New Player Guide

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These are the basic 3-orb patterns. Learn to recognize them, then string them together for sick combos. The timer doesn't start until you move an orb, so take your time and aim for at least three combos every turn. Your damage dealt (and healing) increases with each additional combo, even if you don't attack with that color.

Welcome to Puzzle & Dragons! If you're new we strongly recommend reading the entirety of this guide. It won't all make sense, but you can return to it as things fall into place. Here's the short version.

  • If the monster you pulled from the Rare Egg Machine at the end of the tutorial is not a god listed in the reroll tier list, reinstall the game and replay the tutorial until you get one that is. If you get sick of rerolling, wait for a Godfest and try again.
  • Add your shiny new monster at http://www.padherder.com/ and friend everyone with a leader that complements yours.
  • Run through dungeons until you clear Castle of Satan. Sell everything except what you're using on your team and any important subs or evolution materials you happen to pick up along the way. Don't stop to farm.


Okay, I got the game and finished the tutorial. What should I do with the _______ that I just pulled from the Rare Egg Machine?

This may sound ridiculous, but odds are that your first experience with PAD should be to uninstall and reinstall the game. Repeatedly. The dungeons are very easy at first, but they quickly get more difficult, and without a good leader from the free tutorial egg you'll find yourself wanting either to quit or to spend money on better monsters. See the reroll tier list for more information on rerolling and a list of what you should keep.

Which starter should I pick — fire, water or wood?

It doesn't matter. You'll use your good Rare Egg roll as your leader, and you can farm all three starters later. Your choice does decide the color of the badge next to your username, so pick the one that you like best! You should absolutely hang on to your starter dragon, though: you can use the "Add to Favorites" option in your Monster Box to prevent yourself from accidentally selling or fusing anything you care about. (Don't drink and puzzle. (Always drink and puzzle.))

How do I get magic stones?

You get one magic stone the first time you beat all of the stages in a dungeon. You get a small handful of bonus magic stones after certain fixed numbers of daily log-ins. During special events, you get a free magic stone every day that you log in. If you want more than that, your only option is spending money.

Until you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing, the most important rule is do not spend your stones on stamina refills or continues. In general, you will want to use them to purchase more monster boxes and to roll the Rare Egg Machine during Godfests. A decent rule of thumb is to have twice as many monster box slots as your rank. Later on, you can purchase more friend list slots with your stones, or use them to continue or refill stamina in very specific cases, but by the time those are relevant you'll know what to do. On that note, never trash or fuse anything from the REM unless you are absolutely certain you know what you are doing.

GOD FEST Live! Do not use the REM unless the button looks like this.

What are events?

A couple times a month, GungHo decides that they don't have enough of our money, so they announce an event. Events used to be few and far between, but these days there is almost always some sort of event going on - they usually feature increased skillup/bonus EXP changes, special gift dungeons, and free stuff from the in-game mail.

Most importantly, Godfests happen twice per month - these usually take place around the middle of the month and the end of the current month/beginning of next month. During a Godfest, select pantheons of monsters are three times more likely to come out of the REM. In addition, the Godfest Exclusive (GFE) monsters can only be rolled during this time. There's also frequently some small "Gala" event going on to boost a given color -- this is not a Godfest! Make sure the button for the REM actually says that a Godfest is live (see the image to the right). Even inside a Godfest, you're only about 30% guaranteed to get something nice, and it's just burning money to roll outside one.

When is the next event?

That's an excellent question. Check the last few pages of the thread to see if one's going on now. To try to predict a future one, keep an eye on what's happening in Korea, since we get events roughly in parallel with them, or just think about what excuse GungHo could use to make money this month. (Don't think too hard - this is a company that gave out "Noel Dragons" for Easter.)

I have great monsters, but the game isn't letting me put them all on the same team. What's going on?

Your rank is too low! Rank determines your maximum team cost and stamina. The fastest way to increase your rank early on is to grind Tower of the Giants on weekends when it costs half as much stamina. Dragons of the Tower offers the most rank EXP, but you can also try to farm a Titan from Wrath of the Giant. Dragons of the Tower is so stamina-efficient that you can run it without stopping until rank 66. In the long term, your goal is to make it to Hyperion Lava Flow, Oceanus Falls, and Kronos Forest. The third stages of each of these dungeons give more than 500 EXP/stamina and are the best practical way to grind rank. Also, at some point during the week a few other dungeons will offer 2x EXP or 1/2 stamina for a set amount of time. These are also great ways to rank up quickly. If you get tired of running these dungeons, you can also run the Weekend Dungeon when it is available - all of the stages in this group are tricolor (meaning no light or dark orbs) and offer great rank EXP in addition to a large amount of coins. Just make sure you have a team that can handle the dungeon level you are attempting, as the higher levels can be difficult if you are still relatively new.

