The following is a beginner's guide to getting started with The Alchemist Code.
Complete the initial tutorial. You will receive a free Setsuna. In your gifts you will also receive a unit selector (this includes all non-limited units up through the release of Creto except for ones from Sacred Stone Memories) and 3 selectors for 50 shards of those same units, enough to apply 150 shards to the unit you pick and immediately unlock all 3 jobs on that unit. Note: It is recommended you not use this selector immediately, but rely on mercenaries your first few days and save the selector for after your free summons for 7 days are over. For a list of recommended units for the selector, see Tutorial Unit Overview.
You will also receive a ticket to summon a 5 star fire element and dark element unit from the first day event board missions (you will get one of each element over the course of the first 4 days of missions from the event board). There should also be a free 10x summon available (you get one every day for 7 days). For more details about the new account bonuses available, see New Player Starting Bonuses.
You can skip the subsequent tutorials if you want. All new account start with 500 gems plus 1000 from the first day login bonus, so you can immediately use your discount ticket (it will be in your expiring gifts) to do step 1 of your preferred banner, reducing the price from 2500 gems to 500 gems. The recommended unit to summon for changes weekly and it is best to ask on Discord in #ac_questions about which banner to summon on. After summoning you can go to the Events button on the top of the home screen and claim another 750 gems as well as 500 gems from the missions menu. You can also level a unit to 50 to get another 750 gems using apples, which should get you up to 2500 gems to do a 2nd step on the recommended banner. If you get a bad roll after those summons, you may want to reroll. You can get by without rerolling, but most weeks there is a particularly strong limited unit available which is well worth getting to start you off strong.
What is rerolling and why should I do it?
Rerolling is starting over with a new account. Generally you do this to get a strong limited unit to help carry you through content early on, while saving a lot of the gems you would normally spend to acquire the unit. 5 star units are not difficult to get in this game, but good quality limited 5 star units are. You should not reroll until after you have done your initial discounted summons on the best banners currently available (the recommended banners change weekly).
For details about how to reroll and what units to aim for, see the Reroll Guide. You can also see the TAC Global Tier List for an idea of how strong units will be initially (look at the LB0 column on the Tier List tab to see how strong units will be before they get any limit breaks). It's a good idea to ask on Discord in #ac_questions for advice on the best reroll target.
Link Your Account
Once you are satisfied with your account and are sure you don't plan to reroll you should link your account so you don't lose it and so it can be accessed from multiple devices. You can either create a Gumi ID to use for logging in (under the settings menu "User Code Linking" option where you can set a password) or you can link the account to your Facebook account. It is not possible to unlink from Facebook, so don't use this method unless you are absolutely sure you want to keep the account.
In general, for f2p players (those who don't spend money on the game), it is only worth it to do the 1st discounted step (when it is 10x summon for 500 gems) on a unit or memento banner due to the discount. Most banners no longer have discounted steps.
We also get discount tickets usually every week (they expire at the end of the month)- those should be saved to reduce the price of the initial or later steps on a banner with good limited units. It's only a good idea to do additional full price steps when the banner is for good limited units and there are useful guarantees on the later steps. Don't do a full price step on any banner unless you plan to go far enough in for a good guarantee (since this is typically just a more expensive version of the 1st step). Some unit banners have particularly high rates (usually referred to as 2.5% banners) and a guaranteed 200 coins reward you can use to buy shards for certain units- if they have good limited units they can also be worth investing in, but it is best to ask advice before spending gems on banners until you have a better feel for which units are worth the investment.
The 1st step of the gear banner (when it is 10x summon for 300 gems) is also considered cost effective when useful gear is featured.
There is an in game shop in the game itself, where players can access to. The product content of all three shops change 5 times per day, and newcomers only get access to the first shop when they first join. The second shop is unlocked at Lv25, and the third shop is unlocked at Lv40. All three shops sell character shards, apples, equipment and equipment fragments, skip tickets etc, but they do not sell gear, although they sell gear enhancement items. It is a good idea to keep an eye on these shops to purchase equipment diagrams for your units so you can reduce the amount of farming required for their equipment.
Upon reaching Lv40, the third shop will be unlocked and sometimes, rare equipment that either cost 100k+ zeni will appear in the shop. If the player has a lot of zeni, it is a good idea to purchase said equipment to reduce farming later. Do not buy equipment for gems (with the exception of the Beginner's Shop).
The shop content will be reset at 00:00, 04:00, 09:00, 14:00 and 19:00 server time (you can look at the in game clock to see how server time converts to your time zone).
For the first 7 days of your account, you will also have access to the Beginners' Shop under the Secret Shops, which contains items that are all at a steep discount from normal prices. You should take full advantage of these discounts.
