

  • Double Sabers - A short-range melee weapon capable of dishing out multiple hits in a single sequence and capable of AoE attacks that draw in all nearby enemies. Double Sabers are Fighter's AoE weapons of choice, but also work wonders in boss fights. The only thing that holds these back is their very limited range. 
  • Twin Daggers - Double Sabers may be known for their "rapid" attacks, but they are nowhere near as fast as Twin Daggers. These extremely swift weapons are capable of slicing the opposition to very little pieces while also giving the Fighter an ability to perform vertical and horizontal maneuvers, making him exceptionally mobile in melee. These are one of the most all-out offensive weapons in the game. 
  • Knuckles - If you want to get up close and personal with the opposition, there is nothing better than Knuckles. They have an extremely short range but more than compensate for that with the sheer force of their attacks. Knuckles lack any AoE capabilities but they excel in single-target combat; if used right, they can trivialize any one-versus-one combat a Fighter gets himself into. 
If you like to get consumed by the battle rage and charge mindlessly into the heat of the action taking no prisoners, Fighter will work wonders in your hands. 
PSO 2 Fighter Builds
  1. Fighter/Hunter Max DPS Build - the highest Melee DPS spec in the game which literally allows you to go Berserk mode with the Overload Skill 
Force
Force
As the "Caster" Class of the Phantasy Star Online 2, Force is capable of using very powerful Techniques (which are spells, basically). These Techniques come in a wide range of types and flavors and vary from purely offensive, through support, to healing, which makes Force a valuable addition to any group. The main downfall of Force is his lackluster defense; the Class can be very unforgiving sometimes. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average Low Low High Low Low Average High

Class Weapons

  • Tailses - Very unique "Technique" (magical/casting) weapons that can be thrown to a chosen spot and used as a transponder of sorts, from which Force's Techniques will emanate. This allows Force to Cast spells from different directions/places without ever changing his position; a great ability to have, especially in party play. The main balancing factor of Tailses is their relatively low T-Atk value, but still, they are one of the most flexible weapons imaginable. Tailses are shared between Techter and Force Classes. 
  • Rod - A much more "standard" Casting (or Technique) weapon. Rod is a typical "Mage" armament; great for spellcasting and magic resource (PP, in this case) recovery, but terrible for actual physical combat. It is a lot easier to use than Tailses but also much less flexible as it can't be used to cast Techniques from different places. Don't try to use it for melee combat. 
If ways of Fighters and Hunters are too barbaric for you and you think that close-quarters-combat is primitive, the Photon Technique-wielding Force will be the optimal choice. 
PSO 2 Force Builds
  1. Force/Techter Best DPS setup - one of the most powerful Spell Caster build with insane Skill diversity and complex and challenging playstyle
Gunner
Gunner
An offensively-focused Ranged Damage dealer that excels at single-target engagements and is capable of dishing out devastating bursts of damage. Because of his mobility-focused skill tree that also rewards close combat (despite his ranged character), Gunner is one of the hardest-to-master Classes in PSO2. If you are up for the challenge, it is the Class for you. Gunner shares one of his weapons (Assault Rifle) with the other "ranged" class, the Ranger. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average Low High Low Average Average High Low

Class Weapons

  • Twin Machine Guns - These dual weapons have a notoriously short attack range, despite their "Ranged" designation (most of their attacks have point-blank to medium hit range), which makes them somewhat tricky to use. While their damage-per-hit is extremely low, they more than compensate for it with the number of delivered hits (these are called "Twin Machine Guns" for a reason...). Thanks to their Weapon Action, called Stylish Roll, Twin Machine Guns are extremely versatile; Stylish Roll allows Gunner to flip in any direction, which greatly increases his mobility, flexibility, and allows him to dodge incoming damage with ease. 
  • Assault Rifles - The more standard (and somewhat boring) Gunner's Ranged Weapon of choice. Assault Rifles have a high rate of fire (attack speed) and are known for their high range end extreme precision. The unique ability of Assault Rifles comes with their exchangeable magazines - you can load them with special bullets that add unique properties to their attacks. 
If you like Fighter's aggressive playstyle and you also like guns, Gunner will be a good choice for you, as his long-range weapons don't stop him from engaging enemies from point-blank range. 
PSO 2 Gunner Builds
  1. Gunner/Hunter DPS Build - Gunner offers the highest DPS in PSO2 and by utilizing the Hunter Class you gain extra defensive capabilities for your character. This is a great well-rounded setup second only to Gunner/Fighter in terms of raw DPS
Hunter
Hunter
As a typical melee fighter/brawler Class, Hunter focuses on both defense and offense, which makes him somewhat less bursty but also much more durable than the Fighter. His weaponry is hard-hitting but somewhat unwieldy and slow-to-use. With the balance of defense and offense comes great versatility that makes the Hunter one of the best Classes for solo play. Moreover, Hunter is as close to a Tank as it gets in Phantasy Star Online 2 because there is no designated "tank" role in the game. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average High Low Low High High Average Low

