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Top 5 Confidants In Persona 5

persona 5

Persona 5 is a balls-to-the-wall JRPG epic. As it’s so big, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the best part of the game is. Is it the demons (Personas), physical manifestations of your inner psyche, fusing them together and catching ‘em all? Is it levelling up your social stats, like Knowledge and Charm, to unlock new dialogue options and Confidants? Or is it crawling through fantastical and colourful dungeons to help villains change their hearts and save the world from an infernal god?

Nah. The real adventure was the friends we made along the way. (Cue vomiting sounds here.)

Confidants are social links and a cornerstone of the Persona series. Building relationships with friends, well-meaning adults, and vendors around Tokyo will grant Joker, our silent protagonist, more abilities, bonuses, and items as he progresses through the story.

However, there’s a catch. There’s a limited amount of time that you have to balance between dungeon crawling, skill levelling, and hanging out with your buddies. Levelling all Confidants to the max takes a considerable amount of time management that only seasoned players may come close to achieving. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.

Here are my top 5 Confidants in Persona 5. As there are so many, we first must ask: what makes a good Confidant? Here’s my checklist of factors to help us whittle them down.

  1. How much fun they are to level, including personality, activities, and how they further the story
  2. If they are a good match for Joker, including whether they can be romanced
  3. Gameplay Bonuses
  4. Unlocked Personas and arcana utility.

Spoilers abound for gameplay. Some plot spoilers where relevant.

#5: Caroline & Justine – Strength

“Hahaha! Wow inmate, that’s dark.”

Caroline and Justine are fantastic allies. Creepy yet knowledgeable, antagonistic yet helpful, they are the twin wardens of the Velvet Room, where you meet Igor, the prison master. Here you can fuse Personas to help you get stronger and change the hearts of Tokyo citizens. Plus, in Royal, there are Special Prison Events that allow you to deepen your relationship with the twins outside of the confines of the prison and grant you new Persona moves to boot.

To level Caroline and Justine, you need to complete Persona fusion challenges. They will ask you to complete various tasks by fusing Persona in single or multi-level stages, such as presenting them a Shiisa with the Frei ability, or a Hecatoncheires with Masukunda. These get harder and harder, making it a bit of a slog to get them up to rank 10.

But it’s worth it. Once you complete rank 1, you unlock the Group Guillotine (dark, I know) that allows you to fuse 3 Persona at once. At rank 3, you can leave a Persona with the twins for training. At rank 5, you get, in my opinion, the most useful skill, Special Treatment, which allows you to pay to fuse Personas higher than your current level. This is invaluable for getting through tough boss battles and taking you one step closer to catching ‘em all.

Whilst they cannot be romanced, Caroline and Justine are essential drivers of the story. The more you gain their trust, the stronger you become…and the more they start to realise the Velvet Room isn’t all as it seems…

Once you max out Caroline and Justine, you get access to the ultimate Strength Persona, Zaou-Gongen, one of the strongest in the game. This level 80 beast has scorching fire skills, and high Agility and Strength stats, meaning it’s a deadly tank that also boosts Gun-type damage by 50%.

Caroline and Justine provide a top tier Confidant link that will help you grow your Personas, allowing you to demolish enemies that previously would have given you issues. Plus, they’re cute, mysterious, and hugely important to the story. What’s not to love?

#4: Sojiro Sakura – Hierophant

“I’ll be there for you… as family.”

The whole premise of Persona 5 revolves around the fact that you, Joker, are on probation after confronting a man harassing a woman. During this probation, you stay with your parents’ friend, Sojiro Sakura, who owns your new home, the attic of the coffee shop Café Leblanc.

At first, Sojiro is a strict, detached landlord character, unsympathetically telling you to keep your head down and work hard to repay your debt to society. But as you get to know each other, with him teaching you how to make coffee and his delicious curry and you cleaning the café for him, he starts to feel like the father figure otherwise absent from the story. You start to feel surprisingly fond of the old man, who approves of your high scores on exams so much that Confidant points received from him are multiplied, and allows you to have impromptu parties in the attic with your new friends. He even lets you keep a stray cat in your room!

