There are several mechanics players will need to understand if they want to be successful in God Eater 3, and the one that ties them together are Engages and Engage Effects.
What are Engages?
First obtained during one of the tutorial missions during Rank 1, Engages are special buffs that can provide a range of buffs, such as increasing your damage when using an element the target is weak against or allowing you to gain more OP when using devour.
What makes Engage unique is that it’s a purely co-op mechanic, so they can’t be activated when playing solo. Fortunately, they’re easy to activate when you are playing with others — even A.I. In order to do so, simply stay near an ally until the circular gauge above their head fills with a yellow hue. Once it does, press L2+R2 and Engage will activate, granting both characters the bonuses from their own Engage as well as their ally.
How Do I Get More Of Them?
Despite being so useful, Engages are odd due to the fact that the majority of them aren’t unlocked during normal gameplay. In fact, you can make it all the way to Rank 7 and still only have the initial three obtained as part of the aforementioned tutorial mission.
Instead, you unlock these by doing special multiplayer missions, called Assault Missions, which has eight players (or one player and seven computer-controlled characters in case you don’t have access to online) face off against a special Ashborn Aragami. The Aragami aren’t all that more powerful than those you would find in normal missions, but mistakes are especially costly here since you only have five minutes to take them down.
At any rate, whether you succeed or fail, any new Engages brought along by other players/characters will be unlocked, and you’ll also some EP that will go towards buying them at a terminal so you can actually use them for yourself.
The overall process is simple, but it’s likely to be rather time-consuming due to the random nature of who you get paired off with during Assault Missions. For instance, I got several new Engages the first time I did it, but I only got one by my third run. What’s more, there’s no matchmaking for that mode even among players, and considering that they’re likely to gravitate towards a few Engages eventually, I wouldn’t be shocked if people end up not getting any new ones if they regularly play with others.
Fortunately, Assault Missions are the only way to get a variety of blueprints for special equipment, so you’ll likely get all the Engages as you’re farming for those. Just think of Engages as a byproduct and you’ll be fine.
Yep, two more things.
As mentioned earlier, Engage’s defining trait is that it allows two players to share a special buff with one another. Therefore, it should stand to reason that you can do this with other buffs — and you can. For example, if you already have Engage active and you activate your Acceleration Trigger, then the bonded character will gain that buff as well. This is beneficial no matter what, but even more so if you’re using complementary AT, such as allowing a player to not only increase their damage output whenever they Just Guard, but to now boost it further if they can avoid damage for a set period of time. If you can already Just Guard consistently, then a damage boost that comes from simply avoiding damage (which you are already doing) is icing on the cake.
In a similar vein, Burst is also shared between Engaged characters and it provides a remarkably effective way to increase/maintain your Burst Level. For example, using three Link Bursts on an ally before activating Engage will result in both characters having Lvl.3 Burst, while using a Link Burst on an Engaged ally when your own Burst state is about to run out will not only refresh the Burst’s duration, but also cause both of your Burst levels to rise as well.