Recettear FAQ/Tips and Tricks
Written by Doniazade
Thanks to Mistikman for invaluable help with data collection and testing!
Note: This guide has been abandoned. It’s still available, but it’s not being updated and is generally incomplete. For a more complete guide, visit:
Table of Contents
Hi. This is an attempt to compile various useful tips, rules-of-thumb, strategies etc in Recettear. It is not meant to be a day-by-day walkthrough that holds your hand nor does it cover absolutely everything. It is also fairly probable that some of the information is not 100% accurate since it’s all based on best guesses and approximations, but it has been proven to work so far.
There is another excellent FAQ here that is geared more towards listing items and such:
If you have anything to add, request or correct, please comment in the Guest Contributions tab on the page above or post in one of these threads if it’s a lot of text:
Carpe Fulgur forums - http://www.carpefulgur.com/forum/index.php?topic=137.0
Something Awful forums - http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3329392
This is one of the core aspects of the game. You always want to try to use your time as efficiently as possible because you are on a deadline. Each day is divided into four ‘pie slices’ which I will refer to as morning(first slice), noon(second slice), afternoon(third slice) and evening(fourth slice). Except for special events like the day 1 tutorial, there are three basic ways to use these time slices:
Costs one slice. This is the most time-sensitive activity. The time of day determines both how many and the types of customers you will attract - early on you won’t see the little girl and old man in the evening, and Charme and the young man won’t show up in the morning. Once you unlock Griff he also won’t show up until afternoon/evening.
Deciding which slices to use for opening the store depends on a lot of factors, but noon and afternoon are always the most valuable slices for opening the store so you should try to aim for that as much as possible. The evening is usually a better slice than the morning, both because the clientele is richer and because the market is closed in the evening so going to town is less attractive.
Costs one slice. This means leaving the store and visiting any location other than the Adventurer's Guild - note that adventuring is a completely separate event. You can(and should) do as much stuff as you can while in town since the cost is the same no matter how much you did.
There are three main reasons to go to town: Restocking goods, guild activities like fusion and special story events. When a location is blinking, that means a special event will play if you visit that location. Most events are dependent on time of day, and some of them are actually extremely important later on - several adventurers in the full game require events to unlock and I am fairly sure that most events help improve your relationship with your customers. This means that you may want to vary what time slice you use to go to town in order to try to hit as many events as possible.
In the demo, the most important event to trigger is the event where you see an elf(Tielle) in the town square since it most likely leads to recruiting her later on. Triggering it can be done by visiting the square in the morning/noon on two separate town visits.
You can always leave the store and check if any locations are blinking and it won't cost any time unless you actually visit a location. Going to town only to trigger events is kind of a waste of time though so try to plan it so you do everything at once.
Note that the market is closed in the evening, and the pub is only open in the afternoon and evening.
Costs two slices. This basically consists of you paying a person with very questionable morals to go murder innocent creatures for their delicious loot. It is a very good way to acquire goods to sell because you don’t have to pay for the items beyond the adventurer fee, and your degree of success here largely depends on your skill as a player. It is also pretty much the only way to get ingredients and equipment of higher quality than the stuff in town. A few things of note:
- It doesn't matter how many floors you clear - the time cost is the same. This means that there is a strong incentive for you to try to clear as many floors as possible every time you go adventuring in order to maximize loot, experience and progress. However, remember that if you die, you lose everything except one item and the time slices are pretty much wasted!
- Packing tons of awesome equipment means your adventurer may well become a walking god, but it also means that you'll have fewer slots to use for loot. It's usually a good idea to bring a bunch of expendable food for safety, but don’t bring more gear than you actually need.
- However, selling useful gear to your adventurers means that you won’t have to waste a slot on it! A good way to get your adventurers equipped with the gear you want is to not have any weapons or armor on display - that way they’ll often ask you to suggest an item if they come in looking for weapons or armor, as opposed to simply selecting one randomly.
- A full pack does NOT mean you should automatically go home, because you can always toss out the less valuable stuff. If you toss a 500pix Chocolate Bar for a 4800pix Shrimp Doria +4 that slot increased in value by 4300pix! As you dive deeper and deeper you'll notice that a full pack gets more and more valuable even if you filled up all the slots four floors into the dungeon.