Interacting with Sojiro also raises your Kindness, which—both consciously and subconsciously—endears you to him even more. Ultimately, once you’ve thawed his ice, he’s a lovely guy, and he’s crucial to the story, making him a fantastic Confidant to prioritise.

Plus, that coffee and curry you’re being taught to make? It’s crucial for efficient dungeon crawling. Both restore SP to allies in dungeons, which is used to power unique attacks to use against demons. SP is one of the fastest depleting resources in the game, and running out forced me to leave dungeons earlier than I’d have liked to on multiple occasions. Making sure you complete dungeons before the deadline is crucial to not only succeed story-wise, but by completing them quickly means you can dedicate more time to levelling Confidants and skills. Once you max out Sojiro’s rank you can make curry that restores 100SP to all allies, giving your gameplay that much needed boost.

I’d say, for this bonus alone, Sojiro is worth levelling at every chance you get. He is also inextricably linked with #1 on this list, meaning that ranking him up affects not one, but two Confidants. Talk about an overachiever.

#3: Ryuji Sakamoto & Makoto Nijima – Chariot & Priestess

"We're going to catch all these shitty adults by surprise and make ourselves known to the world!"

"There's so much you can miss by living with your head buried between the pages of a book..."

I know, putting two Confidants together is a bit of a cheat. But in games like these, it’s not all just about grinding relationships to improve your skill level. If you’re going to spend over 100 hours with these characters, they start to feel like virtual friends.

Ryuji and Makoto best embody my strange attachment to pixels.

I’m a sucker for the good-hearted best friend trope. Ryuji is the clumsy, hot-headed guy who you first stumble upon the Metaverse with. The “problem student” at Shujin Academy, he’s crude and often aggressive. But it’s not long before we learn that his delinquent behaviour is a coping mechanism for his inability to continue being an athlete after suffering an injury at the hands of his malevolent coach. Deep down, Ryuji is kind, altruistic, and fiercely loyal to Joker. There’s something special about the first friend you make in a social game like Persona, and I’ll always have a soft spot for him.

Makoto is also a member of the Phantom Thieves. Otherwise, she couldn’t be any more different from Ryuji. She’s student council president, an honour student, and desperately ambitious. Throughout the course of the story, she overcomes feeling overshadowed by her highly successful older sister and learns to fight for what’s right instead of upholding the status quo for personal gain. You learn she is trained in aikido and enjoys violent action movies—traits that show she’s so much more than the prim-and-proper good girl that she displays to the outside world. Ultimately, she’s one of the best romance-able characters, as once you win her over, she’s yours to the end.

As core members of the Phantom Thieves, ranking them up endows battle advantages instead of external benefits in the real world. At certain ranks, they have chances to cure status ailments, withstand fatal attacks, and shield Joker from death. At max rank, their Personas turn into mythological tricksters, making them both stronger and cooler. So, it’s not just worth levelling your fellow Thieves to get to know them better—you aren’t likely to get through the game without powerful, ranked-up allies to beat up Shadows with.

What about their final Personas? Chariot’s most powerful demon, Chi You, is China’s god of war. In Persona 5, he deals severe Psy damage to all foes, absorbs Psy attacks, and reduces susceptibilities to all ailments—meaning he’s incredibly useful just for the last benefit alone. The ultimate Empress Persona, Mother Harlot, is the only natural source of the Null Bless skill, saving you from those pesky one-shot Bless attacks. This, combined with her Ice attacks, makes her a formidable foe to have on your team.

Ultimately, Ryuji and Makoto stood out to me as they represent the core of Persona games. They are fun friends with distinct personalities and unfailingly have your back both in the real world and in the Metaverse. The game wouldn’t hold such an important place in my heart if not for Confidants like them.

