How to expand your squad in Like a Dragon: Ishin

Like A Dragon Ishin Shinsengumi Barracks Mission Receptionist
Screenshot by PC Invasion

As you wander the streets of Kyo in Like a Dragon: Ishin!, you’ll encounter numerous adversaries. Shortly into the campaign, you can start building a squad of allies that offer combat perks. Their abilities will prove invaluable in battles to come. Here is our guide on how to expand your squad in Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Note: For more, check out our Like a Dragon: Ishin! guides and features hub.

How to expand your squad in Like a Dragon: Ishin

In the campaign’s third chapter, you join an organization that soon allows you to recruit squad members. Your new allies join as cards you can equip in 3-4 slots corresponding to your attack styles. The cards you place in corporal slots often provide passive benefits, such as stronger defense or even passive health restoration. You should use those benefits at every opportunity.

To expand your squad in Like a Dragon: Ishin!, recruit soldiers by paying for their services, dispatching them on missions, besting them in street combat, or completing certain substories. Some of the most useful units will only join your side once you complete their substories and then meet with them in front of the barracks. They are the exception. You will build most of your squad by battling bandits and warriors in the streets, dispatching your existing members on missions, or by paying the mission receptionist in the barracks.

Like A Dragon Ishin Recruited Corporal

Screenshot by PC Invasion

The receptionist allows you to spend a lot of money for some powerful allies. Choose “Enlistment” and pledge 5000 mon, 1 ryo, 5 ryo, or 10 ryo to draw a random character. The more you spend, the greater the rank of the character you draw. This is the best option for impatient players sitting on a pile of money, but the cost for the best cards is substantial. You’re probably better off ignoring the option until late in the campaign.

Like A Dragon Ishin Recruiting Hooded Man

Screenshot by PC Invasion

An affordable alternative to spending money on recruitment, particularly early in the game, is to find wandering enemy mobs. Some of them wear colored hoods over their heads. When you best them in combat, they volunteer to join your squad. You will see information about the unit, including a maximum level of 40, 60, 80, 90, or 99, depending on their rank. If a unit possesses a desired skill as a trooper or a corporal, don’t be deterred by a lower level cap. You can use a Promotion Jewel (an uncommon item that can be purchased with Virtue from the Shinto Priest at the shrine in northwest Rakunai) to promote weaker units once they maximize their level. You can also rank up their corporal abilities by handing over certain weapons.

Although you can only add so many units to your squad by default, you can increase the limit using Virtue. If your lineup gets full, you can fuse cards to make room. Also keep in mind that if you are looking for hooded men to recruit, you can equip the powerful Nishikigoi Amulet to increase the encounter rate.

Like a Dragon: Ishin can be purchased on Steam and the Xbox marketplace.

Jason Venter
About The Author
Jason Venter is a contributing writer for PC Invasion since 2022 who can trace his love for video games back to the Apple IIe port of Mario Bros. in the late 80s. He remains a diehard Nintendo fan to this day and loves JRPGs, adventure games, and platformers in particular, but he still plays games in most genres and on most hardware. After founding indie gaming site HonestGamers in 1998, he served as an editor at Hardcore Gamer Magazine during its entire print run. He has since freelanced for a variety of leading sites including IGN, GameSpot, and Polygon. These days, he spends most of his time writing game guides and entertaining readers with his fantasy novels.