- Becoming very good at dungeon crawling pays off a lot because it means that you can dive deeper with less risk and using less equipment. A good challenge for honing your crawling skills is defeating Charme on day 2, or in other words doing Halls of Trials directly followed by Jade Way 1-15. Note that this dive is pretty grueling and can take almost an hour, but if you're aiming to maximize the value of your slices it's very rewarding.
- Because it takes two slices and can't span between days, adventuring will always eat a valuable noon or afternoon slice. However, if you go adventuring in slice 1 or 3 you won't eat both of them at least. Whether you go adventuring in the first or second half of the day depends on what you wanna do - leaving the first half open allows you to go shopping in the market in the morning while the evening is generally a bit more profitable with regards to sales. Therefore I tend to put adventuring in the first half if I don't plan to go to town that day and in the second half if I do.
- Note that the Adventurer’s Guild is closed every 7 days, so you can’t go adventuring on day 4, 11, 18 etc. Also, like Tear says, you can’t go adventuring in the evening slice because you don’t have enough time left on the day.
These three activities should be planned in such a fashion that you get the most use out of your time. This depends on a very large number of factors, and there is absolutely no simple answer. However, if you want an example of how I plan my time slices, here's a log of a demo playthrough: http://i56.tinypic.com/15xwdc2.jpg . You'll get better and better at managing your time with experience. Learning is fun!
When a customer walks into the store, they can do several different things depending on your merchant level:
Buy an item: The customer selects an item and asks you for a price. The customer will never select an item they can’t afford. Your only concern here is selecting the best price - see ‘Optimal Prices’ below.
Sell an item(level 2): The customer tries to unload their various knickknacks on you. This can be anything from Walnut Bread to insane reality-warping doom swords depending on reputation level, luck and customer. Again, the only real concern is selecting the best price.
Ask for a suggestion(level 3): The customer asks if you have an item of a certain category which prompts you to select an item to suggest. The customer will try to buy anything that fits the category, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually be able to afford it, so make sure to pick an item in their price range unless you’re trying to gear up your favorite adventurer by selling them good stuff cheap!
Place an advance order(level 7): The customer orders 2-3 items of a certain category to be delivered in 2-3 days. This works like a suggestion with an advance warning, and you can choose to reject the order without breaking your Just Bonus chain. When you open the store on the appointed day, the customer will ask you to select the agreed-on number of items of the correct category. You’ll then be asked to provide a price for the whole package as if it were one single item.
Note that the budget for the transaction appears to be based on their budget at the time of ordering multiplied by the number of items ordered, so gaining a heart between order and delivery does not let you sell them more expensive stuff.
Walk out: Some customers simply don’t find what they’re looking for, so they walk out without doing anything. This is normal, but you can minimize it by having a selection of items with broad appeal.
Customers have different budgets, meaning they’ll be able to select and afford different price ranges of items. Through tireless testing, we have managed to exactly determine the base budgets of each customer:
Note however that a few things can affect the budgets of your customers:
* Reputation. See below. Each reputation level(heart) has an absolutely massive effect on budget, multiplying it by at least 10.
* Showcasing. Items being put in the window increases the budget by a decent bit, confirmed to be at least 20%. This is another case for putting your good items in the window - more people will be able to afford them.
* Advance orders. When paying for an order the customer’s budget is multiplied by the number of items ordered. Note however that the customer’s budget when paying for items is based on the reputation level they had back when they placed the order, not their current reputation level.
Reputation is how customers ‘level up’. When a heart appears next to their portrait it means they gained a reputation level and now like you more. This increases their budgets massively(by a factor of 10-15 or so for the first heart) and improves the items they try to sell you. Without reputation you can’t really sell items more expensive than a few thousand, greatly limiting your profit per opening - reputation is the difference between living in a box after the first week and making millions in a single store opening. Increasing your reputation will allow you to flip more cash faster thus increasing your maximum rate of profit which in turn makes you make money a lot faster.
Reputation is gained through:
* Sales. Every sale gives a certain amount of rep. Hitting near pins and full pins gives a lot more rep, likely 1.5 and 3 times normal rep respectively.
