J-Ster is a fun minigame in Astria Ascending that uses tokens. Long-time RPG fans might even be reminded of Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII. There are several rules and mechanics to remember so you can achieve success. Here’s our Astria Ascending J-Ster guide to help you win more matches.
Note: For more information, check out our Astria Ascending guides and features hub.
Astria Ascending guide: How to win J-Ster minigames
The basics of J-Ster
You’ll get to play J-Ster fairly early on in Astria Ascending’s campaign (just after clearing the Peyska Spring Sewers). One of the guards will give you tokens (think of this as somewhat similar to cards in Triple Triad), and Arpajo will be the one to teach you the ropes.
A J-Ster board has seven hexes. Each player gets to choose five tokens, taking turns when placing them down on the board. The objective is to flip and own the most number of tokens once the board is filled.
The idea is to look at the token’s “power” (i.e., numerical value). Next, take note of the letters/symbols surrounding each side of the token:
- Diamond – Neutral; the power value for that side remains the same.
- W – Weak; the power value for that side is reduced by two points.
- R – Resist; the power value for that side gains two points.
- N – Nullify; the token cannot be flipped from that side regardless of the power of the one facing it.
- A – Absorb; an opponent that places their token on that side will get flipped to the owner’s color.
In most cases, unless the rules forbid it, you may rotate the symbols on each token. This will allow you to have the ideal modifier for that particular side. For instance, if an opponent might place a card on the upper-left corner of my own token, then I’ll make sure that an “R” or “N” is facing that way. Any side with a “W” is always vulnerable since weakness lowers a card’s value for that side.
Additional J-Ster rules
As you explore the world of Astria Ascending, you’ll encounter more NPCs who’d like to play J-Ster with you. Just press the “X” button on your gamepad to begin a match. Also, try to take a look at the rules before engaging them.
- Open – All tokens are visible.
- Hidden – You can’t see the tokens that your opponent is using.
- Lock – Players are not allowed to rotate the symbols of their tokens.
- Random – Tokens are selected randomly from your pool. This actually implies that you should avoid claiming too many tokens with low value. If you face opponents like Egyl or Arpajo (much later when you’re no longer just practicing), you could end up with some terrible picks. You’ll have no choice but to lose on purpose so you can reload and try again. There’s also no way for you to sell/throw away the tokens in your collection, so it’s really all about luck.
- One – Only one token (any) can be obtained from the loser.
- All – Every token will be obtained from the loser.
- Flip – Only the tokens that the winner manages to flip to their color will be obtained automatically.
Head-to-head and Pre-emptive strike:
- Head-to-head – Occurs at the beginning of each match. Two tokens are faced off and one will be taken away from play (this can’t be claimed even if you win). The winning token will be placed on the center of the board.
- Pre-emptive Strike – The player who has this bonus will automatically win the head-to-head.
Where can I get more tokens?
Apart from defeating other J-Ster players, you can obtain tokens from the following sources:
- Tokens can sometimes be dropped by enemies when you defeat them in battles.
- Some are rewards from finishing sidequests.
- You can complete Hunts to obtain these as rewards.
- Arpajo’s Thief skill, “Token Transform,” can turn enemies into tokens. This has a very low success rate.
- A select few are found inside treasure chests (i.e., the one inside Ulan’s house in the Residential Area).
Likewise, there will be more characters that you can challenge to a J-Ster match later in the campaign. For example, NPCs like Magter and Ophern, and even party members like Alassia and Arpajo, can be challenged as you clear additional Zodiac Temples to reach new chapters.
All right, let’s go ahead and talk about some of the rarest/5-star tokens that you can find as you play more J-Ster minigames in Astria Ascending.