Best starting weapon in Kingdom Hearts
Image: Square Enix

Best starting choices in Kingdom Hearts: Rod, Shield, or Sword?

May your heart be your guiding key.

At the beginning of Kingdom Hearts, you have to make a tough choice on which weapon you want to bring on your adventure. This guide will help you decide as it will explain the best starting choices and the benefits of the three available weapons: Rod, Sword, and Shield.

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Which weapon is the best starting choice in Kingdom Hearts?

With the release of Kingdom Hearts on Steam, it’s time to hop back into this classic and pick a weapon. When choosing a weapon at the start of your Kingdom Hearts journey, you need to take into account that each choice has its benefits, strengths, and weaknesses. It’s also important to know that after choosing a weapon, you’ll have to sacrifice one of the remaining two. Which weapon you sacrifice has an impact on your stats.

Everything you need to know about the Rod, Sword, and Shield is detailed below. After learning about each weapon, read further for our pick on the best weapon to choose and sacrifice.

Choosing the Rod in Kingdom Hearts

Which starting choice is best in Kingdom Hearts?
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The Rod, otherwise known as the Staff, focuses on magic and summon damage. This weapon grants Sora a few unique benefits such as extra MP and rare abilities early on in the game such as Stun Impact and Ripple Drive. The former gives Sora a 30% chance of using the technique as a combo finisher, while the latter unleashes an AoE attack.

However, the Rod has a ton of weaknesses that can impact your playthrough. For example, the defense is weak and it gets Guard way later in the game compared to other weapons. Additionally, a lot of amazing spells in the game require a ton of MP meaning you won’t be able to utilize the Rod’s full potential until far into the game. In my experience, picking the Rod is a lot of fun, but be prepared for a more challenging experience.

Choosing the Sword in Kingdom Hearts

Which starting choice is best in Kingdom Hearts?
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Picking the Sword is great for players looking to have a pure strength build. The Sword gives Sora instant access to powerful offensive abilities and a third accessory slot much earlier in the game, causing your damage output to be much higher than the other weapons. However, the sword isn’t the best choice for Proud mode since the weapon doesn’t help too much in the defense department.

The damage potential of the Sword is incredibly useful as it is much easier to take down the game’s bosses. Picking the Sword is a great choice for beginners and those looking for an easier experience.

Choosing the Shield in Kingdom Hearts

Best starting choice in Kingdom Hearts
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Lastly, we have the Shield, which focuses on strong defense capabilities and taking less damage. Players who choose the Shield will gain access to Guard and Second Chance very early on in the game, both of which can significantly increase your chances of surviving a deadly attack. Guard allows the user to block attacks from the front, while Second Chance prevents the player from dying from a fatal blow.

The only major downfall of the Shield is low MP recovery, but that’s okay since you can play more aggressively with the abilities available to you. The Shield’s aggressive playstyle and abilities make it so you don’t have to heal as much, meaning MP recovery isn’t super important.

Sacrificing a weapon in Kingdom Hearts

After making your decision between the Rod, Sword, and Shield in Kingdom Hearts, you will have to sacrifice one of the remaining two. The weapon you sacrifice affects your stats, so pick wisely. Check out the stats affected below.

  • Sacrifice Sword: Lose 2 points of Strength.
  • Sacrifice Rod: Lose 2 points of AP.
  • Sacrifice Shield: Lose 2 points of Defense.

What is the best starting choice in Kingdom Hearts?

Kingdom Hearts Sacrifice Weapon
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The best choice for a starting weapon and sacrifice in Kingdom Hearts is choosing the Shield and sacrificing the Sword. The main reason why this is the best choice is because the Shield gives you important defense abilities early on, helping you survive fatal blows against the game’s challenging bosses and mobs. Sacrificing the Sword will remove 2 points in Strength, but the benefits outweigh this slight downfall.

I recommend you don’t sacrifice the Rod since AP is very valuable and allows you to equip the powerful defensive abilities the Shield provides to you. Choosing the Shield and sacrificing the Sword gives you a solid start in Kingdom Hearts and is the best choice in the game.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide on a starting weapon! Kingdom Hearts is officially on Steam, so it’s a great time to hop in. It’s also a great way to prepare for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 4.

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Christian Bognar
Christian is a contributing writer for PC Invasion and has been writing about the game industry for almost two years. He has found joy in a never-ending list of games, with some of his favorites being Elden Ring, The Last of Us, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil. While he has a bachelor's degree in business, he decided to follow his dream and write about what he loves most. Outside of writing, you can find him listening to all types of podcasts, especially True Crime.