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Photon Arts, commonly referred to as PAs, are the special offensive and defensive abilities of PSU. They are learned from Photon Art Disks, then are linked to weapons, and come in three forms, each associated with a weapon type:
- Skills: Linked to melee weapons, are powerful melee attacks that can often extend a combo.
- Bullets: Linked to ranged weapons, are passive Photon Arts that change a weapon's element and give it a special status effect that can be inflicted upon enemies.
- TECHNICs: Linked to Casting Weapons, are the equivalent of magic in PSU. They can achieve a number of effects, including healing and elemental damage.
Photon Art Levels
When first learned, all photon arts start at level 1. A successful use of a photon art awards an increase in your knowledge of that photon art. Your knowledge is measured in a percentage and when 100% is reached, the photon art increases in level by 1 and the percentage is reset to 0%.
A successful use of a Photon Art is as follows:
- Damaging art: The art hits 1 or more enemies for at least 1 damage. The art will increase for each enemy hit.
- Healing art: The art heals 1 or more allies for at least 1 HP. The art will increase for each ally healed.
- Buff art: The art will apply a fresh buff to each ally in range. The art will increase for each ally buffed.
- Debuff art: The art will apply a fresh debuff to each enemy in range. The art will increase for each enemy debuffed.
- Refreshing art: The art will remove status effects from each ally in range. The art will increase for each ally who has a status removed.
A Photon Art's potency is directly related to the art's level. Damaging arts will increase in damage, healing will restore more HP, and status effects will have their level increased.
Also, at level 11, 21, 31, and 41, most arts will receive a significant increase in its effect (and visuals for Technics and Skills):
- Skills usually gain another attack in their combo sequence. As with normal melee attacks, you are able to execute a second attack immediately after the first by correctly timing a second press of the attack button.
- Note that skills for single-handed weapons will only gain a second hit in their combo at level 11. At level 21 and 31, these skills will gain no additional effects.
- Bullets gain additional elemental percentage bonuses to the weapon they are equipped and will inflict more severe status effects.
- TECHNICs will gain a larger range, grow in size and will inflict more severe status effects.
PA level caps
Each Type has restrictions on the levels of the PAs they can use. Photon arts are divided into four groups for this purpose; Skills, Bullets, Attack TECHNICs and support TECHNICs. With the exception of the basic types (Hunter, Ranger and Force), PAs can be levelled above that particular type's limit via the GAS customization mission. Presented below is a table listing the caps placed on photon arts by each type.
As of the Ambition of the Illuminus expansion, PAs learned by a character can be returned to disks as long as they are not linked to a weapon. This can be done by going to Player Information under the main menu, and then selecting the Photon Arts List option. Pressing the "accept" button while any PA is highlighted will give the player the option to return the photon art to the disk. A PA thus turned into a disk retains its level and any gained exp, and can be re-used by another character whereupon it will take the same level, or the maximum level that character's type allows if applicable.
- A PA disk which has never been used - in other words has gained zero exp - can be sold, transferred or traded like any other item.
- A PA disk which has been used for at least one hit cannot be sold in a player shop or traded. It can, however, be transferred to another character on the same account via the Common box. This also applies to disks obtained via the Skill, Bullet and TECHNIC License trade missions, even those which have gained no experience.
- A PA disk of any level can be used by any character, regardless of type.
- Using a PA disk of a greater level than the current type cap imposed on that type of PA by the character's Type causes the PA's effect to be restricted to the lower level. Such a PA will still retain its level, however, and if returned to a disk at a later date will return to its original level. A level 40 Giresta disk can be used by a Force, for example, at which point its level will be reduced to 20. If that Force then returns the PA to a disk, the disk will have a level of 40.
- PSU-Wiki article (Japanese)
Photon arts | Skills | Bullets | TECHNICs | Item synthesis | Weapon grinding | Set bonuses | Partner machines | Elements | Status effects | Stats | Formulae | Enemies | Enemy spawn charts | Photon Fortune