How to Find and Recruit the Confidants of Persona 5

Games Features Persona 5
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How to Find and Recruit the Confidants of <i>Persona 5</i>

There are a lot of relationships to pursue in Persona 5, more than one teen can reasonably attend to in a single school year. So, when it comes to your playthrough, you’ll probably have to plan and prioritize if you want to get the most out living in Yongen-Jaya. This guide is here to help you do exactly that.

The following guide is spoiler-light; you can read it without fear of any major plot revelations. The list of Confidants will give you an idea of when characters become available, what you need to do to make contracts with them, and generally what attitude you ought to take when spending time with a given friend as well as what sorts of Confidant abilities everyone has to offer. It’ll also help you to have a sense of which social stats you need to work on in order to see your favorite characters’ stories—useful if you already have a lady friend in mind for dating.

General Tips

Always carry a Persona of matching arcana when you’re going to hang out with a Confidant. It will boost how many “points” the game puts toward deepening your relationship with your Confidant and ultimately allow you to become closer more quickly (and in fewer days, which are in short supply in the game!). If you don’t happen to have a matching Persona on you, pop on over to the Velvet Room and pull the cheapest one out of the compendium. It’ll be worth it in the end.

All of your fellow Phantom Thieves will get a standard set of Confidant abilities: Baton Pass, which lets you tag them in after hitting an enemy’s weakness; Follow-Up Attack, which lets them occasionally hop in after Joker scores a hit on an enemy; a skill that helps with Shadow negotiation; Harisen Recovery, which lets them wake allies up from status effects; Endure, which allows them to survive fatal blows with 1 HP; Protect, which lets them hop in front of an attack that would kill Joker; and Second Awakening, which transforms their Persona into a second form. In addition, each party member has a handful of unique abilities.

Most of the non-player character Confidants have a Mission for you to complete in Mementos in order to help them overcome their oppressors. Your relationship with these Confidants will be halted until these Missions are cleared.

Here are the Confidants of Persona 5.

Igor [The Fool]

First available: 4/12

Ah, good old Igor. Long-time Persona fans just won’t feel at home until they’ve made a contract with the keeper of the Velvet Room.

Igor’s Confidant ranking increases automatically as the story progresses, increasing the number of Personas you can hold at once and the experience new Personas gain when they’re created through fusion.

Morgana [The Magician]

First available: 4/15

Your constant feline(?) companion. Morgana’s Confidant ranking also increases automatically at regular story intervals.

In addition to the usual party member abilities, Morgana’s Confidant relationship will teach you to craft Infiltration Tools at your desk (including, eventually, an indestructible lockpick!) and allow you to occasionally pilfer items from enemies when Joker uses a regular attack.

Makoto Niijima [The Priestess]

First available: Clear Kaneshiro’s Palace (Late June/Early July)
Prerequisites: Knowledge level 3 (Confidant Rank 1), Charm level 5 (Confidant Rank 6)

Makoto can be found at Shujin High during the daytime, either outside the student council room or outside the front gate. In conversations with her, you’ll make the most headway if you take her seriously and don’t goof around. On the other hand, she’s cute when she’s flustered.

In addition to the usual party member abilities, Makoto will let you see what items enemies are carrying when you analyze them and give you a visual warning that an elemental attack will be ineffective when you try to target them.

Haru Okumura [The Empress]

First available: 10/31
Prerequisites: Proficiency level 5 (Confidant Rank 2)

Haru can be found on the school rooftop, unless it’s raining. Spending time with her requires you to have your Proficiency maxed out, so keep that in mind if you’d like to see her whole story—especially if, say, you plan on dating her. She’s struggling with the weight of a lot of responsibility, so when you’re spending time with her, encourage her to believe in her own convictions.

In addition to the usual party member abilities, Haru will help you to grow SP-restoring veggies in the beds on the school roof. Healthy!

