Punishing: Gray Raven is a game with many nuances, where decisions made early can impact the way you enjoy the game to an extent. This guide aims to give you the best possible start, and perhaps even teach more experienced players a thing or two.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question #01

There are a lot of terms I don't understand. What is a "pity"?

Please see the Glossary page for a list of terms you may be unfamiliar with. These terms are used frequently within the community and on this website.

Question #02

If I just started playing, do I focus on story mode or do I only focus on farming the new event?

Leveling up so that you can participate in the event is your main priority. The event usually has one-time rewards you will miss out on otherwise. Once you are secure on event rewards, you can start working more through the story. Besides 1-2 days every month, there is always an active event happening.

Question #03

Who is the best to choose from the S-Rank Selector?

IMPORTANT: Wait until your first S-Rank character pull from the Member Recruit banner (guaranteed in 40 pulls) before using this item. This is to avoid the risk of getting the same character twice, which is less worthwhile than having two separate characters.

DISCLAIMER: The following is only a list of recommendations.

If your first S-Rank was either Nanami: Pulse or Karenina: Ember:
  • Choose the one you didn't get (ie. Choose Pulse if you got Ember; choose Ember if you got Pulse)
  • This will give you almost the entire Fire Team
  • The best third character to pair with them would be either Karenina: Blast or Sophia: Silverfang, who are both A-Ranks that can be targeted while trying to get your S-Rank on the Member Recruit banner
If your first S-Rank was Kamui: Tenebrion:

Karenina: Blast is a solid all-rounder who will fit nicely into any of your teams. Nanami: Storm, despite starting out as a B-Rank character, is extremely valuable for Physical teams; farm Inver-Shards from her Interlude Challenge Mode stage until she hits S-Rank and you'll be good to go.

If your first S-Rank was Lee: Entropy:
If you first S-Rank was Lucia: Crimson Abyss:
  • Choose Kamui: Tenebrion
  • You'll then want to build the same teams described in the Tenebrion/Entropy examples, but replace Lee: Entropy with Lucia: Crimson Abyss
If you first S-Rank was Bianca: Veritas:
If you first S-Rank was Lucia: Plume:

Question #04

How many resources are needed to max out one character?

In order to level a Construct to 80, max out all their skills, and promote them to Hero, you will need:


Note: This does not include the Skill Points required for passive skills unlocked through evolution.

Question #05

How many Inver-Shards do duplicates in gacha give?

In the case that you pull a duplicate of a character you already own, the duplicate will be converted into Inver-Shards. The amount of Shards you obtain depends on the base rarity of the character you pulled, regardless of how much you have increased their rank previously.

  • Do take note that all duplicate Shards are dependent on BASE rarity, not the current Construct rarity from evolution.

B-Rank Construct duplicates give 6 Inver-Shards.
A-Rank Construct duplicates gives 18 Inver-Shards.
S-Rank Construct duplicates give 30 Inver-Shards.

Question #6

How many shards are needed to evolve a Construct?

Each circuit requires a preset number of shards in order to activate; this value is dependent on the Construct's or Transcendant's current Rank. Activating all ten circuits on the board will prompt the user to complete the Evolution and raise the character's Rank by 1 grade (this will consume Cogs as well).

Required shards for Evolution are as follows:

  • Evolution from B-Rank to A-Rank: 1 Shard per circuit, up to 10 Shards for completion.
  • Evolution from A-Rank to S-Rank: 2 Shards per circuit, up to 20 Shards for completion.
  • Evolution from S-Rank to SS-Rank: 3 Shards per circuit, up to 30 Shards for completion.
  • Evolution from SS-Rank to SSS-Rank: 9 Shards per circuit, up to 90 Shards for completion.
  • Evolution from SSS-Rank to SSS+ Rank: 18 Shards per circuit, up to 180 Shards for completion.

Upon successful Evolution, a Construct or Transcendant will gain increased base ATK, DEF, HP, and CRT multipliers. Additionally, they will unlock a new skill depending on the Rank achieved.

  • B → A-Rank will unlock the character's Leader passive skill.
  • A → S-Rank will allow the user to unlock the character's Class-Specific (Attacker/Tank/Support) passive skill and level it up; this is why evolving all characters to S-Rank at minimum is recommended.
  • S → SS-Rank will unlock their first special passive skill.
  • SS → SSS-Rank will unlock their second special passive skill.
  • SSS → SSS+ Rank will unlock their third and final special passive skill.

