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The Live A Live gameplay basics

To help prepare you for the world of Live A Live we have this Live A Live gameplay guide in which we look at exploration and combat

Live A Live gameplay - Akira stood in the middle of some key art while action goes on behind him

There are a fair few interesting mechanics in Live A Live, which is part of what makes it such an interesting RPG. Yes, the enigmatic characters you meet across eight unique chapters add a certain level of intrigue to Square Enix’s HD-2D RPG remake, but there are some gameplay elements that also help to elevate the game to new heights.

Therefore, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to look at Live A Live’s gameplay so you know exactly what to expect when the Live A Live release date rolls around. We cover a range of topics, from navigating the world around you to how the combat system works and how it can vary from chapter to chapter.

Speaking of which, to learn more about the Live A Live chapters, make sure you check out our guide, then head over to our Live A Live abilities and Live A Live characters content to take a deeper look at the game. Or, you can check out our best Switch RPGs list to see what adventures you can embark on right now.

Anyway, onto everything you need to know about the Live A Live gameplay.

Live A Live gameplay

Live A Live gameplay - the Shifu walking through a green bamboo forest with his students


In the majority of chapters, you get to explore some of your surroundings just as you would in any game that features this mechanic. However, let’s take the Twilight of Edo Japan chapter for instance, as it requires you to traverse a Japanese warlord’s compound, and it’s fair to say that it’s relatively huge and full of many different rooms, which is where the map comes in.

Live A Live’s map mechanic is crucial to your success as not only does it indicate where you need to go, but it also points out areas that you’re yet to explore, and they might just find some useful items in these locations.

Live A Live gameplay - a grid-based fight in the middle of a bamboo forest


Live A Live utilises a grid turn-based system when it comes to combat, which is likely a familiar concept to the majority of RPG fans. Each chapter features the same system, but the individual characters have access to a different set of abilities, more of which you unlock as you level them up.

When in a battle, you can move around the different squares a set amount of times before your foe’s stamina gauge is full, after which you stop in your tracks and it’s their turn to move. Different abilities hit different squares, so sometimes you need to alter your position to land an attack.

Alternatively, you can choose to pass your turn entirely to the next person, or choose to wait as your enemies make a quick move. Finally, there’s the option to use the items that you find throughout the chapter. Some replenish your health, others weaken the enemy, and some give you handy attribute boosts.

There you have it, what you need to know about Live A Live’s gameplay. For an even more in-depth look at the game, you can check out our Live A Live preview.