Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot isn’t the kind of game you might expect from the combat-heavy franchise. It’s a role-playing game with a focus on fast-paced, hand-to-hand combat. As is typical of the genre, Kakarot has a grid-based system for boosting your characters’ stats as you gain more allies and progress through the story. Whether you’re wondering which Community Boards will make the best use of your Soul Emblems, or you don’t even know what those things are yet, we’ve got you covered.
The basics of Community Boards and Soul Emblems
When you establish a relationship with a new character, a round image of their face will pop up in the center of the screen, indicating that you now have access to that character’s Soul Emblem. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen until a little while after you meet them, like with Piccolo, but they generally come to you as part of the main story, so they’re (mostly) hard to miss.
You’ll access the first board in the opening minutes of the game: the Z-Warrior board, which is anchored by Goku at the center.
There are seven boards in total, which appear as icons in the top-right of the Community Board menu screen — Z Warrior, Cooking, Training, Development, God, Adult, and Adventure. Increasing the rank of each board by placing Soul Emblems there will activate a series of passive stat boosts, as you can see above.
With the exceptions of the characters at the center of each board, you can change the placement of your Soul Emblems at any time. Be sure to set new emblems to a board when you get them; it’s easy to forget to do this as you’re blasting through the story.
Placing specific emblems adjacent to one another will activate a Link Bonus. You’ll know you’ve done it right when you see a little dialogue exchange between the two characters you’ve connected.
These bonuses can make it easier to unlock a community’s skills. Press the trackpad on the screen for a particular board to see all the possible bonuses. Characters you don’t have yet will be blacked out, while those placed on other boards will have a darkened portrait.
Community rank is determined by the overall level of the Soul Emblems set on each board, in addition to Link Bonuses. Some characters are better suited to certain boards than others, as you can see by bringing up the Soul Emblem details for a particular character. For instance, Chiaotzu is best suited to the Cooking Board, indicated by that Level 6 in the Cooking stat. However, you might get more benefit from placing him next to his buddy Tien on another board, depending on your playstyle and the benefits you’re looking to get out of the system.
How to power up your Soul Emblem connections with gifts
The rank of each Soul Emblem is determined by two parameters: friendship and proficiency. Both of these can be increased by giving characters gifts, which you’ll earn from battles, substories, exploration, and advancing the main story. (Don’t be stingy, now. You can always find more gifts!)
Friendship affects how a support character will perform in battle: the higher the stat, the more they’ll help you out. Proficiency refers to a character’s skills in a specific area. Again, in the image above, you can see Chiaotzu is probably a better fit for Cooking than the Development or God boards, based on the stats next to each icon. Characters with a predisposition toward certain skills will be able to achieve a higher level within that community, so it makes sense to stick to a character’s latent strengths.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to give gifts that pertain to the Community Board where you plan to use someone most. For instance, since Yajirobe is locked to the center of the Adventure board, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to give him a gift to boost his Cooking proficiency.
What each Community Board does and tips for where to place characters
Z Warrior Community (Leader: Goku)
This board aids you offensively in combat, with boosts to your melee and Ki attacks, as well as your support gauge. In the early game, we’d recommend placing Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin and Tien here.
Cooking Community (Leader: Chi-Chi)
This community enhances the effect of food on your party members and makes it easier for cooks to create bonus dishes. Chiaotzu, Launch and Puar make good additions here.
Training Community (Leader: King Kai)
The Training board increases your defense against Ki-based and standard attacks, and can also increase the experience you earn during battle. Tien, Yamcha and Krillin make good early additions here.
Development Community (Leader: Bulma)
This board helps make crafting and development easier and cheaper. It also increases your vehicle levels. Pilaf, Shu, Mai and Android 8 are good bets for this one.
Community of the Gods (Leader: Mr. Popo)
The blessings of the Gods will allow you to earn more, better items through exploration and battle. King Yemma and Kami should be here, though you won’t have this board unlocked when you first get their Soul Emblems, so stick them somewhere else until you do.
Adult Community (Leader: Master Roshi)
This unfortunately named enclave can help you get — and keep — more of that sweet, sweet cash, by increasing the amount you get for selling items and lowering prices from vendors. Nam and Yamcha are solid early-game additions here.
Adventure Community (Leader: Yajirobe)
There’s some enticing bonuses to be had on this board, including enhanced recovery item effects and overall boosts to your base HP and Ki. Too bad there aren’t a whole lot of early game options for this one. We’ve put Yamcha and Tien here to take advantage of the easy Link Bonus until some better candidates come along.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.