Question #01

What is a QTE?
  • Shorthand for "Quick Time Event"
  • Activated when your on-field character uses a 3-Ping which has a color corresponding to the color you set your off-field characters on (in the pre-battle screen); your off-field character's icon will start glowing, letting you know that pressing the "swap character" button will activate their QTE Skill!
  • A mechanic that allows your off-field characters to temporarily enter the field (with full immunity to damage) in order to support your active character
  • Characters who have been summoned onto the field via QTE can receive healing

You can view the details of your character's QTE Skill in the Skills section. Some of them have very useful effects such as lowering the defence of enemies or knocking them away. Learning to use QTEs well and efficiently is key to becoming a good player.

Question #02

How do I use Da Vinci?

Da Vinci is probably the most important 6★ Memory in the game; effectively using Da Vinci is a core part of performing well on any stage.

Here's how it works:

  • Equip a 4-set of Da Vinci to a character you intend to keep off the field
  • Its 4-Piece set bonus is triggered by activating the QTE of the character who has Da Vinci equipped
  • When a Da Vinci-equipped character uses their QTE, the other off-field character's QTE also becomes available for use

It is important to get used to using both QTEs in rapid succession as the key to Da Vinci's damage boost lies in having both non-active Constructs on the field at the same time. By taking advantage of this Memory fully, you'll be able to inflict massive damage in a short space of time.

Example: Lucia: Crimson Abyss has an extremely powerful Core Passive that lets her enter Blade Will Mode, turning her Signal Orbs into powerful, rapid-fire Sword Wave attacks. With the right setup, these attacks can very easily and very quickly decimate Phantom Pain Cage bosses or War Zone enemies. However, she'll need the support of her teammates to achieve such high damage, and that's where Da Vinci comes in.

A short sequencing example would be:
Lucia: Crimson Abyss dodges an enemy's attack, triggering Matrix
➝ Use her free 3-Ping ("Matrix Ping") on a Blue Orb
➝ Activate your Nanami: Storm's QTE, triggering Da Vinci
➝ Immediately activate Karenina: Blast's QTE afterwards
➝ Use any 3-Ping on Lucia: Crimson Abyss to enter Blade Will Mode
➝ Unleash a barrage of Sword Waves into your enemies for maximum profit!

Question #01

Is it worth it to pull on the Floating Guarantee banner on the third tab?

It's not worth it even for whales most of the time. You can ignore the third tab of the R&D section altogether. If you're F2P or a low spender especially, please don't ever go near the Floating banners. Always target the 60-pity banners on the second tab.

Question #02

If I'm F2P or a low spender, which Constructs should I farm Shards for?

When you reach a certain level, you will unlock Interludes. Once you complete the story section of these Interludes, you will be able to enter the Challenge Mode stages, which can be cleared up to twice per day, awarding you with 1 Inver-Shard of a specific character per clear. These Inver-Shards can be used to improve your character's Rank through a process called Evolution.

The following is a safe priority list:

  • Get any Tanks you want to use to S-Rank ASAP as being able to level their Class Skill ("Tank") is a massive boost to your whole team's damage
  • After that, farm Inver-Shards for Liv: Lux until she hits SS-Rank
  • After that, farm Inver-Shards for Liv: Eclipse until she hits SSS-Rank; SSS-Rank Eclipse is not mandatory at the moment, but she will become a core part of the Physical Team once Rosetta: Rigor has been released
  • After that, farm Inver-Shards for Vera: Rozen until she hits SSS-Rank; SSS-Rank Rozen gives her teammates a nice boost in damage

Once you have farmed all of these Shards, it is recommended that you put your very limited Serum towards farming 6★ Memories instead; it will improve your overall damage more than getting one Rank on a character over a month or two. You will naturally evolve your Constructs as you pull for new debut banner S-Ranks.

Question #03

Which characters should I SS-Rank from Pain Cage?

Note: Phantom Pain Cage rewards players weekly with a currency called Phantom Pain Scars. These can be used to purchase up to 30 Inver-Shards for any character. Many players refer to Phantom Pain Scars as "skulls."

DO NOT spend any Phantom Pain Scars on A-Rank or B-Rank characters!

Characters to prioritize upgrading to SS-Rank using Phantom Pain Scars include debut banner S-Rank characters such as Lucia: Crimson Abyss, Bianca: Veritas, and Lucia: Plume.

If you already have the priority Constructs at SS-Rank, you should consider the likes of Kamui: Tenebrion and Karenina: Ember. Tenebrion gains a massive buff to his SS-Rank passive in a future patch, and Ember is the main Fire Attacker for a very, very long time.

Question #04

Which A-Rank characters do I target from Member Recruit first?