* Item bonuses. A +4 item gives a ton more rep than a regular one - intuitively I’d say about 20% more per modifier level, but don’t quote me on that.
* It seems like fulfilling advance orders gives additional reputation. It’s likely that this is proportional to the number of items ordered.
* Town events might improve reputation. Need testing on this, but you should do events regardless.
* The value of items sold or bought does NOT seem to have any significant effect on rep gained - giving a customer a discount on an Apple is just as effective as giving them a discount on an Invincible Armor.
Customers seem to improve their reputation at different rates. The special characters like the Guild Master gain reputation levels very quickly while the little girl gains rep very slowly.
If you have several customers of the same type in the store at the same time and one of them gains a heart, the other ones in the store will still act like they have the previous reputation level because their budget is determined when they enter the store. Reputation level is effectively ‘updated’ when you open the store the next time.
Anyway, focus on improving your merchant level and reputation and you’ll notice how the cash just comes naturally.
Experience is how you gain merchant levels, allowing you to unlock new features. It can only be gained by opening the store and making sales/purchases. Experience gain is divided into two components for each sale:
* Static experience gain from the sale. This is 10 EXP for a regular sale, 15 EXP for a near pin and 30 EXP for a full pin(shown as Just Bonus, confusingly enough). Which one you get depends on how close you get to the price the customer was thinking of - see table below.
* Just Combo. When you make a sale without the customer refusing the initial offer - i.e, without haggling - you get a bonus of 2 EXP shown in green as Just Bonus(again, confusing). This bonus doubles with each consecutive sale up to a maximum of 128 EXP, so as you make more and more immediate sales in a row you’ll get 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 or 128 EXP depending on how many you’ve had before it. If you have an offer rejected for whatever reason - budget or too high price - your Just Combo is immediately reset. You will want to avoid this at all costs, so make sure to never offer a price above the safe limits in the table below. However, declining an advance order for items does not reset it.
You should also be mindful of each customer’s budget when suggesting items for them, since it’s absolutely not certain that the little girl will be able to afford that 21400pix Very Odd Vase.
Note however that there is no chaining bonus for pins or near pins so if you’re buying or selling a particularly valuable item you may want to sacrifice the chance of pin in order to maximize profit instead - just don’t go over the safe limit or you might break your Just Combo.
Merchant levels represent your skill as a shopkeeper. Increasing your merchant level unlocks additional features and causes you to get better at identifying ingredients while adventuring, meaning you’ll see less yellow question marks and more specific ingredients dropping. The new features include extremely important things like the items available in shops, the size of your store and new ways to sell and buy goods. Every merchant level up to 30-40 is very valuable which means that you should never, ever break a just bonus combo.
Customers start selling stuff.
Customers start asking for item recommendations.
Better items are unlocked in town, and the availability of lower-level items increases. Some items become infinite-supply.
Rank 1 fusions are unlocked at the merchant’s guild.
Allows you to change the wallpaper.
Customers start placing advance orders.
Allows you to change the floor.
Allows you to change the carpet.
Allows you to move the tables.
Better items are unlocked in town, and the availability of lower-level items increases. Some items become infinite-supply.
Allows you to expand your store at the merchant’s guild, adding another set of tables.
Rank 2 fusions are unlocked at the merchant’s guild.
Allows you to change the appearance of the tables.
Allows you to place a vending machine.
Allows you to keep up to two items when dying in a dungeon.
Expands your dungeon backpack to 25 slots.
Better items are unlocked in town, and the availability of lower-level items increases. Some items become infinite-supply.
Rank 3 fusions are unlocked at the merchant’s guild.
Allows you to expand your store, adding another two sets of tables with three additional window spots.
Halves the cost of adventuring.
Allows you to place as many vending machines as you want instead of just one.
Expands your dungeon backpack to 30 slots.
Rank 4 fusions are unlocked at the merchant’s guild.
Allows you to expand your store, adding another four sets of tables for a total of ten tables.
Rank 5 fusions are unlocked at the merchant’s guild.
Expands your dungeon backpack to 30 slots.
Allows you to keep up to three items when dying in a dungeon.
