Persona 5 Royal adds a ton of cool content to a game already jam-packed with story, activities and other things to do. Aside from a few new faces, more ways to deepen your bonds with your Confidants, tweaked Palaces and new mechanics, P5R contains more endgame content that extends beyond the final boss of its predecessor. This endgame is comprised of a third school semester, a whole new Palace and a True Ending to unlock.
You’d think that getting to this snazzy new content would be natural but that’s actually not the case. There is a good chance that you may beat the game without getting to this extra stuff. Unlocking the new Palace and third semester as well as putting yourself on the path to the True Ending isn’t by any means hard. Because of the calendar nature of the story’s progression, however, you may very well miss out on unlocking that content.
But don’t worry. We’ve taken all the necessary information on unlocking the third semester and new palace in Persona 5 Royal and tied them up into this neat little ultimate guide so you don’t miss out. We’ve also done our best to keep this as spoiler-free as possible.
What You Need to Unlock the Third Semester in Persona 5 Royal
The key to unlocking the third semester, and by extension the new palace, in P5R is to know a few deadlines. The date in question is November 18th on the in-game calendar. What you need to do by this date is achieve Rank 9 with the Councillor Arcana which you rank up via the new Confidant, Doctor Maruki. The other step is to rank up the new Faith Arcana that needs to reach Rank 5 by December 18th on the in-game calendar. This one is the new playable character Kasumi Yoshizawa. These will be enough to unlock the Third Semester and the New Palace.
However, you can still miss out on the game’s True Ending (or Truer Ending?) unless you do a couple of other things as well. For starters, you need to achieve a certain rank with another Confidant as well as respond in a specific way to the new big bad. The important Confidant is Goro Akechi, a.k.a. the Justice Arcana. You need to get this one to Rank 8 by November 17th.
Accomplishing all of these is quite doable, especially if you’re not on the knife’s edge right before the deadline. Below, we’ve got the rundown on how to rank up each of these Confidant’s in Persona 5 Royal.
Reach Rank 9 with the Councillor Arcana (Doctor Maruki Confidant)
The way to rank up with the delightful Doctor Maruki is essentially by spending time with him. He’s got a lot of wisdom to share on mental health and will help improve your combat capabilities by increasing your max SP and handing out healing items.
You encounter him quite early in the game which means you’ve got plenty of time to rank him up. The story will naturally get you to about Rank 5 with him but after that, you’re going to have to be proactive with meeting up and hanging out with the good doctor.
One trick the game doesn’t make clear is that you can increase the rate at which your rank improves by having a Persona of the Councillor Arcana in your roster. What also helps to speed things up is the way you respond to him. In most cases, option 1 will give you +2 or even +3.
The goal here is to complete his questline by November 17th, the day before the deadline. This will naturally open up Rank 10 and you’ll be off to the races and on your way to the Third Semester after you clear the base storyline.
Reach Rank 5 with the Faith Arcana (Kasumi Confidant)
The newest member of the Phantom Thieves, Kasumi Yoshizawa, is a Confidant you will unlock through the story after May 30th on the in-game calendar. Ranking her up to Rank 5, which is the only requirement for the Third Semester, happens naturally in the game as it becomes available on August 7th on the in-game calendar.
Reach Rank 8 with the Justice Arcana (Goro Akechi Confidant)
Goro Akechi is an essential piece of the True Ending puzzle. The Confidant opens up from June 10th just by playing through the game’s story. After that, you can meet up with him in places like Kichijoji and the Darts & Billiards bar. Once you have him unlocked, it’s best to prioritize hanging out with him as you will get locked out of the Confidant after November 17th. For the most part, options 3 and 2 in his various conversations typically have the most impact on your ranking. In order to be doubly sure you hit the rank, make sure you’ve got a Persona of the Justice Arcana in your pocket. One other thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need Knowledge at rank 4 in order to get Akechi to Rank 7. Better hit those books.
*You will want to accept a dueling glove from Goro when the time comes 🙂
Refuse All Offers of the Third Semester Antagonist
Without spoiling too much, the Third Semester in Persona 5 Royal comprises a new endgame that also has its own antagonist. This new big bad will offer you a few choices. In order to get the true ending, you must refuse every single one of their offers. This will lead to unlocking the true ending of P5R.
*IMPORTANT* Just like in Persona 5, you will still need to refuse to sell out your teammates upon the final interrogation segment, as well as deny the offers of the previous games main antagonist.
And this is all you need to do to get to the Third Semester and put yourself on the path to the True Ending of Persona 5 Royal. If you’re a completionist like us, then you’ll need to keep these deadlines and Confidants in the back of your mind as you play through the game and make decisions on who you’ll be meeting and when. P5R generally makes it a lot easier to rank up all of your Confidants in a single playthrough so don’t stress too much.