As you progress through the story quests, you will unlock hard mode quests that will give you access to farm character upgrade shards. You'll want to start farming shards for the more useful 4 and 5 star characters as soon as you have access, even if you don't have the characters yet, because then when you get them you'll be that much closer to unlocking their better jobs (you unlock the 2nd job at 5 limit breaks and the 3rd at 15 and you can normally farm 3 shards a day for limit breaks).
You may find it difficult to do the hard quests at first, but if you can beat them once (use a strong mercenary to help) with all missions cleared, then you can use skip tickets to beat them in the future, at least until you're strong enough to do them on auto.
- Farmable Character Shards (list of which hard mode quests provide which character shards)
What To Do Next
Once you have settled on an account and started playing, you have many options. Generally your priorities for quests early game should be as follows:
- Do all the daily milestone quests. This is your primary source of AP each day and also provides other rewards such as gems and ingots (which are converted to zeni).
- Do the training hall quests to learn some basic game mechanics and obtain materials for switching Logi to his 2nd job and evolving him as well as get 3 copies of Moon Star Armor (you can farm infinite shards in there, but can only transmute 3).
- Do any temporary event quests which are a high priority (this is mainly during collaboration events, where there may be critical items you need for the collaboration units). It's best to ask on Discord whether any current events should be given special attention to. Limited time event quests will display how long they will be available for. Most return regularly, but some may not return at all (many collaborations do not). Gold Rush is available every day and it's recommended you run all 4 versions of it every day- it does not cost AP. There is usually a job trial milestone as well if there is a new unit released- you should always do these as they give 150 gems and 25 shards for the unit (usually you can just use the free mercenary version of the unit to complete it).
- Mystic Tower Veda is available under Trials > Babel Tower. You should complete as much as you can each day.
- Do any hard quests you have unlocked to farm character upgrade shards for high priority units you have.
- Do story quests to complete milestones, unlock hard quests and access good stages to farm equipment. It is recommended you clear at least one story episode a day (30 quests) if you can spare the time, as this will help you unlock unit farm quests at a good pace and also give you access to more equipment farming stages.
- Do Babel Chronicles (at least the first 3 chapters worth of normal mode quests) to unlock hard quests for Babel units such as Gerald, Letitia and Ankh. These give you specific units to do the quests with, so they can be done at any level, but some may be a bit challenging- there are videos on the quest event pages which can help you complete them.
- Do Arena 5 times a day. Don't worry that you will likely lose most games when you are new- you will still get coins for participating that you can use to purchase items in the Phantom Battle Coin Exchange Shop.
- Do Vision Clear Quest (under Current Events) as many times as it is available daily. If you have the mementos featured in the quest you should wear them, otherwise it doesn't matter what you wear, but it's still important to do this quest daily as it has a chance to drop Reminiscences of a Robot which are used for speeding up getting the VCR (Vision Clear Reward) gear reward from mementos.
In addition to questing, you will want to focus on raising an initial team of units. These should be the units you have which are strongest at the job(s) you have unlocked. You can check the TAC Global Tier List get an idea of which units to focus on first (ideally ones with strong ratings at low limit breaks) or ask on Discord for advice. Don't try to raise too many units at once- start with a core few. You will want to focus on raising their job levels as that is where they get most of their stats. Buying equipment from the beginner shop and adventurer's shop (under Secret Shop) and monitoring the normal shops for diagrams sold for zeni for their equipment will help reduce how much equipment you need to farm. You can also check the Recommended Free Units for some good free units you can build early on to a good level to help you while you gradually farm other units to support your team.
You should also get some Friends as soon as possible so you can use their Mercenaries, as friend mercenaries are much better. There is a #friend_codes channel in Discord you can post your friend code to.
Also look into joining an Alchemia Port which is active enough to provide good daily attendance rewards. On a new account you should look for one that isn't oriented towards high end raiding but does have enough people logging in and attending daily to benefit from the rewards.
- DO NOT USE ELEMENTAL SHARDS TO RAISE UNITS UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Elemental shards are valuable items used primarily to limit break good units that have limited or no farming available (Note: whether a unit is limited summon is not the same as what their farming availability is). Most units in the game can be farmed slowly, so you should never use the elemental shards for limit breaks until you consult with an experienced player on whether the unit is worth the shard investment and is not farmable 3/day.
- DO NOT USE UNIT SHARDS TO LIMIT BREAK UNITS UNTIL YOU CHECK THEIR FARM STATUS! For units which are permanently farmable 3/day, it is safe to use unit shards for limit breaks. For units which are only farmable 1/day or have no expected permanent farm, you ideally will want to save the unit shards for enlightenment (which you can't use elemental shards for) and use elemental shards for limit breaks (after consulting with veteran players on whether they are worthy targets). You can check the current farm status of a unit on the Farmable Character Shards list- the tier list also lists future farms for the unit.