When deciding on a price, there are generally two ‘optimal’ approaches to use:
* Maximum EXP and reputation means pricing your goods as close as possible to the level expected by the customer to maximize your chance of getting near pin and full pin bonuses. This in turn increases the rate of reputation increase for your customers and causes their budgets to increase rapidly, and allows you to gain merchant levels and unlock features faster. I strongly recommend using this approach for almost all sales until reputation and experience is no longer needed.
* Maximum profit means pricing your goods as high as the customer will accept in order to squeeze a bit more cash out of the transaction. While this results in more cash in the short-term, your long-term success is strongly dependent on improving your relationship with your customers. I therefore recommend only using this approach on transactions involving extremely valuable items(since the rep gained is independent of item value) or when you desperately need cash. If there is a maximum reputation level in the full version you may want to switch to this once you hit that, of course.
The recommended prices are “best guesses” and the ‘max profit’ prices are set pretty conservatively - for example, Charme can go all the way up to 130% but in my experience she sometimes refuses prices rated at 125%.
Max EXP+rep (selling)
Max profit (selling)
Max EXP+rep (buying)
Max profit (buying)
Yeah, it does seem like all the demo characters have the same level for pins. I’d recommend using 104% for all characters in the full game as well except Prime and Elan where I recommend selling at 100% so they don’t get huffy. I haven’t done much testing on the max prices of the full version-only characters but I’d recommend something like 114% for Chaiilou, 100% for Prime and Tielle, 110% for Griffe, 120%ish for Arma and 125% for Alouette. No idea on buy prices though everyone accepts 70% which gives the most rep and experience so going with that is a safe bet.
The items you put in the storefront(the tables next to the windows) influence what kind and how many customers you get. Both item value and item type seems to matter, though it’s unclear exactly how much. What I do know, however, is that you should put your most attractive items in the window to attract customers with the rest of the tables filled with affordable goods tailored to the budgets of your customers. This helps increase your profit and experience by maximizing how many people actually buy something.
Note also that different customers have different preferences - young men like weapons a lot while little girls are into stuff like food, books and bracelets. You should therefore try to tailor your storefront to the people who can show up in the current time slice - see the list under Time Management.
Certain events also depend on what goods you have out, so try varying the focus of your selection to see what happens!
Once you get certain distance from a previously killed monster’s starting point, they can respawn. You can see this happening by watching for red markers appearing on your minimap. The number of respawns for each monster seems to be random, but it’s usually between zero and three times, with about half of all monsters not respawning at all. It’s a good idea to farm more valuable monsters like knights and kobolds until they stop respawning in order to get as much loot and experience out of them as possible.
When killing monsters of the exact same type and color you get a chain bonus for each identical monster killed in a row, indicated by the “Chain” indicator on the left side of the screen, but if you kill a monster of a different type, your chain is immediately reset. The chain multiplies the experience gained from each monster, and can be extremely significant if you can manage to get a big chain going. The Hall of Trials is particularly good for this since it only contains a few monster types - you can reach green slime chains of about 25-30 on the first level(which only contains green slime spawns and the occasional blue from traps) if you’re lucky and farm them until they stop respawning, and chaining all the monster types on every floor in the Hall of Trials allows you to finish it with Louie at level 8-9, giving you a nice head start.
As more and more monster types are introduced it becomes less practical to chain because of the huge amount of time needed, but it is still worth trying to chain monsters with exceptionally high experience values, such as knights. Some people like trying to chain every monster type on every level of Jade Way but I’ve found that this will make you go completely insane.
Special case:The blue slimes spawned in a rotating ring by a certain chest trap will not give any chain bonus. They will break any current chain bonus other than blue slimes, but will leave chain bonuses for blue slime intact.
Section to be expanded later, for now see https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AjtKMuArlbP-dEw0V3IyRUdsemV1a3RIVlBvdWdkNEE&gid=0 for a comprehensive list of currently known items, recipes and enemies.
This ambitious but inexperienced kid is a constantly broke swordsman and the first adventurer you will unlock. To unlock him, simply go to the adventurer's guild where you’ll automatically recruit him. He uses a sword and shield.
