As with all the titles in the series, the Persona 5 characters are what truly make the game shine. The complex relationships shared among the Phantom Thieves make for a wonderful experience, as you slowly uncover their motivations and true personalities, and help them overcome the traumas of their past. While there are heaps of other brilliant characters beyond the Phantom Thieves, today we focus on the main group themselves. With a crew this varied and passionate, the hearts of those cruel criminals have no chance of remaining unchanged.
If you’re still wondering whether it might be the game for you, see our glittering Persona 5 Switch review to get all the need-to-know information. Or, if you want a bit more JRPG in your life, head over to our Persona 3 Switch review and Persona 4 Switch review.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into all the playable Persona 5 characters available in-game. Keep in mind that this page may contain some mild spoilers.
Persona 5 protagonist, Ren Amamiya
Phantom Thief code name: Joker
The protagonist of the game, also known by the code name ‘Joker’, is a transfer student at Shujin Academy. Seemingly quiet and reserved, he begins the game restrained by the rules of the system around him, having been put on probation due to an incident where he tried to stand up for what he believed was right. After being sent away from his family, he moves in with Sojiro Sakura, staying in a room above his small establishment, Café Leblanc. The protagonist soon befriends Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki through his new school.
His quiet demeanor belies a strong-willed nature with a profound sense of morals that leads him to become the leader of the Phantom Thieves, capable of exploiting the metaverse in order to change the course of reality. He hopes to guide his group to change society by touching the hearts of those doing wrong.
Check out our Persona 5 Joker guide to find out more.
Persona 5 Morgana
Phantom Thief code name: Mona
Morgana is a mysterious, cat-like being with ties to Mementos and no knowledge of who he is. His main goal throughout the game is to seek answers and restore his memories. He encounters Joker after getting imprisoned in a Palace during an investigation and has stuck by his side ever since.
Morgana acts as a guardian to the Phantom Thieves, teaching them the principles of the other world and how to successfully complete their missions.
We have a Persona 5 Morgana guide to teach you more about the feline.
Persona 5 Ryuji Sakamoto
Phantom Thief code name: Skull
Ryuji is a student at Shujin Academy and a member of the Phantom Thieves. He’s a self-proclaimed troublemaker, with a rebellious, mischievous, and disobedient nature, along with a pretty short temper. Despite this, he’s highly compassionate, and extremely empathetic when it comes to the suffering of others.
Ryuji is a former track star, who lost his position due to the tyranny of the antagonistic gym teacher Kamoshida, which fuels his desire to pursue justice as a Phantom Thief.
Persona 5 Ann Takamaki
Phantom Thief code name: Panther
Ann is a beautiful, compassionate girl, and a student at Shujin Academy. Her appearance has earned her plenty of modeling gigs but also led to her being isolated and cast out, with her believing she’s lost her place in the world. However, she never lets this stop her from having fun, at least in part due to the kindness and friendship of Shiho Suzui, the first friend she made in Japan before joining the Phantom Thieves.
She’s very sympathetic, and her compassion often results in her being very hard on herself, but it also acts as a driving force when it comes to combating abusers through the work of the Phantom Thieves.
Check out our Persona 5 Ann guide to find out more.
Persona 5 Yusuke Kitagawa
Phantom Thief code name: Fox
Having grown up surrounded by art, Yusuke is a Kosei High School student who searches for aesthetics in every part of life. He was taken in and mentored by artist Ichiryusai Madarame at a young age but found himself completely oblivious to the abuse and exploitation he was enduring, vehemently denying the rumors surrounding his mentor. Even after unveiling the truth about Madarame, Yusuke still suffers from a case of Stockholm syndrome, believing the man can one day be redeemed.
Persona 5’s Yusuke is a complex and somewhat eccentric individual, whose thought processes can be quite erratic. After becoming a member of the Phantom Thieves, the others admire and respect his devotion and passion for art, but can’t help but consider him a little strange at times. Despite his odd demeanor, he’s still an incredibly level-headed young man, never succumbing to panic even in times of great chaos.
