Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: Golden Arena Mode, Explained

Quick Links

  • What Is Golden Arena Mode?
  • How To Level Up Your Character
  • How To Play In Auto Mode
  • Why You Need To Play Golden Arena Mode More Than Once

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax sends the famous RPG series into a new 2D-Fighter direction. But what if you're missing that classic RPG experience from the mainline series? In this case, you'll love playing Golden Arena mode; a challenge mode focused on character development.

Golden Arena is a unique feature in P4AU and worth checking out. However, the game does not explain how Golden Arena mode works very well. Luckily, we're here to help you learn the ropes so that you can make your way through the trials of the Midnight Channel!

What Is Golden Arena Mode?

Golden Arena Mode adds an RPG twist to Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's fighting system. In this mode, your character fights through one of five dungeon courses with the assistance of a Partner Character. Throughout their battles, your character levels up and gains skills until their HP hits zero. In the case of a Game Over, your character retains the skills they learned, and you can play again from the floor you left off on (or lower).

Picking A Character

Before starting Golden Arena Mode, you'll select a character. Unless you've played with them in Golden Arena mode before, each character starts with zero additional stats and skills. More importantly, each character gains different skills as they level up. Therefore, building each character's skill set is a unique experience.

Setting Forth On A Course

After selecting a character, you'll choose which course you wish to travel through. Each path offers different challenges and rewards. Furthermore, specific courses suit grinding a new character while others are better for higher-level characters. Here are the Golden Arena courses you can choose from:

Bathhouse CourseNormalA course recommended for those who want to reliably gain experience. (100 floors, 1F Enemy: Lv1~, 51FEnemy: Stats 160~)
Void CourseHardA course recommended for those who want to put their skills to the test. (200 floors, 1F Enemy: Lv15~, 101F Enemy: Stats 300~)
Research Lab CourseRiskyA course recommended for those who like endless trials. (400 floors, 1F Enemy: Lv35~, 201F Enemy: Stats 300~)
Heaven CourseUltimateA dungeon leading to the unknown, a place no one has ever reached. (∞ floors, suggested Lv:60)
Limited CourseEventEvent courses are limited-time courses with various themes that offer different rewards. For instance, the Ladies Dungeon Course rewards the limited skill, Shell of Denials, after defeating the final floor boss.

Choosing A Partner

Finally, you can decide which character you want to help you navigate the dungeon after choosing your course. Your partner character does not fight in battle but offers valuable skills to help buff your character in a fight. Here's a list of Partner Characters and their skills:

CharacterPartner Skill
Nanako DojimaVigor Song: Autofill SP (EX)
Fuuka YamagishiOracle: When HP drops below a set level, various effects occur
Yu NarukamiSpring of Life: Auto recover HP (High), Autofill SP (High)
Chie SatonakaHigh Counter: Skills can get used while blocking
Yukiko AmagiDiarahan: Press the Play button to recover HP once (High)
Kanji TatsumiPrimal Force: Increase SP Skill attack (EX)
Naoto ShiroganeShield of Justice: All blocks will be Instant Blocks
Akihiko SanadaFist Master: Combos connect more easily
ElizabethShuffle Time: Opponent starts with Charm/Poison/Fear
LabrysBrutal Impact: Disable blocking for both players
Yukari TakebaSamarecarm: Press the Play button to recover BURST once (Light)
Junpei IoriVictory Cry: Recover HP upon victory (High)
Ken AmadaCounterstrike: Guard cancel Attacks cost a quarter of SP
Tohru AdachiHeat Riser: Combo damage scaling reduced
Yosuke HanamuraSukukaja: Increase Speed (High)
TeddieTeddie Decoy: Opponent starts with Rage
Mitsuru KirijoUnshaken Will: Null Panic/Fear/Mute/Rage
AigisAuto-Maraku: Increase Defense (High)
Rise KujikawaRegenerate 2: Auto recover HP (Medium)

As you continue to fight with the same Partner character, your Social Link with them will increase, adding additional skills and status buffs that will further improve your performance in battle.

How To Level Up Your Character

With each battle, your character will gain experience. In turn, as their experience rises, so will their level. Grinding and developing your character is one of the main draws of Golden Arena mode. As you continue to level up your character, you will gain stat increases and new skills. Furthermore, as your character becomes more robust, you can take on more formidable opponents in increasingly challenging dungeon courses.

How To Add Stats To Your Character

After your character gains a level, you'll earn three points to attribute to your stats. You can improve five stats, and each one caps at 200 points. Here's a quick overview of how each stat affects your character:

StrengthIncreases damage inflicted
MagicIncreases amount of SP gained
EnduranceIncreases HP
AgilityIncreases Burst Gauge increments
LuckIncreases EXP earned

How To Add Skills To Your Character

Skills give your character unique buffs in battle and work similarly as partner skills. For example, the skill Cleave gives a light increase to your Skill Attacks. You can earn new skills by leveling up your character or defeating dungeon bosses. As you begin leveling up your character, you can fill your skill slots to equip them.

However, your character can only equip up to four skills simultaneously. Therefore, as your level increases and you rise through dungeon floors, you'll have to decide whether to boot one skill for another. Furthermore, if you don't wish to discard one of your current skills, you'll have to pass on the new skill. This decision is one of the more complicated obstacles you'll run into while building your character.

How To Play In Auto Mode

Golden Arena mode's structure offers plenty of replay value. However, like in any RPG, grinding a character through matches can become tedious. Luckily, P4AU allows you to activate Auto Mode during Golden Arena matches. This gameplay method has an AI play in your stead.

Auto Mode is significant for three reasons. First, it allows you to take a step back when you're tired of fighting while continuing to raise your character's level. Second, watching the AI play as your character is a fantastic opportunity to learn new gameplay strategies. Lastly, Auto Mode is helpful when you come across an opponent that you're having trouble defeating.

You can activate Auto Mode in the character select screen or from the pause menu during a match.

Why You Need To Play Golden Arena Mode More Than Once

If your game ends prematurely in Golden Arena mode, take heart! You can restart your game from the last floor you fought on. Or, you can restart from a lower floor. Furthermore, your character will keep the stats and skills they earned while leveling up.

Therefore, we recommend repeatedly playing Golden Arena mode with the same character. Doing so will continue to improve your character, so they're better prepared to face opponents they may have lost to before. Every playthrough will make your character more formidable, allowing you to take on more significant challenges and earn even greater rewards!

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