Louie is a very safe character. He has a relatively high amount of health, his basic attack has a huge range and arc of attack and he has the ability to passively block ranged attacks. His resilience means that you can get by with bringing very little gear to adventures, which opens more inventory slots for loot.
He’s also by far the easiest adventurer to play, and is also the only one that will work for free if you’re broke.
He's slow. His base movement speed is very unimpressive and he lacks the ability to dash. This both limits his maneuverability in combat and makes him pretty tedious to use for long dungeon crawls.
He’s also not really that versatile, since his skillset basically consists of Spin Slash alone due to how weak Vacuum Blade is.
Basically, Louie is simple and quite boring, especially if you’re doing deep dungeon dives with lots of running back and forth to farm spawns.
Normal attack: Louie has an exceptionally wide attack arc, about 180°, which means that he can easily hit mobs to either side. What this means is that when playing Louie you should approach mobs diagonally, not head-on, because a lot of mobs can only move orthogonally(up, down, left, right). As long as you stay on a diagonal you can hurt them but they can't hurt you, so you can take out a lot of mobs with very little risk if you’re careful.
Passive Block: Louie will automatically block ranged attacks coming from the front as long as he's not attacking.
Spin Slash: A high-damage spin attack that hits all enemies around you. Highly useful to destroy grouped mobs or as an emergency button if you get into trouble, and doubles as a heavy hitter on single targets. Triggered a "circle of slimes" trap? Spin Slash! Screwed up on ropers? Spin Slash! Sick of chasing rabbits around? Spin Slash! Pretty versatile skill. Louie starts with this skill, costs 5 SP.
Vacuum Blade: A ranged attack that does moderate damage. It is of questionable usefulness since the damage is much lower than you'd get if you'd spent the SP on Spin Slash instead, and there aren't really any situations in the demo where the range on Louie's regular attack isn't enough. Could possibly be more useful in the full version depending on what the encounters look like. Unlocked at level 10, costs 5 SP.
The self-titled 'Lady Thief' is the second adventurer you will unlock and the only adventurer available other than Louie in the demo. To unlock her, finish Jade Way 15 and sell stuff until she gives you her card. She really loves booze and seems to be drunk more often than not. Charme only uses daggers.
Charme is the fastest adventurer in the game. She has a high base run speed and also has the ability to dash which propels her across levels at blinding speed. She can exploit her mobility in combat to outmaneuver enemies and land backstabs while zigzagging to dodge projectiles. If that wasn’t enough, she also has Flame Charge which lets her charge very rapidly in one direction to deal AOE damage and escape danger.
Her damage is very high, both thanks to her quick attack speed and her high annate ATK stat. She can further amplify her damage by using Mirror Image.
Her versatile skill set allows her to adapt to most situations with ease.
Charme pays for all these advantages this with her poor defense. Her base HP and DEF are both low, and she lacks the ability to equip certain armor types. You can partially compensate for this with gear, but she remains pretty fragile.
Her attack range is short which makes attack timing very unforgiving and shrinks your ‘safe zone’ considerably.
She’s got a very high player skill cap and a steep difficulty curve. The difference between Charme and Louie is like the difference between chess and tic-tac-toe. Some would consider this a good thing, but the fact remains that you need practice in order to use her effectively. It is highly recommended that you use a gamepad when playing Charme, though a keyboard can still work.
Dash: This is what makes Charme awesome. Pressing a directional button twice in quick succession causes her to start sprinting around like Usain Bolt on crack. Note that this doesn't necessarily have to be the direction you're moving in - if you're running to the right then you can tap up or down twice to start dashing which allows you to go from normal running to sprinting without stopping. However, making sharp turns will break the Dash, so make smooth turns - instead of turning sharply right and immediately down, do it by first going in a down-right diagonal direction and then turning down. It sounds complicated but it's really quite natural once you get used to it.
You can use Dash both offensively and defensively. An obvious use is to simply get away from dangerous situations, but you can also use it dodge projectiles, outmaneuver opponents or simply get to targets at lightning speed. Dashing will utterly destroy Reginald Drisby, for example, since you'll be able to quickly dash in and out to stab any red mushrooms. Simply dash around at a safe distance until a red mushroom spawns or he goes to eat a purple and you can easily kill him without any danger at all. You can also dash and run circles around ropers to exploit their slow turning speed for easy backstabs.
