Sakura Wars is out on April 28 for PS4 and is the first entry in the long-running series outside of Japan since 2008. While Sega says it’s a soft reboot with no knowledge of past games needed in terms of story, Sakura Wars features some interesting mechanics that make its mix of fast-paced action and drama unique. Here are some tips to get the best out of Sakura Wars.

Sakura Wars LIPS explained

Sakura Wars features a system known as LIPS. Short for Live & Interactive Picture System, it has you choosing an action with the left PS4 controller stick and pressing X to confirm it before time runs out. However it’s not a game over if you cannot decide. LIPs ensures the story will still continue if you can’t make a choice in time. Aside from timed choices, there’s Analog LIPS too wherein you have to move up or down with the left stick to adjust the intensity of your response and press X to confirm. If time runs out, the current intensity level is selected.

Sakura Wars how Trust and Trust events work

Trust and morale are important aspects of Sakura Wars. When dealing with each character, Trust increases or decreases depending on the actions you take. Trust events are special events that are triggered when you meet certain conditions. Characters with available Trust events are denoted with a pink icon. The higher the level of Trust in Adventure scenes means they’ll start battles with high Morale. Speaking of which…

Sakura Wars Morale and how it works

In-game actions such as effective LIPS choices, building Trust with Trust events, and combat skills impact character Morale. The higher the Morale of your allies, the stronger they are in battle with higher attack and defence stats.

Sakura Wars team status and moods

You can check out the status of your team during intermissions. Higher the Trust, the closer they would be to Seijuro. Icons ranging from blue to gold indicate their mood, useful when deciding how to approach them.

How to raise Trust in Sakura Wars

Unlike Mass Effect’s colour coded Paragon and Renegade options, you have to understand the characters you’re dealing with to gain their Trust. For example: flirty responses tend to work better with Anastasia while Hatsuho prefers flippant replies. Knowing who you’re talking to and sizing up their personalities is key to winning Trust in Sakura Wars. You can also level up Trust by playing the Battle Bot mini-game.

How to lock on to enemies in Sakura Wars combat

When in combat, press R3 to lock on to an enemy in the middle of the screen. You can press R to switch targets and R3 to remove the lock. You can change it to L2 in the Options menu. To access this feature, make sure you install the Sakura Wars day one patch.

Sakura Wars Team Attacks and how to use them

If you raise team members Trust during Sakura Wars’ Adventure sections, you can use Team Attacks in combat by pressing the touchpad. Team Attacks give you and your ally invulnerability and a massive strength boost for a limited amount of time. Useful for some of the game’s tougher encounters.

Hopefully these tips help you on your journey in Sakura Wars. Check out our full review, as well as our explainer of Sakura Wars as well what the day one patch brings to the game.