On this page you’ll find general tips and information about how to achieve an S-Rank during Main Quests and Side Quests.
During every battle in the game you’ll be graded on three parameters: the time it took you to clear the mission (the faster the better), the number of enemies you KO’d (the more foes defeated the better) and the amount of damage you took (the less damage sustained the better). Each Main Quest and Side Quest has different targets for these three categories, and if you meet the targeted time/KO count/damage threshold you’ll gain an S-Rank in that category. Meet all three goals simultaneously in a battle and you’ll S-Rank the quest. The first time you S-Rank a quest you’ll obtain a special reward, often including permanent stat-boosting items and Seals, making S-Ranks very lucrative achievements.
Below you’ll find various tips and tricks that’ll help you achieve S-Ranks during Side Quests and Main Quests:
- Learn the map. Kind of a bummer as far as advice goes (although you can check out our walkthrough pages to help cheat this a bit). During your first playthrough of a mission, you’re not going to know where every event is going to occur, and hence, where you should direct your forces. On subsequent playthroughs you’ll have a better idea, and can respond accordingly… or better yet, act preemptively.
Delegate. Sometimes Quests have multiple missions, events, and ambushes that need to be dealt with. Once you know what’s going to happen (see tip, above), prepare for it before the battle starts and send some units up to deal with potential problems before they can spiral out of control and jeopardize your S-Rank run. If the task isn’t too complex, an AI assigned to attack/guard can usually handle the odd objective security or rescue mission.
Assign an Adjutant. Adjutants give the characters they’re assigned to numerous benefits, including potentially significant stat boosts, and the turn Warrior Specials into more powerful Partner Specials. Bottom line, they’ll increase your offensive output considerably, and when time and KOs are two of the factors that determine your rank at the end of a battle, those are very worthwhile boons. If you have access to Annette and the Dancer class, consider having Annette max out as a Dancer to earn the Rally Deluxe Class Ability, as it’ll cause Annette to give a whopping +10 boost to Strength, Speed and Resistance when she’s assigned as an Adjutant.
Handle hotspots yourself. Sometimes it’s fine to command the AI to take a Stronghold across the map while you attend to more important matters elsewhere, but if speed and finesse count, you should probably take control of the situation yourself.
Don’t chase stragglers. You need to balance your KO count objective and your clear time objective simultaneously, and these are not collectively served by chasing down small groups of enemies. Pick a character with fast attacks and AoEs and use them opportunistically on clusters of enemies. Fortunately enemy generals and hordes of fodder tend to go hand-in-hand.
Grind. The higher your stats and the higher your level, the easier everything will be. Killing faster ensures you clear the battle faster, score more KOs, and sustain less damage. If you’re trying to S-Rank a Main Quest, spend some gold leveling up your secondary characters - having a full roster of potent characters will make things go a lot more smoothly.
Lower the difficulty. Lower difficulty means lower-level enemies, which in turns means more KOs, faster clear times, and lower damage sustained. Don’t worry, it’s a single-player game. Nobody’s going to judge you.
- Increase your Morale: The higher a unit’s Morale, the more damage they do. The more damage they do, the faster things die. This is rather conducive to achieving an S-Rank. A unit will gain Morale for being named MVP at the end of a battle, so even failed attempts at achieving an S-Rank may make subsequent attempts easier.
- Don’t actually worry about getting S-Ranks the first time you play a battle. Yes, all the tips above can help, but this one is the mother of all tips. During your first playthrough of a battle you should focus on recruiting characters (if it’s a Main Quest), completing Side Missions and collecting loot. Once you reach Chapter 5 you’ll unlock the Record Keeper, who will allow you to replay all previous Main Quests and Side Quests. If you don’t earn an S-Rank the first time, you can always try again via an Auxiliary Battle… and the second time around you won’t have to worry about anything besides hitting your S-Rank objectives. If all else fails, replaying a battle via the Record Keeper allows you to attempt to S-Rank runs with characters, levels, stats, spells, combat arts and battalions you just didn’t have the first time around.