Persona 5 Makoto Niijima
Phantom Thief code name: Queen
As the student council president at Shujin Academy, Persona 5’s Makoto initially comes across as an arrogant control freak who’s sorely disliked by her fellow students. However, despite her prim and proper outward appearance, she’s actually quite a meek individual who feels overshadowed by her immensely successful older sister, having no sense of self-worth as a result.
She’s somewhat of a submissive pushover who keeps her head down and studies hard in hopes of one day proving herself. When she joins the Phantom Thieves, she promises to try to be more honest with herself and to fight for what she believes in, which in turn triggers her Persona. She can still be a bit bossy and overly critical of those who don’t live up to her expectations though, likely due to the way she’s been treated by adults her whole life.
Persona 5 Futaba Sakura
Phantom Thief code name: Oracle
Futaba is the daughter of Café Leblanc’s owner, Sojiro Sakura, who fell into a deep depression after losing her mother. She’s a shut-in who doesn’t attend school and very rarely leaves her house due to her serious social anxiety and borderline agoraphobia. As a result, she communicates with the world almost exclusively through the internet and isolates herself in her apartment.
Upon joining the Phantom Thieves, she makes it her primary goal to find the truth behind her mother’s death, but also becomes invested in their goal to reform society. The other members help her come out of her shell a little, but she still often hides behind the protagonist or wears a mask so others can’t identify her, and being in crowds or busy spaces continues to make her feel very uncomfortable.
Check out our Persona 5 Futaba guide to find out more.
Persona 5 Haru Okumura
Phantom Thief code name: Noir
Haru is a wealthy student of Shujin Academy, and the daughter of Kunikazu Okumura, who is the Phantom Thieves’ fifth major target. She’s generally very shy and reserved, and others perceive her as being quite eccentric due to her introverted nature. She suffers from trust issues as she struggles to differentiate between those who genuinely like her and want to be her friend and those who only want to use her for her family’s status.
She has trouble acclimating when first joining the Phantom Thieves, coming across as somewhat awkward. However, when her real desire to escape her arranged marriage to an abusive fiance comes to light, she unites with the Phantom Thieves in order to change her father’s heart. After this, she warms to the group and often uses affectionate honorifics when referring to them. She also begins to show her more gentle side, tending to gardens and aspiring to be like the female superheroes she grew up admiring.
Persona 5 Goro Akechi
Phantom Thief code name: Crow
Goro Akechi is a high school detective investigating the mysterious ‘Phantom Thieves of Hearts’ case spreading across Japan. He often appears in public and on talk shows, portraying himself as humble, well-mannered, and extremely charismatic, and his smooth-talking intelligence earns him both adoration from fans and trust from the police. He paints himself as having a strong sense of justice, and initially openly disapproves of the vigilantism of the Phantom Thieves’ work.
However, his entire public identity is in fact a carefully manufactured ruse, mostly maintained by artificially fabricating and solving cases. Akechi has actually spent most of his life being used as a disposable tool to a man called Shido but ends up befriending the protagonist and enjoying the opportunity to experience a simple, normal life when they’re together.
Persona 5 Kasumi Yoshizawa
Phantom Thief code name: Violet
A playable character from Persona 5 Royal, Kasumi Yoshizawa, is a talented gymnast and student at Shujin Academy. She’s a cheerful and friendly person, who received a scholarship at Shujin and is described as having been nearly uncontested in gymnastic competitions. However, she can be quite clumsy and careless despite her brilliant reflexes and sometimes slips into bouts of depression, punishing herself for even the slightest of mistakes.
She initially dislikes the Phantom Thieves, believing that people should learn to solve their own problems and rectify their mistakes independently, but appreciates the fact that they help people regardless. She looks up to the protagonist, considering him to be a mentor to her, resulting in her Phantom Thief outfit looking quite similar to his. Be careful, we get into spoiler territory from here on out, when you first meet Kasumi she’s actually taking on the personality traits of her twin sister, Sumire Yoshizara, after she passes away.
And those are all the playable Persona 5 characters currently available in the game, along with a brief introduction to their personalities and motivations. If you want more adventures to sink your teeth into, check out our list of the best Switch RPGs and head off on a new adventure today.