Of course, Dash can also be used to traverse levels very quickly. No matter if you're chest-farming, going for maximum chain bonus or just getting every respawn for maximum loot the ability to move around the level quickly is very useful. Remember to keep an eye on your minimap though, and don’t dash blindly into unexplored areas!
Active Block: Charme can block incoming projectiles if you press the directional key corresponding to the direction they're coming from right before they land - if a chestnut is coming from the right then tap right just before it lands to block it. I usually don’t use this ability at all since it's usually much easier to just dodge the projectile with Dash, and the timing seems iffy at best.
Mirror Image: This ability spawns a shadow copy of Charme which mirrors her movement and attacks at roughly one third of normal damage. It can be used offensively to add more damage to your main attack or defensively to extend your range if you can’t risk going into melee. It lasts about ten seconds and you can have a maximum of five images active at a time. Charme starts with this skill, costs 5 SP.
Flame Charge: Charme charges forward a good distance, hitting all mobs in her path for a decent amount of damage while ignoring incoming attacks. This skill has several great uses - escaping hairy situations, hitting a lot of bunched mobs or simply getting where you need to go quickly. It can be used in all eight directions. Unlocked at level 10, costs 5 SP.
Shadow Weave: Throws a net which expands and prevents all movement by entrapped monsters, including turning, for its ~10-second duration which allows you to simply stroll up and annihilate them with backstabs. Boss monsters will simply destroy your nets to no effect, but this skill can wreak havoc against normal monsters. Its main weakness is that it can be somewhat tricky to aim, but you'll get used to it quickly and it can be absolutely devastating when used right. It can obviously also be used defensively to trap mobs while you escape. Unlocked at level 20, costs 5 SP.
This guy starts out with extremely high defense but will rapidly shrink, increasing his vulnerability to attacks. He’ll try to crush you by bouncing at you if you get close. Simply stand back and kill the small slimes to prevent him from reabsorbing them. Once he’s shrunk two or three times wait for him to bounce and hit him a couple of times to put him out of his misery.
Gimmick boss. He has very high defense which makes attacking him head-on nearly pointless unless you have very high attack power. He constantly spawns both red and purple mushrooms around the room and will randomly go eat them which either heals him or causes him to be stunned and vulnerable to attack for a short while. The trick is that it's the red mushrooms that heal him and the purple mushrooms that cause him to become vulnerable, so simply keep your distance and kill red mushrooms until he goes to eat a purple, and then go unload on him with back attacks while he’s stunned. Repeat a couple times and he's dead.
The first 'real' boss fight. She's extremely quick and trying to attack her head-on will often result in her hitting you first if you’re careless. She throws easily sidestepped nets and does a Flame Charge every now and then with a short chargeup period. The trick to beating her is to use openings when she casts Flame Charge and Shadow Wave to land damage as well as to use Louie’s superior range to hit her before she hits you when she goes in for the attack. Don’t try to keep pounding at her - she’ll counterattack or leap away. Land one or two hits and back off, you’ll win the war of attrition in the end if you’re patient.
This is obvious but often overlooked. In order to change the controls, resolution etc you need to launch the configuration utility by either starting custom.exe in the main folder or by selecting “Launch Configuration Tool” when starting the game via Steam. I highly recommend doing this before starting the game the first time since most players are not very comfortable with the default controls. You can also turn down certain graphical effects or limit your maximum FPS if the game is running poorly.
Using a gamepad is recommended if possible since it makes dungeon crawling a whole lot more fun. Note however that there are two current issues with gamepads:
* The shoulder triggers on the 360 gamepad are not recognized by default. This can be worked around by using a program like XPadder to remap them to keyboard buttons. You can then bind the shoulder triggers as if they were keyboard buttons.
* When using the D-pad to move, the up-right diagonal does not work in the demo. This will be fixed in the full version, according to Carpe Fulgur. This can be worked around with XPadder(remap the D-pad to whatever keyboard keys you use to move), or you can use the analog stick/keyboard.