Class Weapons

  • Swords - This is what The Hound from Game of Thrones would call a "Big <censored> Sword". Hunter's Swords are heavy, somewhat barbaric in appearance, unwieldy, and very deadly. What they lack in finesse and attack speed, they more than compensate for in the raw power of their strikes. On top of that, Swords utilize a wide range of Photon Arts, suited for both offense and defense, which makes them very versatile. Their main downfall is the low range compared to other Hunter weapon choices. 
  • Partizans - A type of Polearm that consists of a spearhead mounted on a long shaft; the shape of the spearhead is usually designed to aid in parrying sword thrusts. Partizans have good attack speed, provide the Hunter with some solid mobility skills (Photon Arts), and give him the ability to restore PP on the fly. These are versatile weapons, best suited for careful defense-focused gameplay. 
  • Wired Lances - The flashiest of all Hunter Weapons; Wired Lances are a pair of blades that are attached to special handles by expandable wires. Because of this, they have an unparalleled attack range, for melee weapons, but lack in the raw damage department to balance things out. They also have a unique ability to grapple Hunter's targets and throw them around, which enhances their damage and doubles up as Crowd Control of sorts. 
If the balance of offense and defense is your thing and you like to babysit the more hot-headed members of your groups, Hunter will work wonders in your hands. 
PSO 2 Hunter Builds
Coming Soon!
Ranger
Ranger
Compared to the Gunner, Ranger is a more "standard" Ranged Damage Dealer who prefers to keep his distance at all times. He excels in long-range combat and long-range support, which makes him a worthy addition to any group. While he shares one of his weapons with the Gunner (Assault Rifle), his other weapon of choice is truly unique. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average Low High Low Average Average High Low

Class Weapons

  • Launchers - These deadly weapons launch devastating rockets ar Ranger's enemies. While they have extremely slow attack speeds, they more than compensate for it with their truly explosive punch. Thanks to their high blast radius, Launchers excel at taking on multiple enemies from a safe distance. Ranger can load Launchers with special types of rockets, that weaken enemies on hit, which makes them very versatile. 
  • Assault Rifles - Ranged Weapons shared by both Ranger and Gunner. Assault Rifles have a high rate of fire (attack speed) and are known for their high range end extreme precision. The unique ability of Assault Rifles comes with their exchangeable magazines - you can load them with special bullets that add unique properties to their attacks. 
If the Gunner feels too all-out and brutish to you, Ranger might be a perfect alternative; while Gunner resembles a Heavy Assault Trooper, Ranger is more like a long-range Heavy Weapon specialist. 
PSO 2 Ranger Builds
Coming Soon!
Summoner
Summoner
This is is the "Pet Class" of Phantasy Star Online 2. Summoners shy away from direct combat and utilize their summons instead. This unconventional style of fighting makes them very unique, but also somewhat confusing for new players. Summoners have access to a wide range of different summons, which makes them extremely versatile and able to adapt to almost any combat situation. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value                

Class Weapons

  • Harmonizers - Not really weapons, but rather tools used to control Pets. Direct attacks made with them are extremely weak, but they have some unique qualities to compensate. Summoner's Pets are bound to appropriate Harmonizers and are summoned when he pulls them out. 

Note: Pets are basically Summoner's "Weapons" (they all have their own Attacks and Photon Arts) and he has one for pretty much any combat role; Aero/Torim for single-target DPS, Jinga/Wanda for AoE DPS, Maron/Melon for cheesy self-destruct attacks, Popple/Cery for support and ranged DPS, Rappy for being an all-rounder, Synchro for prolonged engagements, Redran for ranged AoE DPS, and Viola for tanking. We plan on making a fully-fledged PSO2 Summoner Pets Guide in the future, so stay tuned! 

If you like your loyal minions to do the dirty work in your stead because getting your hands dirty isn't really your thing, look no further as Summoner is the perfect Class for you. 
PSO 2 Summoner Builds
  1. Summoner/Fighter Pet DPS build - the optimal setup for Pet DPS in PSO2 based on the Summoner and Hunter as a Sub-class. This build offers great flexibility thanks to the wide variety of Pets you can use
Techer
Techter
Techter is an interesting blend of support, melee, and Tech, which makes him incredibly versatile and fun to play, but also quite hard to learn and to master. He has the unique ability to combine magic-like Techniques with more standard, melee-oriented combat skills. On top of that, he also has access to some of the most potent support Techniques in Phantasy Star Online 2. 
Stat Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk
Value Average High Low Low Low Average Low High

