Kazuma Kiryu is hard.
Even after doing considerable time in prison and trying to leave behind his Yakuza past he’s still capable of going toe-to-toe with the strongest of foes, but self improvement is always something to strive for. You’ll want to improve Kiryu as you progress throughout Yakuza 6, too, not only to give yourself a bit of breathing room when fighting 10+ foes, but also to give your moveset a bit more variety. And you’ll be happy to know that improving your stats and skills in Yakuza 6 is easy.
Learning new skills and increasing your base stats in Yakuza 6 is achieved by expending Experience Points. There are five categories of experience points, which I’ll classify as strength, speed, stamina, knowledge, and heat, and there are many ways to earn them.
Fighting is perhaps the method of earning experience points that comes most naturally to Kiryu. Every fight you take part in will reward you with experience points when you emerge victorious, mainly in the strength, speed, and stamina categories. Take part in plenty of battles as you explore Kamuricho and Onomichi and you’ll find yourself amassing quite a pool of experience points quickly, but fighting isn’t the only way to earn them.
Other ways to earn experience points include eating food, drinking, completing challenges, and engaging in side activities. All food stuffs show you exactly how many experience points you’ll earn by eating them, with more expensive foods usually being more beneficial. You’ll just need to keep an eye on Kiryu’s hunger meter, as once he’s full he won’t be able to gain any more experience point benefits from food and drink for a while. Other activities such as playing baseball and sweet-talking club hostesses award experience points loosely based on your performance, but never much more than the base amount.
Once you’ve amassed plenty of experience points, you’ll be wanting to invest them to improve Kiryu’s abilities, and it’s easy. Simply press the options button to bring up Kiryu’s phone and head on over to the Stats app. From here, you can choose to increase Kiryu’s base stats, learn new skills, or equip any items that you’ve acquired.
Improving each of Kiryu’s base stats requires you to expend experience points associated with that stat. Increasing your health requires a small amount of strength experience points and quite a lot of stamina experience points, for example, while improving your evasion stat requires you to spend speed experience points.
Acquiring new skills works in a similar way. There are three types of skills to learn – Battle Skills, Heat Actions, and Other Skills – and each skill within those categories requires you to expend a set number of experience points to purchase them. Battle Skills generally need a mix of strength, speed and stamina experience points, while Heat Actions and Other Skills will more frequently require knowledge and heat experience points as well.
Find the Balance
You’ll find that it’s not wise to spend your experience points haphazardly, as certain skills can only be unlocked once one of your base stats is above a certain figure. To develop Kiryu effectively, then, you need to balance increasing your base stats with acquiring new skills.
Having lots of health is great, but if it has come at the expense of packing a stronger punch, you may find yourself at a loss. Additionally, solely improving Kiryu’s base stats may make him physically stronger, but failing to acquire new combat abilities will leave him at a disadvantage when tackling stronger foes. Balance and forward planning is quite important, so always bear it in mind when expending your experience points.
Boost Your Experience Point Gain
If you find yourself struggling in fights or just want to expedite your development, there are a few ways to boost your experience point gain.
Taking part in the RIZAP side activity is a good way to earn experience points, which requires you to visit a personal trainer. Complete your workout and your trainer will give you a cryptic message as to which food complements it. Go out and eat the correct meal and you’ll earn a nice boost to your experience point gain.
Alternatively, you can visit the Ryunan Shrine Jizo Statues in Onomichi. Each one represents one of the five experience point groups, and by making an offering you can boost your experience point acquisition for a period of time. The bigger the offering the better the benefit, so be generous.
And finally, there are a number of skills you can purchase – with experience points – to increase the number of experience points you earn. Perhaps consider buying them as soon as they become available. The quicker you acquire them, the more benefit you’ll receive as you play through the game.