One more important note - an event will occasionally include the opportunity to run the Experience of a Lifetime dungeon. This is a unique dungeon that awards a whopping 200,000 rank EXP, which is enough to give new players more than a couple dozen ranks right away. Not only that, but you also get an Extreme King Metal Tamadra, which is worth 200,000 EXP when fed to another monster (or 300,000 if fed to a dark monster). The best part is, the "Experience of a Lifetime" dungeon is impossible to fail - there's only one enemy (the Tamadra) and it never attacks; you just hit it 12 times and it dies, giving you the rewards. If possible, you should run this with a friend leader that is using a max-evo Ganesha, as this monster grants you 1.5x rank EXP at the end of a dungeon. The only requirement for entering this dungeon is that you have to have at least 30 stamina, otherwise it won't appear. Make sure to check the "Special Dungeons" tab every so often to look for this one.

What's up with the friend list? Am I supposed to hope for good random users?

Friends are a key part of your team composition, because your friend's leader's skill multiplies with your own to give you your overall stat boost. You can use two complementary leader skill bonuses to create teams with extraordinarily powerful stats or multipliers. Use http://www.padherder.com/ to find friends that synergize with your leader, and put SA in your name so they'll accept your friend request.

On that note, leader skill bonuses only apply once per leader per monster - if you have Loki, the Finisher, who gives 2x attack to Dark and Devil monsters, he only gives himself 2x attack, not 4x, despite being both a Dark monster and a Devil monster. However, if you also use a friend's Loki, the Finisher, all of your Dark or Devil monsters will get 4x attack (and 4x recovery). In other words, leader skills stack, but there is no double dipping for one monster's leader skill. Also, leader skills stack multiplicatively - meaning you multiply the stat boosts together to get the final value. For the Loki, the Finisher example, they each give 2x attack, so the final attack multiplier is 2*2=4x attack.

What is this gift trading people are talking about?

Once you hit rank 20, you can give a present to one of your friends. Each of you will get one of the five starter dragons (including light/dark) or one of the five Snow Globe Dragons selected at random. The idea is to send your present to someone who will send you theirs, so you both get two. This is the only way to give anything to another player. (There is no trading...yet)

What is this Best Friend Selection (BFF) people are talking about?

Once you hit rank 50, you get the option to select one of your existing friends as a "best friend" - this option will appear in the "Friend" menu once you hit the rank requirement. When you select someone as your best friend, a few things happen: first, you can choose to use one of the three main leaders that this person has up (rather than just two like with regular friends); second, you get 100 PAL points from using one of your best friend's leaders, rather than the regular 10 PAL points you get with a regular friend; third and finally, your best friend's leaders will move to the top of your friend list, so you can immediately see what they are running when the friend list opens up. There's no downside to selecting a best friend, except that you can't choose another one until the option gets reset (which usually happens every 6 months to a year or so). You should choose your best friend carefully - pick someone who is using a strong leader that synergizes well with your own leader. Ideally, that person's leader will be max level, max skill, and have 297 +eggs.

A couple extra notes about best friends - only the main three leaders that a best friend is running will be available for you to use (the leader monster in Team 1, the leader monster in Team 2, and the active leader monster). If your best friend decides to stop using the leader that you liked using as a friend, then it won't be available for you to use anymore and...well, there's nothing you can do about that. Similarly, if the person you picked as a best friend decides to stop playing PAD entirely, you are once again out of luck, since a person's leaders are only available for 24 hours since their last login. Best Friend Selection does get reset every so often (along with presents) though, so you will still be able to choose someone new eventually (and you still get to keep your existing best friend, too). Some people actually like to set up a "best friend triangle" with two other people for maximum efficiency. This means that you set up an agreement with two other people (Person A and Person B) where you BFF Person A -> Person A BFFs Person B -> Person B BFFs you -> and now you all have 2 best friends available. But this is just for people with an obsessive interest in PAD; normal people don't do this.

I got an egg with a big plus sign on it, what is this?

