Scarlet Nexus has a satisfying combat system. Despite having multiple moving parts, it’s easy to wrap your head around it. One aspect that may seem a bit intimidating at first is the Struggle Arms System or SAS powers. By mastering their use and choosing the right ones depending on the situation, you can significantly enhance both Yuito and Kasane’s combat effectiveness.

In our SAS powers guide, we’re going to break down everything and anything there is to know about them and how to use them effectively. Let’s start with the basics.

What are SAS Powers?

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In a nutshell, SAS powers are abilities you borrow from members of your squad. Lore-wise, this has something to do with the enhanced brains members of the OSF have. Through some of the game’s “brain punk wizardry”, Kasane and Yuito can tap into their team’s abilities to improve their battle capabilities. You can add elemental damage to attacks through SAS powers, give yourself new mobility options, and enhance your Psychokinesis attacks.

You can assign up to four of these abilities before heading out on a mission.

Assigning and Activating SAS Powers

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To assign SAS powers, you need to navigate to the SAS menu. There, you can select one of the four slots and assign a character’s powers. Your character choices depend on how far in the story you are.

One other thing that’s important to keep in mind is that you don’t have to have a character in your party to add them to your SAS loadout. Your team can only have two members plus your protagonist. Reserve characters can take up the other two SAS slots. The difference is in effect duration, with party members providing longer-lasting SAS activations than Reserves. It’s because of this that deciding on your party can get tricky. You need to consider which SAS powers you’d like to stay active longer.

To activate SAS powers, you need to press the right shoulder button plus one of the four face buttons on your controller. Each face button corresponds to an assigned slot in your loadout. You can cancel the effect at any time by executing the same button combination. If you get confused easily, you can always cancel any SAS activation by pressing the right shoulder button plus the right thumbstick.

How to Level Up SAS Powers

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Each SAS power can become stronger by leveling it up. There are a total of 6 levels per character, and they’re tied to the game’s Bond system. We’ll be touching on this system in more detail in another article.

Suffice to say that you have several ways to level up your Bonds with your companions. The most efficient way is by having them party up with you. There are also Bond stories, gifts, and other means to level up their SAS powers.

Each level enhances SAS in the following ways:

  • Level 1 – Grants you the companion’s power
  • Level 2 – Restores SAS gauge faster and has a chance to make a vision of that companion appear and block an attack
  • Level 3 – Using the same activation buttons will have the companion launch an attack with you
  • Level 4 – The companion will call out to you, and by pressing the corresponding buttons, they will perform a special attack as a vision
  • Level 5 – Prolongs the effect of the SAS power
  • Level 6 – Enhances Psychokinesis depending on the SAS power

Enhance SAS Powers with the Brain Map

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SAS powers in Scarlet Nexus can be further enhanced through the Brain Map. We’ll be posting a more in-depth guide on the Brain Map. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be looking at the specific nodes that improve SAS powers.

Support Tree

  • Brain Crush SAS Restore – Slightly restores the active SAS power’s gauge after landing a Brain Crush
  • Concurrent SAS Activation – Allows for 2 SAS powers to be active at the same time. By taking the second one with the same name, you can have up to 4 SAS powers activated simultaneously

Brain Drive Tree

  • Brain Drive SAS Gauge Restore – Brain Drive will instantly restore all SAS gauges

SAS Powers Breakdown

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Shiden Ritter – Electrokinesis

This SAS power will infuse your attacks with electricity. By landing multiple hits, you can paralyze enemies with the Shocked status, leaving them open to attack for a short period. Electricity attacks will also do more damage to enemies that are Soaked. Another benefit is that the sparks from your attacks can hit enemies in the air.

Arashi Spring – Hypervelocity

By activating this ability, you’ll gain faster movement speed compared to your surroundings. Essentially, you’ll be somewhat like Quicksilver in that cool X-Men scene. It’s the perfect ability to use against those flying Others that have annoyingly fast movement. It’s also useful during boss battles against other OSF members.

Kyoka Eden – Duplication

This is a SAS power that enhances your Psychokinesis from the get-go. While active, you can attack with double the objects. This is quite powerful against Others that have shells and other armor. It’s also great for landing attacks on clusters of foes.

Kagero Donne – Invisibility

Activate this SAS power, and you’ll become invisible and undetectable. While in this state, all attacks will do critical and crush damage. This ability makes depleting boss crush gauges a lot easier.

Hanabi Ichijo – Pyrokinesis

By activating this SAS power, you infuse your attacks with fire, dealing more damage to foes. Multiple hits will inflict Burned status on foes for a short duration. It’s perfect against enemies that are Oiled as fire-infused attacks will deal bonus damage to them.

Tsugumi Nazar – Clairvoyance

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You’ll need this SAS power when dealing with invisible foes. Once activated, all Others that are invisible will appear with a green overlay. The other bonus is that this ability makes it far easier to perform perfect dodges.

Gemma Garrison – Sclerokinesis

This SAS power will make you invulnerable for a short duration after activating it. It’s handy when you are swarmed by multiple enemies and need to get out unscathed.

Luka Travers – Teleportation

This SAS power is beneficial against powerful enemies as it swaps you dodge for a short teleport step. This mobility enhancement makes it far easier to perform hit-and-run tactics and can be extremely useful with Yuito.