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Players will need every advantage they can get in the unforgiving JRPG world of Shin Megami Tensei 5, as powerful enemies are abundant. The bosses, including the optional ones from subquests, can unleash very damaging attacks--especially if their Magatsuhi gauge is full.

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However, in addition to bringing the right demons into battle, the player as a Nahobino can themselves be a powerful force in combat. One can give themselves new skills as well as change their affinities by using Essences. There are Essences for all demons that can be recruited, and each gives different skills and affinities, so it would be best to stockpile as many of them as one can find. There are a few different ways to get Essences in Shin Megami Tensei 5, however, once acquired, players can head to the World of Shadows at any Leyline Fount to use them.


How To Get Essences From Gustave At The Cadaver's Hollow

shin megami tensei 5 gustave essences

At any Leyline Fount, players can head to the Cadaver's Hollow to meet up with the game's main merchant: Gustave. In addition to selling many other useful consumable items, Gustave sells Essences as well. They are more expensive than other items, and, furthermore, Gustave will only sell players one of each.

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Though, if a bought Essence is used up, one can buy another of that Essence from Gustave. Every so often, as gamers progress through the main story, more and more items will get unlocked in the Cavader's Hollow, including new and more expensive Essences.

How To Find Essences As Treasure

shin megami tensei 5 looking at treasure

Essences can also be found as treasures while exploring the world. Treasures appear as big golden objects that resemble dice with many sides. Players can break these unique 'chests' with an attack to get what's inside. The kinds of items contained within will vary, however, Essences are one of the more common kinds of goods that players can find in these bright yellow containers.

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Each treasure can only be found once, however, if the player cannot collect whatever is inside due to having too many of that item already (reaching the item cap for that item), the treasure will reform so that players can find it again later if they want to. It will also still appear on the minimap. The kinds of Essences found in these golden objects in the mid and late-game are usually unique ones, so they are worth seeking out.

How To Get Essences From Demons

shin megami tensei 5 player speaking to a demon named macabre

It is also possible to get Essences from demons through battles in multiple ways. Firstly, when talking with a demon, it is possible that they may give the player their Essence, though, this is almost always random and very hard to predict. Players should not rely on this method for getting Essences, however, it is possible to do so on occasion.

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Furthermore, one can get the Essences from demons that players defeat in battle. After combat ends and the player is at the rewards screen that shows which items have been obtained and the experience gained from battle, players can sometimes find that they've obtained the Essence of one or more of the vanquished foes. Again, this is pretty rare, so it should not be one's primary method of getting Essences despite there being a consistent, albeit infrequent, trend.

How To Get Essences From Leveling Up Demons

shin megami tensei 5 leveling up mishaguji demon

On rare occasions, it is possible that demons will give the player their Essence when they level up. This is another unreliable way to gain Essences, as it happens mostly randomly, though, it should be mentioned that this Essence gifting seems to happen more with demons that have already learned all of their possible skills.

How To Use Essences

shin megami tensei 5 essence fusion menu

Getting To The Essence Fusion Menu

To use Essences, players will need to go to the World of Shadows. Here's a quick rundown of how to get to the Essence Fusion menu:

  • Go to a Leyline Fount
  • Go to the World of Shadows
  • Select Apotheosis
  • Select Essence Fusion

Using Essences To Get New Skills

Players can select either themselves or one of their demonic companions in the Essence Fusion menu. After that, one can select an Essence with which to fuse, allowing for players to select a new skillset from all of their previous skills and the new ones of whatever Essence they chose to fuse with. Just remember that Essences are single-use, so don't waste them.

Using Essences To Change Affinities

It is also possible to change the affinities of one's character by using an Essence. Simply select the protagonist from the Essence Fusion menu and then pick an Essence to fuse with before choosing "Affinities" from the two options that follow (the other is "Skills"). This will allow players to change what elements they are weak and resistant to, as well as possibly letting them gain the ability to absorb, block, or reflect certain elements based on the Essence chosen. However, this is only possible for the player character, as one cannot change a demon ally's affinities.

Shin Megami Tensei 5 is available on the Nintendo Switch.

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