Call me Professor Latent
Latent Power is one of the most significant new additions to Octopath Traveler 2’s battle system. Similar to the Limit Break system in Final Fantasy VII, every protagonist has a unique Latent Power gauge. This will fill as a character inflicts damage, takes damage, or breaks an enemy’s shield. Once full, each party member can activate either a specific ability or an augmentation to their existing abilities. The gauge for Latent Power is retained between battles, but keep in mind it will be drained after suffering a knockout. Use it or lose it!
Every character has a different Latent Power, so knowing when and how to use them is crucial for success. Check out our descriptions of them below!
Hikari – Shadow’s Hold
Hikari’s Latent Power veers especially close to the way Limit Breaks work in Final Fantasy VII. Once his Latent Power gauge is maxed, Hikari can use one of three unique attacks with no SP cost. They’re as follows:
- Tenretsuzan: Unleash a highly powerful sword attack on a single foe.
- Hienka: Unleash a sword attack on a single foe 2 times, then act again at the end of the turn. Only one additional action can be taken per turn.
- Sougetsusen: Unleash a polearm and sword attack on all foes 1 time each.
Hienka’s effect may be confusing at first glance. Though it won’t show up in your turn order, using Hienka will give Hikari another action after everyone has acted and before the next turn begins. His BP gauge won’t increase, since this second action does not count as a new turn. “Only one additional action can be taken per turn” means that Hikari can’t trigger Hienka’s effect again on his bonus turn if his gauge somehow fills a second time.
Partitio – Hoot and Holler
When Partitio activates Hoot and Holler, his BP gauge will be instantly filled. This effect is pretty straightforward; either use it at the beginning of a battle to take out foes fast, or use it after a maximum boosted attack to completely fill Partitio’s BP from zero. This skill has especially potent synergy with the Merchant skill Donate BP, which does exactly what the name says.
Agnea – All Together Now
All Together Now transforms any single target skill into a party wide skill. This means her single target buffs will affect your entire party, and attacks like Ruinous Kick will strike all enemies. This perk also applies to subclass skills, like the Inventor’s Springy Boots.
Castti – Every Drop Counts
Every Drop Counts allows Castti to freely Concoct any mix of materials without actually consuming them. Even if you have only one of an ingredient in your inventory, you’ll still be able to use it multiple times in a single concoction. For best results, use this alongside a maximum boost to mix multiple ingredients together at no cost!
Ochette – Animal Instincts
Ochette’s Latent Power is functionally identical to Hikari’s. She’ll have access to three moves that cost no SP once Animal Instincts is activated. They’re as follows:
- Beastly Claws: Unleash a powerful physical attack on all foes.
- Beastly Howl: Reduce the physical defense and elemental defense of all foes for 3 turns, and reduce their Shield Points regardless of their weak points.
- Beastly Fangs: Unleash a highly powerful physical attack on a single foe.
In my testing, Beastly Claws and Beastly Fangs appear to be non-elemental, so they can’t break enemy shields. Also, boosting Beastly Howl will extend the duration of the defensive debuffs exclusively. It will always break 1 Shield Point, regardless of boost.
Throné – Leave No Trace
Slightly similar to the effect of Hikari’s Hienka skill, Leave No Trace lets Throné act twice in one turn. The notable difference is that Throné’s second turn will come immediately, though this also does not count as a “new turn” in the game’s logic. Leave No Trace is a great way to mix and match debuffs to debilitate an enemy instantly.
Temenos – Judgment
Judgment allows Temenos to unequivocally damage an enemy’s shield with any attack. In other words, a normal attack with maximum boost will always reduce an enemy’s shield by four points regardless of whether or not the enemy is weak to staff damage. This Latent Power has nice synergy with Temenos’ skill Mystical Staff (which attacks twice) and Luminiscence (which strikes the enemy party).
Osvald – Concentrate Spells
Last – but by no means least – we have Osvald. Concentrate Spells is the opposite of Agnea’s Latent Power, as it transforms party-wide spells into single-target spells. This looks like a downgrade at first glance, but it comes with a massive potency gain for the modified skills. This appears to apply strictly to spells, as the Catapult skill learned via the Inventor class is not usable during Concentrate Spells.
What are the best Latent Powers?
Every Latent Powers has its own pros and cons. Osvald has the most damage potential, as he can boost a wide range of elements to strike weaknesses more effectively. That said, Ochette and Hikari can inflict single target and party-wide damage without worrying about SP costs. Castti of course wins for versatility, since she can trigger a wide range of effects via her Concoct action.
Beyond that, the best Latent Powers will depend on your playstyle. Temenos’ Judgment is universally handy, especially if you need to break a boss before it uses a powerful attack on your party. Partitio’s Hoot and Holler can also be invaluable for shield breaking if given a subclass like Inventor that expands his equippable weapon options. The Latent Powers for Agnea and Throné aren’t quite as handy in the early game, but they have a lot of potential after you mix and match subclasses.
At the very least, carefully consider every protagonist’s Latent Power as you decide how to build them. More importantly, don’t be afraid to use Latent Powers often as you explore the world. They refill fairly quickly, so don’t sleep on these free abilities!