Class Weapons

  • Tailses - Very unique "Technique" (magical/casting) weapons that can be thrown to a chosen spot and used as a transponder of sorts, from which Techter's Techniques will emanate. This allows Techter to Cast spells from different directions/places without ever changing his position; a great ability to have, especially in party play. The main balancing factor of Tailses is their relatively low T-Atk value, but still, they are one of the most flexible weapons imaginable. Tailses are shared between Force and Techter Classes. 
  • Wands - Extremely potent weapons that combine very high Technique Attack values with respectable Striking Attack levels. Unlike other Technique-focused weapons, Wands can be used effectively in melee combat, which gives Techter that satisfying melee/caster hybrid feel. They also have a unique ability to cause Tech AoE Damage when used in melee combat, thanks to their Wand Gear Skill, which makes Techter great against groups of enemies. 
If you are looking for an aggressive Caster Class that doesn't shy from melee combat and is capable of supporting allies, Techter is the only real choice. 
PSO 2 Techter Builds

Coming soon!

 

PSO2 Main Class/Sub Class System

After reaching level 20, you will be able to obtain the Sub Class License, which will allow you to select your Sub Class. To get the License, talk to Chief Administrator Koffie. From this point forward, you can have one Main Class as well as one Sub Class active on your character at all times; both of them can be changed freely at the Class Counter. Both Main and Sub Class affect your character's attributes, development, and combat potency, but in a bit different ways: 

The Main Class: 

  • Determines your Character's Skill Set and Abilities. 
  • You gain 100% of your Main Class's stats. 
  • 100% of all earned Experience affects your Main Class's level. 
  • Your Main Class's Skill tree is fully available to you; this includes the "Main Class Only" sections. This means that you have free access to all learned Class Skills for your Main Class. 
  • You are able to use all your Main Class's Weapons, Techniques, and Photon Arts without restrictions. 

The Sub Class: 

  • Sub Class Provides you with some additional benefits and generally works in tandem with your Main Class. 
  • 25% of all earned Experience affects your Sub Class's level but only up to level 70; Your Sub Class cannot be leveled higher unless you choose it as your new Main Class and level it up conventionally. 
  • You gain 20% of all your Sub Class's stats except PP. The exact amount of stats your Subclass provides depends on your Main or Sub Class level (the lower one is always chosen for calculations). 
  • Your Sub Class's Skill tree is partially available to you; you don't have access to sections marked as "Main Class Only". 
  • You are able to use all your Sub Class's Techniques and Photon Arts without restrictions. 

 

PSO2 Title Rewards / Class Boosts

In Phantasy Star Online 2, your level 75 characters affect all characters on your account by effectively boosting their statistics. While the stat bonuses might appear minor at first, they are actually quite substantial (enough to warrant leveling multiple alts or leveling multiple classes on your main character). This "Title Rewards" system works as follows: 

  • After you reach level 75 with a given Class, you become eligible to redeem a Title Reward for that class. Each of the Classes provides different stat boosts, and boosts can be redeemed once for each of the classes. 
  • To redeem your Title Reward, go to the Title Counter and talk to the Title Counter Attendant Lachesis. 
  • After you redeem the title, the Class Stat Boost will apply to all characters on your account. 

Here is a detailed breakdown of stat boosts provided by leveling up each of the available classes to level 75: 

  Dexterity S-Def R-Def T-Def Health S-Atk R-Atk T-Atk PP
Bouncer 30 --- --- --- --- 20 --- 20 2
Braver 30 --- --- --- --- 20 20 --- 2
Fighter --- --- --- 10 --- 50 --- 15 2
Force --- --- --- 40 --- --- 15 20 ---
Gunner --- 10 --- --- --- 15 50 --- 2
Hunter --- 40 --- --- 50 --- 15 --- ---
Ranger --- --- 40 --- --- --- 20 15 ---
Summoner --- 40 40 40 10 --- --- --- ---
Techter --- --- 10 --- --- 15 --- 50 2
SUM 60 90 90 90 60 120 120 120 10

PP (Photon Points) - Resource that fuels the majority of skills and abilities in Phantasy Star Online 2. Techniques and Photon Arts all have a certain PP cost. Think of it as your Energy/Rage/Mana pool of sorts (not exactly, of course). Photon Points recover over time and each successful normal attack restores some PP, the exact amount depends on the equipped weapon. 

 

END NOTE

Your first PSO2 Class will, most likely, affect your overall reception of the game, so choose it wisely, and don't be afraid to swap it immediately if it doesn't float your boat. Don't force yourself to play a certain Class combo just because it is regarded as "the best", play for fun and learn the game - experience always beats pure stats and spreadsheets. 

We hope that you have found this PSO2 Guide useful and informative. If you liked it and want us to make more Guides and Articles about Phantasy Star Online 2, please let us know! Also, we will be happy to receive constructive criticism that will help us improve our future work so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.