Shin Megami Tensei V from Atlus and Sega is finally here on Nintendo Switch. The first mainline entry in the series after Shin Megami Tensei IV and IV Apocalypse on Nintendo 3DS arrives with quite a bit of DLC available from launch day. Read my glowing review of the game here. One of Shin Megami Tensei V’s most important mechanics is “essences”. This guide will cover Shin Megami Tensei V essences, essence fusion, how to get essences, tips, inheriting new skills and affinities, and more. This guide will not include story spoilers.

What are essences in Shin Megami Tensei V?

Essences are copied astral forms of a demon’s abilities and skills. You can only have one essence per demon at a time. You use these to inherit a demon’s skills or affinities as Nahobino, or just the skills for another demon.

How to get essences in Shin Megami Tensei V

You can get essences in Shin Megami Tensei V by exploration through chests, battles, doing subquests (side quests), raising your demons’ levels, and more.

How to use essences in Shin Megami Tensei V

At the World of Shadows at a Leyline Fount, you can select Apotheosis and then Essence Fusion to use essences. This lets you inherit a portion of skills initially. Some skills are sealed at first, but you will be able to unlock them after fulfilling conditions. For your own ally demons, you can use other essences to inherit skills only. For Nahobino, you can also use an essence to learn affinities (element weaknesses etc).

How to learn skills from essences in Shin Megami Tensei V

Once you select Apotheosis at the World of Shadows and then select Nahobino or a demon and then the essence you would like to use, you get a skill pool on the left and then select which skills you’d like out of the pool of limited skills. Once you do this, the essence will be used.

How to use essences for affinities in Shin Megami Tensei V

For Nahobino, you can also inherit an essence’s affinities. This lets you replace Nahobino’s strengths and weaknesses against elements with those of the essence (demon). This is useful in many boss battles and when you are in an area where many demons are striking Nahobino’s weakness.

How to learn new skills in Shin Megami Tensei V for Nahobino

As you explore and unlock more essences, you use these to learn new skills as Nahobino. This is also the way to learn the special skills you likely have seen in trailers for Nahobino. If you’re building a magic-focused protagonist, don’t hoard essences and keep using them to learn new skills. If you’re going for strength, make sure you use essences to get new skills for Nahobino.

Shin Megami Tensei V Essences and Miracles

You can also unlock the ability for Nahobino to acquire affinity resistances from essences during Essence Fusion by Miracles like the Divine Amalgamation. There are also additional Miracles like Art of Essences that lets you choose an additional skill from essences.

Hopefully this guide helps you with the basics of essences in Shin Megami Tensei V throughout your long adventure.

Shin Megami Tensei V is out now on Nintendo Switch worldwide.

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