Yusuke Kitagawa [The Emperor]

First available: 6/14
Prerequisites: Proficiency level 4 (Confidant Rank 6)

You can find Yusuke hanging out most days at the Underground Walkway in Shibuya, where he’ll be watching the crowds and pondering the nature of true beauty. Yusuke views the world through a unique lens, so he needs a friend who will both appreciate his search for artistic fulfillment and also talk him down from his fits of passion. Try to stop him from flying off the handle without diminishing his work.

In addition to the usual party member abilities, Yusuke will let you copy Skill Cards, using his artistic prowess to turn Blank Cards into copies of whatever you hand him.

Sojiro Sakura [Hierophant]

First available: 4/20
Prerequisites: Reach 8/22 (Confidant Rank 5), Kindness level 5 (Confidant Rank 7), Complete Mission “The Money-grubbing Uncle” (Confidant Rank 9)

Sojiro’s a tricky one, with a number of prerequisites gating off the second half of his Confidant relationship (including having your Kindness maxed out!). Fortunately, since he’s behind the counter of Leblanc every single evening, he’s always accessible. It’s tempting to sass his Dr. Venture-lookin’ self every opportunity you get, but you’ll advance your relationship with him much more speedily if you take him seriously. He doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.

Sojiro will teach you the secrets of Leblanc’s coffee and curry, allowing you to prepare SP-restoring items to take with you into the Metaverse. Very useful if you want to try and clear a Palace in a single afternoon. Spending time with Sojiro will also usually give a significant boost to your Kindness.

Ann Takamaki [The Lovers]

First available: 4/15
Prerequisites: Kindness rank 2, reach 5/6 (Confidant Rank 2)

Ann can be found most days in the Underground Mall in Shibuya. A founding member of the Phantom Thieves, she struggles with how to strengthen her heart and find her true passion in life. You’ll make the most headway with Ann if you commit to throwing your vocal support behind her 100%, no matter how goofy she’s being.

In addition to the usual party member abilities, Ann will make Shadow negotiations easier, giving you an extra try before your foes call in reinforcements and guiding you toward the correct response when trying to secure a new Persona.

Ryuji Sakamoto [The Chariot]

First available: 4/12

Ryuji will either be loitering just outside your classroom at Shujin or hanging out in the arcade in Shibuya. With you from the very beginning, Ryuji’s vulgarity and dim-witted tactlessness make him very charming. When you’re hanging out with him, he’ll rely on you to help him keep a calm head.

His Confidant relationship doesn’t have any prerequisites, meaning he’ll probably have most of the usual party member abilities way before your other party members. He only gets one other ability, but it can be a real convenient one: if you can ambush an enemy that’s more than a couple levels lower than you, you’ll bypass the battle entirely and immediately snag them as a Persona (of course, you won’t get any money or experience…). Makes exploring Mementos way less of a hassle.

Goro Akechi [Justice]

First available: 6/10

Like those of Igor and Morgana, Akechi’s Confidant relationship advances automatically with the story. And hey, the game doesn’t want to spoil what those abilities are, so why would I?

Futaba Sakura [The Hermit]

First available: 8/31
Prerequisites: Kindness level 4 (Confidant Rank 2), Complete Mission “Daughter’s Just a Meal Ticket” (Confidant Rank 8)

Futaba spends afternoons chilling just outside Leblanc. She’s struggling to try and overcome her time as a shut-in and resolves to put herself through a list of challenges to gain independence. Futaba doesn’t want to be treated like a kid, but she does want you to take care of her, so try to be reassuring without talking down to her. It’s definitely worth trying to raise your Kindness so you can start her Confidant relationship as early as possible.

As your navigator, Futaba’s Confidant abilities are not just unique, they’re positively essential. She’ll map Mementos for you, replenish lootable items in Palaces, randomly shower your party with buffs, switch out K.O.’ed allies and occasionally negate enemy attacks. Watching a late-game boss charge up a devastating spell and then seeing Futaba just block it is a very, very gratifying feeling.