The A-Rank character you want to target largely depends on the sort of team you want to build in that moment.

Here are a list of A-Rank characters you may want to invest in in order of priority.

Karenina: Blast
  • Good in nearly every team at the moment
  • Serves several purposes well in Phantom Pain Cage
Liv: Lux
  • Great in Phantom Pain Cage, especially in higher difficulty levels where there is a stage DoT (Damage over Time) due to her QTE which leaves a HoT (Heal over Time) circle on the ground
  • Now that Kowloong Metropolis has dropped and enemies in War Zone can no longer spawn in a line, she is a key component in the Lightning Team
Watanabe: Astral
  • Even without Kamui: Tenebrion, he's still a great third pick
  • Watanabe: Astral can perform just fine as a standalone in the Dark War Zone stage
Vera: Rozen
Kamui: Bastion

Question #05

If I'm an above average spender, which characters should I prioritize Evolving?

If you have enough resources to pull for extra copies of characters, then there are a few units who gain a lot at certain ranks. In no order of preference:

Lee: Palefire → SSS-Rank

Lee: Palefire's SSS-Rank Passive is a strong boost to his damage and allows him to become the Oneshot God of lower floors of Phantom Pain Cage.

Lee: Entropy → SSS-Rank

Pricy, but Lee: Entropy's SSS-Rank Passive makes him significantly stronger just based on raw numbers.

Kamui: Tenebrion → SS-Rank

With the Firn Night patch, his SS-Rank Passive gets a significant upgrade making it extremely strong, so picking up a second copy is recommended.

Ayla: Brilliance → SSS-Rank

At SSS-Rank, Ayla: Brilliance becomes a viable choice for the Physical War Zone team with the defense shred her Core Passive now brings.
A great War Zone team for bigger spenders includes SSS-Rank Lee: Entropy, SSS-Rank Ayla: Brilliance, and Karenina: Blast -- very fun to play and very strong. Although it functions well at lower Ranks as well, at this strength this team becomes a true force to be reckoned with.

Bianca: Veritas → SSS-Rank

At SSS-Rank, Bianca: Veritas finally feels complete. Her Yellow Orb gains a purpose other than moving around and doing small amounts of damage. This evolution significantly increases the fun factor of her playstyle and is also really strong to boot.

Sophia: Silverfang → SSS-Rank

This brings a significant boost to the Fire Team's damage. Especially potent in Phantom Pain Cage, it can allow for some major boosts to your scores.

Chrome: Arclight → SSS-Rank

Before SSS-Rank, Chrome: Arclight can't do much but be a QTE bot for Bianca: Veritas, but at SSS-Rank he becomes a viable switch-in option. Once again, this upgrade significantly ups the fun factor of the Lightning Team.
The ideal Lightning Team includes SSS-Rank Bianca: Veritas as well as SSS-Rank Chrome: Arclight -- preferably with Arclight's Signature Weapon, St. Elmo.

Lucia: Plume → SSS-Rank


Rosetta: Rigor → SSS-Rank


Question #06

Do A-Rank characters really matter? Won't they just get replaced by S-Ranks?

PGR bucks the trend set by other similar games and has found a way to make every single character worth using, even base B-Rank and A-Rank characters. A-Rank characters are incredibly good and worth investing in.

As for whether they'll get replaced by S-Rank characters down the line, it's very dependent on the game mode. In War Zone, certain A-Rank characters may lose relevance over time, but even then it's not worth it to skip out on an A-Rank. For example, if you decide to skip the A-Rank Tank Chrome: Arclight because you want to wait for the S-Rank Tank Vera: Garnet, you will be significantly hampering your ability to perform with the Lightning Team for over a year, and that will make you miss out on resources; you might de-rank from Hero when Lightning Zone is active, for example, or get the lower bracket rewards in Phantom Pain Cage when there is a boss weak to Lightning.

To emphasize, while A-Rank characters may get replaced by stronger S-Ranks eventually, it is so far away that it's not worth thinking about right now. Not only that, but the resources you'd lose would be a lot more than it would have taken to invest even a little in those A-Ranks to begin with.

Even if A-Rank characters lose their place in content like War Zone, they will still be extremely useful in Babel Tower and other future content. In PGR, every character is useful.

Question #07

What is Awakening? Which characters should I Awaken first?


Question #08

What are Transcendants? Is it okay to skip them?

Known as Compositers and later Uniquants in the CN version of the game, Transcendants are characters who cannot be used in the same team as Constructs until the Reveries With A Whale patch, far into the future. UNANSWERED.

Question #01

Which 6★ weapons are the most important to pull first?

