New Genesis is much less punishing than Oracle, and the new systems give you the opportunity to play a lot of previously non-viable weapon and skill combinations; think of this less as a skill tree guide and more as a jumping-off-point for finding your ideal power fantasy.
Weapon choice affects your character more than any other system. You can use weapons from your main class with a 10% damage bonus, and weapons from your subclass at “normal” damage. This damage drop is noticeable, but if your “main” weapon is poorly suited to a situation, using a subclass weapon can still be more effective. For example, if you’re struggling to stick to fast-moving targets with a slow weapon, a fast or ranged weapon might help you gain uptime, offsetting or eclipsing the damage penalty.
You can also use Multi-Weapons that aren’t in your class combination—for instance, a Hunter/Fighter can use a Sword/Rifle multi, despite Rifle being a Ranger weapon—but without at least one matching class, you’ll only be able to use normal attacks and weapon actions. If you’re focused on a single weapon and comfortable using it in all situations, this can be a good option to gain some extra utility.
- If a single class’s weapon selection “does it” for you, play that class as a main and pick the subclass that offers the highest damage.
- If you like two weapons from different classes, play those classes, maining the class with the more appealing main-class skills.
- If you love a single weapon but regularly get frustrated with its situational shortcomings, find a different weapon that excels in those situations and take the matching subclass.
- If one weapon stands out as your unreserved ride-or-die favorite, play the corresponding main class, pick a subclass for damage, and play around with the other weapons' normals and weapon actions—one of them might feel like a good addition to the moveset.
If you’ve picked your subclass solely for weapon access, you can skip this section and breathe easy. Subclass utility matters in NGS, and some combinations offer more than others, but weapon access is significantly more impactful—play the weapons that you like and ignore the advice below.
If you’re playing weapons from a single class combination, or using a Multi-Weapon purely for normals/weapon action, then consider the following subclasses. Remember that you can switch subclasses with no penalty, since their level doesn’t affect your stats and skill points are shared equally.
- Fighter offers substantial damage and PP regen versus downed enemies, improving your burst windows versus big bosses.
- Gunner offers bonus PP regeneration on hit and even more PP regeneration in mobbing situations; good for weapons that can easily normal attack in groups.
- Force offers PP Convert (an activated PP regen buff) and PP regeneration on kill; this can be a more appealing option if Gunner doesn’t feel impactful on your preferred weapons.
If you’re playing a subclass purely to support a weapon from a different class, expect to spec almost all of your points in the 5/10SP “dump” abilities, with exceptions for activated abilities that will work with your weapon.
Subclasses aren’t incredibly important, and every subclass offers some benefit to all weapons, but these are the options most most likely to be and feel impactful IMO. In particular, avoid Hunter subclass unless you’re consistently struggling to survive, since it offers only defensive crutches. Most weapons get lots of value when correctly using their defensive options, and learning to use them properly is an important part of maximizing damage and effectiveness.
All directly weapon-related skills should be considered core parts of the moveset and taken ASAP; the only exceptions are Wand Element Revoke (actively bad) and Talis Bloom Revoke (you can drop stance faster by switching Multi-Weapon forms or palettes).
You’re given a skill tree reset pass shortly after unlocking the skill tree, so my personal recommendation is to take 1SP in everything, then respec and drop the skills that you don’t think work for you. This lets you try out every weapon’s full kit and won’t leave you at much of a disadvantage.
After respeccing, you can sink extra points into the 5SP or 10SP “dump” skills to your preference; consider the scaling on each one, since they’re often more efficient with minimal points invested.
- Using a Wired Lance Multi-Weapon gives you a height-gaining gap closer. You should be moderately comfortable with lock-on to use this effectively, but it can save a lot of time over dropping to the ground and double jumping back. This gap-closer is more effective with Hunter’s skill tree, giving it guard frames and some alternate followups, but still completely usable without.
- Techer main + subclass weapon is an alright combination if you want tech access and supportive abilities, but don’t like Wand’s linear gameplay. The damage bonus from Shifta offsets the damage loss from a subclass weapon, which is cozy for solo but instantly becomes redundant if there are any other Techer mains in your party. Wand techs are also an acceptable ranged option if you’re having trouble staying attached to bosses or targeting weak points.
- Gunner main gains very little from subclass weapons, since Chain Trigger’s effects don’t work on non-TMG actions even if they’re Multi-Weaponed to a TMG. This is different than Wand Lovers and Overload, which are happy to activate as long as you’ve Multi-Weaponed the correct type.