Should You Pick Claude or Rena in Star Ocean: Second Story R?

Who should you start your first playthrough as in Star Ocean: Second Story R?

by J.R. Waugh
Star Ocean Second Story R Claude or Rena
Image: Gem Drops, Square Enix

Star Ocean: The Second Story R is a faithful yet enriched remake of the cult classic PlayStation JRPG. It’s a choice to focus on one of the two protagonists when starting your game, so players are asking: should you pick Claude or Rena in Star Ocean: Second Story R?

Starting as Claude or Rena in Star Ocean: The Second Story R — The Differences

While you get to play as both in either path, Claude is the better recommendation for starting Star Ocean: The Second Story R and easing you into the story’s lore. It is also the easier, more straightforward combat-oriented path when it comes to picking up the game for your first time, and ties into the original Star Ocean. Claude is built more for physical combat whereas Rena is a healer with more limited combat options.

Related: Do You Need to Play Star Ocean: First Departure Before Second Story R?

However, of the two, Rena’s story is more interesting and original, with amazing ties to some of the earliest events of the Star Ocean timeline. While Claude’s story is fascinating as he emerges from behind his respected military leader father to become an avenging hero, Rena is worth exploring if you’re interested in the worldbuilding of Star Ocean.

Are There Exclusive Features to Either Playthrough?

Yes, there are exclusive experiences between playing as either Claude or Rena in Star Ocean: The Second Story R. This includes different Private Actions where each character witnesses side events or conversations such as fellow party members’ interactions through their perspectives.

Additionally, each character gets an exclusive party member in their playthrough; Claude gets Leon, a powerful symbologist spellcaster, and Rena gets Dias, a deadly swordsman. Each addition in this case offsets the other side’s limitations with some powerful characters, but the story is what truly sets these playthroughs apart. However, of the two exclusive characters, Dias is arguably more powerful if you had to choose.

- This article was updated on November 8th, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a Staff Writer with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. is streaming his favorite RPGs and other forgotten gems.