In PGR, each character has a 6★ Signature Weapon that was designed specifically for them, but they can only be obtained through gacha.

Other characters that do really well with their 6★ weapon include the following (in no order of preference):

Question #02

If I'm F2P (Free-To-Play), should I even pull for 6★ weapons?

As F2P, it is extremely important to plan your Black Card (BC) spending well into the future. Check when new characters are coming here on the Patch List page and find out what they need/cost -- a full 60-pull pity will cost you 15,000 BC for any debut S-Ranks, for example.

If you pity every new S-Rank character, you should be able to get a 6★ weapon every 3-4 S-Ranks or so. However, if you ever pull an S-Rank character well before the pity of 60 pulls, you should put that BC you saved towards the most important S-Rank 6★ weapons.

The current rank of 6★ weapon importance is Lucia: Plume > Lucia: Crimson Abyss > Bianca: Veritas. Once Rosetta: Rigor debuts in the Firn Night patch, she is a strong contender for the most important slot as her 6★ weapon is a massive improvement to her kit.

Question #03

If I pull an off-banner 6★ weapon, what should I do with it?

On the targeted weapon banner, your selected weapon has only an 80% chance of popping out -- you may find yourself with one of the other 6★ weapons on the banner instead. If that happens, never recycle your new weapon for Weapon Shards! Instead, decide whether it's worth keeping. If you already have the weapon, you will almost certainly want to use it for Resonance fodder.

Question #04

How important is it to Resonate 6★ weapons?

UNANSWERED. [needs f2p opinion too]

Question #05

Which 6★ weapons should I prioritize Resonating?

UNANSWERED. [should mention luna patch reso update]

Question #01

Which characters should I bring to War Zone?

War Zone is a game mode in which you try to defeat as many enemies as possible within a 2-minute time limit while taking as little damage as possible. The rewards are very valuable, including currency that allows you to purchase 6★ Memories.

The first thing you want to do in PGR is build one strong team. This could be the Fire Team of Karenina: Ember + Nanami: Pulse + Karenina: Blast OR Sophia: Silverfang, or any of the other elemental teams. Having that team carry you through all the different zones while you work on raising other teams will perform a lot better than having a bunch of half-baked teams at once.

Teams to aim for include:





Question #02

Is doing Co-op worth it? (for F2P and for Spenders)

Co-op is only worth it if you are F2P; if you get Monthly Pass A or C, it instantly becomes not worth it as any decent amount of pulling on weapon banner makes 5★ weapons too easy to get.

As F2P, you should be doing your 21 co-op runs every week if possible until you feel satiated on 5★ weapons.

Question #03

Should I always do the highest difficulty of Co-op?

If possible, yes!

Question #04

As F2P, which 5★ weapons should I focus on getting first with Co-op rewards?


Question #05

Is it better to spend Serum on event stages or farming Inver-Shards in Interludes?


Question #01

Does Memory placement matter?

Almost every Memory comes in six Grid slots: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Slots 1/2/3 use the Memory's HP and CRIT stats, while slots 4/5/6 use the Memory's ATK and DEF stats. In order to min-max your character's stats, you'll want to have Memories with the highest ATK on slots 4/5/6.

There has been a lot of debate as to how worth it correct placement is for the sake of a few stat points.

When you're just starting out in PGR:

  • Feel free to use whatever placement of 6★ Memories you end up with, even if they are suboptimal; just having a set of 6★ Memories will increase the amount of fun you're having for the time being

When you're looking to Resonate Memories:

  • At this point, you want to be more conscious of Memory placement if possible
  • You can find recommendations for Memory placement for each Construct on their individual pages (found here: Characters)
  • You need a total of 18 Memories to fully Resonate a Construct, so making sure that 6 of those are in the correct spots for maximum stat values is not a problem

You'll eventually get to the point where you want to reroll for ideal Resonances on Memories, and at that point you'll feel like you have too many Memories to feel like it's a struggle to get the correct slots for your characters.

Question #02

What Memories should I invest in before I get a full set of 6★ Memories?
  • Avoid investing too much in anything lower than 6★ rarity
  • If F2P/low spender, leveling anIke set when just starting out can be a good idea

5★ Memories that see use even in late game can also be leveled and used as placeholder sets for stats and decent effects until you grab the good 6★ Memories. Such Memories include:

However, it is best to avoid investing too many resources into these Memories, as later on you will only need either two or four of each. That said, investing in these is much better than putting resources into Memories that completely lose value as you progress.

Question #03

What is Memory Hypertuning?


Question #03

Which characters' Memories should I prioritise Hypertuning?