#2: Sadayo Kawakami – Temperance

“Doesn’t it pain your heart to see such a cute maid all dirty?”

You want to romance a fellow man in Persona? Tough luck buddy: kissing should only be between a man and a woman.

Want to romance your teacher despite being underage? Go right ahead, that’s hot. Especially if your teacher is a sexy maid by night.

Despite this obviously problematic set up, it’s admittedly the reason why Kawakami is such a compelling Confidant. You see her both in and out of school, allowing you to develop an intimate bond as you discover her secret. She needs more money than her teaching salary allows to pay off some shady debts, and so allows you to request her maid services. You learn about her hard life and help her overcome her demons—a very satisfying process, as soon she, like Sojiro, stops seeing Joker as a delinquent and supports him throughout his journey. It’s a surprisingly sweet relationship, if you forget about the student-teacher dynamic at play.

Kawakami also gives you one of the most useful benefits in the game. You’d better make sure you have level 3 Guts, or this Confidant line can’t begin—but it’s so important that you do as soon as she’s available. Her initial ability sometimes allows Joker to have free time during classes, so you can read books to gain skill points and craft infiltration tools. At Rank 3, she helps Joker cook curry, make coffee, make tools, and wash laundry, giving him more time to level Confidants. At max rank, Kawakami can give a special massage that revitalises Joker, so that he can go out at night after spending the day in the Metaverse—something that usually exhausts him. Basically, if you want to get everything done in your playthrough, Kawakami is a must.

#1: Futaba Sakura – Hermit

"This overwhelmingly forgettable appearance, generic speech style, and total lack of sex appeal... Nishima... are you an NPC?”

Futaba is Sojiro’s adopted daughter, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing that for half the game. She has extreme social anxiety and agoraphobia developed from the trauma of losing her mother, and Sojiro enables this behaviour due to guilt from not being able to protect her from it. Whilst a lot of Sojiro’s Confidant levelling involves Futaba, meaning he can’t be maxed out until we meet this red-haired ball of social awkwardness, Futaba’s is a little different.

Futaba’s arc is unique in that the Phantom Thieves enter her very own Palace to trigger a Change of Heart. Unlike other characters with Palaces, this Change is not to solve any moral failing, but is to help her overcome her trauma, leave her room, and get out of her shell. This dramatic and deeply emotional storyline allows us to learn so much about this girl on the edge of giving up, whilst also showing us just how hilarious, sweet, and playful she can be once she is freed from her trauma.

Once this has been accomplished, she joins the Phantom Thieves as the group’s Navigator. Futaba’s a prolific hacker, providing support for the Thieves both inside and outside of the Metaverse. Some of her fantastic abilities include chances to cast healing magic, fully mapping a floor of Mementos, or even nullifying fatal attacks. It’s worth levelling her to help you avoid the dreaded 1-hit-KO that can happen from some (cough-bullshit-cough) attacks.

As a female (RIP queer representation), she can also be romanced. I loved dating her as it really felt like manic-pixie-Joker was helping her become a better person. They venture into Tokyo to help her overcome her anxiety, they play video games together and, eventually, Futaba can do a lot of “normal” things she couldn’t do before. She’s also just incredibly cute. It’s personal preference, but I got the most satisfaction from maxing my relationship with Futaba over anyone else as I feel like she changes the most over the course of the story. That’s why she’s my #1.

The only thing I’d say is that Futaba is often presented as a little sister figure to Joker. Japan, you’ve done it again. UwU, onii-chan.

Wrap Up

With the limited timeframe, levelling the 21 Confidants in Persona 5—or 24 in Royal—is both satisfying and stressful. But having played its sister dungeon-crawling, demon-fighting games, Shin Megami Tensei, I couldn’t be without the social aspect. It grounds this incredibly fantastical game and makes you want to level up the crazy and fun characters dotted around Tokyo.

I hope this list has helped you decide who to prioritise to get the most out of one of my favourite games of all time—and don’t forget to save the world while you’re at it.