Raid Dungeons: The basics
The first question you might ask is: “How the hell do I get to these Raid Dungeons?”
Well, the answer is actually simple: “Just go to the southeast corner of North Centoria.”
The Raid Dungeons can be started from the shrine that’s located here. It’s even got a “pink quill” icon to guide you along.
Once you reach the shrine, you’ll be told of a few concepts:
- If you want to do this activity while trying out Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris‘ multiplayer, you’ll first need to have your team assembled before starting.
- There are four locations that you can choose from — Spire of Eternity Research, Lost Paradise, Silent Icegaol, and Beastsnare Grotto. We’ll tackle these separately and in detail.
- Raid Dungeons have time limits — one hour for their respective main/regular areas and one hour for the boss battle at the end.
- If you don’t have the time to finish a Raid Dungeon, you can exit via the initial doorway. This will force an autosave once you respawn in North Centoria and you’ll even get to keep some of the stuff that you’ve already looted.
- If you do enter the boss’ chamber, you won’t be able to exit the area anymore and the boss has to be killed. Keep in mind that bosses are around level 75-85. The good news is that they have significantly lower health compared to Divine Beasts.
- Should you die at any point in time (whether from regular mobs or from the boss), you’ll spawn back in North Centoria and you won’t have your looted rewards anymore since this counts as a “game over.”
- Long story short: go in, loot stuff, don’t die. If you can’t finish the entire thing, don’t enter the boss’ room and just exit via the initial doorway.
The Organization Menu and soloing
Assuming you’re going in solo — and the Raid Dungeons are very much “soloable” — things still work very differently in this new activity in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris. Prior to entering one, the game will let you choose 16 companions to bring along via the Organization Menu. However, you need to take note of their placements (seen below):
For the dungeon’s regular area, the only ones present will be the “main members.” These include:
- Kirito and his partner (from team 1).
- The main members from teams 2, 3, and 4.
- You’ll have a total of eight characters for the regular area, but you can only control those in team 1.
- You cannot change party members or groupings anymore once you enter the Raid Dungeon.
This means you’ll need companions that have customized Arts Codes/AI tactics so that everyone can continue to use chain bursts and combos. If you don’t have this kind of setup — ie. you weren’t using certain companions during battles or you’re on PC which means creating new Arts Codes remains borked — then you’ll need to prioritize teammates that have “Never miss a chain opportunity,” “Chain attack with a partner,” or “Work towards chain burst attacks.”
You’ll also notice “Raid Jobs” for each team. These confer bonuses to the types of abilities that characters use. The Raid Jobs are Steel Wall (defense), Fierce Striker (offense), Benevolent (healing), and Support (buff/support skills). You can set all teams as “Fierce Strikers” if you truly want to play more aggressively.
In any case, once you’ve reached the boss fight area, everyone you’ve picked to come along, including the “sub members,” will be there. That means all 16 characters will pop up to join the fight. It’s absolute mayhem and probably one of the most fun moments you’ll have while soloing in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris.
Skill points and loot farming
Have you ever worried about how you’ll unlock all the sword skills, character classes, or secret Ex skills in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris? Well, forget about those qualms. That’s because Raid Dungeons are, bar none, the best way to farm skill points in the entire game.
Each Raid Dungeon’s main area has roughly four or five “elites” (aka. unique beasts). Some of these are level 45-70, and you can take them out easily enough. They’re also guaranteed to give you three to five skill points once you defeat them.
As for loot, the locations have also around the same number of treasure chests. These can provide you with different accessories too. Oh, and don’t forget that the elite beasts, the regular mobs, and the boss all drop various materials that can help you with crafting. In short, farm these destinations — kill mobs, open treasure chests, get your skill points, and just have a go at it.