The hype for Rune Factory 5 has been high for years. And for those outside of Japan, the time finally came for the English release of the game last month, in March 2022. I preordered Rune Factory 5 and started playing it right away. It’s just as fun and anime-esque as I had hoped. However, it can be quite overwhelming at the start. A lot of information is thrown at you in the beginning, and there are so many elements to the game that it can get confusing.
So, I have rounded up some useful tips, as well as my general thoughts, on Rune Factory 5 to help you start out and to know what to expect.
Special, Fun Aspects of the Game
Rune Factory 5 has a lot of elements: it’s part farm simulator, part JRPG adventuring with a dash of Pokemon-like monster catching, and has plenty of events and romance options. I always enjoy the Rune Factory games because they have more to offer than any other game of its kind. It isn’t just a farm simulator with some romance options and events; there is so much more to it. You can catch monsters, go fishing, cook, go on quests, bring romance candidates on quests, and so much more.
There are a lot of fun mini events and interactive scenes to do on days when nothing else is going on as well. I liked this a lot. You get to know the different characters and have more to do when there isn’t anything else going on. You can also use SEED points to put on different festivals or get different licenses (such as cooking licenses, which allow you to cook more items and use more appliances). So, not only are you someone who protects the town of Rigbarth, but you are also a party planner, farmer, and entrepreneur. You earn SEED points by doing things such as completing quests and fighting monsters.
As for the romance options in the game, you are able to woo whomever you’d like of the twelve candidates and can even marry someone of the same gender. You can also date multiple people at one time. However, choose who you want to marry wisely, as you cannot get divorced like you can in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. However, unlike in Pioneers of Olive Town, you can get someone’s friendship/love points to go up more than once through gifts each day (and when you chat your levels will go up too). You don’t get more after a certain point, though. This may depend on the specific gift you give, though. You may still earn more if giving them one they love. Your affection points with someone may go down if you give them something they dislike, though.
After your affection level with someone gets to 3, you can invite them to go on adventures with you by chatting normally and then clicking R or L when the option is given. However, you don’t necessarily have to go on actual adventures with the person you want more friendship/love points with. You can just have them walk around with you after asking them to go adventuring with you. With every in-game hour they spend with you (real-time minute), their affection level for you will go up by 1%.
Once you get to level 7 with them, you can confess your love, and after level 10, you can get married. You can even have children with your partner shortly after you get married. However, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Be sure to get an engagement ring and a double bed or you can’t get married. You also need to complete a series of dates and events.
Some other fun aspects of this game include elemental dragons, who you can befriend and even put furniture and plant crops on, and you can go on a myriad of quests, such as capturing wanted monsters, proving your capabilities to a veteran SEED ranger by having a competition with her, and more.
There is also a request board to help the people out in town and get rewards in exchange.
Helpful Notes for When You’re Starting Out
Sometimes the game doesn’t offer great explanations, so here are some general tips that can help you out while you’re first starting out:
*You can’t tame monsters until you have a monster barn. Make sure you build a monster barn and then give the monster you want food and even brush them if you’d like. Don’t try to capture them with ZL, though. That is how you catch wanted monsters. For more information on that, you can talk to Livia at the SEED outpost. Something fun you can do with some monsters, after taming them, is ride them! As soon as you tame a buffamoo, you can ride it wherever you’d like.
*It may be unclear as to how to start cooking, but you can get a cooking table from Palmo at the beginning of the game after talking with them. You can find it near the door in Palmo’s shop. If you want more devices to cook with, such as a fryer or knives, you must get the proper licenses by taking quizzes via Eliza, the talking box in the SEED outpost that you reside in. To learn more recipes, you will need to buy and eat cooking bread from either the bakery or the restaurant in town.
*Don’t accidentally walk into the opposite gender’s bath area in the bathhouse or they will label you a degenerate after a while (which is hilarious).
*THIS IS IMPORTANT AND NOT WELL KNOWN: Save before ever going into the general store. I learned the hard way that the game can freeze on the loading screen and you’re forced to restart your Switch without saving. This is apparently a common issue amongst users.
*I don’t think anyone ever tells you how to fish. If they did, I missed it somehow. It’s very simple, though. You just need to buy a fishing pole at the smithy and click B to cast your line and B again to reel the fish in.
There is so much more to this fun new Rune Factory installment, but these were just a few aspects of the game and some tips to help start you out. I have really liked the game so far. I like the mechanism for romance options, and I like that there is so much to do. However, I do wish there were more ways to make things to sell and I wish there were more romance options that weren’t either cranky or looked too young. Overall, though, this game has met my expectations and I look forward to unlocking more adventures while playing it.
Have you played Rune Factory 5? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!