Chihaya Mifune [Wheel of Fortune]

First available: 6/22
Prerequisites: Speak with her twice, pay 100,000 yen, and Clear Mission “Ending the Boyfriend’s Abuse” (Confidant Rank 1), Clear Mission “Debunking the Psychic!” (Confidant Rank 8)

Chihaya can be found in Shinjuku as long as the weather is clear, though you can only hang out with her in the evening. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get this relationship off the ground: Talk to her once, then go home to Leblanc to see how her prediction pans out. Return to her and pay her exorbitant fee, then return home to Leblanc again to see the fallout. Finally, go see her a third time and pick up the Mission that results, and after you clear it, she’ll become your Confidant. Though it takes her a long time to stop being suspicious of you, she’s eventually one of the sweetest friends you can make in the game. You’ll get close to her quickly if you insist that fate can be changed—and that it’s through her strength that she can do it.

Chihaya’s Confidant abilities will let you spend some money to get minor buffs to your social stats and money-making capabilities, but the real winner is unlocked at Rank 7: She’ll let you spend 5,000 yen to put points toward any Confidant relationship, and this can be done once a day. The best part is that it happens instantaneously, meaning that your relationship with someone won’t be ready to advance, and then—poof!—a flip of a tarot card, and you’re ready to get closer. Make friends with this lady early, and abuse the heck out of this ability.

Justine & Caroline [Strength]

First available: 5/18

The Confidant relationship with your Velvet Room wardens isn’t like the others in the game—it doesn’t take time to advance. Instead, they’ll ask you to bring them specific Personas with specific abilities. You can technically max out this relationship in a single day! In practice, this requires raising Personas with certain abilities, fusing them, and then inheriting the specified ability through fusion.

Here’s the list:
Rank 1: A Jack Frost with Mabufu — Fuse Eligor with Silky, and the Jack Frost will learn Mabufu naturally at level 12.
Rank 2: A Shiisaa with Frei — Fuse that Jack Frost with Makami.
Rank 3: A Matador with Magaru — Fuse Nekomata with Obariyon.
Rank 4: A Flauros with Tarukaja — Fuse Andras, Eligor and Berith.
Rank 5: An Ame-no-Uzume with Dodge Psy — Fuse a level 27 Kin-ki with Sui-ki.
Rank 6: A Neko Shogun with Dekaja — Fuse a level 28 Anzu with Kodama and Sudama.
Rank 7: A Lachesis with Tetraja — This one’s tricky. Fuse Lamia and Sandman to make a Principality with Tetraja, then fuse that Principality with a Yaksini to make an Ame-no-Uzume with Tetraja and then fuse that with Isis.
Rank 8: A Hecatoncheires with Masukunda — Fuse Unicorn with Lilim.
Rank 9: A Bugs with Samerecarm — Fuse a level 41 Hariti, Pixie and Pisaca.
Rank 10: A Seth with High Counter — Your Hecatoncheires, fused with Kushinada, will make Horus. Fuse that Horus with Isis, Thoth, and Anubis to get Seth. Then you can just slap a High Counter skill card on that sucker (you’ll pick one of those up for completing the mission “The Killer Who Cleans Up Trash” in mid-October).

The Twins will unlock advanced fusions for you, let you drop off a Persona in “Lockdown” for a couple days to let it learn an elemental resistance and then ultimately let you pay your way into fusions way beyond your level. This last one will let you go into the endgame with some seriously powerful Personas, so don’t slack on the Twins’ requests!

Munehisa Iwai [The Hanged Man]

First available: 5/6
Prerequisites: Guts level 4 (Confidant Rank 1), Guts level 5, Clear Iwai’s Confidant Mission (Confidant Rank 8)

Iwai is technically available as a Confidant as soon as you’re allowed to go out at night, but if it’s your first time through the game, you probably won’t have the Guts to get to know him until later in the year. He can be found in the evening at the Airsoft Shop of which he is proprietor. Iwai’s a tough guy, and he expects you to be tough too. Don’t be afraid to be a little mercenary with him: Tell him you’re in it for the goods, demand compensation. He’ll respect you for it… usually.

