One of the simple pleasures (and essential tasks) of Persona 5 is improving yourself, raising the protagonist’s social stats so that he can better relate to the Confidants and deepen his relationships with them. Part of the fantasy of Persona is that no matter how you choose to spend your time, it helps you grow at least a little bit.
It can be a little overwhelming. If you’re feeling pressured to improve a certain social stat because, say, you don’t have the Guts to dial a maid service from a public phone or you’re not book-smart enough to hang out with the student council president, you want to know the most efficient way to better yourself so that you can get back to spending time with the characters that are important to you.
And that’s where this guide comes in. Here’s a comprehensive list of the best ways to improve your stats so that you can become the smartest, kindest, bravest, suavest, most skilled high school Tokyo has ever seen—as quickly as possible.
Let’s start with the stat-by-stat breakdown:
The easiest and most frequent opportunity to raise your Knowledge comes during class: answer a teacher’s question correctly and you’ll get a point toward Knowledge. You should definitely abuse the game’s social sharing features to cheat your way to success.
You can likewise earn Knowledge points by correctly answering the TV quiz that pops up on Leblanc’s television on Wednesdays. It doesn’t take any time, so always check the TV!
The biggest Knowledge gains come from studying, which you can do in the school library in the afternoon or at Leblanc in the evening—but the best place to study is at the diner in Shibuya. Ordering food at the diner will allow you to put points toward another stat as well: Nostalgic Steak will raise your Kindness, Hot Coffee will boost your Guts, and Frui-Tea will give you a point of Charm.
Once you gain access to Hifumi as a Confidant, spending time with her will also usually give you a little Knowledge boost.
The biggest boost to your Guts comes from taking the Big Bang Burger challenge in Shibuya in the evenings, though you won’t be able to make your way through the various levels of the challenge without points in several different stats. When you do clear the challenge, though, you’ll get boosts to everything but your Kindness.
You can get minor boosts to your Guts by ordering Hot Coffee while you’re studying at the diner, by studying in the school library or by being mean to a maid when she puts too much whipped cream on your pancake at the maid cafe (look, don’t ask me). If you absolutely must raise your Guts quickly, books and movies are probably the way to go.
Participating in Takemi’s clinical trials will also give you a point in Guts.
There are many different ways to improve your Proficiency, though few of them will grant that sought-after three-point bonus. Crafting infiltration tools is your easiest option—you’ll either get a two or three point boost at random, with a higher likelihood of a bigger boost once your skill has raised a bit.
You can get a Proficiency boost by working the Beef Bowl joint part-time job in Shibuya in the evenings.
Midway through the year, you can buy a busted laptop from the secondhand shop in Yongen-Jaya and a set of PC repair tools in Akihabara. Repairing the laptop at your desk in your room will grant you a couple points of Proficiency.
You can get minor boosts to your Proficiency by spending time at the batting cages or the fishing pond, though these are not the most efficient methods of raising the stat.
Once you’ve unlocked Iwai as a Confidant, spending time working for him will give you a moderate Proficiency boost, though starting that relationship will take considerable Guts.
Kindness is a tricky stat to raise because the game doesn’t tell you the best methods for doing it: spending time with Sojiro and Shinya (a Confidant who becomes available later in the year) will almost always give you a big, three-point boost to your Kindness.
What’s more, that sad-looking plant in your room at Leblanc is a potential Kindness goldmine. Buy plant nutrients (first from the Underground Mall in Shibuya, and then from the flower shop in Shinjuku) and give them to your plant every two weeks or so. It won’t use up any of your time, and the more expensive plant food will give you another three-point kindness boost. Check your plant all the time!
In addition to these methods, working at Rafflesia, the flower shop in the Underground Mall, will boost your Kindness.
The most readily available way to improve your Charm is by soaking in the bathhouse across the street from Leblanc in the evenings, though the size of the boost will depend on how crowded the sauna is.
Spending time with Yoshida and Ohya will almost always raise your Charm by three points, so be sure to prioritize those Confidant relationships if you’re trying to boost this particular stat.
Once Akihabara becomes available, you can raise your Charm by spending time at the maid cafe—not as big a boost as your Confidants will give you, but like studying in the diner, it’ll also put a single point toward some other stat as well.
You’ll get a boost to your Charm by doing well in your exams, too, so study up and pay attention to those answers!
You’ll be able to raise various stats by reading books, but because it will take two reading sessions to finish most of them, they’re not the most efficient use of your afternoons and evenings. Instead, just make sure that you have a number of stat-raising books on hand for those times when you can grab a seat on the train or slack off in class. You should always be carrying a book from the school library, which will offer new texts as you accumulate party members. You can also buy books from Shibuya, Shinjuku and Jinbocho.
You can raise social stats by going to the movies (first in Shibuya, then in Shinjuku and eventually Yongen-Jaya), either alone or with friends. These stat boosts are significant, but make sure to read the book “Cinema Treasures” early on in the year so that you can maximize your gains.
You can improve various stats by renting DVDs or playing retro games in your room at home, but these aren’t the most efficient use of your time. Nevertheless, keep them in mind as an option if you’re trying to increase a specific stat over the others in order to further a particular relationship.
Every Sunday, the juice stand in Shibuya’s Underground Walkway will offer a special smoothie that will put a single point toward a social stat (the juices on offer rotate) for 5000 yen. That’s not a big boost, but it doesn’t take any time—if you want to max your stats as quickly as possible, you should definitely grab a smoothie every day they’re available. (Keep this in mind when you get text invites from your friends—there’s no harm in waiting to make plans until after you’ve had your Sunday morning smoothie!)
Midway through the year, you’ll be able to work part-time at the Crossroads Bar in Shinjuku. While you do this, you’ll be able to chat with bar patrons to raise various stats.
Once you unlock Chihaya as a Confidant, you can pay her 5000 yen to get an extra bonus to your social stats that day. This is a pretty steep price early in the game, but if you’re in a place where you feel like you can afford it, it’s an available option.
And there you have it! Good luck improving yourself.
Nate Ewert-Krocker is a writer and a Montessori teacher who lives in Atlanta. His first book, an adventure novel for teens, is available here. You can find him on Twitter at @NEwertKrocker, where he mostly gushes about final boss themes from JRPGs.