Reverse: 1999 – Definitive Character Guide

Character Guide for Beginners

By Voidling

Character Terms

When referring to the progression of individual characters, the relevant traits are the following:

  • Character Portray
  • Insight Level
  • Character Level
  • Resonance Level. 

When mentioning a character, a shorthand way of writing these is as follows: 

  • p2 i3 lv30 r10

This means that this particular character has 2 portraits (3 copies of the character in total), an insight of 3 (max), is at level 30, and has upgraded resonance to Lv. 10.

Each of these will be explained in detail as you progress through the story and tutorial. I will be using the abbreviated method throughout this guide.

Note: The game refers to individual character portraits as a “portrait” or “portraits,” but refers to the collective portrait level as “Character Portray.” So if you see someone talking about either “portraits” or “portrays” just know that they refer to the same thing.

First Steps

Initially, all you need to do is progress through the story. If you prefer skipping the lore in order to progress faster, you can read the story at a later time from your Atlas in the main menu. As you continue through the story, more and more features will slowly unlock. 

I highly recommend reading through any tutorials that come up. They are well-presented, and the majority of people who struggle with certain stages simply do not apply what is taught in the game’s tutorials. Combat can become quite complex when you are up against enemies at higher levels than your team.

From the story, you will gain 4 free arcanists:

  • Sonetto
  • APPLe
  • Leilani
  • Eagle.

You can freely get all 4 of these to insight 1. You will be refunded your materials via the beginner quests (specifically for these 4). Among these, the character you are most likely to keep using well into the future is Sonetto. Also, by progressing, you will be given all of Sonetto’s portraits to get her to p5. This makes Sonetto a very valuable investment, and I recommend getting her to at least i2 lv40 r5.

—The exception for using Sonetto, is if you happen to have the 6-star An-An Lee. She is generally considered a direct improvement.

Character Investment

When setting up a 3-person team, you ideally want a DPS (main damage dealer), Support (gives buffs/debuffs), and Sustain (healer or shielder, but usually a healer). You should always prioritize the strength of your main damage dealer. Next comes your support or healer in either order, depending on whether you feel you need more health or not.

In general, you can follow this path (in all steps increase the DPS level first):

  1. DPS = i2 lv10 Others = i1 lv40 Psychube = lv15-20
  2. DPS = i2 lv30 r5 Others = i2 lv10 Psychube = lv20-30
  3. DPS = i2 lv50 r5/7 Others = i2 lv30 r3/5 Psychube = lv40
  4. Ensure you have a main (probably 6-star) DPS before going further.
  5. DPS = i3 lv1 r7 Others = i2 lv50 r5/7 Psychube = lv50
  6. DPS = i3 lv15 r9/10 Others = i2 lv50 r7 Psychube = lv50-60

At this point, you should consider your first team done, and start working on your second one for Limbo (requires two separate teams).

Psychubes

You will only need 3 psychubes to start with, as they can be used for both teams. Which ones to get entirely depends on the characters you use. I recommend keeping your DPS’s psychube 10 levels above the rest (up to level 50). A level 60 psychube will be a luxury at the start, so just stop at level 50 at first. I recommend only taking 6-star psychubes above level 40 due to the Polarization cost.

Resonance

You will notice that resonance increases by 2 each time. This is because you gain an extra row or column for ideas at these levels (+1 at level 10). After level 10, there is no additional space gain, so going past it is deemed a luxury and usually only done if someone particularly likes a specific character. 

Character Levels

When it comes to levels after insight 3, different people prefer to stop at different places. Some like going all the way to level 60, but this is usually deemed very wasteful as you can use those resources to get more characters to a higher level. Some like stopping at level 10 or lower, just for the i3 ability. Most stop at i3 lv30.

Both cost and stat increases in character leveling increase roughly linearly (with cost having slight exponential bumps at increments of 5). Thus, at later levels you end up paying much more for only slight increases in stats.

