An Android’s Guide to Nier: Automata


Nier: Automata, the latest from Square Enix and PlatinumGames, is out now on PS4. If you’re looking for an engrossing RPG and you don’t want to skimp on intense combat, this might be the game for you.

After spending the last fortnight trekking across Yoko Taro’s wonderfully bizarre sci-fi world, there’s several things I’ve learned along the way. Here are six tips to help new adventures, and best of all: no spoilers ahead!

1.) You Don’t Need to Play the Original
Yes, Nier: Automata is a sequel. But it’s still a perfect place to start.

This game offers a brand new story set thousands of years after the original Nier. In this new instalment, Earth is at the hands of machines from another world. 2B, the main protagonist, is an android sent to Earth by a unit force named YoRHa to help humanity reclaim the planet from invaders. While fans of Nier will notice a few nods to the original, knowledge of the first game is absolutely not required to enjoy Nier: Automata’s story.

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2.) Experiment with Different Weapon Sets
In true PlatinumGames fashion, the combat of Nier: Automata is full of over-the-top combos. You can equip up to two pairs of weapons at a time, and even toggle between these sets mid-combo for more variety. Feel free to experiment with these sets and the combat system; there are many opportunities for diverse play styles with different types of weapons equipped.

3.) Collect and Install Computer Chips to Alter Your Abilities, Change Them at Will
The main characters of Nier: Automata are androids, and their combat abilities can be conveniently customized with plug-in chips. You’ll find a lot of different chips during your journey, and you can allocate them to 2B to give her new abilities and skills.

You can slow time when bullets come your way, get health points back as you inflict damage on your enemies, or even add shock waves to your attacks. Alternatively, you can play for fun, and add a distinct — and highly comedic — sound effect for individual enemies when you strike them!

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But be wary: each chip has a storage value and will take a certain amount of space to be allocated, so you’ll need to carefully pick which chips you prefer to use within that space. You can change your set at any time, and upgrading your android’s space is easy. You can also fuse chips together to make them stronger or prioritize smaller storage values, so dive into the system to find the perfect balance for your gameplay style!

4.) If You Need Extra Money, Go Fishing
Nier: Automata’s underwater world is full of all kinds of fish just waiting to be caught. If you find yourself short on money and really want that new weapon at the shop, take a small fishing trip for a fun mini-game. It’ll be well worth it!

5.) Explore to Find Secrets!
Nier: Automata isn’t just an action game — it’s very much an open-world JRPG, so don’t forget to fully explore it. As you travel, you’ll stumble on hidden shrines that will reward you with new weapons, as well as hidden areas with unique NPCs and even Easter eggs.

6.) The Ending Credits Are Only the Beginning
Most importantly, Nier: Automata isn’t finished when the credits roll. Similar to the original, your first playthrough reveals less than half of the full story. Keep playing: there’s much more to discover.

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