Phantom Chaser is all about chasing phantoms. Well, that’s not strictly true. You capture them in battle, or craft them, but there’s very little in the way of chasing. The battles in which you capture the phantoms take the form of consecutive stages in a long, complex narrative.
As you make your way through the story, and ascend through the character levels, the game gradually opens up to reveal several different gameplay modes. This guide will help you get through the first few hours with Phantom Chaser, starting with the basics of how you obtain and level-up phantoms, how you fight, and what all the confusing items and currencies mean.
Building a squad
Pretty much the first thing you’ll have to get your head around is building a team. At the outset you have six slots for phantoms to take into battle. Three of these are reserved for the Battle Team, while the other three are reserved for the Mimic Team.
The Battle Team are the ones who actually fight. You can see them on the screen, stomping around, swinging swords, firing arrows, and generally giving their enemies a hard time.
The Mimic Team is there in spirit. Each phantom you bring along as a mimic has powers that you can absorb during battle to give you a bit more attacking speed, defensive resilience, or whatever. You can assign these mimic powers to a phantom of your choosing at will, though there’s a timer preventing you from equipping them the whole time.
There are three kinds of phantom. The blue ones have Intelligence, the green ones have Dexterity, and the red ones have Strength.
Strong phantoms have high HP and defence, and so they generally end up at the front of your formation, pulverising everything that gets in their way. Dextrous phantoms have high attacking power but lower HP, and intelligent phantoms comes in two flavours: Intelligence – Support come with buff skill and HP recovery, while Intelligence – Damage can cause a lot of damage.
Cleverly, Phantom Chaser gives you numerous team slots, so you can assemble different formations of Battle and Mimic phantoms for different types of enemy encounter and save them so that you don’t have to make changes manually every time.
Phantom Chaser works on a sort of rock-paper-scissors model, in that each of the three kinds of phantom is powerful against one and weak against the other. Dexterity is powerful against Intelligence, Intelligence is powerful against Strength, and Strength is powerful against Dexterity, gaining hit points and losing damage.
Phantoms also work at two different ranges, with archers hanging back towards the rear and sword fighters going at the front. Plus, each phantom has its own timed special moves.
The way to progress quickly is to make sure all of these variables are in harmony. Try to have a phantom of each type in your party when you do battle, and ensure that their special moves are complementary, plugging gaps left by the others.
Most importantly of all, make sure you always have a phantom on your Battle team that can heal the others. This is absolutely vital if you want to maximise your chances of surviving to the end of a round.
The battles themselves are semi-automated. Your phantoms take care of the shooting, chopping, and stabbing, but you can nominate an enemy for them to fixate on, move your party to a certain point, deploy mimic powers, and execute your special moves. These are timed, so you need to think carefully about when to bust out your big guns.
Speaking of which, your biggest gun of all is the spare character you can ‘borrow’ and deploy during battles to bolster your team. This is an immensely powerful special move, but there’s a catch: you can only borrow one character every 24 hours.
You can grow and develop your phantom army in a few different ways. The simplest method for obtaining new phantoms is simply to play the Adventure mode, but you can also summon them through Joy’s shop and by doing various other in-game activities.
Once you reach a certain level you’ll get access to the Battlefield mode. This section of the game contains activities that you can complete for different kinds of in-game currency, including Upgrade Stones, Dimensional Crystals, Spirits, etc. Some of these activities are available as soon as you unlock the Battlefield, but most need to be unlocked through levelling up further.
Some of the activities in the Battlefield give you rewards specific to the day on which you’re playing, so it pays to log in at least once every 24 hours to get the full range of items. You also get rewards for simply logging in every day, as well as for completing missions and earning achievements.
In addition to obtaining phantoms you can craft them yourself using the materials that you collect. Once you’ve got enough, e.g., Soul Heart, Puppet of the Void, and Memory of Dina, plus a pile of gold, a red label will appear on Jin’s Lab letting you know that you can go there and craft Dina.
Levelling up mostly happens automatically whenever you play a stage in Adventure mode, but if you’re really desperate to speed things along you can level a phantom up manually by consuming any phantoms that you don’t need. Alternatively, you can sell these spare phantoms for gold, but in both cases you don’t get much for them.
The best way to get your new phantoms levelled up is to take them to an earlier stage and put them through the exact same process that your now-beefed-up phantoms went through: brutal combat against progressively stronger opponents. As your phantoms ascend through the levels they unlock new special skills to deploy in battle.
Your phantoms will level up until they reach their Max Level cap. At this point, you can either increase their Max Level cap, or take your level 20 phantoms out of circulation for a little while to let some others catch up – again, by returning to the early stages and working your way up. If you choose to upgrade your level 20 phantoms, you can always throw a few newbies into Adventure stages with them and hope they provide enough protection. Just choose the strategy that works for you
To increase the Max Level of a phantom, go to Characters, and then Upgrades. The process requires Dimensional Crystals, which are relatively easy to come by, and Upgrade Stones, which are not. Upgrade Stones are specific to the type of phantom you’re upgrading (blue, green, red), and you’ll probably have to buy them with Star Stones, which in turn are accumulated through play or IAPs.
In order to keep levelling up your phantoms you’ll have to increase their Max Level every 20 levels until you get to 100. After that, you Transcend, which involves using a second phantom of the same type. If the phantom in question has three stars, you increase your level by ten. If it has four stars, 20.
The next big step is level 200, at which point you must undertake Evolution, taking you to the very pinnacle of phantomly power and attractiveness.
Glossary of upgrade items
Dimensional Crystal: For upgrading.
Spirit of Evolution: For evolving.
Memory of Phantom: For crafting a phantom.
Doll of Void: For making a Puppet of Void.
Spirit Core: For making a Puppet of Void and a Spirit of Evolution.
You can pick up all of these items by playing Adventure stages, Battlefield challenges, and Missions.