Star Ocean: The Second Story R is a fascinating and elegant remake of the tri-Ace original with a few modern polishes to make it stand out. One of the best ways to enhance your playthrough of Star Ocean: The Second Story R is with the Specialties mechanic!
All 8 Specialties in Star Ocean: The Second Story R, Ranked by Usefulness
The most beneficial Specialties in Star Ocean: The Second Story R are the ones with the most tangible, long-term benefits, and the best is Train. However, you’ll find each Specialty has specific sought-after benefits you’ll want, whereas others remain helpful, just not your mainstays.
The best 8 specialties are ranked as such:
Star Ocean: The Second Story R says it all: you don’t need it at all, but it provides helpful tips to play the game; not the best of the game’s specialties by any stretch, especially since you can find better advice here.
Music is similar to the Writing IC mechanic in that you can compose pieces to then perform for buffs or other situations in the game. It’s helpful but is more convoluted compared to the other ways you can get tangible rewards in the game.
There’s nothing ostensibly wrong with the Pickpocketing skill in this game, just that it’s an optional way to enhance your experience and get lots of Fol, the game’s currency. You can also obtain potentially rare items, but it’s also just one of the less fun specialties in addition to having a middling impact.
Fishing is similar to Pickpocketing but arguably has more visible goals you can achieve such as when you meet Reel, the fish collector. You can trade fish you catch for incredibly valuable items or even just cooking ingredients, it’s a pretty sweet arrangement, and it incentivizes catching all the types of fish.
It’s tedious, perhaps, but an interesting way to reward players who enjoy this oddly popular RPG mainstay. There’s just something rewarding about the screen darkening as your character focuses on reeling in a massive catch.
Survival is a personal favorite of mine simply because it allows you to pick up IC crafting/creation items in the game while simply walking around. It makes life less complicated if you’re down on healing items. You just turn it on, and you’ll get an increasingly good discovery rate the more levels you invest.
Scouting has multifaceted appeal that can either reduce or increase your challenges and becomes one of your best essential specialties in Star Ocean: The Second Story R. You can use this to draw out more enemies, creating potential battle chains meaning you’ll increase your EXP multiplier.
You can also reduce enemy encounters using this, which is popular for more casual players; alternately, it can eliminate encounters with trivial enemies that take up your time, usually green sprites on the map. But its best benefit is shared with the next entry on this list.
Familiars serve a hilarious purpose in the game: they’re your errand birds and beasts. You can use this anywhere, including dungeons and the world map, to become a shop you can summon for various odds ends you’re missing based on your level. There’s a mild chance of failure here but the currency spent in this Specialty is Pet Food, which is just fun.
However, the more important benefit of this, as long as two characters have achieved Familiar Level 4 and one has achieved Scouting Level 1, you can get Bunny Call. Bunny Call has a chance to summon a massive bunny mount that lets you cross rivers, ascend difficult terrain, and find hidden chests you’d otherwise have to wait until far later to find. It’s also adorable and super-fast.
Not much else needs to be said about Train. It comes with leveling up Determination, Effort, and Resilience, or you can switch to training this or other specialties directly. This is the most essential specialty in the game, trading a small amount of defense and offense in favor of potentially massive EXP gains per battle. This makes grinding more streamlined and turns it into a rewarding challenge instead of a gameplay chore. So many other skills feed off of your current level, so
- This article was updated on November 8th, 2023