TERA for PlayStation 4: 15 tips, tricks, and other things you should know

TERA — short for The Exiled Realm of Arborea — can be a tough game to jump into. It's an expansive MMO, so it has a high number of deep gameplay systems to wrap your head around.

The game is now available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the first time after delighting PC players for years. Whether you're a veteran returning for action on consoles or a newbie looking to take your first step into the world of Arborea, here are some tips, tricks, and changes you should know.

PS4 vs. PC additions

As we mentioned, TERA has been available on PC since 2011. Those who played the PC version and are returning for the console launch will want to brush up on a few things that'll be different.

Don't worry, there's aim assist

TERA has an action-based combat system, as opposed to the turn-based or tab-targeting systems found in many other MMOs. This means all combat is real-time, and you'll need to aim and land skill shots, dodge incoming attacks, and more.

All of this can be less frustrating to manage with a mouse and keyboard, but that functionality isn't currently available for the PS4 version. Don't worry, though: Bluehole has done a great job adapting these controls for console, including a simple targeting system and aim assist to ensure you aren't missing your targets too wildly.

You can completely remap your controls for each character you play

It can be a bit daunting to wrap your head around TERA's controls. There are tons of skills, abilities, and items you can use at any given time. While it won't completely alleviate the stress of knowing it all, TERA on PS4 lets you completely remap all your skills, abilities, and consumable items to whichever buttons you want.

A solid foundation to begin with is to put all your damaging abilities on the DualShock 4's right-side buttons, while your utility abilities, consumables, and more can go on the left. Feel free to experiment with this to find your perfect setup.

Premium rewards are character-bound

Folks who buy the founder's pack or get limited rewards via some other means may be sad to hear this one: they're all character-bound. What this means is that you can only use those items with one character.

This is in contrast to the industry norm of these items being account-bound, which means that while you can't sell or trade the items to other players, you can at least use them for all your characters. It's important you know this before jumping in, as you'll want to make sure you are perfectly happy with your character before you start redeeming your favorite mounts and pets on them.

The console UI is completely revamped

As you may expect from a PC-to-console port, the UI has to be tweaked a little. With TERA, it was tweaked a lot. The map is different. Your health bar is at the bottom of the screen. You have multiple ability bars accessible with your button of choice. You manage your inventory in a start menu instead of in a virtual bag on your screen. All of it is par for the course for a console MMO, so if you're migrating from PC then you'll need to get reacquainted.

Tips and Tricks

Those completely new to TERA will have a lot more to come to grips with, but don't let that deter you from enjoying all that Arborea has to offer. These helpful tips will make your experience less frustrating and more fun.

Choose your class carefully

It's worth stressing before anything else: do extensive research on the class you want to play before going all-in on your first character. While you can change your character's race, looks, and other traits using voucher services, you won't be able to change their class.

In that same vein, it's worth mentioning that the weapon system in TERA is not flexible. The type of weapon you can use is determined by your class. Archers can't use lances, and warriors can't use bows. Figure out which weapon you want to use, and that's the class you're going to have to play.

Take your quests in bulk

You'll want to pick up all the quests you can at the same time upon visiting each new area. You'll also want to complete those quests and receive the rewards for doing them in the same grouped fashion. While it can be tough to juggle the humble, yet charming story TERA has this way, you'll thank yourself for the hours you save not having to trot back and forth to help out the inhabitants of Arborea.

Gear will make or break you

TERA's leveling system is as standard as they come — you kill things and help people for experience points toward your level — but your natural progression is automatic, meaning you don't have to make hard decisions about attributes and skill points. The way you get better in this game is to find better gear, find gems to put into that gear, and use enchantments and consumables to give your character temporary boosts.

And please, for your own good, do not buy your gear with gold. You'll be getting plenty of it from quest rewards and as drops from enemies in the world, and you'll be plenty strong enough to take on your foes.

Save all the gold you can

Speaking of gold, try to save as much of it as you can, especially in the early going. You'll need to spend gold to buy new skills upon leveling up, and in the late game, you'll want to have a nice stash for leveling trades such as crafting, buying materials, and more.

Use chained skills to unleash the full might of your character

Don't panic when you take a look at your skill tree for the first time and see the overwhelming number of abilities that will come your way over the course of the game. You can use all of them individually if you're crazy enough, but those not looking for a hardcore experience will find comfort in the chained skills mechanic.

Chained skills are preset combos that your character can easily perform to string all your different attacks together. It begins with you initiating combat with a starter skill, with further prompts after that appearing on screen to allow you to easily queue up other attacks. It'll help you get the most out of your character without you having to memorize several DualShocks' worths of button combinations.

Save your strongbox keys

You may come across what is known as a strongbox in your journey, openable only with a strongbox key. As exciting as it can be to open a locked box to see what awaits you inside, you should think about holding off.

Strongboxes contain loot that scales to your level, but the loot isn't always great. Instead, try saving them for specific strongbox events where these boxes are souped up with guaranteed items with heightened usefulness and rarity. If you can't help but crack it open before then, though, at least wait until you're at max level.

You have a one-way ticket to the closest town

Stuck somewhere and can't figure out how to leave? Need to visit the merchant and you're too lazy to make the trek back to town? Hit the options menu and use the Unstuck feature. It's only available every 30 minutes so be sure you've done everything you need to before going back.

Gather everything you can

Gathering is a common necessity for crafters in most MMOs, but in TERA it's worth picking this stuff up every chance you get. Whether it's ore, plants, essence dust or whatever other collectible materials you find in the world, take them.

Some of them have medicinal and augmentative properties even before you combine them into more potent recipes, and should you take on the crafter's life later on you'll be glad to have a deep bag of materials to get started with.

Find friends to play with using guilds

The daily grind can be hard. It can also be boring. Friends help nullify both those pain points. If you don't have any of your regular friends to play with, try joining a guild. Look for guilds that have similar interests as you, such as one focused on PVP, or one focused on trading. Guilds are also really useful for storing and sharing items.

Tanks and healers get into group content faster

If you're looking to get into PVE, you should know that there's a role-based queue, which means the matchmaking algorithm will try to match you up with groups that need a specific skillset.

Damage-dealing characters (otherwise known as DPS characters) are the most common, so you'll have a longer wait to get into a group for a dungeon. On the flipside, healers and tanks are usually at a premium, so consider playing these classes if you don't like waiting.

The game doesn't truly begin until level 65

As with most MMOs, the grind from level 1 to the level cap — 65 in TERA, currently — is more like an elongated tutorial. The game doesn't really begin until you hit the level cap, with new gear, rewards, dungeons, raids, and more becoming available. It's at this point where it becomes less of a level grind and more of an item grind. Not interested in that? Well, make a new character and experience the journey all over again!

Are you playing Tera?

TERA is out now for those who purchased Founder status on PS4 and Xbox One. Let us know if you'll be jumping into the world of Arborea with us!

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Quentyn Kennemer