‘Octopath Traveler’: Mastering the Classes and Sub-Classes (UPDATED)

Lucas DeRuyter
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

While Octopath Traveler drew the eye of an abundance of gamers for its stunning visual direction and musical score, what sealed this game as a must-play for many was its robust job system. Like many classic JRPGs, Octopath Traveler utilizes a system of character classes to expand the abilities that any single character can use and create an absurd number of team compositions in battle.

Experimenting with the different possibilities allowable in this job system is sure to provide hours of fun, although this mechanic can be a bit overwhelming to those new to the genre or this kind of game design. Here is everything you need to know about Octopath Traveler’s engaging job system.

The Nuts and Bolts of Classes

What everything does and how to best use them.

Similar to other JRPGs like Bravely Default, characters in Octopath Traveler have a primary set of unlockable abilities and skills and can equip a second selection of techniques to unlock. Octopath’s protagonists cannot change their main job under any circumstance – Therion will always be a Thief and Primrose will forever be a Dancer – but they can freely equip and alternate their secondary job once it’s unlocked. This happens outside of battle through the main menu and playing around with different job combinations is almost required to deal with some of the game’s more difficult enemies.

The way new skills unlock in a specific job is also a bit unusual compared to other JRPGs. Each battle yields ability points which a player can spend to unlock the abilities in a role in any order, although you cannot access a job’s ultimate ability until all other skills are usable. Each ability unlocked in Octopath is either an active skill that’s usable in battle or a passive ability that provides benefits in the overworld. It’s important to note, though, that unlocked passive skills are available to equip at any time while active skills are only at a character’s disposal when they are using a specific sub-job.

How to Unlock Sub-Jobs in Octopath Traveler

To gain employment in 'Octopath,' you just need to go to a shrine.

There are 12 possible sub-jobs in Octopath Traveler, eight that correspond with the jobs of the main characters and four additional hidden sub-jobs. To unlock each sub-job, a player needs to visit a corresponding shrine that also hints at a bit of the game’s lore. The eight main shrines are in the beginning areas of the eight protagonists. So the Warrior shrine is found in the Highlands where Olberic begins his journey, the Cleric shrine is in the Frostlands where Ophilia begins her journey, and so on.

The shrines to unlock the hidden sub-jobs Runelord, Warmaster, Starseer, and Sorceror also require the player to defeat powerful bosses. These bosses are too tough to take on until the last third or so of the game, and the shrines themselves are hidden away in the furthest corners of the game’s world. The trial is definitely worth it, though, as these sub-jobs offer some of the best abilities in the game and further expand the creativity available in designing your team.

Suggested Job Combinations

Where to start in mastering this enticing game design.

While a lot of the fun in Octopath comes from figuring out which job combinations and team compositions work best for an individual’s preferred playstyle, a little direction can go a long way in planning out an adventure. Here are some suggested class pairings to try out, and if you need more info on how sub-jobs affect character stats, there are plenty of resources available. 

One job combination that has a ton of potential is giving Therion the Dancer subclass. As a thief, he can inflict damage based on his speed stat, and the Dancer secondary-job boosts speed more than any other job in the game. If you’re looking for more of a defensive combination, giving Olberic the Apothecary sub-job can turn him into an HP tank capable of efficiently healing himself and his teammates with ease.

Another exceptionally potent combination involves giving the scholar Cyrus the Cleric subclass. Cyrus is the most adept magic user in the game, and Cleric abilities allow him to use light elemental magic on foes and reliably heal teammates as well. Giving Tressa the Thief subclass enables her to steal both items and money from enemies. This will make her an even more reliable source of income in the game and gives her access to the snatch ability that increases the number of items or amount of money she steals.

Late Game Tips

Octopath Traveler battle
Here are some advanced strategies you should try out.

Creating effective party compositions in the later portions of Octopath is a bit more complicated than when you when you’re starting out. Specific dungeons and bosses practically require specific party setups. But, if you use all of the advanced classes at once, you’re guaranteed to have at least two or three abilities that exploit any foes’ weaknesses. It’s a good idea to have a Dancer and Cleric within the same party while exploring, as this allows you to spam the Bewildering Grace ability and have a better chance of leveling up quickly.

It’s also important to keep in mind how support skills can further bolster a character’s strengths and create an even more effective party. Giving the very durable Olberic the Hang Tough Merchant ability and reclassing him as an Apothecary allows him to turn the Last Stand ability into a reliable means of inflicting massive damage. Likewise, having Cyrus learn the restorative Second Wind Dancer ability is a fantastic means of compensating for his smaller SP meter. Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that job points earned as one class can go toward unlocking abilities in another, so don’t be afraid to grind for levels as a mastered class to purchase a bunch of abilities in another job quickly.

Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.