Which Characters to Use and Pull for

Reverse 1999 is remarkably beginner-friendly when it comes to rewards from events and special stages. Because of this, although many players obsess over having very powerful meta teams and “top-tier” characters, in truth, you can clear 99% of content even if you are only using 4-star and 3-star characters. When people discuss which characters are the best of the best, it is usually for the sake of clearing content faster and with more ease (less strategizing), not for the sake of just clearing content.

Because of this, Reverse 1999 allows for players to fully invest in whichever characters they like the most and want to play with. When choosing a character banner to use your unilogs on, at the end of the day it really all just comes down to trying to get who you like the most. 

That having been said, I will not recommend any specific 6-star characters, but will provide some advice to beginners on who to start with. The higher the character’s rarity becomes, the more materials you will need to use in order to level them up (in every regard). Because of this, it is often recommended to start with some 4-star characters in order to clear the starting content quickly.

This guide, however, aims to help with catching up to all current content, not just starting content. Thus, I recommend mainly investing in 5-star or 6-star characters right from the start, as you will not have the initial resources to build both a cheap and expensive character after that (for insight 3). 

Who to focus on at first

As mentioned earlier, Sonetto is a very safe investment. You can use her as your main DPS at first (even though she is a support) if you do not plan on continuing to use Eagle and Leilani. It should be noted that Leilani has a special trait of generating moxie for the whole team, so she is also a decent investment if you like her (alternatively, you could use Darley Clatter for similar moxie generation and a bit of healing).

Regardless of what time you joined, the current event most likely has a 6-star DPS character you might want to get as your main DPS. If not, the beginner banner will guarantee you a 6-star DPS after 30 pulls. You should use this DPS as your main investment and carry for the story. If it is a character from the current event, all the materials you need for their i3 might be in the event shop, making it much faster for you to catch up.

When it comes to a healer, you need a dedicated support to carry you through. Balloon Party is an excellent choice due to her not needing a high level to still give optimal healing (based on missing HP%). Any other 6-star or 5-star healer is also good, with the exception of Dikke. Dikke is not a dedicated healer and is usually unused due to her being suboptimal in both healing and damage dealing even though she can do both.

If you do not have another 5-star or 6-star healer, you can use La Source. She might not get you all the way, but she can certainly get you far enough and is the best alternative.

Regarding which support to use (other than Sonetto), it depends on who you have and their portray. In general, Bkornblume is recommended as one of the best reality supports if you have her. But you can just look at the character abilities and pick a support who will fit well with your team. You might want someone who can cause CC (disarm/silence/seal) to help with story and limbo. Note that CC-centric characters are often ranked lower on things like tier-lists only due to them not having much use against bosses (particularly in Mane’s Bulletin, which is what rankings usually consider the most).

Is Character Portray Important?

Portraits do give a big boost to the strength of characters, but when it comes to 6-stars, unless you are willing to buy a lot of unilogs/drops or REALLY like a character, it is inadvisable to get more than one of the 6-star. For every 6-star copy you get, that is potentially one less new 6-star you have to play with.

When people in the community recommend certain characters, there is a general assumption of how many portraits of the character you have based on their rarity. If you have less than the following, the general recommendations might not apply to you as strongly:

  • 3-star and lower: p5
  • 4-star: p4 or p5
  • 5-star: p2 (but some characters get big boosts at different portray levels)
  • 6-star: p0

Regarding Afflatus (Character Elements)

A lot of people seem compelled to create teams of a specific afflatus type to go against enemies they can suppress, but afflatus advantage only gives a 30% increase to damage dealt. Although this can be significant, it is much more important to utilize and plan the incantations and abilities of your characters to synchronize with each other and suppress the enemy. Being able to stop an enemy’s attacks from wiping out your team is much more important than getting a damage boost. 

I felt this needed its own heading, because it really is surprising how many people disregard crucial strategy and ability countering just for the sake of that 30% damage boost.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7103 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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