That means that monster has a stat bonus. +1 to HP gives 10 HP, +1 to ATK gives 5 ATK, and +1 to RCV gives 3 RCV. You can transfer this stat bonus to another monster via Power-Up Fusion, to a maximum of +99 in each stat (+297 total.) Fusing these bonuses increases the cost of fusion by 1,000 gold for each + the target monster will have afterwards. Most people store up 5-10 on a monster they won't use and then feed them to their main leader to save gold.

Active skill up bonuses can be seen on the Power-Up Fusion button

How do I level up a monster's skill?

Most monsters have an active skill, and leveling this skill reduces its cooldown by one turn per level. When you fuse one monster to another monster and both have the exact same skill with the exact same name, there is about a 10% chance it will get a skill up. The odds of this can be increased during an event with a boost to skill up rates, which can be seen on the Power-Up Fusion button in the menu (see the screenshot to the right). Currently, the highest boost we have seen is a "Skill Up chance x5", which occurs on rare occasions. You should always wait for an event like this before trying to skill up any of your monsters.

This tedious method used to be the only way to get skill ups for any of your monsters; these days, there are a couple other methods available. The first and easiest method is to use Pys for skill ups. Pys are special monsters that, when fed to a monster of the same main attribute, will give you a guaranteed skill up. There are five types of Pys - Flampy, Bubpy, Woodpy, Shynpy, and Badpy - one of each for every main element. So if you feed a Shynpy to Da Qiao & Xiao Qiao, you would raise her skill by one level. However, Pys are fairly rare; you can only get them from occasional gift dungeons or by clearing Ultimate Arena - an extremely challenging dungeon later on in the game, which requires an end-game team. So you should only use Pys for monsters with rare skill up materials.

The final method of getting skill ups is through the use of King Tans. Similiar to Pys, there are five types of King Tans - King Flamtan, King Bubtan, King Woodtan, King Shyntan, and King Badtan - one for each main element. When you fuse a King Tan to a monster with the same main element along with some regular skill up monsters, you get a number of guaranteed skill ups, corresponding to the number of skill up monsters you included with the King Tan. Here is an example to make it clearer: If you feed 4 Shirons along with a King Shyntan to Da Qiao & Xiao Qiao, she will gain 4 guaranteed skill ups - one for each Shiron you included.

No Friend of Gravity put a bunch of effort into testing the idea that you should feed cheap monsters until you get a big skillup before feeding important things. Basically, don't bother. The full writeup is here.

What am I even supposed to be doing?

As a new player, you have a few immediate objectives.

  • Back up your account by "attaching" it to your Google/iOS account through the Options menu.
    • iOS: Enter the "Others" menu and press the "Support" button. Click "Display" to see a secret code, write this secret code down somewhere secure and do not share it with anyone! If your data is lost, you can present this secret code along with your user ID to GungHo support to prove your ownership of the account in question and they'll assist you with recovering it.
    • Android: Enter the "Others" menu and press the "Game Data Migration" button. Press "Yes" to link your PAD account to your Google Play account.
  • Go to http://www.padherder.com/ and add a bunch of friends.
  • Progress through Normal Dungeons until you clear Castle of Satan.
  • Complete the first two technical dungeons, unlocked by clearing CoS.
  • On weekends, use Dragons of the Tower (in Tower of Giants) to rank up to at least 66.

What are some subs that I can use to fill out my team in the early game?

The absolute best subs for a new account are dub-lits from the Friday Dungeon (The Expert difficulty level which costs 25 stamina!), which only require 1 team cost but have 500 HP, 500 ATK, and 200 RCV. These subs, together with your good REM roll and a compatible friend list, will make the early game a breeze. If it's not Friday, just use whatever monsters of the appropriate color dropped from the dungeons you most recently cleared. Don't bother leveling them; you'll replace them on Friday.

If you want to put in a little more effort, here's a guide to early game subs.

When should I roll the Pal Egg Machine?

The PAL Egg Machine (PEM), located above the Rare Egg Machine (REM) in the same menu, has different contents depending on when you decide to pull. The PEM always has one of three different Carnivals affecting it - the Evo Material Carnival, the Enhance Carnival, and the Rare Monster Carnival. Each Carnival lasts for several days, then it moves to the next one in the rotation. The PEM has very useful materials in it, especially for new players, so you should assess what you need most and roll during the appropriate Carnival:

Evo Material Carnival: Drops materials used in many monster evolutions, such as dub-lits, keepers, masks, and jewels. Some of the rarer materials available here can only otherwise be obtained from the hardest levels of the weekday dungeons, which are very difficult for new players. So this Carnival is a great time to roll if you are just starting out, particularly if you are looking to evolve a monster with materials that are hard to obtain.