- You shouldn't rush to level too high immediately as you get free AP until level 101 and free mercenaries until level 51.
- Don't enhance equipment until you reach job level 11, and only do it on the job you plan to use. If the job has a job upgrade, get that before enhancing equipment.
- Max level for skills is 20 (it costs ~650k to max)
- Equipment and gear are different in this game. Equipment is used to raise job levels and is permanently applied to the unit. Gear can be moved between units and adds additional stat bonuses. Many gear items are limited to specific jobs. Gear stats do not stack with other gear- the highest value of each stat is used. Memento stats also don't stack with other memento- the highest value of each stat is used.
- Max job level is 11. Job level increases the stats of the unit and when you fill all equipment slots at job level 11 you get a job mastery bonus which applies to all jobs on the unit.
- If you are applying a job upgrade to a unit (very commonly done for your tutorial unit) you must first get the unit to job level 11 on the job being upgraded (and limit break 15) before you can apply the upgrade (you do not need to master it). Tokens and equipment for the upgrade can be purchased with enchanted coins in the coin exchange shops (the coins can be farmed under Events > Daily > Enchanted Quest). Upgrading the job will replace all skills and job levels on the unit and you will need to retrain and job level again.
- Evolve increases the unit max level and max job level - the levels required to evolve are 10/20/30/50 to upgrade to 2/3/4/5 star.
- To farm evolve materials, you can buy evolve materials in the secret shops for zeni (the shop refreshes regularly), or do the evolve dungeons (golem/alchemia/goddess) in single or multiplayer, but rainbow materials have lower drop rates.
- Do not buy character shards for gems in the shops until you know what you are doing- there are times this makes sense to do, but in most cases it is not cost effective.
- The beginner shop only lasts for 7 days. All items for zeni in the shop are also sharply discounted and are worth purchasing. The equipment sets for gems may also be worth purchasing as they can save you a lot of farming and they are discounted heavily, but all the equipment is farmable. Don't buy the gold bars for gems. If you plan to spend any money on the game, it is very worth buying all the paid gem items in the shop (600 paid gems total can be acquired by buying Alchemist Pact and the Bag of Gems) except maybe the unit selector
- Don't be afraid to trade ingots in for zeni in the shop- this is the only purpose of ingots, to be converted to zeni
- Zeni gacha can be rolled for a chance to get gold bordered equipment such as sacred blades which are needed for job levels 9-11.
- Finding job-specific items: You can roll equipment tickets for a chance of getting them. You can also find either recipe fragments for job-specific items, the complete recipe itself or the actual item itself in Louise's shop (requires player level 40). These are needed for job levels 9-11. 10 fragments cost around 16,000 zeni, the recipe costs around 128,000 zeni and the job-specific item itself costs around 110,000 zeni. The cost of turning that recipe into the item outweighs the cost of buying the complete item.
- When you fail or retreat a quest, you will only be charged 10% of the AP cost of that quest (i.e. if it costs 20 AP, you will only be charged 2 AP)
- Mercenaries are free until level 51, abuse them. Fill your friend list- friend mercenaries give you a leader buff when you use them. Quests also do not cost any AP until level 101.
- You get gems from meeting 50 new players in Multiplay.
- When you host a multiplayer quest, be sure to enable the Accelerate option. Most players will not join a multiplayer quest without that option enabled.
- Make sure to add friends (you can invite people from multiplayer or check chat or Discord to find people to friend) so you can use mercenaries with good friend bonuses to complete harder content (you can use mercenaries an infinite number of times a day except for the free promotional ones, which are limited to once a day). In addition, you should go to the gifts section under friends and change your desired gifts to friendship coins, and be sure to send friendship coins every day (this will not cost you anything). The coins can be used to buy items in the Friendship Coin Exchange.
- Do arena 5 times a day for the arena coins- there are quite a few nice rewards in the Phantom Battle Coin Exchange Shop and you can get some coins and gems just for participating even if you don't win.
- You want to stay below player level 101 as long as possible to maximize the amount of time you get free AP. Once you get to player level 100 you will be able to use Auto Repeat though.
- Equip mementos on all your units if you have them. Preferably use ones that either have a base stat the unit wants (AGI is good on pretty much everyone and PATK is good for most physical damage units) or wear ones that have gear rewards (vision clear rewards) you would like to work towards- every quest you do with the memento equipped (not counting quests you use skip tickets on) has a 1% chance to give 1% alchemic boundary towards the gear reward. Do the Vision Clear Quest every day (with featured mementos if you have them) to stock up on items for leveling and boosting the alchemic boundary of your mementos.