As your relationship deepens, Iwai will allow you to customize higher and higher caliber weapons, offering you a discount when you reach rank 5. Guns aren’t the most important element of Persona 5’s battle system, so don’t feel guilty giving Iwai a pass—but then again, he’s the only way you’ll be getting the best firearms in the game. Working for Iwai will also help you to develop your Proficiency.

Tae Takemi [Death]

First available: 4/18
Prerequisites: Guts level 2 (Confidant Rank 2), Charm level 4, Clear Mission “Bad Medicine” (Confidant Rank 8)

You can find Takemi at her clinic in Yongen-Jaya, evidently hard at work but usually appearing bored out of her gourd. Since she’s available during the day, it’s often tempting to hang out with your party members instead, but make time for the goth doctor: If you can get your hands on even one of her SP-restoring accessories early on, you might manage to clear those early Palaces in a single day. Takemi will take a shine to you if you submit yourself wholly to being her guinea pig—just make sure, early on, that you insist it’s all for your college exams.

Takemi will sell you restoratives and accessories you can’t get anywhere else in the game, though they’re all exorbitantly priced until you hit Rank 7 and she gives you a discount. Nevertheless, I can’t recommend the SP Adhesive 3 enough— regenerating 7 SP every turn in battle is incredibly useful if you want to secure your infiltration route in a single afternoon. Participating in her shady clinical trials will also increase your Guts—a little bit, at least.

Sadayo Kawakami [Temperance]

First available: 5/24
Prerequisites: Clear Madarame’s Palace, participate in Ryuji and Mishima’s ridiculous “Operation Maidwatch,” Guts level 2 (Confidant Rank 1), Clear Mission “A Teacher Maid to Suffer” (Confidant Rank 8)

After you clear the game’s second Palace, Ryuji and Mishima will con you into participating in something they dub “Operation Maidwatch.” Go along with it. Afterwards, talk to Kawakami at Shujin and she’ll give you her phone number—but you’ll have to work up the Guts to make the call from Leblanc’s public phone. From that point forward, you’ll be able to call Kawakami up on Friday and Saturday evenings and pay her 5,000 yen to come and clean your room (she’ll occasionally text you on other evenings as well). Kawakami’s under some serious pressure, and she’ll appreciate it if you tell her how much you like spending time with her—just, y’know, not in a creepy way. She could also probably use some self-confidence boosters.

Kawakami has maybe the most useful Confidant abilities in the whole game—not only will she give you time during class to read, make infiltration tools, or study on your own, but you can also pay her to do chores that otherwise might take up your very limited time: laundry, prepping coffee and curry and making infiltration tools. When you max out her Confidant relationship, she’ll even let you call her up and request a special massage that will let you go out in the evenings after a day in the Metaverse! Nothing in Persona is more precious than time, and Kawakami helps you to get more of it. Just know that her last few ranks require you to be in school to activate, so if you’re not attending school because of summer break—or other reasons—you won’t be able to advance your relationship with her.

Ichiko Ohya [The Devil]

First available: 6/22
Prerequisites: Clear Mission “Fighting for Truth in Journalism” (Confidant Rank 8)

Ohya hangs out at the Crossroads Bar in Shinjuku most evenings, sipping whiskey and avoiding her deadlines. She’s desperate for scoops on the Phantom Thieves, so if you play the part of a member of the “Phan-dom” then you’ll go far with her. She also wouldn’t mind being flirted with.

