Scarlet Nexus is not easily one to be called a straightforward experience, not only in how the narrative is explored in a parallel like manner between both protagonists, but also because the game does not explain some critical things about how the bonding system works. You could be finished with an entire playthrough only to find that you haven’t made much progress with a side character or the overall team bonding level.
It’s easy to understand the combat benefits of increasing our bond with our psychic friends, since they are displayed on screen from the first moment you unlock the next bond level with someone. All six levels of bonding and their respective abilities can be pretty similar from one character to another, but in here we discuss some stuff the game doesn’t tell you about how to actually unlock these levels, and whom to focus on first, among other things.
How to increase bond levels
First of all, you have to answer every brain message you come across. Many of them are sent to you at the start of every standby phase, and some of them contain a bonding episode as well with characters who are not even in your party. Brain messages are almost always timed missables so you have to clear all of them before starting any new chapter.
Secondly, you have to include the characters you want to get closer to in your party. In my playthrough I didn’t really have to go out of my way or spend an extra time with someone to move their rank up. If you just focus on characters equally, they will all be leveled up by the time you reach the final stage, and more importantly, the main factor at work here is not which party member you have, but the gifts you present to them.
Once you start collecting materials while on your main missions or side missions, you can use them to unlock and buy gifts from Satori’s shops at the Exchange tab. Gifts have three categories depending on character preferences, as implied by the yellow and red hearts shown on the lower corner of each character avatar. Handing out personal gifts is inevitable to ranking up your bond levels, but its more complicated than just that.
Keep showering them with love
A lot of guides (and the game itself) imply that you have to choose the right gifts for each person in order to move forward in your relationship with someone, but actually that’s not true. To fully unlock everything you need from the character, you have to give them every type of gifts available in the exchange tab, and if that’s not enough, you can keep showering them with repeated gifts until they reach the next level.
The important thing to note is that while repeated gifting of specific red hearted gifts may do wonders for your bond level, giving every type of gift is integral to the overall team bonding. You could finish the game without moving it up because you have only been focused on a specific type of gifts, and yes even the extra plug in slot chips are considered one of the primary gifts to include if you want to raise your overall team standing.
A gift already handed out will be marked with a check mark ✓ so you don’t have to take notes of what you exchanged with each team member.
Hunting for materials in Scarlet Nexus
Don’t sell any materials no matter what. Materials are an important part of how gifts are procured, so its important to discuss farming for materials when talking about bonding levels. To keep the story’s natural flow and avoid backtracking for specific materials, just focus on killing every enemy you come across and use brain crush finishers whenever prompted.
A brain crush done successfully can increase the rate of rare material drops, and also don’t forget to skim each for any underlying environment materials that cannot be acquired from combat. Brain crush finisher animations may break the pacing of the fights so remember there is an option to shorten their repeated cutscenes in the settings menu.
Also since brain crush is very important to farming rare materials, you have to focus on ranking up your bond with Tsugumi Nazar in every playthrough before any other character, since her rank 6 ability increases Crush Effectiveness & Drop Rate by a large margin, and will be very important in getting you the materials you desire in a much faster rate.
On the bright side you don’t have to spend hours on the internet looking for material guides since scarlet nexus has a very handy monster guide that shows each monster type, their locations and types of materials acquired from them. You can cross reference any material type you need from the shop with the database and go to the required location to get the materials you want.
Best skills to unlock early game
Since we established that brain crush is an important bard to the overall bonding plan, we shouldn’t ignore how some skills can play into increasing the chance for a brain crush to happen. The skill Brain Crush Chance Expand is very important to unlock early game because it allows for increased potential time to execute brain crush, which you will be needing along with Tsugumi Nazar’s skill.
Scarlet Nexus in general is about using brain crush first and foremost, so it might be beneficial for you to focus on this aspect of the game first in the skills you unlock, as they also include EXP bonus and money bonus skills for executing a successful brain crush. From there you could start focusing on other aspects of the combat such as mid air dashes and 4th and 5th consecutive combo attacks.
Watch the Scarlet Nexus Anime
When the Musubi café becomes available from phase 2 onwards, you can travel to the shop of Musubi via the world map, and speak to the receptionist there in order to unlock the Code exchange function and encourage the player to get special rewards. Some codes are provided through brain messages, but a majority of them are hidden in the ongoing anime. Players will need to watch the anime because each episode holds one hidden code with very beneficial rewards.
Rewards can range from cosmetic items to powerful equipment’s and Plug-In Parallelization Programs so you don’t have to go the extra mile to make them. There are also bond assist items that help you in deepening your relationship with someone and its all for free. We will include some of the codes from already aired episodes in this article, and there are more of them coming every week since the anime is announced to be 24 episodes in total.
Musubi Codes for Episode 1-13: CODE, Such a liar, tell the truth, 5150, 2009, NEVER FORGET, Which?, hero, October 4th, Lukusho, hospital, government dogs, judge, saveme