Enhance Carnival: Drops King Jewel Dragons and Super King Dragons, which are used for leveling up your monsters. King Jewel Dragons can be fused away for massive amounts of EXP, so they are the main materials used for leveling up monsters in the game. This is another great Carnival for new players, giving you a way to quickly power up your team. King Jewel Dragons can also be sold for a large amount of gold if you get desperate, though they are best used for monster EXP.

Rare Monster Carnival: Drops somewhat-rare monsters that are skill up fodder for some commonly-used monsters. This is the least useful Carnival for new players, but it can still be useful to do 10 pulls or so - some of the monster you get can be good subs early on.

My Hermes is level 32 and I'm completely broke. What's the best way to level my monsters?

The best way to level your monsters is by getting more experience per feed, since the amount of gold that you pay to use Power-Up Fusion is dependent only on the target monster's level and +eggs. First off, monsters give an extra 50% experience when they are fed to a monster of the same color.

Since monsters need more and more experience to reach the next level, but the things you feed to them always give the same amount, you will have to start using better food! If you haven't cleared Castle of Satan yet, you don't really need to be leveling anything. You can take your starter up a few levels, but don't worry too much; Friday Dungeon will give you good subs and a good friend leader can pick up the slack.

After Castle of Satan, you unlock the Technical Dungeons, which gives you access to the most efficient method of leveling monsters: The Pengdra Cycle. When you have PAL points, you can also roll the PEM during an Enhance Carnival, which gives King Jewel Dragons that are worth tons of monster EXP.

I'm still broke. Should I be worried?

Gold is only used for fusing and evolving monsters, so you should only worry about it if you're planning to evolve and feed a dozen Pengdra in the near future. The best source of gold in the game is the Master difficulty Weekend Dungeon. It's significantly easier than other Master-level dungeons and many teams that can clear Castle of Satan will not have a problem with it. Even outside of events (which give it a gold drop bonus), it gives around 120,000 gold for 25 stamina. In addition, you will be selling any "trash" monsters that drop and aren't needed to feed Pengdra to free up space, and that usually gives you enough gold to keep you from going completely broke.

You probably don't need nearly that much gold fresh out of Castle of Satan. Don’t enter Master difficulty dungeons blind though, ask for advice in the thread or IRC and we can tell you if your team is ready. The other weekend dungeon stages don’t yield as much gold as Master, but they’re still good if you’re completely broke.

Sounds good. Should I just sell or fuse everything that drops?

Not quite: a few (rare) drops make important subs. Don't go out of your way to hunt these monsters until you need them, but farming them is a decent use of stamina if you have absolutely nothing else to do, and if you get one of these, don't fuse or sell it!

  • Naga: The most important sub in the game for her enemy-delaying active skill.
  • Mermaid: The most reliable way to heal with her orb-changing active skill.
  • Succubus: Her active skill poisons enemies; good against high-defense low-HP monsters.
  • Vampire: An essential monodark sub and reasonable no-IAP leader.
  • Titan: Backbone of monored teams. Keep two, as his ultimate evolution is very different from his previous form

What about evolution materials?

It's a good idea to save at least three of each of these, more if you're building a team in their color. However, with the exception of Dragon Plants, you shouldn't farm them unless you have an immediate need for them - your stamina and patience are better spent elsewhere. Spend stones for more boxes if you don't have enough room; you'll be grateful later.

  • Little sprites (___lit): The first tier of dungeons (Dungeon of Fire to Dungeon of Dark) during a half-stamina period is fastest, but you can also use Friday Dungeon.
  • Big sprites (Dub-___lit): Expert Friday Dungeon.
  • Masks: Wednesday Dungeon.
  • Dragon Seed, Dragon Plant, Dragon Flower, and Dragon Fruit: Thursday Dungeon.
  • Keepers: Red, Blue and Green Keepers are the bosses of their respective Tuesday Dungeons. Light and Dark Keepers are random encounters in RBG Tuesday Dungeons, and one is guaranteed on the wave before Rainbow Keeper in his Tuesday Dungeon.
  • Keeper of Rainbow: Has his own Tuesday Dungeon.