Ohya’s Confidant abilities decrease your penalty for being spotted or ambushed in Palaces, giving you more breathing room if your stealth skills are rusty. Of course, if you’re patient and careful in your infiltrations, you might not need Ohya’s help at all, in which case you can feel free to put her near the bottom of your Confidant priority list… if you don’t mind missing out on all the Charm bonuses you’ll get from spending time with her.

Shinya Oda [Tower]

First available: 9/19
Prerequisites: Attempt Mission “Winners Don’t Use Cheats” (Confidant Rank 1), Clear Shinya’s Confidant Mission (Confidant Rank 9)

The so-called “Gamer King” spends his time in the arcade in Akihabara. You’ll first meet him while trying to sort out the Mementos mission “Winners Don’t Use Cheats,” which Mishima will send your way at the beginning of September. Shinya will help you take the cheater down and strike a deal with you to improve your gun skills.

Shinya’s Confidant abilities are pretty cool, giving you a guaranteed way to down enemies (useful for negotiating with Shadows with no elemental weaknesses), letting you carry more ammo, letting you fire a warning shot to speed negotiations along and letting you start battles with a hail of free shots. Hanging out with him will also give you a big boost to your Kindness.

Hifumi Togo [Star]

First available: 6/25
Prerequisites: Charm level 3 (Confidant Rank 1), Knowledge level 5, Clear Mission “Upstaging the Stage Mother” (Confidant Rank 8)

Near the end of June, Yusuke will let you know about a classmate of his who is a skilled shogi player. You’ll gain access to the chapel in Kanda, where you’ll find Hifumi, who is struggling to keep her focus on the game she loves amidst familial pressures. Hifumi will appreciate it if you’re direct when you notice her discomfort with her situation and if you spare some kind words for her passionate shogi playing.

Hifumi’s Confidant abilities offer some essential strategic options in battle, from being able to flee while surrounded to switching in non-party fighters—at first during your hero’s turn, and eventually during anyone’s turn. She’ll also let you double your money if you finish an ambush battle in a single turn—incredibly useful for lining your pockets in the late game. Playing shogi will also bump up your Knowledge stat a little!

Yuuki Mishima [Moon]

First available: 5/6

Mishima’s a bit of a goober, but his heart’s in the right place—or at least, it will be if you raise your Confidant rank to maximum. He hangs out in Shinjuku in the evenings, which honestly seems a little bold for him. Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter what you say in your conversations with Mishima—as long as you show up with a Moon Persona in your inventory, your next hangout will deepen the relationship. So feel free to dunk on him a little, I guess?

Or don’t. Poor kid’s a mess as it is. Mishima’s Confidant abilities are several steps above the quality of his company—he’ll let you gain bonus experience, and grant the same bonuses to reserve members not in your active battle party. It’s easy enough to max out this Confidant, and you absolutely should.

Toranosuke Yoshida [Sun]

First available: May
Prerequisites: Beef Bowl restaurant job

In order to form a pact with Yoshida, you’ll need to speak with him in the Shibuya Station Square, then work at the Beef Bowl joint part-time job (it’ll have to be at least twice, since you’ll learn the ropes the first time and Yoshida will show up the second time). Talk to him again, listen to his speech, and tell him you’re interested in learning with him. Like Mishima, it doesn’t matter too much what you say when you’re spending time with him—the old man seems to like you just fine in any case. Just bring a Sun Persona.

Yoshida’s Confidant abilities are all about negotiation—he’ll let you increase the amount of money and rarity of items you can demand, let you turn Shadows into Personas without haggling, and ultimately allow you to convince Shadows above your level to join you as Personas. If you have a hankerin’ to catch ‘em all, Yoshida’s your man. Oh, and listening to his speeches will give you a big boost to your Charm, as well.

Sae Niijima [Judgement]

First available: 7/9

This one happens automatically. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Nate Ewert-Krocker is a writer and a Montessori teacher who lives in Atlanta. His first book, an adventure novel for teens, is available here. You can find him on Twitter at @NEwertKrocker, where he mostly gushes about final boss themes from JRPGs.